It All Goes Back to the Beginning
By Wayne Swearingen
I am not sure there is a way to reflect on the lessons I have learned in my career without revisiting where it all started. In my many years of working in real estate and throughout my service in the U.S. Air Force, I have developed valuable skills and gained immeasurable knowledge that have helped me become the man and professional I am today. But the significant takeaways from my life and career all relate back to Baylor in one form or another.
When I first started looking at colleges, Baylor was not my original thought. My brother was already attending Texas A&M and was in the Corps of Cadets there. While I knew I would be in the military after college, I was not sure I wanted to go the same route as him. My father knew the ROTC leader at Baylor, Col. Paul Dellinger, and I was enrolled after my first visit to Waco. It was a situation of being in the right place at the right time and I knew that this was where I was meant to be.
That feeling followed me throughout my career and I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time to become a lecturer at the Hankamer School of Business and to land major real estate deals. God put me into those places for a reason and I believe God will do the same for everyone. It is about recognizing we may not know why we are in a particular position, but we should do the best with what we are given.
Wayne Swearingen, BA ’55
Founder; Barclay Commercial Group
I cannot credit all of my success to timing though. I would not be where I am today without the support and friendships of those I met while at Baylor. My big break into real estate came from connections I made there. My professional career blossomed through conversations with old classmates or people they introduced me to. It is important to build those networks and make use of them. At Baylor, there are relationships—both professional and personal—just waiting to begin. We should strive to build out our networks and be open to receiving help when we need it.
On the flip side, you cannot achieve success without giving back as well. I have been blessed to have received help or advice from many wonderful people in my life. But I recognized early in my career that other people did not have access to the same networks that I did. This inspired me to create—alongside my friend Jack Griffin—the Baylor Business Network, now known as the Baylor Professional Group. We desired to see a network of Baylor graduates and supporters building a community to do more business with each other. There have been incredible partnerships sparked within this group and I am grateful for their successes.
Success is not just about working hard, it is about recognizing God’s timing, learning to grow and utilize a network and giving back when you can. If you can live and foster a career through these things, success is just around the corner.