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December 14, 2011

Shimon Reflects on UW-Eau Claire Experience at Commencement

Cara Shimon

Operations and materials management major Cara Shimon, a December 2011 candidate for graduation, will deliver the student “Reflection” speech at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Commencement on December 17, 2011 at 9 am in Zorn Arena. Shimon’s reflection is titled, "The Blugold Experience”.

Gretchen Hutterli, College of Business assistant dean, interviewed Shimon about her speech, her experience as a UW-Eau Claire business student, and her future plans.

Hutterli: It seems like only yesterday that you arrived on campus, Cara.

You have been very active during your time at UW-Eau Claire—residence hall assistant, campus ambassador, Blugold Beginnings intern, study abroad student, student organization leader—I could go on and on. You have done all this while maintaining outstanding grades and working part-time as a UW-Eau Claire Davies Center student building manager. In recognition of your scholarship, leadership and community service, the management faculty and staff have named you the December 2011 Outstanding Management Student. Congratulations! I know I speak for them and the rest of the College of Business faculty and staff when I say we are very proud of you.

Let’s talk a bit about your most recent accomplishment—you have been selected to give the “Reflection” speech at Commencement. I know you are still putting final touches on your speech, but I was hoping you could give us a preview of what your reflection is about.

Shimon: The title of my reflection is “The Blugold Experience”. It’s about the experiences and opportunities that I’ve gained here at UW-Eau Claire and about what it means to truly be a Blugold. We are all interconnected in some way, whether that is through study abroad, Greek life, or student organizations. It’s about the growth we encounter, whether we realize it or not, from scared and lonesome freshmen to strong and confident seniors.

» View the text of Shimon’s speech here

Hutterli: It really sounds wonderful and I look forward to hearing it. Why was giving the reflection speech at Commencement important to you?

Shimon: I decided to do a reflection speech because I love my university. I wanted to connect us graduates; there are many things that tie us together, maybe not every one of us, but together we make a whole. I wanted to share with others the great opportunities that I’ve been fortunate enough to have at UW-Eau Claire, and hope that others have found these same joys that have made the last four and a half years unforgettable.

Hutterli: You certainly have taken advantages of the many opportunities available to students here.

You will be giving your reflection to perhaps the largest audience you have ever addressed. This audience will include your family, friends and the faculty. Cara, how do you think it will feel to give your speech to such a special group of people?

Shimon: I feel so honored to be giving a speech at graduation. I feel excited to address my family, grateful to have my friends present, and proud to say that our outstanding faculty is what got me here. I haven't told my family I am speaking at graduation, so it will actually be a surprise for them. I am truly thrilled to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony, and am proud of my classmates for their great accomplishment.

Hutterli: I know that you have had job offers from several companies, but I haven’t heard which one you accepted. What are your future plans?

Shimon: Starting in January, I will be a supply chain analyst for 3M in Alexandria, MN. After a few years of experience in the field, I plan on completing a Masters of Business Administration degree.

Hutterli: Looking back on your experience at UW-Eau Claire, Cara, how did the College of Business prepare you for success?

Shimon: UW-Eau Claire’s College of Business is what gave me a competitive advantage over other students vying for the same positions in this tough job market. It’s the small things that have helped me prepare: resumes, presentations, group projects.

But what’s unique to Eau Claire? The authentic relationships with our professors...the networking, guest speakers and class simulations...the valuable learning of ethics and the global market...having a 360 degree perspective on the world, knowing it’s always changing, and being able to react to that change—all of this is what makes us valuable to future companies.

Hutterli: Best wishes always to you, Cara. I have enjoyed seeing you grow as a student, and I look forward to working with you as a UW-Eau Claire College of Business alumna.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.