Action Photo for Christian Van Cleave

A Drive to Succeed

Photo of Christian Van Cleave

Christian Van Cleave

Arvada, Colo.
When I visited Concordia, I felt at home right away, and that was something I hadn’t felt at any of the other places that I’ve visited.

This glowing review would lead one to think that Concordia has been a constant part of Christian Van Cleave’s life, but initially, it was not even on his radar. “I basically had never heard of Concordia until the track coach reached out to me and told me that he’d give me an athletic scholarship if I chose to go there. So, I did.”  

Once Christian arrived at Concordia, he further found his home in accounting and finance. “I started as a computer science major, and I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. Fortunately, at the same time, I was taking an accounting class, which came really easily to me, so I switched to that. I’ve really loved being a part of the accounting program ever since. Everyone is super driven and has a desire to achieve great things.”  

Christian’s drive for accounting transfers over to his track career. “I work with Mark Samuels, who is an awesome track coach. He always encourages us to give 110% and he gives us the support to be motivated to give that 110%.”  

For Christian, this drive for excellence on the track team extends to academics. “There’s a huge focus on academics at Concordia. On the track team, if you have below a 3.3 GPA, you have to do five study hours at the library. You can tell that the coaches all care about our success on the track and in the classroom.”  

Christian hopes to apply this drive to succeed in his future vocation. “This summer, I had an internship at First Bank in Colorado, and I loved working there. It was the most fun I had ever had in a job.” Christian hopes to continue his work at First Bank for his career. “Right after college, First Bank offers a six-month training program when, after you complete the program, you get promoted to be a loan officer. I got the job, and I’m very excited to be working in such a welcoming environment.” 

Christian believes that a welcoming environment is an important part of making the most out of your Concordia experience. “It’s really important to find somewhere to get involved. There are lots of great people and opportunities here. College can be hard sometimes, but when you find a group of supportive friends, it makes it a lot easier.”