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Student Profile
Heather

Why did you decide to come to UW-Eau Claire for college? 

I completed my senior year of high school with many different ideas for a degree in mind. Not only was I interested in becoming a forensic scientist, but on the opposite end, I wanted to major in education. Because of the wide range of majors that I was interested in, I needed a university that had a variety of different programs to offer. I felt that Eau Claire had so many different great opportunities. The campus and town are beautiful, which helped me in choosing this campus. Eau Claire has the chance to challenge, but yet help a student excel, which is why I knew this was the university for me. 

Why did you pick the major you selected?

Honestly, I had never even heard of Health Care Administration until I came to this university. As I stated earlier, I had many different majors that I was interested in. I took classes in all of the different areas I was attracted to, and joined some student organizations to get to know the opportunities I would have in each program. Eventually, I found that almost every possible major I was originally drawn to, I no longer felt was right for me. As strange as it sounds, I received a random e-mail talking about taking an introduction course to Health Care Administration. I knew that I wanted something in the college of business, but business management didn't sound challenging enough for me. Even though second semester courses had already began, I decided to do some research on Health Care Administration. This major sounded like a great one for me, because there was some business management involved and the aspect of helping people. Through all of my volunteer work over the years, I knew it was in my best interest to work with others in a helping manner. After figuring out more about what this major entailed, I went straight to my counselor and asked her to help me drop a class and pick up one in health care administration. Ever since then I haven’t looked back and have enjoyed every second of this program.   

Have you completed an internship?

At this point in time I have not completed an internship. However, the Health Care Administration program has a mandatory internship practicum that must be completed before you can graduate from Eau Claire. It is a 50 week long practicum that takes place directly at a health care association that is affiliated with the university. I will begin this practicum in the fall of 2011 and am hoping to stay somewhere in the Chippewa Valley area, but have not limited myself based on this alone. 

What does success mean to you? How has UW-Eau Claire College of Business prepared you for success?

Success to me means being happy with the point you are at in your life. The College of Business has helped me to strive to be the best person I could possibly be. The professors are there every step of the way if you need help with anything or have any questions. I also found the Student Professional Development Workshops to be extremely helpful. The College of Business has truly brought me out of my shell and has taught me how to go for any opportunity no matter how big it seems. I am now vice president of the ACHCA student organization, working on a mentoring program for my professor, and I co-coordinated a CHAASE banquet. I had to work hard for every single one of these opportunities, but the College of Business helped me gain the confidence to do so.    

What tips and/or words of advice do you have for high school students coming to Eau Claire? 

Get involved! Join organizations, talk to your classmates, get to know your professors, attend social events, etc. There are so many different ways to get involved that everyone should have a chance to do so. Although you’re in a new place, there are tons of other freshman students that are in the exact same position as you. Figuring out my major was done by weeding out other majors due to attending student organization events. Getting to know your professors could lead to wonderful networking opportunities. Remember it's not always what you know, but who you know. Your professors can become a great tool somewhere down the road. 

Other thoughts?

Don't burn yourself out. My freshman year, I was working 30 hours a week, attending classes, and meeting new people. Essentially this is what led to me getting mono for almost 5 months. It was not fun juggling my busy schedule when all I wanted to do all day everyday was sleep. Make sure to get involved in any way possible, but don't let yourself burn out either. Make sure to take a break every once and while. Also, my parents unfortunately are not able to help out with any of my college finances. Although it has been a tough struggle, I wouldn’t ask to change a thing. Working kept my school schedule intact and I learned how to manage my own finances before most other people.  Sometimes I felt that I was the only one struggling with money, but remember, you’re never alone, keep your head up!

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