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Martin Kardos (BSBA 2003, MBA 2005)

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

From the tennis court to the business office, Martin Kardos has built a life that echoes the famous words of tennis legend Arthur Ashe. When it comes to his collegiate journey, Martin started with a tennis racket in hand, using his courtside prowess to earn a scholarship to the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the chance to play for Coach Rick Gyllenborg for two years. Martin, a native of Slovakia who spent two years at Kilgore College before transferring to UMSL, helped the team earn its first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 2002 and a return trip to post season play the following year. He was also selected to the All-Great Lakes Valley Conference team both years.

Martin Kardos

“The team camaraderie drove our success and was something special. After 20 years, my former teammates and I still stay in touch.” 

When he wasn’t holding serve on the tennis court, Martin was busy pursuing international business studies in the College of Business Administration and interdisciplinary work in the Pierre Laclede Honors College. After earning a bachelor’s degree in 2003, Martin worked in the College of Business Administration while pursuing an MBA, graduating summa cum laude in 2005.

"I owe so much to Dave Ganz, who truly represents the values of UMSL, for setting up my career path," Martin said. "His kindness and deep interest in helping students continues to inspire my own interactions with others."

After earning his MBA, Martin returned to UMSL at the university’s invitation for a mentorship program organized by the St. Louis Regional Business Council. Through this experience he connected with CSI Leasing, a global computer leasing company. Martin began at CSI Leasing as an international business associate and has since risen to serve as managing director for central and eastern Europe, where he currently oversees all aspects of the region’s operations and performance.

From center court and the classroom to a position of corporate leadership, Martin has made the most of his opportunities in life.