Meet Brad Idzik
Major: Mathematical Business
Minor: Global Trade & Commerce
Hometown: Morristown, N.J.
This fall, Brad will attend Stanford University’s Master of Liberal Arts Program while also working with their football team as an assistant graduate coach.
Q: How have you changed since arriving on campus?
A: I have come to realize that the greatest happiness stems from supporting those around you. Through the example of countless individuals that have helped me during my time at Wake, I have learned just how valuable and rewarding becoming involved in others lives can be. Some of my fondest memories at Wake Forest have been investing in the lives of my peers and watching them reach their own personal successes.
Q: Describe your research in mathematical business.
A: I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to conduct research during my time at Wake Forest as a culmination of my studies in mathematics and business. I had the pleasure of working under the supervision of Dr. Phillip Handwerk of the Wake Forest Office of Institutional Research as well as my major advisors, Dr. Umit Akinc and Dr. Jim Norris. Working on this project required me to think creatively and independently while referencing the skills and knowledge I have gained from classes at Wake Forest. I spent my time constructing a platform in which you could compare various academic institutions based on a number of different variables. Not only was it interesting to see which schools were most like our own, but this project provided me a great opportunity to give something back to the University in the form of a tangible and useful tool. I believe the ability to conduct significant research as an undergraduate is one of the many unique ways in which Wake Forest sets itself apart from other academic institutions.
Q: How did your study abroad experience impact you?
A: I spent my senior spring studying abroad at Cambridge University in England. I had never been outside of the United States before, so this experience provided a great opportunity to immerse myself in foreign cultures and widen my overall perspective of the world around me. Adventuring out of my comfort zone taught me how to take chances and try new things. In addition, being away from the United States gave me a great appreciation for what I have at home, most importantly my friends and family.
Q: Which extracurricular activity did you most enjoy?
A: I spent the vast majority of my free time training, practicing and competing with the football team. Although this was certainly taxing at times, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to suit up for the Deacs on Saturdays. It gave me great pleasure to represent this University and provided me with countless memories that I will never forget. The brotherhood created within our locker room is something I believe to be very unique to the game of football. Being part of a team that brings together so many different personalities and backgrounds with a common purpose is truly special. At the end of the day, I consider each one of my teammates a part of my extended family, and I am grateful for the time I have spent with them.
Q: Of all the people who have influenced you during your time at Wake Forest, who would you most like to thank?
A: There are countless people I could thank for making my experience at Wake Forest so memorable. My parents gave me the opportunity to attend Wake Forest, and a number of faculty members, coaches and fellow students taught me so much along the way. Although each has had an impact on my time here, no one has affected me more than my best friend, Jordan Garside. Jordan not only helped me integrate into the school and football program as an anxious transfer student, but he made me confident that I made the right decision. I hope everyone gets the chance to meet someone like Jordan because he perfectly embodies the essence of Wake Forest. His genuine compassion and kindness ideally encompass Wake Forest’s moto, ‘Pro Humanitate,’ showing me and others what it means to be a member of the Demon Deacon family.
Q: What is the best advice you were given during your time at Wake Forest?
A: Coach Grobe used to tell us at the end of practices and games, ‘no matter where you are or what you are doing, just be a good person.’ It may sound elementary, but it meant a lot coming from a man of such high character. He always provided the best example of what it looks like to live this way.
Q: Which place on campus will you miss the most?
A: I am going to miss eating at the Pit. I have many memories with friends, family, coaches and faculty of countless meals at the Pit. It’s unique to have a common space where you can expect to run into the majority of those you are acquainted with. The Pit is at the heart of Wake Forest, and regardless of what was being served each day, there were plenty of reasons to sit down and stay a while. Whether spending early mornings dreading twice-a-day football practices with teammates, debating with classmates after a recent exam or wasting an afternoon away with a ‘Pit Sit,’ I always knew I was in good company.
Q: What shared idea do you feel unites the Wake Forest community?
A: We all believe there is no substitute for hard work.
Q: Your best advice for an incoming first-year student?
A: Spend your college years with a sense of balance. Of course, it is important that you succeed academically and being at Wake Forest will require a lot of time and effort in order to do so. That being said, do not forget that your college years are also a great time to explore alternative avenues of growth. Wake Forest has so much to offer to its students beyond the classroom, and I hope every first-year student considers the options. Coupled with this, the faculty and staff at Wake Forest genuinely care about the success and wellbeing of their students. Do not hesitate to lean on them during your journey, as I am sure they will be more than happy to help you along the way.