Will

Class of 2010

"Initially, I was not going to come to UofL...I felt so relieved once I made my "final" decision. So naturally, I wanted to celebrate. I booked a trip to visit my older brother who was a junior at UofL. I ended up staying the whole weekend. I felt like I was home. I called the other school on Monday to let them know I was going to be a Cardinal. Best decision I have ever made."

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Why did you choose to attend UofL?

Initially, I was not going to come to UofL. I committed to a small Division III school in Ohio. This was not an easy decision for me. I had applied to over 10 schools, visited all of them and did overnight recruiting trips with my top 5. I felt so relieved once I finally decided on Wittenberg. So naturally, I wanted to celebrate the big decision. I booked a trip to visit my older brother who was a junior at U of L to celebrate the good news. To get my high school absence counted as excused, I shadowed a Math class with his roommate. I ended up staying the whole weekend and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I felt like I was home. I called Wittenberg on Monday to let them know I was going to be a Cardinal. Best decision I have ever made.

What class made the strongest impact on you and  has stuck with you after graduating?

My favorite class was CIS 300. I learned about this wonderful software program called Microsoft Excel. It has been a love affair since and I use it daily. I enjoyed CIS 300 because unlike other courses, you were learning the tools to apply knowledge obtained from other courses. Excel also helped me land my senior year internship as an Operations Analyst at Zappos. The people I met at Zappos have made me into the businessman I am today. I would have never met them without CIS 300.

What activities and organizations are you involved in? Did they have an impact on your life after graduation?

I was very active on campus. I was in the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, involved with the PEACC program, and a member of the Student Orientation Staff. I served as the president of my fraternity for back-to-back terms and was the Men of PEACC coordinator for two years. My involvement in these organizations helped me understand how to work on a team, how to motivate individuals, and how to be a leader. I do not think I would be an effective leader today without my time practicing at U of L.

Current occupation?

Chief of Staff for Venture First. Venture First is a boutique financial services group focused on empowering entrepreneurs. Our team has completed over 1,200 engagements, working closely with over 600 innovative companies and their investors in 60+ cities around the globe to provide them with the financial and strategic tools to be successful. Being a UofL grad has given me a network of individuals and companies to connect with to help facilitate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Louisville.

How did UofL prepare you for your career?

UofL helped me grow as a young adult. It provided the environment for me to engage with people from all walks of life and not just learn finance, but also learn about the world. I felt safe having difficult conversations with people from different backgrounds. These conversations challenged the way I viewed the world. They made me uncomfortable. And they made me think critically. I certainly appreciated the course work for my major, but I also received an education on how to be a good citizen. I firmly believe I would not have received the same worldly education where I could isolate myself and surround myself with a group of my exact peers. UofL put the world in my backyard and the platform to engage.

Why do you give back to UofL?

Simple. I give back because someone gave to me. I benefited directly from the scholarship programs established at UofL. Because of a stranger's generosity, I was able to attend college. It would be an insult if I did not return the favor.

What’s your favorite UofL memory?

True favorite is probably not appropriate for a public forum. I had a lot fun. But top memories would be a winning a trip to the Orange Bowl, Phi Tau Formal in Charleston, and countless nights in Miller Hall with my SOS family.

Hometown?

Lexington, KY.

Degree(s) earned at UofL?

Bachelors of Business Administration, Finance. One degree was plenty for me.

If you had to choose a college again, would you choose UofL? Why?

Absolutely. UofL is the perfect blend of academics, campus life, sports, and an urban setting to give you anything you could ever want. Throw in the Granville on Thursdays for us "older folks" and it’s the best thing going. 

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