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Great Starts: Emma Molenhouse '20
Portrait of student Emma Molenhouse

Great Starts: Emma Molenhouse '20

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, 96 percent of our graduates are in jobs or grad school within a year of graduation – and most of them much sooner than that!

Hometown: Aurora, Ill.
Graduation year: 2020
Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration
Plans after graduation: Works as a business intelligence analyst at Thrivent Financial in Appleton, Wis.

What led you to major in business administration?

I came to St. Norbert College as a biology major my freshman year, then I was a chemistry major until the end of sophomore year. But then I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I didn’t really see myself being a chemist after graduation. I had a really awesome advisor, Dr. Cunningham, and she gave me some good advice how it’s OK to take your own path. If you don’t see yourself doing it now, then how would you see yourself doing it in the future? And if you’re going to pick a career, it has to be something you’re good at and you have to enjoy it. It was probably the best advice I’ve gotten here. I had some computer science classes in there and some math classes to kind of figure out what I wanted to do. Then junior year I decided to be a business major. I managed to do all that in four years.

How did St. Norbert support you in your decision-making?

I think I wouldn’t have ended up in the same career path had I gone to a different school or bigger school, and it should have taken me more than four years. I think any other college or institution, it’s hard enough to get a regular undergraduate degree in four years, let alone like two and a half undergraduate degrees almost. Coming to St. Norbert allowed me to actually find what my vocation was beyond just in the classroom.

How did you get connected with Thrivent?

Business majors are all strongly encouraged to apply for internships going into your junior and senior year, and there’s a lot of help here at the career services center. After I had my résumé approved and help with a cover letter, I started writing to local businesses in the area and Thrivent happened to be one of them. It was a data analytics role, which was something I wasn’t sure I was going to get, but I was actually hired there because of my chemistry background. They liked how I thought analytically through almost the scientific method. My chemistry background combined with my business knowledge is why they picked me. I started on a Monday, and on Thursday my manager asked if I would want to work there full time after graduation.

You also found time for athletics at SNC …

Softball was originally part of the reason I came to St. Norbert. I met with the coach and my mom was just very comfortable sending me here because she knew the coach would be like a second mom. And I think any athlete at St. Norbert would agree that their sports teams are like a second family. That’s really shaped my college experience. You don’t forget the bus rides and the far trips and all the team bonding you do.

Are there any other relationships at SNC that have been impactful?

I think someone else who’s had an impact on my journey here is my freshman year theology professor, Dr. Gallagher Elkins. She was someone I could go back to even when I wasn’t taking her classes and talk about things related to school, related to my personal life, related to my religion. And she was always so open-minded and guided me in the right direction. I sat down with her my sophomore year, going through some stuff with softball and just life, and she really gave me guidance, saying, “You have the power to choose who you want to be.” She was a big part of my life.