University alumni revisit campus on a regular basis. They interact with current students, chat with old professors, and admire the progress and development of our school since their graduation. From time to time, DU welcomes alumni in a more formal setting. A notable alum and recipient of the University of Denver Evans Award is Andy Taylor. He and his wife Barbara, who is also an alum, have maintained an excellent relationship with the university since their graduation. In 2012, they donated a generous gift, matched by the university, which was used to establish the Taylor Family Undergraduate Career Center for business students, as well as to award two different need-based scholarships to dozens of Daniels students year after year.
When Andy visited campus in early March, Taylor Scholars, alongside Daniels faculty and staff joined him and Chancellor Chopp for brunch. Even as the Executive Chairman of Enterprise Holdings, Andy was not too busy to share some words of wisdom with current students. He spent the session encouraging students to learn from his experiences in the business world. These were some of the key lessons from this event:
- Love your job
Of course, we have heard this time and time again, but you have to take it to heart when someone who has been there says it. Andy talked about how every day he looks forward to going to work, which makes all the difference in the workplace. Having passion behind what you are doing can make all the difference and keep you motivated throughout your career.
- Strive towards ethics
Daniels places huge emphasis on the importance of ethics, and Andy has found that pursuing ethical business practices has held great value throughout his career, which is why he encourages students to maintain a strong sense of ethics on their professional and personal journey as well.
- Always look forward
The business environment is ever-changing, so we must continue to adapt our businesses and strategies to remain relevant. Andy talked about how Enterprise is always looking forwards – analyzing trends and deciding how they will fit into the equation in the future. As a leader in a big company, he talked about the importance of pushing innovation and creativity in the workplace.
- Keep a balance between work and personal life
Surprisingly, these two do not have to be separate in order to be well-balanced. When Andy’s children were still young, he would sometimes bring them into work. He described this sort of event as a “family thing,” where the kids might learn a thing or two on a Saturday morning for example.
- Reinvest in your business
Andy attributed a good portion of the growth in his business to the consistent reinvestments he made. He talked about how he chose not to take the money for himself and instead used it to push development in his business. While this may sound intuitive for many, the key lies in making sure not to take excess profits to keep for personal use, which may be challenging if your business is doing well.
A couple of good lessons later, brunch wrapped up. Students lined up to meet Andy Taylor and to thank him for his generous gift. For many students, the funds dedicated to the Taylor Scholarships have made all the difference today and his words of advice will shape their future.
By: Elvia Loya Enriquez, Daniels College of Business Student