Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Why he chose Beloit: I chose Beloit because it was a place that I saw I could do what I wanted. I got the confirmation−via interactions with students, faculty, or staff, in the two days I visited−that this was a place that, if I came here, I would get all the necessary resources. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I’d get the necessary resources if I took the initiative and put myself out there.
On one of the many ways of getting practical experience on campus: During the spring semester of last year, I interned with the Office of Institutional Research & Planning. They do all the research assessment and planning for the college. I did research for the health and society department. They were going through a review, so we put together focus groups for them. We did research on freshmen and seniors and their learning progress.
How he moved up the ranks in Belmark Associates: Belmark is a student-run market research and consulting organization. It was started in 1985 by three economics students who had an entrepreneurial bent, took the necessary steps, got a grant, and started the organization. I was able to get involved my junior year as a temporary hire to do some data entry. Eventually, they gave me an offer to join the group. I joined, and it’s been a journey since then. I worked my way up to an analyst−doing data-crunching stuff−to meeting with the clients and writing contracts. I’m senior manager now.
What he’s doing now that he’s in charge: I’ve learned a lot, but it’s also been really challenging. The transition from taking direction to taking the lead was huge. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Now that I’ve gotten used to leading in this way, it’s been an eye-opening experience.
Why he feels prepared to graduate: With the kind of internships I’ve done and the small exposure I’ve had to the real world, Beloit has really prepared me for transitioning into a young professional. I think that’s a result of a mixture of a really rigorous course load and the opportunities I’ve had to get on-the-ground experiences at internship sites and the co-curricular and extra-curriculars I’ve done−from clubs to being on one of President Bierman’s task forces. What I experienced when I interned, especially with Hendricks Commercial Properties, was that I was out on the road with asset managers and talking to potential tenants or potential buyers, interacting with people and making deals. It keeps you on your toes.
How a class on entrepreneurship might turn into a real business: Something that I’ve been trying to pursue here is starting my own business. The business would work to improve the labor efficiencies of the back shop of private country clubs by introducing a product, which is my entrepreneurial idea. Taking a class on entrepreneurship made me realize that I had the skills to make this happen. I’ve talked with a couple engineers, and I’m working with a development firm to make the product. I’ve talked to customers at country clubs, and they’ve said this is something they’re interested in and is something they can buy if I can make it the way I say I can make it. Above all the other stuff that’s what I really want to do: do my own thing and run my own business.