Continued Community: Memoirs of an Alumnus

Posted by Emma Perley on 9/7/21 5:48 PM

Memoirs of an Alumnus Square (1)

Patrick Henry College is a small campus with big opportunities. Many alumni leave campus holding a strong bond with the tight-knit community that they formed during their time studying at Patrick Henry College. They have spent four years studying with, praying with, and even competing against in debate. Alumnus and 2019-2020 student body president Emil Meintjes [pronounced "Maine-keys"] recalls just how formative his time at PHC was and how his PHC friendships and connections became the launching pad for his career in the business and advocacy world.

“The first thing PHC did for me professionally,” Meintjes said, “was when an upperclassman [who graduated before Meintjes] set me up with a consulting firm in Dallas.”

Meintjes was excited to take the next step into the bigger PHC community after graduation and realized he was surrounded by many PHC alumni who were more than willing to lend him a helping hand, such as networking and building connections. Meintjes bounced around to several different opportunities. First, he learned the ins and outs of the consulting firm, Capital Works, as an investment banking analyst. Then, in the fall of 2020, he enrolled at SMU Dedman School of Law. Now, he’s taking business classes at Southern Methodist University.

As another promising internship opportunity at Sheppard Mullin approaches next summer in 2022, Meintjes recalled his summer working as a judicial intern for the Honorable Stephen Alexander Vaden in the U.S. Court of International Trade this year.

As summer draws to a close, Meintjes is now taking graduate classes in business at Southern Methodist University as he pursues a J.D. M.B.A degree. He compared the rigor and structure of the classes to Vice President Howard Schmidt’s undergraduate economics and business courses at Patrick Henry.

“When I showed up for my accounting class for the first time, I knew basic things that otherwise I wouldn’t have known,” Meintjes said. “[Schmidt’s] classes gave me such a good foundation. I don’t have the same work experience [as others], but because of his classes I’m somewhat competitive and can catch up.”

Every step of the way towards embracing a vocation, PHC has made a difference in Meintjes’ career opportunities.

“President Haye and Professor Schmidt wrote amazing letters of recommendation for me,” Meintjes said. Speaking of the Sheppard Mullin internship, Meintjes said that he wasn’t sure if he would have been accepted if he hadn’t been able to leverage the White House internship experiences that he had while attending PHC during his undergraduate program.

The tight-knit community within PHC invests in itself, long after students have graduated and moved onto their respective careers. For Meintjes, that investment has defined his career opportunities and choices a year after leaving campus.

“I definitely wouldn’t be the same person—or Christian—that I am today without PHC,” Meintjes said.

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