Michael “Stephen” Sepcich, Jr.
“I’m an old soul obsessed with how and why things are the way they are.”
Fun fact about yourself: I started at Tulane when I was six years old – as a camper at Ripples summer camp!
Hometown: Mandeville, Louisiana
High School: Jesuit High School of New Orleans
Minor: Legal Studies
Favorite Business Course: Managerial Accounting
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- Tulane Baseball (2017-19)
- Athletes in Action – Action Group Leader (2018-Present)
- Student-Athlete Advisory Committee – Community Service Chair (2018-19)
- Freeman Undergraduate Studies Committee (2018-19),
- Hams for Fams – Co-founder/Volunteer Coordinator (2015-Present)
- Famcore Foundation – Co-Founder (2017-Present)
- Athletes for Hope Student-Athlete of the Year (2019)
- American Athletic Conference Community Impact Award Recipient (2019)
Where have you interned during your college career? Because I am graduating in three years, I’ve only had two summers as a college student. In 2018, I was in the West Coast Baseball League, on the Port Angeles Lefties. In summer 2019, I was an Audit Intern at LaPorte CPAs and Business Advisors.
Where will you be working after graduation? Still searching – while I prepare for law school in a few years.
What company do you admire the most? The organization Hogs for the Cause has made a huge impact on research for pediatric brain cancer. It started small with a group of friends hosting a barbecue competition to raise money for a patient and it has grown to a full-out festival – the largest barbecue and music festival in the country. Over 10 years, they’ve raised millions for pediatric brain cancer. In 2019, they opened Hogs House at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans to house families whose children were receiving treatment. The founders provided guidance to us as we were starting Famcore, the overarching foundation for Hams for Fams.
Who is your favorite professor? Tim West, who taught me Managerial Accounting. He refers to the class as “the team,” and he motivates us to work together toward one goal – a greater understanding of managerial accounting! He is exceptionally dedicated and willing to present material in a variety of ways until everyone on “the team” understands the material. He brings so much energy to class, it’s clear that he has a true love for his craft and he is passionate about sharing it with us.
What did you enjoy most about your business school? I most enjoyed the seasoned professionals who would come to teach industry-applicable material in our classes. Several of my courses have been taught by professors of practice – including a former banking executive, a former Fortune 500 CFO, and a former recruiter for a Big Four firm. Hearing about their experiences, it gave me a better idea of what it would be like to work in different companies.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the broad application of a finance-related education. Understanding finance is useful in almost all areas of life, even those fields that are not inherently finance-based.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would recommend talking to people who are employed in industries not seen as explicitly “business-related.” Ask these people which practical skills they wish they would have learned in school. In my experience, many of these people often wish that they had learned skills that one would have learned in a business-related field like finance, accounting, marketing, or management.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Coming into Tulane, I was a neuroscience major. I switched from neuroscience to finance because I felt that I could help fill need in my community better with a finance background. I was surprised at how many other business professionals use their backgrounds to help out the community.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my Athletes for Hope Student-Athlete of the Year award in 2019. I believe this pride comes from the circumstances surrounding the award, namely, the sheer number of activities I handled. In addition, the organization that presented the award, a non-profit that promotes getting student-athletes involved in community service, make the award incredibly meaningful.
Which classmate do you most admire? I absolutely admire Michael Slatten and his love for his community. Like myself, Michael knew from a young age that he wanted to attend Tulane; he absolutely loves Tulane and the Tulane culture. In fact, the only thing Michael might love more than Tulane is New Orleans and its rich culture. He is truly a light in the community and I can only hope to one day be as meaningful to a community as he already is.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? In typical acceptance speech fashion, I need to thank God for his role in my life. I attribute everything I am to him. I also would like to thank my parents and sister for always pushing me to reach my potential, and I would implore them to continue in that struggle. I must thank Terry and Sharon Bell for their guidance and help in starting Hams for Fams. I also need to thank Dean Michael Hogg and Tim West, who have been invaluable in my educational experience at Tulane. Finally, I must thank Jack Cressend for being a role model in my formative years.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Once I finally get a job, one thing that I would love to do is to take my background and apply it on a baseball field, whether professional, collegiate, or other levels. Also, I would love to be able to use my background to increase financial literacy for people in my community.
What are your hobbies? When I have free time, I enjoy reading philosophical works, writing, apologetics, fishing, and anything related to baseball.
I started a non-profit organization, Hams for Fams, with several friends from high school. For the past five years, we’ve provided Christmas meals to more than 800 needy families in the community. We went on to start an overarching foundation called Famcore, which has let us extend our reach from New Orleans to the Gulf Coast and Southeast U.S.
What made Stephen such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?
“Stephen is an extraordinary and accomplished student, graduating after just three years while balancing an impressive roster of extracurricular activities and maintaining high academic standing. In the classroom, he is a diligent, thoughtful, and hard-working student who regularly contributes to class discussions and excels on team projects. He is a thoughtful writer and can easily synthesize and discuss complex topics. Stephen has consistently performed at the highest level.
He is held in high regard by the faculty, who selected him as one of four student representatives on Freeman’s Undergraduate Studies Committee. On the USC, he worked with faculty and staff to improve the Freeman School’s curriculum and monitor its rigor and quality. His observations led to a curriculum change requiring a more rigorous statistics requirement. As a varsity athlete on Tulane’s baseball team, Stephen balanced practices and games without compromising his schoolwork.
In the course of my teaching at Tulane, I have not met many young people who have created non-profit organizations to help their communities, but Stephen’s efforts with Hams for Fams embody Tulane’s motto, Non sibi sed suis: Not for one’s self, but for one’s own.”
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
“During the Spring 2019 semester, I had the privilege of having Stephen Sepcich as a student in my ACCN 3010 class. Before the semester began, I learned Stephen was part of Tulane’s baseball team. However, I quickly learned that Stephen commands a room and the respect of his peers. Not only did his teammates follow his classroom lead, the entire class responded to his focus and professionalism. As the semester progressed, I realized Stephen’s academic talents. He was exceptional on exams, however, more importantly, he embraced the critical thinking and decision-making elements of my class. As the semester wound down, I also learned that he established a nonprofit organization to provide meals for families in need. For his efforts, he was recognized as the Athletes for Hope University (AFHU) Student-Athlete of the Year for 2018-19. Stephen is a remarkable young man with big plans for his future. I truly see him making a significant impact on the lives of others as he continues to extend his ideas and dreams. I have been fortunate to play a small part as he develops his future plans. Stephen represents the best of Tulane.”
Professor Timothy West
Professor of Practice
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