Tireless Competitor

Photos and video by Brandon Parigo; interview by Stacy Downs; graphics by Sarah Richardson | Strategic Marketing and Communications

Video and Q & A with Jacob Hockman about the Deaflympics and working hard

Get to know our students, and you’ll know what UMKC is all about

Jacob Hockman, ’19 and ’17
Program: Master of Science in Entrepreneurial Real Estate; Bachelor of Business Administration
School: Henry W. Bloch School of Management
Organizations: UMKC Athletics, Track and Field
Hometown: Centralia, Missouri



You were on the U.S. team in the Deaflympics in 2017 in Turkey. What was the experience like?

I was ecstatic when I found out I made Team USA. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to represent our country and to be able to further the cause of deaf athletes, and to share my journey to show how much work has been put into my training.



How long have you been deaf?

I was born deaf, completely in my right ear and almost completely in my left ear.

I’m a twin. And when we were about six months old, we had a squeaky crib. My brother reacted normally to the sound. I did not.

The doctors, whenever they told my parents, they said they weren’t sure what I’d be capable of.

It changed my family. My sister became an audiologist because of me. And being deaf informs who I am. I’ve lived all of my life trying hard in all situations. It’s given me a great work ethic.



Why did you choose UMKC?

It’s well known for its business programs at the Bloch School, and I had the opportunity to compete in intercollegiate athletics in track and field.

Why did you choose business?

I chose business because of the vast possibilities it yields as it applies to all fields out there and allows ample opportunity to engage with others every day. I chose a psychology minor because of my interest in the human brain and behavior, which additionally, I would hope enhances my ability to conduct business with others and be more understanding.



What are the challenges and benefits of business?

The challenges are that there is a lot to read about in case studies and a vast number of concepts to wrap your head around like accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, management, etc. Business has a lot of different tangents and it can be difficult to be proficient in all areas. However, that’s part of the beauty; you do not have to be.

The benefits are that business is one of the top hirable fields out of college as well as one of the better compensated in average starting salary. More importantly to me, it yields a well-rounded individual and is great for establishing connections and meaningful relationships. The program really emphasizes improving communication skills and public speaking.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I find I have a much greater focus on what I want to go into career wise and that I like the small town feeling vs. living in a big city.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

Question everything, be a skeptic. It encourages developing new solutions and outside-the-box thinking. This especially helps in the creative thinking process.



Who do you admire most at UMKC?

Henry Bloch. He is a generous philanthropist and he co-founded one of the largest tax firms out there, which takes a lot of heart and dedication.

Are you a first-generation college student?

No, my mother was the first, but I will be the first male in the family to get a graduate degree.



What’s your greatest fear?

Being stuck, not getting anywhere and not improving myself in whatever pursuit it may be at the time.

What are your lifelong goals?

To own or run a business or small nonprofit working with people who have disabilities.


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.

>Meet more UMKC students

>Visit UMKC

>Explore the Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Tags: .
  • Recent UMKC News

    $20 Million Scholarship Article in The Kansas City Star

    KC Scholars partnership also in U.S. News and World Report … Read more

    Geosciences Professor’s Research Cited in New York Times

    Fengpeng Sun co-authored study on California wildfire seasons The 2015 … Read more

    Bloch Faculty Interviewed on NBC Nightly News

    Brent Never teaches about Kansas City’s racial dividing line Never … Read more