If you attended an event at UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics in the past four or five years, it’s a safe bet you ran into Daniel Rust.
His professors say he was everywhere.
“I threw myself at the university,” Rust admits, with a laugh. “I knew if I was going to make it, was going to do everything.”
Rust, who received a four-year scholarship to attend UNCG, earned a business degree in just three years. He then applied the remaining year of his scholarship to seeking his UNCG MBA, which he hopes to receive in December.
Rust currently works full-time as a sales specialist for Lenovo. He says building the skills necessary to land that job came from taking full advantage of all the Bryan School had to offer.
OFF TO THE RACES
“During my freshman year, I went to every single event – I was hardly ever in my room,” he says. He dove into the Bryan Gold program, a friendly professional development competition that awards students points for getting involved and attending events such as career fairs and training sessions. Rust found himself on the public leaderboard throughout the competition, and ultimately came in second place – just narrowly missing first.
“The best way to become the best version of yourself is to push yourself and to have fun while you’re doing it,” he says. Through his involvement, he learned about everything from networking effectively and speaking with others to writing a cover letter and developing a strong online brand.
“I’ve always been very classroom-oriented, but that’s not the only thing you need to find success in the business world,” Rust says. “The Bryan School helped round out my character, personality and all the things you need to be a professional.”
As a member of the Lloyd International Honors College at UNCG, Rust majored in economics and minored in Spanish. A Bryan Merit Scholar, he received the highly selective Phoebe and
Anthony Patterson Scholarship based on his accomplishments as well as his potential for scholarship, leadership, service and character.
He also ran varsity track and field for the university and served as a Bryan School ambassador. In that role, he helped to promote the school to students, interviewed potential merit scholars, and successfully presented the case for three new courses – on international business, leadership, and professional development – to the school’s Advisory Board.
A NEW PERSONAL BEST
Having a scholarship made it possible to fully engage in the Bryan School experience, Rust says. “Reducing the financial burden helped me to dive deeper into my studies and uncover new opportunities like internships,” he says. “It helped me to be the best person, best seller and best professional that I could be.”
After completing internships as a banking specialist at State Farm and a business development representative for The Brooks Group, Rust asked to shadow his sister, who worked in a sales
role at Lenovo. He maximized that opportunity, made a strong impression, and when one of the managers needed to fill out her team, she called Rust back for an interview.
At Lenovo, Rust sells computer technology to public sector clients such as K-12 school systems, higher education institutions, and local governments. Based in Raleigh, he works
remotely and is responsible for a Midwestern sales territory, where he regularly outperforms his sales quota. Recently, he took on new responsibility for training sales representatives, and has aspirations to work in management.
“As economists, we talk about positive externalities,” said Dr. Stephen Holland, a professor of economics, as he recalled first meeting Rust at a Bryan School dinner. “I think that’s what Daniel brought to every program and class he was in. He just really contributed, was always very thoughtful, and was understanding and helpful to all the other students around him. He made every student a better version of themselves.”