'Google' Taylor, A Lifetime Obsession With Learning
PROVO, Utah – Nov 13, 2019 – BYU Marriott alum, aspiring pig farmer, and current adjunct teacher Scott Taylor is obsessed with learning.
As an undergrad, Taylor picked entrepreneurship as his path because it gave him the opportunity to create and solve hard problems. “I like entrepreneurship because I get to create my own destiny,” says Taylor. Throughout his undergrad in the early 2000s, Taylor worked at a call center in its German-speaking department, where he was promoted to regulatory affairs manager immediately after he graduated in 2005. As a regulatory affairs manager, Taylor made sure whatever company he worked for was properly complying with local regulations.
Taylor eventually moved on from the call center to work at Xango, where he was again a regulatory affairs manager. After working at Xango for about a year, Taylor decided to pursue an MBA. His boss begged him not to leave and offered to double his salary to stay with the company, but Taylor declined the offer. “My education was more important to me,” says Taylor. “If you’re just pursuing the money, you won't end up in the right places.”
Soon after this decision to pursue more education, but before officially leaving his full-time position, Taylor was laid off by Xango but was hired for occasional consulting work the company needed. With help from a negotiations professor in his MBA program at the University of Utah, Taylor was able to negotiate his hourly wage to nearly triple what Xango originally offered him as a contractor.
Soon after this change in job status, the 2008 recession hit, and people, including Taylor, struggled to make ends meet. Taylor applied for additional jobs in finance and management, but nearly every job he applied for had sixty or seventy other applicants also searching for added financial stability. Unexpectedly, Taylor found people reaching out to him for international regulatory affairs consulting after seeing his previous experience on his LinkedIn profile. Even as Taylor raised his rate to triple what he was originally charging, people continued to reach out to him. It was then he realized that, using the contacts he’d already gathered throughout his career in regulatory affairs, he could start a successful business, even during an economic recession.
After graduating with his MBA in 2009, Taylor started his own regulatory consulting company, The Regulatory Department. Taylor was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of consulting work available and decided to expand the company and hire more consultants. Taylor’s company worked with many brands, including household brands such as Kroger and Walmart, which wanted to expand their products into more countries.
“If it's in your fridge or it's on your face, I probably have worked with that company, either with their manufacturing facilities or their formulators,” says Taylor.
During this time Taylor also volunteered for Junior Achievement Utah, an organization focused on inspiring and educating both elementary and secondary school students to help them succeed. In 2014 a BYU Marriott faculty member also participating in Junior Achievement recognized his strong affinity for teaching and encouraged him to apply for an adjunct teaching position at BYU. Taylor turned down the offer saying he didn’t feel ready, but in 2015 Taylor emailed BYU Marriott to ask if they still were interested in hiring him and three weeks before the start of that fall semester, Taylor accepted an opportunity to teach an MCOM class.
“Teaching has taught me is how to be a better learner,” says Taylor. “I’m obsessed with learning, and I'm obsessed with helping people learn and reach their definition of success.”
A close colleague of Taylor, BYU Marriott management professor Kurt Sandholtz, says Taylor has a unique ability to connect with students as a teacher due to his personal love of learning. “Students love Scott because he keeps it real,” says Sandholtz. “Everything he does in class applies directly to the students’ current and future careers and jobs.”
Four years into his time as an adjunct professor at BYU Marriott, all the while continuing to run his own international consulting company, Taylor started to notice a pattern in his personal journals. “Every few years I would look and see that I had written, ‘I should probably get my PhD’,” says Taylor. Seemingly serendipitously, Taylor received three substantial offers for his company so he sold the company, took the pay out, and used the opportunity to start applying to PhD programs internationally.
While teaching at BYU Marriott and applying to PhD programs across the globe, Taylor has never stopped learning outside of school. “My wife calls me ‘Google Taylor’,” he says. “Because I can’t ever not know anything, I have to look it up and learn about it.”
Beyond Googling every new topic, Taylor loves to ski, coach, read, care for his pig farm, and play soccer with his four kids in the backyard of their Orem home.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Anne Wallace