»Nicky Wilks

Admission Counselor
wilks@chapman.edu

Biography in Brief

Nicky graduated from Chapman in 2010 with a BS in Business Administration and emphases in International Business and Business Economics. Before arriving at Chapman as a transfer student in 2007 he spent a year at Goucher College in Baltimore where he majored in Pre-Engineering and played for their NCAA Division III lacrosse team. At Chapman, Nicky helped his team to three MCLA National Tournament appearances and two MCLA Championship games. He was also involved in Chapman’s Investment Club and many social activities both on and off campus. While taking classes, Nicky worked as a lifeguard and as a coach for local youth and high school lacrosse teams. During his senior year he served as an intern in the Admission Office which later propelled him to apply for the Admission Counselor position that he currently holds. He is currently pursuing his MBA from Chapman’s ASBE and plans on graduating next summer with another emphasis, this time in Entrepreneurship. In addition to his work and school schedule, Nicky holds a leadership position in our Leatherby Center’s Graduate eClub as co-president and can be often be found participating in many of the entrepreneurial-themed events around campus and the Orange County area.

Advice from Nicky 

Entering college is both an exciting and important point in a person’s life, but I would tell any incoming student that they shouldn’t feel like they have to map out their entire life before they step onto campus. Decisions like choosing a school, picking a major, or finding a rewarding job are certainly worthy of considerable thought. However, too often I’ve seen students feel bound by an early decision, or perhaps even worried that choosing a particular major is going to limit their possibilities. In my experience, I’ve seen fellow graduates enter careers almost completely unrelated to their field of study and others who maintained a steady pace down a career path that they had in mind since middle school. College is a time to find yourself, discover what really motivates you, and experiment with types of activities (both work and play) that truly make you happy. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision before you feel comfortable, and always remain honest with yourself.

Nicky's favorite spot on campus

I'm going to be difficult and pick two: After graduation I finally had my first opportunity to watch a game from the press box above Wilson Field and I can honestly say it took my breath away. I think I finally understand why so many people came to our games! Another spot that I cherish is the Fish Interfaith Center. If you find yourself on campus with a few minutes to spare around sunset, I highly recommend taking a meditative moment out of your day to soak up the beautiful refractions of light that beam from the stained glass windows inside the building. It is a beautiful sight, and you can even cap it off with a serene little stroll out the back door, passed the running water of the fountain. 

Nicky's best admission memory

As you may already know, we really embrace the community aspect of our University. Much of this probably isn’t felt until a student is on campus, but we also carry this theme over to our recruitment events, and we even hold summer “Welcome Receptions” for incoming freshmen in several cities around the country. I was lucky enough to be able to attend last year’s event in Seattle, WA and meet many of the students who would be attending Chapman from the Puget Sound area (my neck of the woods!) It was such a pleasure interacting with so many excited, motivated and brilliant young people, especially because all of whom were going to be joining our community just a couple months later.

For a humorous answer to this question I have to go with a trip that we organized for our regional interviews in Portland, OR. My colleague Grant and I both managed to lock ourselves out of our hotel room in our underwear (on completely different occasions). Apparently we both sleepwalk? I’d like to offer an apology to the rather confused security guard at the Portland Marriott. 

Nicky's best college memory

During my entire time in college my mom never had the chance to come visit and see my learning and living environment. With graduation on the horizon, she told me that she would be coming to campus to see me walk and accept my diploma. My dad and step-mom were driving down from my hometown of Vashon Island in Washington, and I felt so happy to have my family there with me for such an incredible moment in my life. The only thing that was missing from the equation was my sister, Jamie, who was going to stay on Vashon and care for her 18 month old daughter. I understood the hassle of traveling with such a young kid, and even though I knew my niece Ella was a trooper, I understood the situation. Well, when my parents rang my doorbell that Friday afternoon I was completely blown away to see my sister and niece standing at the door with them. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy, and seeing the look on their faces when I walked back to my chair at the commencement ceremony will be an image that never fades from my memory.

From Our Application - Fast Facts

3 Words to Describe Myself: Unpredictable, charismatic, imaginative

Favorite Subject: Economics

Role Model: Tim Ferris or Diplo

Favorite Musical Performer/Band/Composer: A-Trak

Most Prized Possession: Hard Drive

Book you would read again: Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins

Favorite Summer Activity: Anything under the sun. LAX on the beach is hard to beat

Best Movie of All Time: Heat

Favorite Quote (and by whom): “Life is like riding a motorcycle: it’s pretty easy to stay balanced as long as your moving forward” 

Dream Job: I don't think it has a title yet :-)

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