Hunter Sandidge

Class Year

’15

Hometown

Rockford, Ill.

Major(s)

Finance, Marketing

Minor(s)

Economics, Spanish

Hunter Sandidge entered Carthage majoring in both graphic design and marketing. After two years of taking qualitative classes, Hunter felt he was missing something. That’s when he took the course Cost and Managerial Accounting. “I was convinced I needed to go into numbers,” Hunter said. He kept his marketing major, but switched his graphic design major to finance

“I love being able to use my creative side in marketing, I love the quantitative analytics I get to use in both finance and economics, and I love the connections I’ve been able to make due to my Spanish minor,”  he said.

Hunter has many goals, including creating and running his own business, teaching at the collegiate level, receiving an MBA in finance, and studying Six Sigma. “My motto in life is ‘Siempre Adelante,’ which translates to ‘Forever Forward,’ and demonstrates my passion to advance myself, my career, and my education.” 

“I love being able to interact and converse with the ambitious intellects that walk through the same halls that I do. I’ve made life-lasting connections with so many students.”

Hunter Sandidge, ’15

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

“I’m sure it’s highly cliché to say that I’ve had too many amazing professors to choose, but it’s the truth. I will say this though: I was inspired the most by Prof. Kirkland in the two Western Heritage classes I had with him. He awoke an ardor for philosophizing and contemplating the ‘greater’ things in life within me. I cannot begin to express how this has translated into my daily life. He and I have shared some of the deepest conversations I’ve ever had the opportunity to take part in, with topics such as omnipotence, existence, the human condition, reality, etc.

“Both Profs. Ed and Victoria Montanaro, have been the most helpful throughout my college career thus far. I not only learned about their respective subjects, but I also learned so many valuable life skills from them. Both of them pushed me to challenge myself, and consequently, I can honestly say that my current direction in life, as well as many of the amazing opportunities I’ve had, can be attributed to their persistence in trying to make me the best that I could be.

“Of course, being a student in the Business Department, I cannot fail to mention Prof. J.J. Shields and Prof. Joe Wall. They both serve as role models for who I want to become in the future. Being able to learn from such successful and driven individuals is simply inspiring.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class I’ve taken at Carthage is either Western Heritage or Cost and Managerial Accounting. Both classes challenged me to a point where I had to go above and beyond my originally perceived limits, ultimately forcing me to grow intellectually as well as improving my character. Western Heritage developed my passion for philosophy, while Cost and Managerial Accounting changed my degree choice.”

Campus involvement

“I’m a member of Enactus and Velocity Consulting. I’m also a proud member of Delta Upsilon, the male social fraternity.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was probably Cost and Managerial Accounting or Spanish 3010. Both classes had an intense work load of challenging material.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I’ve had two internships. The first was a three-year developmental internship in Los Angeles where I had the opportunity to live and study underneath the CEO of the company. I was able to learn the many different components of a business, and in my third summer there, I was given a special project to lead. It was my job to create a system of inventory, a sales strategy based on market research, a marketing campaign, a system of logistics, and other pertinent and relevant systems.

“My most recent internship was an absolute adventure and learning experience. I got to live in Guangzhou, China, for three months and work for a rubber manufacturing company called Star Group. I lived with the CEO of the company and another Carthage student, who also happened to be my best friend from high school, which provided for some of the best memories from my college career. It was our job to analyze market data and select the best target markets to help Star Group improve sales in the U.S. After all of the data analytics, we assembled a marketing strategy and ultimately delivered an 82-page comprehensive marketing plan. The learning experience was more than just the market analytics and marketing strategy, but being able to experience the East and its culture along with being able to see how international business works was an absolute growing experience.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Carthage has opened up so many doors for me. The internship in China was entirely set up through Prof. Joe Wall, and that was an opportunity that has really given me a competitive edge when applying for jobs and other internships. The J-Term opportunities have also been life changing. My trip to Guatemala with Prof. Ed Montanaro really opened my eyes to the world at large and how global economics works between third- and first-world nations. Carthage has also provided me with a list of other internships and potential careers that I can apply for.

“Carthage and its liberal arts ideology has also improved my character and expanded my mind. Prior to entering college, I didn’t necessarily see the value in a liberal arts education, however now that I am over halfway through my college career, I truly see the importance.

“Through Carthage and its Western Heritage program, I was able to write a philosophical discourse and have it published. The opportunity to have an essay published while still in undergrad was extremely unique and gratifying. It was one my most pride-filled moments at Carthage so far.

“Lastly, Carthage has enabled me to meet some of the most incredible people. My peers never cease to astound me; the caliber of students that Carthage has will never fail to inspire awe. Being able to see the projects that my friends are working on inspires me to keep pushing personal boundaries and improving myself. I love being able to interact and converse with the ambitious intellects that walk through the same halls that I do. I’ve made life-lasting connections with so many students.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Oh wow, this is a tough question. I’ll provide a few of my favorite moments:

“On the Guatemala J-Term trip, I had a conversation on political theory completely alone in Spanish with one of the intelligence leaders of the guerrilla rebellion in the Guatemalan Civil War while standing in the back of a pickup truck doing about 80 miles per hour down a highway surrounded by tropical jungle.

“In China during my internship, there was a night where Nicholas Chin, my fellow intern, and I walked around the city late at night until we found these two statues of lions. We sat down and really connected through deep conversation.

“During the crunch for final exams second semester during my sophomore year, my roommate at the time and I worked all through the night and took a lengthy break to watch the sunrise over Lake Michigan in complete silence.

The TARC always provides for some of my favorite moments, whether it be rock climbing with my roommates, playing racquetball without any knowledge of the rules for the games, or lifting weights with some of my best friends.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I love the benches that sit across the street from Einstein’s that overlook the lake. I’ll often go out of my way on a sunny day to take a 20-minute break to just sit and listen to the waves.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I entered college with my majors already declared and with a set career goal. I always promised myself I would never be one of those students who changed their direction halfway through their college career, which is exactly what ended up happening!” 

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

“8-year-old Hunter would probably be extremely confused with my current mix of degrees, considering he was determined to invent the lightsaber.”

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

“I would pass on the advice that Profs. Ed and Victoria Montanaro gave me: ‘Have at least one quantitative major.’ The analytic skills you develop in a quantitative major are invaluable in the real world and will aid in any career. I’d also recommend staying open to change and pursuing a degree in something that you truly love. Above all, I’d declare the importance of taking all of the courses required within Carthage’s liberal arts curriculum seriously. Though it may be difficult at times to see how certain courses will aid in the pursuit of a business related degree, they are designed to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytic skills, all of which are essential to being successful in business.”