From student to assistant director: the short path to the top

By Molly Packer

A Baylor Graduate of 2009 is taking the transition from student to colleague in stride.

As the new assistant director for the Keller Center, a division of Baylor University that researches buyer-seller relationships in real estate, Curtis Schroeder will be working alongside the same professors who taught him the basics of business.

Schroeder will be responsible for working with faculty at Baylor and around the nation to release a quarterly publication for the Keller Center, and he will also help plan and initiate research, Dr. Andrea Dixon, executive director of the Keller Center and associate professor of marketing said.

Dixon remembers having Schroeder in class. He said Schroeder is a delightful individual who is hard working and creative.

While in college, Schroeder was a member of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce and led worship services at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church.

After graduation, Schroeder always thought he would return home to work in Colorado.

“I didn’t think that I would stay in Waco,” Schroeder said. “But I love Baylor.”

Just two years ago, Schroeder was an undergraduate at Baylor. Transitioning from a student to a professional in front of professors has its difficulties, but Schroeder said he enjoys working with his professors-turned-colleagues.

“Being treated as a professional as an undergrad helped me transition,” Schroeder said. “I like interacting with faculty.”

The most difficult thing for Schroeder to overcome in his transition was the pressure he put on himself while trying to prove his professional ability.

“I went in like I had to prove something, but no one ever treated me that way,” Schroeder said. “It was the pressure I put on myself and not that anyone else put on me.”

Schroeder was handpicked from 65 other applicants for the assistant director position at the Keller Center.

Dixon said she remembers interacting with Schroeder while he was a student but around Christmas time, things got busy and Dixon lost track of him.

Now Schroeder works as a colleague of Dixon’s. Both Schroeder and Dixon maintain the importance of thinking a business relationship could be a long term one.

“Always take your relationships with your peers and faculty seriously because you never know when those relationships will help you later,” Schroeder advises current students.

Dixon said Schroeder’s fresh, creative approach made him a good candidate for his position.

“He looked to approach work with a new perspective,” Dixon said. “He’s creative, innovative, has strong writing skills and strong project management skills.”

While Schroeder is interacting as a colleague in the Keller Center, he said he hopes to continue growing professionally.

“I want to develop as a leader and team member,” he said. “I want to allow my work environment to continue my growth.”

In regard to his success, Schroeder gives the credit to God.

“Remember to allow God to guide decisions and thought processes,” he said.