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.
Using your own experience, what advice for personal fulfillment and college enrichment would you offer to fellow students?
MICHAEL: “My first advice I’d give for personal fulfillment is to step out of your comfort zone, don’t be complacent. Try new things, start meeting new people to create a network.”
We often get asked, “How do I get on the BEST Board?” What do you think helped earn you your BEST Board distinction?
MICHAEL: “Honestly, I was shook to find out that I was nominated for this distinction because I myself always wondered how people got their face on the wall too! If I had to think about it, I made myself useful and helped in places where I saw fit. I didn’t think of doing work just to be recognized, I just did it to make an impact on myself and those around me.”
Why did you pick the quote used on the BEST Board? Please provide some background.
MICHAEL: “I got that quote from a movie, and that movie was quoting Frederick Douglass, a well known American Abolitionist, who looked at struggling as a way of knowing you’re moving up or you’re progressing from where you once were. At one point in school, I wasn’t doing so great and I wanted to make that quote apply to myself; if I don’t find myself struggling in some situations, am I really growing?”
What involvement or leadership experience at Minnesota State Mankato best defines you, your interests, or your proudest moment?
MICHAEL: “My involvement on campus just shouts out “Black Excellence!” I managed to join and assist in establishing a Black Greek organization on campus called Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. where we strive for Achievement in Every field of Human Endeavors. Also, I work very closely with some great faculty, staff, and students in the Multicultural Center on events that helped build leadership skills.”
Where do you hope to take your college education earned at Minnesota State Mankato (what are your career aspirations)?
MICHAEL: “After graduation, I plan on working full-time as a Financial Analyst with one of the top banks in the US. I’ve managed to complete three internships during undergrad, so it helped build my experience to get into my career path and continue building from there.”
What words of wisdom would you share in these unusual times?
MICHAEL: “For times like these, I would sit back and reflect on what I’ve done, what I can do, and what I will do. Go out and learn a new skill or trait that can impact your career path or personal skills. Try new things and never let failure lead you to quit, let it be the driving force to excel in a different way that you’ve never thought you could do. Also, don’t let anyone use age to stop you from doing something you want to do.”