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AU News

From Kinesiology Graduate to Bank Executive: Luis Martinez’s Unlikely Journey After AU

August 27, 2019
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Anderson University alumnus Luis Martinez took an unlikely journey after graduating with a degree in kinesiology. These days, the former Trojan athlete is a bank executive.

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Luis Martinez II proudly displays a framed Anderson University diploma on the wall of his executive office at TD Bank in downtown Anderson. 

Nearly 10 years ago, Martinez shook hands with President Evans P. Whitaker and received a kinesiology degree. On the front lawn that May day in 2010, Martinez was unaware that his kinesiology degree would lead him to become a vice president and commercial relationship manager at one of the nation’s largest banks.

In 2008, Martinez transferred to Anderson University to play baseball. As an athlete with an interest in sports medicine, Martinez chose kinesiology as his major. However, he already had his real estate license and maintained an interest in the business world throughout college. 

Martinez played baseball for two seasons, devoting himself to learning professional skills and working two jobs on campus. As he neared graduation, he heard that Wells Fargo was planning to hire two students from AU, and they were especially interested in hiring a bilingual graduate.

The job was outside of his discipline, and Luis admits that he was intimidated by competing with business students for the coveted position. Regardless, the job sparked his interest; he knew he had the skills the bank was looking for and he was bilingual. Luis excelled in the interview process and secured the job. 

“You either find a job that matches your degree or you can find a job that matches your skills. And for me, this career is really lined up with my skills,” Martinez said. 

In June 2011, Martinez pursued an opportunity at TD Bank and became assistant store manager at the bank’s branch in downtown Anderson. Since then, Martinez steadily earned numerous promotions at TD’s Southeastern hub in Greenville and across Anderson. 

This month, Martinez received his most recent promotion: commercial relationship manager. His new position recognizes him as a top-level expert within the company and includes managing some of the company’s most specialized and complex responsibilities. He covers TD Bank in Anderson, Oconee, Pickens and Laurens County.

Martinez said his job is more than work. It is a lifestyle and a calling. He truly enjoys waking up and walking into TD Bank each day because he loves the environment, the people and his company. 

“It just seems like if I was talking to myself 10 years ago, I probably would never have imagined that this much would happen in such a short period of time,” Martinez said. 

He believes that Anderson University propelled him to success. Martinez not only learned academically in the classroom, but he also became more confident in his faith.

“I really felt like I came to Anderson University as a boy and I left as a man because my faith became stronger,” he said.

Further, Martinez says he met “the woman of his dreams” at AU. His wife, Hollins, is also an AU graduate. They now have three kids. 

Martinez currently serves on the AU alumni board, and he has continued relationships with many of his former peers and professors. He is also involved in the Anderson community, and is active on many local nonprofit boards and the Chamber of Commerce. 

Now in a management position, Martinez has had the opportunity to hire graduates from his alma mater. He said he is increasingly impressed with AU students. Seeing the caliber of fellow alumni has made Martinez even more proud to be a Trojan. 

“Luis is a tremendous example of the type of individual that any university would be proud to claim,” said Jason Rutland, associate vice president for alumni and parent engagement. “We were blessed to have Luis as a student in the academic halls, as an athlete on the baseball diamond and now as a citizen in society.”

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