Graduation year: 2020
High school: Mukwonago High School
Hometown: North Prairie, Wis.
Majors: Business administration-marketing, business administration-management, German studies
Activities: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity, Augustana Concert Chorale, Reading/Writing Center tutor
Internship: Training and development intern at Group O
Post-grad plans: Enter the workforce, hopefully working in HR!
The people at Augustana made me feel the most comfortable. Everyone is passionate about something and eager to help you find and pursue your own passion. That kind of energy really appealed to me.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
Only somewhat! While my majors have stayed more or less the same (with a surprise addition of a management concentration), I am not the person I was four years ago. Through my time at Augustana, I've been encouraged to examine who I want to be, and to question my priorities. I thought I'd be graduating undergrad and going on to more schooling, but I've instead discovered that I care more about changing the workplace from within.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
The usual people—my friends, my spiritual mentor, my professors. Dr. Seidlitz in the German department always encouraged me to say yes to every opportunity in my college experience. That encouragement helped me to study abroad twice, work a variety of jobs on campus, try new hobbies and fit in an internship, all in four years. The faculty tutors in the Reading/Writing Center (RWC) have all encouraged me along the way, too. They have held firm to the importance of empathy in education, and informed my own view of healthy growth and learning. They made the RWC more than a campus job, but a living and beating heart within campus for me.
Studying abroad for a semester in Passau, Germany. I had done short-term study abroads, but nothing will change you like five months in a country where you have to speak a second language. It was hard, but the experience made me realize just how competent and confident I really am. Plus, I saw so much of the beauty of Europe within that semester!
What surprised you?
I surprised myself with the variety of people I met, both in my personal life and in my academic pursuits. I've had award-winning authors in class and spoken with innovators in the tech field. I've met peers passionate about causes I hadn't heard of before college and been excited to join the fight. Plus, I've forged my closest friendships so far in life.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice money to go to Passau for five months. It paid for my plane tickets, plus a good chunk of my living expenses.
What will you miss the most?
I'm going to miss the atmosphere! The comfort of the blue couch in the RWC, the camaraderie in Bergendoff's halls during Christmas at Augustana rehearsals, the loud mingling of languages in Denkmann's basement, and all those little moments in-between the big life changes.
Advice for the Class of 2024?
Say yes when opportunities come, but say no with kindness when it's too much. The options are endless in college, and you never know which avenue will become your own great adventure. When you have to make the hard choice and prioritize your well-being, part ways without burning a bridge.
“Jessica is the kind of student who is well prepared for every class. Her approach to her education is to make the most of every learning opportunity. That’s just what she did at Augustana: she has completed two very different majors, two study away programs and one internship, in addition to singing in choir and actively serving in her sorority. I’m sure she is prepared for great things after Augustana—I can’t wait to see where life takes her!”