Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) provides a Christ-centered education that inspires knowledge, faith and service. For Braxton Molina, a senior business major with a passion for entrepreneurship, SWAU’s business department has helped him gain confidence in the direction he is headed and empowers him to “Be a Knight.”
What led you to choose SWAU? When choosing a college to attend, I wanted to be surrounded by Christians. Everyone was so welcoming when I stepped on campus that I just felt like SWAU was where I was supposed to be. I also appreciated how close it was to my family in Texas, as they mean so much to me.
What led you to pursue a degree in business? As a kid, I always saw myself as an inventor, so I thought I would pursue engineering. But the older I got, the more I realized I wanted to be in business with inventors. Choosing business made sense because I knew I would understand it and be motivated to learn more, and I knew SWAU had a great business program. I’m so thankful God led me to pursue a degree in business. I have learned to consider views I wouldn’t have thought of had I not chosen business.
What extra-curricular activities have you participated in? I joined SWAU’s acrobatics/gymnastics team, SWAT. SWAT taught me teamwork, as cliché as that sounds. I never realized how important being a team member is until joining this group. Being on SWAT also taught me trust. Those who are on top of any type of acrobatic structure are trusting that those of us at the bottom are going to be there and catch them. If they can’t trust us, they aren’t going to perform to their fullest potential.
I am also part of Enactus, an entrepreneurial team for students to take action in their community. Enactus has given me a passion to help the community and find ways to make an impact in whatever way possible. Being a part of Enactus is about more than being a part of a club here on campus; it is a mission opportunity for me. I have been able to share the Bible with others and learn about different cultures. While working with Enactus, I can see Jesus showing Himself through actions and service of others..
What is one moment that occurred at SWAU that you will remember forever? My entrepreneurship class allowed me to experience some very memorable times throughout the semester. On one day in particular, the guest speaker was the Mayor of Cleburne. We dressed up and sat in a formal setting while listening to him share his hopes and dreams for Cleburne. I remember sitting there listening to him share his passion about his career with us. I told myself that I want to be that passionate about what I do. Through this setting, I was able to learn, network and grow.
What does it mean to be a SWAU Knight to you? Being a Knight means being part of a community, having perseverance and being kind. Being on campus, you will always feel welcomed and feel at home. When I first came to SWAU, someone told me, “SWAU Knights are SWAU nice.” I never understood what they meant until I experienced it for myself, and it’s more than true. It’s not a curtain of kindness that will eventually go away. To be a Knight is to be nice, and that’s what it means to me.
How have you experienced God here on campus? President Patterson, then Professor Patterson, was my advisor. When I came to SWAU, I was two weeks late into the semester. As you can imagine, it was a little hectic. She worked with me through everything and she soon became more than just my academic advisor. I found myself going to her office for advice on school, life and my future. Not only was she there to listen and support me, but she also reminded me that God has a bigger plan for me. Her door was continuously open for not only me, but so many other students. She became my mentor.
What are your goals for the future, and how has SWAU prepared you to pursue those dreams? My main goal is to become an entrepreneur. I would love to be able to do business with a variety of companies and use the money to invest towards my next project. SWAU has prepared me by allowing me to learn how to network and not be afraid to put myself out there. We were able to attend networking seminars through Pathways to Success workshops and career fairs, and we were given the opportunity to talk with our guest speakers after each class.
I would not be where I am today without SWAU helping me reach out to different people. My professors have put me in touch with the right people time after time and I am so thankful for those opportunities.
What is your message to someone considering attending SWAU? I would encourage them to visit campus and talk to someone in one of the departments where they have an interest. Professors have a way of giving you an insight nobody else can. Connecting with them can really provide a sense of what a SWAU experience will look like.
Talk with them and see the different options and different fields you can go into; it will help you define where you belong and what specialty you want to pursue.
Being a Knight has allowed Braxton Molina to be more involved and has taught him to persevere and be kind as he leaps into his future in knowledge, faith and service. Take Molina’s advice and schedule a campus visit at swau.edu/visit. Learn more about SWAU’s business program swau.edu/business.