Challey Spotlight: Kayla Boustead

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The Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth is highlighting the impact of our faculty and students at NDSU and in the community. This month, we are shining a spotlight on senior accounting and business administration student, Kayla Boustead.

Challey Spotlight: Kayla Boustead

NDSU Senior in Accounting and Business Administration

Kayla Boustead is a Senior studying Accounting and Business Administration at NDSU. She grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota and hopes to start a career in public accounting as a CPA post-graduation. Kayla is a recipient of the Sheila and Robert Challey Institute Scholarship, which supports students who are interested in learning about economic opportunity and human flourishing. Kayla has been involved in many organizations on campus such as Women in Business, Hall Government, Accounting Club, and the National Residence Hall Honorary. She also served as the Administrative Director of the Residence Hall Association for the 2021-2022 school year. She currently works for the Center for Entrepreneurship on the Main Street Project.

You're majoring in both Accounting and Business Administration. What have been the challenges associated with double majoring, and do you think it has been worth it?
It certainly gives you an appreciation for how many hours there are in a day. I have worked really hard the past three years juggling school and extra-curricular activities. I would not change my college experience for anything, and double majoring has absolutely been worth it. As an accounting major looking to get my CPA, double majoring was the most efficient way from me to get the 150 credits required to sit for the CPA exam. I am so grateful that I was able to take summer classes and fast-track. The way I looked at things when I started college, the opportunity cost of being in school was missing out on a full time salary, so getting five years of school done in three years saved me a lot of time and money. I'm really glad that I did it.

You're a senior now, and many of the Challey Institute programs didn't exist at the time you were being recruited to NDSU. How has participation in Challey Institute Programs enhanced your NDSU experience?
I think they've enhanced my experience in the way that the Challey Institute does such a good job of broadening students' minds. I think in college, as students navigate thought their majors and focus on a career path, they tend to have blinders on and think that they are limited to jobs defined by their major. The Challey Institute Programs and talks help you expand your mind and learn what is going on in different disciplines. It is amazing to listen to people with experience and hear their journey through their careers - and these are successful people, so it gives you a really good idea of what it's like to be a successful person. It helps you take off the college blinders and realize that there are so many opportunities and other ways to use your education and skills well beyond your major. Your major could be a small stepping stone into something greater.

You have been a regular attendee at Challey Institute events and speakers. Is there one experience or speaker that stands out in your mind as being impactful? What did you learn?
The one that sticks out most to me was Glenn Loury. That one was so pleasantly surprising to me because he had such a unique outlook on life. And, considering his past experiences and how he grew up, he had such an amazing story to tell. It was really refreshing to hear him talk about how people that have different viewpoints can have conversations without engaging in a lot of conflict. That is so missing in our world; there is so much conflict, so much tension, so much hatred. Seeing that he was willing to sit down with people and talk to them intelligently and have a meeting of the minds was really inspiring to me.  The biggest things I learned from his talk were to treat people who have a different viewpoint than you with understanding, and that a meeting of the minds is more progressive than trying to change someone else’s beliefs to match your own.

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen at NDSU? 
GET INVOLVED! There is no way I would have accomplished everything I have or had the growing experience I did without getting involved in student organizations on campus. It opens the door to so many opportunities and it is a great way to boost your resume and scholarship applications while gaining unique skills and experience. College is what you make of it and if you put in a lot of work, you will reap the benefits of it. I have grown as a person and as a professional and have made lifelong friends and connections who push me and help me become a better person.


The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth aims to advance understanding in the areas of innovation, trade, institutions, and human potential to identify policies and solutions for the betterment of society. Learn more at
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