Moving the tassel from right to left: crossing over into alumni status

chasten_young     My name is Chasten Young and I have studied international business and management and I have a minor in Spanish. In my time here at Grand Valley, I have joined several clubs, donated countless hours to community service and philanthropy, and have honestly tried to leave my mark in some way here on campus. As I am quickly approaching that point of graduation, I can’t help but constantly reflect on my overall college experience.

It’s such a harmless question: ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ You always innocently think about being a doctor, lawyer, or a firefighter. Based off of those innocent answers that I gave as a kid, I never thought that I would be where I am today.  The day every college student subconsciously knows is coming – the day where you leave everything you’ve known for the past four years behind and transition into that thing we call ‘adulthood’. Even though we subconsciously know it’s coming, we’re never prepared for it. How exciting, bittersweet, and amazing it feels to finally be done with something that I have worked so hard for.

I have noticed myself already becoming alum of Grand Valley in numerous ways. For some reason, no matter how many years younger a student may be, I find myself lecturing them on all the different things that I didn’t do in college, and I find myself doing this quite often. In the event that a student may be reading this, I’ll summarize my advice up.

  • Join as many clubs as you can – diverse ones, as well as ones that interest you
  • Introduce yourself, go to office hours, make sure your professors know who you are
  • Don’t pay so much money to not pass
  • Go with the flow, try new things, don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Study abroad!
  • Volunteer – community service and philanthropy

But most importantly, have fun. College is much more than studying and grades – it’s about discovering who you are as a person.

As I am from Delaware, I never knew the impact that Grand Valley would have on me. I have grown so much as a person, and I truly believe in the idea of paying it forward. Just as Grand Valley has given to me, I will continue to give back to it. The idea of Laker for a Lifetime is an idea that I will carry with me wherever I go. With no intention of even attending college in Michigan, it’s quite ironic how four years later, here I am. I am currently enrolled as an MBA student here at Grand Valley in Seidman College of Business’s FIMBA program. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks interviewing with local companies in the Grand Rapids area as in accordance to my MBA program. I’m here in Grand Rapids to stay! Hopefully as a young professional in the Grand Rapids area, there will be several opportunities for me to give back not only to my Grand Rapids community, but my Laker family as well.


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