At Mount Union you know as a student that you are going to be cared for, and that opportunities will be given to you in order to help you succeed.
Andrew Rothermel '15
Major: Finance and Management
Hometown: Rootstown, Ohio
Former soccer player, Assistant Resident Director (ARD) for Residence Life, BEST Program (Bringing Students and Executives Together), Emerging Leaders (freshman year), Preview and Orientation Guide, Intramural sports, Tau Pi Phi President (Business Honorary Fraternity)
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Mount Union Background
Mount Union was a school I always knew about while growing up. I always remember thinking about how nice the campus looked when I would drive by and how welcoming it looked. Little did I know then that it would be the school I would end up attending.
Why Mount Union
As many high school students know, choosing a college is not easy, and my story is no different. I was looking at three different schools and I really could not decide on where I wanted to go. What really helped me make my choice of going to Mount Union easy was my campus visit. On my visit, my tour guide was exceptional, and really was excited about being a student at Mount Union. While on my tour, I ended up seeing quite a few people I knew, including a few guys I had met on my initial overnight visit with the soccer team. The guys really made me feel like a part of the team, and made me feel like I was at home. While on my visit, I also loved how beautiful campus is. The landscaping and architecture around campus really makes everything look sophisticated enough that I can say I go to a beautiful school, yet simple enough that I still can call it home.
By far, my favorite part of Mount Union is its people. The people at Mount Union really create the environment that makes it so great. From the professors on campus to the housekeepers that clean the residence halls, the people on this campus make it a welcoming atmosphere to foster student growth. The professors on campus are so helpful as long as you show them that you care. I remember the first time I went into a professor’s office with nerves, only to be helped and assured that I would never walk into another professor’s office hours afraid again.
As a freshman at Mount Union, the housekeeper in my hall was so loved by all of the halls, that we collectively called her “Mama Ketchum.” She was more than just a housekeeper, and really cared about each and every one of us. Ironically enough, none of us were allowed to call her “mom,” because her son actually lived in the hall as a student at Mount Union, too! Now, as an Assistant Resident Director in a residence hall, I work with a housekeeper named Ana, and I do not ever go a day without talking to her. She truly cares about me, and the rest of the students in the residence hall. Ana was even kind enough to bring me a soccer jersey back from her homeland in Romania because she knows how much I love soccer. Mount Union’s people are truly what make this campus a special place to be.
My favorite place on campus would have to be the North Reading Room in KHIC. This is the place where I spend long nights studying, and also a place where the Entrepreneurship classes would bring in guest speakers. As a young aspiring entrepreneur, I love having the opportunities to meet successful entrepreneurs. In one of my entrepreneurship classes, we had four or five unbelievable speakers who all spoke in the North Reading Room in KHIC. There is no better way to prepare yourself for the workforce than to spend your time listening to people who have valuable experience and are willing to share their experiences with eager ears. Most of the speakers were running multi-million dollar companies, yet they still took time out of their busy schedules to meet with our class and share their story. These networking opportunities have landed me multiple career options and really helped ease my fears of graduating unemployed.
The People Make the Difference
The people at Mount Union really set it apart from any other school. At Mount Union you know as a student that you are going to be cared for, and that opportunities will be given to you in order to help you succeed. With our low faculty to student ratio, it is clear that the University wants to ensure that all students get the attention they deserve.
As a business student, I am all about thinking about things strategically. When the article came out last year stating that Mount Union students had the best return on their investment in the region I was thrilled. Knowing that you are spending a lot of money on college is a scary thing, but finding out that I was attending the school where students got the highest return on their investment made me feel much better.
Success After Graduation
Mount Union has done so much to prepare me for success after graduation. Through the rigorous finance classes, I have learned things that finance majors at other schools never learn about. In a couple of courses I have learned useful information that has helped me land and succeed in my internships. In one class we learn about how to make a resume and cover letter and interview in ways that would distinguish us from other applicants. This was extremely helpful because it allowed me to be cool, calm and collected in interviews, and just be myself instead of being a nervous wreck. I learned how to build my resume as a reflection of myself, and use it to build discussions during interviews. In another class I learned proper etiquette when eating with professionals, and it made me feel much more comfortable when going out to eat with the ALDI directors and Vice President.
One last way that Mount Union has really prepared me for success after graduation is through my Management SCE class, where we ran decisions for a global shoe company for 10 years online against other teams. Playing the Business Strategy Game made me think strategically like I never had before, and really forced me to delve into the data and find answers myself. The Business Strategy Game is typically a part of graduate program curriculums, but at Mount Union, we use it to prepare our management majors for success post graduation.
When I choose Mount Union, I knew that I would go into business. If I went to other schools, I was considering math, or education, but the decision was always to go into business at Mount Union. The main reason behind this is that Mount Union offers so many networking opportunities. Through the entrepreneurship minor in particular, I have had opportunities to meet with countless entrepreneurs, who have all been very successful. When choosing a specific major at Mount Union, I first choose management. Management seemed like something I was fit for because I am comfortable being responsible for many people, and the courses intrigued me. When meeting with my advisor, I found that I would have plenty of time to graduate in four years with two majors, so I decided on finance as my second major. The choice of finance was an easy one for me. I knew going into Mount Union that finance was one of the more challenging majors, and I really wanted to be challenged by the rigorous program. Now that I am finishing up my finance degree, I will say that although it is challenging, it is certainly manageable if you prioritize things and avoid procrastination. I have also found that tasks that may seem daunting can be much easier if you just have a positive attitude and embrace the challenges you face.
My favorite hands-on experience so far on campus was definitely through the B.E.S.T. program. In this program, a group of selected students work with local businesses to solve their real life problems. For my first case, my partner Austin and I worked with Interfaith Child Development Center. At Interfaith, the president wanted to help her young students get better opportunities. Austin and I worked rigorously for a month, and were able to help give the kids of her development center enrichment programs to further foster their growth. We were able to help bring the students a curriculum that works through Mount Union where our education majors in different languages go help student-teach the students at Interfaith different languages and music. While working on the project, it was awesome to bring the two parties together, allowing both to prosper. Arguably the best part of it all though, was when Austin and I presented, and it brought the president of Interfaith to tears.
Through Mount Union’s Career Fair, I was able to land numerous interviews, a few of which ended with internship opportunities. The summer before my junior year, I received an internship with ALDI, one of the best internships in the country. Through my summer experience with ALDI I worked with a district manager and also got the opportunity to present a project at a Director’s meeting to all of the Directors and the Vice President of the division. Evidently Mount Union really has molded me well because the summer before my senior year I was offered the internship with ALDI again. During this internship, I was assigned a special project, and reported directly to a director at the divisional office. The two internships with ALDI that I have worked have really sprung my career forward, and have been beneficial for a plethora of reasons. For one, the experience allowed me to gain real life experience that prepares me for life after graduation. Along with that, my internship with ALDI has given me career opportunities that will allow me to quickly get a high return on my investment of tuition at Mount Union.
Picking one favorite class at Mount Union is nearly impossible. Corporate Finance was definitely one of my favorite classes. The class is known for being really challenging, but I went in with a positive attitude and embraced the challenge, and took away knowledge that will help me for the rest of my life. I am someone who really loves being challenged and pushed, and this class allowed me to grow a lot as a student. One of the things that I really loved about Corporate Finance was that Dr. Matthews was always available if you needed help. Being that it is a challenging class, students need help, and Dr. Matthews is always in her office and willing to drop everything to help a student better understand the material. I cannot stress enough, how great it is to have a professor like Dr. Matthews who is truly passionate about helping others learn.
My second favorite class would probably have to be the management Senior Culminating Experience (SCE). In this class we partnered up and played the Business Strategy Game, an online strategy game where you take control of a global footwear company, making decisions for the company and competing against other companies. The Business Strategy Game is typically a graduate student program, so being able to play it as an undergraduate student was really memorable. I really got into the game a lot, and developed a dynamic strategy that helped push my team, Corp R@P Global, into first place in our group, and got us ranked 24th in the world, raking in the top 1%. At the end of the Business Strategy Game Competition, we got to present with our partners how the game went, and my partner Nick and I really had a lot of fun interacting with the class and sharing our experiences.
Dr. Matthews has helped me so much throughout my finance courses, and truly cares about my growth as a student and as a person. She has stayed late many hours to help me, or other students understand the material from class. She also knows how to push me as a student, and has a clever way of getting me to understand the material, but letting me figure it out instead of just telling me how to do it. I really love that she can make me feel like I learned something myself, even though she is really the one who helped me get there.
I had Professor Kachilla for my Intro to Business class, and he quickly became my advisor. Similar to Dr. Matthews, I spend a lot of time in Professor Kachilla’s office, usually talking about entrepreneurship endeavors, career opportunities, the business model canvas, or just life. Having a professor who can always give you honest, sincere feedback is really helpful as a student. Through my entrepreneurship ideas, I have spent a lot of time with Professor Kachilla, and also professor Matt Stinson. Both of them helped me and gave me countless resources to use to help spring forward my idea. It also meant a lot when they both came to the regional entrepreneurship competition with me. Professor Kachilla was the first person to tell me to really take a good look at the ALDI internship and he helped me become a two-year intern at ALDI, and I really appreciate his help and guidance for that.
Liberal Arts Foundation
Being at a liberal arts school, one of the coolest parts is that you get to expand your horizons and learn about things you would not normally learn about. Through my experiences, I have been able to learn about different religions, American history, and now this semester I am going to take a class where I will learn how to teach my dog CoCo new behaviors. It is really awesome how Mount Union allows the flexibility that students can take different classes that broaden their scope on life.
If I could have my ultimate career of choice, I would choose to run my own company. I would love to build a company from the ground up, and then be able to help build other peoples’ careers by providing them with great jobs. The idea of creating a lot of jobs for people really hits a soft spot for me, and I would love to have the opportunity to be the decision maker at a big company. I have always been really into strategic thinking, which is the focus of a CEO, and so I have always aspired to be in a position where I can make strategic decisions. Along with running my own company, I want to ensure that I still have a work-life balance. Just being a CEO does not complete my dream, I want to live on a farm and have a family. Growing up on a farm, I can certainly say that farming is in my blood, and the work ethic I have from working on the farm has helped me a lot in the early stages of my career with ALDI.