April 2022, News & Features

Discipline that took him far began in college

Greg Willis tells a story from his days at Saint Augustine’s University that tells you a lot about the person he is and the success he has achieved.

It was two in the morning when the halls of the dormitory where he was living erupted in a ruckus as college students arrived from a party from earlier that night. Laughter and doors slamming were sounding throughout the building.

His roommate opened the door and immediately started to carry on about all the fun he had that night. Greg simply replied, “I couldn’t go out, I got work to do.”That disciplined and determined attitude has taken Greg Willis far – he is vice president of global online sales for LinkedIn.

Willis, a Saint Augustine’s University School of Business, Management & Technology Alumni graduate, came back to the university on April 6 to speak to students as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series.
He explained to students that he was not an overnight success; he has been climbing up the ranks for the last 30 years.

Willis attended Saint Augustine’s University and graduated with a bachelor in computer science. He went on to receive his MBA from Miami University.

During his time at Saint Augustine’s he became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. “There we’re many times my frat brothers went out to parties and I couldn’t go because I was trying to graduate,” he recalled.

\Willis went on to explain the importance of hard work and dedication when pursuing your goals. “You have to learn when it’s time to have fun and when it’s time to work.”

Prior to working at LinkedIn, Willis was a general manager and P&L owner for the 1.2-billion-dollar wearables and mobile enhancements at Samsung. He also held progressive sales and marketing leadership positions at PepsiCo, Procter and Gamble, Hewlett Packard, and Infosys Limited Consulting.
In addition, Mr. Willis values transforming, leading, and giving back to the community. While at PepsiCo, he assisted in founding PepsiCo Feeds America, one of the nation’s largest hunger-relief organizations.

Students were thrilled to meet an alumnus who is so successful. Simon Wilson, a sophomore business administration major, expressed his excitement after the lecture. “This is real Black excellence right in front of us and it makes me proud to be a student here,” Wilson said.

The main takeaway from his lecture was the importance of believing yourself and defeating doubt: “Doubt and fear are dream killers. You must be courageous and trust the process.”

— Dorian WIlliams