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.
Alex Paasewe Student Success Story
Student Success Story: Alex Paasewe
Written by: Amber Brockman
Meet Alex Paasewe, a senior at UW Oshkosh who will be graduating in May 2022 with a double major in accounting and finance. Throughout his time at UWO, Alex has been a member of the Black Student Union since 2017 and has served as the Multicultural Education Coalition representative, vice president and treasurer of the organization. He has also been a member of the Multicultural Education Coalition since 2017. During his first two years on campus, Alex worked as a Community Advisor for South Scott and took on a liaison position to help educate other CAs on racial issues and similar topics. “Being a CA forced me to help foster a community environment, so going into that role really helped improve my communication and leadership skills,” Alex said. “Going into corporate America, where relationships are almost everything, I knew that was something I really had to get better at, and the CA role definitely helped.”
In March 2020, Alex was selected to present his research on the effects of institutional discrimination at the National Council of Black Studies Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. “We had to audition in front of the director for Black Studies and eight students were selected to present their research on a national stage,” he said. “My research was titled, ‘In the Eye of the Storm: The Peril of Black America and The Residual Effects of Institutional Discrimination Today.’” Alex has also participated in the Student Management Endowment Fund at UWO in spring 2020 and will participate again in fall 2021.
During his time at UWO, Alex has been an intern for three companies: Church Mutual Insurance Company (May-August 2019), Goldman Sachs (June-August 2020) and Ernst & Young (January-March 2021). “Each of those internships taught me something, but most of all it definitely gave me confidence that I can do this in the real world, not just in school,” he said. Alex will be interning for Goldman Sachs again in summer 2021 and received an extended full-time offer with Ernst & Young. “I know Goldman Sachs doesn’t really recruit in the North for some reason, but I took a leap of faith and submitted my application anyways and thankfully they responded back for an interview,” he said. “If I didn’t have confidence in myself to take that leap of faith knowing that yes, I can work for a Fortune 500 company, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity.”
Alex said he especially benefited from Business 240, a professional skills course that introduced him to valuable resources and taught him useful skills provided by the Career & Professional Development office. Some resources he utilized include networking opportunities like career fairs and learning how to optimize his LinkedIn profile. “We had like a whole session with LinkedIn, and I think that definitely helped elevate my profile to get more clicks or messages from recruiters,” Alex said.
Alex said in five years he sees himself living in Dallas and working at a public accounting firm as a manager or other leadership position. Three pieces of advice he would give to other students is to always be confident in yourself, get involved and network. “A lot of people go through school just to go to class and leave right after, but college is way more than that,” Alex said. “You want to go to college to get stuff out of it and getting involved is a way to do that. Join an organization and network with people because, as many people say, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.”
Congratulations, Alex, on all of your accomplishments! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
Student Success Story: Beth Bouche
Written by: Amber Brockman
Meet Beth Bouche, a senior at UW Oshkosh pursuing a major in Human Service Leadership and plans to graduate in May 2021. Despite being a single mother of four children, Beth has been greatly involved on campus. “For older students, it’s hard to connect on some of the normal things that students who are younger connect on, especially in a social type setting, like, I’m not going to the college parties or doing those kinds of things,” Beth said. “So, I decided that, to feel more connected, I needed to be involved in the student organizations. Plus, it gives you great experience, like how to network, collaborate and all those kinds of career skills, really.”
Throughout her time at UWO, Beth has worked as an OSA Non-Traditional and Transfer Student Representative, as well as a Peer Violence Prevention Educator. She is also a member of the Women’s Advocacy Council and SPARK Task Force. As part of the Human Service Leadership program, Beth has volunteered for 30 hours at Habitat for Humanity, and is currently completing 280 hours as an intern for the Women’s Center. “These experiences have definitely made my college experience feel more well rounded, and I feel more connected,” Beth said. “As an intern at the Women’s Center, they help us look at things through an equity lens, a social justice lens and making inclusivity a high priority which not every place does, and it has definitely helped me grow in that area.”
As part of the Women’s Center internship, Beth is currently working on a parenting initiative and with a planning committee that also works with REACH, Planned Parenthood and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center. Her most recent initiative included a panel called Single Mothers Success Stories. “We had campus leaders who are also single mothers come in and asked them questions,” Beth said. “We just had a pretty casual talk about what it’s like to work on campus and be successful in your career while also navigating being a single parent. It was so informational and inspirational because as students, we got to see what all this hard work we’re doing is going to help us be in the future.”
Beth has also utilized the services provided by the Career & Professional Development office to help prepare for life after graduation. Besides using Handshake to check for jobs and explore potential opportunities, Beth has also taken advantage of mock interviews and resume building activities. “The more practice you have, the better you get at interviewing and, at least for me, the less nervous I will be when I do it for real,” Beth said.
In five years, Beth said she hopes to be working in a governmental or city position that oversees equity and inclusion policies — either writing the policies or implementing them. The biggest piece of advice she would give other students is to get involved as much as you can. “Getting involved is really what connects you and brings you into campus life,” Beth said. “It helps expand your knowledge, meet other people and you can find different passions that maybe you never even knew that you enjoyed.”
Congratulations, Beth, on all your achievements! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
Student Success Story: Oscar Morales
Written by: Amber Brockman
Meet Oscar Morales, a senior transfer-student at UW Oshkosh who will be graduating in December 2021 with a major in business finance and Spanish certificate. Throughout his time on campus, Oscar has been the vice president of Gentlemen of Excellence and a member of the Student Organization of Latinos and the Finance Club. Along with this, he has a part-time job through the Men of Color & Latino/a/Hispanic Initiatives. Oscar also got the opportunity to go to a conference for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. “That was very eye opening to me since I’ve always been one to get involved, but that just made me want to get even more involved,” Oscar said. “It was very inspiring to hear from all these leaders across the country and all this change they’re doing, and just being surrounded by a lot of Hispanic/Latino students is very inspiring. From that conference, I gained a lot of motivation and drive to do more, which got me the opportunity to be vice president of the Gentlemen of Excellence.” From these experiences as a leader on campus, Oscar was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and has been nominated for the Outstanding Emerging Leader Award.
Oscar has been offered four internships with the companies Northwestern Mutual, Brakebush Brothers, Secura Insurance and Kohler. “Although every opportunity I got would have been perfect, I wanted to explore a little more before just picking the first one I was offered,” Oscar said. “Kohler was my number one option if they gave me the opportunity because it’s in my hometown and it’s a really good company that I know a lot about.” After months of long interview processes and negotiating with multiple companies, Oscar was finally offered the internship he was hoping for with Kohler. “It’s hard when you get different options and you have to pick one and you want the best one that fits for you,” Oscar said. “So, I already accepted the offer with Kohler, doing all the paperwork right now and will be starting May 24.”
Oscar is grateful for the resources on campus that allowed him to improve his professional development and utilize networking opportunities — especially the business skills course that introduced him to services provided by the Career & Professional Development office. Through these experiences, Oscar learned professional etiquette, networking skills and how to optimize his LinkedIn profile to stand out to employers. “Just going into the career fair and having the opportunity to show companies that I’m interested really helped a lot, along with connecting on LinkedIn and sending lots of emails, which is all stuff I learned to do through the business skills class,” Oscar said. “Each time I spoke to someone at the career fair, I then went ahead and either the next day or so would connect with them on LinkedIn, so that was very helpful to build those connections.”
Oscar said his vision for the next five years has changed since he accepted the internship with Kohler. “If everything goes well, I’m hoping to be working with Kohler and become that young professional that can come back to Oshkosh and give pointers to students like me,” Oscar said. “I would love to come back to Oshkosh and be able to give back in any way that I can.” He also hopes to travel, have a well-paying job and, eventually, get his master’s degree. “I definitely want to add to my education and just continue to learn, whether it’s through school, my job or life experiences alone,” Oscar said. “I just want to continue to prosper as a young adult — help others, give back and just know that if I try hard and have the right mindset, it’ll pay off because it definitely has already.”
The biggest advice Oscar would offer other students is to make connections and get involved on campus. “The people at this university, all they want is to help you and you can tell they really care for you, so seek them out because it’s their job, they want to do it and they love what they do,” Oscar said. “I know I’ll have a long term relationship with the director who’s mentored me and guided me and offered me so many opportunities that got me where I am today. You know, just give it your all and make the most out of the time you have here because it definitely flies by.”
Congratulations, Oscar, on all your achievements! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
If you are pre-business student sign up for Bus 240 Professional Skills in Business on Titan Web.
Student Success Story: Cole Frost
Written by: Amber Brockman
Cole Frost is a junior at UW Oshkosh pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in sales. During his time on campus, Cole has been a member of the fraternity Sigma Pi, which helped expand his opportunities. “It allowed me to build relationships and make connections that will go past just our time here at UWO,” he said.
Cole was recently awarded an internship with Vivint Smart Homes and, out of the 20 people the company interviewed, he was the only applicant that made it to the next step. “I had the opportunity to go to Houston, Texas for a week long training, and they essentially ‘throw them at the wall to see what sticks,’ so they kind of tested me in a few different ways,” Cole said. “I was awarded the internship later in the week and the opportunities have not stopped.” He said the internship has been beneficial in many ways, especially being able to surround himself with people he looks up to. “I’ve met a lot of people, made a lot of great connections and relationships in just the short time I was down there and actually built a lot of trust, which is why I was awarded the position and was able to keep recruiting,” Cole said. “I’ve been taking away a lot of very, very important skills — not only in sales, marketing and business — but also in life and just bettering myself as a person. It’s been one of the best things to happen to me.”
Cole said that he is incredibly thankful for what he learned in Business 240, a professional skills course that introduced him to the valuable resources offered by the Career & Professional Development office. The course provided him with useful skills and tools that helped him stand out to employers, such as help with resumes and cover letters, interview tips, professional etiquette and more. “It has allowed me to get my foot in the door — it’s given me a chance, something I never thought was possible,” Cole said. “Every little thing I learned in that class allowed me to step away, separate myself from the rest of the applicants and it paid off in a great way.”
In five years, Cole said he sees himself working for Vivint Smart Homes as a district manager. “I see myself living in Texas, financially stable with a house and family,” Cole said. “I think five years is a bit of a stretch. Actually, after several conversations with my manager, he sees me in his position in three years, so I’m keeping my dreams high and shooting for the moon.” Some advice Cole would offer to students is to take the professional skills course seriously because you put into it what you want to get out of it. “The skills you learn will be the foundation to everywhere you go from there, and first impressions are everything — interviews, to your LinkedIn profile, to your resume,” Cole said. “Those are all important tools you can use that employers deeply consider.” He also recommends students to pay attention to detail. “When you think nobody’s looking, somebody is and that detail says a lot about your character, and it can also say a lot about your work ethic if you use it the right way,” Cole said. The last piece of advice Cole has to offer is, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side — it’s greener where you water it, so you got to work for it.”
Congratulations, Cole on all of your accomplishments! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
If you are interested in taking a professional skills course, you can register on Titan Web.
- PRF CNSL 202 – Career Planning & Implementation – 1 credit – online – offered Summer, Fall, and Spring (open to all majors)
- BUS 249 – Professional Skills in Business – 2 credits – 2 sections Fall & Spring Wed 12:40-2:10 and Thurs 1:20-2:50 (pre-business majors)
- INTRDSCP 208 -Professional Skills in Math & Natural Science – 1 credit – 1 section Fall & Spring – Wed 4:10 – 5:10
- EGRT 284 – Professional Skills in Engineering – 1 credit – Thurs 3:00 – 4:00
Professional skills course are ideally taken as a sophomore or junior prior to taking an internship or job searching.
Student Success Story: Dakota Peterson
Written by: Amber Brockman
Meet Dakota Peterson, a senior at UW Oshkosh pursuing a degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Throughout his time on campus, Dakota has been a part of the executive board for Kinesiology Club as well as the fraternity Beta Theta Pi, and has been a member of the Ski and Snowboard Club. Dakota said that his involvement on campus has been beneficial and provided him with the opportunity to meet new people and make connections with alumni. Besides campus activities, Dakota also spent a summer studying to get his certification in personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and has been a member of the Army National Guard since 2015.
Dakota said that the Career & Professional Development office was especially beneficial because it provided him with resources that helped him land an internship. “I think students should see what the Career & Professional Development center has to offer and use any services applicable to them,” Dakota said. “The services are free and very useful. I personally used the help with my resume and cover letter to make sure it displayed my skills and education properly for the field I was applying to.” He also utilized the mock interview to connect with Bellin Health in Green Bay and was offered a shadowing opportunity with the company, which led to an internship offer from Bellin HealthTitletown. “I had an interview with one of their personal trainers and she really liked me, so she recommended me to the strength coaches,” Dakota said. “I shadowed in January, applied for the internship, and they pretty much skipped the application process and just hired me.”
Dakota said in five years he sees himself working with either high school or college aged athletes as a strength and conditioning coach. “I enjoy helping people learn the proper techniques for different lifts and helping them build on that to get stronger or meet their own goals,” Dakota said. “It’s very motivating for me to see clients improving and accomplishing things that make them excited.” The biggest piece of advice Dakota would offer other students is to find what they enjoy doing and join an extracurricular group to expand their knowledge and networking even if it’s not related to their major or minor. “Being around a group of similar people can be very motivating and push you to better yourself in ways you didn’t know were possible or that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience otherwise.”
Career & Professional Development has partnered with many academic departments across campus to engage students in completing a mock interview. Practicing your interviewing skills is important to your professional development. Engage in a mock interview when you are able or connect to our interviewing resources offered through Big Interview!
Congratulations on your achievements, Dakota! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
Student Success Story: Mackenna Pribek
Written by: Sam Mergl
Meet Mackenna Pribek, a junior here at UWO. Mackenna is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice and Spanish. When asked what some of Mackenna’s favorite classes were, she said “Some of my favorite classes I’ve taken are Women’s Literature, Philosophy, Astronomy, and Cognitive Psychology. I think the reason I enjoyed these classes was because they were all classes that I never would have expected myself to like, so I was happily surprised by how interesting I found each of these classes.” Mackenna has also been involved with UWO’s Sign Language and Spanish club.
Throughout Mackenna’s time on campus, she has also worked as a Peer Mentor and had the opportunity to mentor first year college students as part of their USP experience during their Quest 1 class. On top of that role, she also worked at a restaurant in her hometown where she has had the opportunity to connect with a lot of amazing people. Mackenna has also recently landed a pretty awesome internship with the Winnebago District Attorney’s Office. When asked what steps she took in landing her position she said “My internship opportunity was presented to me very unexpectedly, as I wasn’t actively searching for internships. I first learned about the internship position at the Winnebago District Attorney’s Office during my time as a Peer Mentor for Professor Matthew Richie’s Quest 1 Introduction to Criminal Justice class. One day during class, the Winnebago District Attorney, Christian Gossett, came in to do a presentation, and at the end of class Professor Richie introduced me to him. In our conversation the District Attorney informed me about an internship opportunity available in his office. From there, I decided I was interested in the opportunity as I thought it would be fitting since I am earning a minor in criminal justice. Ultimately, I was able to secure my internship position because of the continued encouragement and support from Professor Richie from the Criminal Justice Department. I’m very thankful and appreciative that I was presented with this unique opportunity.” Mackenna has now taken on her new internship role in which she stated that “In my current internship at the Winnebago DA’s Office, I work as an intern for the diversion unit. As part of my internship, I get to watch court hearings and occasionally criminal trials. Recently, I’ve spent time searching for and entering data into spreadsheets. Then I work closely with a data analyst to find trends in the data. As part of my duties as an intern, I also assist the paralegals and attorneys with any projects they need completed.”
In preparation to landing her new role in the diversion unit at Winnebagos District Attorney Office, Mackenna has utilized her resources at the Career & Professional Development Office to prepare her for securing her role. She said that “ I’ve used the Career and Professional Development Office multiple times to help me prepare for working in a professional setting like my internship. I first used the Career and Professional Development Office to get feedback on my resume. I was able to use the feedback I received to make adjustments to my resume and I now feel confident sharing my resume with employers. Last year I also participated in a mock interview through the Career and Professional Development Office. My experience and the feedback I received from the mock interview helped me with interview anxiety, which in turn helped me succeed in my real interview for my internship.
When asked where she sees herself in the next 5 years, Mackenna said “In five years, I hope to have a master’s degree in professional counseling. I expect myself to be working in a career in which I can use my psychology/counseling degree to help individuals struggling with mental health issues within the criminal justice system.” We asked Mackenna what would be one piece of advice she would give other students at UWO and she said “ If I could give students one piece of advice it would be to take risks. Don’t turn down exciting opportunities because they appear challenging or intimidating.”
Mackenna is also getting credit for her internship through Interdisciplinary Studies 399: L&S Internship. Students can get upper level elective credit for their internship experiences. The course does require a pre-requisite professional skills course: BUS240, INTRDSCP 208, INTRDSCP 209, EGRT 284, or PRF CNSL 202. L&S Internship is offered in the fall, spring, and summer terms for variable credit – 1 credit (47 hours), 2 credits (94 hours) or 3 credits (140 hours) and can be repeated up to 6 credits. If you are interested in getting credit for your L&S internship, schedule an appointment with Chrissy Lambie via Handshake for more information.
Congratulations, Mackenna on all your successes so far! We are proud of everything you have accomplished and are excited to see where this next year will take you!
Student Success Story: Adam Branch
Written by: Sam Mergl
Meet Adam Branch, a student here at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Adam is in his fourth year here at UWO and plans to graduate from the College of Business in the fall of 2021. Adam is majoring in business management with an emphasis in digital marketing. When asked what some of his favorite classes have been so far, Adam said “Some of my favorite classes I’ve taken include Digital Marketing, Essentials of Marketing, Consumer Behavior, and Digital Marketing Analytics. I’m excited about my engineering project management course I’m taking this semester as well.”
Throughout Adams time on campus, he has worked at Reeve Union as a Burrito expert as well as a variety of other jobs including a swim lesson instructor, house painter, a cook at Red Robin, and territory manager for a startup business called Sydetasker that his friend Colin Milligan created. Adam recently just landed an internship as a Digital Marketing intern with Kathy Fredrickson, a professor in the College of Business, for a digital marketing clinic. When asked how Adam landed the role he answered “I’ve taken 2 of Kathy Fredrickson’s courses which not only got me excited about digital marketing, it taught me enough to meet some of the qualifications necessary for the position! When Kathy mentioned the position to our class, I reached out to her and interviewed within the next day.” Another resource Adam has used in preparing himself for job interviews has been mock interviews through the Career & Professional Development Office. Mock interviews are a great way for students to get experience interviewing with real employers from the Wisconsin area as well as getting feedback from them. Adam said “The Career & Professional Development Office has definitely helped me prepare for landing this position. I would say the mock interviews helped me the most. Mock interviews helped me because it taught me how to be comfortable and confident while interviewing.”
Adam said in five years he sees himself continuing with digital marketing and using his management degree to lead a team effectively. One day he could also see himself opening up his own business. When asked what would be one piece of advice you would give to future and current students at UWO, Adam said “One piece of advice I could give is to not get stuck in one spot. Always be open to opportunity and keep your options open. You never know where life may take you.”
Congratulations, Adam on all your accomplishments thus far! We wish you the best of luck going forward!
If you’d like to take advantage of some of Career & Professional Development’s interviewing resources, check out our Interviewing webpage and our resource Big Interview. When preparing for a job interview, it’s not enough to only read advice – you need to put that advice into practice! That’s why Big Interview isn’t just a training course. You’ll also get hands-on practice with mock interviews tailored to your specific industry, job and experience level.
Student Success Story: Brittany Higgins
Written by: Amber Brockman
Brittany Higgins is a junior at UW Oshkosh pursuing a major in Marketing with a Marketing Analysis and Insights emphasis and plans to graduate from the College of Business in Spring 2022. Throughout her time on campus, Brittany has tutored students in math and geography and became a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, as well as the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Brittany said that through these experiences, she has been able to greatly expand her network and build useful leadership skills. “With ZTA, I have an entire network of sisters across the nation that I can reach out to for job opportunities and career assistance, which is an opportunity like no other,” Brittany said.
Brittany said she especially benefited from Business 284, a professional skills course that introduced her to valuable resources provided by the Career & Professional Development office. Some of the Career & Professional Development resources she utilized include the Virtual Career Fair, resume help, mock interviews, and more. “These services pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and practice essential skills for the business world,” Brittany said. “I have learned a lot through the office resources that have helped me meet and connect with many professionals and has opened me up to many more job opportunities.”
By attending the Virtual Career Fair, Brittany was able to connect with a professional one-on-one to ask questions and learn more about her career path. During this meeting, the company invited Brittany to an interview and she was offered an internship all in one week! During the internship, Brittany said she worked with an amazing mentor that taught her everything about marketing, which was a topic that she had never learned about before. “I ended up performing so well that the president of the company has reached out to me three months later asking me to complete a project for her,” Brittany said. “That summer taught me that the professional world is nowhere near as scary as I thought, and you will be constantly learning and trying new things.”
Brittany said in five years she sees herself working a full-time marketing job in the Fox Valley, and she hopes to be happy and comfortable at the company she works. She is grateful for the resources provided by the professional skills course and the Career & Professional Development office. “These resources are extremely beneficial in building your resume and your professional skills,” Brittany said. “The best part about these resources is that they are included in your tuition, so why not use them to better yourself?” The biggest piece of advice Brittany recommends is to go outside of your comfort zone. “Attending career fairs and networking is not something that comes naturally to everyone,” Brittany said. “I am generally quite a shy person, but pushing myself out of my comfort zone has given me many amazing opportunities to meet some great people who have helped me in my professional journey.”
Congratulations, Brittany on all of your accomplishments! We wish you the best of luck moving forward!
If you are interested in enrolling in a professional skills course check out these courses on Titan Web for spring.
- PRF CNSL 202 – Career Planning & Implementation (online) geared toward L&S majors.
- INTRDSCP 208 – Professional Skills in Math & Natural Sciences geared toward L&S majors.
- HUMAN SERVICE 204 – Professional Skills in Human Services Leadership – geared toward HSL majors.
- BUS 240 – Professional Skills in Business – geared toward Business majors.