Olivia Jarvis Uses Perseverance in Studying Business to Launch an Air Force Career

Published on April 4, 2017 by Kara Kennedy  
Olivia Jarvis.jpeg

by Victoria Shelton 

For Samford University sophomore Brock Scholar Olivia Jarvis, spring break was not a typical trip to the beach, relaxing with her toes in the sand. 

Jarvis, a member of Samford’s Air Force ROTC program, attended the 58th Academy Assembly hosted at the U.S. Air Force Academy for a three-day educational forum focusing on cyber-warfare and national security. 

“Being a business major, I knew very little about cyber-security and political science,” said Jarvis, “but as a future hopeful Air Force officer, it was great to recognize what is happening in our nation and the cutting-edge technology to be aware of.” 

As a Brock Scholar concentrating her studies in management and finance, Jarvis hopes to use her business knowledge and skill-set as an acquisitions officer in the U.S. Air Force after graduation. Brock Scholars is the undergraduate honors program in Samford’s Brock School of Business. 

“When I’m sitting in class and learning something I don’t understand or find it hard to pay attention, it’s so nice to know that what I’m learning here is actually going to be applicable one day,” said Jarvis. 

As part of her Brock Scholars requirements, Jarvis is interning at Make-A-Wish Alabama as an office administration intern, helping the organization prepare for its upcoming annual fundraiser, Rivals for Wishes. 

Rivals for Wishes is an upscale tailgating event that plays off the football rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Alabama, and Jarvis is responsible for contacting football alumni from both schools for the event and acquiring items for a silent auction. 

“The best lesson I’ve taken away from this experience so far is how to work and operate in a professional environment,” said Jarvis. “I am even getting to intern under the CEO of Make-A-Wish Alabama. She is such a kind lady with a wealth of knowledge.” 

Although she is still figuring out what area of business she is most interested in, Jarvis has been able to incorporate the servant-mindedness of ROTC into her work at Make-A-Wish. 

“I think anyone in ROTC or aspiring to go into the military has some type of servant heart, but ROTC on Samford’s campus really is driven from a Christ-centered perspective of why we want to serve others, which is invaluable,” Jarvis said.

As a Brock Scholar balancing an internship, a full course load and a semester-long internship, Jarvis’ schedule can be a little overwhelming at times. 

“On days when I get overwhelmed, it is good to keep things in perspective,” she said. “I remind myself of why I’m involved in the things that I am involved in, and that helps me drive past the frustration on the days when it seems a little unmanageable.” 

All her hard work is paying off, and Jarvis has an opportunity to intern this summer in Washington, D.C., at the Air Force Association, which oversees the Silver Wings and the Arnold Air Society, two service organizations within ROTC. 

“If I could encourage anyone in the business school who may be struggling on what path to follow, I say just keep applying to things that interest you and don’t be afraid to be told no,” said Jarvis. “I probably applied for 25 or 30 internships for the summer before this one came through. Keep trying different things and find what you are really passionate about because eventually you will end up in a good place.”

Victoria Shelton is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer for Brock School of Business.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.