As a teenager at Bonanza High School, Patrick Griffis had aspirations of working in business development, helping entrepreneurs successfully grow and expand their businesses. He thought he was on the right path to his goals—he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California in 2002 and came home to Las Vegas to pursue a master’s degree in accounting at UNLV.
As a student, Griffis worked in the libraries at both universities, and in 2004, he was encouraged to enroll in the University of North Texas online master’s degree program in library information science. The two-year program had him hooked, and he decided not to return to accounting. By 2006, Griffis had moved through the ranks from paid intern to business librarian.
“I had perceptions of what a librarian was, too, and I didn’t think the path to all of my goals was this. When I looked into it, it was a good fit,” he said. “This type of work is very dynamic. No day is really the same.”
As the business librarian, Griffis has access to information entrepreneurs and business owners need to be successful, including databases and networking opportunities with local organizations. One of his more popular duties is helping students and local entrepreneurs with business plans and everything that comes with them.
Students create business plans for class assignments as well as for entry into the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Club Collegiate Business Plan Competition. In the six years since he became a business librarian, Griffis has helped approximately 10 teams place in the statewide competition.
With members of the community, he deals with plans that include real money and high stakes.
Although they’re different, “there’s a synergy in what they both want,” Griffis said. “Where I’m lucky as a business librarian is I see real world results.”
When an entrepreneur comes to Griffis with an idea for a business plan, he helps the future business owner navigate every turn. Plans go from paper to real life in front of his eyes.