Meet Andrae McKenzie, a business management major, graduated in May 2015
"They saw in me what I didn't know I had," said Andrae in speaking about his professors. With only two weeks before he would walk down the aisle at the PNC Arts Center to accept his bachelor's degree-the first in his family-he reminisced about his rewarding experiences with Professors Joseph Mosca, Daniel Ball, and Walter Greason.
Those experiences obviously made an indelible impression on Andrae, because in January 2016 he will be returning to Monmouth to begin studies for an M.B.A.
"I'm doing the accelerated program so I can get on with my career," Andrae said, adding that he hopes to break into the entertainment industry. "My biggest fear is failure, but I'm learning that those failures will make me a success later. I always try to look at it as a learning experience."
So it should come as no surprise that Andrae was one of two recipients of this year's leadership award for Outstanding Student in Management from the Leon Hess Business School.
Professor Greason reinforced Andrae's leadership qualities when he said, "Andrae distinguished himself from the first moments in my Business and Economic History of the United States course. He was a rare student who was always prepared for classes and then used his preparation to push his classmates and professor to explore every topic thoroughly. Andrae is an iconic Monmouth University student, and his future successes will be innumerable."
Helping to lead his way, Andrae said, are his parents, Joan and Winston, and his sister, Tania. "They pushed me to be the best I could be," said Andrae who added that family friends, Nicola and Paul Mulligan also played a large part in shaping his future. "They taught me how important respect is."
When Andrae transferred to Monmouth after studying at Brookdale Community College for one year, he dreamed of a career in mechanical engineering. However, after consulting with Professor Mosca, he decided to switch gears toward business management and never looked back.
As part of that transition, Andrae landed an internship at Fastenal, one of the largest full-line industrial distributors in North America. The internship later developed into a full-time job.
"It has been a great stepping stone," the son of a painter and nurse said. "I never imagined after growing up in Bradley Beach and going to Asbury Park High School that I would be in this position. It's awesome."
The words of Andrae's favorite author, Robert Greene, exemplify his determination and overall philosophy on life:
Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done
."― Robert Greene,
Bradley Beach, NJ