Kapri Malesich

Kapri Malesich

Award-winning College of Business student learned work ethic on family ranch


A work ethic instilled while growing up on her family's ranch near Dillon has helped Montana State University student Kapri Malesich get down to business.

Now in her junior year, Malesich has a perfect 4.0 GPA, despite majoring in the challenging curriculum of accounting.

Malesich admits that keeping a 4.0 through college is "a lot of hard work," but it certainly is not hard compared to the ranch work she's done all of her life.

"Watching your father work 24 hours a day, every day for no profit, just because he loves it, teaches you about working," says Malesich, who like most ranch kids learned early that everyone has to pitch in to keep a ranch running.

Malesich says she is deeply rooted in her family's 100 year-old, 20,000-acre ranch where they run 1,300 head of commercial cattle and grow small grains and hay. "It gives me a sense of pride that our family has been able to sustain it this long," she says. However, at a young age she knew she wanted a career in business.

When it came to selecting a university, Malesich had no problem. Both of her parents, Ed and Barb Malesich, attended Montana State. "I'd heard so many great things about MSU all my life," she said. "I'd also heard great things about the accounting program." It also helped that she won a College of Business scholarship.

Malesich said when she arrived at MSU she didn't set out to become perfect.

"I am not as concerned with a 4.0. I am more concerned with doing my best," she said. "I wouldn't want to have any regrets that I could have done better in an activity." She said she learned that philosophy from her parents and brother who taught her "If you do your best in this moment, it puts you in the best place for the next moment."

She said one of her secrets is to stay organized. "I write everything down in my planner," she said. She also studies with a roommate who is also majoring in accounting.

Malesich also holds down a part time job with MSU Sports Facilities. And, she has found time to become actively involved in a score of MSU organizations. She has held a coveted Orientation Leader position and has also been an Advocat.

She is an officer in Beta Gamma Sigma, national business honor society. She was president of Alpha Lambda Delta, the freshmen honor society and is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She has also volunteered her time for many community activities.

Malesich impressed adjunct professor Linda Adams so much when the junior was chosen to co-teach a semester of Business 101 with her that Adams nominated Malesich for the MSU Rotary Student of the Month award.

"Kapri's work ethic, responsibility and dedication make her a wonderful candidate for the MSU Student of the Month recognition," Adams wrote. "In addition to her credentials, she is funny, charming and a good friend to all those who know her.

Malesich has recently added another activity to her packed schedule. She took Japanese classes to prepare her for a prestigious Starzen fellowship. She was selected for the five-week summer internship with a Japanese business offered by the College of Business. For Malesich, whose family used to sell cows to the former Starzen ranch near Dillon, the trip will have additional meaning.

"I think it will be really interesting to see agriculture (in Japan)," she said.

Malesich said her goal has long been to get an internship with a national accounting firm following graduation next year. "However, I'm leaning a little more toward staying in the state now," she said.

"I really like accounting," Malesich says. "It makes sense to me. And, if I want to go back to the ranch I could. It's a great, flexible profession."

Story written by Carol Schmidt, MSU News Service Photo by Stephen Hunts, MSU News Service