Outstanding Students

Lauren Kalm

Where are you from?

Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Why did you choose Kirkwood?

I chose Kirkwood because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my future when I graduated high school. It was also close to home and very affordable.

What is your major and how did you choose it?

Originally, I did one year of Liberal Arts up on Kirkwood’s main campus and after my first year was done I felt so stuck. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future. I’ve always had an interest in weddings and event planning, but I never really thought about getting a degree in it. I did some research on programs that Kirkwood offered and found that Kirkwood had a Hospitality Management program. On my 20th birthday, I told myself I would follow my heart that year and apply for the program. A month later I got a call saying I was accepted into the Hospitality Management program. I was so excited to start my new journey.

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood?

Definitely getting Outstanding Student of the Year. This has been my goal since the beginning of the program.

What are your plans after Kirkwood?

I am a Front Office Supervisor at the Hotel at Kirkwood. Actually, the clinicals I did as a student got me the job there. I plan on staying there after college with hopes of moving up to a management-level position in the future.

What inspires or motivates you?

My past and future self. I know that every day when I wake up I can always be better than who I was yesterday so I can better my tomorrow. You can’t change your past, but you can change your future.

Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood – hobbies, family, other interests, etc.

I love to be outside and be active. Whether that is out for a run or walk with a friend or spending time out on the lake with my family up in Minnesota, you can find me there. I also really enjoy reading. I love a book with a good twist. I could finish a whole book in one day if my schedule let me. I am getting married in July. My fiancé and I met in high school- we’ve been together for 4.5 years. It has been a crazy year for sure.

What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you?

It was an absolute honor to receive this recognition. When I found out I got this award, I was having a pretty overwhelming week and when I saw the email I immediately started crying. I was filled with pure gratitude and joy. I called my fiancé, dad and grandparents as soon as I found out. When I told my mom, we hugged each other and just cried. The last two years have been such a whirlwind. I have worked so hard in my clinicals and in the classroom and to see my hard work payoff is super rewarding.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to take some time to thank all my instructors at the Hotel at Kirkwood, specifically Dr. Greg Krawiec, David Horsfield and Brad Stuart. They all have left an impact on me that will last a lifetime. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate them for taking that leap of faith and believing in me and developing me. I would also like to take the time to recognize my family. The last two years have been filled with blood, sweat, and tears. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for their consistent love, support and patience through it all. I truly couldn’t have done it without them.

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