CATCHING UP WITH JOHN TODD '17

John Todd '17 (John Bell, Touch a Life Photography)
John Todd '17 (John Bell, Touch a Life Photography)

What were some key reasons you decided to attend Guilford?

I decided to attend Guilford after meeting with Coach Black and seeing the baseball facilities. I knew that Guilford would be the place for me, where I would find a brotherhood of guys that all wanted to work together to meet the same goals. I felt as if the coaching staff wanted what was best for me as well as the team and that they would have my back no matter what. I also felt at home in the small school atmosphere. I went to a small high school with a tight-knit community, very similar to the community at Guilford College.

What were some factors that helped you realize the success you enjoyed as a student at Guilford?

I think Guilford and its focus on the community helped me to achieve academic success. It was this community that I was able to lean on to share in my triumphs and failures, that helped keep me on an even keel through those ups and downs.

At Guilford, we work so closely with our professors that we truly get to know them and them us. This presented opportunities for me as a student to work one on one with my professors and gave them the tools to help push me toward my academic goals.

I think being on a team was the most important thing for me. I had always been on sports teams as I grew up and now after working as a professional in the business world I have been able to see how important it is to be able to work and excel in a team environment. Being able to have a team environment helped me not only in my academic career but in my professional career after school. 

What were some things about Guilford that helped you realize the success you enjoyed as an athlete?

The success I enjoyed as an athlete is directly related to hard work. Not just by me but by everyone around me. This includes my teammates, coaches, professors, and the staff at Guilford College. Without the investment those individuals made in me, there is no way I could have achieved the things that I did on the field during my tenure with the Guilford College baseball program.  

What have you been up to since you left Guilford?

Upon leaving Guilford College I began the Masters of Accountancy program at Wake Forest University. I completed the program, receiving my Master's Degree of Science in Accounting, and began work for CohnReznick, a public accounting firm in Charlotte, N.C. where I currently work.

When I am not at work I enjoy training my labrador retriever, Deac. We are competing in field trails and hunt tests and enjoy the challenge and competition they provide.

How has Guilford prepared you for where you are today?

I firmly believe that Guilford prepared me to work in diverse environments with many different types of people. The accounting program at Guilford allowed me the opportunity to work with many people of various ages and backgrounds which is a skill that I use every day at work. Guilford also helped to develop my time management skills while also developing my ability to be flexible. Today as an accountant, I am often working on multiple engagements at one time and must manage my time and maintain clear lines of communication with my co-workers. I would say that my time at Guilford gave me a leg up on my peers in these areas.

What about your experience as a Guilford student-athlete has helped you the most?

As student-athletes we face adversity every single day. At Guilford, I developed skills and learned ways to overcome adversity that I use every day whether at work or in my personal life. I also think my experiences on my team and in class helped me develop leadership and team-building skills that I use at work on a daily basis.

What do you miss most about Guilford?

Of course, I miss playing ball, I miss my teammates and coaches and the time we spent together and I miss the feeling I got when I stepped on the mound. I think what I miss most was walking down to the bullpen every day and tying my cleats. For me, it was a time that I used to let everything that’s going on in life go and refocus myself on practice or the game that day. It was a peaceful time where I could clear my head and it meant that we were about to do what I loved, and that was play baseball. 

What are your future plans?

I'm not 100% sure what I want to do or be in the future as I sit here at a ripe age of 25. I do know that I want to do something that I am passionate about and work with people who share that passion in a team environment. I am always trying to make things better or create new things. I would really like to create something or run my own business one day.  

What is one thing a high school student-athlete considering college needs to know?

I think the best piece of advice I could give to a high school student-athlete is dream big and never sell yourself short but work hard to reach your goals and make your dream a reality. If you work hard and come up short, keep working hard, work harder and stay focused on what you set out to do. Give 100% effort in your endeavors, you might be good if you give 70% but you could be great if you gave that extra 30%. And remember, "A dream without a plan is just a dream, a dream with a plan is a roadmap to success."  

Identify and describe one or two of your favorite moments or experiences while at Guilford.

My favorite moments at Guilford were the times spent with my teammates but most specifically walking back into the dugout after a 1, 2, 3 inning, getting rowdy with the boys and hyping them up to go to work at the plate. Oh and running on the field after a walk-off win, those were some great times!

- John Todd '17