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Great Starts: Sarah Duginske ’21
Portrait of student Sarah Duginske

Great Starts: Sarah Duginske ’21

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: Denmark, Wis.
Graduation year: 2021
Degree: Business Administration with a minor in Spanish
Plans after graduation: Sarah works as a marketing coordinator at Altrusa House in Green Bay, Wis.

As a first-generation college student, how did you know that St. Norbert was the school for you?

My parents really didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. I wanted to do what they never had the chance to do. They inspired me to want to do better and honestly gave me the world by encouraging me to go to college and open up so many different possibilities. I’m really thankful for all their help.

I was excited to go to college, ready for the next thing. I picked St. Norbert because it felt like home. And I’m sure everybody says that, but it really did feel different than other colleges I toured.

What was it about a business degree that was a good fit?

I came in undecided on a major and took a bunch of classes to figure out what I wanted to do. Originally I was a psychology and Spanish double major, but realized after a few classes that it really wasn’t the path I wanted to take.

My story about landing on business is an odd one. Honestly, one day I was driving to my summer job and thought, ‘A business major … business is just calling to me; I think that’s what I want to do.’

I talked to my advisor – Dr. Thomas Bolin, a theology professor – about it, and he offered to connect me with a few of the business professors. Dr. Bolin was one of the greatest people. He was so nice to me; he made sure that I was doing well and I was connected with the people I needed to be connected with. Ultimately, I picked business and loved it.

In addition to your academic exploration, were you involved in any extracurricular activities?

I was in Ballroom Club, Women in Business and wind ensemble. And the Proud to Be First initiative was big for me. In addition to having a part-time job off-campus, I was a student worker at the Mulva Library and got an internship my junior year at Altrusa House (a Green Bay facility offering safe, affordable housing to families visiting the city for medical care), where I’m currently employed full-time.

How did your SNC connection lead to Altrusa House?

I was part of the Turning Responsibility Into Powerful Service (TRIPS) program on campus, and that’s actually what got me my internship. One winter we went on a children’s medical trip to a hospital in Memphis, Tenn. It was a life-changing experience. I highly recommend taking an alternative break with TRIPS; it’s so fulfilling. I found Altrusa House through the college’s office of career and professional development. I was looking for internships, saw that one and interviewed. I talked to my boss after, and she confirmed that world view from my TRIPS experience, and could better connect with people, gave me a high level of emotional intelligence (that’s a really huge topic now, and we talk about it a lot in business). I love it there.

Do you have any words of wisdom for future Green Knights?

If you want it and work hard enough toward it, things will fall into place. But you have to work for it. That’s something my parents instilled in me – that “if you want it, you have to get it” work ethic. And if you ever feel alone or scared, don’t be afraid to ask questions or reach out, because so many people are willing to go out of their way to help. The Norbertine ideal of communio is real. People love you and care for you here like you’re their own, and it’s just so welcoming. It was bittersweet to leave!