Communication Skills Help GWU Alum Follow Different Career Path

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George C. Millar II (’14) Achieves Success in the Financial Services Industry

photo of George C. Millar IIWhen George C. Millar II of Bradenton, Fla., came to Gardner-Webb to play football with the Runnin’ Bulldogs, he had a plan for his future. As he explained to his admissions counselor that he wanted to major in history or political science to prepare for law school, the counselor advised him to consider a different route.

“I had a set path of where I wanted to be in five years, and he recommended a pre-professional English focus,” Millar recalled. “The diversity of the English degree with professional classes would give me the skills I needed. After taking a few classes and meeting some of the awesome professors, I knew this would be the right path for me.”

The faculty in the Department of English Language and Literature encouraged and inspired him in different ways. They taught him to examine the history behind writers like Emerson and Thoreau and to look at texts from multiple perspectives. One of the most influential was his thesis professor, Dr. Janet Land. “She made sure I not only passed, but I did it the right way,” he reflected. “That I didn’t give a half effort but gave it my all and helped me develop top-notch professional skills.”

All of this learning took place in the GWU family atmosphere, where Millar developed lifelong friendships and sensed the concern of faculty and staff. “With my friends, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, when we get back together we pick up from where we left off,” Millar explained. “Then there’s the amazing GWU staff. A cafeteria worker made sure we were eating and checked in on us to see if we were doing okay. Doc Hunt (Dr. Dee Hunt, Vice President of Student Development) always gave everything she had to make sure students had the best experience. Professors were there to help or listen to you vent about how you thought you were never going to graduate and invite you over to their house for a home-cooked meal.”

The GWU community supported him during his sophomore year when an injury ended his sports career and his family experienced difficulties. “The people in student ministries like Neal Payne (Associate Minister to the University for Student Ministries) and student leaders were there to help me talk through those situations and pray with me,” he offered. “I was able to get through and be a better person. The people involved in the University were the literal hands and feet of Christ that helped me survive that semester.”

After graduating from Gardner-Webb, Millar worked as a legal assistant and received praise as one of the best writers in the firm. But before he could decide on law school, his career path took another turn. He was offered a job in consumer banking with JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA. The communication and problem-solving skills he developed while working on his English degree helped him succeed in this new opportunity. He enjoys helping people achieve their financial goals and plans to stay with the company while pursuing a master’s degree in finance.

“With my major, my classes were mainly dealing with research writing and rhetoric with a professional focus in business,” Millar assessed. “The diversity of learning history, psychology, business, and marketing all in the same degree gave me the skills and knowledge to be multifaceted and well-versed in multiple subjects. In the financial services industry, these skills are assets that are more valuable than gold. Being able to explain to clients the why behind what you are doing as well as being knowledgeable about the industry are keys to your success.”

He continued, “Choosing to go to Gardner-Webb was the best decision I could’ve made. It is a prestigious university that gives students the needed skills in communication, research, and problem-solving like no other university of its kind. I am a better person, and more prepared for the professional world because of my time at GWU, and I am grateful for the professors and staff who invested in me.”