Tanner Wilson

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Name: Tanner Wilson
Age: 22
Major: Business Management
College/Department: College of Business
Hometown: Harlingen, Texas 

Why UTRGV?
I was born and raised in Harlingen as a fourth generation Rio Grande Valley native. My great grandpa, Harry Hollon, started selling oil to farmers in Elsa back in 1946 and established Hollon Oil Company. My grandpa, Bill Hollon, worked at Hollon Oil through high school and later took over as the president of the company. Now located in Weslaco, Hollon Oil Company is run by my dad, Steve Wilson, and provides fuels and lubricants to businesses throughout the Valley. It's this strong connection to the Rio Grande Valley that first encouraged me to attend a local university. After completing my basics at STC, UTRGV was the ideal choice to finish my degree. Even though location influenced my initial decision to come to the university, I quickly realized how unique UTRGV is. The small classroom sizes give students like me the opportunity to make meaningful connections with lecturers like Sergio Robles, who taught my Personal Branding class in 2018. Even though I haven’t sat in his classroom for over a year, Mr. Robles has been my biggest proponent. He has tirelessly sent me links to internship opportunities, written me letters of recommendation, and even nominated me for UTRGV’s profiles in excellence. It is professors like him that set UTRGV apart from any other university. Other professors who have made a strong impact on me are Dr. Linda Matthews (Business) and Dr. Dale Wilkerson (Philosophy).

What made you decide on your current major?
I decided to study business management because I’ve always had a predisposition towards leadership. In high school I was the captain of my competitive shooting team and now in college I’m the president of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Sports Club on campus. Taking the reigns of a project comes naturally to me and I wanted to learn how to more effectively manage a group of people. This led me to study business management.

What do you like most about UTRGV?
What I like most about UTRGV is the business school’s commitment to its students. Almost weekly I receive emails encouraging me to apply for internships. These emails notified me about an internship opportunity with H-E-B’s Public Affairs division as a corporate intern which convinced me to apply, interview and eventually be selected for the position. I’m also passionate and invested in UTRGV’s sports club opportunities. I’m the president of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club on campus and thanks to funding from the recreation department we’ve had the opportunity to keep our practices and memberships completely free while also sponsoring some of our competitors to attend matches for free.

What are some of your favorite study spots on campus?
I enjoy studying in the school library. Typically, I’ll retreat to the third or fourth floor to get away from the noise below and focus on my laptop or textbook.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
UTRGV has only been around for a few years, so my graduating class and a few before me will pioneer the idea of what it is to be a Vaquero. I believe that we Vaqueros possess a strong sense of community. The majority of UTRGV students are from the Rio Grande Valley and my sense is that many of us have a strong interest in improving it. Unfortunately, there is a lot to improve. Our border communities suffer from poverty and our coastal regions are a window into the travesty of global pollution. These are issues my fellow students are passionate about addressing, and I believe that time will show us Vaqueros using our educations and post-graduation positions to effect positive change in the valley and the world.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
UTRGV connected me with my current position as a corporate intern for H-E-B’s Public Affairs Department. During my time in this position I’ve had the chance to meet city and county officials, as well as network with high level executives. Most recently, I spoke with city officials in towns affected by the recent flooding in the lower RGV to help organize relief efforts with H-E-B’s Disaster Relief team. Working with H-E-B has helped me realize and express my passion for helping people and UTRGV gave me the chance to find a job I love in a company that supports me.

What are a few of your favorite books?  
I have an old copy of a book called “Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow” by Jerome K Jerome that always comes to mind when I’m asked this question. Published in 1890, the book is a series of essays Jerome wrote during his time spent in military service. They are humorous and introspective observations about his experiences and the human condition. While I love Jerome’s work, this particular copy is my favorite because it belonged to my great grandma who, as a child, wrote poetry in the back of the book. I don’t remember her, since she died when I was young, but I’ve always felt like the short and clever poems were a way for me to get to know her. When I feel like picking up a good fiction novel, I always gravitate towards Louis L’Amour. I’ve always loved Lamour for his westerns, but my favorite of his books is called “The Walking Drum.” Set during the middle ages in Europe and the Middle East, “The Walking Drum” tells the story of Mathurin Kerbouchard, a man of strong moral conviction who became a fighter, adventurer, and above all else, a seeker of knowledge.

What’s in your playlist right now?
My music tastes are all over the place! The artists I have on the rotation lately are Jason Isbell, MF DOOM, Denzel Curry, Sufjan Stevens, Alex Cameron and PJ Harvey.