Economics Major, Business Minor
When Michael Stockov '08 started looking at colleges, the last school on his
list was Knox. "Most of my family had gone to Knox and I wanted to do
something different." He was also worried that a liberal arts education wouldn't give him the skills he needed to excel in business. "Then my parents dragged me to campus, kicking and screaming, and I fell in love with it."
He’s never regretted the decision. Today, as a financial analyst at Kimberly-Clark, Stockov credits Knox with not only helping him find his current position, but with giving him the skills that have enabled him to excel in his profession.
Stockov became interested in economics when he took a course in the subject his first year. The enthusiasm of his professors drew him to the subject and he was soon meeting with his professors to discuss how to apply the lessons learned in class to the broader world. During his senior year he did independent study on competitive advantage in business, meeting weekly with his professor to review real case studies. "I don't think I would have had the freedom to do that kind of research or to have access to my professor at a larger institution," says Stockov.
The preparation he received at Knox went beyond the classroom. It also came on the football field. "Competition and time management are skills you need to have if you’re going to excel in a career. Athletics teaches you those," says Stockov. "Wins would have been nice, but as I move into my career, it's the skills I've learned and the relationships I've built that are most important."
Stockov credits the Office of Career Services with also helping him develop the skills he needed to find his career. They helped him develop his resume, assisted him in finding an internship, and put him in contact with an alumnus from Kimberly-Clark after a successful interview with the company at a career fair -- coordinated by career services.
All of these things helped him obtain his position as a financial analyst with the company, but he finds his liberal arts education coming into play every day on the job. "I was worried because I didn’t have a practical degree in finance or accounting," he says, but has found his broad coursework in the liberal arts to be a definite advantage in the workplace. "I do traditional finance work, but I have to work with people in other areas -- engineering, sales, and marketing -- and having the experience in college of taking courses in areas that I may not be as comfortable with, like biology or history, makes me more willing to think outside of the box. I'm able to see the broader impact of what's happening. When someone asks for something, it's not just 'here you go.' It's 'here you go, and by the way, here are some scenarios that you might not have thought of that are going to help you as you make your decision.'"
As for the future, Stockov doesn't have definite plans. "My long term goal is really broad—develop my skills so I can go and do whatever I want. I think the mindset of Knox of developing your skills and teaching you how to think and ask the right questions -- that thought process can apply to whatever you do."