2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Kirsten Lam, University of Michigan (Ross)

Kirsten Lam

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Michigander who loves grandmother-like hobbies and taking 3-hour walks as an excuse for boba.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have over 5 chickens at home that share a birthday with me!

Hometown: Northville, MI

High School: Northville High School

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Art & Design

Favorite Business Course: Tax Accounting with Professor DeSimpelare (a.k.a. Prof. D!)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • James B. Angell Scholar and University Honors
  • Regents Merit Scholarship & Reunion Scholarship Recipient
  • Orientation Leader – Office of New Student Programs (ONSP)
  • Peer Mentor – Ross School of Business Office of Undergraduate Programs, incoMing
  • Class Representative – Ross School of Business Identity, Diversity, & Organizations (IDO) Committee, Ross Undergraduate Student Advisory Board (RUSAB)
  • Senior Vice President, VP Pledge Relations, & VP Fellowship – Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity (DSP)
  • Creative Team Lead, Community Partnerships Team Member, & Organizing Team Member – optiMize
  • Circle Leader – English Language Institute (ELI)
  • Student Ambassador for Pentel, VS PINK, and Rent the Runway (RTR)
  • Other student organizations: Lloyd Hall Scholars Program (LHSP, now called LSWA), Chinese Student Association (CSA), MA:E Magazine, K-Grams, Ross Global Ambassador

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Curology (San Francisco, CA) – Influencer Marketing Intern, Core & Teen Females Team
  • Dive Chat (Ann Arbor, MI & Austin, TX) – Campus Manager & Growth Marketing Intern
  • Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project [DNEP] (Ann Arbor, MI & Detroit, MI) – +Impact Intern, Branding Team
  • Sierra Pacific Mortgage (Folsom, CA) – Marketing Intern
  • kmacconnect PR – Marketing Strategy Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Currently in the recruiting process!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve learned by studying business is how to deal with ambiguity. Coming into college, I had a very rigid, systematic idea of how things could be done and hated having to deal with any gray areas. Whether it was dealing with vague essay rubrics or being given the freedom to develop a strategy as long as my team could defend it, I am thankful to the business curriculum for keeping me on my toes and pushing me to be more creative with my problem-solving skills.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Stay curious, explore, and do what resonates with you! Although I did end up choosing the field I was initially interested in, one of the best things I have done going to business school was exploring other options. I’ve learned so much talking to students and professors within different concentrations and non-business-related passions. Looking at other avenues has given me the confidence to pursue jobs outside of my comfort zone that ended up being some of the best learning experiences to date.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I think that the people were the surprising aspect of majoring in business. Especially attending such a great university, I was intimidated by other students due to the perception of business students at the school and things I had heard from close friends about the culture. To my surprise, I found that while being a business major is competitive, the community is supportive nonetheless. Since we all work on teams with one another, I’ve been able to learn from so many other students and built friendships where we mutually want each other to thrive in the work we’re doing even if we aren’t in the same group.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Something I wish I did more of was talking to my professors! The amazing teaching faculty and staff come from such unique backgrounds and such intriguing experiences. They’ve traveled all over the world, worked with the most well-respected people, and hold a wealth of knowledge I only hope to hold myself one day. I urge everyone to take the time to get to know their teachers as both professionals and people, as there is so much to learn from them and their experiences (plus, I’ve heard they love sharing their stories too!).

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I would say I’m most proud of the work I’ve done within and through my business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. Business fraternities are historically competitive and have been an experience limited to certain students, so coming into leadership within the organization I felt like it was my duty to make it a more inclusive and introspective space.

During my time on E-board, we founded our fraternity’s DEI committee, focused on improving diversity and inclusion in all facets of DSP both internally (systemizing discussion nights started by alumni, bias training, educational events) and externally (recruitment, school events, etc.). A group of brothers and I also spearheaded Ross community efforts to make the school more inclusive within the admissions process, academic representation, and other culture and curriculum aspects. I’ve been extremely lucky to have the privileges and opportunities I have, and we wanted to make that accessible to more students. In addition, I’m proud of the community and mentorship I’ve been able to provide to students. During my junior year winter semester, I had the privilege of guiding our 14 new members in joining the brotherhood. Giving them the confidence and support to pursue big things has started coming to fruition, and it’s amazing to see the underclassmen take on leadership positions within DSP and the Michigan community at large.

Which classmate do you most admire? A classmate I deeply admire is June Hong. Although she is now one of my best friends, since I’ve met her, I’ve seen the positive impact she has on others and the community and the hard work she puts into reaching her goals. June has a natural inclination to learn about and engage with others, often getting people to open up and have meaningful conversations. I have seen all the work she has put into getting to where she is today, whether it’s working regularly during the school year or putting in the energy into recruiting. Last, June truly cares about leaving the community better than she found it and creating opportunities for students of all backgrounds and experiences.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? The person I want to thank for my success is definitely my mother, Teresa Cheung. My parents in general have been my support system, constantly motivating me to be the best person I can be and stick to my values. With my mother specifically, she has taught me, first-and-foremost, how to be my own person. She instilled the confidence and independence I needed to be as driven as I am today, while also teaching me to have compassion and be thoughtful of others. Although we’ve gotten into our fair share of arguments, she has also taught me how to forgive and compromise, two skills that have made me more human and successful in my other relationships. My mom has supported me in all my endeavors and given me access to the opportunities to explore my passions, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the life she’s helped give me.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

1) Create a sustainable community program that surpasses my time at a company

2) Manage my own team of several people successfully

What are your hobbies? Arts & Crafts (crocheting, drawing, scrapbooking, sewing, etc.), cooking, going on long walks/local tourism, trying new foods

What made Kirsten such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“During her time at Michigan Ross, Kirsten served on the Ross Undergraduate Student Advisory Board (RUSAB), a group of students tasked with providing feedback and recommendations relating to the academic experience in the BBA program. Kirsten’s positivity, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness during discussions were an incredible asset to the board. Particularly during the past two years, RUSAB was instrumental in providing feedback on evolving policies and instructional formats; Kirsten consistently displayed an approach that made sure we were considering and including the experiences of all students. As part of RUSAB and as part of the Identity, Diversity, & Organizations (IDO) committee she has also demonstrated her passion and commitment to DEI work and social justice. Her leadership both on RUSAB and throughout Ross have made a positive impact for the experiences of all BBAs.”

Katrina Vegter
Academic Advising Director, Undergraduate Programs
Ross School of Business



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