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April 28, 2015
By Alexandra Mortallaro, media relations assistant
After completing her bachelor’s degree and now her master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University, Lauren Hansen is ready to begin her life’s next chapter as an account executive at Yelp, the popular online review service based in in San Francisco.
Hansen, a Sioux City, Iowa, is graduates from Northwest this spring with her Master of Business Administration. Having arrived at Northwest in 2009, she also earned her bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from Northwest in 2013.
She followed in the footsteps of her mother and aunt, who also are Northwest alumni. But her family ties aren’t the only reasons Hansen thinks of Northwest as her larger family.
“I feel like everyone supports everyone a lot, and for graduate school I was welcomed back so easily,” Hansen said. “Everyone is always so helpful and does anything they can to support me with any decision I’ve made.”
As an account executive at Yelp, Hansen’s responsibilities will include selling advertising to businesses and working with them to upgrade their Yelp profiles.
“Northwest prepared me for my career through internships, organization involvement and graduate school,” Hansen said. “A lot of my undergraduate classes were learning new concepts, and graduate school was really helpful in applying those concepts to the real world. I was able to answer situational questions in interviews with the help of my graduate classes.”
Prior to coming to Northwest, Hansen’s goals included earning a degree and to simply “survive” college. By the end of her freshman year, however, her goals had evolved and she sought to get involved in anything she could.
Hansen held executive positions in Sigma Kappa sorority, served as Student Activities Council president and was the secretary for Ad Ink. She also was involved in the Delta Mu Delta business society, Knacktive and the American Marketing Association. She participated in the Colden Pond Plunge to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, too.
“Northwest helped me become a confident leader and I would never have guessed that I would have been involved in all these things in high school,” Hansen said.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Hansen decided to continue her education at Northwest and obtain a master’s degree.
“A master’s was important to me because I’m the first in my family to get one, and I knew it would help me stand out,” Hansen said. “I knew I wanted to get my master’s at Northwest because they have a great graduate assistant program.”
Hansen received a graduate assistant position at the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families, under the supervision by its director, Cindy Scarbrough. She updated the center’s website, coordinated social media, produced fliers and helped publicize events, organized student and teacher files, and helped manage the budget.
“Lauren has been an amazing asset to the Leet Center and its efficient procedures,” Scarbrough said. “I am extremely proud that she has been offered a career in San Francisco. I’m happy to know that Northwest graduates will be a big part of the next generation and that Lauren is already on her way.”
Hansen said the environment at the Leet Center helped her gain new perspectives that added to her business knowledge.
“Everyone at the Leet Center has impacted me greatly and helped strengthen my faith in myself and everything in this world,” Hansen said. “My time as an undergrad helped shape me into the person I am today, but I think Cindy has shown me how important it is to use these skills in many ways I never thought possible.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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