He wore a collared shirt and slacks, a professional dress for the warm Friday afternoon that it was. Being a first year member of Barton International Group, I felt it would be interesting to interview someone who had not only been in the group for four years, but also had held a couple different positions throughout his time there.
Jacob Archer became the CEO of Barton International Group in January of 2017. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that the group worked productively on an individual level as well as cohesively. He has watched each member of the group “succeed and develop against their own internal beliefs” as he did the same right alongside them.
When I interviewed him, I first asked about what he learned from being involved in Barton International Group - and I was truly taken aback by the authenticity of his answer. He told me that “it didn’t matter that [he] wasn’t good at tests, or didn’t have a good ACT score, but as long as [he] put [his] grit and intelligence to work, [he] could succeed.” Barton International Group isn’t about standardized methods of testing intelligence; it’s about working together and failing together and learning from these failures together. It’s about being a team, above all else, and working hard individually in order to function efficiently together. For Jacob, it was the first time that he had realized that “being successful isn’t about having a good GPA”, it’s about putting actual skills to work in real situations – a method that BIG showcases in everything that it does.
He then told me a bit about the trips that he had taken with BIG – specifically to New York City and Taiwan. According to Jacob, “the upper east side of Manhattan” brought the group business experience through meeting with various people – such as Broadway producers and marketers who are in the advertising hall of fame. He learned how New York gets “built up and developed”, and experienced business outside of Wichita, Kansas.
In Taiwan, on the other hand, he learned about culture. He learned how business affects places outside the United States, what it was like to spend an afternoon with Buddhist monks, and about what an absolute ridiculous amount of 7/11’s that Taiwan has. Although he admitted they didn’t do as much business work in Taiwan, it was an incredible worldly experience in which he was able to understand culture in a way that he hadn’t before.
Jacob is going to miss the “driven and intelligent people” of Barton International Group and their never failing ability to respect and uplift one another. He spent his college experience “watching people find their path,” and he was soon able to learn that people didn’t work for him, but rather that he worked for them – and because of that, he was nothing without his team.
As the interview neared to a close, he leaned forward and told me a statement with a clear sense of confidence that could only come from experience. “You get out of BIG what you put into it,” he said, with the slight smile of someone who had, without a doubt, put every part of himself into Barton International Group.
Written by Zaena Helm