Interview with James "Myles" Teteak, 04/30/2017

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
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JT Smithback: Alright, just to start um, why don't you tell me your name um and maybe a little bit about yourself, such as where you grew up.

Myles Teteak: Alright, my name is Myles Teteak, I grew up in Rhome, that's R-H-O-M-E, Texas. Um Parents were divorced when I was 7 years old. It was just me and my mom, only child and single mom uhh so It was kinda me against the world from the start. Grew up here in Texas, dad's family is from Wisconsin so that's how Oshkosh came to the picture for me.

JS: Ok um can you tell me a little bit about Rhome, where you grew up and what the environment was like?

MT: Yeah, um pretty much the middle of nowhere. The town was about 500 people. 00:01:00Um there wasn't a lot around us, I mean even to go to grocery stores it'd be a 20-minute drive. So uh it was interesting. I think anybody has kind of a bias about where they come from, but I feel like me growing up in the middle of nowhere, and not internet or cable till I was in middle school or high school almost, forced me to I guess figure other shit out.

JS: Okay, yeah. I can definitely see the uh the inconvenience of a small town, but I can see how that might have shaped uh future choices and stuff too which is kind of cool. So, did the people that were around you typically go to college? Or was that a-typical would you say?

MT: Umm, definitely not typical. There's a lotta jokes about the hillbilly 00:02:00nature of the town that I grew up in. Um I would say there's probably a very small handful of people that I grew up near that had gone to college, but even if they finished college was even more rare, so um there wasn't a high set from my environment. But for my own self expectations I mean it never seemed like a choice. It's I'm gonna go to college.

JS: Yeah, yeah, I definitely understand that. Um, so where your uh parents and family members like encouraging of you to go to college or were they encouraging more of the typical what like your town was about?

MT: Well, my dad didn't have a huge influence on my life, cause he moved back to Wisconsin whenever I was probably in like 3rd grade. And then so like I 00:03:00mentioned before it was just me and my mom so she was ya know, she was a mom. She was always supportive of what I wanted to do, um I think like any mom she wanted more for me than she had for herself, which meant a college education. That's where it started, she didn't get a college education, um in fact I think I was the first one on her side of the family to go to college and graduate college. Um, so that was kinda cool.

JS: Okay, yeah, very cool. Um, so your mom and your dad being separated, are they both from Texas originally or where?

MT: No actually not, um

JS: Okay

MT: My dad is from Wisconsin, he was born and raised in between Madison and Green Bay. Um, my grandfather actually played for the Packers so he uh he 00:04:00actually followed the path seeing Vince Biegel take now and uh he was an all big 10 linebacker for the Badgers. Then got drafted by the Packers and is in the Packer hall of fame so hopefully Vince Biegel does that.

JS: Yeah, that's pretty cool. Um, so uh what types of work did your parents do?

MT: Umm, god my dad was a professional interviewer I mean I swear the guy always had a job and he was going to get the next one and somewhat how always fell short of it * laughter * So, he ended up being a manager here and there and there and he's actually been with Verizon for quite a while now so that's been good. Um, and then my mom probably had more of an influence on what I ended up doing because she is uh an executive assistant. She's always been working CEO's 00:05:00and CFO types for-- She was with Michael's for a while, worked for one of their V.P.'s and higher ups and then she ended up moving on from there, touched a couple of spots and then ended up working for a company that I was previously working for before November. Um, they were actually the company that brought me back down to Texas from Chicago after I graduated.

JS: Okay

MT: I guess being surrounded by executives and stuff all my life that really helped me decide I wanted to be in business.

JS: Okay, yeah the networking aspect there definitely definitely probably a big factor, um would you say uh there was some valuable lessons you learned growing up in Rhome that translate to what you're doing now?

MT: No doubt, I mean we're in a world right now where there isn't really a such thing as privacy anymore. There's not, you know, a lot of moral standards out 00:06:00there in a lot of ways and when you grow up in such a small place I think that is so necessary because, you're only surrounded by a very small amount of people in the grand scheme of things. And like those are your people, you screw 'em over they're not gonna, ya know, have your back on things so-- Having I don't know that moral and that kind of thing, it makes me wanna go into business and do something right cause there's a lot of wrong out there.

JS: Okay, I definitely see the value in that. Um, alright. So uh, Tell me a little bit uh about the schools you attended while you were uh growing up in Texas. Um, what was that like?

MT: Um, it was actually pretty cool. Uh I got a lot of opportunities that I 00:07:00don't think I would have gotten outside of Texas. Um, you know my grandpa playing football and being a Packer and everything I had the uh I wouldn't even call it pressure, but just the uh, I was hungry. I wanted to play football. Um, so it was cool to get to do that down here you know. Even in little league it's a big deal, and so you know it kind of gets you excited to be a part of something like that regardless of how hard you have to work for it, but you go through it and you know you start in elementary and middle school. I started with the school district I graduated from when I was in 4th grade so having that kind of opportunity was cool. Um, being around the same people for a long time you know they're still some of my closest friends um it was neat you know. I mean cause we were in the middle of nowhere, so you did get to know these people a little bit more than you probably would in a city or something. But to tie that to 00:08:00Oshkosh was kind of cool because that's where a lot of people in Oshkosh were from. A lot of small towns in Wisconsin, and that small town feel definitely translates so that's kind of cool. Um, the thing about growing up in a small town in Texas is there's a lot of them, and our school district is actually pretty big. So, the high school I went to ended up being about 3500-4000 students, it's huge. Um, so you know getting to play big time high school football in Texas, that was cool, um we had a big stadium that was like 20 million dollars, we had 16,000 people at our homecoming game senior year. Um, anybody that saw the movie Friday Night Lights that was not an exaggeration, that was a real depiction of what football is like down here. It was cool

JS: That is very cool, uh I personally have seen Friday Night Lights and that's 00:09:00amazing that high school is such a big deal down there.

MT: Yeah man it's pretty neat, it really is, so um but you know that was part of the reason that drove me to Oshkosh. Not that football was interesting at Oshkosh when I got there, but around here the options for college you know there's a ton of 'em and you know schools in Texas, they're all huge and, um that wasn't necessarily what I was looking for. Uh, so I looked at SMU and TCU, which are smaller schools because they're private but they're also expensive as hell. I didn't feel like taking on loans like that and be around that class of people. I went to tour SMU one time and uh the cars in the freshman parking lot are the reason I stopped considering TCU, I mean SMU I'm sorry. You're talking 00:10:00brand new hummers, brand new BMW's and that's just not what I wanted to be part of.

JS: Yeah

MT: Nor could I fit in, I had a 99 F-150. Um, so yeah, whenever I got the opportunity to learn about Oshkosh I went to football camps up there in the summer, to uh see my dad and my family and uh some of the coaches started talking to me about it. It's funny because when you're surrounded by all these big schools down here and the guys playing football are talking about going to Texas Tech, UT, and TCU and all these other schools and then you know, UW-Oshkosh approaches you it's kinda like, is this real? I'm not actually gonna go to UW-Oshkosh to play football. Um, but the more it became a reality the more Oshkosh was hands down the best fit for me. It was uh, I don't know it was kind 00:11:00of a perfect storm I guess you could say.

JS: Okay, yeah and that kinda starts me off into uh the UW-Oshkosh portion of what I would like to talk to you about, and you kind of touched base on uh why you decided to come here, but what would you say is the most important factor in making that decision?

MT: Umm, that's a great question. I think uh, the feel. It's hard to like say something tangible with that, but when I went and actually visited Oshkosh, saw what was going on, saw the campus, saw the people that were there just how they were you know on a weekend or whatever it was, and man it just felt good. Right? Like everyone there, nobody was taking themselves too seriously, you know, it 00:12:00wasn't this big city feel, it wasn't all these people that were real weird and coming from all these different places, it felt like uh people I could really relate to, and it wasn't too big ya know it was at the time like 12,000 students. But, you definitely knew you weren't gonna be a number.

JS: Okay yeah. I can uh I can relate on that. It definitely uh definitely feels like home. It really does. Um, so what did you know about Oshkosh before you decided to attend?

MT: Um, well ya know I did my homework. Uh ya know I looked at the football team since they were the ones that brought Oshkosh to my attention and it looked like they were starting to in a direction that was upward and I mean you could tell that they had this reputation in history. Kind of mediocrity ya know tough guy 00:13:00football. Guys that are coming to hit each other while they're at school, and I didn't really want to be a part of a culture that wasn't trying to win. Um but, after talking to Cerroni who was coming into being the full-time head coach, um you could tell he was about more than that. And that um for lack of a better term, the B.S. that was acceptable in the past was not gonna be acceptable for him. So, there was a feel about him and he would talk about the program and the coaches that were involved in that and it felt like yeah this is an opportunity to be a part of something special and bigger than myself, so beyond that you know if I'm going to play football at a division III university it's not like I'm banking all my eggs in the NFL basket. So, you know, what did I wanna do? I 00:14:00wanted to do business so I looked into the business school and um great credentials ya know, uh they had the programs you're looking for. They were looking to improve their programs. All the stars kinda started to align there and so it just made sense for me.

JS: Alright, um. So upon getting here after doing all that um, what were your first impressions on like the university in general and maybe even more general so the city of Oshkosh?

MT: * Laughter * Two very different first impressions. Um the university first impression was exactly what I felt whenever I had visited. Um it was a very nice conformation, right like you visit and you get this feel and this expectation 00:15:00for what this place is gonna be to you for the next 4 plus years and the last thing you want is to get on campus and it's totally different. Uh and Oshkosh was not like that for me it was everything it felt like it was gonna be, so that was cool. Before even starting classes going through training for football, I already had a brotherhood, I had people to look for in class, I had people ya know to hag out with and get lunch in the dorms. It was a nice head start on campus. The town though, uh man the town is something special. I don't know how to describe it, but it's a very hospitable town. I'll say that.

JS: Okay, yeah. I don't really have the words to do that either and um in 00:16:00relation to you with the football I happen to play hockey here for the D2 club team.

MT: Oh, cool!

JS: So, I definitely understand the uh, kind of initiation to a group as opposed to being kind of on your own here, which I think is very very cool.

MT: Oh there's no doubt about it, and when I was a tour guide at Oshkosh I would encourage people to get involved in absolutely anything. It didn't have to be sports, it could be some type of organization, some type of club, to kind of affiliate yourself with something to help expand that identity. I mean college is about learning, but also about growing up and discovering who you're gonna be, and to surround yourself with people who that you at least you know you have some things in common with. You have similar goals. It's gonna be a uh I don't know the right word, uh the best environment to promote that growth, right? So, any time you can be a part of something I highly, highly, encourage it. So, uh 00:17:00that's exciting man, that you're part of hockey. That's gonna be uh, that will be a special part of your life forever.

JS: Definitely, um what do you remember about maybe uh your first couple weeks here?

MT: * Laughs * Um, the first couple weeks of training camp, as highly as I speak of it now, we're probably the worst couple weeks of my life.

JS: Good old "hell week" huh?

MT: Yeah, right? And, you're homesick, you're still a teenager, um and to and on top of that (inaudible) I was 1000 miles away from home and it wasn't like I could just drive home on the weekends. Um, so that was, it was an interesting transition. Uh it was tough, but it really was good for me. Um, and adversity does kind of breed success in away, you know it kind of forced me to get close 00:18:00with a lot of those guys I was with from football. And, uh, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Then once classes started, so like the first couple of official weeks on campus with everybody else, ya know I had kind of already gotten the homesick out of the way, so it was really cool man. It was like "wow" it really opens your eyes to the world that's out there and all of these people that are going through the same B.S. that you are. So, it was fun, man. It was really cool. It was uh, I don't know how to describe it ya know * chuckles * I'm at a loss for words about some of these things, but I'm sure you can um understand some of the things I'm trying to describe.

JS: Very much so, yeah. Um, so uh, coming to uh college from high school is obviously a big adjustment. Uh, what were your classes like, and then uh maybe how did you do in your first semester as opposed to what you expected?

MT: Uh, I did terrible my first semester * laughs *


JS: I'm right there with ya.

MT: It's funny how when you get to college you hear " well college professors don't care, and they're not gonna hold you hand and all that" and then you understand it's true, and it's like "Okay I guess I better figure out some things on my own" Um, and when I said I did terrible, I didn't fail any classes, but ya know, I expected, ya know to be kind of a B+ / A- student and I think I finished my first semester with maybe a 2.5 or something like that total GPA and I was just like "whoa" * laughter *

JS: Yeah

MT: It's gonna take a little more than that. But again, those wake up calls are good. Uh, it forces you to start to learn how to teach yourself I think… If that makes sense.

JS: Yeah, definitely a big independence thing. Um

MT: Yeah

JS: So, from talking to you earlier you said you were a marketing major


MT: Yes

JS: Um, what made you decide on that besides-- or was it mostly like the factors of being around all the executives like you were talking about earlier?

MT: Um, you know I don't know that I was totally sold on marketing form the beginning, but it made the most sense to me. So, you know-- what makes people buy what they buy was kind of the root foundation of marketing, and I was interested in that. So, it was like "well let's take these classes and see what happens". Um, I ended up actually taking the first accounting course for the college of business and you know you hear all these rumors about how hard it's supposed to be. I actually did really well with it, and my professor suggested "Well, maybe you should be an accounting major" so I decided to go down the path of double major cause I didn't really want to give up marketing yet, um, which ended up being a blessing in disguise because it forced me to figure out what 00:21:00I'm gonna do here. Ultimately I ran into tax law in accounting and that's when I waived the white flag and said "Yep, I'm gonna do marketing" Um, but yeah from there really it all just kind of fell in place. Once you find something you know you are interested in and um learn enough about it to prepare yourself to maybe make some money doing it uh it becomes easier to learn, more fascinating to learn, things like that. So uh, from there just kinda followed what I was interested in and where the opportunities let me go.

JS: Okay, um and then kinda less specifically about your uh education here um, what do you remember about maybe the general education classes and like, what was that like for you?


MT: Um… Early on it was kind of a pain in the ass to be honest with you, and I know you can't quote that, but it was frustrating. Uh, and I'm sure a lot of people feel that.

JS: Yeah, absolutely.

MT: But you know you're first going through all this freshman angst of trying to figure stuff out. You're trying to figure out who your friend are, ya know where you wanna eat every day. You're getting over your homesickness, and then to go to all these classes that, ya know, you're not interested in you're, ya know it's kinda like being back in high school again. It's like "Hey you went to college, but you're still gonna take these classes in college that you don't give anything about". So, but you know you learn as you go to kind of be strategic with your general education classes, so I figured out for science like 00:23:00I never had any interest in taking biology or chemistry or anything like that. Way over my head, don't care about it, don't need it, don't want it. So, I ended up taking weather and climate, and some other things (inaudible) Gen ed. is good stuff and ya know it's gonna give you a good take to everything I guess, but really what it was good for was again, figuring shit out.

JS: Yeah, yup some of the gen eds. here are not the best, but you gotta do it, so yeah. Um, uh do you have any professors you specifically remember or really appreciated while you were here that you maybe took something valuable from?

MT: Umm… Actually there's a couple of 'em. Ya know John Depies was uh one of my marketing professors and I definitely enjoyed learning from him. You could 00:24:00tell that he was not there to be a professor, he was there to um shape marketing professionals. He wanted people to leave that university more prepared to uh impact the professional world, and you could just feel that in the way he taught, and the passion that he had, and the engagement he had with his students. He um, ya know, it wasn't about the grades for him. The grades were more "look I have to do this to know if you're learning something from me or not" Um-- but really you could tell if he had his choice he would rather have a group discussion with his students or even a one on one rather than give an exam to find out if someone had learned something from him. I thought that was cool. Um and then there was one other professor. It's funny that you're asking if he 00:25:00made an impact and yes he did, but I can't remember his name, but I can remember his face and his class. He taught one of the culminating classes and um the last marketing class I took. Um… I wish I could remember his name now. It might come to me later in the conversation and if it does I'll definitely bring it up. And then uh there was one more uh it was Jack (inaudible) and he was an econ professor, and economics is nobody's favorite topic. But that guy really made it interesting. He um, he made a hard topic not as hard and again you could tell it was more to him than just being a teacher or professor. For him he really was trying to educate people and make sure they went into the workforce better prepared because they took his class.

JS: Alright, very cool. Um, so… on uh, along the lines of that, uh what kind 00:26:00of student would you say you were?

MT: What kind of student was I?

JS: Yeah.

MT: Uhhmm… ya know, I was a good student, but wasn't a great student. Um, if I could go back I would probably have a lot more interest in learning some things that uh I did when I was there, but I kind of… I approached being a student in the grander scheme of things, right? Like I knew what I needed to do to take the next step in my life. I didn't necessarily have to have a 4.0 GPA. I didn't have to be the top student in my class. What I needed to do is I need to learn what I needed to learn. I needed to learn how to grow up a little bit, uh and have some 00:27:00self-discipline. Um and then from there I needed to, ya know, find the right opportunities and that to me is probably the harder part than anything, because you've got 4.0 students and people like that out there, but they don't understand how that applies to actually being successful, and at that point it's all just kind of useless. Um, so me, I was just looking for opportunities. I was looking to understand what I needed to know in my career to be successful, and obviously internships helped a lot with that. Um, but I wouldn't say I was ever a bad student, I never failed a class. Um, I never didn't care about anything. I always cared enough to do well. I wanted to do well, but I also acknowledged that I had other things going on in my life. Football, and um-- just trying to enjoy my time in college while I had it.


JS: Definitely. Um, alright, umm… kind of more towards what you were doing outside of the classroom. I know here now, and I'm pretty sure in the past too, you had to stay in the dorms for 2 years. Um…

MT: Yup.

JS: Okay. Um, maybe if you wanna touch on um, how many friends you made in the dorms, um, where you stayed, and what that was like for you?

MT: Oh sure. I'd love to. * laughter * Um, my first year I stayed in Fletcher.

JS: Yes, that's what I like to hear!

MT: I was on the 4th floor, 4th floor of Fletcher. We had a bunch of football players up there. Um, man I don't know if there is anything I can say that you're actually gonna be able to publish or worth hearing, but it was a lot of fun.

JS: Hey, this interview is about you and your experience here,


MT: * laughter *

JS: so you just… you go ahead.

MT: Well, um I will say my first year on campus I was distracted by one thing that was not a bad thing by any means, but I still had a girlfriend back in Texas. She had actually stayed and um went to Texas Tech and then transferred to TCU. But, um we were high school sweethearts, and we started dating with the understanding that I was gonna go to Oshkosh to play football. Um, and ya know, we thought "well, let's give it a shot. Why breakup and end it?" and, ya know, whatever. And time came and we weren't ready to do that, so… We did stay together our entire freshman year of college. Um, obviously there were a lot of late nights talking, and all this and that but um… Very proud to say that 00:30:00there were never any trust issues. I never cheated on my girlfriend so that was good. Um, but we also acknowledged there after that first uh summer that we had some growing up to do and that weren't gonna be able to do that while we stayed together. Um, so my first year was probably, ya know, a lot more learning and figuring out what I, ya know, I guess about my college career. Like what am I gonna be doing in football, (inaudible) with classes, and then, ya know, trying to keep a girlfriend happy back home. But yeah, then my sophomore year I moved into North Scott with some more football players and uh now I'm single. So now it's starting to learn who can get you a fake ID, * shared laughter * and all this other stuff… Um, ya know, what houses are gonna be good to go to on the 00:31:00weekend and which ones were gonna be sketchy. And I don't know, the dorms, man, the dorms were probably the funnest part. And when you're in it you're probably not thinking it, but your junior, senior and years on when you're in houses and have already kind of forgotten about dorm life, you don't realize how much fun it was to just hang out in the dorms all the time; play video games and what not, but um… There's definitely some strong bonds built there. Um, my roommate my sophomore year actually ended up having a kid uh halfway through second semester. So, uh I think it was a Sunday night and we were studying or whatever and he gets a call and he's like "Alright that's it, we gotta go" and he doesn't have a car, so "we" meaning I gotta take him all the way from Oshkosh all the way to Columbus because his baby is being born. Um, so that was funny, but, ya 00:32:00know, that's one of those things I'll have for the rest of my life. I was there for that little girl being born just because that one guy was my roommate in college. And I don't know… things like that, I guess it's easy to overlook while you're there and you look back and you're like "wow" * laughter *

JS: Yeah, that's uhh… I actually uh… Same path as you. Fletcher, 3rd floor, freshman year um, and then I met my roommate this year in North Scott living on the 4th floor, so.

MT: Right on man!

JS: Very cool similarities there. Um…

MT: No doubt, and both great dorms. Actually, I heard Fletcher has been um re-done. When I was living there it was a total dump.

JS: Yeah, uh I was the last one to live in there before they started re-doing it. It was a dump.

MT: * Laughter *

JS: It was uh, it was fun. It was a fun dump. But it was a dump.

MT: It was a fun dump, that's a good way to put it.

JS: Yeah. Alright so um, I know you already touched on a few, but uh what are 00:33:00some of maybe the fondest memories you have of uh you with your college friends?

MT: Umm… Man, alright. Well, I mean football definitely tops the list. Um, those guys are gonna be some of my best friends for the rest of my life. Uhh, ya know, as cliché as it sounds, we did help Cerroni turn that program around, so there will always be some of those memories. Um, one of my favorite ones I think is when we finally beat La Crosse. That was my junior year, but we hadn't beat La Crosse in 26 years, so to be a part of the team that broke that drought it was really cool. Not like for any personal reasons, but to actually see how much it meant to the coaches. You know, coaches are generally trying to stay 00:34:00even keel. You know, "don't get too low when you lose, don't get too high when you win" but, you would've thought we won the super bowl after that the way they were in the locker room, and that was pretty special. And then, my senior year, we actually… we got up to number 15 in the country and we were playing Whitewater. They were number 1, we had them at home, and we led that game for 56 minutes or something like that. And they ended up beating us 20-19 by kicking a field goal at the end. Um, and so that's…you know it stings it's a… it's a memory that hurts, but it's one of those that you look back it now and see what Cerroni and that program has done since then and you realize how close we were at that point. So… it was cool, ya know, it was cool to see like "Alright, 00:35:00that was sorta their taking off point" and we were part of that, ya know, and we didn't get to win any rings or anything, but um, we knew those guys that ended up getting those rings we were chasing. You know, Nate, and some of those other guys, but… um those would be some of the more special memories uh… related directly to Oshkosh, but then uh, ya know, just thinking about memories with those friends… you're actually getting close to this. You know, spring break is starting to become a pretty special time. Um, and we went to Panama City Beach, Florida 2 years in a row, and those will be some of the most unforgettable times of my life. So… um, I don't know how much I can speak to that, but you get it

JS: * chuckles * Yeah, oh I get it, yeah

MT: You're with some of your closest friends for 5, 7 days straight just drinking, drinking, and more drinking.


JS: Yup, that's uh… I did Cancun this year for spring break.

MT: There ya go.

JS: That was the same story um… * laughing *

MT: Yeah, Panama City isn't as much fun anymore from what I hear?

JS: Yeah… um, pretty sure they don't allow alcohol on the beach down there anymore.

MT: Yeah I heard that… that's unbelievable for me. (inaudible) because I saw how much beer and just alcohol in general was flowing through that place and there was some serious money being made.

JS: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I was looking at uh, when you were here and with you playing football for 20 years, you guys making the playoffs in 2012 was pretty big then huh?

MT: Yeah, it really was um, and… it's hard to communicate that to somebody who's not a part of it, but yourself being in hockey, I mean, you understand that drive, and just hunger to get to this point that hasn't been done before or 00:37:00this point that hasn't been done in a very long time. Um, it is a hard thing to describe and it's not something I get to appreciate with a lot of people because it wasn't, you know, University of Texas or the University of Wisconsin, um… you know, it's not this national program big scale, so not a lot of people want to hear about that. That is something that I will have with those guys for the rest of my life, and you know… not a lot of people get to say that.

JS: Yeah, definitely. I uh I have frequently seen the 2012 ceiling tile at Kelly's… so

MT: * Laughter *

JS: So uh, that's pretty cool that I'm talking to you about that right now.

MT: Well, I love that that's still there because I wondered how uh, how frequently they got rid of those tiles.

JS: Oh, no there's still a lot of them up there, and uh… the guys that just went to the Stagg Bowl put one right next to it so it's pretty cool.


MT: Good, good for them. I actually did go to the Stagg Bowl um, it was a really really cool thing to be there and see those guys and it was heartbreaking to see them not pull it out, but what the team accomplished to get there, I mean the team averaged 55 points a game it helps that… it was such a great game. I couldn't be more proud of those guys and that program, but they absolutely… they deserve like 4 tiles at Kelly's.

JS: Yeah, it's always good to see football guys in there.

MT: And you always will * chuckles *

JS: Yeah, um (inaudible) so, besides football were you a part of uh any other extracurricular activities or events?

MT: Um, yeah. I did work on campus in the admissions office. You know, it's 00:39:00funny cause that opportunity came to me through football. Um, we uh we needed help recruiting. Um, you know when you're not a major D1 program you don't have all the assets that those types of programs, so you have to start making due with what you've got, ya know * laughs * I uh I know a thing or two about some of the larger programs just because I have people that I'm close to that went through those programs. Um, and put it this way, when Alabama brings a recruit on campus the first person they are greeted by is a beautiful woman and that is not made up in any way, shape, or form, but that's how they do it. They have people helping out their tour guides. They have people from a-z, so we didn't have that, but our coaches knew they had some good guys on the team, so they 00:40:00asked me to help out in that way. Um, go in and give tours to any of the football players that are coming in to visit on campus because they felt that I could relate to em and tell em "look, this campus can be home for the next four years, but you're gonna work your ass off because this football program is going somewhere right now". So that was a cool thing to be a part of. Ya know, getting started with it through football was cool, but once I was part of the admissions program it was pretty neat to be in that aspect of things, ya know. I got to meet some other new people, and um, you know, you never know what that's gonna lead to. Um, you know, it was cool to get paid to walk around campus and talk about campus cause it was like "well, I live here. I go to school here. This is not a hard thing for me to talk about" Um but, yeah it was neat because that 00:41:00actually did lead to an internship for me; which ended up turning into my first full time job offer. Um, so (inaudible) kind of what I mentioned before, I knew what I liked to do and from there I just followed the opportunities that, you know, opened doors for me, and it worked out (inaudible). Um, I don't know, cause I don't know how much you want me to talk about that I've already told you? Do you want me to talk about the tour that I met the dad that gave me the offer or?

JS: Um, yeah. Actually that would probably be a great story because it's definitely a big part of what you're doing today so…

MT: Yeah, okay no doubt… Yeah so, it was actually the way it worked out. Yeah it was a Friday afternoon tour and I actually wasn't scheduled to work but somebody was sick so they didn't have a tour guide for the second group and they had a big group that day. So… they call me right as I was getting out of 00:42:00class, and you know… you're familiar with, you know what you're doing on a Friday afternoon. You're talking about Free Beer Friday. You know you were gonna game for a little while, play some COD.

JS: Yup. Absolutely.

MT: Then they called and I don't know what it was… it would have been real easy for me to say "no I've got stuff going on" or "I can't" or whatever and nobody would've been mad at me about it. Um but, no I decided I'm gonna go in there and make a few bucks, get some more hours in, and uh give another tour and then I'll be on my way to my weekend. Um, so I get in there and I do the tours like I always do. And this is my junior year at this point, so being in the college of business I really had to figure out when and how am I gonna get my internship fulfillment that I have to have to graduate the college of business. So, you know, naturally when you're on those tours um you are encouraged to talk about um kind of your personal experience and what you're currently going 00:43:00through at the university. Um, so I always talked about um… ya know "I'm in the college of business at the time (inaudible) and the football program" and usually when you start talking about that stuff it prompts parents and students to start asking questions. And, you know, it was always just a good opportunity because, again you don't know who you're talking to. So uh, when they start asking about the college of business and what it takes to go through the college of business because folks that local there are familiar with the fact that it's a good college of business. So that always uh led me to start talking uh about the internship fulfillment "uh hey, by the way I'm looking for an internship, so if you know anybody" and that was when this one particular father took it upon himself to hand me his business card and say "call me". Um, ya know, and it was kinda like "whoa" I'm a little caught off guard. But, ya know, he has… hold on 00:44:00a second (inaudible) but, ya know, on his business card he had a vice president title. So I'm saying "well, he's got… he means something". Uh, but when I called him there wasn't even an interview process. It was really just him trying to create an internship for me. Um… so, that was kinda neat, and, ya know, and then it ended up being in Chicago, and I had never been to Chicago before. So, uh getting to go down to Chicago for 3 months in the summer. I mean that's the best time to go. So it was beautiful, it was fun. I had a buddy down there that I was able to stay with so I didn't have to worry about the high cost of rent 00:45:00for 3 months. Um, so it was a neat opportunity, but what I was really um… made aware of somewhere was how prepared the college of business had already made me um… for the professional world I wanted to be in. Um, surrounded by people that are doing their job every day and I'm, ya know, just an intern. I'm there just uh, to shadow and help if I can, but it didn't take too long for me to realize that I can do this job, ya know… and I didn't want to undersell their job, but it was like, ya know, I can definitely do this. So… I made it very clear from a very early point in that internship that a full time offer is something that I would you know, want and, you know, pursue from the beginning. So, like I wanted people to tell me "alright, well if it's a full time offer you're after here are the things you need to try to prove or do to get that". 00:46:00Um, and it must've worked out because uh… I went… um let's see here. That was summer 2012. I graduated um December 2012, so I went back for uh… one more semester and um that November that same guy who gave me his business card; he was a regional vice president of the company. Um, he was a higher up who… I don't know. He came back to Oshkosh and uh… had a full time offer waiting for me. So, uh it was pretty cool, man. To look back and see how Oshkosh served in molding me into who I am-- goodness. I can't even imagine what I'd be like if I'd gone somewhere else.

JS: Yup. That's definitely very cool and um, yeah uh similar uh story for myself uh… actually did some networking at Kelly's. Met a CEO of a fortune 500 00:47:00company and uh had a couple beers with him. Me and a couple of my buddies might have an opportunity there so… that's uh funny how it works out.

MT: Yeah, man. Uh-- you never know where that opportunity is sitting.

JS: I feel like I'm already gonna know some of the answers to this question, but uh… outside of the classroom what were you doing for fun?

MT: Oh man… I mean, that answer is going to be very similar for most of the students who graduated Oshkosh. I mean, ya know. Football was fun, but being with those guys was more fun. Ya know, we were doing the pub crawls every semester, we were going on spring break together. Um, but, ya know, to get outside of the Kelly's realm of fun, you know… we hung out together ya know? 00:48:00Whatever we were doing. There was some weekends that I actually would go down to Madison with some guys. And my dad lives in Madison, so that worked out rally well; getting to see him stay with him and um… and to go out with some guys that are from Madison and get to enjoy that life. Um, that's kind of a story in its own, right? I mean, going out in Madison uh… not like anything else I've ever done…

JS: Definitely not.

MT: * chuckles * Um, but, you know, it was stuff like that. Um, we didn't get to go many Badger games because, ya know, we were playing on Saturdays most of the time. Um, but, ya know, getting to go out in Madison from time to time was cool, and ya know… my family used to have a cabin up north, well… we still do actually. So, every now and then go up there, hang out at the cabin, maybe do some fishing. Um, the perk to what I mentioned earlier; my grandfather playing for the Packers. We still had season tickets. So uh, I was able to go to quite a 00:49:00few Packer games while I was at Oshkosh, so that was pretty cool.

JS: Yeah, that's very cool.

MT: Yeah, so still make it a point every year to go to at least one. But, man… getting to go to 4, 5, or 6 games every year… that was special.

JS: Definitely, uh… Alright, obviously you were here recently, so I'm sure they haven't changed much, but uh… What was the bar culture like when you were here and maybe where was the most popular one to go?

MT: Umm… you know… The bar culture, I felt like the whole time I was there was kind of uh… you know it's always changing a little bit. I don't know how many times Dark Horse, and I don't think it's called Dark Horse anymore.

JS: Uhh… no that's not here anymore.

MT: I don't know how many times they changed their name but I think they started as Wingers when I was there, then they changed to something else, the they 00:50:00changed to Dark Horse, so there was that. And then, um, Molly's… it is what it is. It's the closest thing you'll find to a club in Oshkosh and it's not anything close to a club * laughs *

JS: Nope… yeah

MT: French was always cool; I always liked to go to French. It was always uh… let's just kinda hangout, get drunk, and not do anything too stupid. I always felt like the stupid decisions were made after French. * shared laughter * Um, but you know, all of that to say uh Kelly's was the go to.

JS: Oh yeah, definitely.

MT: There was no doubt about that, ya know? I don't know what it is about Kelly's, but um… it just always felt good to go to Kelly's. We knew who the bartenders were; they knew who we were. They took care of us; we took care of them. Uh, it was the uh sitcom go to restaurant or bar… like what do they call 00:51:00that place on How I Met Your Mother?

JS: Oh, um… McLaren's.

MT: Yeah! Exactly * laughter * that's kinda how it felt, ya know?

JS: That's what it's like for the hockey guys too, so that's cool. Yeah it does.

MT: So, um… I haven't been back to Kelly's in a long time, but uh… I am sure everything else has changed and Kelly's hasn't changed a bit.

JS: Nope, I doubt Kelly's has changed, and you know what? If you're back up here, give me a call and I will buy you a beer.

MT: No doubt man, no doubt * laughter * I'm sure Kelly's and that makes me feel really good cause that's a special place for anybody that goes through Oshkosh.

JS: Yeah, it is a little bit of uh… an Oshkosh initiation I think, um

MT: No doubt * chuckles *

JS: Alright, so more outside of that, um… and I don't wanna get too deep into 00:52:00it, but what were uh some major campus issue during the time you were here and maybe uh how was like the Obama inauguration and was that like a big deal? Or were there like any major cultural things going on?

MT: You know… That's a really good question um… that could probably illustrate a lot of changes over time, because my freshman year was when Obama got elected. Uh for the first time and ya know, coming from Texas… man uh, I was "not in Kansas anymore" * laughter * so um, I was never… I am a republican and I don't hesitate to talk to anybody about that, but I'm not somebody that's gonna be obnoxious about anything. You know, I've always tried to be open minded and accepting of other opinions. So… when I got to Oshkosh that freshman year, 00:53:00man… it was UW-Obama. That was everywhere, so there was no doubt that that whole campus wanted Obama elected. Um, and if anybody else had any thought about McCain or anything you couldn't tell. You couldn't even tell who the other candidate was. Um, and uh the reason it was so fascinating is because of how the second election went. So, that was my last semester at Oshkosh. Um, and I actually believe that um Winnebago County went red. And there was almost no sign of political campaigning on campus. I mean, it was very very small. There was also um, way more of a republican presence and you could actually tell there was 00:54:00two sides. I'll never forget, there was one night at Albee Hall um I believe it was Biden that was coming through to speak and they were actually trying to pay students who were walking by to go in so they would have a crowd in there for the uh the cameras. Um, so it was a polarizing difference and I couldn't tell you why, but it was fascinating to see that first hand… but in terms of actual cultural issues and things like that there really weren't any, you know? I mean, the time that I spent there uh… you know… there's issues on every campus. Um, you know you get the safety notice every now and then, but I can't tell you that myself or anybody I know every felt unsafe on or around campus. Um, there 00:55:00weren't ever any big demonstrations or anything, and really a lot of that stuff that started happening, started happen after I left Oshkosh. Um, you talk about some of the stuff that happened more like Baltimore and that kind of stuff, uh so, I'd actually be really interested to know what thing were like in Oshkosh around those times and if there were any issues uh among students, but while I was there there weren't.

JS: Okay, yeah… Yeah interesting about the elections cause… I have obviously been here for the last one and honestly the amount of politics displayed her was pretty minimal and it was kind of sad to see the turn out.

MT: It was pretty minimal. It really was. Uh, I can't speak to what you 00:56:00witnessed, but the second election with Obama the presence was pretty minimal, but at the same time I knew a lot of people that went to vote.

JS: Yeah, I feel like that's pretty similar.

MT: Okay.

JS: It was just-- everybody was pretty divided so it was not a huge topic for discussion.

MT: Yeah, and I agree with you that is kinda sad. Um, you know, like I said; I'm happy to tell people that I'm a republican, but at the same time I like to have those constructive conversations and those conversations are gonna be necessary for our country to move in a right direction. Um… whatever that direction is…

JS: Yup

MT: Ya know, there's been disagreement all across history and the only way to get over that is for, you know, both sides to come to the table, and you know, find common ground.

JS: Yup, definitely a time and place.


MT: No doubt.

JS: Yeah, alright um… Kinda moving on from UWO, how did you feel when you were leaving college? And uh… with that job offer were you sure that was what you wanted to do?

MT: Um… that's a great question. I don't think you can be sure anything is what you wanted to do when you leave college. Um, what I knew thought, is that was the best opportunity I had available to me, there was not a question in my mind. Um, I already knew the people I was gonna be working around. I knew the guy who was the top of all that, ya know, the guy who gave me the original opportunities. Um, knowing those things out of the gate, even where I am now in 00:58:00my professional career; that's invaluable. Um, walking into an environment where you already know the people… I mean, I can't say it any other way… It's invaluable, it's huge. Um, because that, regardless of what you know or what you're capable of, if you don't gel with, or like, or agree with the people you are working around, it's not gonna be a pleasant experience. So, knowing that… that in my mind, yes that is what I wanted to do, there was no question. The amount of money they were paying me also helped. Ya know, not that I'll talk about finances too much, but I'm happy to at least give you a full point perspective, uh they offered me $55,000 a year right out of college.

JS: Yup, can't really knock that.

MT: That's uh that's a lot of money.

JS: Yeah that's… that's good.

MT: So, when I saw that it was kinda like "yeah there's not uh… not another 00:59:00path. This is what I need to do" Um, and what was cool was leaving Oshkosh there was not a thought in my mind that I was leaving unprepared. Um, but it was uh it was a sad time, you know? And I will caution you and anybody else who's at Oshkosh right now and thinking about what their future holds um… it can be very easy to say "man, I can't wait to graduate". Um, but I would say that you should never think that. You should obviously want to graduate and you should work hard to graduate, but you can never go back to that experience you had at Oshkosh. Once you graduated, you're gone, and you're only going forward. Um, it's a great thing, but man it's bittersweet because you will cherish the 01:00:00memories you had at Oshkosh and, you know, if you would only get one semester more you would take it.

JS: Alright, um… I actually think that is great point to end on so…

MT: Okay.

JS: Thank you for your time today.