From OWU to Formula One Racing

How did a boy from New York, break dancing in the streets of Brooklyn, end up at Ohio Wesleyan in 1988? "I did research and visited OWU during the Slice of Life weekend, and that weekend sold me on coming to OWU. And my years here, those were the best four years of my life," shared Paul Asencio '92, a distinguished alum and the Chief Revenue Officer in the Formula One industry, during his visit to OWU. His visit was an opportunity to share his experiences with students about Fiji, the bonds of brotherhood, Ohio Wesleyan, the Mets, and Formula One racing during his talk about the business of athletics. His visit to campus was filled with memorable moments and connections that showcased the enduring impact of his OWU experience.

A highlight of Paul's visit was his return to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house, where current members were eager to share in the camaraderie that defines the Fiji brotherhood. From touring his old room to engaging in spirited conversations with fraternity brothers, Paul's connection to Fiji shone brightly throughout the day.

His deep-rooted ties to OWU and his fraternity were evident during interactions with current students and fellow alumni. At dinner and the main presentation, he engaged with Fijis past and present, current students, staff, and students from a local high school, and fostered connections and inspired the next generation of OWU graduates.

Those present during his presentation witnessed the Bishop camaraderie between Paul and Evelyn Jones Walter '91, his longtime friend and fellow OWU alum. As moderator of their discussion, Evelyn's engaging questions led the audience through Paul's journey from an accounting student at OWU to a salesman for health club memberships, working his way up the ranks for the New York Mets, to currently being the Chief Revenue Officer for Williams Racing, a British Formula One team. His journey was inspiring, and their laughter-filled conversation underscored the enduring bonds formed at OWU, leaving a lasting impression on everyone present. A poignant moment came when he confessed to not being the best student, "I really wasn't great at school. I really struggled,  but I got better. When I started doing accounting I became friendly with kids really good at accounting. I joined study groups to help me get it. The study groups turned around my entire scholastic experience. I am a very competitive person, and it was really killing me to not be doing well in school. It really did help to work with these other guys."

Reflecting on Paul's visit, Olivia Willis, '24, shared her enthusiasm, "I loved listening to Paul and Evelyn's fireside chat. It gave me direction for life after graduation and hope for my OWU friendships to last a lifetime." 

Paul's visit to OWU was a celebration of his achievements and an opportunity to showcase the university's impact on alumni success across diverse industries. By highlighting Paul's journey from campus to the pinnacle of the Formula One industry, OWU aimed to inspire current students and alumni while reinforcing the culture of giving back that defines the OWU community.

His visit was a powerful reminder of the transformative power of a liberal arts education, friendship, and alumni connections, reinforcing the university's commitment to shaping future leaders and fostering lifelong relationships. According to Paul, "Being a student athlete prepared me for my future. The competitiveness and the ability to manage time really translates into the real world. But even if you aren't a college athlete, there are still a lot of things competing for your time as a college student. So you need to learn to manage your time because it literally translates into the real world. In my career, when I interview people I always ask 'How is your time management? Tell me about your organizational skills. Tell me how well you perform in a fast paced environment.' And I learned those skills at OWU." 

Paul has been successful in his professional life because of the lessons he learned while at OWU. He also built lasting relationships with friends he made on campus, as evidenced by Paul's Fiji brothers sitting in the front rows, supporting him during his talk with students because of the bond they built while students at OWU over 30 years ago.