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UVU: Student Kelsey Bingham says embracing unexpected opportunities is key to discovering purpose

By Alessia Love - UVU | Jan 8, 2022

Emily Munoz, UVU Marketing

Utah Valley University alumni Kelsey Bingham poses for photos on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021.

Kelsey Bingham grew up in Alpine. At first, she viewed Utah Valley University as simply a bigger version of her high school, which made her want to attend any university besides UVU. She spent her first year of college at Utah State University, but after serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and moving back closer to her family, she decided to give UVU a chance.

“My time at UVU brought many unexpected blessings and pleasant surprises,” Bingham said.

For her, the key was getting involved. Right off the bat, she applied on a whim for an internship with the National Society of Leadership and Success. She didn’t think she’d even be considered, but she landed the internship, trained in New Jersey, and started the UVU chapter of the society.

“I had to find an advisor and board members on my own, and I hadn’t even started taking classes yet!” Bingham said. “In our first semester, we had 300 people join the society. As of 2021, the society has 845 student participants and continues to grow.”

During her time as an undergrad, Bingham also joined the UVU Chinese Club, which led to new avenues and helped foster connections she still has today. She became a club ambassador and met many international students. Bingham’s membership in the club and experience with NSLS allowed her to learn more about herself and the inner workings of UVU.

Emily Munoz, UVU Marketing

Utah Valley University alumni Kelsey Bingham poses for photos on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021.

Bingham appreciated the opportunities to explore her academic interests as well. Her favorite class, a communication course with Paul Parkin, focused on developing empathy and connecting with people and brought real-world experiences into the classroom. “His class changed what I thought a college experience could be, academically,” Bingham said.

Thanks to Parkin’s supportive classroom environment, she decided to major in communication studies. Her academic advisor, Jessica Pauly, introduced her to a specific field that matched her skills and interests: organizational communication. While she never planned initially to study communication at UVU, Bingham wouldn’t have wanted her college experience to go any other way.

“To be honest, I feel spoiled by how enriching and full my experience was at UVU,” Bingham said. “It was amazing to apply what I was learning in the classroom to my leadership experiences. I discovered who I am, what I love, what I want, and what my purpose is. I can’t even think of what my life would be like had I not gone to UVU.”

Magleby Construction recently hired Bingham as an executive assistant and project manager. Through getting involved at UVU, she discovered that she loves project-based work, organization, optimization, and working with people. Later, she plans to apply for an MBA program and eventually become a management consultant.

“I realized that UVU is a place full of opportunities that, since I took them, changed my college experience and life for the better,” Bingham said. “You don’t have to run for student office or do anything too crazy. Find a way to get involved that fits with your schedule and lifestyle, and you’ll find boundless opportunities ahead.”


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