"My college education led to a career I love!"
I had a rocky start in college back in 1999. I knew I wanted to do something in the health care field so I started out as a biology major, but it wasn't the right fit for me. Neither of my parents completed their bachelor's degree and they worked hard to provide me and my sister with a good life, however, from a young age they also told me that I would "go to college". My sister is cognitively disabled so in many ways, I felt I was going to college for both of us and I knew I needed to stick with it. I eventually found the Therapeutic Recreation (TR) major at Winona State, as well as a faculty mentor in that program, and from that point on there was not stopping me.
"My education led to amazing experiences."
Once I earned my degree I was offered a position with the United States women's wheelchair basketball team. I traveled to Amsterdam with the team and helped them prepare for the Paralympics in Beijing. I was so inspired by my career that I decided to go back to school to complete my master's in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. I am now working as a health and wellness coach and am starting a new journey as the lead of Adaptive Fitness Training and Programming services for Exercisabilities, a new and comprehensive wellness clinic for those with neurological impairments.
"My education at WSU has helped my dreams come true."
“My education was not traditional”
Kristi Ziegler, Campus Service Coordinator at WSU in Rochester
I started college at Rochester Community College in 1982 and transferred to WSU in 1984. The transfer experience was difficult for me so I left WSU after attending two quarters. My parents had always supported my education but they were also excited to have me back home after leaving WSU. Fast forward a few years to a job opportunity at WSU in Rochester. I started working at WSU in Rochester and realized that getting my college degree was important and the timing was finally right. I started taking classes and graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies in 2006. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Education Leadership and will graduate in May 2013.
“A bachelor’s degree gave me the confidence and insight to become a better person.”
“I developed a confidence through my college experience.”
Jeff Petersen, Robotics & Welding Engineering Manager at Crenlo in Rochester
I had completed 2 years at a university and then found a job with a robotics company in Colorado. After a time, I knew that unless I finished my 4-year degree I wouldn’t be advancing as much or have as many career options as some of my colleagues. My parents were very supportive, both emotionally and financially, and encouraged me to finish my degree. I wish there was such a thing as an Orientation Class when I was in college – it would have helped me understand all the services available to me. Whenever I talk to or run across high school friends who did not complete their 4-year degree, they seem stuck, as though their work lives have been stagnant and not as rewarding. My college career opened up doors for me that I most likely wouldn’t have had otherwise.
“Earning a college degree helps give you the confidence to do things you otherwise would never consider-like sitting on community boards, volunteering for various activities and being a participant for panel discussions.”
worked at Mayo Clinic during the summers while in college and every
once-and-awhile I run into the people I worked with while I was there,
20 years ago, and many of them are in the same positions, doing the same
kind of work. A college degree provides the opportunity for career
growth and promotion that would be difficult to achieve another way.”
Charleen Huber, Finance Program Manager at IBM