Josh Chandler, Geneva Class of 2016, is the highlighted alumnus for this quarter. Here are his responses to a standard set of questions which are given each quarter to an alumnus or alumna to answer.
Please give a current update on yourself (college/graduation year, major, grad school, work/career, family, other interests, service or hobbies).
I just completed my undergraduate degree at Baylor University, earning a B.B.A. in Baylor Business Fellows, Finance and Accounting. I also married Mary Hagan on May 22. She is the woman I met during Welcome Week at Baylor nearly four years ago! We took a week to transfer all of our stuff from two apartments into one, and have been celebrating our honeymoon at Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando (we’re both huge Disney fans)!! We will be attending graduate school at Baylor in the fall – Mary will pursue a dual master’s degree, an M.B.A. and a Masters of Science in Information Systems, and I will attend Baylor Law School pursuing my J.D.
In what ways did your Geneva education/training prepare you for the work you are doing now?
My Geneva education taught me to think logically and critically about the world around me. These two skills lay the groundwork for solving the problems that legal professionals encounter every day, so Geneva gave me a strong foundation in these areas.
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Geneva.
My Geneva education taught me the importance of integrity. Integrity is all about holding fast to our values and the tenets of the faith that we have as Christians, like doing our best work when no one is watching, always telling the truth, and staying true to promises we have made.
How would you encourage a Geneva Rhetoric School student to make the most of their Geneva years?
If there is anything I regret, it is that I did not spend enough time cultivating relationships with my teachers in Rhetoric School. These teachers are wonderful, strong Christian individuals who care about the students they teach. Take time to build relationships with the teachers…learn what their hobbies are, what they are passionate about, and how they came to be who they are today. They possess a wealth of knowledge and have so much to offer not only as teachers, but also as mentors and friends. Also, once you leave Rhetoric School, keep up with those teachers, send them an email every once in a while, drop by the school when you are back for summer break. You will appreciate those moments just as much as they will.
Describe Geneva in one word. Explain.
Intentional. Everything at Geneva happens for a reason. As I already stated, part of that reason is so that students can be trained up into confident torch-bearers for Christ as they leave Rhetoric School and go off to college or to work. Geneva accomplishes this mission through the classes offered, the teachers that are hired, the fantastic house system (Go Milton!) and all the other extracurricular activities on and off campus. It’s important to realize this and the purpose behind what Geneva is doing on a daily basis for its students.
Please share one or two of your Geneva extracurricular activities and then compare/contrast that with one or two of your current non-work activities.
It was one of my greatest joys to be involved with the Praise Band at Geneva for the duration of my Rhetoric School career. I would meet with the band once a week during lunch and we would have fun talking, laughing, and preparing our songs for TAPPS and other extracurricular events. I had a slight leadership role for a couple of those years and got to work very closely with the Praise Band Director in preparing music and figuring out how we would do certain songs, who would sing what parts, and so on.
For the past two years, I have been blessed to be a college intern at First Baptist Church in Waco. I got to lead music for the college ministry every week and frequently got to help lead music in the main service. My time in Praise Band gave me experience performing in front of groups of people of all ages. While Praise Band was more focused on performance, my experience there made it easier for me to feel comfortable leading music at my church for the last couple of years.
What are your future career goals and how do you feel prepared for them?
I hope to go into Estate Planning, but am open to whatever God has planned for me. Law School is a significant hurdle I need to overcome in order to achieve that goal, but I feel that my backgrounds in logic and rhetoric at Geneva, as well as the rigorous education I have received at Baylor, have prepared me for this challenge.
How are you impacted by your work now? What is something you have learned/are learning about yourself and God’s world?
I find myself in a strange transition period between undergraduate and graduate school, with the added challenge (and wonderful blessing) of becoming a married man. In this process, I am learning more about what it means to live out my daily faith in Christ. Part of that involves sacrificing out of love, whether it be sacrificing an immediate desire for a long-term gain or something I want for myself that my wife may want for both of us. God sent His Son to die for us, sacrificing Christ on the cross out of the deepest love that we cannot even fathom. I am learning that I ought to sacrifice my own desires because of the love that I have for others, just as God has done for us. As Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”