“Don’t be afraid to embrace internships that might not be super conventional,” says sophomore Tyler Langford.
Openness, persistence land employment in cutting-edge industry
Tyler Langford may have applied to other universities during his hunt for the perfect college, but the only business school he applied to was Creighton’s Heider College of Business (HCB). The sophomore was predominantly interested in broadcast journalism and had a history of excelling in the liberal arts.
But, he says, “I felt like the business school here facilitates internships and then ultimately good job offers upon graduation at such a high rate that I’d challenge myself and give business a shot.”
The result: he discovered a love of analytics, marketing and economics he never knew existed.
The sophomore from Evanston, Illinois, is currently deciding between marketing and business intelligence and analytics (BIA) for his major, minoring in whichever discipline he does not select for his major. He also plans on pursuing a Kingfisher Concentration in graphic design. The Kingfisher is a component of the Heider Mindset Curriculum and a requirement for attaining a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), which requires HCB students to complete a minimum of three courses in an area of concentration in the College of Arts and Sciences.
In conjunction with producing intellectually well-rounded graduates, “the Heider College of Business offers a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the business world because it hires professors with industry experience and emphasizes the importance of internships,” Langford says.
Additionally, he believes the Jesuit values that are woven into the curriculum help him and his fellow Heider business students to “not only be successful in the business world but to be good people who value the right things and who go about life and business the right way.”
These factors “sealed the deal” for his Creighton enrollment, and he has never looked back.
“I love the networking aspect of business, and being a social person has really served me well because Creighton does a fantastic job facilitating connections between students and people well placed in the business world.”
Langford has experienced the benefits of the Creighton network firsthand. He is a Heider Dean’s Fellow, and during one of the guest speaker events integral to the Heider Dean’s Fellows program, Langford introduced himself to the speaker, the AD of Creighton Athletics. Anthony R. Hendrickson, PhD, dean of the Heider College of Business, caught a bit of their conversation. Realizing his Dean’s Fellow was interested in a potential sports-related career, Dean Hendrickson connected Langford with Randy Eccker, CEO of Eccker Sports, a name, image and likeness (NIL) education company. Langford shared his resume (multiple times – persistence pays!) and eventually, successfully, interviewed for an internship. The internship was just the beginning of a long and unconventional association Langford shares with Eccker Sports.
As an intern of a small company – including himself, Eccker had four employees – Langford wore many hats. He took a smaller salary, betting that his willingness to be a team player, coupled with his competence, would land him a full-time position. His bet paid off.
“Randy talks a lot about making yourself indispensable, so that’s exactly what I tried to do,” Langford says. “After a few months as a research intern, they offered me the opportunity to join the team full time in the summer, and kind of threw me into the deep end by making me sales operation manager.”
Turns out, Langford is a good swimmer. He advanced to marketing and sales coordinator, responsible for bridging the gap between the company’s sales and marketing operations and working directly with Eccker’s CRO and CMO.
He feels great loyalty to the company for taking a chance on him. “I was 18 when they hired me, and I was willing to work for $10 an hour doing a lot of things other people wouldn’t have wanted to do. I worked hard and treated the internship as an opportunity to learn.”
Plus, he adds, “Getting to see NIL go from an idea that scared people to a lively industry has been fun, and being part of a company as you watch it grow from four people to a thriving business that’s doing a ton of different things has been really cool.”
Being a full-time student and a full-time employee at Eccker would seem to occupy all of Langford’s time. Does he have time for fun? You bet. It’s college, after all. Not surprisingly, given he wants a career in sports one day, Langford is an avid Bluejays basketball fan, calling game days “a blast.”
“You spend the day hanging out with your buddies, getting ready for the game, and getting there early. Then you are surrounded by thousands of people who are rabid fans of Bluejay basketball,” he says.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as I did the night we beat SDSU in the first round of the tournament last year,” Langford continues. “Everyone just kind of crowded into the dorm neutral zone, and the vibes that night were absolutely unbelievable.”
A comprehensive curriculum, connections that lead to challenging internships, a community of students and professors who elevate you, and lifelong friends who celebrate victories with you and sustain you when you need support. It’s difficult for Langford to encapsulate his time at Creighton in a single word or experience.
But if he were to try, he offers “holistic,” with “special” coming in at a close second.