John McDonald

If I was asked to describe myself back when I was five years old, two things would quickly come to mind: 1) I loved helping people and 2) I was absolutely terrified of turtles! Although this happened a long time ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. While I was playing in my backyard, I saw this thing that looked like a rock with a head… a head that could move in and out of the rock’s body. The way the turtle’s head moved in and out was too much for a five-year-old to see for the first time! As I’ve matured, only one of these things remains a constant, and it isn’t my fear of turtles. Entering high school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I joined several organizations and became actively involved in many clubs, in part, because of my inability to say no, but also to be a member of organizations that would make a difference in my school or community. In high school, I participated in athletics, academic clubs, and even a school spirit group. Throughout high school, the club that influenced me the most was HOSA: Future Health Professionals. HOSA taught me the value of teamwork and that tasks that may seem impossible for one person can be achieved with the help of a good team willing to work together. It was during high school when I rediscovered my passion for helping others. Through volunteer projects and working as a math tutor at Mathnasium, I learned that helping others brings me the greatest satisfaction. After this realization, I faced the biggest question that I’ve ever encountered. How am I going to apply my love for helping others into a job? There are so many careers that are based off of assisting others. My choices seem endless. I believe that an education from the prestigious McCombs School of Business will give me many options in selecting a meaningful career path. When it comes to looking to the future, I often reflect on the past and try to learn from each experience. Thinking back to the turtle I confronted long ago, I eventually realized that the turtle was just trying to be comfortable in its own shell; something that we should all do as we embark on a new journey.

Majors: Business

Honors Program: Business Honors Program

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
I was initially drawn to the prestige of the Forty Acres Scholars Program, not only because of the scholarship, but the program’s ability to help me develop as a person. As I read more about it, I learned that it also included access to an accomplished alumni network, one that has and will continue to make a positive difference in the world. My initial conclusions about the program were confirmed when I participated in Finalist Weekend. During Finalist Weekend, I quickly realized that the Forty Acres Scholars Program is much more than just a highly esteemed program with many benefits. I view this unique program as a community filled with extraordinary faculty, accomplished alumni, and supportive students who all want their fellow scholars to succeed. I am very thankful to have been selected into such an impressive program and I am anxious to leave my footprint on the UT community!

 

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