Getting Personal: Luke McCurdy

Getting Personal: Luke McCurdy

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 20-year-old LUKE McCURDY, a junior in the University of Illinois Gies College of Business and the youngest of 13 children, chats with staff writer Paul Wood about his Illini-friendly family.

You're at a prestigious business college. What do you think you'll do when you graduate?

I am unsure on what I plan or want to do when I graduate. This summer, I will be doing an internship focused on supply and distribution of products in the consumer packaged-goods industry. This is a role that I could see enjoying that I may want to do full-time moving forward.

Why did you choose business and why did you chose Illinois?

I chose business because I really enjoy working with others daily. I also think that business best fits with some of my skills, such as communication and problem-solving. I chose Illinois for a couple reasons, such as it's close to home, it has great academics and I was able to attend with my siblings.

What was it like to be the youngest? Did your brothers and sisters help you out?

Growing up, I did not have too much of an opinion on being the youngest. I definitely was looked after a little more with being the youngest, but also had last pick in a lot of things. Now I really enjoy being the youngest, though. I have lots of siblings to look up to, visit around the country and ask for help. My siblings have always helped me out if I need something, especially with things like looking into colleges to attend and what careers to pursue.

Did you have to fight for food at the table?

Never had to fight for food at the table; there was always plenty, thankfully. With being the youngest, I would just usually be the last one in line to get my food. But never had an issue with having enough.

You're the sixth family member to attend the UI and the third to graduate in business.

Matt, 26, majored in supply-chain management. Jake, 22, double-majored in supply-chain management and marketing and graduated in 2018. Both are consultants at Workday, a California-based software vendor.

Matt and Jake both work in the North Carolina office for Workday. I could definitely see myself looking into Workday as a career because of how highly they speak of it. As far as working in California, I have one brother out there right now, so I could see that as a possibility. I could also see North Carolina as a possibility because I have four brothers living there right now.

This is a long tradition. When you were born, oldest sister Courtney was already a student here. Can you remember a time when you didn't know about the UI? Did you come up here often for football and basketball games?

I always knew about the UI because I grew up with siblings there since I was born. I did not make it to campus super often though, because it was a lot to get that many kids anywhere at once. As I got older, I visited more, and that's when I started to really like the campus and get more attached to the school. Illini football and basketball games were always on in our household, though.

The family's 15-seat, four-row red van must have made an impression. I hope it ran pretty well. How long did the family keep it?

It definitely made an impression on our schools growing up. Lots of people knew it was our van when they saw it rolling up. I think we had the van in our family for over a decade, from around the time I was born until I was in middle school.

Did you travel to other places in that van?

We went lots of places in the van such as the store, sporting events, school events and things of that nature. The farthest we took it as a family was out to New Jersey for my oldest brother's wedding when I was 5 years old.

Now that you've all spread out over the country, did your parents get something a little sexier to drive?

The van has been out of the family for about seven or eight years now, and the car sizes have decreased. My dad has always had a pickup truck because of his drywall job and my mom has had a couple different five-seater cars since we got rid of the van.

You and Matt just took a trip to the Maui Invitational. What other teams do you follow?

Mainly now I follow the Illini basketball and football team in college sports, but I also follow Michigan State a little bit because I had two brothers go there. As far as pro sports, I mostly just lightly follow all the Chicago teams.

Your oldest brother, Ryan, is 41 — and he has seven kids of his own. Do you think you'll follow in this tradition?

I have not given too much thought to how many kids I plan to have. Thirteen is probably out of the question and seven seems like a lot right now to me, but who knows what I will be thinking when the time comes. If I can support a large family, I would like to have one, but probably closer to five kids sounds more realistic.

Of eight boys, six, including you, played varsity basketball for Burlington Central High School. What was your role on the team?

I was a point guard almost all my life growing up. But by the time I was a junior, I was one of the taller kids on my team and actually moved to more of a forward in a four-out, one-in offense. By the time I was a senior, I had been with my coach and team for a while and was one of the captains.

Your siblings now live in North Carolina, California, Colorado and Brazil. Is it hard to get a family reunion together?

It is very hard to get everyone together at once, but every year, I usually see everyone in my family more than once on different occasions. Usually for Christmas or other large family gatherings, we can get 10 or more siblings in the same spot at once, which is always super fun.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

Augusta National for the Masters. I love to watch golf and think the Masters is the pinnacle of sports tournaments.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

Never had a pet growing up. Thirteen children was enough going on in the household.

What would you order for your last meal?

Steak.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite? What would you serve?

Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. I would probably serve some southern barbecue.

What's your best piece of advice?

Do the best you can do and don't get caught up on comparing yourself to your peer's successes.

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

My first job was helping my dad hang drywall and the amount I made varied.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

I do not get stressed very easily. I usually just take a step back, take my mind off it for a bit and then come back with a clear head.

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