College of Business
Automotive sales professional benefits from AU Business program, student service
Business graduate Jared Back learned lots of valuable lessons about both business and people skills from Anderson University. Whether it was his involvement in the Student Government Association, student ministries or helping other students navigate their academic journey, Jared draws on those experiences as he leads his automotive sales team.
How did you find out about us?
By the Summer before my senior year in high school, I thought I had visited all the colleges I planned to apply to, but my parents had friends at Anderson who encouraged me to come and take a look at what Anderson had to offer. Early in my senior year I came for a visit and just absolutely fell in love with Anderson. Five or ten minutes into the tour, I felt “This is the place for me.” Just the whole experience of touring campus, getting to meet faculty, staff and students. I knew AU was where I was supposed to be.
I could just tell even from the first interaction with Pam Ross (AU Vice President of Enrollment Management) and meeting the faculty, they cared about who I was, where I was coming from, and what my interests were. They were just as excited about me being there as I was excited about visiting the school.
What are some fun memories of college for you?
Just anything about campus life. Anderson does a really good job at offering different student activities whether it’s Bingo nights, Homecoming, or Springfest. I made a ton of memories and a lot of friendships through these activities—a lot of lifelong friendships.
Talk about some of your involvement at AU.
My first time leading a team was at AU. I got to help run the CEP (Curriculum Enhancement Program) with Tonya Landrith. I managed all the student workers and learned how to run all the scanning programs, how to schedule and change CEPs, and how that structure works. I also was involved in SGA, getting to take on different leadership roles such as treasurer and vice-president, and having the experience to learn and grow from those roles. It was a great learning experience for me. I also had the opportunity to take on mentoring roles in BCM and as an Alpha leader. Building relationships and investing time in my peers was a huge encouragement to me.
What are some ways you feel your degree has helped you professionally?
I know it’s a little different going from a business degree into the car business, especially focusing on finance, but it really has helped. Especially with my degree, looking at balance sheets, learning how to do certain things in Excel and bringing that into what I'm doing now. I think the biggest thing that has helped in my career path was having faculty at AU who have real world business experience and seeing how they were able to grow and succeed in their business careers. And then in turn our professors invested in growing us as young business leaders.
Are there some things you especially appreciate about the College of Business?
I just think the whole college of Business in general; they really pour into the students. I was there with Kristi Harton, who was always doing everything she could for students. She made sure we had our internships, and we were trying out different businesses to make sure that's exactly what we wanted to do. I could go to my professor, and they would spend as much time as they needed with me to make sure I was succeeding in their classes. I think they do a great job in general, just trying to grow us and make sure we're going to succeed with whatever we want to do next.
Tell me a little bit about some of the internships that you did.
My internship year was the year of COVID. I had an internship lined up to work for Toyota corporate in Florida. Unfortunately, it was canceled, but I was able to work at Spartanburg Toyota, spending the summer selling cars and learning about the financial aspect of the car business. This just kind of secured “This is what I want to do.”
Tell us about your job.
I'm the sales manager, so a big part of what I do is lead and support 16-17 members of our sales team. I help handle all our Internet leads, which is a big part of our business. My hands are always full and I’m always doing something, which I enjoy.
At the end of the day, what gives you a feeling of accomplishment?
The reason I love what I do is, I genuinely get the opportunity to help people. It doesn't always seem like that, but for most people buying a car can be a big game changer. It is one of the largest purchases a person will make in a lifetime, which can allow them to have better opportunities to support their families. You get to meet and develop relationships with different people from different backgrounds.
Is there any piece of advice that you would give someone wanting to do a job like you do?
As a college student, it is your time to try out different internships and opportunities and find out what you enjoy doing.
What reason would you give somebody to choose Anderson University over other places?
It's the faculty. It’s the relationships that you build there. I wouldn’t trade any part of my experience for any other school. From Dr. Whitaker and Mrs. Whitaker to the security guards and bus drivers, everybody's taking care of you.
Have any of your family members gone to Anderson?
My little sister Katie graduated this past Spring of 2023. She's now a second grade teacher, teaching at Wellford Academy of Science and Technology.