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Genuine Gold

Tserennyam Sukhbaatar's Spiritual Journey to BYU–Hawaii

Tserennyam wearing an aloha style shirt smiling for the camera with greenery in the background.

Meet Tserennyam Sukhbaatar, Brigham Young University–Hawaii's first-ever Mongolian professor. Since graduating from BYU–Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Tserennyam has had many achievements in his career working with different global companies such as Apple, Dell, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Toshiba, Electrolux, Caterpillar, overseeing all marketing aspects found in a business. He attributes his successful career to both his passion for marketing and blessings from his Heavenly Father.

What Brought You to BYU–Hawaii?

Tserennyam envisioned his family's future in Mongolia and initially declined the invitation to apply for this position. But after he gave it more time and consideration, he knelt with his wife and prayed. The feelings he received were comforting and appealing; he felt the Holy Ghost tell him to "go on," so he followed that impression. Now that he and his family are here, he reports his time at BYU–Hawaii feels like a spiritual journey. Although he's never experienced a career shift like this, he recognizes that the Lord is in control and will steer his path to help him learn and grow.

Tserennyam Sukhbaatar and his wife, two daughters, one son, and one son on the way.

Despite his career achievements, Tserennyam claims his family to be his biggest blessing. Knowing his wife since kindergarten, they started dating and were married soon after both serving full-time missions. Tserennyam also comments that his family is well balanced, being that they have two sons and two daughters, all adjusting well and feeling blessed to be in Laie.

This fall, Tserennyam is teaching two marketing research classes and one digital marketing class. Already, he's admitted how surprised he was to find that time flies by so quickly in the classroom. He wishes he had more time to teach and share his experiences working with universal brands.

Tserennyam goes on to explain that "the world doesn't always understand you, it can be challenging, and students will face many temptations in the workspace." He looks forward to sharing how he overcame these challenges while still providing effective classes for student's secular learning.

Tips for Students

Tserennyam shares with students that teachers at BYU–Hawaii really want to help. From a student's perspective, it's hard to understand the reasoning and purpose behind assignments and projects. But he promises that if students take the time to prepare and study the topics given them, they will leave this university with more than a diploma. He reminds students they have a significant advantage with the student-to-professor ratio; they can interact more with faculty. Tserennyam said, "Don't just use your time in the classroom to learn. Be eager and go after class to office hours for advice and tips."

He also urges students to stay on the narrow path and live the gospel. Heavenly Father will never forget you. Follow the commandments, and you will be blessed. He relates students being at BYU–Hawaii with the personal connection he felt to David O. McKay's prophetic vision. This place can, in fact, produce genuine gold as the Prophet David O. McKay once saw. He understands the prophecy and now sees it's not only for students but also for faculty.

Tserennyam has witnessed firsthand that the world needs righteous men and women. The world can be a dark and corrupt place, but because of the gospel, we can stand out. We can set ourselves apart and shine with the light of Christ in the darkest of places.