Commemorating the KU School of Business Class of 2021
(Music plays) ["Congratulations Class of 2021" white text on blue background] [Pi Le:] So five years ago, my family decided to move here to the U.S. so that we can have a better education. [Morgan States:] I've always wanted to own my own business. I have a passion for hair and nails and kind of all things on the girly side. [Francisco Flores:] I've always been a Jayhawk fan, and so the University of Kansas has always been a part of me. (Music plays) [Morgan States:] And I chose KU because of how great the school was and all the resources available to the business students.
I know that employers want to hire KU students, so I wanted to be in that pool. [Francisco Flores:] When I was a kid I didn't actually know campus all that well. I didn't, I couldn't tell you what any of the buildings names were. I couldn't, you know, I could barely even tell you where Allen Fieldhouse was, and that's, you know, that's where I always went to watch games. So I feel like in a way, during my time here at KU, I have found a new home. [Matt Deeg:] You know, I came in with, um, three other management Ph.D. students.
Um, Jinhwan and I developed a really incredible friendship, and he came over from Korea, and so his family was still over there. And so it's like, okay, how do we build community? We invite people into our homes. [Roy Ricaldi:] There's a very welcoming environment here. So I slowly started establishing my own family here, and I think that's really precious when you're so far from home. [Kate Wilkerson:] You grow really great, meaningful relationships with your professors, and I would just say that not only the classroom and the building is an incredible place, but the people make it absolutely exceptional. [Pi Le:] My group of friends, they are amazing because they are the ones who like taught me like the new cultures.
So they do really like help me to like learn not only like American culture, but like also culture from other countries. [Kasi Ross:] I was able to come to campus a few days early through our TRIO program, and I was able to meet a lot of the friends who became like my fraternity brothers, a lot of the individuals who I was on exec boards with later in my academic career, so it's just cool to see how an early experience like that really translated to the overall success and impact that I was able to have here at KU. ("Checking the math" text) [Francisco Flores:] I spent about 40 percent of my college career just online. In a way you kind of think about, "oh all of the opportunities that I missed" and things like that, but I think I've definitely learned more in this pandemic experience than I probably would have learned having had a smooth experience.
[Matt Deeg:] It was either open doors or open phone lines, um, when I had questions, and so going through the job market and you know, trying to figure out what it's like to start at a new school, being able to just call up you know Douglas (May) or Jill (Ellingson) or Clint (Chadwick), or anybody in the school of management — they answer and they're willing to share their time and expertise. And so I think you know it's just modeled — that relational energy is just everywhere in our school. [Kasi Ross:] Working with Kelvie (Crabb), Alee (Phillips), also Alicia Green has really helped me out a lot. [Roy Ricaldi:] Jen Harrison has been incredibly helpful in so many ways, not only in the classroom but also outside to provide great just life advice. [Morgan States:] Dr. Ken Ward, I'm taking his management class now, and he's really just emphasized how important it is to have a strategic and CEO mindset.
[Kate Wilkerson:] I think he was my GTA, was Matthew Deeg, and it was in our organizational behavior course. We all had the expectation to speak and engage, and that's still to this day one of my favorite courses here. [Francisco Flores:] All the people that I've worked with, all the people that I've talked to, all the people that I've, that I've worked for, I'm incredibly grateful for and look forward to showing them what I can do next because of their efforts and our efforts together. I definitely feel a draw to go to a different community and make an impact there. [Pi Le:] I still miss my hometown in Vietnam since I just moved here like five years ago.
So I plan to go back there and do an internship abroad. I don't want to follow the flow; I want to like create my own path where I feel like passionate about, and I feel like I can invest my time and my energy in it so that I can feel more accomplished. [Roy Ricaldi:] I actually got offers from both EY and KPMG, but I'm choosing to continue my education, and I'm getting my master's in cybersecurity in Italy. [Kasi Ross:] Now I feel like I'm ready to embark on the next journey, so this experience really pushed me towards a higher height. [Morgan States:] I've had the chance to be myself and grow into the professional that I want to be and into the person I want to be.
I learned a lot about myself. [Pi Le:] And I'm also excited to like be able to contribute more to the communities, to the world, just wherever I go. I just want to be able to make an impact. [Kasi Ross:] To my fellow graduates: Thank you for all your hard work. I know that this has been a trying time, but understand that better things are to come.
[Morgan States:] We finally made it. It's been, I think, a crazy time for all of us, um, considering all the changes we've probably experienced. I would say I'm proud of myself and proud of everyone else that's made it this far to be able to graduate. [Matt Deeg:] Whether you are leaving KU knowing exactly what you want to do, or you're leaving KU kind of thinking, "I don't know what's next," celebrate with one another. Your life's going to be much happier if you celebrate other people's successes. And take that time to just really be grateful and glad for, you know, four or five years that you've had here, as well as that next step.
[Roy Ricaldi:] Think big. Think really big, and you will be big because despite everything that's going on, if you still have dreams and you still have goals, you will achieve them along with hard work and resilience. You will get where you want to be. So just keep going, and I wish you the best of luck! (Music plays) ["Congratulations Class of 2021" white text on blue background] (Music plays) (Music plays) ["Congratulations Class of 2021" white text on blue background]