A Trulaske story: Students selected for Tru 20 share the impact of the college on their Mizzou experience
Sometimes recognition for students focuses on things that are tangible, like holding an office or maintaining a certain GPA. But students at the Trulaske College of Business excel and contribute in a million unique ways – they might organize a food drive for Tiger Pantry, receive corporate recognition for internship work, lead other students on a study abroad experience, or start a profitable business. In the fall of 2022, the college created a program to recognize students for their stories, calling it Tru 20.
In the spring of 2023, Mizzou business students were invited to share the stories of how Trulaske has left a meaningful and lasting impression on their lives. The 20 students who would ultimately be selected – out of a pool of over 70 applicants – make up the inaugural class of Tru 20. And these are their stories.
Certificate: Human Resources Management
My time in the Trulaske College of Business was pivotal in my development as both a student and young professional. In the fall of 2018, I co-founded Canticum Novum, Mizzou’s premier student-led chamber ensemble for undergraduate singers. Trulaske taught me how to create budgets, write grant proposals for funding and effectively manage a team of 12-16 students. Trulaske gave me the courage to file the paperwork for Canticum Novum to become an official nonprofit, where I have dedicated 600+ hours to community outreach, rehearsals and maintenance of the organization. In addition, Canticum Novum has now performed eight separate concerts and raised hundreds of dollars for charity.
Certificates: Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics
My first semester, I was quick to get myself involved by applying and joining both the Trulaske College of Business Student Council and Collegiate FBLA. I was incredibly impressed with how professional and caring members (and advisors) in both of these organizations were. In a way, their ideals and sense of purpose transferred to me as time went on. People like [former staff member] Alex Horn, [and fellow students] Johnathan Kimble, Ahabb Fisher and Maeanna Hall helped me understand that your purpose should be bigger than yourself, because it will continue to motivate you long after your collegiate years. I took this purpose and combined it will my love of helping others. These two ideas led me to my personal mission statement that I try and live up to as a future business leader: I am living my life with the purpose of helping others.
Matthew David Gentry Jr.
Emphasis: Finance & Banking
The reports I made and the methods I learned [at Trulaske] opened many opportunities for me when applying for internships after my junior year. While in the Mizzou Investment Fund Management program, I interviewed for many positions in higher finance, including investment banks and private equity firms. I was able to answer many technical questions. Through my many interview processes, I landed an internship with Bank Street Group in Stamford, Connecticut. I was able to meet many people and received a great hands-on experience. I am also happy to say I received a return offer from the firm and will be returning as a full-time investment banking analyst this summer. I am proud that, through the programs Trulaske has to offer, I was able to land a job that many students from the Midwest are unable to secure.
Emphasis: Finance and Banking
My Trulaske story revolves around the growth I have made during my time as a student at Mizzou. Arriving on campus in August of 2019, I was wide-eyed, scared, and unsure what to expect over the next four years. The first person I met after moving in was the new member educator of my fraternity, Ben, and he was a junior studying accounting, with an investment banking internship lined up at Goldman Sachs for the coming summer. I idolized that individual, for how bright he was, but more importantly for the person he was. He was the person I wanted to emulate, whether it was through similar involvement, success in the classroom, kindness for others, or otherwise. Near the end of the fall semester of 2022, a freshman reached out to me asking if we could grab a coffee. It was a humbling feeling to realize that the same impressions and guidance that Ben provided me, I can hopefully leave on that student. That is the cycle that Trulaske provides its students, and I am very grateful for the experience I have had, and am excited for the experiences that future students will be able to have.
If it had not been for the Trulaske College of Business I would not be here at Mizzou. Sounds a bit drastic reading that back, but it's true! I had my mind made up when I graduated high school that I was going out of state for college and refused to look back. It wouldn't be until I received an invitation from the Cornell Leadership Program (CLP) that I would begin considering the next best years of my life. Each year, I marvel at the new experiences I've had, the people I've met, and just how much my mentality has evolved. There's something to be said for CLP, whose community breaks you out of what I call the "college bubble" – the mindset which compartmentalizes your college experience from the quote-unquote "real world." I have never felt freer and more able to pursue life -- not just after college -- while at the same time feeling empowered to help others realize their potential. If I could talk to freshman year me, I'd be sure to tell her, "You made an excellent choice."
Certificate: Fitness Management & Programming
The Trulaske College of Business is the reason I chose Mizzou during my college search, and I truly could not be more thankful to call Cornell Hall home. In October of 2022, I was selected to represent the college and the Cornell Leadership Program on the annual trip to New York City, and it has certainly been the highlight of my college experience. Twelve of my classmates and I visited eleven different financial firms including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bloomberg and Blackstone. Not only did we spend a week immersed in the Wall Street culture, but we spent the eight weeks prior conducting research on these firms and the financial markets and preparing questions in order to have enriching conversations with executives in the moment. This trip was an incredible reminder of the reason I decided to major in business/accounting in the first place: My hope is to increase female representation in these financial boardrooms someday, and this ties into another piece of Trulaske that I am so grateful to be a part of. I currently serve as the president of the Association of Trulaske Businesswomen, an organization dedicated to enhancing the future careers of women in male-dominated industries.
Emphasis: Finance and Banking
Throughout my first few weeks in Columbia, I was introduced to members of the University of Missouri Investment Group (UMIG). They spoke to me about their experiences in investment banking and private equity in New York City, Chicago or San Francisco. It was from that point on that I knew that this was the path that I would take to change my life and hopefully many others. I was accepted into the upper level of UMIG, the Associates’ Program. Following rigorous training, and a lot of learning mistakes, I was accepted into the Allen Angel Capital Education Venture Fund, where I have gained real investing experience with start-up companies. Within one year, I realized that there are many students who had the same capabilities to grow and learn but were hindered by doubts and “impossibilities.” I realized that I would have the capability to teach and help many students who have not yet had the support that I gained during my time here. Now, I am president of UMIG, and have spent my time working towards creating a brighter future for Trulaske students. I can take my experience breaking out of the shell of doubt to change the trajectory of someone’s life forever.
I came to Missouri from Oregon to attend the Trulaske College of Business. While here, I have had many amazing experiences. I've learned more about myself, my interests and what I want to achieve professionally. After I left the military with an injury that made continuing in my field of expertise difficult, I had trouble seeing a positive future for myself. After taking classes at Mizzou, working with professors like Shannon Breske and Tim Hill, I've begun to enjoy what I'm learning, finding things to be passionate about and even recovering from depression. As a nontraditional student, the pressures I feel are different and often more intense than my classmates. I believe that being able to recover like this is a result of the support that these professors, among others, gave me when I needed it. They showed care and compassion, and in class they talked about their subjects with enthusiasm and energy, and it helped me figure out what I want to do moving forward. I've learned more about my strengths and how to apply them properly, what areas I'm weak in and things to avoid, and because of all of this, I plan to open a business in Columbia after graduation.
Minor: Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Certificate: Risk Management and Insurance
The Trulaske College of Business has provided me with the tools I need to be a successful professional well beyond my years after graduation. When reflecting on my college experience thus far, confidence in myself and my capabilities is where I have seen the greatest growth. Initially, I came in having no clue what I wanted to study within business. Taking courses in every domain helped me gain a better understanding of the limitless opportunities that are available. My study abroad trip [to Bergamo, Italy] has been the absolute highlight of my college experience. Spending the summer traveling across all of Italy and southern France, learning about the rich history and culture while knocking out two courses, has been the best decision I have ever made.
Outside of the Trulaske College of Business, I am a campus tour guide, where I get to meet with prospective students from around the world and share my love for this incredible institution. These interactions pushed me to want to help prospective business students choose Mizzou, which is why I became a College of Business ambassador. On top of that, I became a Camp Trulaske counselor to provide mentorship, guidance and advice to incoming students about how to be successful.
Emphasis: Finance and Banking and Real Estate
While I have had the opportunity with many unique experiences at Mizzou I owe them in large part to the community in Trulaske that consistently demands excellence. All of us – the students, staff and faculty – push each other to be the best.
The most unique thing about Trulaske is its ability to foster community within students. No other college on Mizzou’s campus has emulated this to our level. On day one, with Camp Trulaske, I felt like I belonged here. From group projects analyzing a stock portfolio, presentations in front of clients or simply sitting on the atrium couches, we support one another and hold each other accountable! Trulaske has given me mentors, as well as allowed me to mentor current and future students. As a Camp Trulaske Counselor and Business Ambassador, I have worked closely to help students find their home in Trulaske, just like I found mine.
Certificate: Sales and Customer Development
Choosing to come to Mizzou and to be a part of the Trulaske College of Business has been one of the most impactful decisions of my life. From the people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had and the network I’ve built, I will forever be grateful for my time at Cornell Hall. Trulaske has offered me the chance to form lasting friendships, including with two individuals with whom I founded a business. By using knowledge I learned in the business school curriculum, I started a cleaning business called Crew Cleaners with Reed Kousoulas and Steven Guo. We worked together to acquire clients, create schedules and serve our clients’ home-cleaning needs.
Because of my leadership in Pi Sigma Epsilon, and attending the business career fair and a company presentation in my Personal Selling class, I was introduced to a company called Signature Consultants. I am proud to say that I have accepted an associate recruiter position upon graduation in Chicago. I believe every chapter in my Trulaske story helped me acquire the skills and experiences necessary to secure a role like this one. There is no way I would be where I am today without the Trulaske College of Business and for that I am extremely thankful.
Certificates: Sales and Consumer Development
Looking back on my time as a Trulaske student, I have had countless great experiences. From joining the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, to traveling for a sales competition with peers from my Personal Selling class, I have been given every opportunity possible to enhance and hone my skills. However, the extreme emphasis Trulaske puts on internships and real-world experiences has led to the most eye-opening and beneficial experiences I have had during college.
After my freshman year, I traveled to Mexico with the nonprofit Casas Por Cristo, working with fellow interns and leading teams of volunteers across the Texas-Mexico border to build a house from start to finish in each week for families in need. After my junior year, I was offered an internship with Reynolds American as a territory management intern. That summer, I worked in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C., with a Fortune 200 company. I had the opportunity to work on a summer-long project with real-world implications with a group of other interns. Through this internship, I was offered and accepted a position to return with the company after graduation as a territory manager.
Minors: Entrepreneurship and Black Studies
Certificate: Multicultural Studies
Throughout my time at the Trulaske College of Business, my leadership skills have grown immensely. At the start of my freshman year, I was very shy. I joined Vasey Academy and Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative, where I began building a sense of community. After a month, I was asked to serve as the freshman representative on the Vasey Academy Advisory Board, sharing my experiences with the founders. Vasey offered me my first leadership opportunity and informed me of resources within the college. This is how I learned about Business Career Services, which has helped me with countless resumes, cover letters and interview preparation. I began forming a personal connection with Assistant Director Lindsay Hing and I asked her to serve as a mentor.
This year, I am the president, treasurer and social chair of the Black Pre-Law Students Association. I used the networking, communication and leadership skills I learned in business courses to advocate for my organization to attend the 18th National Black Pre-Law Conference at Harvard Law School, securing over $10,000 from donors. I have been accepted into four law schools (and counting) and have been offered over $100,000 in scholarships. The faculty, staff and opportunities within Trulaske have pushed me to grow and become a leader.
Certificates: Global Supply Chain Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
My Trulaske story starts before I even stepped foot on the Mizzou campus. Throughout high school, I was determined to find innovative ways to make money. I knew I wanted to start a business of my own, and I wanted the business to help the community and others around me. I had no idea what this business could be or how on earth I would go about starting it.
This semester, I observed many people around me needing simple everyday items, from bedside tables to kitchenware, and at the same time, I saw many of these items being discarded and ending up in landfills. Whenever I would see broken furniture being thrown away, I would take it home and provide the necessary fixes and repairs. Because most, if not all, of the items were at no cost to me, I passed the savings on to the members of the community by offering these refurbished items at a fraction of the cost. From what started as a way to fund my college education, I would have never expected this journey to lead me to help serve over 300 members of the community around me. It is due to the professional competencies learned at Trulaske that I am able to provide service and benefit those in the community while working towards earning my degree.
Emphasis: Finance and Banking
Certificates: Risk Management and Insurance, Investments
Success is a journey, and it looks a bit different for everyone. To me, it is the culmination of hard work, determination and purposefulness and it is something that I have always strived to achieve. As a Trulaske student, I have come to understand that true success is not just about achievement, but rather personal growth, authenticity and making a positive impact on the community around me. The incredible faculty at the Trulaske College of Business – in conjunction with the connections I have made with their help – have shaped my understanding of success.
At Trulaske, I have taken classes and joined organizations that have pushed me to become a better leader and person. One such class was BA 3500 with Assistant Dean Lauren Brengarth, in which I was able to conduct market research to evaluate the practicality of opening a new restaurant. I leveraged the resources available in Cornell Hall’s Innovation Space to create a 3D visual of our client's prospected restaurant location. This class motivated me to think abstractly to satisfy client needs. I am excited for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and am confident the skills I have acquired from the Trulaske College of Business will leave me fully equipped to succeed in the business world.
Certificates: Sales and Customer Development
My Trulaske story begins with my attendance at an event hosted by the MU Office of Undergraduate Research. Inspired by this event, I made an appointment with the office to discuss how to become involved in research opportunities for undergraduate business students. I took their advice and emailed business faculty members, inquiring if they were looking for an undergraduate research assistant. All of them thanked me, then politely turned me down.
As a result, I proposed the idea of an undergraduate enrichment program for research for business students. Through deliberation and research with several campus mentors, we decided that the program model would be a $1,000 stipend for 10 undergraduate business students to perform 10 hours a week of research assistance. Each step of the way, Associate Dean Gay Albright advocated for my idea in staff meetings and faculty conversations. In a recent meeting, she informed me that a donor in Kansas City is willing to fund the program. A path to undergraduate research for Trulaske students could be forged by Fall 2023! While my Trulaske story is not over, this experience has significantly boosted my professional success. Pursuing this venture has shown me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, especially with Trulaske’s faculty guiding me.
I made the decision to attend MU after being accepted into the Cornell Leadership Program. I knew that this program would build me into a confident and capable young professional, but I had no idea just how much it would alter the way I see the world. The program was built by Dr. Mary Beth Marrs, and under her stewardship it continues to produce some of the best and brightest students joining the ranks of Mizzou alumni.
I came to Mizzou believing that business was about advancing our world by providing customers with goods and services that improve their lives and turn a profit for the company to reinvest in the product. However, I’ve learned that business is about so much more. At the heart of everything we do is people. The relationships we build are what allows us to innovate and revolutionize society. Our economies are global, and the decisions we make impact stakeholders everywhere. As individuals who have experienced tremendous privilege, we have a responsibility to make the world a better place and to take care of people no matter where our careers take us. This obligation to the world is what fuels my passion. I look forward to having a truly positive impact on both local and international communities.
It feels like yesterday that I was sitting in my basement as a senior in high school, trying to decide where to attend college. I quickly concluded that Mizzou was an obvious choice for me. I already had a sense that I wanted to do something in business, and the ranking of the business school looked very attractive especially compared to the price.
My first instinct at Mizzou was to get as involved as possible. The two groups that initially stood out to me were the University of Missouri Investment Group and the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization. The members were self-motivated and very impressive, and I saw the pursuit of a career in high finance or entrepreneurship as something that would be fulfilling. Now in my junior year, I have focused on becoming a leader and providing support to individuals following a similar path. My biggest undertaking of the semester was stepping into a managing director role for the Allen Angel Capital Education Venture Fund, leading fundraising efforts for an additional $500,000 fund.
Overall, my journey as a student of Trulaske has been exceptional in many ways. It has shaped my personality and interests, provided me with a network of colleagues, and created opportunities to lead organizations, travel, and ultimately land the job of my dreams.
I knew with 100% certainty that I had a passion for business when I applied to the University of Missouri. I am the co-founder of a student-run business called The Equipped Project.
My peers and I noticed a decrease in participation in sports and music in our community. After researching, we found that students were discouraged from playing sports and instruments because of their financial situation. Upon hearing of this issue, we wanted to help alleviate this problem within our community. The Equipped Project collects sports equipment and musical instrument donations, refurbishes them and provides them to students who otherwise could not afford them. Our business diminishes the opportunity gap within our community by providing a unique, low-cost service for students in need. Providing this service helps the community, promotes academic achievement and helps to alleviate financial disparities.
I have strengthened my leadership, strategic thinking, time management and communication skills as chancellor and vice president of scholarship and awards of the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. I also volunteer in activities such as cleaning up litter on campus, decorating for Homecoming, volunteering at the Mizzou football concession stands, and mentoring young girls through Girls on the Run. My experience at Mizzou and the Trulaske College of Business has shaped me into who I am today.
Emphasis: Finance and Banking
Certificate in Investments
My Trulaske story began during summer orientation, when I met Sijie Yao, my academic advisor. In our first meeting, I shared with Sijie my goal of graduating in four years with a double major in business and music. Sijie helped me create a schedule that accommodated both of my desired majors. To pursue two areas of study, I have taken an average of 19 credit hours per semester. I am incredibly grateful to my Trulaske professors, whose passion for what they teach makes me truly look forward to their classes. These professors and the Business Career Services team have prepared me for many opportunities outside of Cornell Hall.
In my time at Mizzou, I have had the honor of being selected for Tour Team and the 2023 Homecoming Steering Committee, as well as being tapped into Omicron Delta Kappa, one of the university’s six secret honor societies. As a Trulaske student, I have made lifelong friends and mentors, gained real-world experience, and developed my professional network and skills. Whether in Bush Auditorium, the advising office, Business Career Services, or the atrium, I am surrounded by people who encourage and inspire me.