Sports were a big part of Patrick Dohrenwend’s childhood, growing up with three brothers. He spent his first year of college playing football on scholarship at another institution. After an injury, he realized there was nothing connecting him to the college and felt like there was something missing.
“Besides being on the football team, I felt distant from others and out of place,” Patrick said. “I was building no relationships. I knew a lot of people at Florida College, and I knew the relationships I would build there would be longterm.”
In addition to attending Florida College Alabama Camp and Florida Camp, Patrick had grown up hearing about Florida College from his grandmother, an alumna of the school. He talked with his parents about Florida College and its four-year business program and ultimately decided to transfer his sophomore year. Patrick loved his decision and is now a senior in the business program.
“The environment at Florida College is different than other universities, and I knew I needed to be in a better environment,” he said. “I just wanted to try Florida College and if I didn’t like it that was okay, but I got down here and loved it.”
Patrick has become involved socially at Florida College through societies. As this year’s Kappa Omicron president, he has had the opportunity to build relationships with lower-division students and help them find their path at Florida College. Society sports allow Patrick to play flag football and keep his passion for sports alive.
“Societies are like a second family,” Patrick said. “You experience so much of Florida College with your society and get to know each person on a deeper level.”
In addition to his involvement on campus, the business program at Florida College has allowed Patrick to become involved in his classes, ask questions and voice his opinions. He feels more connected to his classmates because of the small class size and values the relationships he has built with his professors.
“I can talk to Professor Gilliam and Professor Grieving about anything,” Patrick said. “Whether it is advice on buying a car, interest rates, resume building or internships, their doors are always open even if it isn’t related to business.”
The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management class at Florida College helped Patrick realize he wants to pursue a career running his own business or helping struggling businesses. Patrick believes that working hard and knowing how to run a company are the skills he has learned in college that will help him achieve his dream.
Florida College has also taught Patrick to have more respect for himself and who he is as a person. The values the college emphasize and the communication skills he has learned have prepared him for the challenging, real-world experiences he will have to face after graduation.
“When I leave Florida College, I will feel like I have left a family,” Patrick said. “It is not just a school I attended. I feel like I have been challenged and developed a worldview from a Christian perspective here. It has helped develop who I am.”
That is how Patrick Dohrenwend is learning His way.