Living in Kansas City, Phil Schoettlin does not let the distance between Fayetteville and Missouri keep him from staying connected with the University of Arkansas. Serving as president of the Arkansas Alumni Association’s Greater Kansas City Chapter and as a member of the Kappa Sigma XI Corporation and XI Alumni Association, Schoettlin enjoys the time he spends interacting with students and alumni.
Graduating in 1993 with a BSPA from the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Schoettlin remembers a time when the University of Arkansas was not his school of choice. However, all of that changed when his mother took him to a sporting event, which ultimately led him to becoming a Razorback. “When I was in eighth grade, my mom took me to the 1978 Orange Bowl where the Hogs whipped Oklahoma 31-6, which sealed the deal,” he said. This decision to attend the University of Arkansas allowed Schoettlin to receive what he believes to be “good, if not better, academic opportunities, as any similar university in the country.”
Being a part of the university’s alumni community, Schoettlin feels it is his duty to give back and help enhance the experience students obtain while attending the university. As an alumnus, he reflects on the people and experiences that led him to where he is today. “There are a few people who were influential to me, including Dr. Lyle Gohn, Charles B. Whiteside III and a couple of professors, Dr. Peter Vanneman and Dr. Steve Neuse,” he said. Each worked to supply him with proper knowledge, know-how and skills, all of which proved to be beneficial inside and outside school. Whether it was in his fraternity or in the classroom, these influences impacted Schoettlin in a positive way.
Schoettlin works for Sanmina-SCI, a global contract electronics manufacturer, where he sells manufacturing services. His position requires him to correspond with many people, so he credits the professors and peers he met, as well as the experiences he gained at the university, to helping him become an effective leader and be confident in the way he speaks with others. “When I entered the U of A, I was a timid young man. Serving in many leadership roles across campus helped me develop confidence and the ability to talk to people,” he said.
He has certainly had no trouble interacting with others as Schoettlin finds himself more involved today than ever. In 2008, Schoettlin served as an alumni ambassador, working to recruit students by attending college fairs, handing out scholarships and referring students to the Admissions Office. In 2009, he took on the role of president, organizing watch parties, board meetings and student events for the Greater Kansas City Chapter. His annual membership and participation with the Arkansas Alumni Association started 17 years ago and continues to this day. “The university has been a big part of my life and staying involved after graduation has always been important to me,” he said. Staying true to his local chapter and his fraternity, Schoettlin urges others to get involved and become proud alumni members.
“As graduates, I feel duty or emotionally bound to give back to students in the same way alumni contributed to my education and educational experience. The university is a living, breathing entity that we are all a part of. Doing my small part to perpetuate and enhance the experience for current and future students is an honor.”