Recent UC grad’s education stretched far beyond classroom
Lindner student graduates with wealth of leadership and co-op experience
Benjamin Kuhlman was practically born a Bearcat.
His parents met at the University of Cincinnati, and his two older sisters earned their respective degrees from UC. Kuhlman himself recently graduated from the Carl H. Lindner College of Business with a double major in operations management and international business with a minor in German studies.
But his education from UC stretched far beyond the classroom. Through participation in student organizations and UC’s cooperative education program, Kuhlman honed his leadership skills, built valuable relationships and gained real-world experience. Now, the recent grad is set to start a full-time job in September in Cincinnati at Nielsen, a global measurement and data company that analyzes consumers and markets worldwide.
“I always knew that UC was where I wanted to go for college,” Kuhlman says, and his invitation to join the Kolodzik Business Scholars honors program sealed the deal.
Through the KBS program, Kuhlman had the opportunity to study abroad in Montreal during the spring semester of his freshman year.
“KBS opened so many doors for me,” Kuhlman says. “It was really cool that I got to go abroad right away.”
The business student traveled to Munich, too, for a month as part of his German language studies.
“It’s something that was in my parents’ background and was an expansion of my UC experience,” he says, “[and] to have that connection with my ancestry is really important.”
Kuhlman also kept ties with his lineage locally in Cincinnati through the co-op program while completing five semesters of work experience with four different companies, including German-based Mubea North America, a market leader in the automotive spring industry.
“It definitely opened my eyes to what was out there,” Kuhlman says of the co-op program. “You get to see what you like and what you don’t like within the specific work and even the size of companies, what you want in management and that sort of thing.”
Along with Mubea, he worked for General Electric Aviation, Rotex Global and Fifth Third Bank.
But Kuhlman says his time off the clock spent in student leadership and campus involvement was the most beneficial part of his years at UC.
“Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are driven and have similar goals as you is just so important,” he says. “Through KBS and some of my student involvement groups, I really got a good group of friends around me and people that I know will challenge me to be the person I want to be.”
During his first year at UC, Kuhlman lived with seven other KBS scholars in Morgens Hall.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are driven and have similar goals as you is just so important.
UC graduate Benjamin Kuhlman
“We all signed up for a lot of clubs and found our specific niche in different organizations,” the honors student says. “It was inspiring to be around a group of people [who] were motivated to be involved and make an impact on campus. Those relationships I know will last far beyond graduation.”
Kuhlman held executive positions in various student organizations, but he was primarily involved in his social fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, in which he served as treasurer, and the Student Alumni Council, where he served as president his senior year and homecoming chair the year prior. As homecoming chair, Kuhlman facilitated the work of six committee members and oversaw the homecoming court process, parade routes and weeklong events.
“Being a part of that entire experience was really awesome,” he says, but the biggest challenge was prioritizing his time and finding what is most valuable.
“The biggest piece of advice I’d give is to take advantage of all the college offers you,” Kuhlman says. “You don’t have to wait until after graduation to put some of the things you’re learning in class into practice in the professional world.”
Featured image at top: Benjamin Kuhlman (center) smiles for a photo with two members of homecoming court. photos/submitted