Our weekly REAL People of the College of Business series continues today with first-year MBA student and accomplished vocalist Benny Kuo.
Kuo (the U is silent), a first-generation university student, grew up in Bellevue, Wash., and earned a bachelor’s degree in music while minoring in economics at Willamette University in Salem.
Here’s more of his story, in his own words:
“I went to Willamette so I could study to be a music educator, and as I joined clubs and joined a fraternity, I learned a lot more about myself. I stepped away from the music education side and switched to general music and liberal arts – I’d been so tunnel vision on the music education side that I didn’t look at my other strengths, and one of my strengths was fixing computers.
“After graduating from Willamette I worked for the IT department for Garten Services, a recycling facility in Salem, and I realized that for everything I wanted vertically in the IT world, I’d need to learn more skills, learn to code, learn to be a manager, and an MBA seemed most relevant.
“I learned I had a lot to offer in leadership in high school, and that drove me to continue that in college. Through that I learned that I loved it, that I’m passionate about it and good at it. I’m organized and goal oriented, and I’m hoping to go into strategic management, organizational management, work with organizations in crisis mode, and also organizations that are doing well but could do better.
“There are so many options here at OSU, that’s what I love about it. What I wanted, OSU is able to offer. I’m still learning about all the resources we have here, and I guess intrigued would be the right word about how many resources students do have, resources they maybe didn’t even know were possible. Like at the Valley Library, you can check out GoPros if you want to do something like climb Mount Hood.
“In five or 10 years I would like be working with a tech firm that really is impactful in how we use technology, kind of changing the way technology works in our lives, the recycling of technology, being green, a firm that educates the public about how much power their technology needs. I love being able to educate people about how to upgrade their computer and how to save money that way.”