Lucas Rhodes
Economics major
Student Pilot, Second Lieutenant, United States Air Force

Why did you declare Economics as your major?
I initially declared as a Finance major in the Lacy School of Business (LSB), but I quickly found myself changing majors to Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). I was attracted to the LAS Economics curriculum because of its overarching liberal arts focus and well-rounded course of study that would help me advance my critical thinking and analytical skills.

What is your current position and how did Butler help prepare you for this role?
I am a commissioned, active duty officer in the United States Air Force and currently attending Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). Upon completion of Pilot Training, I will be assigned an aircraft and continue to follow-on training. Butler’s commitment to team-based learning and to fostering critical thinking and analytical skills really helped propel me to where I am today. 

However, my educational experience at Butler would not have been possible without two important commitments from the University: First, Butler’s agreement with Indiana University to allow students who aspire to serve the United States the opportunity to join and train in Air Force and Army ROTC programs andecond, the financial support made through gifts to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship. I likely would not have had the chance to achieve my dream of serving the United States as a commissioned Air Force officer had it not been for both. For this, I am forever thankful. 

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is knowing that I am making a difference. I am extremely fortunate to wake up every day, live out my childhood dream, and do something that I love. I am constantly reminded that the training I am completing directly contributes to the continued safety, security, and freedom for the United States and our allies around the world. 

What are your long-term career goals?
I hope to continue my public service for as long as I am physically able to do so. Whether this is through military service or other organizations here at home, I am sure that serving others will be a large part of my life.

What advice do you have for current Butler students?
College isn’t just about academics; it’s learning about yourself and finding what you are passionate about. If you are unsure where your path is going to lead, step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It could be the most important decision of your life.