Student spotlight: Will Samuel

Will Samuel is passionate about being a Warrior. A third-year student in the Mike Ilitch School of Business, he chose Wayne State for a front row seat to the economic and business development in Detroit.

“This is the only university where students can experience firsthand the simultaneous municipal and corporate growth of a major city,” he said.

With an extensive background in professional sales, Samuel is pursuing a marketing degree at the Ilitch School.

“Marketing is something we all do, whether you are looking for a job or creating interest in a specific product or service,” he said. “I love that aspect.”

He believes his life experiences have provided him the knowledge to understand and perform better in his courses. He said he keeps an open mind when he wants to learn something new, and the younger students help him think outside the box.

“When you combine my life experience, my student peer input and the knowledge I will take with me when I graduate,  I will be a strong asset to my business and any company we partner with,” he said.

As a business owner                                                                                                             

In 2008, Samuel started Shades of Green LLC, which has grown it into a full-service construction company working across metro Detroit. One of the company’s goals is to create healthier living spaces by using non-toxic paints and solvents to lock out harmful carcinogens.

Samuel’s business focuses on green and sustainable construction, healthy commercial and residential environments, and energy conservation. Additionally, the company is now taking steps to add alternative energy to its offerings, including solar energy and heating, geothermal exchange and wind energy.

Samuel believes a marketing degree will help him brand his business and reach more clients.

“Marketing will help my company educate clients on a sustainable lifestyle,” he said. “My business will partner with other businesses to complete large projects, and marketing will play an important role in the communication cycle.”

As a Detroiter

Samuel grew up in Orangeburg, S.C., a town with a population of 20,000. Thirty years ago, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta but could not keep up with the cost of tuition. At 21, he left Morehouse to take a full-time job, and he kept working until the opportunity arose to attend Wayne State.

Samuel is interested in seeing Detroit surpass the city it once was. He said innovating change within the city is the only way to see and feel the vibe of “come-up” in Detroit, and he is happy to be part of it.

“I enjoy walking in the city and discovering new venues and businesses,” he said. “I also enjoy helping others with their new business start-ups and mentoring business owners on growth.”


150 years in the heart of Detroit