Zachary Gibson ?22

Zachary Gibson

Class Year

’22

Hometown

Byron, MN

Major(s)

Finance and Marketing

“With finance, you practice using the analytical side of your brain and get a much better understanding of money. Money, being the life source of any good company, is one of the most crucial things to understand to make it far in the business world.”

Zachary Gibson, ’22

Career goal

“I am set to start at Abbot Laboratories in June as a Junior Financial Analyst. I hope to use this position to gain skills and experience that will allow me to grow as a young business professional. It is always difficult to tell where you will be in five years, but I hope to be in a job that fights against climate change in one way or another.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“Carthage faculty have played a big role in my success. I am someone who has a plethora of ideas and a great amount of enthusiasm to execute them. My Carthage professors are always willing to help me bring these ideas to life. From the Sustainability Task Force to Blackbird Gen, professors have been there to help us problem solve and move our ideas forward. Apart from this, Carthage provides a top-tier education that brings in a variety of different perspectives. My thought processes have definitely been challenged at Carthage, which has allowed me to grow as a business professional and as a person.”

Favorite class

“Environmental Economics taught by Professor Erik Johnson is bringing together my passion for business and environmentalism. It is so interesting to learn the economics behind the most pressing environmental issues. There are so many intricacies to the electricity grid and climate change. Environmental Economics is going to teach me how to create solutions to our growing climate crisis.”

Campus involvement

“I played soccer here my freshmen year, but I stopped playing at the beginning of my sophomore year as my involvement in other clubs and organizations picked up. I became very involved in Finance and Investment Club and Enactus. Enactus, a social entrepreneurship club, showed me my passion for innovative thinking in business. I fell in love with the process of turning ideas into an enterprise/group that has real-world impact. I utilized my entrepreneurial skills to help found a Business Book Club, Sustainability Task Force, and Blackbird Gen LLC (renewable energy advocacy company).”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage has probably been Senior Thesis. This class challenged my ability to organize and clearly communicate a semester’s worth of research. It can be very difficult to compile all of your thoughts and ideas when working on a research paper for months. Senior Thesis taught me that I am capable of creating compelling arguments and having innovative thoughts when presented with a complex problem.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I had an internship last summer at Topco Associates LLC working on the Commodities Team. This internship gave me both technical and soft skills that I did not have before. I was able to use future data to better understand how to hedge for different commodities in the retail grocery market. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I am confident that it has set me up to succeed in the future.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“My biggest endeavor at Carthage has been starting Blackbird Gen LLC. Sophie Shulman ’23 and I co-founded Blackbird Gen with the goal of quickening Kenosha’s transition to renewable energy. We organized and hosted the Kenosha Solar Group Buy, which provides education on solar panels and additional rebates. It has been so much fun utilizing the knowledge I gained in the classroom and apply it to Blackbird Gen. To any student who is thinking about starting a business, take the leap! It will benefit you in so many different ways, even if you do not find the success you hope for.”

Scholarships

“I received one of the business scholarships. This scholarship made Carthage financially feasible for me. As someone with no business knowledge/experience entering college, this scholarship gave me the confidence I needed to start my business career on the right foot. It showed me that I am capable of succeeding in business if I put in the work. I have tried to approach everything with the attitude of utilizing the scholarship to the best of my ability and never letting an opportunity go to waste.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I have so many great memories from Carthage. I would say my favorite memories come from the small things. I will always look back at college and remember the fun times with friends at The Caf or in the dorms.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I really enjoy studying in the Troha Board Room located above Starbucks. The room has the best seats and a very executive feel. It motivates me to work hard in my studies and extracurriculars so that I can succeed in business.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise to me in my collegiate career is how little control you have over things. I have really changed my mindset around how I want to approach my career. So often, everyone tries to plan out their next 5 or 10 years. Life doesn’t work this way and neither should a career. It is important to be open to new opportunities and new experiences. You never know when a new passion could develop that puts you down a much more fulfilling career path. I would have never guessed I would be as passionate about sustainability and climate change as I am now.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would have never guessed that I would be as passionate about sustainability and climate change as I am now. It is important to be open to new opportunities because you never know what passion could come out of them.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

Finance and marketing are two great majors to pair. With finance, you practice using the analytical side of your brain and get a much better understanding of money. Money, being the life source of any good company, is one of the most crucial things to understand to make it far in the business world.

“Alternatively, marketing allows a person to utilize their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Marketing has taught me how to approach problems from a different point of view and shape ideas from a unique perspective. Both of these majors provide ample job opportunities out of college.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage College for the close-knit feel, great location, and the top-tier professors. Growing up in a small town, I always really enjoyed knowing everyone’s name and having a relationship with the majority of people I interacted with every day. I felt that the small community of Carthage could provide me the same community that I had growing up. Carthage, being located between Milwaukee and Chicago, also provides great opportunities for jobs and internships. The beautiful lake view didn’t stray me away either! Lastly, the biggest reason I came to Carthage was because of the kindness and happiness I saw from the people while on campus. The people are what brought me to Carthage, and they are why I stayed.”