SOUTHEAST REGION PROFILE
James C. Baker '96
Southeast Regional Vice President
VP, Wells Fargo
Winter Park, Fla.
Folk Fest Organizer
Hobart Student Association
Major/Minors: Economics (Omicron Delta Epsilon)/ High Honors in Sociology/Men's Studies
Why did you choose Hobart and William Smith Colleges? It was a combination of several factors including, but not limited to, the campus, people I met during my visits as a prospective student, the football coaching staff, the student band “scene” and a generous financial aid package I needed given my Dad lost his job in the fall of my senior year of high school (some people forget that the S&L issues of the late 80’s led to a recession in the early 90’s). All of the above factored into my decision, but ultimately HWS just “felt right,” and it was a great fit.
How do you stay connected to the Colleges? I have served on the Hobart Alumni Council since 2008, as an Admissions Volunteer, and Los Angeles Club President from 2000-2012. I am currently chair of the Oral History/Hobart Bicentennial Project.
What makes the Colleges special? Everything from the City of Geneva to Seneca Lake. Access to an outstanding faculty, an epic campus and excellent combination of interdisciplinary and international perspectives via excellent study abroad programs. While the coordinate system doesn't really benefit Hobart students right away, it does pay dividends later in life, both personally and professionally.
Why do you give back to HWS? HWS stepped up for me when I really needed it. I also received an excellent education that I still draw on today and so the least I can do is give back. I wish more alums from the 90's felt the same way.
What are your goals as a Regional Network volunteer? To provide counsel and assistance to any and all HWS students looking to explore their future careers in the Southeast. There are a lot of traditional (i.e., big corporations) as well as growing companies in the region and the weather down here is pretty nice too (except maybe in August, but that's when you go to the beach).
What advice would you give to an incoming or current HWS student? Reach out to alums as much as you can. We remember what it's like to be starting our careers and all of us benefited from advice, assistance from mentors, parents and friends. The HWS connection is a special one so don't be afraid to leverage it.