“They give you all the opportunities you can ever want, and all you have to do is pursue them.”
Though only in his second year in college, Will Simpson speaks about economics and governmental affairs like a veteran. Those topics often appear in the opinion column he writes for The Arkansas Traveler, the University of Arkansas student newspaper, and he has even contributed to the news website, The Huffington Post.
“I’m a news junkie,” he says. “I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and check The Drudge Report each morning.”
Yet Will, who has a double major in economics and finance at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, says journalism is just one avenue where he would like to channel his knowledge. He says there’s always the bigger picture – one that involves influencing public policy, which he is already doing on the local level.
As the director of legislative affairs for the university’s Associated Student Government, Will’s duties include working on voter registration projects as well as involving himself with government’s role in higher education. He also serves on the Honors Student Executive Board, doing marketing and consulting on curriculum management.
These are some of the reasons that after he graduates, he plans to pursue a law degree. “I think the skill set I’ve been blessed with fits with law school,” he says.
As for his focus, he’s keeping an open mind. He says commercial law sounds intriguing. Consulting with companies is one possibility, Will says.
His current calling, though, is working with students. As a Walton College Student Ambassador, Will encourages high school students to enroll at the University of Arkansas by giving campus tours. He leads a freshmen Bible study through Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ).
Will says his journey to Walton College can be traced to his involvement with TeenPact Leadership, a Christian-based program geared toward pre-college teenagers. Participants spend a week at a state capitol, learning about the political process and how their faith can play a role in that. He says being home-schooled enabled him the freedom to visit Rhode Island, Connecticut and Indiana through the program.
Of course, there’s the main reason why Will is at the University of Arkansas: his education. He says Walton College offers the courses that enable him to explore his interests.
“I expected it to be good, but it’s been even better,” he says of his classroom experiences.
He says the campus is neither too big nor too small and allows him to see the results of his efforts.
Will also says Fayetteville offers many amenities not found in his hometown of Mountain View, located in north central Arkansas, such as a Barnes & Noble bookstore and Starbucks coffee shop (one is even located on campus). He says there are also plenty of places for him to enjoy a game of golf.
But school always comes first, and he plans to take full advantage of it. “They give you all the opportunities you can ever want, and all you have to do is pursue them,” Will says.