Montana Tech senior Clint Banister has a jam-packed summer planned. He’s looking forward to traveling, visiting with friends and family, and helping at Bible camp. He’s also completing an internship for his business degree.
Getting time off to squeeze all that in might be difficult for some folks, but Banister knows his boss will give him the time off. He’s the owner of Razor Lawns in the Bitterroot Valley. Banister started mowing lawns his junior year of high school and in the years since he’s grown the business so much that he now has three employees.
“It’s competitive in the valley, but if you do good work you’ll always have good clients,” Banister said. “It’s a fun summer because I’m working for myself.”
He originally came to Montana Tech as an engineering student, but Banister switched to business after a semester of classes. He and a friend found another lucrative field to expand into after he moved to Butte.
“We started scrapping cars,” Banister said. “Butte’s full of old cars that don’t run, and it’s super simple.”
The pair used trucks and trailers to scrap over 300 cars last year. It was a good way to supplement income in the winter while at Montana Tech.
“Clint definitely stands out,” Business Department Head Todd Tregigda said. “You never have to worry about motivating him. Sometimes it feels as if our curriculum is just slowing him down. He absorbs knowledge at a very fast pace and is always ready for more. He is very ready to take off and conquer the world.”
When you ask Banister where he’ll be in five years, he’s unsure.
“We make plans, but don’t really know what will happen,” Banister said. He has faith that God will lead him in the right direction.
Banister says he almost didn’t go to college, as many business people are able to have great careers in the field without a degree. He believes Montana Tech was the right choice for him though. Faith plays a significant role in that.
“I think God was telling me to go to college,” Banister said.
At Montana Tech, he found his place in the Baptist Student Union (BSU), where he is involved in campus ministry, including Wednesday night Bible study, community activities, and services on Sunday.
Engaging with BSU is something Banister would recommend to other students.
“If you are curious, there’s more out there about what’s seen in the world. Go look into it. Go find out for yourself,” Banister said. “Don’t be distracted by the things of today that you forget the things that you don’t see. People are looking for a greater purpose in life. People do a lot of different things to try to fill a spiritual need, but there’s a hole that can only be filled by what God has for us.”
His involvement with BSU allowed Banister to travel to Ukraine last summer, not long after war broke out.
“It was pretty humbling to go, Banister said. “God’s been very gracious to America and everyone here. Life’s easy here. We have it better than almost everyone on the planet.”
While it’s easy for Banister to get time off from work because he’s the boss, he does have to exercise effective time management to fit BSU activities, classes, and entrepreneurship into his schedule.
He makes a weekly list of things that need to be done, and tackles them one by one. He also stays off social media as much as possible, though minimal participation is required for his business.
“We’re all busy, but it comes down to priorities,” Banister said. “If we use our time effectively, we can get a lot of stuff done.”
Most semesters Banister has loaded up on classes, taking 18 or 25 credits at a time. This year he’s looking forward to a lighter load.
“I really am thankful for the Business Department professors,” Banister said. “They are people who care about what they do and enjoy what they do.”
Though Banister’s exact path forward isn’t yet clear, he knows he’s on the right path to finding it. He’s learned how to sit quietly, drown out the extraneous, and focus on what’s important.
“When God created us, he created us to be still and have quiet time,” Banister said. “You can enjoy wherever you are if you take time to do the things that matter to you and understand why you are there.”