Garrett Mincin (’10) didn’t take the traditional route to college.
The Pittsburgh native joined the United States Air Force directly after graduating from North Hills High School in 2003. After completing basic training in Texas, Mincin received additional training and top secret security clearance to work in measurements and signatures intelligence. He traveled to Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, then Korea, and finally chose Florida as his base, where he was awarded Airman of the Year from the USAF Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force base.
“I enjoyed the beach living and was able to take college courses there,” he said. He obtained an associate degree in scientific measurement from the Community College of the Air Force.
Mincin received an honorable discharge in 2007 and moved back to the Pittsburgh area. After completing foundation courses at The Community College of Allegheny County, he considered his educational options.
“I looked at many schools. I knew that my choice had to be military friendly, accept the courses I took while in the service, have a respected business program and be close to my family in western Pennsylvania,” Mincin said. “Clarion had all that and more. I had already delayed my formal education longer than most, so I wanted to be able to complete my degree as quickly as possible.”
Mincin found it easy to access Clarion’s staff and arranged meetings with the College of Business Administration’s assistant dean, David Hartley.
“Dr. Hartley is a retired military man as well,” he said. “He was easy to talk to as we discussed my options. The school was flexible and worked with me to come up with a plan to expedite my degree. Other schools were not willing to transfer the courses I took in the service, even mathematics and nuclear physics courses, but at Clarion, almost everything transferred. I was also able to take CLEP exams and get credit for life experience.”
Taking classes and working part time for Innisfree M&A, Inc., was not enough for this multi-tasker. Mincin also joined a fraternity, the Political Economy Club, Financial Management Association and American Marketing Association, was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, served as the chair of Clarion Students’ Association Board of Directors, and was the founding president of the Clarion chapter of The National Society for Leadership and Success. Mincin was also elected to student government and served as a student advisor to the president of the university.
“During my Clarion years, my sister and I also started our own staffing agency,” he said. “Clarion has a center for entrepreneurship located within the College of Business Administration, and I took advantage of the assistance.”
Armed with his Clarion degree and his military experience, Mincin was hired by the Bank of New York Mellon as a corporate actions specialist in the downtown Pittsburgh office.
“Vince Sands, the chairman of the company, is a Clarion alumnus and had come to Clarion to speak,” Mincin said. “The dean connected me with Sands via email and eventually, I wound up working for him.”
A chance meeting with his former employer, Innisfree M&A Inc., at an investor relations conference resulted in an opportunity he could not refuse.
Innisfree M&A, Inc., provides proxy solicitation to public companies, as well as consulting services on strategic management issues such as corporate governance, executive compensation and investor relations.
“They flew me to New York and offered me a job there as an account executive, where I interface directly with corporate clients, executive officers and board members,” Mincin said.
Presently living in New York City, Mincin reflected on his career path.
“I did a complete 180, first working with classified scientific equipment and monitoring nuclear threats in the service. The business sector is very different.”