The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, despite being one of the oldest business schools west of the Mississippi, is a “start-up” compared to some nationally recognized institutions. Yes, the school has made dramatic steps toward national prominence in the seven years following Jon M. Huntsman’s generous donation in 2007, but we are still in the growth stage. As is the case with any start-up, the school provides incredible opportunities for personal growth and meaningful involvement - but it takes hard work and initiative. There will be long nights, there will be stress and you may not even succeed at first. Nevertheless, all those things will make you better. Having been at the Huntsman School of Business since the fall of 2008, I have worked through various growth opportunities.
As a senior in high school, I was introduced to the Huntsman Scholar Program and encouraged to apply before the deadline three days later. I finished the application, got an official transcript, wrote two essays, and secured three letters of recommendation in 72 hours. Now, after four years in the program, I have traveled to 10 different countries to meet with leaders of incredible organizations like the WTO, the UN, Microsoft and many others. Had I not pulled those late nights so many years ago, I would not have had these career-defining moments.
As a junior studying finance, I began pursuing a summer internship with Goldman Sachs Asset Management by leveraging contacts I had made at the Huntsman School. After securing a phone interview, I had 10 additional interviews over the course of two months before a final decision was made. While waiting, I maintained contact with key interviewers, monitored and discussed market activities, and even drove to Salt Lake City to have lunch with one particular interviewer. After securing the internship, I was told the major reason I got the position was my continued dialogue with the team. Had I not sent those simple emails or made the drive to Salt Lake, I never would have experienced Wall Street. Never underestimate how influential continual communication is in building key relationships. Never count yourself out.
Following Goldman Sachs, I took a semester off school to pursue an internship with a private equity fund in northern California. I was introduced to a partner in the fund through Chris Fawson, a professor at the Huntsman School of Business, who had brought him on campus as a guest lecturer. Following class and a group breakfast, I approached Dr. Fawson about the possibility of getting some additional time with this professional. Dr. Fawson managed to organize some time for us to speak more in depth. In the subsequent months, an internship opportunity arose which lead to a full-time job offer. Had I not asked for some additional time, I never would have developed this relationship with this key mentor of mine. Had I not taken a semester off school to intern out of state, not knowing if I would be paid or not, I never would have gotten my full-time job. The answer will always be no if you never ask.
The Huntsman School of Business is growing, and students that truly want to grow will grow with it. The education I have received at the Huntsman School of Business is as good as any institution in the nation. We as students have at our disposal everything we need for success; it just takes a little initiative and plenty of effort. While hard work opens doors, complacency leads to mediocrity. Opportunities abound for those who are observant, take initiative, and work hard.
Remember, “everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you ... the minute that you understand that you can poke life ... that you can change it, you can mold it ... that's maybe the most important thing." - Steve Jobs