Online ASU Law grad knows knowledge is power
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.
A lifelong love of learning led Ben Kalahar to pursue higher education.
The first in his immediate family to graduate from college, he is now graduating with a Master of Human Resources and Employment Law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Based in Minneapolis, Kalahar completed the flexible program via ASU Online while working full-time.
He said choosing ASU was a no-brainer.
“I have family that live in Arizona and enjoy visiting as often as I can,” he said. “Being around the Tempe area and seeing the campus, ASU has always interested me. This program was exactly what I was looking for, so it felt like a great fit.”
After graduation, Kalahar will continue on in his career in corporate investigations, but he and his wife have big plans for this summer.
“We are welcoming our first child this summer, so that will be the perfect graduation gift,” he said.
Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the law?
Answer: I did not really have an “aha” moment, but I always had the desire to continue my pursuit of learning. This program was exactly what I was looking for and came at the right time to fit into my life.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU Law — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: In my first class in this program, I began to understand that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the law. With the U.S. legal system, there is some responsibility on each individual to know their rights and understand the laws that impact what they do and how they are treated. This class shined a light on that aspect and further intrigued me about the law. Learning about the law can be empowering.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you would give students?
A: Do not lose sight of the fact that the point of school is to learn. The point of school is not to get a perfect grade. You can strive for a perfect grade and you can strive to learn, but sometimes those two things are not the same. Do not be too hard on yourself if you don’t ace a test or an assignment; just focus on learning as much as you can while you are here. When you graduate, the knowledge that you take away will be more important than your GPA.
Q: What about advice for those considering ASU Law?
A: Conduct a thorough analysis. Weigh your options and the costs, and pick the best program that fits your needs. I am very happy that I selected this program.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I will continue working in my career in corporate investigations and apply what I have learned in this program. In the long term, I would like to explore a career in employee relations because employment law and the employer/employee relationship intrigues me.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would not tackle one problem specifically, but I would use the money to help children by ensuring that they have a proper roof over their head, an adequate meal on their plate, a quality education and good role models to look up to. By putting more children on a better path early on, my hope would be that they would have a positive impact on the world, which would result in problems being solved indirectly.
Q: What does graduating mean to you and your loved ones?
A: Graduating with my master's is a great accomplishment. I was the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college, so I am proud to set the bar. My loved ones will be happy that I will have more free time.