Alumni

UWEC AMA  

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Reid Berndt

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

In my current position as Retention Manager for Interlog, USA, I use many of the skills I developed in AMA in my job today. I use my email, phone, and video conferencing skills I gained through AMA in my everyday work.

 

My organizational and task management skills I gained through my leadership roles in AMA have been extremely beneficial when entering the business world and have put me ahead of other coworkers at my level.

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

The most beneficial events in AMA for me were the AMA conferences. The conferences gave me the opportunity to practice my networking skills with real recruiters and practice my business skills in an individual and team environment.

 

In addition, it was also beneficial learning to lead and host conferences for our chapter. Through this I learned to manage an event as a leader and deal with difficult situations under pressure.

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

The easiest ways I made networking connections was face-to-face, either in-person or virtual. Through our networking events and working with our company sponsors, it helped me refine my skills in networking and build great long-term connections that have proven to be very beneficial to my career.

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

If I could have done anything differently in AMA, I would have been more active during my freshman year. If I had been more active in AMA and taken on a role within the organization, I could have added a more beneficial year of business experience to add to my year of general education courses.

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 

In today’s business world, they need employees who can be adaptable and independent. In our ever-changing business world both in-person and virtual, employees need to be able to react to

changing situations and need to be prepared to bring the same high-level job performance regardless of the circumstances. In addition, you need to be able to work independently and be self-sufficient. Employers want people who can learn to solve problems themselves and take the necessary initiative.

 

I had fantastic preparation for this through my work in AMA. I learned to adapt to changing situations and be prepared to solve problems effectively and efficiently. Through my roles as a VP and then AMA President, I learned to be prepared to dive into a new career and industry I had never been in before with limited training and be successful.

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Ryan Arch

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?


Skills that I still use today that I either learned or got better at during my time with AMA are mainly soft skills. I would say the biggest one is working with people who have different personalities and learning styles. The workplace is super diverse, and understanding how your coworkers like to be presented information, the best way to give critiques, and how to create camaraderie.

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2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

Conferences. This is where you get to practice your skills in a very low-pressure environment. They are great for trying something new and helping with talking to strangers if you struggle with that. Not to mention the Career Corners with all the businesses that are looking for you to fill internships or jobs that they have.

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

I'm going to split this up into two different types of connections I made. Friends and Professional. The easiest way to make connections for friends is to be active in your chapter, participate in events, speak up at meetings, and of course, go to the socials! Professionals, I found the easiest way was to make connections with speakers that come to our meetings. I looked them up on LinkedIn either that night or the day after and added them as a friend, but in the message part of the connection request, I mentioned something in the presentation they did or just a question that they could answer.

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

I would have joined sooner! I didn't join until my junior year and wish I would have joined as a freshman. During my time in AMA, I wish I would have run for either a VP or Director position every year since what you put into AMA is what you will get out of it.

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 

I was lucky and had a job lined up already for after school, but I did interviews with other companies, and what I seemed to pick up on the most was the employers are looking for people that they feel fit well with their company and can get along with. Experience is also crucial it seems like every entry-level job wants like 2-3 years experience already, so take advantage of the access you have to internships and the connections you can make when you are in AMA. Even if a company you want to work for doesn't have a job posting or a current job opening, message them anyway. If you apply for a job that they don't have listed, it makes them take a longer look at your resume, and it shows that you want to work there and that you put the effort in. They may not offer an interview at that time, but they will most likely message you for an interview if there is an opening. The name of the game is to stand out! AMA will help you do that!

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1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

 

AMA provided me communication and teamwork skills. The communication skills were from all the different conferences  and most of the teamwork skills came from being part of the case team. 

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2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

 

Going to New Orleans to compete for case. This really allowed me to challenge myself. 

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

Going up and talking to recruiters at all the conferences! Also make sure to go to the career fairs; that’s how I landed my current job!

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

I wish I would have started my freshman year!

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 

The first is that you are looking to grow your career with them. The second is that you are open to finding and taking on new opportunities. Showing them that you are willing to take on any opportunity, will show you are dedicated and driven. 

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Taylor Welscher

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

 

AMA provided me communication and teamwork skills. The communication skills were from all the different conferences  and most of the teamwork skills came from being part of the case team. 

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2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

 

Going to New Orleans to compete for case. This really allowed me to challenge myself. 

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

Going up and talking to recruiters at all the conferences! Also make sure to go to the career fairs; that’s how I landed my current job!

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

I wish I would have started my freshman year!

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 

The first is that you are looking to grow your career with them. The second is that you are open to finding and taking on new opportunities. Showing them that you are willing to take on any opportunity, will show you are dedicated and driven. 

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Madeline Djerf

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

  • Communication

  • Problem-Solving

  • Group Dynamics / Teamwork

  • Confidence

  • Risk-taking

These are all skills that I honed from being actively involved with AMA. 

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

The AMA events that were most beneficial to me were the various conferences and competitions. The opportunities to network and build relationships with other student leaders, businesses and employers that these conferences provide are unmatched. Additionally, my involvement on the case team where we developed a comprehensive marketing plan for The Wall Street Journal.

3. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

I would have joined earlier!!!

4. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

The most valuable aspects that businesses look for in their employees are transferable, soft skills. Things like communication, flexibility, willingness to learn, and problem-solving are not only valued, but expected by employers.

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Taylor Allen

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

I give AMA a lot of credit for my success in my career so far.  I was very involved with the conferences that our chapter both attended and organized.  Because of that involvement I worked very closely with Enterprise, who is a sponsor for our chapter, which led to them recruiting me for an internship and hiring me full time.  By attending all of these events, I gained networking skills with different businesses and students from other schools.  I was elected onto the Executive Board for our chapter which gave me the chance to gain both leadership skills and communication skills with fellow classmates.  While I was leading the chapter, I also had to learn organizational skills and management skills if I was going to run a successful organization.  I found it was very important to have open communication with all of our Eboard and also transfer that to our entire organization.  I would say the last skill that I really developed with AMA was my ability to be welcoming and personable with all the new members. In order to grow the organization and keep the members excited and involved, it was very important for them to feel welcomed and that they had a place within our organization.  My number one goal was to always make the members feel like they had a valuable role and they felt supported by myself, our Eboard, and all of the other members of our chapter.

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

I would say that attending the Regional Conferences was very beneficial for my career.  It gave me a chance to really network with different business representatives and also students from different schools.  By attending these conferences it helped increase my confidence and ability to put myself out there when I am in a foreign environment.

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

The easiest way I was able to make connections through AMA was to attend every event that my chapter organized.  I attended every single event which allowed me to meet all of the students that were participating, and if there were sponsors attending I was also able to network with them as well.  Really just pushing myself to volunteer within the organization and participate helped my immensely.

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

If I were to do one thing differently it would have been to push myself to compete more.  I was always so focused on managing our conferences and making sure our students where in the right places I did not make time to compete. I think if I would have pushed myself to set aside time and prep for the competitions, I would have been able to gain a wider skillset which could have helped me when entering the workforce.

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

I think one of the most valuable skills that job candidates can have is interpersonal communication skills.   In the business world you have to be able to communicate with your team and your customers.  There is nothing more frustrating than working with a coworker that is not capable of communicating efficiently.  You can be the most qualified person in the world, but if you are unable to communicate well with others and build rapport and relationships you could be looked over as a candidate.  

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Vanessa Nielsen

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

 

 AMA provided me with the tools to be a problem solver and how to approach a difficult case study. During my time on the case team, I learned how to look at problems in multiple different ways and collaborate with people who had different opinions.

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

 During my time in AMA I did not attend any events, but one of the most beneficial AMA element to me was being on the case team.

 

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

 The easiest way I made connections was talking to other employees in different departments during my internships. I would set up informational interviews with people that I found their job to be interesting (not just marketing employees)!

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

 If I could go back I would have participated in more conferences.

 

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 I think some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for are someone with drive, a great personality, and someone who acts professional.

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MaryKate Sauer

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

 

Networking is one of the top skills that I gained throughout my time with the organization. Not a day goes by that I don’t use it – whether its for my personal  or my professional life.

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

Conferences like Whitewater’s, our own, and Nationals were super beneficial to my business career. Conferences were a great way to learn about local or corporate opportunities for you. Also a great way to improve upon your elevator pitch, your sales cycle, or how to work on a digital marketing project.

 

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

  • Inside our chapter- attend as many conference, socials, and meetings as possible and try to meet someone new each time.

  • Outside our chapter- Find a networking buddy and introduce yourself to another group of students doing that same competition or sitting at the table next to you at lunch. I still talk to many of my friends from Whitewater and Lacrosse.

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

 I was very involved from Freshman through Senior year, but I wish I would have held two different E-Board positions to boarded my horizons.

 

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 Some of the top skills that many companies are looking for in new hires include adaptability and multitasking. Adaptability means different things in every company, but in my role it means switching selling styles if my original way didn’t work for my customers. It could also mean focusing on the items that matter to the customer. If your company isn’t adapting to the changes – they are losing out on new business. In addition, multitasking is an incredible skill to acquire. I am constantly balancing phone calls, emails, quoting products, and meetings. You need to be able to multitask if you want to be in sales.

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Lee Peterson

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

 

 Networking

 Basic Sales Knowledge

 Effective Communication

 General Understanding of Business

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

 Attending all the conferences

  • These were most beneficial because it gave me a chance to show sponsors at the conferences my potential which helped open doors for my career.

 

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

 The easiest way I made connections was, whenever I went to a career conference, I would force myself to talk to at least 5 recruiters. It was awkward but it gave me the confidence I needed to pursue job opportunities I was truly interested in.

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?

 I would have tried to incorporate some sort of sales training. Ideally it would give members who are sales majors and non-sales majors with a basic understanding of a valuable skill like sales. The trouble with sales training at UWEC is students don't get taught how to sell until junior year which leaves freshman and sophomores in the dark about sales and whether or not that career path is right for them.

 

 I would have also created a "Prepare You for the  Real World Course." What I mean by this is after I graduated and entered the corporate world I felt unprepared in terms of life. An example would be teaching things like: (budgeting, 401k's, Company Matches, Roth IRA's, Planning for Retirement, Health Insurance, Health Savings Accounts, Car Insurance, Renting, Disability Insurance, Emergency funds, Investing, etc…)

 

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 The big thing that I have noticed from my employer is they look for things like:

  • Coachability (can take constructive feedback and implement it)

  • Driven (does not need someone to push them but rather have a personal driver making them succeed)

  • Adapt to unexpected (if a problem occurs or you are given a curveball, can you think on your feet and act effectively)

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Charlie Seffinga

1. What skills did AMA provide for you, that you still use today?

 

  AMA provided me with many different valuable life skills, especially patience and teamwork. I was able to learn and grow through teamwork, and was able to practice patience by understanding that the most valuable asset a team has is multiple different minds thinking and working in their own ways toward one common goal.

2. What AMA events were most beneficial to your business career?

 

 I benefitted most from Conferences. The #1 most valuable statement you will hear is “Get comfortable being uncomfortable”. Competing at conferences is a perfect example of something everyone finds uncomfortable – but through practice and coaching I was able to succeed and become comfortable in those settings.

 

3. What were the easiest ways you made connections?

 The easiest way I made connections was through Networking with businesses and competing against the same few people at most conferences.

4. Is there anything you would’ve done differently in AMA, if you could go back and do so?


 If I could go back and redo anything, I would have built more relationships. I made many connections through AMA and my involvement with E-Board, but I think I could have benefitted immensely by reaching out to even more AMA individuals.

 

5. What are some of the most valuable aspects businesses look for in employees?

 Businesses want people who stand out in a crowd. Whether it be in an interview, a competition, or even simple conversation – they want to remember you. Standing out, if done correctly, is extremely beneficial. Be memorable. Another important aspect is what drives you and what you are passionate about. Know your WHY in life, business, and everything you do.