Former inmate talks about life experiences


Patrick Kuhse’s presentation, “Speaking of Ethics,” teaches an important lesson: crime doesn’t pay.

Kuhse spoke of his journey from being a successful stockbroker to a man-on-the-run, and eventually being incarcerated for his role in a financial fraud scheme.

Over 100 students listened as Kuhse spoke of his blindness to the importance of business ethics Wednesday night in the Barsema auditorium.

“The message I want to send to students is to not base your decision on money. Instead, base it on the impact it will have on you and your loved ones, both now and in the future,” Kuhse said.

Kuhse used a balance of humor and sternness to send his message of dealing with ethical dilemmas.

He spoke of his first experience on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange and how claustrophobic he felt.

“That feeling of claustrophobia wouldn’t help me in prison either,” Kuhse said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

Coming away impressed was Chris Shall, a junior business major.

Shall said he learned a valuable lesson for his future business career.

“I thought [Kuhse’s] speech was great,” Shall said. “It just shows how easy it can be to get caught up in unethical acts, and he really made it all make sense.”

Kuhse has shared his experiences with college students nationwide since 2001.

He has spoken at universities such as Harvard, Cornell and Stanford, among others. He will speak at Syracuse University on Friday.

Kuhse blames his absence of critical thinking as a means for his unethical behavior.

Kuhse believes this type of thinking is essential not only for business ethics, but for life in general.

After the presentation, Kuhse received a standing ovation from the audience.

Don Tidrick, an accountancy professor, has seen Kuhse speak before and the reaction did not surprise him.

“He has an impact on students in a way that no other speaker that I’ve seen has,” Tidrick said.

“We get some great speakers in here, but Patrick is the only one I recall getting standing ovations like this.”

Cyprian Alaribe, a M.A.S. graduate student, agrees with Tidrick that the presentation was beneficial. Alaribe was impressed with Kuhse’s ability to turn his negative experience into a positive learning experience for students.