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Total Involvement

UMD's LSBE atrium filled with busy students
May 12, 2020

"My goal in life is to help make people’s lives better."


Our University is built on student involvement. If you want to do something, do it.

Every college student has their own path, and a successful college career can be heavily measured by involvement in their major and the activities they get involved in on campus. For junior UMD LSBE student Robert Libal

Robert (Bob) Libal, who is majoring in both Healthcare Management and Finance with a minor in Human Resource Management, his involvement has positively shaped his college experience in numerous ways. 

Being a Bulldog runs in the family for Bob. He mentions, “I am a second generation Bulldog, with both my parents and my sister attend UMD before me. I applied to many other schools, but always came back to UMD when I was making my decision.” For some students, having the ability to travel home to see family is really important and with Bob being from Two Harbors, attending UMD allows him to easily travel home to the city he grew up in. 

Bob chose UMD’s  Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) because of the healthcare program that’s offered. For him, “It is the main reason I applied into the business school.” Finding connections with peers and professors spurred Bob to declare his second major and a minor, and he’s enjoying taking courses to expand his educational opportunities.

Along with a successful experience in his studies through LSBE, Bob has become very active on his campus. Out of all the positions, Bob enjoys when he’s able to work with students and support them.  He explains, “Currently, I am a substance abuse peer educator, a peer leader for UMD Seminar, a member of the student service fee committee, an event director for Startup Cup, and the secretary for the Student Healthcare Management Association.”

For those who don’t know, the Startup Cup is an entrepreneurship competition formally known as Shark Tank. The competition allows judges to hear business pitches, ask questions, provide advice, and then judge the varying proposals. The winning idea/product wins a grand prize of money as well as other non-monetary prizes.  

LSBE has opportunities for students to work during their academic studies, and Bob works as a student worker in the Dean’s Office of LSBE. His role is student assistant to the Department Specialist & MBA program coordinator, Department accountant, and Department HR/Payroll specialist. He mentions, “I know the relationships I have made allow me come to my job every day looking forward to the work. I also feel that my experience will help me in future endeavors being that I worked in many different capacities under multiple people.” 

With everyone’s college experience being put on hold due to COVID-19, it can be generalized that students feel unsure of the future. Hearing Bob’s experience with handling the pandemic is something most students have probably felt during this time. “I was stuck in this panic and anxiety for the entire first week after spring break and didn’t know what I should be doing to prepare for the rest of my life.”

For Bob, the best way to deal with the unknown was to plan for the future. After reading numerous articles on the pandemic, he discovered the process of planning can help you get through challenging times. He did this by planning out his Fall semester classes and researched potential internships to apply for. 

Bob encourages students to get involved on campus. "Our University is built on student involvement. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to change something, change it. College is the time to figure out who the heck we are, and it really starts when we put ourselves out there and do things with other amazing people."

He hopes to work for someone in the DFL party at the state capitol once school is done. From his experience shadowing Professor of Economics and Minnesota State Representative Jen Schultz, his plan for now is to “ in a legislative assistant position to gather some experience. I am also hoping to get my Master’s of Public Health and Master’s of Health Administration from the U of M Twin Cities while working for a senator or representative. After that, I hope to either continue my work at the capitol or move to an agency or nonprofit.” 

Learn more about UMD's Labovitz School of Business and Economics