Featured Senior: Austin Wilson ’14
Major: finance and international business
Minor: business economics and operations and logistics
Hometown: West Liberty, Ohio
Austin Wilson will graduate in May with a degree in finance and international business, and he’s already putting his knowledge to good use as a financial analyst at Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. in Findlay, where he will remain as a full-time employee following graduation.
Wilson’s career at Cooper began in December of 2013 when he was hired as a financial analyst – internal controls intern.
Additional experience on Wilson’s résumé includes an internship at Parker Trutec Inc. in Urbana; a position as a resident director at UF; and involvement in Findlay’s Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise) team. Wilson acknowledges that his relationships with UF faculty members have benefited him in a number of ways, including “contact with multiple companies for potential internships and jobs.”
At Parker Trutec, Wilson worked with the plant manager and a combination of American and Japanese team members on three projects involving automated production, a new production line and visual shop implementation.
Wilson began his Residence Life experience on campus as a resident assistant for several UF Townhouses. Then, during his junior and senior years, he was hired as a resident director. “This experience has grown me as a leader, a professional and as a young man as I’ve done my best to share my love to UF to others around me and really make a difference in my area,” he said.
Wilson joined the Enactus team his freshman year and worked on several projects with others. He became club president for his sophomore and junior years, leading the team to two regional championships and two national expositions.
Another UF experience that Wilson considers a milestone in his college career is participating in the Kake Bridge Program during the summer of 2012. The program is a cultural exchange in which a group of UF faculty, staff and students study the Japanese culture and spend three weeks traveling in Japan together.
“This experience was one of my favorite parts of college,” said Wilson. “I had some multicultural experience that you can not replicate in Ohio. I was pushed outside my comfort zone to learn and be a part of a different culture, and it made me a much more rounded individual.”
Wilson encourages all students to step out of their comfort zones: “Meet new people and interact regularly with international students,” he advised. “You will learn much about others and yourself through this.”
“Take every opportunity you can to better yourself academically and professionally,” Wilson added. “That is really why we are here: to attain rewarding career to best provide for our families. Become a better leader. It is leadership skills that employers are ultimately looking for, and it is those leadership skills that will make you a successful professional and help with your future family life.”
Wilson has no regrets about choosing UF. “As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew this was where I was going to spend my next four years … There are many opportunities to be involved and develop as a student, a professional and a person.”