By Kai Hansen
Sawyer Keyes is a winner, and if recent events are any indication, he always will be. At one point the number one high school swimmer in the sprawling state of Montana, he has won multiple state championships in a variety of events while representing Hellgate High School in Missoula. However, upon coming to Seton Hall, he has demonstrated that a change of scenery does not faze him. Sawyer spent six months in Guatemala while he was growing up, and as such, is no stranger to cultural differences. He speaks about this experience often and credits his open-mindedness and acceptance of others to his experiences abroad, and if you are one of the fortunate few who have heard him speak Spanish, you know that he gained more than just soft skills from his international background.
Sawyer is a senior majoring in Finance, with minors in Wealth Management and Spanish, and just like with swim, he has thrown himself into his classes, and his continued academic excellence has allowed him to intern for both professional sports teams and wealth management firms alike.
A couple of months ago, Sawyer won an in-class jeopardy game in one of his finance classes, and his professor nominated him for the Seton Hall Cheddar Bowl Semifinal, an online, jeopardy-style gameshow put on by the Financial Planning Association of New Jersey. It pits the highest achieving finance students in New Jersey against each other, and each college hosts a semifinal to determine who will represent their respective institution. Sawyer was at the top of his game and topped Peter Chang and Ronak Mahtani, two impressive and involved seniors, each with double majors in Accounting and Finance, but Sawyer, always a competitor, was still hungry for more. He moved on to the final, where he competed via zoom against representatives from Rutgers and Farleigh-Dickinson. Sawyer wiped the floor and ended up winning the entire event in dominant fashion. When asked what his strategy was, he replied, “I really just only answered the questions I knew, that way I didn’t lose points for getting them wrong.” A man of few words, Sawyer remains humble, despite his impressive résumé. I asked him what set him apart from the competition and how he ended up winning so handily, and he responded, “I don’t think the other guys knew the zoom shortcut to raise their hand, so I was just a lot faster.”
While this may be true, the results speak for themselves, Sawyer has created a habit of excellence, and I am fired up to see where he goes next.
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