SNC Students background


Great Starts: Monica Zettel ’18
Portrait of student Monica Zettel

Great Starts: Monica Zettel ’18

From time to time, we like to showcase a new SNC grad who’s entered the workplace or grad school. Success stories like these are pretty common. In fact, 95 percent of SNC's Class of 2022 alumni who responded to a survey said they were employed, in grad school or doing service work within nine months of graduating.

Hometown: Waukesha, Wis.
Graduation year: 2018
Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting
Plans after graduation: Joined Wipfli LLP as a staff accountant, Summer 2018.

What was your academic journey like at St. Norbert?

As a freshman, I knew I wanted to go into accounting, but I didn’t know what that involved, academically speaking. Professor Haen, my adviser, was a lifesaver: He helped me work out a course schedule that would enable me to graduate on time, even building in the study abroad I wanted to do.
Prof. Huegel was also tremendously helpful. He was a first-year teacher when I came to St. Norbert, and he was a great mentor and sounding board. When I wanted to look for jobs and internships, I didn’t know where to start.

Prof. Huegel told me about the “Spend a Day” programs that several companies offer St. Norbert students, to help us get a foot in the door. They involve visits to gain a better understanding of what a company does and its corporate culture. I did a number of those, and it was a huge help. It led to successful interviews; often the interviewers brought up my “Spend a Day” participation.

What kind of internships did you have, and how did you get them?

I landed an internship at Kimberly-Clark in Neenah as a sophomore, then interned at Schneider after my junior year. Kimberly-Clark came to do a presentation at an Accounting Club event, with people from their financial department discussing career paths, and that included someone from the tax department. He said they were hiring interns, and left some applications. I filled one out and got accepted. I wouldn’t have found that opportunity without the Accounting Club bringing companies on campus. Every semester, the club also brings in an alumni panel from different industries to discuss career tracks, etc. It’s a great networking opportunity – and a chance for potential employers to put a face with a name.

Did that networking help you get your Wipfli job?

At Wipfli, the person I interviewed with was an SNC alumna I had met two or three times before at college events. I had also emailed her some questions on one occasion. She said, “I recognized your name and I’m so excited you’re here because I haven’t seen you since you were a sophomore.” That kind of relationship puts you so at ease in an interview, so I would say my networking definitely played a role.

Were you able to meet your goal of studying abroad?

As a junior, I spent fall semester in London, and had an internship there, too, with a nonprofit group. It was 2000 percent outside my comfort zone, because I’m something of a homebody! But it helped me become more at ease in new and different situations; in that and so many other ways, it was an incredible experience.