EDITOR’S NOTE: Boasting Exceptional Student Talent, the BEST Board in the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge is a 55-foot-long display sponsored by the CSU to recognize eight students each semester for campus student leadership and CSU student staff excellence. This is the first in a series of profiles of the Spring 2020 student leaders.
Using your own experience, what advice for personal fulfillment and college enrichment would you offer to fellow students?
BENEDIKT: “I advise students to be open-minded to new experiences. College is all about experiencing new things. Don’t take away an opportunity for yourself, but instead learn from it. Only by exposing ourselves to new experiences you enrich your college experience.“
We often get asked, “How do I get on the BEST Board?” What do you think helped earn you your BEST Board distinction?
BENEDIKT: “Years ago, the primary goal was not the BEST board. I saw people I looked up to on the board and I respected them greatly for it. It started to linger in my mind: ‘It would be kind of cool to be spotlighted like that, to show others with hard work comes recognition.’ I got involved and enhanced my college experience because I wanted to get the most out of my time here. I wanted to expose myself to new experiences and share with others.“
How has your college experience made you a better leader?
BENEDIKT: “Through my time as a Community Advisor, I interacted with many different types of leaders and personalities. I had to ensure that my communication and personality were mindful of students who were not used to me. In this position, I learned to interact with many different cultures as well as students with many different backgrounds. This made me into a better person, let alone a leader. As a Student Ambassador Executive Board member, I also realized that my experiences in life and my voice have an impact on others in a way I never realized before. I do have a story, and I can share it. I can educate others through my stories and experiences and impact them positively where silence wouldn’t. I became a better leader by vocalizing the things that I find matter.“
Why did you pick the quote used on the BEST Board? Please provide some background?
BENEDIKT: “I picked my quote as it represented my time here the most. This university became my home, it became the place where I smile every day. I worked hard, but also had a support system where they supported me and I supported them. You never know who or what enhances your experience and therefore being open-minded and kind allows mee to see these opportunities.“
What involvement or leadership experience at Minnesota State Mankato best defines you, your interests, or your proudest moment?
BENEDIKT: “Participating with the Lip Sync Battle at Homecoming together with residents and having them trust me and other Community Advisors that the experience would be worth it, was one of my proudest moments. Not the result mattered, but hearing residents talk during rehearsals and after the Battle share that they never thought they would do something like that and being so grateful that they did do it!“
Where do you hope to take your college education earned at Minnesota State Mankato (what are your career aspirations)?
BENEDIKT: “Thanks to all my different types of experiences and involvements with campus life and student affairs, I have embraced this field. I am planning on getting my master’s in Higher Education Student Affairs in order to be able to work on a campus university to further enhance and impact students’ college experience!“