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Dec. 10, 2013
Alyssa Hank knew she wanted to attend Northwest Missouri State University almost the moment she arrived on the campus for a visit during her college search process four years ago.
“My parents wanted me to go to other schools and look at them, but I didn’t want to look at other schools,” Hank said. “I automatically knew Northwest was where I was meant to be.”
Now, the Lee’s Summit native is graduating from Northwest with a degree in marketing management. Next month, she’ll begin her career as a retail sales representative with The Hershey Company and will work closely with retail businesses in the Des Moines, Iowa, area to market and display Hershey products.
Northwest, Hank says, has helped her mature and gain confidence in her abilities through hands-on experiences and leadership opportunities. She set goals for herself throughout her college career and has achieved them consistently with the help of her peers and faculty.
“I have a job set up when I graduate, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if it wasn’t for Northwest and everything people here have helped me do,” Hank said.
Hank, who completed her degree in 3 ½ years, took advantage of every opportunity she could at Northwest, knowing the experience would pay dividends.
She was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and was a peer advisor. Hank even spent time working as a student employee with kindergartners at Horace Mann Laboratory School. That job, she says, helped her learn patience.
“I made the most of it and, looking back, couldn’t have made a better decision with coming to Northwest,” she said. “All the friends I’ve made, there is nothing that can replace that.”
Hank also completed two internships. She assisted Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation, a non-profit business in Maryville, with its social media communication. Last summer, she was an intern with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where she learned how a multi-million dollar branch of a major American company is maintained. During her internship, she gained experience doing everything from customer service and maintaining client relationships to prepping vehicles.
“That really helped me get to that next level and be prepared for the real-world experiences when I graduate,” Hank said. “Enterprise gave me the tools and experience I needed to get to the next level.”
When the time came for Hank to begin applying for jobs, she applied the tools she learned at Northwest. She turned a field study she completed for one of her marketing classes into a presentation she could give to the panel interviewing her at Hershey. Before taking the presentation to her interview, she shared it with marketing faculty and asked for their advice.
The knowledge she gained at Northwest and the expertise of faculty in the field put her ahead of other candidates for the job, Hank said. Hershey selected her for the position after a five-step interview process.
“I got hands-on experience and my professors went above and beyond whenever I needed to look at internships or I was applying for jobs,” she said. “They really go above and beyond and make sure you, as a student, are going to succeed in the future.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468