Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

A Class Balancing Act

Marvin P. Kolodzik Business Scholar juggles everything from classes to clowns.

Any student can attest that college sometimes feels like life under the big top. Kolodzik Business Scholar Chelsea Kindschuh is no different. Yet, by taking carefully calculated risks and pushing herself to go the extra mile, Chelsea is reaping benefits from thinking outside the box—or ring, as the case may be.

A finance and marketing major, Chelsea exemplifies the College of Business Kolodzik Business Scholars (KBS) program ideals of being innovative, thinking globally and working collaboratively.

She is also a Cincinnatus and University Scholar. In her junior year, she received the Carl H. Lindner Outstanding Junior Award from the College of Business.

“That was a really big deal to me,” Chelsea says. “I like to get involved in everything.”

But Chelsea has another passion besides business and books—she also plays midfield for the UC women's soccer team. She has consistently been named a “Topcat Scholar” and is also the 2008 Student Athlete Advisory Committee President.

“I love playing competitively,” says Chelsea. She has played soccer since she was eight-years-old and believes many things she faces on the soccer field she will also face in business. “You have to overcome challenges [on the field], so you'll be able to overcome them elsewhere.”

She credits her success both on and off the field to her parents, whom she calls “life inspiring.”

“They said it's important to always keep an eye on the big picture,” she says. “To get it done in the classroom and get it done on the field.”

The combination of the classroom and the field was what attracted Chelsea to UC, with both a Big East soccer team and a business program offering faculty experts and opportunities for real-world experience. Another Big East soccer team was very appealing to Chelsea — until she interviewed with the assistant dean of their business school.

“I asked if they offered their students real-world experiences, like working with P&G,” Chelsea says. “The assistant dean asked me what P&G was.”

This was hardly the case at UC, Chelsea recounts. It was a match made in heaven.

“As soon as I stepped foot on campus I knew,” she says. With Big East athletics and hands-on opportunities with leading businesses and professors willing to accommodate a student-athlete's schedule, the choice was clear to Chelsea.

Recently she put her education to good use in landing an unusual internship with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. She felt she was taking a risk to some extent with this undefined role she'd accepted.

“The position did not pay much and it was in a city I knew nothing about,” she says with a smile. “My first day on the job, a guy stepped in my office and handed me a clown nose. He said, ‘This is for you. We do not make fun of clowns here.'”

Through her marketing and public relations internship, she learned about the relationship between creativity and productivity. She realized Cirque du Soleil thrives thanks to a deep appreciation for the arts, but also a keen business sense.

“It definitely stretched me. I experienced a great deal of personal growth,” she says. “I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't put in that effort.”