I began my graduate work at UW-Whitewater as a Master in Professional Accountancy (MPA) candidate. After completing that degree, I accepted a position as an Auditor at the US Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. However, even after completing the MPA program, I decided that I wasn't finished with my education, so I enrolled again at UW-W in the online MBA program! I'm working on completing that program now, as a full-time employee and from Washington, D.C.
I remember the first day that I came to the UW-Whitewater campus. I met one-on-one with the associate dean to talk about my admission. From that conversation, I knew UW-W was the right decision for me. The professors and staff were so helpful. They answered my questions, talked with me about my concerns. No question was silly or unimportant.
While at UW-Whitewater completing my face-to-face MPA degree, I had the opportunity to become involved in various organizations on campus. I served as Vice President for the student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, plus, as a founder and first President of the Africa Student Association.
And now I have a career with the Office of the Inspector General in the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. I am tasked with preventing and detecting fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of tax payers' dollars. I found this position with my first master's degree from UW-W.
UW-Whitewater has made me feel as if I belong to the school and the community. I will always have UW-Whitewater in my heart. Even though I had many universities to choose from, I chose to come home to my family. I will always be proud of the education I received and am continuing to receive from UW-Whitewater.
I knew after taking my first steps on campus, that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was the place for me. As a senior, looking back on my college career, I was able to have the ultimate college experience pursuing my degree as a supply chain and operations management/project management emphasis major at the College of Business and Economics. Although I wish I could share all my learning experiences throughout my four years I will sum it up with one word: Opportunity. Opportunities to succeed through great instructors, group involvement, learning communities, and on-campus jobs helped me become the lifelong learner and accomplished employee I am today.
Instructors: At the College of Business and Economics the instructors are here for the students. They willingly meet with students outside of the classroom, making themselves available after normal business hours; they reach out to their personal contacts to assist students with their questions whether those questions are about class content, career direction, or professional advice--these are the divine qualities the faculty possess. With their dedication to me as a student, I am proud to have them stand behind me, their undergraduate.
Group Involvement: Each student has the opportunity to get involved anywhere and everywhere on campus. For me, DECA was my forte. DECA was able to give me the opportunity to connect with other students and faculty on campus I worked with the community through volunteering opportunities; I raised financial support and awareness for community service projects. I competed in DECA business competitions. As a freshmen and sophomore, I actively participated in the DECA Whitewater Chapter where I gained skills such as written and oral communication, business etiquette, and the ability to work in a team and achieve group goals. But what I learned most from DECA was how to be an effective leader serving as DECA’s Vice President of Marketing Relations. All skills for self-development can be achieved through getting involved in any organization here at UW-Whitewater; the hard part is choosing the one that best fits you!
Learning Communities: Hands down, one of the best decisions I made was joining a business learning community. As a freshman, each student has the option to join a learning community. We lived together and took three general education courses with a group of twenty students. My learning community, “Everybody’s Business,” gave me the opportunity to connect and become familiar with students in my residence hall and in the classroom. The learning community enabled me to form a study group with other students in my classes to discuss course material. The course taught me the skills of how to become an active student, to break down the barriers and challenges of meeting friends in college, and to create study groups throughout the rest of my college career.
On Campus Jobs: Before entering my career, my experiences here gave me cross-campus connections that allowed me to work in three different departments throughout my college education. Working on campus gave me the chance to apply and transform my classroom learning to skills on the job and increased my communication skills, problem solving abilities, and overall work experience engaging with many faculty in different departments and assisting students with a variety of needs.
The opportunities to create student excellence at the College of Business and Economics are endless. I am proud to have the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater behind me on my way to a great career!
Elizabeth Russell List
I am a busy mom of four who currently teaches Spanish part time for Discovery Language Programs in Chicago along with catering for First Presbyterian Church in Glen Ellyn. Five years ago, I left my full time job at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where I was employed for 14 years, to raise my young children. During my tenure at the FDIC, I worked as a Community Affairs Officer, Fair Lending Specialist, and Compliance Examiner. I was also a Corporate Recruiter during my last two years, and enjoyed instigating enthusiasm for FDIC employment among college students and experienced adults. My accomplishments at the FDIC include the Money Smart financial education curriculum for visually impaired persons, the first ever banking conference aimed at the Hispanic market, and the RESPA Escrow calculation program. Through alliances forged with bankers, bankers associations, nonprofits and government entities, I worked tirelessly to bring financial education and banking services to the Hispanic market.
I have published articles regarding financial education and financial services to the Hispanic market in the Kansas City Star, numerous banking trade magazines and Federal Reserve and FDIC publications. In 2010, I published Pathways to Citizenship, a 100 plus page research document on the feasibility of offering financing to immigrants requesting American citizenship. The document was sponsored by the United Neighborhood Centers of America and Ways to Work, both based in Wisconsin, and also by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
I graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. I currently volunteers at the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry and for the Glen Ellyn 4th of July committee. I am the steward of a Little Free Library, which resides in my front yard and offers books to the neighborhood. My secret agenda with the library was to encourage children to read. It makes me happy to see children opening the library door and eyeing the books. I also have my organic farming certificate and grow my own herbs and vegetables.
I chose the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s online MBA program because of its flexibility, high quality courses, and the International Business and Human Resources specialty options. I have been very impressed with the prompt, courteous assistance received from staff members such as Dr. Zahn, Dr. Chenoweth and my advisor, Ms. Kutz. During a recent campus visit, I was pleased with the cozy campus, approachable staff, and UWW efforts to accommodate students with disabilities. I was also delighted with the modern, new College of Business and Economics building, Hyland Hall.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was not where I expected to commence my tertiary education upon completing high school back in Jamaica. My thoughts of college included a school located in the warm Caribbean close to a beach or a city in the southernmost state of the continental USA. I did not envision myself in the Midwest region of the US braving the frigid Wisconsin winters that begin in September and go until May! My father clearly had other plans for me as he had discovered the resilience one learns coming here from a tropical climate, during his time as a UW-Whitewater student.
Upon beginning my time here in Whitewater, I quickly realized that the weather aside, there are some of the warmest people here. Professors and advisors alike took an interest in helping a young man far away from home. I also learned the meaning of diversity as I acquired a second family with the International Students’ Association (ISA) here on campus. Being involved with the ISA truly helped me to discover that the world is indeed flat and that I could accumulate many friends from all over the world. My experiences here had such a profound impression on me during my undergraduate studies (as a Finance major) that I decided to complete my MBA degree here too. This education path is a stark contrast to the teenager who could not picture a single winter in Wisconsin. My experiences here in Whitewater have led me to become more inclined to be a global thinker, hence my passion to pursue International Business as one of my emphases in my graduate program.
When I complete my studies, I know that my experiences here in Whitewater will definitely help me in all my endeavors in life, wherever in the world that I end up. I will forever cherish all that I have learned here, both academic and otherwise as UW-Whitewater has helped shape me into a knowledgeable, confident young man who is ready and able to take on the world armed with the qualifications and drive necessary to be a successful business professional.
Upon my graduation from my Master’s program, wherever in the world that I end up, I will be proud to say that I am a Warhawk and a very proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater!
After finishing my BBA in financial management in China, I came to UW-Whitewater last September to begin my MPA (Master of Professional Accountancy) degree. It surprised me when the customs officer at the Chicago airport told me that UW-Whitewater is a good school. That’s just the start; every friend I met in Wisconsin told me the same thing. I have heard that “ratings can be manipulated, but a reputation must be earned.” I was curious about how UW-Whitewater achieved such a high quality reputation for business degrees.
It did not take long time to get my answer. The faculty here are the best! They are super helpful! My favorite accounting professor is strict but fair. You can tell he’s an expert in accounting after a few conversations. He can always understand the point I’m making and can help solve my problem even when I thought I didn’t express my questions in English well enough. This professor is clear and organized. He makes me want to be an accountant like he is. My favorite advisor is not only my mentor but also cares for me as a person. She has helped me from the application process and towards proceeding to completing my degree. She cares about both my study and my life in Whitewater. I also found my new best friend in an accounting class. She’s from Indonesia, and she’s smart.
My first semester was tough as an international student, but thanks to all of the nice people’s help, I did an excellent job. Now I am used to life in Whitewater and enjoy it a lot!
But I suppose you are wondering how I came to be at UW-Whitewater. My life is full of accidents. Coming to Whitewater was a beautiful accident in my life. I had a world map, but I had never thought I would point my finger to the North-Central United States. Four years ago, when I was a freshman in college, I attended a work and travel US internship program during summer break. I was attracted by the nice brochure of a happy Mickey Mouse, and I thought the program would be sending me to Disneyland. Well, they sent me to the resort area of the Wisconsin Dells. It’s a small town but it’s the place I met my first American friend. When that summer ended, I went back to China, but she and I still kept in touch. Two years later, she told me she was going to pursue an MPA degree at UW-Whitewater, and she asked me to come and be her roommate! I replied, “Why not?” At that time, I had never heard about UW-Whitewater and I could not find it on my world map. I knew nothing about Whitewater but I trusted my friend when she said it was a good school. UW-Whitewater was the only graduate school to which I applied.
The new semester is coming and there are so many exiting things in store. I’ll start to work as a graduate assistant and I’ll live with my new Indonesian friend. Hopefully we will travel to South America during the winter break together. I still have a year to graduate, but I have already started to miss UW-Whitewater.