Students Speak: Meet Kyle Graham '16

November 02 2015
Category: Academics


Hometown: Ulysses, Pennsylvania
Majors: Economics, Finance, and Business Administration; concentration in Management
Campus Engagement: RA, President of Student Association and Omicron Delta Kappa, Campus Center Student Director, Career Assistant, Big Events Committee Co-Technical Chair, Student Alumni Council Co-Historian, JDRF Public Relations Chair, Alumni Reunion Entertainment Chair

Q: Can you tell us about your family?

A: Growing up, my parents always emphasized the importance of education and doing your best both inside and outside of the classroom. As I grew older, I started doing things that interested me more. I was part of the FBLA [Future Business Leaders of America] club. Recently, in addition to joining National Honor Society, I served as vice president and then president of my class.

Q: Why did you choose Elmira College?

A: One thing that was really important for me when I was looking for a college was a sense of belonging. Having moved around a lot growing up, I have had to say goodbye to so many people. It was always hard for me to start over and figure out where I was and where I fit in with everything. It seemed like as soon as I would get into a stabile routine, we’d move again. In choosing a college, I was hoping to find a place where I could be myself and also find community. I spend a lot more time here than my actual home. This is where I live, sleep, eat, breathe, earn, and grow as a person. That’s why I am involved with so many things on campus: because this place is like my home away from home. I consider a lot of my friends here to be extended family. 

Q: What makes Elmira College different?

A: Really, it’s about the opportunity; to be whatever you want to be. There are always new opportunities for you to continue to grow if you take advantage of them. And that’s something you are not going to get at every school. At a large school, I wouldn’t have had that one- on-one interaction with faculty and administration that I’ve had on almost a daily basis here. 

Q: How would you describe the relationship between the College and its students?

A: I feel like this college cares about me as a person, which allows me to pursue my interests and grow into the best individual I can be. When my four years here are done, I can go out into the workforce or into graduate school or wherever life may take me and be prepared for whatever will come my way. I think I can say that with a lot of confidence because I was accepted to a program at the University of Chicago for this summer [Chicago Booth’s Summer Business Scholars (SBSP)]. It only accepts 50 students every year, and out of those, only around half of them are from the United States. I’ll be taking classes with some of their MBA professors and getting a taste of what an MBA is actually like. I don’t think I would have been able to get there without the opportunities at Elmira College. I think having three majors showed them that I was one of the well-rounded individuals they seek, and my extracurricular activities show that I have been in leadership positions at my school.

Q: Have you encountered adversity while at Elmira College?

A: When I came here, I got really involved in student activities. From there I continued to grow, and to challenge myself to find different things, and it wasn’t always easy. I was told no from time to time. I was actually rejected from being an RA twice. But it made me want it more and eventually I became an RA. It was pretty satisfying. 

Q: What do you think Elmira College alumni should know about your generation of students?

A: I think that they should know that we have a very different way of viewing the world. Growing up, we were introduced to different kinds of technologies that changed—and continue to change—faster than ever before. I think my generation in particular wants to be able to revolutionize everything; they want to be able to use all these technologies to connect with everyone in order to challenge old ideas that have been handed down to us. I don’t think there is any one correct way of looking at how to accomplish this, which is what’s so great about it. We can create a space in which a whole spectrum of viewpoints from people around the world can come together.