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May 2, 2016
Katie Shrewsbury confirmed her passion and will carry on a family legacy as she graduates from Northwest and begins her career.
Shrewsbury will complete her degree this summer in agriculture business and begin her employment as a grain merchandising assistant at Lathrop Feed and Grain. Shrewsbury participated in Saturday’s spring commencement ceremonies at Northwest; the University allows students completing degrees during the summer months to participate in either its spring or winter ceremonies.
When she arrived at Northwest four years ago, Shrewsbury enrolled as an elementary education major and thought she was destined to become a teacher.
“I knew it was a good education school, and I thought for sure I was going to be a teacher,” she said. “I knew people. I loved the campus when I first visited it, so I was like, ‘all right, that’s where I’m going.’”
Shrewsbury began checking off teacher preparation courses and spent some time observing classes in Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School. But two years into her degree program, Shrewsbury wasn’t getting the fulfillment she wanted.
“I just wasn’t enjoying it like I thought I would,” she said. “I just had this feeling that it wasn’t right for me. I knew I loved kids, but I wasn’t enjoying it.”
Shrewsbury thought about her upbringing on her family’s farm and her passion for the industry.
“The education teachers were always supportive,” she said. “I told a couple of them, ‘I don’t know if this is right for me.’ They always told me to ‘follow your heart, and if it’s not right for you it’s ok to change your mind.’”
She sought advisement from faculty in Northwest’s School of Agricultural Sciences about a possible major change. A couple agriculture courses later, Shrewsbury knew the path she needed to take.
She enrolled in coursework every summer to ensure she completed her degree within four years. She also worked as a cashier at local hardware store to ease her financial obligations while pursuing a degree.
Business courses helped her learn about the sales field as well as skills related to résumé building, letter writing and websites.
Shrewsbury also gained experience with a summer internship at Lathrop Feed and Grain. There, she found how much she enjoyed making connections with farmers and consumers.
“I learned a lot and I really enjoyed it and it sparked a fire in me, and now I have a full-time job there and I couldn’t be more excited,” she said.
Shrewsbury calls Northwest her second home, and she has passed her enthusiasm for the University to her younger brother who plans to attend in the fall.
“I just love the community, and everybody knows everybody,” she said. “You walk through the ag department, and I’m going to say hi to 10 people. I walk through the business department, and I’m going to say hi to 10 people. I’ve gotten close with advisors and teachers. Everyone’s so supportive, and that’s really important to me.”
She concludes, “My second family is here, always, and I’ve learned so much about myself and my career. It’s amazing what I’ve come from freshman year.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468