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Student Profile
Melanie

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

I decided to come to UW-Eau Claire for a few reasons.  After coming for a tour, I thought UWEC had a beautiful campus with the Chippewa River and the footbridge going through the middle of lower campus. I was also undecided as to what field of study I was interested in and thought that UW-Eau Claire had a diverse selection of majors to choose from. Finally, I wanted to go to a college that was not too close to home so I could be independent and not rely on my parents as much.

Why did you pick the major you selected?  

Coming to UWEC as an undeclared freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to study so I ended up taking general education courses my first year and a half. From taking general education courses, I became interested in business but was still unsure as to what area of business I wanted to study. I have always liked working with computers, and after talking to a few upper class business majors (and particularly one who was in Information Systems), I decided to declare information systems as my major. My father also works in the IS field, so he had some influence on my decision.

After studying abroad I also decided to add an international business minor. I love to travel and experience other cultures different from my own and would love to have a job in the future that would allow me to do both.

Finally, I also decided to add a marketing minor because I had developed an interest in marketing and thought it would also make me more marketable to companies. I only needed to take two more classes to get the minor. 

Have you completed an internship?  

I have completed two internships during my college career. My first internship was at Humana Insurance Company in Green Bay as a business analyst intern. I worked with four other interns on turning a static internal volunteer application to a dynamic .NET application that could be easily managed by the users. I learned a lot about teamwork and making sure that you understand what the client needs and adhering to those needs.

My second internship was at Kohl’s Corporate Office in Milwaukee as a business analyst intern in the IS Logistics Department. I was put into an existing team and had a mentor and manager; so I didn’t work with any other interns. I was the business analyst in charge of the documentation and requirements capturing process for a new project. I learned how to be more independent in my work, but also how crucial it was to ask questions if I was unsure of how to do something. My communication skills also improved greatly as I learned how to successfully lead meetings with clients.

Have you studied abroad?  

I studied at Lismore, Australia. I chose this program because I have always wanted to go to Australia so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I selected Lismore over Perth, Australia because Lismore is on the east coast of Australia and closer to Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef.

Two girls I knew at UW-Eau Claire went the same semester I did so it was nice to see some familiar faces at Lismore. However, I made numerous new friends from UWEC and other universities while in the program.

Studying abroad is a bit more expensive in terms of tuition and travel expenses, but I was able to get loans to help with expenses. The benefits of studying abroad totally outweigh the costs. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, you should. The experience you gain from studying in another culture is priceless and totally worth it, and it is something extra to add to your resume that will get a prospective employer’s attention.

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

Success to me means that you have accomplished the goals you set out to do and are happy with the results. Being successful is more than just getting good grades in school; it also has to do with the experience and insight you have gained from your education/studies. The UW-Eau Claire College of Business has prepared me for success through the classes that it has offered and the knowledge that I have gained from those courses that I will use in the future when I start my career. The COB curriculum has also made me a well-rounded individual with knowledge in all areas of business from accounting to marketing.

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

Get involved as much as you can, whether it is through student organizations or intramurals. Study abroad, if possible, to see how other cultures differ from yours. Get an internship to gain real world experience in your field of study. Network as much as possible. And, have fun!

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