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Opus College of Business Graduate Commencement

Celebrating Our 2024 Graduates

Opus College graduates reflect on purposeful work and leading a life of meaning.

Rubén Hidalgo headshot

Military veteran, finance leader, social impact advocate

Rubén Hidalgo

'24 Part-time Flex MBA

Growing up, Rubén Hidalgo ’24 MBA, worked at his family’s restaurant, Manny’s Tortas, a Latino-owned business in south Minneapolis, where owners Tio Manny and Victoria Gonzalez (Mamá) taught him to be humble, to believe in the power of community, and to put others first.

These early lessons shaped Rubén’s areas of impact as a military veteran, finance leader and board member of several local non-profits. His advice for a meaningful career? Focus on the task and purpose of the day, and practice regular self-reflection to stay centered on what truly matters.

In the Part-time Flex MBA program at Opus College, Rubén has embraced the idea of ‘passionate curiosity’ for everything around him—developing the intellectual confidence to ask questions, show genuine enthusiasm and be interested in the world.

"The purpose of great leaders is to create more leaders, to set a good example and to help others. Leadership is a journey, not a destination; it’s about influence, not titles."

Kelsey Bumgardner headshot

Nurse leader, patient care advocate

Kelsey Bumgardner

'24 Health Care MBA

While pregnant with her second child, Kelsey Bumgardner '24 MBA, was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a rare condition causing paralysis. Her role quickly shifted from nurse to patient, and she found herself in a hospital bed for nine weeks and a new perspective of health care. That year, juggling parenting, marriage, and relearning to walk taught her more about the leader and care provider she wanted to be.

At Opus College, Kelsey has learned the value of authenticity, especially in the areas of leadership. As an introvert who prefers listening over talking, Opus helped her see this as a strength. "Sometimes leadership is seen as the person who talks the loudest. I've learned leadership is about purposefully supporting others so they can do their best work.”

Purposeful work is doing something intentional to make an impact each day, no matter how big or small. It can be as simple as showing gratitude to one person at work, or being part of a rollout that will largely improve a process or patient care. “Know what you enjoy so you can try to do more of it in life and work. Life is too short to not live your purpose each day."

Xavier Conzet headshot

Analytics consultant, mentor, entrepreneur

Xavier Conzet

'24 MS in Business Analytics

Finding the right career path is rarely linear. Xavier Conzet '24 MS transitioned from a mortgage closer with no background in analytics to launching a business, achieving two significant career milestones, and mentoring future data analysts, all before his upcoming graduation.

While pursuing his master's degree in business analytics at Opus College, Xavier has been intentional in choosing each opportunity. Guided by principles of purposeful work, he has sought avenues to make a difference, learn, grow and uphold his commitment to ethical practices and the betterment of his community.

"To me, purposeful work is about finding a deep sense of meaning and fulfillment in each of my tasks—where my efforts align with my values and contribute positively to society. In my career, this means seeking roles that allow me to leverage my skills in data to improve the world we live in."

headshot of Israel Tolu

Innovator for social change

Israel Tolu

'24 Executive MBA

Israel Tolu envisions technology as empowering rather than isolating. During the pandemic, he noticed how people struggled to stay connected, especially older adults navigating technology challenges. Seeing this first-hand as his mom's personal tech support, he started brainstorming ways to help others who lacked someone in their lives to assist them.

Last fall, Israel won first place in the business track at the Fowler Business Concept Challenge for Blunestconnect, his passion project aimed at addressing the digital literacy gap for seniors and reducing their risk of social issolation. "Winning the competition provided me with more conviction that this is a problem worth solving."

With an aging population, personalized tech support for older adults is lacking. Israel is currently exploring a pilot program with senior care facilities, providing 1:1 assistance and easing the burden of staff so they can focus on assisting residents in other areas of need. The widespread enthuasiasm for Blunestconnect reflects Israel's sense of purpose to making a tangible difference in others' lives.

"My journey at Opus College has taught me a great deal about personal resilience, creativity, and the needs of my community."