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Graduating seniors from Mongolia share parenting helped them succeed academically

Purevdorj and Boldbaatar wear graduation black cap and gown while holding a baby and toddler sitting down in the grass with the road and palm trees in the background.

Shijir “PJ” Purevdorj and Suvd-Erdene “Pearl” Boldbaatar shared they developed a new mindset towards their academics at BYU–Hawaii and prepared themselves to be genuine gold in the future through their majors, minors and spiritual growth.

Purevdorj, a senior studying finance and supply chain, said, “My first name is Shijir, which means genuine gold in Mongolian. BYUH academic and spiritual curricula helped me to prepare myself to be a genuine gold in the future.”

Parenting while studying

Purevdorj shared most people believe having children will negatively affect their studies and careers, but from his experience, it was the opposite. “Having my two boys while studying at BYUH helped me be more focused, and my GPA went up much faster.

“Of course, parenting takes a lot of time from our life, but it helps me be motivated, spiritually and physically tuned, and not waste my time on useless things.”

Steve Tueller, administrative vice president at BYUH, said, “I love this family. They are a good example of faithful members who exercise faith to seek to know and do what the Lord would have them do. They have had two children while at BYUH. While this is hard to do with both of them in school, they moved forward with their family despite the additional financial and time pressures children can bring. I admire them for this.”

Purevdorj said, “My wife’s support was another big part of my success. I believe in the phrase, ‘Choosing a good spouse is a lifetime investment.’ I married a tough woman, and she is a great partner in everything.”

Ann Springer, assistant professor in the Faculty of Business & Government, said she had Boldbaatar and Purevdorj in her classes.

“It is easy for me to imagine the major influence this Mongolian power couple will have upon their arrival home. They are as kind and generous as they are wise and talented. Not only are they each individually fabulous humans, but also together they will do extraordinary things.”

Boldbaatar, a senior majoring in human resources with minors in psychology and marketing, shared, “I believe raising children is the most important job one can do. Though it can be overwhelming at times, I find tremendous strength and joy from watching my two boys grow up and learn new things each day. I think children are the biggest investment you can make, perhaps a heavenly one.”

Tueller commented, “I admire any woman who will endure pregnancy and bring a child into the world. To do that while trying to get a college degree is especially impressive. Typically, students are poor, have stressful work and study schedules, and have little money or time for themselves.

“To add a baby to this already difficult situation shows great faith. It shows a commitment to being a partner in God’s work to bring a child into the world so they can move along the covenant path.”

Boldbaatar commented having a daily schedule and planning was an important part of her study and motherhood. “I don’t like to do things at the last minute, so I try to plan ahead of time.” Besides her academic growth, she was able to develop Christlike attributes, such as patience and empathy through her motherhood experience, she said.

Boldbaatar shared sometimes it was hard to deal with all her tasks, but her dream continually motivated her. She joined the Church when she was 17, and since then, her dream was to come to BYUH to obtain an education and build her family.

“Remembering my dreams helped me to move forward without being discouraged because I know it is what I wanted for so long.”

Tueller said, “I sense they both feel God is mindful of them and will bless them despite things not working out exactly as they had hoped. They speak of going back to Mongolia and building their lives there. I believe they will be a great asset to the Lord’s work there.”

They both served their full-time mission from 2013 to 2015. Boldbaatar served in the England Leeds Mission, while Purevdorj served in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission.

A new mindset towards academics

Purevdorj said BYUH helped him to develop a new mindset towards academics. Before he came to BYUH, he went to a Mongolian university. He said he realized his mindset at the time was not right.

“I was trying to study according to textbooks in Mongolia, but at BYUH, I studied in my classes from more practical ways,” Purevdorj shared. “For example, when I learn new things in class, I would ask myself, ‘If I had my own company, how would I apply these things effectively to my company?’”

He said adapting to this practical mindset helped him love his academic journey and better visualize his career. “It helped me produce new ideas, and my studies became richer. I developed a passion for learning.”

Purevdorj said he likes the United States education system because it is not homework-based but real-life experience-based. It allows him to see the world through different lenses, he said. “I’ve networked with many nice people and have experienced [valuable] relationships with them. I loved the program and the environment at BYUH. I really enjoyed my academic life at BYUH.”

Purevdorj also loved how BYUH offered different majors and minors. “We don’t have to be like loaves of bread shaped by one mold. We can choose many different majors, minors and classes according to our attributes and interests and develop ourselves in different ways.”

In addition to double majoring, Purevdorj minored in economics, accounting and entrepreneurship and got a business enterprise system certificate. He worked as an accountant at the Polynesian Cultural Center and as a student leadership supervisor in the BYUH Student Leadership and Services department. He said he appreciated the opportunity to build his resume and gain skills while studying.

As a human resource major, Boldbaatar said she wanted to understand people using psychology and figure out how to market to them. “People make decisions based on their opinions and feelings. I thought marketing was about sales, but I was wrong. It is about creating a relationship and making real connections to people. It matches perfectly with my major.”

She shared being able to network with people from around the world was the highlight of her academic journey. She also worked as a human resource assistant at Human Resources on campus where she was able to gain marketable skills in her field.

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