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Northwest Missouri State University

Student Spotlight

    Dec. 17, 2015

    College experiences lead Katie McGuire to attain goals, career

    Katie McGuire
    Katie McGuire (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

    Katie McGuire wanted a different college experience than the one much of her family had attending a large university. She wanted to attend a smaller school where she could be a leader.

    She found that environment at Northwest Missouri State University. McGuire is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication, a goal she attained in three and a half years.

    “When I was touring I absolutely fell in love with Northwest and the culture of the campus,” McGuire said. “I was so excited to be a Bearcat from the second I stepped onto campus.”

    McGuire went all in, joining the Phi Mu sorority, taking on a Homecoming position, then secretary and finally the organization’s president. She also was a member of the Cardinal Key honor society, Lambda Pi Eta communication honor society and Order of Omega.

    Such a high level of involvement led to an appointment to the Homecoming royalty court this fall. McGuire calls that one of her favorite Northwest memories – along with accepting an engagement proposal by her boyfriend and Northwest football player Brandon Yost after the Bearcats’ Homecoming victory.

    “I do not think I have been more honored in my life,” she said of the Homecoming royalty nomination. “To get to stand with those other leaders on campus, the whole experience in the parade and walking onto the field. That would have to be one of my favorite memories just to be able to represent the school that I love so much.”

    In addition to working student employment positions, McGuire never enrolled in fewer than 15 credit hours. She wanted to do everything, but that presented challenges, too. Northwest kept McGuire learning through her coursework, profession-based activities and co-curricular activities.

    “Time management, organizational skills, and being so involved on campus because I love Northwest so much has taught me a lot of life lessons that I’m going to take on in the future,” she said.

    To prepare for that future, McGuire benefitted from using Career Services and attending Career Days at Northwest. Her networking with the representatives of companies she visited during Career Days resulted in several interviews, allowing her to be selective while she was considering internships and, more recently, full-time employment.

    “Northwest has amazing services to help students get prepared to go out into the real world,” McGuire said. “Career Services is like a hidden treasure. They helped me create my resume and cover letter, and they are so helpful during Mock Interview Day.”

    McGuire interned last summer as a communications intern at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska, and gained new perspectives while working on a variety of projects.

    “I was constantly writing, so it was beneficial to think back to Public Relations Techniques and some of the classes that I had at Northwest,” she said. “I’m a hoarder when it comes to my work, so I’d go back to my flash drives and look through some of my formatting. The knowledge and tools that I had gained through those classes really helped me succeed in my internship.”

    McGuire developed a passion, however, for the human resource field as an office assistant in Northwest’s Office of Human Resources. She also developed skills as a Student Ambassador, assisting with Northwest’s recruitment programs and sharing her experiences with prospective students.

    As her graduation approached, McGuire interviewed for multiple job opportunities and she accepted an offer this week to work in First National Bank of Omaha’s management trainee program.

    McGuire’s faculty played a big role in her success, too. She laughs now, thinking about how strange it felt to seek counsel from faculty – not her parents or siblings – about her class schedule, internships or career opportunities.

    “I really feel like I have had a great relationship with all of my professors,” McGuire said. “They really touched my life and influenced career decisions that I’m going to take. That is something so special about Northwest. You don’t just go to class and not know your professor. You really get the opportunity to know them, and they help you and mold you into the person you become within your four years here.”

    McGuire knows her next chapter will be a bit scary, but she says Northwest has prepared her to succeed again.

    “I came here as a scared high school student and I’m leaving feeling like a grown adult,” McGuire said. “I’ve lived on my own for four years and I’ve really developed as a person and found who I want to be and the career goals I want. I’m happy with the person I’ve become, and that’s really due to Northwest and being a Bearcat. I’m excited for the next step now.”

    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468