Commencement Countdown with Graduate Student Speaker Kera Beskin

Kera BeskinKera Beskin is a graduate student and researcher here at UIC. She grew up in rural Minnesota and is graduating this May with her dual master’s of public health and master’s of business administration at UIC. The president of the Public Health Student Association and currently working as a research assistant at the UIC School of Public Health, she has also served as a Business Ambassador and will deliver this year’s graduate speech at the UIC Business commencement. We caught up with Beskin as her time at UIC comes to a close.

Q: Why did you choose UIC Business? 

I have lived in Chicago since 2012. When I was selecting graduate programs UIC stood out because of their dual MPH/MBA program. I heard amazing things about the professors and classes. Many of the people in the healthcare world I was networking with had degrees from UIC. In-state tuition was just the icing on the cake!

Q: What elective class would you recommend and why? 

Here are my top three:

  • Strategic Management with Dr. Perkins - Dr. Perkins worked for Proctor and Gamble, focusing on marketing their products internationally. This class has a real international focus. It tackles the question of how to best use the market and non-market forces around the world to not only create good products but help countries' economies in the process.
  • Negotiations with Dr. Brickson - Negotiation is a life skill that everyone should have. This is a highly interactive class where you role play different negotiations: job offers, business transactions, large purchases, and disputes.
  • Improv and Leadership - This class focuses on improving your networking and interviewing skills, which is super helpful, especially in your last semester.    


Q: What is an article or book that you’ve read recently that expanded the way you think about your career? Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It is a book that focuses on the fact that just doing the work and letting your numbers speak for themselves is not enough. You need to be able to highlight your accomplishments in a professional way (but not over the top) if you want to get promoted. 

Q: What will you miss most about campus? Personally, I will miss the number of professional development opportunities on campus! One of the best aspects of graduate school is the constant stream of internships, volunteer, and training opportunities that are not as prevalent in the workforce.

Q: What is UIC Business's best kept secret? Take advantage of things outside the classroom since that is part of the education you are paying for. Networking events, volunteer consulting opportunities, and study abroad! 

UIC Business is currently seeking motivated students to join the Business Ambassadors. The Business Ambassador Program was developed as part of Dean Mikhail’s mission to activate our brightest student leaders in support of UIC Business outreach opportunities. Responsibilities include staffing Open Houses, conferences and recruiting or alumni events, hosting class shadows, and performing other special functions. Apply here by Friday, May 11 to be considered for an ambassador position.

Congratulations to all the 2018 UIC Business graduates! We’re looking forward to hearing Beskin’s speech at commencement and welcoming a new group of Business Ambassadors in the fall.