Hometown: Newtown, Conn.
Major: Interactive Marketing
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration
Internships: Indeed.com headquarters in Stamford as an account executive, Positive Reflections Wardrobe and Image Consulting doing social media marketing and assisting in events and tradeshows
Honors and Awards: Dean's List every semester, 3.74 GPA, graduating Magna Cum Laude, Alpha Mu Alpha Award (an honor from the American Marketing Association for outstanding academic performance), Google Analytic Certification, recipient of North Western Mutual Financial Network Scholarship and Dante Cirilli/Grolier Direct Marketing Scholarship
Newtown resident Kelly Stendahl doesn't hesitate when asked why she chose to enroll at Western. "WCSU was a smart choice financially. It was close to home and fit my budget, and it provided a quality education that I wanted in order to gain a high-level job."
Initially uncertain about what she wanted to study, Stendahl says "Donna Coelho in the marketing department motivated me to join the Marketing Club here at WCSU, which then interested me in changing my major from undecided to interactive marketing. Once in the marketing program, Dr. Ronald Drozdenko showed me the many benefits of having this degree in the ever-changing business world. It holds a lot of value having a degree that is considered updated and new. Rather than just a marketing degree, the interactive option allows students to gain crucial skills that are necessary to be successful in the real world."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Stendahl says, "Being a part of the Honors Program here gave me the outstanding opportunity to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This was an experience I'll forever cherish and hold onto. Being able to merely shake his hand and say 'hello' was one of my best memories here and will be throughout life. Our honors class had spent the whole previous year working together to plan events, learn the culture and religion, as well as research key events in his life. Then getting the chance to listen to him speak and personally meet him was an incredible opportunity."
After graduation, Stendahl hopes to secure a full-time position at Indeed.com, where she has been working as an intern.
Stendahl's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Do as many internships as possible. This is key in gaining real-life experience as well as references, and builds your resume substantially. This has been key for me when applying for jobs and realizing which jobs fit what I'm looking for. Become friends with the staff and faculty at WCSU. They are extremely helpful and willing to aid you in whatever you need. The Career Development Center at WCSU is a tool you must utilize! They have some of the best services you can get and open doors to so many wonderful internships. Also, don't be afraid to feel out other majors. Take a variety of classes your freshman year to get a good grasp of what truly interests you."