Determination Places Student Among Angels
By Franci Rogers
Anyone who meets Hannah Dickey knows one thing: she is determined.
Going to high school in her hometown of Sedalia, Colo., Dickey found herself in a unique situation. She realized she would have enough credits to graduate halfway through her senior year, so she began to look at colleges. She’d always imagined going to school close to home, but was encouraged by a family friend to look at schools in Texas.
At the urging of the friend, a University of Texas (UT) graduate, she and her parents made arrangements for college tours in Texas, and at the last minute, added Baylor University to the list. They made the stop in Waco, Texas, on their way to Austin.
“I got to the Baylor campus and fell in love,” Dickey said. “Once I learned about Baylor’s business school and the [Baylor] Business Fellows Program, I wouldn’t even go on the UT campus tour.”
In December of what would have been her senior year, rather than spending a “bonus” semester in high school, Dickey graduated and headed to Waco.
“I came halfway into the year, which was scary,” she said. “But it was the right choice.”
That year is when she first heard about the Baylor Angel Network (BAN).
“It became a goal for me. I knew I had to get in,” she said. “Being an analyst is not a normal experience for students in college. I had to have that experience.”
BAN is an investor network that provides early stage capital to entrepreneurs. Angel investors use their own capital to invest in start-up businesses, as well as use their expertise to guide not only the entrepreneurs, but also the student analysts who work with the network.
Each year, six Baylor juniors are chosen to become junior analysts. They spend a semester-long apprenticeship, assisting the students who are senior analysts to run the program, under the guidance of the executive director.
“We are partnered with a senior and an angel, and mentored for each round of funding that first year,” Dickey said.
The student analysts do research and interview people who are looking for funding.
“Our angel mentors are there to help us think of things to look for and to teach us how to ask clarifying questions,” Dickey said.
Dickey is looking forward to her turn as a senior analyst this fall, after completing an investment banking internship over the summer. She is eager to get back to the people she is learning with and from.
“Our angels are such great people,” she said. “I think sometimes in business, there is a stereotype that to be successful you can’t be moral or care about people. But these people shatter that stereotype. It makes me hopeful for the businessperson I can become.”
In the spring, when she graduates as a Baylor Business Fellow with a double major in Finance and Accounting, and a minor in Corporate Communication, she will miss her classmates who have grown so close to one another during this process.
“I just love being associated with such amazing people,” she said. “Since everyone has different majors, we bring different things to the group, but we are all exceptionally driven and passionate. The people are the best part!”
Baylor Business Review, Fall 2015