The Goff Strategic Leadership Center at the David Eccles School of Business prides itself on giving students the tools and opportunities necessary to be successful by way of courses, case competitions, and events.

Ethan Black, a senior studying finance, started his Goff journey in the Trailblazers course during his junior year. He later co-created the Goff club, Take Lead, and is now preparing to be a TA for the fall Trailblazers course.

“While I’ve always been a finance major,” Black said, “my whole perspective and mindset on business as a whole has completely changed because of Goff. It broadens your perspective on what your degree means.”

Black’s Trailblazers course was a catalyst that brought about so many new opportunities and connections. In Goff Trailblazers, students complete a project for a real business, nonprofit, or other organization. Working with a real project client allows students to take the lead on solving their strategic challenge while receiving invaluable guidance in the classroom.

Black’s project client was Esusu, a New York fintech start-up that aims to remove the many barriers to housing for working families. For their project, Black and his teammates were asked to research financial literacy levels among University of Utah students; effects of credit on younger populations; and the financial value of establishing credit early in one’s life. Their project cumulated in a presentation to former University of Utah president, Ruth Watkins.

“In just one semester with Goff,” Black said, “I feel I’ve learned more than in two years of general business courses. It’s not theoretical, it’s practical.”

Black said his Trailblazers cohort grew very close and most of them still stay in touch today, a year later. Lasting impact only comes with forming lasting relationships.

Goff prides itself on building connections, and these seemingly simple connections tend to be the most important relationships in the future. With this, Black landed an internship with Esusu, an experience made possible by the connections he built during Goff Trailblazers. It all boils down to the people, after all. The Goff Strategic Leadership Center’s courses are far from ordinary as they bring students into the workplace to learn and build connections. An example of these connections is exactly Ethan’s journey. After working with Esusu in Trailblazers, Black’s connection with the company founders would soon propel him into an internship in New York.

“It came to be very organically,” Black said, “The familiarity made it very impactful -as in day one I was immediately working on stuff. I was given more responsibility because of what Goff allowed me to showcase to them.”

The company leverages data to inform the housing affordability crisis and help lower-to middle-income families and individuals boost their credit scores. They are bridging the racial wealth gap through the power of data. Esusu, according to their website, believes that everyone should be able to seize their opportunity. Likewise, building credit should be attainable for people who work hard every day of their lives. Esusu’s goals align directly with their values which in