Leah Pring posing in front of a riverNew Daniels College of Business alumna Leah Pring combines her passions through research into how Kazakhstan’s blossoming Q-Pop music scene could drive economic growth.

“Whether it’s studying in Sweden or digging into the Kazakhstani pop music scene, Leah Pring (BSBA 2024) loves exploring new things and making new connections.”

And throughout her senior year, she combined her passions for business, travel and her love of all things music, writing a Daniels Distinction Thesis that uncovered parallels between Korea’s K-Pop and Kazakhstan’s Q-Pop music scenes and proposed ways to harness the power of music to boost international tourism and economic growth.

In March, Pring graduated with distinction with a bachelor’s in marketing, an interest she’s had since high school. “I had the opportunity to take a marketing class and loved the creative side of it and how unique and different it can be,” she says. And a minor in data analytics, Pring says, was the perfect way to round out the creative aspects of marketing with technical, data-driven skills.

And her love for creativity goes beyond the business world. The Boulder native is equally passionate about music. “I’ve been involved in music in different ways, learning violin from a very young age, going to concerts and creating my own music. I love the cohesion that it brings and the fact that people all over the world can come together over music,” she says.

Her passion for discovery is apparent in her music tastes, too. “I always love exploring new genres,” Pring says. And when a cousin and a roommate both clued her in to K-Pop, a widely beloved South Korean genre that blends pop, electronic hip-hop and other musical styles, often accompanied by choreographed on-stage dance routines, Pring’s interest was piqued.

That interest quickly evolved. As she learned more about K-Pop and South Korea, she started hearing about Kazakh artists and started getting into Q-Pop. “I was really interested in looking at it from of a marketing lens and understanding how a country like South Korea has used music to bolster its national image.”

When it came time to write her thesis, Pring combined her passions for music, marketing and international exploration, researching K-Pop’s role in the growth of the South Korean economy and finding ways in which Q-Pop can be harnessed to similar effect—expanding the genre’s presence internationally, generating jobs and boosting Kazakhstan’s economy.

While her research and travels have taken her around the globe, Pring has also made her mark on campus, holding positions in the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, Women in Business and the DU Marketing Association. She has interned with Got Bag, a German startup that builds travel products out of recycled ocean plastic, and Comcast, further sharpening her marketing skills and gaining an understanding of the industry. After graduating, she will start a position with international tech consulting firm RSM.

Her time at the University has certainly made its mark on Pring, too—from classes like sports and entertainment marketing, where she dove deep into different marketing niches to her study abroad program in Sweden, where she learned the ins and outs of international marketing and Swedish history, saw the northern lights and spent her weekends traveling.

Beyond acquiring professional skills and marketing acumen, Pring says she’s changed a lot since freshman year. “I think the quarter system offered a lot of opportunities to develop my skill sets and to grow both personally and professionally because I had so many more opportunities and classes to take,” she says.

Her biggest takeaway from her time at DU, she says, is to take advantage of the opportunities that arise and not be afraid to “go for it.”

“You never know what experiences are going to lead to your next opportunities. I think every experience is a great experience, whether it’s finding out what you love or what you don’t love.”