How Three Decisions Changed His Life: the Story of UF Alumnus, Brent Kahle ’19
Story written by University of Findlay student, Samantha Adkins.
Every student hopes to find home at the university they choose to spend four years at but few are truly able to treat theirs as a welcoming haven to return to after graduation. Lucky for Brent Kahle ’19 (pictured left), University of Findlay alumnus and current Whirlpool Senior Safety Analyst, that feeling came almost immediately when he first became a student at UF in 2015.
The story of Kahle and his time at Findlay began much like other Findlay freshmen. However, Kahle’s journey stands out because his experience would not have been possible had he not made three crucial decisions.
Raised in Ottawa, Ohio, Kahle was familiar with the Midwest area and enjoyed the closeness Findlay offered to his family, so choosing UF was a relatively matter-of-fact decision for him. “I toured the campus and I really liked it. I really liked the [Environmental Safety and Occupational Health] Program so I decided to come to Findlay.” Little did he know that he had just taken one step into the rest of his life, made possible by Findlay. With that, his first crucial decision was made.
Kahle’s second decision was one that is best made in the first few weeks of school: to get involved. In many ways, what makes or breaks a student’s college experience is their willingness to get out of their comfort zone and meet new people. But, with the multitude of involvement opportunities offered by Findlay, finding a community was not difficult for Kahle and he was driven and determined to do so. “I’ve always been a bit of a go-getter, but I never thought I’d be involved in that many different things. I was able to maintain my grades [and] have fun with friends during the weekend” said Kahle. As an admissions tour guide, Theta Chi member, and American Society of Safety Professionals President, Kahle’s second decision to vary his involvement had been made.
However, Kahle never expected that the third crucial decision he made next would dictate the trajectory of the rest of his life. It is sometimes hard to comprehend just how important each small decision made to join a club, sit with someone new at lunch, or connect with a professor can be, but Kahle made an effort. It was his freshman year that Kahle was faced with one of those seemingly “small” opportunities.
Advertised by the Center for Career and Professional Development at UF, an internship opportunity arose at Whirlpool that made its way to Kahle. What his father initially joked as being an unlikely opportunity became Kahle’s third and most crucial decision. Despite still being in the fall semester of his first year at Findlay, Kahle applied for the position. To his amazement, he got the job and was launched into his soon-to-be post-undergraduate career at Whirlpool.
It was a wonderful juxtaposition of Kahle’s determination and the University of Findlay’s resources that created such a career-defining opportunity. The information provided by the Center for Career and Professional Development and Kahle’s resourcefulness in utilizing their resume helped set him up for success.“Now I’ve been with Whirlpool for a couple years. While I was going to school full time, the Center for Career and Professional Development really helped me to work through that, get that internship, and maintain it throughout.”
Kahle’s three crucial decisions quite literally set him up for life and also, with the love of his life. He can now call himself a Findlay Faithful after having found his now wife while going to school at UF. Everyone loves a love story but who doesn’t appreciate one that is still grounded in its roots? Kahle’s wife is now a current professor at the University of Findlay, providing him with an excuse to visit the place he once called home.
“It’s always fun for us to both be back in Findlay together” said Kahle. Fond memories and formative experiences define the University of Findlay for Kahle, and he is just one of many who are able to call UF home.