“I can’t imagine not wanting to be part of and share in the excitement of the Creighton Heider College of Business success story,” says Patrick Riordan, BSBA’84, of his service on the college’s Advisory Board.
Riordan has witnessed Creighton’s growth since he graduated with a finance degree in 1984. The campus’ tremendous physical growth is readily apparent. It signifies, Riordan believes, the University’s development within the academic and athletic spheres – expanded curriculums, practicums and research, increased experiential learning and internship opportunities, participation in the BIG EAST Conference.
But what Riordan most values is what all this expansion means for students.
“Most importantly, Heider College of Business students are better prepared than ever for their careers as business professionals,” Riordan says. “The proof of this shows in the success of our students in job placement and achieving high-quality professional career paths.
And, Riordan adds, as time goes on, “HCB students will be more successful in competing for higher level jobs on a national level as the college continues to gain a higher level of national recognition.”
When Riordan, a Wausau, Wisconsin, native, was looking at colleges in the early 1980s, he focused on Jesuit institutions, as his family has an affinity for Jesuit education. Riordan says a major reason he opted for Creighton was because of the on-campus experience, including an enthusiastic tour guide who won him over.
That he would enter the business school and study finance was a foregone conclusion. From a very early age, Riordan was interested in stocks and investing. Then came the curiosity about bonds and commodities.
“I was fascinated by the markets. Business school and finance seemed like a natural fit for me,”
Internships, travel courses and practicums augment classroom learning, but so too can extracurriculars. Consider Riordan’s stint as vice president of finance for the Student Board of Governors (SBG), the forerunner to today’s Creighton Students Union. It’s one thing to manage your own bank account but a completely different story to be responsible for others’ money.
Riordan’s work with the SBG was his first experience with budgeting and fund allocation of money not his own. The effort was a joint one that required team work, organization and communication – just like the real world.
The SBG “functioned like a small business,” Riordan says.
A finance career spanning over 30 years followed graduation. It began at Merrill Lynch, first in Minneapolis and then in Omaha. Now, Riordan is a vice president at Lawson Kroeker Investment Management, where he serves as director of business development.
Riordan has been a member of the Advisory Board for the past five years and serves on its alumni relations and development committee. He has also been an active Jaybacker, involved with the Jaybacker Jamboree committee.
“Meeting fellow graduates from many different classes and backgrounds who still have the same focus to continue improving the college experience, career preparation and national recognition of the Heider College of Business is most rewarding,” Riordan says.
In his free time, Riordan plans his next travel adventure. Heeding the call of Johnny Cash’s anthem, he’s been (just about) everywhere. As a teenager he set the lofty goal of traveling the highways and byways of every state by the time he was 50. Riordan made that “deadline,” his plane touching down in the last state on his list, Alaska.
Two days before his 50th birthday.