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Life, according to Andy Kulina ’87 (part 5) – advice for current and incoming students

Submitted by Lyna Kelley, director of communications and PR, and Judy Crist, executive director of communications and creative services

Moreover interviewed alumnus Andy Kulina about his life since graduating in 1987. In this portion of the interview, Andy share his sage advice for current and incoming students.

Q: Do you have any advice for students today?

AK: Definitely. I would say, challenge everything you’ve learned until now and challenge everything you learn going forward. What you think you’re supposed to do because of parents and school? It could be right; it could be wrong – expand your horizons. I know that was one of my biggest flaws; I knew what I knew from my walk from home to school. My biggest experience was coming to Thomas More first, moving away from home. Realizing that things the way that my family did it wasn’t necessarily the right way or the wrong way, there was just a different way to do things. Accepting that liberal mindset of it’s not my way or the highway, okay – this is how I do it, let me hear what you think, maybe we can co-exist, right? If the world would do that right now, we’d be a much better place.

I kid with people all the time, if you used to eat at McDonald’s and you’ve tried Taco Bell, you are liberal, right? You opened your brain to something different, right? You tried it and you liked it. I guess it’s that, don’t fall back on “I can’t do it.” See if there’s a way that you can make it work or “I can’t do this, but I could do this.” That’s our journey. It’s just that always, it’s probably pretty British, but assume what you think isn’t 100% correct. Assume that you don’t go in there so bullheaded and confident that you’re right and therefore everybody else is wrong. It’s just framing it a bit to say, “Well, I think we should do this. What do you think?” It’s always questioning or leaving open questions and open opportunities for other people to give you a better idea.

I think it’s back to that stretch your boundaries. I came over here for a laugh to see Europe and stayed. I really enjoyed it and that’s where life came. I think it’s such a great experience to go live somewhere else. You’ll meet a lot of people that are from all over the world which you get to share their experiences. I think it’s a good baby step into ‘okay maybe I’ll do something different and build homes in Africa or whatever.’ It’s that first step of just getting outside of your comfort zone. It’s very important and I think it’s a good way – do it when you’re young. I wouldn’t have done this if I got married in my 20s. Don’t judge the world until you see it, until you’ve lived it.