Sometimes, your college years can shape you more than you can ever imagine. These alumni featured below are taking their Central education and making a positive difference in their communities and professional worlds.
They're #CentralMade, just like you.
You can see our past features here:
March 2016: Freddie's BBQ
May 2016: Focus on Home
When his brother went to Dublin, Mike Gipson (BA ’11) found himself in a unique situation. His brother brought home the story of an experience, and from that trip, The Escape OKC was born.
Partnering with his brother and a friend, both also University of Central Oklahoma graduates, they started The Escape OKC two years ago. Today, they have five locations, including their Little Rock location that just launched, that have brought visitors from all over the world. On top
of that, the OKC location underwent a remodel, expanding from four rooms to six. There is also a trailer that can be driven to events to provide a taste of the full onsite experience.
Gipson hopped around through a few majors before landing in the Mass Communication department at UCO. After an internship at Moroch in Dallas, Gipson found himself stuck. He couldn’t get find a job in his field, so he took a job selling cars at Bob Moore Infiniti, where he still works today. It didn’t fall in line with what he thought he would do with his degree, but Gipson fell in love with the job.
“Everything from media execution to something as simple as how to relate to customers,” Gipson said, “I learned at UCO.”
His brother, Andy, enjoyed the entrepreneurial side of things and wanted to start a business. With a little financial help from their father, the boys started their new journey.
“We all love to think we’re going to be the next chief marketing officer at General Electric, but in the real world, that’s not the case.” Gipson said. “The class projects you do at UCO can feel constraining or frustrating, but they prepare you for the real world situations you face every day. Plus, a lot of what I learned from Mark Zimmerman about making difficult decisions in his Journalism Ethics class has really stuck with me to this day.”
The Escape OKC experience puts a group of individuals into a locked room with hidden clues and a designated amount of time. Groups must then search for clues to escape the room before time expires.
“Our goal is to keep opening new locations, hopefully one every four months or so,” Gipson said. “We want to expand our ideas for really growing the brand, too. Andy likes unique ideas, so we’re hoping to keep our customers on their toes.”
The Escape OKC team includes a marketing director who also graduated from UCO.