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Employee Spotlight

Faith-Filled Grit

Taylor Nadauld thanks his 25-year-old self for choosing to leave a lucrative position on Wall Street to earn a PhD. Now the department chair and a professor of finance at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Nadauld teaches the valuable lessons that he learned of faith and finances to his undergraduate and MBA students.

After he graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Nadauld accepted a position at Goldman Sachs and moved to New York with his wife. While working on Wall Street, Nadauld interacted with people he admired who had PhDs, motivating him to pursue a PhD in finance from The Ohio State University.

“One of the reasons I wanted to get a PhD is because I felt like I didn’t understand the way the world worked to the depths that I wanted to. I wanted to satisfy my intellectual curiosity,” Nadauld says. “I had an inkling about doing a PhD as an undergraduate student, but after working in New York for two years, I decided to make it happen.”

A man stands at a wooden podium to deliver a speech to a crowd of professionally dressed business students in a conference room.
Nadauld was named the Finance Department chair on July 1, 2022.
Photo courtesy of the BYU Marriott Finance Department.

So, Nadauld and his wife moved from the Big Apple to Columbus, Ohio, to begin his advanced degree. Their lifestyle was instantly different. “We went to grad school and it was terribly difficult for me. I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, and somehow, I struggled through it,” Nadauld shares. “We went from two New York incomes and no children to no incomes and two children within the span of two years. It was really hard.”

Aside from the financial challenges, Nadauld felt academically overwhelmed. “I often felt like I was drowning in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight during my PhD program. I relied heavily on my faith to help me feel a sense of peace and balance and optimism for what my career could be.”

The hard work of five years paid off and Nadauld graduated from his PhD program and secured a job as a professor of finance at BYU Marriott. “When I finished my PhD, I was debating on whether to go back to the industry or to take an academic job. We decided to come back to BYU because I had a really strong conviction about the role that BYU plays in the kingdom of God,” Nadauld explains.

Two men and two women dressed in professional clothing stand in a line to pose for a photo while smiling.
Nadauld teaches courses for undergraduates in the finance program as well as students in the MBA program.
Photo courtesy of the BYU Marriott Finance Department.

In each of the classes he now teaches, the finance professor makes a point to incorporate both financial and gospel principles into his lessons. "I want to help students understand why I have faith in God and our Savior. I want them to understand the role they can play in the kingdom of God,” Nadauld says.

He explains that finance graduates take jobs all over the US, contributing not only to their workplaces and neighborhoods but also to their local church communities. “That’s a really important part of building the kingdom—creating families who are committed to the gospel that also have a stable economic situation so that they can lift other people,” Nadauld remarks.

Nadauld tries to impress upon his students in both the finance and MBA programs the impact that faith has on happiness. “Having a really successful, ambitious career does not have to be in contrast with being a person of faith,” Nadauld explains. “My life now is a direct result of that grit I had to find while getting a PhD. My 45-year-old self is super grateful to my 25-year-old self for having faith to do it.”


Written by Kacee Call