An economics major and honors student, Sam Wilkinson has an impressive Westminster resume. He is also ASWC’s Vice-President, Student Honors Council President, Honor Program Peer Mentor, Student Representative on the Board of Trustees Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Committee, Alumni Board, and finally, Opportunity Fund Student Chair. He has also been a part of the Alumni Mentoring Program, Economics Club, Finance Club, and served as President of the Tennis Club.
With his rigorous Honors degree, he studied a foreign language, took extra Honors electives, and wrote an Honors thesis. His thesis topic was about measuring the economic impact of foreign aid, specifically looking at the case of India. He spent Fall Semester of his sophomore year at Nankai University in Tianjin, China studying Mandarin Chinese and Economics and he has taken a variety of May Term classes, from Evolution, Creationism & Intelligent Design to Economics of the Arab Spring.
Sam spent his junior and senior year working for the University Venture Fund (UVF). UVF is one of the largest student-run venture capital funds in the world and they manage $18.2 million. While at UVF, he had many great opportunities to learn about venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneurship. As a Senior Associate (the highest position attainable by students), he was able to lead many projects and help run their annual conference: University Private Equity Summit. He said, “This was a fabulous experience that perfectly complemented my Westminster education.”
Sam’s professors have undoubtedly shaped his college experience. “Despite the variety of backgrounds and expertise, each Westminster professor has one thing in common: they care about the students. This attitude fosters an unrivaled environment for learning. My first time visiting my advisor's office hours quickly went from a drop-by visit to an hour-long discussion on Economics and life. I quickly found out this experience was the norm on campus,” said Sam. These interactions with the professors have defined his Westminster experience.
Critical thinking has been an invaluable aspect of his Westminster education. During his first semester at Westminster, Professors Richard Badenhausen and Nick More taught Sam how to critically analyze text. “My method of writing essays was flawed. I would conjecture a hypothesis, then find supporting material from the text. Instead, Richard and Nick taught me the importance of analyzing the text, then formulating a hypothesis based on what the text is saying - whatever that may be. It may seem like a subtle difference, but it is actually a major paradigm shift that has greatly impacted my life.”
After graduation, he will work as a Product Manager for School Improvement Network, a fantastic education company that provides a suite of professional development tools for k-12 educators. He plans to eventually attend either an MBA program or a Ph.D. program.
“In short, seek the truth; don't seek the truth you want to see.” – Samuel Wilkinson