Alumnus’ multimillion-dollar company got its start at NIU

Engineering alum Jason MarosiWhen Jason Marosi was an engineering student at NIU, he encountered a frustrating problem. He needed to buy a specific piece of lab equipment, but he couldn’t afford it.

So he found a way to make his own equipment cheaper than he could buy it.

Marosi, a 2012 graduate of the electrical engineering technology program, is the vice president of Best Value Vacs, a Naperville-based company that designs and distributes equipment used in industrial and scientific laboratories. The company had its start in Marosi’s second year at NIU, when he began designing and manufacturing his own lab equipment. He hired his brother, Adam Marosi, to help. At the time, Adam was a student in the accountancy program at the College of Business.

“He’s not an engineer, he’s an accountant, so he took the initiative and started trying to sell the equipment he made,” Jason Marosi said. “Then I came in and was able to rapidly manufacture the product he was selling.”

By the end of 2013, the company had developed enough to launch full time. Today, it employs 36 people – including several more NIU alumni – and does more than $10 million in business annually.

On March 23, Marosi returned to NIU to speak to a group of engineering and technology seniors about preparing for Senior Design Day, when students in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology present capstone projects to faculty, industry and alumni judges.

alum jason marosi speaks to students
Jason Marosi speaks to students at Senior Design Prep Night

“Working in a group for senior design is a lot like working your first job,” he said before the event. “What you really learn is how to manage different people’s skills and strengths to achieve the end goal.”

He shared this wisdom with students, telling them to play to their teammates’ strengths and recognize everyone’s contributions. He told students to not only cover the technical details of their projects, but make sure judges know how the project is significant and what impact it could have.

He also said working as an engineer in the business world is not quite what he expected when he was a student.

“What you learn once you’re out in the world is you don’t need to be an expert in anything; you just need to be very good at finding the answers you need,” he said. “Really, you just need to work hard, keep it simple and not worry so much.”

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