Student Success Stories
On a regular basis, Career Services aims to share some of our student successes in a variety of experiences.
We celebrate the success of our current students who:
- are completing/have completed internship
- completed one of our professional skills courses
- made successful networking connections through our Career Services events
- and so much more.
Written by: Sam Mergl
Meet Alaina Riedel, she is majoring in Human Services Leadership with a minor in Psychology and is currently in her 6th year and will be graduating in May with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services. Throughout Alaina’s time here at UWO, she held two on-campus jobs. One job was working at the Student Involvement Desk in Reeve Union for over 3 years. The other position she held on-campus was also at Reeve Union being a Volunteerism Assistant for over 2 years. With that position, she was responsible for Hands On Oshkosh events, Alternative Break Trivia Night and much more! Alaina also held a job as CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant for the last 6 years where she worked in many nursing homes and assisted livings, as well as home health care. Additionally, Alaina’s first started working at a grocery store in her hometown as a cashier and dairy clerk while attending high school.
Throughout her time at UWO, Alaina has taken a variety of different courses. When asked which classes were her favorite she said that “ my first initial favorite class was when I was a pre-nursing major, Nursing 215 – Health Practices with Diverse Populations. It was my first realization that I enjoyed learning the cultures of different populations. I had the opportunity during my college experience to travel to Honduras with Reeve Union Alternative Break, three different times to learn about their culture in Honduras as well as establishing friendships that lasted a lifetime there.” Currently, Alaina is working as the Disaster Workforce Engagement Manager that she started in the beginning of May 2020 with the American Red Cross. Before she landed this position she also held two different internships that helped her land the job. Alaina was a Disaster Services intern and a volunteer with the American Red Cross in Oshkosh, WI from September 2019 to May 2020. For the Human Services degree at UWO, she was required to have two internships. One internship was 120 hours, and the other internship was 280 hours. Alaina completed both of my internships at the American Red Cross and volunteered between the two internships.
After speaking to Alaina about how she utilized the Career and Professional Development Office, she said that “First off, I can not thank Alicia Stuedemann enough for everything she has done for me and my professional life this last year. From tearing apart my resume to preparing me for interviews, Alicia has been there for me through it all. I definitely used the Career and Professional Development more in my last year as an undergraduate than I did my whole college experience. I think that seniors should utilize this service on campus before they graduate as so many services are provided for students!”
When asked where Alaina sees herself in the next five years, she hopes to be someone who is established in their career. Alaina wants to have gained tremendous experiences that build herself as a professional as well as someone who remains an avid traveler. She would love to travel back to Honduras again as she has been a couple times previously. One piece of advice that Alaina would give to students is, “Don’t give up. Life takes time, and it’s okay to pause once in a while. I came into college as a pre-nursing major and I’m leaving as a Human Services Leadership major, did I ever think that would happen? Not in a million years! But I did not give up, through the many challenges that college threw my way I found passion out of it. College is not easy, and it will challenge you like you’ve never been challenged before, but it’s important to have a great support system and establish goals along the journey. My last piece of advice is to get involved! Whether it be a student organization, club, intramural sports, or even an on-campus job! They will all have such a positive impact on any college experience and bring so many new opportunities that were not available before!”
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a career advisor, call Career & Professional Development at 920-424-2181 or self-schedule an appointment on Handshake for a time that is convenient for you. Advisors are available remotely by phone or via video chat for appointments if you prefer face-to-face option. We are still here to serve you!
Student Success Story: Eva Penick
Written by: Sam Mergle
Meet Eva Penick, a junior here at UW Oshkosh. Eva is currently majoring in Human Resource Management and plans on graduating next May with her bachelors degree. Previously, Eva has worked at a local Indian restaurant called Sai Ram in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she was able to gain skills in customer service through being a waitress, server’s assistant, busser and host. Having been able to work there for 4 years, she was able to have many experiences working with customers as well as demonstrating great problem solving skills. Eva also currently works in the UW Oshkosh’s Chancellor’s office as a student assistant.
The Career Fair on the Fox is a great event that UW Oshkosh Career & Professional Development hosts every year which allows students to connect with hundreds of different employers to potentially land a job/internship. This past fall Eva took advantage of going and connecting with professionals. Eva landed herself a human resource summer internship position with Grande Cheese Company after talking with the internship coordinator. She said one thing she really liked was how she could ask more questions and get to know more about the company and the people that she would be working with from speaking with the coordinator and representatives face-to-face. Eva said that one thing that really helped her get ready for the career fair was using the Career and Professional Development Office’s resume drop-in. She was able to get great feedback on what stood out on her resume, but also got feedback on what she needed to fix in order to stand out to employers.Eva also said that having done the mock interviews through the office was a big help because it made her go into her internship interview more confident.
When asked where Eva sees herself in the next five years, she said that she hopes to gain a lot more human resource experience with Grande Cheese, and if that goes well she hopes to continue her career with them. One piece of advice Eva wants to give to other students is to go to the career fair. She said she was so nervous to go but so glad she went because she would not have gotten her summer internship if she had not met and connected with the coordinator of her program.
Congratulations Eva, on all your success so far here at UW Oshkosh! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
Student Success Story: Kat Aasen
Written by: Sam Mergl
Kat Aasen is a junior here at UW Oshkosh, double majoring in human resources and interactive web management. Kat is also a part of the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha and holds the position of Vice President of Recruitment and Retention. Previously, Kat has worked at Buffalo Wild Wings as a server which has given her great customer service experience on top of working at a boutique back in her hometown of Oconomowoc. Kat was also able to gain some office management experience.
Kat recently landed an internship with Schneider National up in Green Bay as the Campus Recruiting Intern in Corporate Recruiting. She is currently working on Schneider’s Intern Program, which has recently been named one of the country’s 100 Best Internships, hiring on 90 students. Kat’s main role is to be a direct line of communication with intern candidates across the United States, supporting them through a positive recruiting experience. She coordinates the scheduling of all intern candidates, utilizes an applicant tracking system to transition and communicate with candidates, as well as validates new hire background checks.
Throughout her time at UW Oshkosh, Kat has utilized the Career and Professional Development office to her advantage to help her land her current internship. In her Business 284 class, students had to come into the Career and Professional Development office and do a mock interview. Gina, a recruiter from Schneider, ended up interviewing Kat and after she did some research on the company, Kat realized she really liked the culture of Schneider and eventually went on to land the position. When asked what the next five years looks like for Kat’s future she said that she hopes to come out of college with a full time job offer in the Fox Valley area or the greater Milwaukee area. With three years of college experience under her belt, Kat’s advice to any student looking for a job or internship position would be to build your resume because that’s the first thing of your personal brand a recruiter sees of you. She also said that practicing your interviewing skills is essential as well as coming into any room confident.
Congratulations, Kat on all your accomplishments thus far! We are excited to see what the future holds for you.
If you are looking to add to your summer or fall schedule, consider enrolling in one of our Professional Skills courses.
Professional skills courses will prepare you for internship or work after college. Topics covered in these courses include: resumes, cover letters, networking, personal branding, strengths, job/internship search, graduate school and much more! If you are interested you can enroll on Titan Web now!
*PRF CNSL 202 – Career Planning & Implementation – 1 credit online offered both summer and fall (all majors)
*INTRDSCP 208 – Professional Skills in Math & Natural Science
*HUMAN SVC – 204 – Professional Skills in Human Services
*BUSINESS 284 – Professional Skills in Business
Why you should consider taking a Professional Skills course:
- 98% of students who took the Pro Skills course – were able to articulate how their education & experiences connected to their career goals
- 98% of students who took the Pro Skills course – were able to articulate the value of their strengths in a professional setting
- 95% of students who took the Pro Skills course – were able to implement four effective strategies to find a job/internship
- 95% of students who took the Pro Skills course – were able to identify strategies for creating a positive, professional personal brand
Student Success Story: Mikayla Sullivan
Written by: Sam Mergl
Mikayla Sullivan is a junior here at UW Oshkosh who is majoring in International Business with a certificate in supply chain as well as marketing. In the future, she really wants to work for a company that does business with other foreign companies. She has plans to learn and be fluent in Spanish on top of traveling to Granada, Spain next fall to study abroad. Currently, Mikayla works as a purchasing intern at Pierce Manufacturing where she has twenty eight of her own accounts in which she places and expedites orders. Mikayla also analyzes data to get cost savings for the company on top of having to communicate with her buyers on a daily basis to make sure the correct orders are being fulfilled.
Throughout her time at UW Oshkosh, Mikalya has utilized the Career and Professional Development office to help her prepare and land the spot at her current internship. One important factor that helped her was signing up for a resume review session with one of our Career Advisors, as well as coming into the Career Closet to get some business staples she could confidently wear to her interview. Mikayla started her internship with Pierce Manufacturing back in January and once she completes it she would like to stay within the company after she graduates in May 2021. Mikalya has learned a lot from her internship from ordering commodities such as dipsticks, graphics and fire research corp lights for fire trucks to working cross functionally with the engineering department, human resources and the receiving department. One fun fact that Mikayla learned while interning at Pierce was that the gold lettering on the fire trucks is actually real gold.
When asked the biggest piece of advice you could give to students Mikayla said “ Utilize your resources to the best of your abilities, like the career fairs and to not be afraid to reach out to companies if you are interested in them”.
Congratulations Mikayla on all of your success so far and we wish you the best of luck moving forward!!
If you’d like to visit the Career Closet, stop by Career & Professional Development anytime that we are open! Remember you can get 4 FREE items each semester! Save some $ and build a nice wardrobe!
Student Success Story: McKenna Fassbinder
Written by: Chelsea Breyer
Mckenna Fassbinder is a senior here at UW Oshkosh who will be graduating this December 2019 with a Marketing major and Retail Management emphasis. Mckenna started her college journey as a freshman at UW Stevens Point, where she played basketball. After her first semester Mckenna decided to move closer to home and attend UW Oshkosh with the intention of pursuing a degree in business.
During her time at UW Oshkosh, Mckenna experienced great opportunities that helped her develop her interest in Marketing and become a more accomplished professional. Initially, Marketing was not the obvious path for Mckenna, and she credits several different experiences with helping her to discover her passion for Marketing. Initially drawn to the creative components of Marketing, as a part-time sales manager at the clothing store Carter’s, Mckenna became interested in consumer behavior and determining what the customer wants. Mckenna also took classes in Marketing Research and Global Marketing, in which she found that she enjoyed the numbers side of Marketing. Additionally, Mckenna enrolled in the Business 284 Professional Skills class. Through this class Mckenna participated in multiple networking events hosted by Career & Professional Development, such as informational interviews, dining with professionals, and mock interviews. Mckenna believes that these events greatly influenced her decision to pursue Marketing, as she was able to interact with a variety of professionals within the field. As a result of participating in mock interviews, Mckenna was offered an internship with Target in 2017.
Another great opportunity Mckenna had the benefit of participating in was the Disney College Program. The Disney College Program presents an in-house learning experience where students live, work, and learn more about business at one of the Disney resorts. In Fall of 2018 Mckenna interned as a Front of House Specialist for the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot, in addition to supporting merchandise operations. Mckenna has always had a personal connection to Disney and would visit the parks at least once a year when she was young. Mckenna learned about the Disney College Program from a cast member at Disney and took the initiative to reach out to Career & Professional Development for more information. She met with Chrissy Lambie, the UW Oshkosh Disney College Program Faculty rep, who helped her with the interview and application process, as well as helping her to enroll in the Letters and Science internship class. In addition to learning more about Disney and their business, Mckenna was able to focus on her individual development. Through this internship Mckenna met new people and made a lot of connections. Originally a shy person, Mckenna worked on building her confidence and opening up more. Additionally, she even got to meet her favorite Disney character Donald Duck!
This development paid off when Mckenna used her connections from the program to gain a professional internship with the Disney Hospitality Leadership Program following graduation. This year-long program is a people-based leadership experience where Mckenna will be a management intern overseeing merchandise operations and coordination of cast members in Animal Kingdom. Mckenna is not yet sure what she will pursue after her program is over, however, she is open to opportunities the future presents.
When asked about what advice she would give to future students pursuing a career in business, Mckenna stressed the importance of being proactive and putting yourself out there. She highly recommended attending networking events and treating them as an opportunity to make others notice you, rather than waiting for others to reach out. Having figured this out later in her college education, Mckenna wants to give this advice to help others be more aware earlier on in their path.
Thank you for the advice Mckenna, and congratulations on your graduation! We wish you all the best with your upcoming program, and success in the future to come!
Student Success Story: Olivia Anderson
Written by: Whitney Karau
Olivia Anderson is a senior, Economics major with an international emphasis here at UW Oshkosh and will be graduating in May 2020. Additionally, she has two minors that include math and business management. Her international emphasis is something she is very passionate about. Currently, her favorite classes include, International Capital Markets and Economies of Less Developed Countries, because they focus on trading and economies of countries outside the United States. Olivia is from the Oshkosh area and indicated that she would like to stay in the area for at least a year after graduating. However, she would eventually love to move and travel or work internationally.
After graduation she is excited for what lies ahead of her but is also sad to leave the UW Oshkosh campus and to leave her Sorority Gamma Phi Beta. She has been a member of Gamma Phi Beta since 2017 and currently hold the position of Financial Vice President. As the Financial VP Olivia oversees the sororities checking and savings accounts, creates and manages their budget, bills members with dues and fines, manages the funds raised for their philanthropic partner Girls on the Run, and assists in completing the sorority’s taxes. Olivia feels that her position at the Financial VP of her sororities helped to give her an edge when she recently attended the Fall 2019 Career Fair on the Fox and secured an internship with Northwestern Mutual.
During the Career Fair on the Fox she was able to network and connect with employers. Her skills and experiences impressed employers and landed her the opportunity to participate in on campus interviews in the Career & Professional Development office later in the week with Northwestern Mutual. After her interview she was offered an internship as the College Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual. This internship allows her the opportunity to be licensed in both Life and Health Insurance. Olivia is very excited about these opportunities and feels this internship is her first real step into the business world.
When asked how she felt about the career fair Olivia shared that she greatly enjoyed and valued the experience. Her favorite part was the opportunity to stop by and visit all businesses from the area. She feels that applying online doesn’t give the applicant a real feel for the company or the ability to really see the whole picture like the career fair does. She would 100% recommend that other students take advantage of the opportunities that career fairs provides.
Thanks for the advice Olivia and Congratulations on landing that internship! We wish you well in all that lies ahead for you!
Anyone interested in learning more about the Career Fair on the Fox or other Career Fairs put on by Career & Professional Development can find more information listed on Handshake under Events tab by clicking on “Find Career Fairs.”
Student Success Story: Shyanna Brickson
Written By: Kaitlyn Harbort
Shyanna, currently a senior graduating this December, chose to purse a major in Biology Healthcare Business, and has had the opportunity to participate in a few extraordinary internships. Her decision to study biology and explore a career in that industry came from her passion for science and love for animals. Currently, Shyanna is exploring the position as a veterinary assistant, however, upon graduation will be transferring to the lab operations to assist in diagnosing visiting patients.
Throughout her collegiate career, Shyanna has participated in multiple internships allowing her to experience a variety of professional positions. Through her internship at the Wildwood Wildlife Park in Minocqua she was able to gain hands on experience caring for animals by learning to assess potential health or behavioral problems and how to treat accordingly. Shyanna’s second internship was through Career & Professional Development where she acted as the Database Assistant Intern and gained hands on experience in providing database and record keeping for several hundred employers affiliating with UWO. Her final internship experience was held this summer as she participated in a customer service based position for Alliant Energy in Madison.
Shyanna has utilized the services of Career & Professional Development in various ways. Not only has she been employed with the department for over two years, but she has also participated in almost every type of professional networking event we offer. As a student Shyanna, has completed various resume review sessions with her Career Advisor, and has participated in workshops that emphasize Clifton Strengths. From the resources available, Shyanna felt she was much more adequately prepared when entering into the interview process, and being offered her internships. By participating in events such as Dining with Professionals, mock interviews, Career Fair on the Fox, and the Taste of Oshkosh, Shyanna felt she was able to really strengthen her professional networking abilities and develop connections that she has been able to keep throughout her collegiate years.
Shyanna’s advice to students is “although college is important and helpful don’t forget to enjoy your life while living it.” Your four years at UWO will go so fast so while you’re planning for the next classes to sign up for, or the future job you want just remember to enjoy the moments you’re currently experiencing. This is the youngest you will ever be!
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with your Career Advisor you can self-schedule through Handshake or call Career & Professional Development at 920-424-2181. If you’d like to participate in any of our events check out our upcoming opportunities in Handshake!