Published On: Thu, May 4th, 2017

Korth to wind up career with UNO graduation speech

RANDOLPH — Justin Korth, 2013 Randolph graduate, will culminate his undergraduate career at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in high fashion; he will be delivering the University’s commencement address this Friday, May 5, at Baxter Arena in Omaha.
Korth has attributed a great deal of his success to his small town upbringing.
He will be adding a little humor and also help the audience relate to his background with a line he has included in his graduation speech, “My first couple months in Omaha were quite an adjustment – learning how to drive amongst traffic and stop lights, two things my small town definitely did not have.”
Korth’s love for business started at a young age working in his parents’ family seed business and farming operation. Whether it was working in the fields or the office, he matured quickly.
“Growing up in a family business taught me more than just business skills,” he said. “It taught me the value of a strong work ethic and the importance of building and keeping trust.”
During his senior year of high school, Korth participated in several conferences and shadowing opportunities to learn about what he wanted to study. He was most intrigued by the fundamentals of business and how financial markets operated.
Korth, who was the valedictorian for Randolph High School’s Class of 2013, is now graduating from UNO with degrees in accounting, finance, banking and financial markets, and investment science and portfolio management.
As Korth will talk about in his commencement address, his move to Omaha was an adjustment. To adapt to the new community and university, he quickly involved himself in campus organizations. He has held memberships in eight student organizations, including several terms as president in five of them.
His most memorable position was as president of the Maverick Investment Program, a role that had Korth leading a $750,000 student-managed equity fund. As a part of this program, he and his fellow officers competed against universities around the world at a conference on Wall Street. Korth made his presence known by questioning Goldman Sachs economist Abby Cohen about her stance on the nation’s labor participation rate after she praised the country’s declining unemployment.
Along with his leadership involvements, Korth has also excelled in the classroom. He received the business school’s Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key, an award granted to the school’s top student. In 2016, he received the AICPA Student Award, a national recognition that only four students receive annually. Most recently, he and his team placed first in UNO’s College of Business case study competition, where the group provided strategic guidance for Stage Stores, Inc.
To round out his scholastic and leadership accomplishments, Korth received top student awards in the Accounting and Finance Departments, the College of Business Dean’s Award, as well as the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Undergraduate Student Award, an honor presented to one student university-wide.
Of all these honors, Korth holds the relationships and connections he’s made most dear.
“Business is fundamentally based on relationships,” he said. “I’ve learn this through my small-town upbringing and the connections I’ve made in Omaha.”
Korth’s resume touts a variety of experience in public accounting, equity research, strategy, and venture capital at firms including Nebraska Angels, Lutz, and Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
“These internships helped me gain real-world knowledge that has proven beneficial,” he said.
Korth has already passed all four sections of the CPA exam. He has big goals for the future, hoping to someday become an elected official at the state or national level. But in the short term, he will continue working at Lutz & Company, the largest locally owned public accounting firm in Nebraska, as a tax and consulting associate.
Korth plans to get more involved in the political arena by volunteering for Governor Ricketts’s 2018 re-election bid. After meeting with the governor for his senior honors thesis about corporate tax reform, Korth knew he wanted to play a role in Ricketts’s re-election efforts.
Korth plans to continue writing a weekly column for the Randolph Times, a commitment he has held for the past five years.
“I enjoy writing columns because it couples my business acumen with my interest in politics and current events. I will also be able to keep a bond with my hometown which is very important to me. Growing up in Randolph was so rewarding from the building of commitment to community and to living out the deeply held values of small town America,” Korth said. “I will always cherish the memories.”
Before he starts full-time work in July, Korth will set school aside and conquer a new challenge – traveling alone through Europe.