"Investors invest in people, not ideas."

Utah Valley University student Sarah Wilcox took the words of her marketing professor, Ryan Schill, to heart. She said the advice about creating a startup company also inspires.

"That helps us be our best selves."

Wilcox is a great believer in the power of positivity.

"It is huge," she said. "You need to tell yourself that you can do things. Focus on the positive and the things that are good. You will be so much more able to accomplish more things. It will free some of your burdens just by your outlook. When your outlook changes, everything changes."

Originally from Salt Lake City, Wilcox graduated from Highland High School in 2015. She attended Utah State University, then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Minnesota. When she returned, she transferred to UVU.

"When I was at Utah State, I felt I was really pushed by my environment," she said, based on her interest in business. "It is in a very small town so it is hard to study business up there."

Now at UVU, Wilcox is majoring in economics with a minor in marketing. She is entering her third year of school, but with her accelerated schedule, she plans on graduating in the spring.

"I have a lot of different dream jobs in mind," she said. "I really love working with people and being able to work on projects that I can be either working to engage other people and involve them, then see the success through involvement."

She sees nonprofit organizations as a way to potentially create a meaningful impact through her work.

"I would love to work with a nonprofit," she said. "That would really be awesome. I am very passionate and self-motivated. I would like to find something I could put my passion for, something more than myself. That could be several things."

Wilcox is open to all locales but is leaning toward working on the East Coast, especially Washington, D.C. or New York City.

While she is planning her future, she has help in her preparations.

"Here at UVU I found great resources, people I work with," she said. "I really found that my professors are not just professors,; they have been professionals in the field as well. They are so passionate about their students. There is a sense of comfort and willingness to help. I have been able to respect them in a different way because they respect me."

Additionally, she has had help from the Women's Success Center.

"It is awesome," she said. "They are really there to help women be successful and have the easiest path to get there. Everyone wants you to succeed. The biggest thing to help people if they are feeling anxious about school is that they build you up instead of tear you down. They encourage people to be successful together and not work against one another."

Wilcox will be serving on the Women of UVU Leadership Council in the fall, as the vice president in charge of recruitment.

"It is nice to know that there is an organization looking after you," she said. "For example, if there are any flags on your transcript, they will reach out to you. You will not be forgotten. They help you overcome any barriers that stand in your way. It is such a comfort."

She encouraged anyone considering pursuing further education to do it for the right reasons.

"You need to do it for you," she said. "I am receiving my education for me. I believe we can accomplish anything that we set our minds to. We are our hardest critics. People are there to help you succeed if you choose to do so."

In the creation of a startup business, investors invest in people. UVU also invests in people and their ideas about who they can become. UVU helps them achieve their dreams.

Women like Wilcox are encouraged to take advantage of the Women's Success Center. The center offers support and resources needed to complete their degree and gain the confidence, opportunity, and knowledge that come with a diploma. UVU is dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to all who seek them, especially to women. Further information is available at uvu.edu/wsc.