Copy for Greatness
Senior finance major Samuel Walters’ blueprint for success is no carbon copy, but rather a testament to the power of student-teacher relationships on the bluff. A native of Cape Cod, Mass., Samuel recently accepted an offer to be an apprentice to Kinkos founder and visiting Entrepreneurship professor Paul Orfalea following graduation.
“I’ve learned at LMU that one of the greatest things you can build is a good relationship with good people,” Samuel said. “And I can see no better way of continuing to build my connections and gain experience than by going and spending time with Paul and his cohort.”
As an apprentice, Samuel will oversee many of the financial aspects of Orfalea’s business, as well as handle his day to day communications.
Moreover, with Orfalea’s encouragement and guidance from the LMU course “Tech Ventures,” Samuel and a group of his classmates recently kick-started their own company, “School Flow.” With this venture, they are aiming to digitize permission slips and registration forms for schools.
Originally drawn to the bluff for its top-ranked College of Business Administration and tight-knit campus community, Samuel feels LMU is giving him the tools to branch out and pursue his entrepreneurial endeavors while learning from the best.
“Through my LMU finance degree I’ve not only strengthened my analytical skills and talent for numbers, but my confidence and ability to interact with people and build relationships,” Samuel said.
Samuel adds that the compassion and kindness present on the bluff is second to none. A year and a half ago, Samuel lost his younger brother to mental illness and credits the support of his campus family with the support to get through such a painful time.
“I think if it wasn’t for my peers and faculty, I wouldn’t have turned out a success story,” Samuel said. “The support and love that I have felt here are overwhelming in such a good way. I feel very, very blessed to be part of a community that is so understanding and supportive.”
Recently, Samuel and his family started a non-profit called Sharing Kindness, which raises money to put educational programming in place at schools across the country in hopes of decreasing the stigma that surrounds mental health. He currently sits on the board.
In addition to his studies, Samuel is active in a number of campus pursuits, including intramural sports and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also studied abroad in Florence, Italy his junior year and calls the experience one of the best of his life.
“My time abroad was absolutely the best experience I could have asked for,” Samuel said. “It was this amazing immersive experience right in the heart of Florence where almost all my professors were Italian; it really helped me gain a keen new perspective on education.”
Looking to the future, Samuel plans to continue down an entrepreneurial path following his apprenticeship and believes the Jesuit spirit he’s picked up while at LMU will carry him to great heights.
As for what advice he has for future lions?
“Be open to everything going on around you and live in accordance with the Jesuit and LMU values,” Samuel said. “I think if you strive to help others and make a positive impact in the world, everything else will follow. That’s what I’ve discovered here – surrounding yourself with good people is the path to success.”
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