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MIDWEST REGION PROFILE

Leo H. Rhodes III ’01

Midwest Programming Coordinator

Senior Manager, Finance, Best Buy
Eden Prairie, Minn.

Resident Advisor
Student Worker, Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development
Koshare Dance Collective
LPW Jazz Trio     

Major/Minors: Economics/History and Music

Why did you choose Hobart and William Smith Colleges? I am from Upstate New York and like many student athletes in the region, I initially became exposed to Hobart and William Smith through my involvement in athletic competitions hosted in the indoor field house training facility.  Familiarity with the campus and knowledge of Hobart’s track record of success in collegiate athletics, particularly in lacrosse and football, were key considerations as I began to select the colleges / universities I would be looking into as a prospective college student.  Aside from athletics, the other considerations that factored into the decision to attend were the academic reputation of the Colleges, the facilities available to students, and, while I could not have appreciated it at the time, a general feeling that this was the place where I should spend the next four years of my life as a student.      

How do you stay connected to the Colleges? The primary connection point to the Colleges is the lifelong relationships developed during my tenure there.  The shared experiences from our time together are a constant reminder of how special the institution has become and how much it means to all of us as alumni and alumnae situated around the world. 

What makes the Colleges special? The curriculum structure enabled me to go wide in my pursuit of knowledge across the disciplines of economics, instrumental music and theory, and U.S. and world history.  The academic foundation established at Hobart and William Smith left me well prepared for the challenges and opportunities that I have encountered since graduation. The diversity of activities that I had an opportunity to actively participate in throughout my tenure at Hobart and William Smith had a profound impact on my overall academic, social, and professional experience.  The residential education program, where I spent three years as a residential advisor, provided me an opportunity to play a very important role in shaping the residential experiences of my fellow students by implementing programs that instilled a sense of community and safety.  As a student fortunate enough to have an internship throughout my tenure with the colleges, I spent my work study hours assisting my peers in developing resumes, cover letters, and internship / full-time job search strategies as a member of the Career Services team.  In addition to these activities, I also had an opportunity to share my individual passion for dance and instrumental music as a member of the student lead Koshari Dance Collective and as a member of the LPW Jazz Trio.     

Why do you give back to HWS? I give back in the form of time and financial contributions because I want to ensure that the next generation of Hobart and William Smith students are exposed to the same quality academic and life experiences I was exposed to. 

What are your goals as a Regional Network volunteer? There are two objectives that I will be working toward accomplishing as a member of the Regional Network volunteer team.  First, I will be looking to further enhance the recruiting efforts in the Midwest region of the United States.  Second, I would like to serve as a mentor for incoming students, current students, as well as alums in the region.  I am passionate about recruiting and mentorship in my professional life and I believe that, with focus, we can extend the reach of the Hobart and William Smith in this region so that the Colleges become even more of a destination of choice for students looking for a liberal arts education.

What advice would you give to an incoming or current HWS student? Life experiences have provided the gift of personal growth and wisdom since my time as a student at Hobart and William Smith.  The one recommendation that I would provide current and incoming students is to develop bold aspirations for yourself and set a course to pursue those aspirations with diligence and focus.