From Scholar to Mentor: Forman Scholar Tanner Humphreys Makes the Most of Every Experience

Tanner Humphreys is no stranger to setting his mind on something and putting in the hard work needed to accomplish his goals. He may have had to try a few different majors to test the waters but that ultimately lead Tanner to find his true passion. Just this past May, Tanner graduated from Saint Joseph’s University and is fully prepared to launch his professional career.

Starting out as a math major and later moving to accounting, Tanner knew he had an interest in numbers. The precise, exact science and reliable attributes appealed most to him, but he later realized accounting wasn’t quite what he was looking for. He craved something that would meet his desire to be challenged, yet interesting enough to capture his attention. After much research and conversation with fellow students, mentors and trusted professors, Tanner eventually became a finance major.

Still, academics were just one piece of the pie for Tanner. He said his experience would be nothing without the warm, caring community of the student body combined with the intelligent professors at Saint Joseph’s University. Another part of the allure was attending college in a big city like Philadelphia. Tanner got the small-town feel he was used to but also the close proximity to Center City and the charming surrounding neighborhoods of Philadelphia.  

“I liked how close knit everyone at school was including the community,” he said. “Everyone knew each other because it’s such a small school. I especially liked the niche community that Saint Joe’s formed not only in itself, but the Greater Philadelphia Region. Being from a small town in South Jersey, I wasn’t really accustomed to the big city, but during my time at school I really got to see the city up close and personal. I loved everything about it.”

While it may have taken Tanner a little longer to find his niche, it was the experience he gained during the journey that made him into what he is today. The skills and insights he learned from the Saint Joe's business school and career center were invaluable to him and played a big part in his ability to land his first job. In just a few weeks, Tanner will kick off his post-graduate career as an adjunct project manager at Holtec International, a company operating in the energy/nuclear power industry. And it's a job he can't wait to start.

Most students struggle to find one passion while in college, but Tanner was lucky enough to find two. During his time at school he was involved in a number of sports-related activities, including playing men’s club rugby for three years, managing the women’s basketball team during his sophomore year, and joining the ultimate frisbee team his senior year.

With his outstanding academic and extracurricular achievement, Tanner certainly has a lot to be proud of. And through it all, he can’t help but show gratitude for everything he has learned through the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation.

“I’m very thankful for all the assistance that the Foundation offered financially, but also for the advice I was given from those who work there,” Tanner said. “I especially appreciated it when I was first going to college when we had older mentors to guide us. Then as I got more mature and experienced, I returned the favor and became a mentor to younger students. That is something that could have only been done through the Foundation and looking back, I’m really thankful to have had that opportunity. I hope to continue mentoring students in the future.”

Thinking of the mentors and students that came before him and helped along the way, Tanner has some advice for future Forman Scholars and other students who are just starting out in their college careers. To him, it’s all about soaking it all in.

“For anyone who is pursuing academics and still trying to figure out what to study: Learn from as many people as possible, not even necessarily from your teachers but in unusual places too,” Tanner said. “Try to observe everything in your environment and take it all in while you can. College is such a unique setting where different people are all coming together from different places and walks of life. Together you get to learn at the highest possible level. Just sit back and try to learn from everybody you come across.”

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