International business and finance major Chelsea Yoshikawa wasn’t always convinced that Utah State University was her college of choice.
After her junior year of high school, Yoshikawa, along with her mom, took college tours to several different schools throughout the country. As a native of New York and Colorado, Yoshikawa’s most random college tour was to Utah State.
“I got on the campus tour and just fell in love with the campus, specifically the business school,” Yoshikawa said. “I saw a picture of the Huntsman Hall and how it was going to be built, and genuinely felt that by the time I graduated that the business school was going to be growing. I thought, ‘I could be a part of that growth.’”
Yoshikawa, now a senior, currently serves on the Executive Council as the Diversity and Clubs Vice-President, something she has wanted since her sophomore year.
“I saw the position of Diversity and Clubs, and as I got more involved with it, I saw areas of potential growth where I thought things could be better for the student body,” Yoshikawa said. I saw opportunities for myself, and for the school, which motivated me for this position.”
As a USU ambassador for the past three years, Yoshikawa has helped recruit prospective students to Utah State. Yoshikawa said her role as an ambassador was a good transition for her as she has taken her position on the Executive Council this year.
“The students that I’ve been recruiting are now here. I’m putting on events that focus on inclusion, having fun, and helping the students enjoy themselves. I’ve absolutely loved it,” Yoshikawa said.
Bridget Brown, Student Advocate Vice-President, mentioned some of the many positive qualities Yoshikawa possesses.
“Chelsea is super patient. I know I’m a lot to work with, so she’s pretty much a hero,” Brown said. “She’s also very creative especially when it comes to problem-solving.”
Yoshikawa currently balances school, Executive Council, and the work she does for the Partners in Business organization. While her activities keep her plenty busy, she says she has found her experience on the Executive Council to be worthwhile.
At the end of Diversity Week, the Executive Council had a 30-minute dance party. Yoshikawa said it was fun to relax with other members of the Diversity cabinet who worked hard to host a full week of events.
“It was a really rewarding feeling to feel like I was able to help raise awareness for diversity and help others have a fun time,” she said.
Yoshikawa said her goals for this position included setting up clubs before students set foot on campus.
“As soon as students get involved with a club at Utah State, they are going to love it here that much more. Especially if it’s a place they feel included,” Yoshikawa said.
Yoshikawa hopes to work specifically with diversity organizations to put on fundraisers and events, work with international student groups, and increase club participation year after year.
“Working with Chelsea is always an adventure,” said Kengo James, a member of Yoshikawa’s diversity cabinet. “She is constantly thinking of new ways to look at things and to make things better.”
On a weekly basis, Yoshikawa can be found approving new clubs, granting funds for clubs to do fundraising or putting on events with clubs.
Yoshikawa has discovered that while her position comes with many challenges, it is important to have patience.
“There’s a lot of things you want to get done and that you want to accomplish,” Yoshikawa said. “Sometimes you don’t realize how long the process may actually take. I am not a patient person. But you definitely have to have a lot of patience.”
One of Brown’s favorite memories of Yoshikawa was during their first week together on Executive Council this year.
“Chelsea proposed a bill in one of our meetings and it passed through our body,” Brown said. “She’s a powerhouse and had her life together, while the rest of us were trying to learn how to speak in formal terms.”
Paulina Rivera currently serves as the diversity director for USUSA. She chairs the Diversity Cabinet with Yoshikawa, who she describes as resourceful, innovative and dedicated.
“Whatever she does, she makes sure to put her all into it. She’s very hard-working and just lovely,” Rivera said.
Rivera said Yoshikawa is always polite and fair in her interactions with those she works with.
“I have never seen her raise her voice or act impolite toward someone, regardless of who they are or the situation,” Rivera said.
Yoshikawa recently accepted a job offer at General Mills in Minnesota. While she says she is sad to leave Utah, she is excited to start a career after graduation.
Her advice for students is to get involved freshman year, whether that be in a club, running for a student government position, or anything students set their minds to.
“If you’re thinking of doing something at Utah State, do it. You have the best support group you could ever have at any university. This is the best university to attend across the entire world,” Yoshikawa said.
Yoshikawa mentioned the opportunities available to students at Utah State are among some of the best.
“Hands down, I would choose Utah State over and over again. I’m obsessed,” Yoshikawa said.