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Ben Sweat

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Place of Residence Burbank, California Graduation Year 2003 Major Business Management, Marketing Post-BYU-Idaho Education MBA, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Current Occupation Product development in the Internet industry Family Wife: Aprilanne; Children: Three daughters with another on the way
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How has your BYU-Idaho education helped you in your life?
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Well, I met wonderful wife at BYU-Idaho, so if there was nothing else, I’d be forever indebted to the institution. But of course, I was also able to solidify my testimony and my character. It is appropriate BYU-Idaho is also referred to as a “disciple training center.”

Specifically, I credit my time at BYU-Idaho for getting me into a great business school. I was able to get involved in so many things at
BYU-Idaho: newspaper, ballroom dance tour team, student government, and even helping to launch the student ad agency. Where else could one get that experience as an undergrad? It helped me tell a story in my business application that made me unique and helped me stand out.

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Since graduating from BYU-Idaho, what have been your greatest personal and professional accomplishments?
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While I’m proud of my career at Yahoo! and other tech companies, I am most proud of getting my MBA from the University of Chicago; it’s a consensus top-five business school (#1 in BusinessWeek, #5 in U.S. News & World Report).

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How does being a BYU-Idaho graduate help you be a leader in your workplace?
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I was able to manage student employees at BYU-Idaho. I drew upon that experience when I had the opportunity to manage individuals in the workplace.

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How does your BYU-Idaho education help you serve in the community?
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To me, one of the best things about BYU-Idaho is the opportunity to get involved. I was always involved in multiple activities at any given time. Since graduating, I’ve mentored at-risk youth and coached AYSO soccer. Currently, my extracurricular activities consist mostly of this thing called “parenting,” but I know my wife and I will always stay involved with our surroundings.

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How did your time at BYU-Idaho prepare you for service in the Church?
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At BYU-Idaho, I served as elders quorum president as well as Sunday School teacher on multiple occasions. All gave me a chance to learn and serve in a more “controlled” environment.

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What service have you rendered in the Church since graduating?
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I am currently serving as elders quorum president. I have also served in the Young Men presidency and in the elders quorum as a teacher and secretary.

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How does being a BYU-Idaho graduate help you lead your family?
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My wife and I share a strong love for and attachment to BYU-Idaho. We both consider it an anchoring experience in our lives. We hope we’ll be able to transfer some of that security in our children’s lives, the source of which is Jesus Christ, obedience, and a knowledge of who we are.

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Is there anything else you would like to share about your BYU-Idaho experience and how it blesses you today?
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I remember distinctly when then-Elder Eyring spoke describing the future graduates of BYU-Idaho. It was at that time that I received my confirmation that I had made the right decision by staying at BYU-Idaho instead of transferring as originally planned. I so wanted to help fulfill such prophetic remarks. It drives me still.

Grad school was where I learned how to succeed in the world; BYU-Idaho was where I learned how to succeed in life. Not that I’ve reached that metaphorical destination called “success,” but I see the road to it.

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