It’s the perfect fit for the Marine Corps veteran who decided to use his military benefits to help fund his MBA degree at UALR.
“I was a business management major during my undergrad so the MBA program at UALR was a perfect fit for me,” he said. “I was torn between focusing on finance or focusing on business startup classes.”
Business professors Andy Terry, Joe Bell, and Steve Edison proved very influential for Tkaczuk.
“Even after my class time with them was over, they took a special interest in me and my career,” Tkaczuk said. One of Tkaczuk’s favorite courses was Applied Equity with Terry.
“I learned so much from him that has really helped me in my current role,” Tkaczuk said. “Learning how to research equities and manage a portfolio gave me practical experience that directly applies to my daily work.”
But Tkaczuk’s favorite memory of his time at UALR was being a part of the university’s first ever Reynold’s Cup Team. The Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup is one of the premier business-plan competitions in America.
The team of four students worked with Terry, their advisor, and traveled to Memphis to compete against other teams from the region. Their research on the company AutoZone included an in-depth analysis of financial statements and a presentation of their recommendations to a board of experienced financial analysts.
“After the presentation scores were tallied, we were told that there was a tie for first place,” said Tkaczuk.
Unfortunately, the other team won the tie-breaker and the UALR team took second place. Still, Tkaczuk says he is very proud of their finish, especially since it represented UALR’s first time to compete.
Tkaczuk found that the relationships he established in college have only gotten better with time.
“My UALR network has really worked hard to help my career. My relationships have continued after graduation and I still appreciate how the faculty has continued to support me after graduation,” he said.
Q&A with Tom
How do you show your Trojan spirit? I try to attend Cafe MBA events whenever I can in order to help soon to be graduates network within the business professionals community. I also try to get to UALR athletic events as often as I can.
If you could talk to anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why? I would talk to Warren Buffett, the oracle of Omaha, because he has been investing in the market for decades and he has so much experience and knowledge to pass along.
What is your hands-down favorite meal? It’s been years since I was stationed in Quantico, Va., but I still remember the lasagne at Vinny’s Italian Restaurant. It was the best Italian food I’ve ever had.
When I was a child, I was always … thinking about my next move and how I could prepare myself to get there.
What one word sums you up? Determined