Jessie Pondell is motivated by student success in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business (COB), which is fitting that her area of expertise is experiential education and professional development.
“I see my role as providing guidance and opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom. I focus on professional development activities like interview prep, dining etiquette, company tours, professional networking, and internships,” Pondell, director of the COB undergrad program said.
Pondell’s career at UW Oshkosh started in 2007 as internship director for the COB. In 2015, she moved into the director position of the undergrad program. As director, she has been recognized for having two National Interns of the Year through the Cooperative Education and Internship Association as well as having her internship program named as a Best Practice by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).
The award winning and accolades don’t stop there, Pondell recently earned two awards from the Wisconsin Association of Colleges and Employers, Inc. (WI-ACE). She won the 2016 Appreciation Award, which was given to her for time served on the board of directors for the organization. She also won the 2016 President’s Award, given to one member of the organization each year by the acting president for exemplary service. This is Pondell’s second time winning the prestigious President’s award. She previously won it in 2014.
Pondell feels her WI-ACE involvement has been a wonderful learning experience and a great professional resource.
“This organization has provided me two things—an excellent venue to exchange student professional development best practices and to build genuine relationships with college relations personnel from top Wisconsin companies. This gives me the opportunity to personally refer students and pass on critical information directly from the companies during the hiring process,” Pondell said.
As part of her current responsibilities, Pondell works closely with the Business Scholars Program, a recruitment and retention initiative that attracts high-achieving students to the COB. The program is in its fifth year and continues to morph and grow by offering students access to professional development skills they won’t find anywhere else.
“I’m really proud of the COB professional development path. We are the only COB in the Midwest and beyond that both holds AACSB accreditation and has a professional development path that requires an internship for every student before they graduate. More than half of our students receive full-time job offers from their internship sites,” Pondell said.
Some of Pondell’s other responsibilities that highlight her passion for student success include: working with organizations on ways to partner with the COB, executing the annual College to Career Conference and continually assessing and improving the professional development path in the COB.