Editor’s Note: This is an installment in the series called Young Alumni. The series spotlights recently graduated alumni who are starting careers and succeeding in the business world.

David Decker is the Director of Operations for Extra Storage Space. He graduated in Finance in 2003 and obtained his MBA in 2005.Young Alumni David Decker

Eccles School: How did you end up choosing a business degree?

Decker: Out of high school I planned on material science engineering. Within a few years I realized as much as I enjoyed the science, I really enjoyed working with data and seeing how it measured the change affects end results. I found myself excited to be chasing down a business degree.

Eccles School: Who/ what inspires you?

Decker: I grew up in pretty humble circumstances, and although I hardly knew any different and loved my childhood, I knew that my parents worried about where the next meal was coming from and pinched every penny. I don’t have any goals to be rich or famous, but the motivation to work harder, smarter and do whatever it takes to be free from those concerns. My motivation is freedom from worry.

Eccles School: How has your Eccles Experience prepared you for the future?

Decker: The Eccles School is a magnet for untapped talent. The professors I met during my education, the students I rubbed elbows with along the way and the network of graduates gave me more opportunities to accomplish the professional goals I have for myself.

Eccles School: Any advice for future students?

Decker: The one thing that made the most impact in my experience during school was advice I was given to get a mentor. I fell into a mentor, almost by accident. I was assigned Rick Jenson, a successful partner at Tanner LC through the Smart Start program. I had no interest in accounting, but I found him to be a sounding board and we were able to meet every so often to talk about my career goals, review my resume, practice interviewing and eventually was someone I used as a reference to a job I was applying for. His connection with some executives of the company I was applying eventually opened the door for me to the company I’m still in today.

Eccles School: What advice do you have for students applying for internships and future careers?

Decker: Be passionate. Don’t worry so much about what you will eventually do for a career as much as what you love to do. Chase those classes and experiences that will help build those “muscles” and see what happens. The experiences you have in each class, project, internship, and job will shape your vision of what you want to make a career of. A great way to keep you in check is to ask successful people their road to where they are today. You’ll hear stories of working part-time jobs to pay the bills, bankruptcy, bottom-rung jobs, working up through the ranks, some luck and a lot of hard work and risk.

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