The following story was submitted by graduating senior Heather Maas:
“My name is Heather Maas and I moved from Colorado in 2012. Because of my father’s veteran disability benefits, the VA paid for my bachelor’s degree in the state of Wisconsin. I chose UW Oshkosh because it has an excellent business program and I always liked small universities. From 2012 to 2013 I lived in Wisconsin to become a resident and to see if I liked the state of Wisconsin enough to want to pursue my degree here rather than back home. I worked full-time at Festival Foods and volunteered as a YMCA girls basketball coach. That year was a year of struggle and I was already a year behind in my education.
“In 2013, I started school at UW Oshkosh and was promoted to a shift manager at Festival Foods during the fall semester. During that time, I took 18 credits while working 35 hours a week. I was just starting the business program and quickly became overwhelmed. I needed a job to pay bills, but at the same time I wanted to get my degree finished with. This is when I went to Cynthia Fruhwirth in the academic advising office and told her that I wanted to graduate in a three-year span to make up for the year that I lost.
“I was determined to make my goal of graduating in 2016 happen so I loaded up the summer of 2014 with seven credits. In November of 2014, I accepted a marketing internship position at Shallbetter, Inc. in Oshkosh. At this time I was just entering the pre-business program and struggling to pass accounting with a C. I continued to take 18 credits and worked the same amount of hours. I entered into a company that was undergoing a company name change, sales representative conference and company acquisition.
“In summer of 2015, I took an additional nine credits while working full-time and led Shallbetter into some of the best marketing efforts that they have ever had. By this time I was accepted into the College of Business and was on track to graduate in May of 2016.
“In August of 2015, I was offered a full-time position with Powergrid Solutions (formerly Shallbetter) and was put on salary with full-benefits before the school year even started. I have accomplished many things with PSI, including introducing their acquired company, Neumetal, into the NEW Manufacturing Alliance and representing them at the company’s very first trade show in Green Bay.
“Most recently, Powergrid Solutions was in Dallas for the industry’s largest trade show. I planned, designed, purchased and did all of the graphic design for a $54,000 booth.
“I am proud to say that I will be graduating this May 2016 with one of the best business marketing and analytics degrees in the state of Wisconsin. I will also be graduating with almost two years of experience in my field.”