Seidman Spotlight - Taylor Ferns
Racing has been a part of Seidman alum Taylor Ferns’ life before she was even born. Her family celebrates the Daytona 500 as any conventional, American family would celebrate the Superbowl. But while racing is a big part of her life, it’s not the only thing she’s passionate about. Taylor is an accomplished racecar driver, third-year law student, employee at The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, mentor, ambassador, and Contributing Writer for SPEED SPORT magazine.
So how did she get to this point in her life? As a child, she always knew that she would be involved with motorsports, but wasn’t sure what that would look like as there were no visible females in the industry when she was younger. She recalls at the age of six taking a family trip to Lansing to look at a Quarter Midget, which is essentially a go-kart type car with a roll age. It was instant butterflies and she started racing shortly thereafter.
Her life with racing evolved, but soon she also found herself pursuing a business degree at the Seidman College of Business. On the surface, one might think that racing and business are two totally separate worlds. But Taylor shared that “one aspect of racing/motorsports that has a tendency to be overlooked is the business economics side of it because that plays a crucial role, depending at what level(s) you are competing, into how far and, frankly, how successful you may be within the community.”
Being a part of the Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) business fraternity at Seidman allowed Taylor to utilize and apply business acumen that she had already learned and developed throughout her prior experiences in racing and working alongside her entrepreneurial family. She shares that Professor Dalmia's Gender Economics class (now called Economics of Work and Family) was truly life changing and has had a tremendous impact on her perspective and how she goes about her mentorship work and professional speaking involvements.
Initially as a Seidman student, she never had any intention of going to law school. It was Professor Sanford's Business Law class her Sophomore year that completely adjusted her outlook and career trajectory. After that, she was set on going to law school. She achieved her BBA in 2018, with a double major in Finance and Economics. She started working for The Sam Bernstein Law Firm as an Operations Director after her 2018 GVSU graduation, pursued her MBA, began studying for the LSAT, and started law school in Fall 2020.
Taylor shares there is ample opportunity for her to work in a business or legal capacity within the motorsports world if and/or when she chooses to do so. “I feel as if I am already able to apply a lot of what I learned from my university degrees to my racing brand, speaking engagements, and involvement as a founding member of Women in Motorsports North America. When people say life comes full circle, it truly does.”
While Taylor continues to pursue her professional life in the legal field, she is still on the top of her game in the racing world. Throughout her 21-year racing tenure, she has won numerous races, championships, awards, including, but not limited to, being the youngest female driver to win a sprint car race, becoming the first female to win USAC midget and sprint car races at a multitude of racetracks, being the second female to ever win a USAC championship, having the most USAC Silver Crown starts by a female, and being the first (and only!) female to podium/highest finishing female in USAC’s 51-year Silver Crown history.
Taylor shares, “I now recognize the power and greater meaning behind being a female in a male-dominated trade. With that, I have made it a personal mission to give back to a sport I am so passionate about by mentoring younger girls interested in racing.”
Taylor is also an active member of Women in Motorsports North America, regularly takes part in professional speaking engagements regarding women in racing, and is a contributing writer to SPEED SPORT / Sprint & Midget Magazine. You can learn more about Taylor and her journey at taylorferns.com, or find her on social media, Instagram: @taylorferns; Facebook: @TaylorLFerns).
Check out her full interview below!