2020 Midyear Commencement

Student Speaker

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Viasana Kumar

A message from the midyear 2020 student speaker, Via Kumar.

Viasana, known as Via, is from Chennai, a bustling city of more than 7 million in southern India. She graduates with a dual major in management information systems and marketing.

Via’s decision to attend MTU wasn’t difficult, as being a Husky runs in the family. She considers herself “lucky” to have had her mom by her side the entire time. “I couldn’t have done it without her,” said Via.

"I honestly chose Michigan Tech because my mom was a research scholar here, I didn’t really give it a lot of thought, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."

During her time at Tech, Via learned to adapt to the ever-changing weather of the Keweenaw. “Coming from a city where the temperature is around 100 degrees pretty much every day, the weather here took a little getting used to,” she said. But she didn’t take on the challenge of brutal Upper Peninsula winters alone. “I had made friends from all over the world — which is another thing I am grateful for,” she added. “I met people from such diverse backgrounds including people from the Upper Peninsula. Some of my best friends are Yoopers.”

For Via, the student address is a way of giving back to a place and people that have given her so much. “I wanted to show how much I loved being here all these years and how Michigan Tech has shaped me into who I am today,” she said. “I am no longer the introverted 17-year-old I was when I came here. I believe I am now a better version of myself — strong, assertive, kind and ready to go into the real world.”

Via has been very active on campus, serving on the MUB Board and the International Club. She was a finalist for the Exceptional Enthusiasm as a Student Leader award. She also worked in University Marketing and Communications, Summer Youth Programs and International Programs and Services.

"I am working as a marketing specialist intern with the Michigan Small Business Development Center and will most likely continue working there through next semester, I can’t wait to see what the future holds."

On top of all that, Via said she became involved in activities she feels will help her professionally. “Being part of the College of Business has been so great,” she said. “I am part of the American Marketing Association and even served as the vice president this past year, which has taught me so much about being a leader, how to interact and network with professionals and even led to an internship. I have to give a special shoutout to Professor Jun Min for pushing me and inspiring me to try new things.”

Via’s time as a Husky is coming to an end much like it began — loaded with activity.