Matthew Wood, Ben Williams Professor of Entrepreneurship
WHO IS MATTHEW WOOD?
I am Midwesterner by birth but Texan by choice. I lived most of my life in Decatur, Illinois, a mid-size town in central Illinois. My grandfather founded Wood Printing Services in 1954, so I grew up in the family business. In 1997 I took on the role of Owner and President. I sold the business in 2006 to pursue my PhD degree at Southern Illinois University, which eventually led me to Baylor. I am married to my highschool sweetheart, Pam, and she has put up with me for 27 years. I have two amazing children. My son, Collin, graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is now in the Baylor MBA program. My daughter, Mariah, is a senior at Baylor and will graduate in May 2020. Pam and I spend most of our free time hanging out with our kids and traveling the country in our RV. Next up on my bucket list is to take our RV to Alaska; I might not come back!
WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?
I have been at Baylor since 2012 and I basically do whatever Deana Steele and Kathy Carr tell me to do! I research how entrepreneurs evaluate and make decisions about pursuing various opportunities for new businesses and teach students how to do the same. I also serve as Director of the Entrepreneurship PhD program. I am passionate about the program and I enjoy training PhD students to become faculty members at leading universities. I just really love university life.
WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?
I remember when I was recruited to come to Baylor the faculty described the environment in such positive terms it seemed too good to be true. To be honest, I was actually a little skeptical. I have to say that the faculty were spot on in their descriptions of life at Baylor. It’s an amazing place. I am continually impressed by the talent and work ethic of my colleagues. In one word, working in the Entrepreneurship department is fun. And then there’s the laughing… It’s pretty common to hear several of us in an office joking and laughing about pretty much anything. If our spouses knew how much fun we have we would no longer be able to say “I am going to work.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?
Dr Pepper Floats – whoever came up with the idea to combine vanilla ice-cream and Dr Pepper should be in the hall of fame! It’s brilliant.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?
My advice is to embrace all of the opportunities the Entrepreneurship department provides for out-of-the classroom learning. Programs like the New Venture Competition and the Entrepreneurship Incubator allow students to team up with other students and work on entrepreneurial projects, often with the guidance of mentors and coaches. Entrepreneurship is so unique in that it’s a study where the classroom is a starting point (rather than ending point) of chances to learn and engage.
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.