Editor’s Note: This article by Texas State University first appeared HERE.
Texas State University’s 2019 LBJ Outstanding Senior Student Award recipient, Jake Negvesky, attributes his success to his primary values: a willingness to challenge himself and a passion for service.
Negvesky [Texas Sigma ’19] graduated with a BBA in economics, with minors in international business and political communication. He recently began a job as an Artificial Intelligence Product Specialist at Keyence Corporation, an industrial automation company in Chicago that is moving into the software space. He is one of the initial members of their new AI team, where he is tasked with communicating with people who have little to no background in data analytics about the company’s new product – Ki.
Negvesky explains, “Companies collect a lot of data but they don’t necessarily do anything with it. Ki automates the analytics process behind finding value in the data, generates plans and strategies, and makes recommendations.”
Negvesky didn’t focus on business analytics or technology at Texas State, but he applied for the job at Keyence, “because I knew that’s where a lot of the market was going, so I started looking for technical jobs where I wouldn’t need the hard technology background.”
His job at Keyence is far from the first time Negvesky has benefitted from pushing himself out of his comfort zone. Even attending Texas State was a step into discomfort, he says, “I’m originally from the Scranton area, Pennsylvania. I came to Texas State not knowing many people. After my first semester, I wasn’t sure I was going to stay. It was only when I got involved in the community that I realized Texas State was where I wanted to be.” He encourages McCoy College students to “try a little bit of everything until you find out what works for you.”
Negvesky built his own community, in part, through his participation in the Greek system and ultimately his leadership of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). As IFC president, he was committed to “restructuring the rules and governing procedures to increase safety and accountability for Greek life at Texas State.” His success in that goal resulted in his receiving the LBJ Outstanding Senior Award. Negevsky describes his recognition as “humbling because Bob Dudolski from the Greek Affairs Office nominated me, and I had the support of several administration officials. Knowing they recognized what I’d done throughout my time at Texas State meant a lot. That’s how Texas State set me up for success.
Negvesky also credits his participation in the Honors College by helping to foster his growth. “I push the Honors College every chance I get when I speak to business students. By joining, you become part of a larger community of people who are dedicated to academics, and the resources available to you are extremely helpful.”
Negvesky’s time at Texas State was a well-orchestrated balance between academics, community, and his long-term passion for service. The LBJ Outstanding Senior Award – as well as other awards he received at Texas State, such as the President’s Honor Scholarship, 2018 Living Fraternal Values Award, and Joseph Mancini Leadership Award, among others – recognize Negvesky’s commitment to service.
At age 16, Negvesky founded Play Your Hand, a nonprofit that raises money to provide comforts to children enduring prolonged hospital stays. “I was in the hospital quite a bit in high school due to a genetic condition. My last semester of college I had to have brain and spinal surgery. Throughout that process, spending a lot of time in the hospital, I recognized that there are so many people and kids who have it so much worse. My experience seeing that led to my drive to serve other people.” Although the project was scaled back during college, he is currently revamping it, with a plan to relaunch the organization in early 2020. His long-term goal is to turn his work with Play Your Hand into a full-time career.
Play Your Hand has had an enormous impact on his values and priorities as a student and now as a business professional. “Being involved in community service makes you recognize that when you’re getting into a career, an important consideration to keep in mind is not just the money, but also what value and fulfillment you’re going to get from it.” He describes this passion for service as “the driving force in everything that I’ve done.”
In service activities, as in academics, Negvesky’s success has come from constantly challenging himself, so he advises future Bobcats to do the same. “Four years go by very fast. Now that I’m on the outside of it, I’m glad I took every opportunity that I did. I’m happy to say that there’s nothing I regret I did not do, and that’s from putting myself out there and making sure I explored everything that I could.”