ELLA MAY: Be Able To Prove You Applied Your Education

Each semester, the Centennial Student Union recognized eight outstanding students who excel as leaders in the campus community or within the CSU student staff. The BEST Board, the 55-foot display in the CSU Hearth Lounge, is a way of Boasting Exceptional Student Talent. This eight-part series offers a glimpse of each of those student leaders for Fall 2020.

Ella May of Watertown, Minn., graduates in May 2021 with her degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services. The former president of the Student Events Team, she remains an active member. She also served as a student ambassador. Getting involved has turned college into a memorable and rewarding experience.

Using your own experience, what advice for personal fulfillment and college enrichment would you offer to fellow students?

ELLA: “Get involved! You will never know the importance of your experiences until you step into the real world and are asked, what have you done to prove that you can apply your education and degree? Your experiences and involvement with organizations you are passionate about make you who you are.” 

We often get asked, “How do I get on the BEST Board?” What do you think helped earn you your BEST Board distinction?

ELLA: “Do not have the goal of ‘making the BEST Board’. Make your goal something that is personal to you. I want to make a difference on campus. I see something missing, what can I do to fix that? I want to put a smile on people’s faces, how can I make that happen? By asking yourself these questions and discovering what your own mission and goals are, will lead you to personal development and growth through involvement on campus. If you are achieving personal success, that is when you will be recognized. Stay humble, work hard, and grow within.” 

Why did you pick the quote used on the BEST Board? Please provide some background.

ELLA: “Growing up I was a hug theater kids. The company that I performed with was a small-town community education program that wrote all their own scripts and music. One show was performed every summer, and each show was made unique because each kid got to develop their own character story. One year I played a teacher who believed that everybody leaves a legacy, and it is up to you to decide what your legacy will be. My youth shaped me into the person I am today, and I really felt that it was important for me to include that in my quote.” 

What involvement or leadership experience at Minnesota State Mankato best defines you, your interests, or your proudest moment? 

ELLA: “Being a part of the Student Events Team has been a crucial part of shaping me into the person I am. Although there have been trials and tribulations, as there are with any organization, the memories and friends that I have made through the Student Events Team are lifelong. The organization has taught me more about myself than I ever knew possible, pushed me to be greater version of myself, and seen me through some of my toughest moments. College is about growth and this team has allowed me to grow not only socially but emotionally, mentally, and professionally too.”  

Where do you hope to take your college education earned at Minnesota State Mankato (what are your career aspirations)?

ELLA: “I hope to work in the commercial recreation industry, specifically with event and wedding coordination. My biggest dream is to own a family run wedding and event venue.”

What words of wisdom would you share in these unusual times?

ELLA: “Be kind, not only to others, but to yourself as well. Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can’t and let it go.” 

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