David Taylor, who graduated with a degree in finance in 1997, is a highly spirited entrepreneur with over 15 years of start-up business experience. He has developed from concept and brought to market several high tech/green tech products, commercial applications, software designs, restaurant concepts and product designs. He is the co-founder of Crudefunders LLC, an energy-focused crowdfunding site, located in both Dallas and Houston. The premise of the company, which was launched in June 2014, is to allow every Texan the opportunity to own a piece of a producing Texas oil well for as little as $1,000.
Learn more about David's time in college, how it helped him in his career, and what advice he would offer current students in the Q&A below.
How have the skills you acquired through your finance degree helped in your career?
My finance degree gave me the skills to effectively manage, create, design, and operate my business ventures over the past decade. My skills have included Cost Accounting, Restaurant Ownership, Financial Planning, and have allowed me to flourish in the Oil & Gas Field.
What is your fondest memory of the Rawls College?
My fondest memory of the Rawls College was going to San Francisco with the Finance Committee. We visited the Federal Reserve and met colleagues and friends that have lasted throughout my life.
What did you do, as both a student and entry-level employee, to position yourself for success?
I learned Cost Accounting at a mid-tier Manufacturing plant in Dallas which used all my skills of spreadsheets and forecasting that I learned in my undergraduate coursework. Although, the most important skills I learned in Rawls were networking and public speaking.
What are you looking for when hiring recent graduates?
I look for people with "bright eyes." I can teach any graduate how to do what I do; but if they do not have the inner strength that comes from confidence, willingness to work hard, and ingenuity, they are not worth the time to train! I think that is something that only comes from a school that makes you think, makes you innovate, and is always ahead of the curve instead of just following close behind.
What advice would you give current students in the Rawls College?
I would recommend to any student in finance to take an entrepreneurial class and signing up for as many internships they possibly can. I felt like if I had done an internship, I would have had many more "real-world" experiences that would have helped me along the way.