Support is powerful. Everyone needs support.
For Missouri State University graduate Victor Pagan-Cruz, support came in the form of MSU.
During Pagan-Cruz’s time at MSU, he came out as gay to his family and friends.
“My first boss at MSU was gay himself and we bonded well over it,” Pagan-Cruz said. “He was one of the first people I came out to. Still, to this day, I have a good bond with him.”
Pagan-Cruz spent six years studying and working at MSU.
Pagan-Cruz worked as a resident assistant for most of his undergraduate years. During his MBA, he worked as a graduate assistant for student affairs.
Connecting within the MSU community
Pagan-Cruz had a great support system at MSU from start to finish.
“I never felt closed off from anything I identified with while at MSU,” he said.
During his time in student affairs, Pagan-Cruz bonded with many of his coworkers, as well as his supervisor, Tara Benson.
“I loved it,” he said. “She was super welcoming and open.”
Pagan-Cruz encourages all students to apply for a campus job at MSU .
A new journey
Following graduation, Pagan-Cruz chose to venture into a field outside of academia.
He landed a job with Cerner, a computer and information technology company focused on the health care industry. He started on June 7 as a change implementation analyst.
During his training with Cerner, he noticed how much the organization cares for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Every single day, they say happy pride month,” he said. “They are super inclusive and have LGBTQ+ pride all over their websites.”
While starting a new journey was exciting for Pagan-Cruz, it came with a little uncertainty.
“It was hard,” he said. “I didn’t know exactly what it would be like with any job.”
Finding an inclusive and welcoming organization was important to Pagan-Cruz after enjoying positive work experiences at MSU.
“Do your research,” he advises College of Business students in a similar situation. It may be 2021, but not all organizations welcome and are open to the idea of diversity, he noted.
While Pagan-Cruz’s MSU journey led him to Cerner, everyone has a different path. He stresses that MSU is here to support you.
“I’m so grateful for MSU and all it has done for me,” Pagan-Cruz said.
“Coming in at 18, I did not know who I was. I’ve grown so much through the jobs and mentors I’ve had. It has made me the man I am today.”
The values of diversity and inclusion Pagan-Cruz found at MSU means there are options for all.
“I will never forget my experience or time at Missouri State and wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Pagan-Cruz.