Star athlete Marc Herschberger got something out of his MSU Denver education he never expected.

Marc HerschbergerMarc Herschberger was a rambunctious 4-year-old when he started playing soccer. Having kept at it through middle and high school, his hard work and talent paid off with several scholarship offers from colleges in Colorado, California and Pennsylvania.

Turns out his decision to accept Metropolitan State University of Denver’s offer was a smart one. In his senior year, Herschberger was named 2012 Capital One Academic All America of the Year. The award meant he was the top scholar-athlete to play NCAA Division II men’s soccer that year.

So you might think he would say that having such remarkable success as a scholar-athlete at MSU Denver was a game changer for him.  You’d be wrong.

“It was the University’s diversity that was most transformative,” he said. “Working with and learning from students from various backgrounds was something I would not have gotten at a traditional school.”

Along with the new viewpoints he gleaned from his classmates, Herschberger believes that the real-world perspective he learned from his management and marketing professors was indispensable.

“There’s the textbook example of how things are done and then there’s how things are actually done,” he said. “Unless you get the experience of seeing how things are actually done, like I did, it’s a bit of a culture shock when you get into the real world.”

Herschberger graduated summa cum laude in 2013, earning business degrees in marketing and management. He credits his MSU Denver education with putting him on the fast track from an internship to a full-time position with Revenue River, a six-year-old marketing firm in Littleton, Colorado.

Only 24 years old, Herschberger already has been promoted to inbound strategist. He develops and manages digital marketing campaigns for high-end clients such as regional giant Western Convenience Stores and Eventus Solutions Group, number 566 on’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

While Herschberger is a busy marketing professional, he hasn’t left soccer or his alma mater behind. He plays in a competitive soccer league, practicing a few times a week and playing games on weekends. He also volunteers to do mock interviews with current business students to give them an edge when they go into the real world. He hopes his professional advice can be a game changer.