Name: Amy Van Straten

Age: 38

Current Employer and Position: CFO at Fox Valley Technical College

Expected graduation date: December 2014

Favorite class taken or professor at UWO and why it’s your favorite: My favorite class so far has been Personal and Professional Development. As you will see in my final response below, I am the first to admit that life personally or professionally rarely works out according to plan. But nevertheless, I am a firm believer in having personal and professional goals and always striving to achieve them. This class allows us all an opportunity to put into words that which we aspire to and the specific action steps we will take to achieve them.

Food you couldn’t live without: Sounds very corny, but I’m a huge tea drinker. That would be my number one.

Hobbies Outside of Class: I have two small children (ages 7 and 3), so being a mom is my main hobby. I also love to travel and am an avid reader. Someday I aspire to be a better golfer and would also like to learn ballroom dancing.

Favorite movie: I don’t really have one, but whenever I’m asked this question I always answer Top Gun. (After all, I am a child of the 80’s.) Did you know Top Gun celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011?

Why did you choose UWO MBA? A couple of years ago I experienced some significant transitions in my personal and professional life, including transitioning to my current role of CFO. I entered the MBA program because I felt a master’s degree was critical in my position and I was also hoping to network and meet new people. I know many friends and colleagues who have graduated from the program and had only positive things to say about it.

How do you balance work, life and graduate school? I’m not sure! I plan my schedule carefully, accept the fact that I won’t have much of a personal life until school is done, and I have the best parents ever. They help out with my kids whenever I need extra help.

What advice do you have for younger COB students or students thinking about pursuing an MBA degree? I am a firm believer in lifelong learning, whether you do that via an advanced degree such as an MBA or through continuous professional development. Just don’t ever let your skills become stagnant.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Well, ten years ago I never would have predicted that I’d currently be a single mom and CFO. Therefore I will keep my future predictions extremely general. In ten years I see myself doing work I love, sharing my life with someone I love, and experiencing the joys and trials of raising teenagers. I read recently that the most pivotal points in our lives are unplanned, and that has proven so true for me. I can only imagine what the next ten years have in store for me!