Staying on Top

PROVO, Utah – Jun 28, 2022 – When Isaac Pettit was 14, his uncle gave him an extremely unusual gift—a unicycle. With the promise of $100 from his uncle if he could learn how to ride the one-wheeler gracefully, Pettit took off. Now, as an April 2022 graduate of the strategic management program at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Pettit has extended his ability to balance from riding his unicycle to staying on top of future education and career opportunities. 

As he completes the strategy program, Pettit looks back at the personal balancing strategies he has implemented in his life to help him succeed. “I’d say the most influential thing for me to maintain balance in my life was staying ahead,” he shares. “I usually worked on homework and other things I had to do three to four days before the due date.” Pettit explains that scheduling his to-do list in this way allowed time for his work, schooling, personal life, and, of course, unicycling.  

“If something came up that I wanted or needed to do, I already knew I had the time to spare because I had that extra time built in between starting something and turning it in by the due date,” Pettit says.  

Pettit also credits his ability to manage time, along with his interest in strategy, to an internship with CrowdStorage—a cloud storage startup. During his internship, Pettit worked on several projects that developed his strategic thinking, including creating a financial model for the company and analyzing the firm’s competitors. 

“My bosses were former management consultants and huge mentors for me,” Pettit explains. “Seeing the way they worked was different than anything I had experienced before.” Because the company was a startup, a lot of tasks needed to be completed in a short amount of time, Pettit explains. “CrowdStorage didn’t have a lot of employees, so seeing how everyone was able to balance their time and tasks was incredible.”  

Pettit’s firsthand experience of seeing a group work together to organize and solve problems at CrowdStorage inspired him to study strategic management at BYU Marriott. “I’ve always wanted to go to BYU Marriott, and after my internship, the strategy program seemed like a good fit,” says Pettit. “I feel like as far as return on investment, BYU Marriott is the best choice because of job placement, starting salary, and the network I have created.” As evidence of this network, Pettit has found internships, friends, and even roommates through the school. 

“I'm biased, but I think the people in the strategy program are the cream of the crop,” Pettit says. He is grateful for the small size of the program that allowed him to become closer to many of his fellow students. “The thing I took away from BYU Marriott is that the students and faculty members who work at the school are so motivated to be successful. I admired everyone I interacted with because they all had inspiring plans and goals they wanted to accomplish.”  

Similar to his experience with small class sizes, Pettit expresses that his ideal job would be working at another startup in the tech scene. “I love working in the fun, fast-paced environments of startups,” says Pettit. “I like that I can see the impact my work has because the teams are so much smaller.” 

Currently, Pettit is an emerging markets strategy analyst at Herff Jones, a company that manufactures and sells graduation and achievement products. Pettit works with the director of strategy to help identify new industries and products that the company can branch into.  

Although Pettit’s uncle never gave him the promised $100 for learning how to ride a unicycle, the skills he learned from unicycling are worth much more than the missing money. “I don’t know why he never gave me the money, but I think I’ve proven myself, having been on several three-mile unicycle rides,” remarks Pettit. “Money notwithstanding, I’m grateful for the hobby I picked up and for the lessons I’ve learned about finding the right balance in my life.” 

Headshot of Isaac Pettit, a white male with brown hair. He is wearing a suit and crossing his arms while smiling at the camera.
Strategic Management major, Isaac Pettit. Photo courtesy of Isaac Pettit.
Isaac Pettit, a white male, riding a red unicycle in front of the mountains.
Isaac Pettit, practicing the art of balancing while riding his unicycle. Photo courtesy of Isaac Pettit.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Liesel Allen