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Soon-to-be DSU graduate Landblom talks about his path in higher education

Michael Lee Landblom took a unique route to graduation day at Dickinson State University. Landblom, who will graduate Friday with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a double minor in management and music, briefly attended the un...

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Michael Landblom, a graduating senior at DSU, sits before a soundboard in his workplace at KDIX radio station in Dickinson. Landblom will be a student speaker at the university’s fall commencement ceremony Friday. (Press Photo by Andrew Haffner)

Michael Lee Landblom took a unique route to graduation day at Dickinson State University.

Landblom, who will graduate Friday with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a double minor in management and music, briefly attended the university after graduating from high school.

“It didn’t work out for me,” he said of his first run at college, “so I went to the working world to see what it was like.”

After he graduated from Trinity High School in 2006, Landblom said he “didn’t feel like I was ready” to go right into the next level of education.

After trying out different jobs, including a year-long stint of housesitting in California for his brother, who was deployed with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, Landblom ended up working with college students in Medora.

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Hearing them talk about their experiences in school persuaded him to consider going back for his degree.

He did just that, and now the second time around is paying off.

Landblom is one of two student speakers, the other being Dickinson native Damon Fichter, who’ll be featured among the 77 graduates at the fifth annual fall commencement ceremony

Landblom said he “definitely matured” in the years he’d spent in the workforce and had figured out that he wanted to dedicate his time in school toward a goal of working in the business end of the music industry.

“I want to work in recording studios, signing bands and such,” he said. “My goal was to eventually be an owner of my own independent record company.”

During his tenure at DSU, Landblom joined organizations like the National Association for Music Education, Students Other than Average, and the University Players.

In 2013, he was inducted into the national Omicron-Psi Honor Society for academic excellence.

Landblom found work for after graduation in the sales support staff for Dickinson’s KDIX radio station, which he says meets his interest in the intersection of business and music.

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Kenneth Haught, dean of the DSU College of Arts & Sciences, said he had directed Landblom in a number of theatrical productions and described the student as a hard worker.

“He’s been a joy to work with,” Haught said. “I’m really proud of what he’s learned over the years that I’ve known him.”

The dean pointed out the interplay of Landblom’s academic work as a business major and his stage work with the theater program, saying the communication skills imparted by the theatre are a real benefit in the business world.

“I think every play that’s done is kind of project management,” Haught said. “There’s also teamwork, the actor has to be a member of an ensemble and support the other actors and the technicians. (Landblom) has learned those skills of teamwork and project management and communication -- all important skills for people in business.”

Haught said graduation is bittersweet for educators -- while it’s great to see students complete their academic careers, there’s also a sadness in watching them leave.

For his part, Landblom said the years at DSU were “definitely the most rewarding time in my life.”

“It was challenging, but everything felt rewarding when it was all done,” he said. “I got to meet a lot of great people through my years at Dickinson State.”

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