University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Ultimate Formula to Becoming EPIC at Walton College

Student Success

January 23, 2019 | By Mathew Waller

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As a student in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, you have the capacity and the opportunity to be EPIC. That might seem overly ambitious, but you should settle for nothing less.

To help you, here’s a formula for being EPIC as we define it.

The values of the Walton College are represented by the acronym EPIC—excellence, professionalism, innovation, and collegiality. Moreover, you can be EPIC by remembering a word formula that’s as simple as ABC:

A. Way to

B. EPIC is to

C. EPIC

At first glance, of course, the formula is confusing, probably because you read it silently and read it as a list. However, it takes on a different meaning if you read it out loud as a sentence. That’s when you hear the formula: “A way to be EPIC is to see EPIC.”

Now, apply it to the EPIC values of the Walton College.

A way to be EPIC is to see EPIC …


Excellence means we are driven to be the best in everything we do. So, try to notice excellence in the studying habits of your peers. Pay attention to the superior public speaking techniques of guest lecturers and professors. Make a note of the virtue of your parents or other relatives. See the greatness in leaders you meet or read about.

Looking for excellence in others will help you develop excellence and help you to value it. When you see excellence in others, commend them.

Walton Ambassadors

A way to be EPIC is to see EPIC …


Professionalism means we operate with integrity, humility, respect, and inclusion. So, notice professionalism in your peers as they meet recruiters at career fairs. Pay attention to the professional manners of people working in companies where you intern. Make a note of the competence you see in your favorite professors. See the respectfulness of your peers in interacting with other peers.

Looking for professionalism in others will help you develop professionalism and help you to value it. When you see professionalism in others, say “Good job.”

A way to be EPIC is to see EPIC …


Innovation means we imagine possibilities, we create, and we inspire others. So, notice innovation in how peers work in groups. Pay attention to the creativity of people you read about. Make a note of the imaginative teaching methods of your favorite professors. See the resourcefulness of your peers in funding their education.

Looking for innovation in others will help you become more innovative and to value it. When you see innovativeness in others, say “I like that.”

A way to be EPIC is to see EPIC …


Collegiality means we respect each, we value our differences, and we welcome all. So, notice the collegial behavior of coworkers at the companies where you intern. Pay attention to the teamwork of people you read about in entrepreneurial companies. Make a note of the harmony you see in your favorite professors working with other professors on research. See the symbiotic approach of some of your peers in interacting with other peers.

Looking for collegiality in others will help you become more collegial and help you to value it. When you see collegiality in others, say “Way to go.”

A way to be EPIC is to see EPIC. So, see the EPIC values all around and, to paraphrase Nelson Mandela, be the EPIC others can see.

If you want to learn more about the EPIC values of the Walton College, you can read this LinkedIn Article.

Post Author:

Matt WallerMatthew A. Waller is the dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Sam M. Walton Leadership Chair, and professor of supply chain management. His opinion pieces have appeared in Wall Street Journal Asia and Financial Times.

Waller is an SEC Academic Leadership Fellow, and coauthor of “The Definitive Guide to Inventory Management: Principles and Strategies for the Efficient Flow of Inventory across the Supply Chain” published by Pearson Education.

He received a B.S.B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Missouri, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. He is the former co-editor-in-chief of Journal of Business Logistics.