Source: Kyle Landau, klandau@k-state.edu
Hometown connection: Leawood
Note to editors: Kyle Landau is the son of Les Landau and Pam Landau. He is a 2007 graduate of Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Leawood senior caps off busy college career with special duties

MANHATTAN -- Before earning his bachelor's degree from Kansas State University's College of Business Administration, Kyle Landau had two final assignments: do a little singing and provide some inspiration to his fellow graduates.

Landau, Leawood, had some extra duties at the college's May 12 commencement ceremony. As he has done for the last three years, he was a member of a quartet that sang the national anthem at the event. He then got the privilege of returning to the microphone to deliver the student remarks.

In his speech, Landau told students to take the time to appreciate all the people who made their graduation possible. He also urged them to stay involved and connected to the university after graduating.

Landau was selected for the speaking honor because of his many achievements both in and out of the classroom during his K-State career.

At the College of Business Administration, he's majored in marketing, finance and accounting. He also found time to earn a certificate in integrated investment management. Even with all that, his schoolwork isn't done. He'll finish up a bachelor's in economics this summer.

It's not just academics that keeps Landau busy. This school year alone, he served as president of the Student Finance Association, vice president of the Economics Club, worked with Powercat Financial Counseling and joined the board of directors of International Health partners. He also won the Edward Jones Sales competition and got to compete in the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Atlanta, was runner-up in the Kansas City CFA Research Challenge, visited Chicago on student trips with the department of finance and the department of economics, and went to London and Dublin on a finance department student trip. He received the Rod Walker Scholarship from the department of music and was named the outstanding graduating senior by the department of economics.

"Kyle exemplifies the well-rounded student. He is strong academically and he is extensively involved in extracurricular activities. He is not just involved, but assumes leadership roles in the activities he participates in," said Brian Kovar, instructor of management.

"One of the first things I remember learning about Kyle when I had him in class was that he just had returned from a summer internship in Africa and helped one of the hospitals there by applying his skills in accounting and finance," Kovar said. "While many other student students get internships, they don't seek them outside of the United States, much less Africa. I can only imagine what it would be like to have those experiences that Kyle was able to obtain there."

Landau has been on the go since coming to K-State as a freshman in fall 2007. He was a four-year member of the K-State Singers, the university's entertainment ambassadors who perform at events in Kansas and across the nation. He was a member of Lambda Chi fraternity, served in an internship for three years with Northwestern Mutual, and was a finalist in the 2011 Next Big Thing student entrepreneurship competition.

He also got to do a lot of traveling. Along with trips to the United Kingdom, Atlanta and Chicago, he spent summer 2011 in Tanzania for an internship with International Health Partners, visited the financial district in New York and got to meet with billionaire investor Warren Buffett in Omaha, both as part of Student Finance Association trips.

If that's not enough, Landau also was a member of Cadence, a university a cappella group, taught Sunday school at a local church and won K-State's "Dancing with the Stars" competition in 2011.

"I can't imagine what my life would be like if it wasn't for my time spent at K-State," Landau said. "I have developed into quite a different and better person from back when I was a freshman. K-State has been a great place to learn, grow, stretch my comfort zone, establish fulfilling relationships, see the world, explore opportunities and have a ton of fun."

Next up for Landau is a job with Phillips 66 in Houston, where he will be a finance/accounting analyst working in trade inventory.

Emily Brueseke, Landau's academic adviser and coordinator of the College of Business Administration's executive mentor program, says distance won't keep Landau from remaining active with K-State.

"Kyle is an extremely talented and intelligent individual, but one of the things I appreciate most about him is the fact that he is always willing to use his time and talents to help others," Brueseke said. "I have no doubt that Kyle will stay connected to the university and the College of Business Administration as he pursues his professional career. And I very much look forward to recruiting him to be an executive mentor in another decade."

"K-State has prepared me well for life after college, but I know I'm going to miss it a lot," Landau said. "I'm not certain what interests I will fill my time with after I move to Houston, but I'm excited to find out."