If you know John Benz, you know that there is no one else quite like him. Perhaps the most joyful, sincere, and loving man on campus, John strives to follow God's will in all that he does. As a major in both business and humanities, John has a lot on his plate. However, you can still find him chatting with students in the RA office when he is on duty, working passionately for the development of Champions of Charity, and hanging out with the members of his household. As John would say, "You've just got to let the spirit work...he won't lead you astray".
What did you do last summer?
I spent most of my time last summer working at Barton Hills Country Club, which helped me to make some great professional connections. For example, I met the president of Ford Motors, the head scout for the Chicago Black Hawks, the head rep for Nike, and many other men and women that hold high positions in the business world. It was really great to be able to network while I was working. I still am in contact with some of those people, actually. I just had a phone conversation with a man who is the President of an insurance agency, and I talked with him about the insurance world and what his agency does. I’m trying to get a feel for all of the different opportunities that will be available to me with a degree in business.
In addition to working at the club, I also took a few online classes. I came to Ave with the intention of being a doctor, so I was a Biochemistry major up until the second semester of my sophomore year. Now, as a double major in business and humanities, I have quite a few classes to catch up on, so it was nice to be able to do that over the summer.
Do you have any advice for people that are hesitant about switching majors?
It took me a year and a half to make the decision, but I switched from Biochemistry to a double major in Business and Humanities in the middle of my sophomore year. It was a great switch for me and the combination of the two majors works my brain in a number of different ways. Undergraduate education is all about reading, writing, and speaking, so if you can focus on those things throughout your education, all of the classes that you have taken will still have formed you as a person and had an impact on your mind.
For example, I am really grateful that I took some biochemistry classes. Because I did, I am able to talk with people about different medical issues and understand the terminology as well as what is going on in the medical world. Even things that I have learned outside of my major still have a large impact on the way that I can communicate with people and understand the subjects of my own major.
There are so many good things to do in the world, and so many working professionals switch jobs throughout their lives. We change and are constantly developing, so changes aren't bad. If you are at peace with making a switch, go ahead and make it! Don’t be tentative about it. Trust that Jesus is going to take care of you with the whole process. He’s molding you and walking beside you and leading you where He wants you to go. You ultimately can lead people toward Jesus through whatever you do, whether that is medicine, law, business…so many fields can have such a deep impact on people. You have to let the Holy Spirit move.
Some decisions we make are nerve-racking but that’s okay! Jesus was fearful about a variety of different things. He understands human emotion. Ultimately, if you feel an underlying peace toward something, go ahead and do it!
Where do you see yourself after you graduate?
I certainly want to get involved in business. I think it can have a great impact on people, especially in insurance, real estate, or accounting. I’m drawn to business because there are quite a few options. It is a great way to truly encounter people and get to know them. Human beings are meant for relationship and it is through that relationship that you can grow as a person and help other people to grow with you.
What do you plan on doing this summer to help you toward your goal?
This past weekend I was offered a position to do financial analysis work as a summer intern at McKesson, which is a fortune five company in the US that is now global. There are many pharmacy technology services, so I will be doing financial analysis work for that department. To be able to get into the corporate world and have that experience is something that I am really excited for. It's going to be a great opportunity and a good exercise to put what I have learned into practice. I had a few interviews with them, and the people who work there are really genuine individuals who I am looking forward to work beside. This is a company that has a great mission and a great vision. I know that it is large, but the branch that I will be working for is much smaller, so they have more of that team feel, which will be a great benefit for me. I can see it in the people who work there as well, that they enjoy working in smaller groups. Instead of having the individualistic feel of a large corporation, it is very team oriented. What they are doing is phenomenal. They are able to drive the prices down for a variety of pharmaceuticals and basic drugs because of the efficiency of the services that they provide, so that’s one thing that I really love about the company. To be able to tie the medical healthcare side of things in with the business side of things is something that I am really looking forward to doing.
What have you learned about yourself from being an RA?
It has been a great opportunity to interact with people and love them, even when they are not at their best sometimes. It takes a certain amount of confidence and faith that you can help someone out and also the ability to realize when you can’t. Certainly the team aspect of the job is critical and one of the most important things. Communication is key, and that is true for any real world position too, whether that's with your boss or your team. From being in the disciplinary role, I've learned that people want the truth and want to understand that you respect them to the point that you can notice when they are doing something wrong. People love to be communicated to in a very pointed way…not beating around the bush. Especially guys. Realizing that you are not right all the time too, is huge for me. You have to be willing to be critiqued to be willing to listen to other people. Ultimately it helps to form us as people. Teamwork, communication and humility are the three things from this job that have really been important to me.