How Benjamin Etshim built his success

Benjamin Etshim, B.B.A. ’18, was offered a job at Marathon Petroleum as a global procurement asset management contracts representative before graduation. Five years prior, he had moved to the United States from the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a plan to pursue an education. To Etshim, his success is the result of dedication, determination and faith. His path was not an easy one, but he is proud of where he is today.

Hard work, persistence and discipline

Before moving to the United States, Etshim studied law and political science in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With none of his credits transferring, he came to the United States with a clean slate. In order to pay for his education, he had to work multiple jobs. While attending Kalamazoo Valley Community College full-time, he worked several jobs to support himself.

The Haworth College of Business

After graduating with an associate’s degree in business administration, he transferred to Western Michigan University. During his time in the Haworth College of Business, Etshim had three internships. His first internship was with Eaton Corporation as a sales inventory operations planning intern in summer 2016. He secured his second internship as a global procurement intern with Marathon Petroleum after meeting a recruiter at the Western Michigan University ISM Career Night. This internship led to his current position with Marathon Petroleum. Esthim also had an internship with Depatie Fluid Power, a family owned business in the Kalamazoo area.

Etshim chose the Haworth College of Business because of the reputation of the programs, specifically the ISM program, and the dedication of the faculty and staff. He found that they were “incredibly supportive and ready to move mountains to help their students succeed, which is not something you see every day.”

Building relationships

His college experience not only helped him gain the knowledge needed in the professional world, but also helped prepare him to embrace all aspects of life. Etshim says, “The biggest lesson I have learned in business is that not everything will be perfect. Mistakes are inevitable. It is important to own them and learn from them.” Another significant lesson he learned is that the path to success is made by building bridges, not walls. Solid relationships with a diverse group of people are essential in order to grow.