We recently reached out to a few University of Wisconsin-Stout alumni and asked what advice they would give to our current students. A total of six alumni responded, sharing various thoughtful suggestions and pieces of advice. There was a wide range of advice from each former student. Every alumni who responded back to us graduated with different majors and had something unique to say.
FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (2020) / CELLAR OPERATOR AND PACKAGING TECHNICIAN AT “THE LAB”
Former food science and technology major, Mike Friedman, said if he could go back to being a student and athlete at Stout again, he would slow down and cherish the time he had with people around him.
“Some advice I would give to current UW-Stout students is to make meaningful memories with your friends, roommates, teammates, classmates, etc.” Friedman said. “Definitely work hard in your classes, but also work hard at building relationships with people that will last a lifetime.”
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND EMERGING MEDIA (2018) /. ANCHOR AND PRODUCER AT WQOW NEWS 18 IN EAU CLAIRE
After graduating from Stout with a PCEM major, Hoyt became a WQOW News 18 full-time reporter and soon after was promoted to weekend anchor/reporter.
Hoyt recommends students take advantage of what UW-Stout has to offer. She said our university is very hands-on, which helped her prepare for her first job out of college.
“If you are struggling to pick a path, sit down and ask yourself ‘What do I love to do?’ If you can answer that question, then you’re one step closer to figuring out your career path and passions in life,” Hoyt said. “Get involved! Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.”
DOUBLE MAJOR IN MARKETING AND EDUCATION (1992) / LEADER IN THE CLOUD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GROUP FOR GOOGLE
Kalawa graduated with a double major in marketing and education along with a minor in business administration.
A piece of advice Kalawa wanted to emphasize is growing from your failures. “It’s okay if you fail but learn and grow from it,” Kalawa said.
“It took me a second try at college to get it right but failing the first year really helped me appreciate investing in my future and the opportunities a college degree would provide me.”
“One thing I wish I took advantage of while at Stout would have been to study abroad. Fast forward to today and how accessible the world has become, having experience living in a different culture would have been beneficial to my career.” Kalawa said.
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (2019) / REGISTERED BEHAVIOR TECHNICIAN AT INBLOOM AUTISM SERVICES
Staab used her vocational rehabilitation degree to land a job at InBloom Autism Services as a registered behavior technician.
Advice Staab wishes to give students includes not taking your first year at school for granted. “Really focus on those general education classes your first year,” Staab said.
“If I had taken the time to first give some serious thought about what exactly I wanted to do after graduation, I could have saved myself some serious time and money.” Staab also recommends students become aware of all the activities going on around them.
“Check out all the events happening on/around campus. Explore each and every little shop, restaurant and park in Menomonie. Understand the resources available on campus and socialize with friends/classmates/teammates every possible chance you get. It sounds cliché, but you blink, and it all just becomes a memory.” Staab said.
HUMAN NUTRITION SCIENCES (2020) / FIRE, WATER & STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION FOR FRANK FABIO COMPANY
Graduating with a degree in human nutrition sciences, Mickley found her true passion working for Frank Fabio Company.
“Even though I’m not pursuing a career in my degree field, I am so grateful for the experiences I had with my professors, and classmates,” Mickley said. A piece of advice Mickely would like to share with current UW-Stout students is that they should focus on building connections.
“Talk to professors and establish connections. It’s essential to network and put yourself in places of opportunity that you otherwise might not have had,” Mickley said.
CONSTRUCTION (2020) / PROJECT ENGINEER FOR HOEFT BUILDERS
With a construction degree from UW-Stout, Fifield is now a project engineer for Hoeft Builders.
Fifield’s biggest piece of advice for students is to involve yourself in internships and co-ops.
“Go out and do internships and co-ops to better prepare you for your future career. While at Stout, I did a couple internships and I feel like they really helped me gain a lot of great work experience,” Fifield said.
Another specific piece of advice Fifield would like to give students with construction majors, is to be active in SCA (Student Construction Association).
“If I could go back to school, I think I would’ve been more active in SCA. I had a lot of friends in my program that were very active in it, and I believe it gave them a leg up on their resumes,” Fifield said.