Updated: Aug 4, 2019
Welcome to The Dare to Be You Interview Series!
I really love this series because I get to put the spotlight on some of the people who inspire me to be daring through all aspects of my life every day, and to learn more about them in a deeper and much more meaningful way. This image is especially meaningful to both Gavin and me! Gavin because it represents the moment he was first starting as pitcher for the DBU Patriots NCAA Division 1 Baseball Team and it was in the Dallas Morning News!
I especially love this image because I see hard work, determination, sacrifice, confidence, intentionality, and passion that it takes to get to this particular starting line! Face, body language, and the perfect uniform. WOW! It could really be any starting line, though, right? Athletics, academics, life’s challenges, work related, and so much more! But for total living in the present, there’s got to be all of these components to even get close to the excellence we seek and to the whole hearted living we desire for connection.
Meet Gavin Fritz!
Where are you now and what is your title?
Assistant to the President, Dallas Baptist University.
We’d love to hear about your journey as you prepare to graduate this coming week!
WOW!! DBU Patriot Alumnus – MBA with Finance expertise – May 17th 2019 – such magical, musical words! Full of great promise for a bright future!
My journey can pretty much be summed up in one word. Baseball. From age 6 until age 22, I played baseball, all day, every day. It was what drove me and it defined me. Upon completing college baseball, I ended up getting drafted to play for the Miami Marlins organization, but soon realized that was not the path that God wanted me to take. After much prayer and consideration of other options, I ended up leaving baseball, and found myself working at my beloved University, DBU. At DBU, I had the unique opportunity to advise students in their pursuit of an MBA in the Graduate School of Business. Such an incredibly rewarding experience! Every student is called to be here, and the vast majority are working, have a family, church commitments, and community involvement. In other words, our customers lead extremely busy lives! What they all have in common is a strong sense of purpose, and the drive to increase their quality of life for themselves, their families, and all those with whom they come into contact. To be able to help each one reach those goals is indeed especially rewarding. A few months later, I was blessed with the opportunity to work in the President’s Office.
Share with us how you personally develop your competencies always focused on improving overall every day.
For me, personal development every day centers around my faith. Work can be exhausting and unfulfilling if there are no intrinsic benefits behind it. Can’t be just a job, it’s got to be something I feel very passionate about. I believe the best thing about working at DBU is the culture, and the goal of working to be a light in the lives of so many students who are called to DBU to be transformed. I believe it’s fair to say that I compete with myself every day to pursue excellence in everything I do. It doesn’t matter what it is for me, I’m intentional, purposeful, goal oriented, and driven.
What advice would you give yourself if this was, say, three years ago?
Three years ago, I would give myself the advice to always trust in the Lord’s plan. I have always struggled with what the “next step” will look like. I was constantly wondering what I would do next. Now I understand doors really will open if you work hard and “show up” every day. This is true in baseball, and it is definitely true in life. I’m content with where I am because I know I am in the place God designated for me to be at this moment, and in the future, He will continue to provide, should I be faithful.
I can hear “gratitude” in your words. For what are you most grateful?
I am certainly most grateful for my family. I could not have been blessed with a more amazing group of people to be in my life. Beyond them, I’ve had lots of coaches, friends, professors, colleagues, and many others who have invested in my life, and who have poured their own energy into my growth and development to become the man I am today. I have a deep sense of gratitude for each of them uniquely.
We all need mental sanctuaries. Tell us about your mental sanctuary and the role it plays in your life.
My mental sanctuary is just being outdoors. I grew up hunting, fishing, shooting, skeet, camping, etc., and it is really needed for me to be outdoors to be able to function fully. I need my time in this sanctuary to be able to perform well at work, in school, and in relationships.
Tell us about something priceless from your background that makes you right for your current “there.”
I believe my family background has helped for me to understand a broad array of lifestyles. Everything from growing up in a small town, farming, playing college and professional baseball, having a grandfather who ran a large healthcare organization, I have seen / learned from so many different walks of life. I believe this allows for me to understand different types of people and their motivations. These experiences have taught me to be a good listener, empathetic, and to treat others with Christ-like respect.
What 2 words describe the values you are driven to live by and give us an example for each.
Grit and Passion. I feel as if the way I was raised forced me to grow immensely early in my life and to persevere through trials and tribulations. An example of both words is in all it takes to be committed to athletics as a possible long term way of life, and to ultimately walk away from it. Another example is deciding to live a life in faith, prayerfully seeking His will, and the courage to follow no matter what. I am passionate about certain things in life such as faith, family, sports, and hunting, and I believe that my inner self is driven to constantly, wholeheartedly, pursue these passions with excellence.
What does selflessness mean to you, and what role does it play in your work?
Selflessness means a lot to me because it reminds me so much of my parents and the way they sacrificed for me. I cannot think of any reason as to why I am where I am other than because of my parent’s continuous selflessness towards me and everyone around them. Never did my parents choose themselves over me, and because of that I believe I have a very good sense of what selflessness looks like, feels like, and how it impacts growth and development, opportunities, etc.
Selflessness means a lot to me in my work, too. I believe it allows the opportunity to do what the Lord did during His ministry on earth; to serve. I live situations every day that remind me if I can lean more into others’ needs rather than into my own, then I am doing exactly what I am called to do.
What strategies do you use to dare to be you – to show up and let yourself be genuinely seen, all in, always choosing to do the right thing? Got an example of when it was really hard?
I feel vulnerability is a big way in which I allow my true self to be seen, at work and in my personal life. In allowing myself to be open and real with the people I am around, I believe I am able to create / sustain an atmosphere that is genuine. I enjoy getting to really know people, and I believe one of the biggest ways I choose to do “the right thing” is to continuously seek the other person’s needs and to connect with them wherever they are, and to search for ways to help others to reach their full potential. I would suggest my greatest example thus far of always choosing to do the right thing when it was incredibly hard to do it has to be within my life as an athlete. Holding others and myself accountable while facing more temptations than anyone can count is part of that life. Being honest about sacrifices, abilities, goals, behaviors, feelings, friends etc., can be just real hard no matter who one is talking to. My strategy is always to humbly and prayerfully consider what the “right thing” to do is, and then to seek the courage to do it.
Do you have a creed for living and loving with your whole heart?
I believe the best way that we can live and love with our whole heart is by “simply” following what scripture tells us to do and “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we can love our Lord with all of our heart we will become less self-absorbed and it will allow for us to seek service to others, which is ultimately what we are called to do.
Thank you, Gavin, for sharing your thoughts and this moment with us! Congratulations, DBU MBA Alumnus! We are all so very proud of you!