“I don’t know if I can pin it down to one single thing, but I am so excited to be here,” Jake Winckler, '14, said when asked how the Robins School of Business has helped him thus far. After coming to the University of Richmond in 2008, Winckler decided to take two and a half years off. Before returning last fall as a junior to study business administration and management, he gained some very valuable experience in his hometown of Denver, Colo.

“During my time away from Richmond, I worked with two startup companies. The first was a geotechnical engineering company where we developed software to aid engineers in building retaining walls. I then went on to work on the marketing, communications, product development, sales and customer support of a wholesale clothing startup,” Winckler said. “Both of these experiences taught me the importance of staying on my toes and being ready to be called on for a number of things at any minute.”

Winckler decided to return to Richmond this past summer after realizing the opportunities that were waiting for him back on campus. “I had this phenomenal feeling knowing I had reason to return to my education and that my experience would allow me to leverage so much more from classroom teachings,” he said.

Since returning last fall, Winckler has been working with Kevin Heraldo, Richmond’s campus videographer, capturing video, editing and promoting various video projects around campus. “Videography was a skill I taught myself and have since enjoyed building my abilities by working with Kevin,” Winckler said. “I have been able to work on some really great projects, including Jake Shimabukuro and Dr. John, two musicians who performed on Richmond’s campus who I greatly admire.”

Working in Richmond’s University Communications office with Heraldo has given Winckler the opportunity to build his professional skills. “I enjoy working alongside Richmond staff and building interpersonal skills, which will help me in my own career. Working with such an exceptional team of high-caliber professionals is remarkably motivating. I know what I’ll be looking for as I search for internships and jobs,” he said. “Kevin has been an amazing teacher. He makes everything look so easy and has greatly helped me improve my videography abilities.”

Several classes have also made a large impression on Winckler, although he finds it difficult to name one in particular. “Every single class has been eye-opening. A finance class with Dr. Fishe introduced me to a new perspective of looking at businesses and how to determine whether something is a good investment. Dr. Babb’s introduction to marketing taught me so many lessons I wished I knew when I was working at the startup companies. Every professor really knows what they are doing and applies their own expertise to help you see real-world application,” Winckler said.

Winckler is greatly valued on campus. “I knew that Jake had some experience with video editing when we began working together, but what really made an impression on me was his motivation to improve those skills,” Heraldo said. “The reason he is intriguing to me is that he understands there is a difference between the creative and the business side of things, and he exemplifies a hybrid of the two. Jake has been a great contributor to University Communications and is very much a team player as is required when working on films.”

Winckler hopes to use his knowledge in and out of the classroom to pursue a career in finance or consulting. “I love startups and the potential, energy and collaboration they have to drive forward and become successful,” he said. He hopes to spend his summer in California gaining more experience, and to return after graduation and eventually begin his own company.