Let me start with a confession. While I’ve written a number of articles for the Trinitonian, this is the first time I’m using my real name.
My senior year, I heard the paper was short-staffed and wouldn’t be able to cover the baseball team regularly. Wanting as much coverage as possible for a group of guys who helped develop a three-win team into conference champions, I “volunteered” my suitemate to take over the beat.
I provided most of the content, but the stories all went under his byline. As an inside joke each week I included a different disparaging line about my performance, like Rick Hill “again made an untimely error” or “let the team down by failing to drive in a key run.”
Flash forward 20-plus years and the talent level across all sports is so high I doubt I’d even get on the field to make those missteps. However, my desire to attend Trinity would be just as great.
When I’m back on campus to speak to a class or mentor someone interested in working in sports, I always walk to my car in awe of the passion of the professors and the intelligence of the students.
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise as I still vividly recall sitting in one of Dr. Salomon’s upper-level literature classes feeling equal parts overwhelmed and inspired with both his teaching and the brainpower of my 12 classmates, most of whom were on a PhD track.
The B-plus I received in that class is as rewarding as any professional accolade I’ve received. Moreover, it still gives me confidence that I can rise to the occasion and hold my own even with the sharpest of intellects.
That is why I think the rigorous liberal arts education Trinity provides has never been more valuable than it is today. New technologies coupled with a recession that made the work force lean and efficient has heightened the need for smart, adaptive workers.
The toughest challenge is landing the first job out of college, so my message to current students is take charge of your own education. Look for opportunities to develop your writing, critical thinking and public speaking. Also, take advantage of San Antonio’s growth, which means more experiential learning and job possibilities.
I’ve read that recent graduates will have eight jobs by the time they turn 35. Don’t feel you need to take over the world with your first job (ask me about cleaning restrooms and living in the locker room starting out in minor league baseball). Most careers will stair-step slowly to jobs with more responsibilities.
Have confidence. The cream will rise to the top, especially in this digital age. In my current job, it was always easy to judge our sales efforts, but now we are able to put metrics to everything we do. Did an ad buy reach our target, was our newsletter interesting and visually appealing enough to generate the desired views and even specific employee performance goals?
I’ve heard hiring managers now more than ever say “you can’t go wrong hiring a Trinity graduate.”
That’s something I believe and am willing to put my name on.
Rick Hill is a 1991 graduate with a degree in communication and history. He is now the vice president of marketing at the Valero Alamo Bowl.