When Enterpreneurship brings grandma recipe to life
As Patrick started on his adventure as a baseball athlete, he walks us through his journey to entrepreneurship and financial advising.
How did your experience in high school help shape you and affect your college decision?
During high school, I enrolled in numerous honors classes where I was surrounded by engaged groups of students that encouraged learning at a high level; such academic drive and passion became something I looked for in a college and found in Beloit. My active involvement in DECA and business courses also helped me develop an interest in economics and business. Beloit provided an environment for me to further explore my interests and allowed me to play baseball, a sport I was always enthusiastic about.
What is the most memorable experience in your freshman year?
I can never forget my time living in 609, an all-freshman dorm, where I was able to spark lifelong friendships with whom I may never have crossed paths without Beloit. We spent a lot of time together in our large shared lounge on the main floor, went to many meals, planned movie nights, went to a corn maze, laser tagging, and countless college events. During my freshman time, I joined the Beloit Baseball team as a pitcher and served as both a starter and a reliever for the remaining years at Beloit.
What advice would you give to students currently in their first year?
My advice to first-year and incoming students at Beloit would be to hit the ground running at Beloit. It can be easy to put off getting involved outside of the classroom until you are familiar with the environment, but the sooner you can do so, the better. Get involved in campus clubs and activities, as well as in the community however you can. The connections you make during these experiences could be the key to an internship or future job, and the things you learn about yourself will help you grow and figure out what you are really interested in going in-depth, or may help you realize what you do not want to do after school. Also, create relationships with professors. Professors, especially at Beloit, genuinely want their students to succeed and grow. The student’s engagement in and outside the classroom will be the key to getting the most from every class. Unfortunately, we too often are afraid to ask for guidance or help, especially from professors, coaches, bosses, etc., but doing so can help us grow faster or in ways, we might not otherwise.
Given your early interest in economics and business, when did you realize that a business-related field is the career path you want to pursue in the long run, and have your Beloit education impacted your decision?
During sophomore year, I took the Intro to Entrepreneurship course with Professor Jerry Gustafson. As part of the course, I started Pat’s Pies - a pie-selling business inspired by my grandmother. Starting small, but the business thrives until now. I have continued this business ever since and even got loyal customers who have stayed with me for 10 consecutive years. Professor Jerry Gustafson was instrumental in my interest in entrepreneurship. He found ways to instill confidence and encourage growth by supporting me in any way he could and provided valuable insights through his lectures and guest speakers - who were often his former classmates or students. After his class, I finally declared a major in Business Administration in my sophomore year. Majoring in Business Administration indeed matched my early intention at the beginning of my journey with Beloit College, which was to major in the related-Economics fields.
Can you share some of your key achievements or milestones during your time at Beloit?
I am really proud of the time I joined the What is Social Excellence (WISE) Foundation, where I often met with community members and facilitated meaningful conversations about essential aspects of communities, businesses, and other facets of society. I am also grateful for being selected as the winner of the John Hughes entrepreneur of the year award due to my success selling pies as part of my business, Pat’s Pies, in which I made around $2,000 in profits.
What opportunities did you have as a Beloit College student?
First was being the Residential Assistant during my junior year, which helped me improve my leadership and communication skills. The second was the chance to gain hands-on experience with a credit course through the Duffy Partnerships program. I participated in the Duffy program as a junior during the spring semester, in which I gained my first working experience at Fairbanks Morse Engine. During my internship, I worked with the production control department to try and increase efficiency on large projects (usually 3-9 month timeframe) by determining what processes may have more time than necessary allocated to them. The internship with Fairbanks, combined with other internships I got in my senior year, has piqued my interest in pursuing a career in the financial industry.
How did your career development start at Beloit?
I interned at Northwestern Mutual as a financial representative over the summer leading up to my senior year. The internship was an opportunity that arose after I attended the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization conference in Chicago with Professor Brian Morello and other students. I also used to work as an intern for Marco Consulting Group as part of an Associated Colleges of the Midwest semester entrepreneurship program in Chicago during my senior year. There, I completed a project using their Bloomberg terminal. These experiences provided me with skills and knowledge, which were extremely valuable when I applied for jobs after graduation. My classes, especially in the Economics department, also served as a solid foundation for skills and knowledge, which has been beneficial for me to thrive in any jobs I have had since college.
What is your life like after graduation?
Thanks to my experience in high school and college, I was hired as a research analyst for Alpine Bank & Trust after graduating. I then worked as a Portfolio Manager and Partner for Heritage Way Advisors, LLC. The owner of Heritage Way Advisors was formerly my little league coach, and eventually, I connected with him and was offered a position with the firm. I also obtained the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, which allowed me to work directly with clients while continuously improving my presentation skills and learning more about the financial industry’s various aspects, such as how to best help clients. All of this could not happen without my valuable time at Beloit.