Business and Communications Student Finds Success and LGBT Support at UMKC

Trae Tucker has experienced connections through involvement and internships
UMKC student Trae Tucker sits outside of Bloch School

Get to know our people and you'll know what UMKC is all about.

Trae Tucker, '20
St. James, Missouri
High School: St. James High School
Degree programs: Business Management and Communications

UMKC student Trae Tucker sitting on bench
Why did you choose UMKC?

I chose UMKC because it gave me a place where I could be my true self. In high school, when I hadn't come out of the closet yet. I wanted to be who I was. I looked up gay-friendly colleges in the U.S., and UMKC came up. I was like, hey, that's in Missouri! I think I found my home.

Why did you choose your field of study?

The reason I chose my field of studies is because my father owns a family business back in my hometown, and while growing up I knew that business was just something I gravitate towards. And I love talking to people, and I wanted to learn deeper on how to effectively have good conversations that I can implement into my field of work.

Trae Tucker crouching down outside UMKC Bloch School

What do you like about the business and communications programs?

Hands down the connections that you can establish through the Bloch School are profound. However, with that being said, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to those connections. The resources are there, but you have to willing to reach out to grasp the opportunities.

As for the communication degree, it is funny, but the biggest benefit that I have had would be learning how to effectively listen because that is such a big factor in being a great communicator. I remember starting in the program and I was too much of an active extrovert to really listen when spoken to and I learned that you miss so much when you aren't effectively listening to the one speaking to you.

My programs have inspired me to really reach for my goals and aspirations. I think that the environment you are in plays an extremely important role when getting your degree. If you aren't being told that you can reach your goals, you won't fully believe in yourself. The support you get in programs at UMKC is amazing and imperative when looking for a place to foster your ambitions and goals.

Closeup of UMKC student Trae Tucker

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

Coming to college has opened my eyes to a more worldly view. College has also taught me to learn to be okay with entering into uncomfortable situations because it is in those moments when the most personal growth happens. For example, it isn't comfy to give a speech in front of hundreds of people, but after accepting and entering into that uncomfortable situation, I have grown and found a further belief in myself and what I can do and accomplish.

Trae Tucker at Pride Lecture

What do you admire most at UMKC?

I admire all of the amazing and loving people that I have met while in college. College is such a melting pot of different people with different views and I could not be more thankful for that. I am constantly being challenged on my views and what I believe in and a lot of the times it gives me a broader perspective on life and how people live in the world. I think that is such a valuable lesson to learn for any person both in and not in college.

UMKC student Trae Tucker speaks at Pride Lecture

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at UMKC?

I am involved in a range of things here at UMKC such as sitting as the president of the LGBT Affairs Council, formal chair for my fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, resident assistant in Oak Street Hall, an ambassador for the Bloch School and intramurals here on campus: volleyball and basketball. I love all of these organizations and they all have played a part of making my college experience great!

Trae Tucker at UMKC Court Warming

Do you have any scholarships?

LGBT Leadership Scholarship: this award means the absolute most to me because it helps me feel welcomed and included in such a diverse community. It also gives others like me - a member of the LGBTQIA community - a chance to learn and enjoy college with less of a financial stress.

Resident Life Assistant Scholarship: this is also a near and dear scholarship to me because it allows me to have free room/board and meal plan. Without that, it would be 100 times harder living at UMKC. Res Life is absolutely amazing, and I love working for them.

Bloch Student Ambassador Scholarship: this is a great scholarship where I get to meet new and prospective students wanting to come to UMKC. The best part is I get to give my personal experience, and get to meet people from all over the United States.

Trae Tucker at UMKC Court Warming

Have you had any internships?

Yes, I have worked in New York City in TriBeCa with a PR firm called Bollare where I worked on the events team. The biggest thing that I learned while interning with Bollare was how to work effectively and efficiently. It is a very fast-paced environment, and it pushed me to new limits that I am extremely happy to have learned about myself.

I also have interned in Los Angeles in Hollywood where I was a resident director for a company called Dream Careers. This is where we had students from around the world who wanted internships in L.A. My job was to help these students get acclimated into L.A. so they knew where the closest pharmacy, stores, etc. were. Also, if there were housing issues, I would directly assist in resolving those problems. We also took the students on different adventures around L.A. For example, going to a Dodgers baseball game and taking a weekend trip to Las Vegas. I learned a lot about myself at this internship, too. Specifically that age is just a number, and even if you are a younger person working in a "big boy/girl" position, if you are talented enough to do the job, then you can do it.

Trae Tucker outside of Bloch School

What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career?

I hope overall I can take the things I have learned here, specifically how to work effectively in groups, and bring that into my professional career. Like it or not, we are moving more and more towards group work, and I have learned to love working in groups and how to communicate to have an effective group.