This article is part of a series introducing you to our Tigers.
I’ve moved around quite a bit. I don’t have one place I call home. I’ve lived in Chicago, Brazil and Maryland—I’ve gotten around. That comes with pros and cons. But I’ve been blessed with a life of travel and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
It really took me moving back to the US before I realized how amazing that experience was. It’s kind of a shame because I didn’t fully appreciate what I was getting down there [Brazil]. I got to travel all over. I’ve been to the Amazon rainforest and swam in the Amazon River with pink dolphins—stuff people dream of doing. I took complete advantage of it, but I didn’t realize how great it was until I moved back here.
I have two parents and two little sisters. I really owe everything to my parents. They’ve taken me all around the world, they’ve given me the best life possible and they’ve pushed me every single day to do the best I possibly can. If I suddenly came into the lottery—there’s no question—everything would go to them. My mom is a special ed teacher. That’s gotta be one of the hardest jobs. And my dad is a vice president that owns a bunch of universities around the world. They’re really inspiring. They’ve taught me what it is to work hard, stay motivated and be disciplined.
For me it actually came down to opportunity cost. Towson was actually my second-to-last choice out of eight schools. It came down to the University of Georgia and Towson. I had to ask myself, ‘Is the degree I’d get from Georgia really worth eight times the one I’d get from Towson?’ I think you know my answer. I love it here; I have no regrets. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I heard the stat that 90 percent of Americans work for someone else. I understand how tough it is to find a job and when you do, it’s not always guaranteed security. I chose entrepreneurship because I want that autonomy in life. Honestly, the biggest thing is for me I want to be able to look at my [future] kids and never ever have to say ‘I can’t come to your basketball game because I have to go to work.’
Also, I worked in a restaurant in high school. I was a bus boy, and I was working so much harder than the next guy. And we were getting paid the exact same thing. I looked at myself and said ‘This isn’t fair. I want to be paid for the work I’m doing, not working twice as hard as the next guy and us getting the same paycheck at the end of the day.’”
Entrepreneurship allows me to build my passion. No one has said ‘here’s your dream job.’ You have to build it yourself, and that’s what I’m willing to do. This past summer, I worked for a marketing firm six days a week, 10 hours a day. I was doing door-to-door sales, and I loved it. I know that doesn’t sound very sexy, and I don’t think too many other people would like it. I was in an entrepreneurship training program, so it really gave me the idea of how hard you have to work and what you have to do to run your own company.
I’m an avid runner. I’m a firm believer that you have to be physically healthy to be mentally healthy; you can’t be one without the other. So I’m also a very avid reader. Those are probably my two main hobbies, but I love playing the guitar, I love fishing, and I love sports, mainly basketball. I love TedTalks. I watch them all the time.
My favorite professor is Sam Leppo; he taught micro-economics for me. I didn’t even do that well in his class but by far the best teacher I’ve ever had. The man is incredibly passionate about what he does here and that translates. You can tell he loves what he does. He’s really good at it.
For me it’s gotta be the Greek life. That’s probably what I’m most involved in here. I’m vice president for recruitment for the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and vice president of my own fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. Absolutely love it. I met my best friends. It’s so cool walking around campus getting high fives and handshakes in every building just because you know someone. Everyone in Greek life here, since it’s not that big, knows everyone, so I feel like I have a small community that I’m a part of. Plus there’s always events going on. My weekends are jam-packed. It’s given me some amazing opportunities. I really think the coolest part about it is that as I move up, I’m able to help the younger people move up too. I’m able to say, ‘look, here’s what I did and here’s another cool opportunity you should check out.’
[My work last summer] really gave me a foundation for what I want in a career and what I want to do with my life. The plans for the future are to just keep trying other things and worse comes to worse, I find out I don’t like something. But it’s really cool I’ve found something I like so much already. It’s really been a great experience and I can’t thank them enough. I just can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.