Alumni Profile: Geoff Dukas
Geoff Dukas is a rare example of someone who always knew the career he wanted to pursue and where he wanted to work. He’s an even rarer example of someone who has fulfilled both of those goals.
Driven Toward Ford
Dukas (’87, finance), a native of San Diego, works for Ford Motor Company where he is the Ford of Europe product development controller in Cologne, Germany. He relocated with his family to Germany from Birmingham, Michigan in 2017 to manage the financial component for Ford of Europe’s future product products.
Dukas targeted Ford as the place he where he wanted to work while still in his 20s. And he knew he wanted to work in the field of finance even earlier. “I was always interested in business and finance while I was growing up,” said Dukas. “I was fascinated with the idea of growing economic value and finding ways to expand the profitability of a company.”
SDSU Blood Runs Deep
When it came time to choose a college, San Diego State was a natural choice. Dukas’ older sister, Mary (’80, German - BA and ’00, Linguistics - MA), was an SDSU alum and his father, Vytas, was an SDSU Russian professor. “Most importantly, SDSU has an outstanding undergraduate business program, which was an important criteria for me,” said Dukas.
Climbing the Corporate Ladder
After graduating from SDSU, Dukas moved north to Orange County to work at Unisys Corporation. In 1993, he moved to the Midwest to continue his education. “I ended up selecting Indiana University for my MBA partly based on the fact that Ford Motor Company recruited there,” Dukas recalled. “Ford was at the top of my list for companies I wanted to work for due to their outstanding reputation in finance. I also love cars, so Ford was a perfect fit for me.”
Ford’s management must have thought he was a perfect fit for them as well. Immediately after earning his MBA in 1995, Dukas went to work as a financial analyst at Ford’s truck plant in Wayne, Michigan.
Dukas took on assignments with increasing responsibility, including a stint in Hiroshima, Japan, before undertaking his current role. He noted that Americans would be familiar with many of the vehicles Ford manufactures and sells in Europe, including the Focus, Fiesta, Mondeo (known as Fusion in the U.S.), and the Kuga (known as Escape in the U.S.).
Always an Aztec
Although his position with Ford keeps him a long way from San Diego, Dukas still keeps an eye on Aztec sporting events. “I am an avid fan of both SDSU football and basketball,” he said. “I watched the men’s basketball team run through the Mountain West Conference Championship in March in the middle of the night Central European Time.”
Regardless of where their career may take them in the world, Dukas says that one of the best things that SDSU students and alumni can do is to stay informed about developments in their chosen field. “Technology and other factors are changing the way companies do business and create value at an ever-accelerating pace,” he said. “Consequently, it is critical to stay informed about changes in business, technology and the overall economic environment. Doing so can help create advantages for you and your company.”