14:22 PM

Scholarships Instill Confidence, Inspire Community Service for BU Business Student

Business Professional Photo

Brenton Hahn is finishing what he started, thanks to financial support through his employer and scholarships from Bellevue University.

The 27-year-old is part of BU’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Business cohort program. He plans to graduate in January 2021 -- just 18 months after enrolling.

Hahn, who moved to Omaha from the Des Moines area three years ago, had already earned a handful of credits from an out-of-state university. To his surprise, Bellevue accepted all of them.

“I thought I’d give it a shot,” says Hahn, recalling his meeting with an admissions counselor who suggested he consider the cohort program. “I’m really glad I did.”

The program is 100 percent online and runs one course every six weeks, which makes it an ideal fit for professionals building their full-time careers while expanding their education.

“The university really caters to working adults,” says Hahn, a personal banker at Great Western Bank.

The banker admits that juggling a full-time job and his studies can be challenging, but he’s fought to find a healthy rhythm. 

“I do all my homework on the weekends,” he says. “I try to leave my workdays free so I can come home and decompress.”

His favorite way to relax? Watching football. “I like the Minnesota Vikings,” he says.

Hahn praises BU’s business program for its compelling, relevant coursework. Most of all, he says he’s looking forward to the Kirkpatrick Signature Series -- specifically its focus on civic engagement.

With a heart to serve and a knack for business, Hahn says his confidence has soared since becoming a Bruin. The turning point came after his participation in the Bellevue University Scholarship Program.

Learning about his first scholarship, “I was speechless,” he says. 

Because his initial college experience ended unsuccessfully, Hahn says he wasn’t expecting to receive any support. 

But after watching additional awards continue to trickle in, Hahn felt hopeful again. Soon he began to believe, “maybe I am doing something right and staying on the right track,” he says.

The financial help has not only allowed the business student to avoid additional loans but also provided the encouragement to move beyond his comfort zone.

“It gave me the confidence to get out in the community, to throw my name out there,” Hahn says.

As a result, his resume now reflects his newfound mission to make a tangible difference. 

Currently, Hahn serves on CityLight Benson’s finance council and on the board of directors for the Benson Neighborhood Association, where he helps lead meetings and organize events that boost comradery and neighborhood pride.

At his bank, Hahn is also part of a committee that champions community service, including financial literacy luncheons, youth game nights, and other educational events at nonprofits across the city.

“These events have brought more meaning to my work,” says Hahn, who spends his workdays assisting customers with personal and business accounts as well as IRAs, estates, and trusts.

Hahn hopes to stay in the banking industry for the long haul and aspires to climb the ladder to become a branch manager one day. 

Looking back, Hahn knows he’s made great strides personally and professionally. He also acknowledges he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support he’s received from BU’s generous donors.

“I’m forever grateful,” says Hahn, addressing his benefactors, “not only for the funds, but for everything else I’ve received on top of that -- the confidence to believe in myself again.”

Learn more about the Bellevue University Scholarship Program.