For Recent Alum Nathan Hethcox, Balance Is Key to Success

Learning to adapt and remaining curious helped this December 2022 grad make the most of his time at Haslam.

February 7, 2023

Nathan Hethcox has learned to adapt.

For 11 years, his family moved around to Ohio, Florida, Texas and Virginia, while his father served in the U.S. Air Force as a dentist. When his father got out of the Air Force and started a periodontal practice, the family settled in Farragut, Tenn., and Hethcox made the decision to become a fourth-generation University of Tennessee, Knoxville, student.

Hethcox excelled at UT’s Haslam College of Business, majoring in finance with a concentration in business analytics, while facing some challenges. He has a disability that causes a variety of symptoms, from brain fog and memory problems to convulsions and loss of consciousness. He says learning to manage his condition has provided him with the tools to balance school, extracurricular activities, volunteering and more. 

“The most important trick I’ve learned is to stay organized, and if something takes two minutes or less, do it immediately,” he says. “Other tricks that have benefited me include getting plenty of sleep, nourishing my body with nutrient-rich foods and exercising regularly.”

Curiosity and Community

In 2020, Hethcox added another element to that balancing act when he started a handyman business that quickly saw exponential growth. He merged with a friend who focused on hardscaping jobs, while Hethcox took charge of the venture’s bookkeeping, client management, bidding, budgeting and forecasting. In summer 2022 he sold his stake in the company. He says he drew on knowledge from a wide range of UT classes throughout his time with the business.

“Taking accounting gave me a good understanding of financial statements and their components and taught me what needed to be tracked. INMT 242 (Business Software Applications) taught me advanced Excel functions and graphs that I used to track and predict different metrics,” he says. “English 295 (Writing in the Workplace) was extremely beneficial as I learned how to communicate effectively with clients to achieve a positive outcome.”

Having completed a recent business analytics internship at Insight Global to develop his skills in SQL and Tableau, Hethcox began an investment portfolio management position at NBZ in Knoxville after graduating in December. Ryan Farley, clinical assistant professor in Haslam’s Department of Finance, believes the role is a natural fit for him. “I think bright and intellectually curious students like Nathan find investments to be a fascinating pursuit,” Farley says. “He is very inquisitive, with a talent for critical thinking that I believe will serve him well in building a career in the field.”

Hethcox plans to remain active in the Knoxville community by continuing his involvement with Thrive Lonsdale, an after-school program for at-risk youth where he has been donating his time since 2018, helping students with homework and coaching basketball.

“Being a Volunteer means treating others the way I want to be treated,” he says. “The popular slogan ‘Vols Help Vols’ encompasses the spirit that I plan to carry forward by continuing to serve my community.”


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist,