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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.
Dakota Peterson

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!

Mackenna Pribek

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!

Adam Branch

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.

Brittany Higgins

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 Brittany Higgins PhotoInsights 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.” 

Career Fair on the Fox logoBy 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.