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Gaining Business Experience Both Here and in New York

Eichner Fellowship Ian Bruce Eichner (L) and William Volck (R)

William Volck ’14 is the 2013 Eichner Fellow. He wrote about his experiences in New York and Cincinnati, what he learned, and how it will prepare him for a legal career.

After calling Cincinnati home for most of my life, the Eichner Family Fellowship gave me the opportunity to utilize my legal skills on projects which will change the skyline of New York City. Working closely with in house counsel, CEO Mr. Ian Bruce Eichner ’69, and the development and finance teams, I was consistently charged with viewing legal issues from a business perspective and vice versa. Further, I experienced first-hand the application of legally trained minds to entrepreneurial pursuits to first view situations differently in order to creatively buck traditional approaches and find real business value where others can’t.   

I believe one of the benefits from my experience as a Fellow is confidence. Prior to this experience, the thought of having meaningful input on projects such building a skyscraper taller than any building in Cincinnati, or raising seven figure sums of capital through international financing, would have been daunting to me. But the entrepreneurial culture fostered by Mr. Eichner and the Continuum Company, combined with a legal approach to business opportunities, set in the real estate capital of the world, has given me the ability to say, “Why can’t I do this myself?” 

In my mind, The Eichner Family fellowship really exists as one of three key experiences due to my interest in business and law. The fellowship is the experience of in house counsel for a creative small business focused on a few, very large projects. The second experience, starting this Fall through the legal externship program, is working in the legal department for a local Fortune 500, publicly traded company. Finally, the third experience is the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, where with a limited practice license I will provide legal assistance and advice to local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Thus, within one year at UC, I’ll have three completely different experiences in my interest area of business law.