Much like Sean Astin’s character in the movie Rudy, Tim Kurtz, 34, had a dream of attending Notre Dame. But right around the time he got his acceptance letter, a couple of very intriguing alternatives came up. One option was the possibility of becoming a naval officer. The other was traveling the world as part of a leadership development program.
“But I said no, I’m going to fulfill my plan, get my J.D./MBA, and Notre Dame (was) my dream school. So I said, I gotta go. I gotta take advantage of that,” Kurtz recalls.
So he left his job as chief accountant with the URS Corporation (formerly Washington Group International), where he handled nearly all aspects of the company’s financial health, and prepared to embark on a new career path. In 2008, Kurtz earned his MBA from Notre Dame, graduating in the top five percent of his class with magna cum laude honors. In 2011, he earned his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he was Business and Top Editor of the International Law Journal.
His extensive experience in both finance and law has lead him to a very fulfilling career as a commercial litigation and transactions attorney for Hawley Troxell, a job he loves because of its ever-changing nature. He makes a close comparison between the law and philosophy, which he studied during his undergraduate years at Boise State University.
“You can never master philosophy, and you can never master the law,” says Kurtz. “The law is always changing. That’s why it’s always interesting, because it’s so difficult and it’s a grind. That really intrigued me, because then you’re going to work every day and you’re learning something new and it’s challenging you.”
While Kurtz could easily play the ‘what if?’ game and wonder what his life would be like had he become a naval officer, he feels that he has achieved his goal of community service, albeit in a different way.
“(If) people respect you, and you work hard and treat people with respect, and you’re honorable, you can be a beacon of your community and serve your country,” Kurtz explains.
Kurtz also serves the community through education. He is an adjunct professor at Boise State, where he teaches business law at the College of Business and Economics.
“Teaching gives him the perfect opportunity to combine his experience, education, knowledge, and personality – and his students are the happy beneficiaries of his willingness to give up so much of his time to teach their classes,” says Susan Park, chair and associate professor of the Management Department at BSU’s College of Business and Economics.
But his most important job, as Kurtz sees it, is that of husband and father. He and Megan, his wife of 12 years, have three children: 7-year-old Arielle; 4-year-old Gwenny; and Lachlan, who is nearly 3.
“It’s about being a good father, being a good husband,” says Kurtz. “But you take it day by day. You don’t look too far into the future.”
Most memorable airplane trip: “My most memorable moment has to be flying to China because the journey over the North Pole and catching glimpses of shimmering lights was definitely a sight to see, not to mention experiencing the cultural differences when we arrived.”