Select Page

Jessica Meidl is not surprised that many local businesses are owned and operated by alumni of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Jessica Meidl celebrates at her UWO Commencement.

In Oshkosh, where she works as the manager of the downtown Oshkosh Business Improvement District (BID) assisting owners with marketing, promotion and development, Meidl ’17, can name at least a dozen businesses led by Titans.

“Oshkosh is such a great city and a lot of people who spend time here realize that whether they grew up here or came here for college,” said Meidl, who has a bachelor’s degree in interactive web management. “It’s so cool to see that people choose to invest in their community by starting a business here. Our businesses really are the heartbeat of our community. They’re a huge part of the reason people want to live, visit and go to school here.”

Meidl’s love of Oshkosh, her alma mater, and local businesses began early. Her parents, Jay Meidl ’85, who has a bachelor’s degree in radio TV film, and her mother, Melanie (Mayer) Meidl ’08, who has a bachelor’s degree in management information systems/marketing, own small businesses in town.

Meidl had no regrets following her parents’ path to UWO.

“I really liked that UWO felt like a little city of its own with everything that I needed on campus, yet I was just a short drive away from my family and childhood friends,” she said.

Her path to her degree, however, took a few detours. “I changed my major multiple times from business to education back to business,” she said. “I think it’s so difficult when you’re 18 or 19 years old to try to make a decision on a career that could impact the course of the rest of your life. There were so many things that I was interested in doing and learning more about that I really felt a lot of stress and pressure during my college years. If I could go back and tell my 19-year-old self that it really doesn’t matter all that much, I would. It all works out how it’s supposed to.”

She credits UWO for giving her the tools to succeed even before graduation.

She interned with a local technology company, as part of her degree requirement. “I was able to use a lot of the things I learned in classes to create content for local businesses, worked on search engine optimization for clients’ websites, etc.,” she said. “In some of my classes for IWM (interactive web management), we made websites and marketing materials for local nonprofits. We had a lot of opportunities to work on projects that would actually be used outside of school.”

A professor who stood out to her was Will Morrison, who she said took what was one of the most difficult courses for students in the college of business and made it fun—something she was grateful for.

As the downtown Oshkosh BID manager, Meidl works on beautification projects, events, marketing and business recruitment and retention efforts. “The college of business really set me up for success after college,” she said. “They required a lot of real-life experience that got me out into the community and taught me how to apply what I had been learning in school to real-life situations. I also graduated with a degree that had a lot of focus on technology, and I think that gave me skills and experience that really set me apart from others.”

Study at UW Oshkosh