Recent Bauer College graduate Jake Milan shares his advice for new students.
Earning good grades and going to class is great, Milan says, but in order to truly succeed, students have to go beyond what’s expected by getting involved in extracurricular activities and taking advantage of all the opportunities available through Bauer College, UH and the city of Houston.
Fail, Fail, Fail
Don’t discriminate when it comes to opportunities, Milan says — try it all! He adds: “Take on challenges that you don’t feel prepared to face. Participate in the case study. Take the hard class. Apply for the job that ‘you’re not good enough for.’ The way to learn is through failure. The only way to a yes is if you first try.”
Control Your Circle
The best way to achieve your goals is to surround yourself with people you aspire to be like, Milan advises. His favorite quote? “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
Believe in Yourself
You have to be your biggest motivator, Milan says: “Learn to change the way you think. Never say I can’t and I won’t, but say I can and I will. Test yourself and push past your self-designed limitations. The question is never if you can make it happen but how will you make it happen.”
It's About Time
Recent Bauer Grad Develops Business to Track Volunteer Hours
When a Bauer College professor challenged Jake Milan to convert his passion for service into a tool to connect people to volunteer opportunities, he wasted no time.
During his final semester at Bauer, Milan took a social entrepreneurship course with Clinical Assistant Professor Carlos Ortega, who encouraged him to use his business education to create change.
“He believed in what I was doing and challenged me to connect volunteers to 500 hours of service,” Milan said. “I began reaching out to local nonprofits and building my list of volunteer opportunities, which became a very long list of important needs. I knew I was on to something.”
That something became MyVolunteerLink, a website that acts as a bridge between people who want to give back and the organizations that need volunteers.
Milan far exceeded the goal he set in class — he signed on 400 participants who logged 1,151 volunteer hours for organizations including Rise Against Hunger, the Houston Health Department, Ripley House and more.
“There are so many amazing organizations already in Houston with relationships, resources and a passion to help,” he said. “And many are in desperate need of volunteers to fulfill their missions and expand their impact. I figured I could use my network and rela- tionships to gather volunteers and connect them with organizations in need.”
Milan began building his considerable network as a Bauer College student. After graduating high school in New York, Milan came to Houston to pursue a career in finance, knowing that he would incorporate service into whatever he ended up doing.
“My parents instilled in me the principles of giving and with the expectation of nothing in return,” he said. “Through their example I saw that love is unselfishly choosing for the highest good of others. As I’ve grown into an adult I’ve always tried to put these lessons into practice by volunteering at my church, student organizations, and local non-profits.”
Milan applied that mindset to his time as a Bauer student, honing his skills and learning how he can help others through his strengths.
“The classes helped me dial in on where my interests lie and gave me the confidence to walk into an interview, knowing I have the knowledge to add value for employers,” he said.
Milan added: “Community service has helped me see life through the eyes of others, expanding my perspective and the way I think about life and my education.”
In addition to his coursework, Milan served as president of the Finance Association, one of Bauer’s largest student organizations. There, he had the opportunity to share his passion for volunteering with members of the group, leading the organization to win the community service award from the college.
“Through my involvement with the Finance Association, I was able to develop my confidence and leadership skills while gaining mentors to help me navigate through my college experience towards my professional career,” Milan said.
He added: “If you were to see me on my first day at Bauer compared to when I graduated, the result would be shocking. Bauer has changed me for the best.”
After graduating this spring, Milan took a full-time offer from PwC, where he serves as a valuation associate. In his short tenure there, he has already found a way to give back, partnering with Junior Achievement, an organization that teaches students about financial literacy.
“PwC provides many volunteer opportunities and rewards their team members for giving back,” Milan said. “I also want to give back to Bauer by serving as a resource and mentor to students as someone who’s been in their shoes before. My goal is to be the person that I was looking for in college to someone else.”