Lifelong learning and success stems from great mentors, says MS-FIN alumnus Lendrick Robinson

Entrepreneur and W. P. Carey mentor Lendrick Robinson (MS-FIN ’16) believes that access to mentorship is a brilliant idea for students. Throughout his career, he has switched roles from mentee to mentor, and credits much of his success to many of his mentors and mentees in life.

Madeline Sargent
Lendrick Robinson

Entrepreneur and W. P. Carey mentor Lendrick Robinson (MS-FIN ’16) believes that access to mentorship is a brilliant idea for students. Throughout his career, he has switched roles from mentee to mentor, and credits much of his success to many of his mentors and mentees in life.

The W. P. Carey School of Business interviewed Lendrick to find out why he enjoys being a part of the alumni community.

What's new in your life and career?

Well, you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives dramatically, but for me specifically, I’ve shifted my role to that of a teacher. It’s extremely rewarding, because I work with my grandkids all day, making sure they understand the online material.

In terms of my career right now, I'm working on a patent. It’s a server that is going to help with logistics/supply chain. It will interact with smart devices in the home, and facilitate package delivery for Walmart, Amazon, Target, and small businesses. My wife and I just purchased a 3D printer to help speed up the process.

Also, my brother and I are working on optimizing the device for sustainability. So far, the experience has been challenging, but also gratifying.

How has the W. P. Carey School of Business influenced your journey? Specifically, are there any people of importance that you’ve worked with along the way, or any highlights to share?

W. P. Carey helped me to think like an entrepreneur. My objective for going back to school wasn’t just to create something superficial, but to show people that I was actually enrolled in the program to learn. It’s difficult to name all the people that impacted my journey at W. P. Carey.

In preparation for this interview, I went online and looked at my transcript from the program, and thought about how the faculty’s expertise stayed with me after I graduated.

I’m grateful for all the people I met at W. P. Carey. I thought about how Professor Gallinger specifically challenged our class by giving us case studies and exposing us to critical thinking. He gave our class the opportunity to problem solve, and even gave me books that have been helpful throughout my career.

I also really appreciated Professor Aragon who taught derivatives and financial mathematics. I am interested in investing and staying active in the market, so I learned a lot in that course.

What does lifelong learning mean to you?

I have an analogy for lifelong learning. I visited one of my old flying buddies recently. He's a captain at United Airlines. We were talking about muscle atrophy. To me, lifelong learning is a way of avoiding atrophy by using your mind. You have to keep your mind and your spirit strong by continuing to lift “mental” weights.

Why did you choose to pursue a W. P. Carey master’s in finance?

It’s a long story. I had started pursuing an MBA when I was on active duty in the military. After I got out, I continued my MBA and worked for United Airlines. Right around 2003, I was laid off. That was the residual of what happened after September 11. I never completed that degree. I was very close. I think I was maybe three or four courses away.

Once I knew I wanted to go back to school, I started looking around for programs, and decided on ASU and the W. P. Carey School of Business. The school’s positive reputation for innovation was a big factor in my decision to apply.

When I was a kid, my mom took me to the bank and made me open a savings account. Right then and there, I became fascinated with saving and investing. I knew the MS-FIN would be a good fit.

I currently have software development tools that I'm looking at releasing to the public. I have a goal to launch a tool that democratizes finance so that people who aren’t familiar with financial terms will be able to understand, invest, and even interact with financial markets.

What do you think is the most important skill necessary for future entrepreneurs to succeed?

I’m really big into developing emotional intelligence and relationships. When I look out into the world, people expect entrepreneurs to be smart. Intelligence does help, but professionals also need to be successful at cultivating relationships.

I also think surrounding yourself with supportive people is essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

How do you think students can cultivate emotional intelligence while at W. P. Carey?

Students should engage with their community right away. Students should join clubs. I'm definitely an advocate of the mentor network at W. P. Carey. There's no cost associated with mentorship other than time. In talking to business students, they'll understand that cost-benefit analysis. My advice to students is really to get involved and stay engaged.

What does mentorship mean to you?

When I look around, I see many organizations implementing mentorship, and I love how growth and progress are elements of a successful mentor-mentee relationship.

One of my favorite mentor-mentee relationships is with my grandkids. They are 7 and 8, and are great kids. During the pandemic, I’ve focused on being their mentor. I want to make sure this COVID-19 experience has been positive. I spend a lot of time with them, but it’s worth the investment.

I also enjoy my involvement with the mentorship network at W. P. Carey. I love giving advice to students, but also learning from them. It’s definitely a feedback loop. If I hadn't had mentors in my life, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Mentorship is tremendously beneficial to society as a whole.

What does being a part of the Sun Devil and W. P. Carey community mean to you?

It means a lot. Impressions are critical these days, and as an alum of W. P. Carey, I carry those credentials with me wherever I go. I want to contribute to the school’s positive reputation, and I look forward to seeing how the community will continue to evolve into the future.

Are you involved in any of the online alumni events?

Yes, I’m active in regards to educational and networking events within W. P. Carey.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

I think my most satisfying moment in business is when you see someone that's happy because of a service you’ve provided. All the monetary benefits will come, but building relationships is vital to lasting success.

Founder of 3logy (Trilogy), a technology company developing innovative products centered on D-ML and AI, Lendrick Robinson (MS-FIN ’16) received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Arlington. Lendrick is inspired daily by his wife, children, and grandchildren and believes that other than those that are self-imposed, there are no limits to one's abilities. He is a service-disabled combat veteran, former F-16 Mission Commander, and Distinguished Graduate of AFROTC, F-16 Training, and Squadron Officer School. He was also a United Airlines pilot and is a retired partner of Edward Jones Investments.

Say hello to Lendrick: Email | Twitter

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