Q & A with Luigi Cruz, who looks up to his school’s namesake
Get to know our students, and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.
Why did you choose UMKC?
I didn’t really consider any other option. I love my city and I love my family. By choosing UMKC, I can stay close to both. There are also better opportunities to find internships being in the city and the campus location is great.
Why did you choose your field of study?
I value creativity very much. It is an essential part to anything of value. Whether the creativity comes in the form of art, innovation or progressive thinking, I love it. Knowing this, I chose my emphasis in marketing within my degree because of the control and influence one can have on how an organization is perceived or presented. Also, I often look for ways to make things better whether it’s visually or organizationally.
What are the challenges of the program?
There’s a semester-long group project in every single class and everyone has different schedules. Oftentimes people can’t meet with people, people forget about certain projects or they just have too many projects to handle. However, after several group projects, we kind of get the hang of it so we’re prepared for it in the business world once we graduate.
What are the benefits?
If you pay attention, and seek them, there are many opportunities to get ahead in the game. Within the business school there are opportunities for resume reviews, professional talks, joining business organizations, networking, attending free events. That’s what I’ve gotten out of Bloch so far. You get what you put in.
Who do you admire most at UMKC?
I admire Henry Bloch the most. He is such a great man. You can see his name — BLOCH — around the city because he and his family have contributed to many parts of the city. He and his late wife created a foundation in 2011, the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation. It gives back to the city through civic involvement and philanthropy. The foundation has a vision:
“The Foundation builds on their vision and values to improve the quality of life in Greater Kansas City through thoughtful, innovative and responsible philanthropy.”
This is something I admire, and would like to pursue in the future: to give back to this city that’s been such a cool and fun place to hang out in.
Where did you grow up?
The first half of my childhood I grew up in my birthplace of Lima, Peru. When I was around 6, my family moved to the states to be close to my grandparents. The second half of my childhood took place here in Kansas City.
How has your college program inspired you?
My college program has inspired me to get involved! Get involved with the things you enjoy, with what you’re interested in, with the people who help you grow. Education is half of what college offers, the other half is waiting there for you to meet it. I’ve learned that to have a fruitful education, you need to be engaged as well after you get involved.
Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?
There’s a small phase of nervousness before taking a big step. I’ve recognized that phase means you’re doing something right but also to not stay in that phase and to move past it before you get stuck there. If you’re going to move through it, why spend time in it? Just jump and don’t fear.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
Care for people. Aside from learning about how to manage organizations, dealing with finances, creating strategic plans, choosing a target market, the relationships you build with associates, managers and stakeholders go a long way.
In general, it’s a life lesson. Know who is important to you and learn to do right by them and if you wrong them, do your best to atone and hope they can forgive you.
What do you like to do outside of college?
Photography. I love taking artistic skills to help make things look the best they can be. That goes hand in hand with my professional interests in marketing, too.
Are you a first-generation college student?
I’m not, but I will be the first one to finish a bachelor’s degree. It’s a bit exciting once I think about it and I am very grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given.
What is one word that best describes you?
Christian, because my faith is a key part of my life and my identity.
From across the country and around the world, our students come together in Kansas City to study business, medicine, theatre and more than 100 other academic areas. Roos become leaders in their fields and give back to their communities.