A track worth taking: Jacob Kahle finds UNIBusiness and excels
Before coming to UNIBusiness, Jacob Kahle (Finance and Real Estate ’18) wanted to distinguish himself. He had already attended two colleges — one semester at the University of Dubuque playing football and a few more semesters at Hawkeye Community College — and knew he was interested in finance. But when Kahle met with an adviser at UNI during his introductory visit, he was challenged.
“They asked me, how can you distinguish yourself or separate yourself from the competition?” Kahle said.
So Kahle picked up another major, real estate, and went to work.
Now, two and a half years later, Kahle has graduated from UNIBusiness and started a full-time job as a credit analyst at Hills Bank and Trust in Hills, Iowa. He credits the school for pushing him and preparing him for life outside of the classroom.
“It was a unique and challenge experience,” said Kahle, who graduated in December. “The school challenges you in the classroom to prepare yourself for what you’re truly going to experience outside of its walls. I think that’s hard to do sometimes.”
Kahle grew up in Guttenberg, Iowa, a city on the northeast part of the state, near the shores of the Mississippi River. He played football for Clayton Ridge High School and eventually attended the University of Dubuque to continue playing. But after a semester, he transferred to Hawkeye Community College and studied business administration.
Kahle obtained his associate’s degree and transferred to UNIBusiness in 2016. He studied finance and real estate and immediately joined the UNI Finance Club, rising the ranks to president in his final year. He was also active in Rho Epsilon, a student real estate club, and the Panther Fund.
“I have sort of a unique path,” Kahle said. “I think I struggled with adapting from high school to college at Dubuque. At Hawkeye, I understood a little more. But when I came to UNI, that’s when getting involved started to pay dividends because I wanted to join clubs and meet new people.”
From December 2016 to August 2017, Kahle was an intern with Aegon Asset Management in Cedar Rapids, where he underwrote and analyzed commercial loans across the country. He also interned with Lincoln Savings Bank in Waterloo and American Equity in West Des Moines in the following years.
Kahle said the biggest lesson in his journey through college was to get involved and meet new people. It’s especially important for transfer students, he said.
“I can’t discount how much getting involved right away helped me,” Kahle said. “It really acclimates you and helps you meet people and make relationships. I can’t stress how important it is to join a club, meet people and get involved. I think that really helps the transition from community college to university.”