Place, age or stage — students from a diversity of backgrounds become problem solvers at Lindner.
Straight lines are an anomaly in higher education. The road less traveled, one marked by twists and turns, is the norm for students.
Such is the manner in which many prospective students find their way to the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. Flexible pathways serve as one of Lindner’s core tenets, emphasizing a customizable breadth and depth of education. Students from a range of backgrounds, locations and stages in their lives turn to Lindner.
Four students reflect that reality by experiencing Lindner from divergent perspectives: by commuting to class five days a week; by transferring from another college or university; by attending class while fulfilling military service; and by choosing to make Lindner their new home after being raised outside of the United States.
Born in Ghana but raised in London, Nana Agyemang, BBA ’22, MS ’23, pursued an especially unique pathway to Lindner.
In 2018, Agyemang, who previously studied at Nottingham Trent University in England, moved to Ohio to be closer to family. She enrolled at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College to see if American education was a fit. After earning an associate degree, Agyemang decided she was up for a four-year university experience.
“I just really liked the idea that I would leave [UC] with co-op experiences and a possible full-time job offer,” Agyemang said of her decision to attend Lindner. “That really drew me in.”
Agyemang worked part-time as an undergraduate student, but also joined Lindner Women in Business (LWiB) and the Accounting Club.
“Those two clubs were my non-negotiables when I did my research on the clubs that I would want to get involved in,” said Agyemang, who spoke highly of LWiB. “Everyone seemed super-driven, even if they didn’t know where they wanted to end up (after graduation).”
“They pushed for success, and I loved that. It was very inspiring.”
Agyemang added that the Accounting Club helped her learn about the job interview process and familiarize herself with company recruiters.
After she graduated with degrees in accounting and marketing in fall 2022, Agyemang was named an Outstanding Non-Traditional Undergraduate Student and the accounting department’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student at Lindner's 2023 Student Awards.
“I was a bit surprised when I won. That was really cool,” Agyemang said. “It would have been worth it regardless, but [the award] showed that I’m in the right place and made the right decision to come to Lindner and come to the U.S.”
Agyemang isn’t finished at Lindner; she plans to complete her master’s in taxation and take the CPA exam by the end of 2023.
“At Lindner, you leave with a really good network of people, not only amongst your peers, but faculty included. And then you have access to alumni, who are also really willing to help,” Agyemang said. “If you make the most of it, you are essentially guaranteed to leave with some sort of job prospect or in a better standing than someone else who didn’t attend Lindner.”
At face value, Matthew Corey’s affection for rocketry seems like a curious fit for a business curriculum. But Corey, BBA ’24, is utilizing Lindner’s operations management program to pursue a very clear goal: conduct procurement in the rocketry field.
“Whether you’re going to work in health care or rocketry, Lindner does a really good job of preparing you for any industry that you may go into,” Corey said.
Corey’s zest for the rocket and space launch industries traces back to visiting his grandmother, who worked as a scheduler for the space shuttle program at Kennedy Space Center. In 2011, the two watched the last space shuttle launch together. At Lindner, Corey is putting his passion into practice via experiential learning.
During summer 2022, Corey was a supply chain intern with United Launch Alliance (ULA), an American spacecraft launch service provider in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Corey is spending summer 2023 with ULA, this time working in Decatur, Alabama, at one of the company’s assembly, manufacturing and integration operations centers.
Corey transferred to Lindner after a semester at Sinclair Community College, envisioning an operations management degree as the ideal match between rocketry and his self-described problem-solving mentality.
“I’ve always had my mind open to a lot of different things, but I’ve always known I wanted to do business,” Corey said. “When I got into college, I was like, ‘Wow, this is like a perfect way to kind of merge those two things together.’”
Corey also drives from Dayton to attend classes in-person at Lindner. Despite the commute, he still finds ways to get involved on campus, serving as outreach coordinator chair for UC Rocketry Club and co-president of UC’s chapter of Tau Sigma National Honor Society, an academic association that recognizes transfer students.
While he admits he’s less than enthusiastic about the one-hour drive, a trek he made five days a week during the recent spring semester, the accommodations Corey found at Lindner have helped him during his literal and figurative journey.
“I feel like Lindner makes an effort to appreciate every student, no matter their background,” Corey said. “There are things in place here that make it an enjoyable experience for anyone.”
Growing up in Delhi, India, Ridhi Chhabra’s family envisioned her attending a university outside of her home country. Chhabra’s father runs an automotive paints company, which provided her with an introduction into business problem solving. But it was pure happenstance that connected Chhabra, BS ’24, with Lindner and UC.
As an international student, Chhabra needed to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) — which prepares international students for university study and immigration — or an equivalent English proficiency exam to gain admission to certain foreign universities, including UC. Fate paired Chhabra with a TOEFL instructor who was the parent of a Lindner graduate.
It's been an amazing journey to get to know people, while also finding my true self and also being able to self-reflect on my achievements and (what) I can learn from my mistakes.
“That’s where I got background on UC and Cincinnati,” Chhabra said. “The co-op part about Lindner fascinated me.”
Chhabra’s first year coincided with the COVID-19-induced pivot to remote learning, so the business analytics major embarked on solo expeditions around campus to acquire a feel for her new home.
At the onset of her second academic year, Chhabra — a self-described introvert prior to arriving in Cincinnati — got heavily involved at Lindner and UC.
Chhabra joined International Partners and Leaders (IPALS), a UC International campus ambassador group. IPALS hosts events so students hailing from different cultures can share experiences and make friends.
“When I went in person to the meetings, I found out that it wasn’t just international students (who had been isolated),” Chhabra said. “There were so many other students that had lived off-campus (due to the pandemic).”
Chhabra’s past and present Lindner- and UC-affiliated duties include time spent as a PACE leader, resident advisor, peer career coach and a call center customer representative. She’s also been a student assistant for Lindner’s undergraduate programs office and completed a co-op with the UC Foundation.
With her fourth academic year on campus fast approaching, Chhabra said she’s “not ready to leave yet.”
“It’s been an amazing journey to get to know people, while also finding my true self and also being able to self-reflect on my achievements and (what) I can learn from my mistakes,” she said. “It’s been an outstanding experience being a Bearcat. If I could go back in time, I would choose to be part of this family all over again.”
Owensboro, Kentucky. Appleton, Wisconsin. Newburgh, Indiana.
Dylan Stenski, BA, BS ’25, crisscrossed the Midwest during his childhood, with his family eventually settling in Southwest Ohio. As an Ohio Army National Guardsman, Stenski is on the move in a different way, but still finds time for his studies at Lindner.
Stenski earned his diploma from Lakota East High School and studied information technology at Butler Tech, a career technical education school, before joining the Ohio Army National Guard. After garnering an associate degree from Sinclair Community College, Stenski desired to attend a four-year university while serving his country.
“Yes, [Lindner] was close by, but I also knew that the business environment here was growing and I wanted to be involved in that,” said Stenski, a business analytics and operations management double major. “At the same time, the market for business students is always expanding.”
As part of his duties with the National Guard, Stenski serves in the Honor Guard at military funerals in and around Ohio. He noted that UC Veterans Programs & Services, as well as faculty and staff with military backgrounds, have been able to accommodate his requests when duty calls.
“Should Uncle Sam call upon me, I know that I’m not going to fail a course due to a missed exam, but rather have the opportunity to make up that assignment, quiz, test, exam or whatever it may be,” Stenski said. “This level of accommodation has most definitely contributed to my back-to-back 4.0 (GPA) semesters.”
After transferring to Lindner, Stenski said he quickly realized that “each student has their own academic pathway that is unique.”
“Students may have changed majors, perused multiple disciplines within the same major, transferred from another institution or even come from a military background like me,” he said. “While my academic journey still has over a year left, that uniqueness has yet to fade away as I meet more and more students.”
Although all pathways lead to Lindner — whether those journeys begin halfway around the globe, at another college or university, or with a passion outside the perceived confines of a business degree — this is certainly not where they end. Lindner is a launchpad, connecting the next generation of business problem solvers with the local, national and international business community.