Undergraduate Max Karg, an ecologically minded world traveler who buys, rebuilds and sells vehicles to make ends meet, eventually touched down on Oahu and found his way to Chaminade University.
“I have gone to different countries in Europe for both leisure and on a foreign exchange trip with my high school as I was growing up,” said Karg, a native of North Manchester, Indiana. “When I turned 16 and got my driver’s license, I took a 10,000-plus-mile solo road trip across the United States, exploring many different states and regions in doing so.
“This winter, I plan to visit Cuba and the Bahamas,” Karg continued. “In the future I hope to visit Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan in one trip, Australia and New Zealand in another trip, and Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria and Switzerland in another trip.”
To fund his travels and help pay for college, Karg – a self-described “gearhead” – has bought, repaired and sold nearly 70 cars, trucks and motorcycles to date.
“I did this back home beginning at age 15, not thinking much of it,” Karg said. “But it has gained me very valuable business and sales skills that allow me to make practical connections in class.”
Karg said he set his sights on Honolulu after applying to colleges nationwide and receiving a scholarship offer from a university in Hawaii.
“Having never been to Hawaii, I booked a ticket to check out the school and island over the winter,” Karg said. “I fell in love with the island’s rich culture, lush greenery and tropical sun.
“Since I was on the island, I checked out other schools,” Karg said. “I stepped on Chaminade’s campus and something just felt right. I took a tour of the campus and knew that this was somewhere I’d love to attend. I got home, applied and got in with a substantial academic scholarship that made it possible to come out here for my education.”
Chaminade’s small class sizes and friendly atmosphere immediately appealed to Karg.
“I would say my favorite part of Chaminade is the student/faculty ratio,” he said. “This has enabled me to make deep connections with the staff and faculty here that I likely wouldn’t be able to accomplish at larger institutions.”
Karg praised all his Chaminade professors for being “incredibly helpful,” but said two of them “have really stuck out.”
“The first being Dr. (Gail) Grabowsky in the science department, who got me thinking about an environmental science minor,” Karg said. “She’s very passionate about what she does, which clearly shows in her classes.
“The second is Dr. (Margaret) Friedman, who is in the business department and specializes in marketing. She also keeps her class very engaging and brings in lots of real-world examples.
“I’m glad I’m able to call both of these women not only my professors,” Karg said, “but also my advisors and mentors.”
When he’s not in class, Karg participates in numerous extracurricular activities.
“I am on the Student Allocations board,” he said, “served as treasurer of the Communications Club my first year, started the Photography Club and serve as Vice President of the Adventure Club. I also went to a leadership conference on Maui last year.”
Following graduation, Karg said he plans to buy, improve and sell real estate.
“I hope to not only make a property more appealing aesthetically,” he said, “but also more energy efficient and utilize sustainable materials in any reconstruction that may need to be done.
“I am also considering a master’s degree in Business Administration – possibly with an emphasis in sustainability- a little bit down the road.”
For an adventurous world traveler such as Karg, that road could lead just about anywhere.
The Business Administration program offered by Chaminade’s School of Business and Communication helps students become proficient in interpersonal communication and business intelligence through coursework, internships and service-learning opportunities. The Environmental Studies minor offered by the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics focuses on policy and environmental law to prepare students for careers in environmental science, ecology and conservation biology.