Anthony Nakley: From Student Slump to Success

By Alyssa Weston

Every student at Youngstown State University has unique goals and ambitions during their time as a Penguin. For junior finance major Anthony Nakley, his success in his college career can be attributed to finding his voice through student groups and campus involvement.

Nakley is involved in 14 clubs and organizations including being vice president of the International Business Organization, treasurer of Beta Alpha Psi and trustee for the Honors College. Nakley said he wasn’t always motivated to make his mark on campus.

“Freshman year thought I was too cool. [I thought] I have my high school friends and I already know about YSU. [I didn’t] really look at YSU as something special. [It was] just another part of life,” he said.

Nakley soon realized that was the wrong way to view his college experience.

“There was something missing. During sophomore and junior year I started to get involved,” he said.

The Lowellville, Ohio native said he was familiar with being involved and found enjoyment in “having his hands in everything.”

By being involved in his community, Nakley said it allows him to learn many different skills and touch the lives of multiple people.

Recently, Nakley won first place in a Williamson College of Business Administration case competition and was awarded a prize of $500 for Beta Gamma Sigma.

Nakley said it was his first time competing, and he entered the competition as a learning experience.

“I thought it was a good way to spend a Saturday,” he said.

Halfway through the competition, judges gave tips to competitors that scared Nakley and his partner, and made them change their approach.

“Everything we planned wasn’t going in the right direction, so in that last hour we went with a more simplistic approach,” he said. “Compared to the other competitors who focused on mostly numbers, quantities and price points, we mainly focused on selling an idea.”

The big picture idea gained Nakley and his partner high marks with the judges.

Nakley attributed his success to his confident attitude, his friends and family and his ability to think outside the box.

Photo by Tanner Mondok/The Jambar

“What I think helps me to be successful [is that] I’m not planning everything in my life on one contingent,” he said. “I try to involve myself with so much because just doing a little here doing a little is going to make a big impact.”

Nicole Kent-Strollo, director of student outreach and support, assists students with the Career Closet where Nakley volunteers.

Kent-Strollo said her first interaction with Nakley was when the Honors College was recruiting volunteers for the Career Closet.

“One of the really cool emails I got back was from Anthony,” she said. “He mentioned that his grandfather was a tailor and explained the whole purpose of the Career Closet of putting your best foot forward and dressing for the part which was instilled in him at a young age. It was important for him to help others with that.”

Although Kent-Strollo oversees the Career Closet, she said Nakley mostly runs it and has taken it on himself.

“He’s done amazing things [at the Career Closet],” she said.

Through observation, Kent-Strollo said Nakley has a supportive family who has instilled a great work ethic in him.

“He respects [his parents] greatly and he wants to make them proud. He’s just very kind and has a lot of integrity,” she said. “I think that [work ethic, kindness and integrity] starts at a very young age. That’s just him.”