Eric Baumbach - University of Illinois Student from Willowbrook

Eric Baumbach is a Willowbrook, Illinois, native who currently studies finance and accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to gaining acceptance to UIUC, Eric Baumbach attended high school in Willowbrook / Darien and gained professional experience in nearby Burr Ridge as a Five Seasons Sports Club lifeguard. At the Burr Ridge club, he helped ensure that the pool and other facilities were well maintained and safeguarded swimmers.

On schedule to graduate from UIUC in 2017, he is active with the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity as finance director. Baumbach is also a member of the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity, which he served as pledge class president. In his current position as ZBT’s classroom committee member, he arranges workshops on a variety of topics, from study-abroad to internship opportunities. Since 2014, he also has served as committee member with the nonprofit Relay for Life and provided pathways toward effective fundraising.

Diverse Forestlands in Florida’s Everglades

A student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Eric Baumbach is a longtime resident of Willowbrook, Illinois. Also an avid traveler, Eric Baumbach has visited several places throughout Florida, from Ft. Lauderdale to the Everglades.

One of America’s largest and most well-protected wetlands areas, Everglades National Park spans nine distinct ecosystems of South Florida. The park is home to thousands of animal and plant species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

Pine rocklands areas rest on exposed limestone substrate and harbor a myriad of species, many of which are adapted to frequent fires. Another intermittent area of solid land is found in hardwood hammocks, which form dense groupings of broad-leafed trees. These patches of solid land sit inches above surrounding marsh, sloughs, and estuaries. Tall trees such as live oak and mahogany predominate, with well-shaded airplants and ferns at their base.

Consisting of forest that thrives along Florida’s coastal rivers and channels, mangroves are adapted to tidal waters, with their unique mix of fresh and saltwater. They play a vital protective role, both as a refuge for wading birds and as a first defense against powerful hurricanes and storm surges.

Caribbean Attractions in Barbados and the Cayman Islands

As an incoming intern for Grant Thornton, Eric Baumbach of Willowbrook, Illinois is pursuing his degree in accountancy and finance from the University of Illinois. A former lifeguard at Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, Eric Baumbach enjoys traveling and has been to the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Islands are a great choice for a vacation. The islands combine a warm tropical climate with sandy beaches and pristine waters, set against a backdrop of picturesque mountains to give travelers a truly enchanting experience. Two of the most popular islands to visit are the Cayman Islands and Barbados.

More famous in business circles for being a tax haven, the Cayman Islands offer some of the best diving sites across the Caribbean. With over 300 designated diving spots from dizzying high walls to stunning shipwrecks, the trio of islands is perfect for experienced divers looking to conquer new terrain. The islands’ clear, shallow waters are also great for underwater sports like snorkeling.

Barbados is a destination with a lot to offer the adventurers and the young at heart. Calm beaches line the west coast, setting the tone for a romantic evening, while inviting waves rock the south shore lines, daring surfers to take them on. Lush green fields and thickets are home to the island’s notorious green baboons, and some of the best restaurants and hotels in the Caribbean are on the island’s west coast.

Options for the Young or Beginning Investor

Raised near Willowbrook, Illinois, Eric Baumbach went on to enroll at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an accounting and finance major. Greater Willowbrook's Eric Baumbach enjoys learning about the stock market and is an active investor.

Investing may seem like a strategy for wealthy or older individuals, but there are options available for anyone regardless of his or her demographic. Many young investors target products that are historically lower risk, one example being United States Treasury securities. More commonly known as savings bonds, these products are available with 30-day to 30-year maturities and require an initial investment of as little as $100.

Mutual funds may also be viable options for some new investors. They may require an initial investment of $500 to $5,000, but investors may be able to secure waivers for these minimums if they sign on for automatic monthly investments of $50 to $100. Many companies can link these automatic investments to an employee's regular paycheck.

Other options for the new investor include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are collections of stock certificates that are treated like a single stock. Investors may choose to purchase SPY, the oldest ETF on the market, which includes equities from the 500 largest companies currently active in the U.S. economy. Additional ETF choices include those that cover a particular economic sector, such as tech or emerging markets.

New investors can consult with an investment professional, who can provide advice on building a portfolio. Investors may also look into self-service investment websites, many of which have low initial investment selections.

Organizational Benefits of Data Analysis

Willowbrook native and former Burr Ridge lifeguard Eric Baumbach is currently working toward his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A resident of Willowbrook, Illinois, Eric Baumbach serves as a consultant with EntreCORPS Consulting Group, where he conducts data analysis and assists Fortune 500 companies with a wide variety of early-stage ventures.

Data analysis provides several advantages for organizations. Data analysis enables organizations to understand complex relationships between data sets, from both inside and outside the organization. Organizations often use data analysis to assess the impact of operations on business performance, which grants powerful insight on the effectiveness of business practices. Instead of merely identifying problem areas, businesses can triage specific operations and resolve issues quickly.

For many years, organizations have looked to data analysis to help them understand emerging market trends. Data analysis provides important information on changing customer preferences and market conditions, allowing organizations to adjust their engagement tactics accordingly. Organizations may also identify new business channels based on anticipated demand, giving them a competitive advantage.

Alpha Phi Omega's Spring Youth Service Day

A resident of Willowbrook, Illinois, Eric Baumbach has a diverse work history that includes services as a lifeguard at the Five Seasons Sports Clubs in Burr Ridge and a tenure as distribution coordinator for Follett School Solutions. Eric Baumbach temporarily spends time outside of Willowbrook to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also serves as data analysis chair for service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO), which recently held its Spring Youth Service Day.

For Spring Youth Service Day, APO chapters throughout the country worked with youth on a number of service projects. Since 2001, APO has contributed to youth service as part of Youth Service America’s Global Youth Service Day (previously National Youth Service Day). The program engages millions of youth in service projects with adult volunteers in over 100 countries.

Since participating in the event, APO members have worked with youth on a variety of projects, including visiting youth at hospitals, contributing to cleanup projects at parks and community centers, reading to children at local libraries or schools, building and repairing local playgrounds, and collecting basic items for children of families in need.

To learn more about APO and its service projects, visit