As president and CEO of Stratus Technologies, UMass Lowell alum David Laurello knows a thing or two about achieving success.

Charged with driving the professional growth and innovation of his $200 million a year global company, Laurello points to the “back to basics” style education he received at UMass Lowell as giving him a real advantage.  

“The academics provided me with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of both business and technology,” he says. “My first job after college was in the development of mid-range computers. My education at UMass Lowell provided me with a deep understanding of the fundamental technologies used in designing complex computer systems.”

Laurello also earned his MBA at UMass Lowell. Today he leads Maynard-based Stratus, a company that helps its customers keep mission critical business operations online without interruption. Customers include leading U.S. securities firms, the largest stock exchange in Asia and eight of the world’s top ten banks.

When it comes to education, Laurello values lessons that translate to life on the job. “It’s important to work while in school, whether it’s a paying job or an internship, to get some real-life experience regardless of whether or not it’s in your major,” he says. “Real-life experience is important – it shows a potential employer that you have the maturity, ambition and motivation to excel in the workplace.”

In an effort to assist UMass Lowell students in their business studies, Laurello volunteers his time on the Board of Advisers for the Manning School of Business. As for advice he would give to today’s students, he says, “Get as broad an education as possible – don’t have too narrow a focus. While its important to have a thorough grasp of the courses in your major, it’s also important to take a number of courses outside of your major. Today’s and tomorrow’s leaders require a diverse education to help them deal with the complexities of today’s business environment.”