December 18, 2013
Davis reflects on UW-Eau Claire experience at commencement
Catherine Davis, a December 2013 candidate for graduation, will deliver the student “Reflections” speech at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Commencement on December 21, 2013 at 2 pm in the Zorn Arena. Davis is an information systems-systems development major from Eau Claire, WI.
Gretchen Hutterli, assistant dean in the College of Business, interviewed Davis about her speech, her experience as a UW-Eau Claire business student, and her future plans.
Hutterli: Congratulations, Catherine. It is such an honor to be selected to deliver one of the two student reflection speeches. Can you give us a preview of your speech?
Davis: My reflection is about picking a direction in life, and going with it. Every person has so many options ahead of them, and sometimes choosing a direction can seem overwhelming. My speech discusses that if we stagnate, and never choose a direction, we'll never achieve any of our dreams. Sometimes we just have to have faith in ourselves, and reach for our futures.
Hutterli: A great message for graduates and a wonderful reminder for the rest of us in the audience. Why was giving the reflection at Commencement important to you?
Davis: I wanted to challenge myself by writing a commencement speech and giving it in front of so many people, my family, and my professors. This seemed like a good opportunity to show my pride as a Blugold and attempt to inspire my classmates to look forward on the future with optimism.
Hutterli: 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. How do you think it will feel to give your speech to such a special group of people?
Davis: I have always felt fairly confident speaking in front of people, but I've never addressed more than a few hundred individuals. I've also never given a speech with my family present before, so I have an overwhelming desire to make them proud.
Hutterli: I know they will be proud as will the entire faculty attending commencement.
Since we are discussing reflections, can you reflect on how the College of Business specifically prepared you for success?
Davis: The faculty and staff in the College of Business have been immensely supportive throughout my time at UW-Eau Claire. They have helped me on my journey to become an information systems professional, and offered me advice along the way. The College of Business has taught me how to learn quickly and to think critically when placed in new situations, which will translate directly into the workplace.
Hutterli: Speaking of workplace, I understand an exciting job opportunity awaits you upon graduation. Tell us a bit about your future plans.
Davis: I have accepted a position with Google in Ann Arbor, MI, where I will be for two years. After that I hope to transfer to a position in Sydney, Australia. My long-term goals involve working in research, development, and engineering at Google. I'd also like to pursue my PhD in the future.
Hutterli: Working at Google sounds like your dream job. Who knows, one day you may be back at UW-Eau Claire as an IS professor. Best wishes to you always. Please stay in touch with us.