College is a time of personal and professional growth as well as a springboard to the workforce or graduate school.

These Concordians are motivated and prepared to follow their vocation, but there was a time before they had a clear direction for their futures. God reveals our talents in creative and miraculous ways. Keep reading to discover how He showed these students what they were meant to be.

Batterman School of Business

Zach Peppel

Grade: Junior

Hometown: Hartland, WI

Program: Actuarial Science and Finance 

After I graduate college, I would like to work as an actuary. Actuaries calculate risk and costs of events when the occur. They often work in insurance and help to protect individuals from the financial hardships of costly events.  I want to pursue this field so I can help protect people from these unexpected and unfortunate financial burdens that individuals must endure.

I started researching actuarial science at the beginning of high school and from what I knew, it sounded interesting to me. I then started taking as many math classes as I could fit in my schedule. My high school AP statistics teacher, Dave Bahr at Lake Country Lutheran High School, encouraged me to pursue actuarial science after I enjoyed his class.

I am looking forward to career advancement in this field. In actuarial science, actuaries have to take a series of exams to be licensed during their career. While these exams are very challenging, passing them will allow me to advance in my career at my own pace.

School of Arts & Sciences

Marlia King

Grade: Senior

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Program: Liberal Arts and Theater

I hope to pursue a career as a theater performer. To work in any part of the theater would be enough for me, because I can’t imagine theater not being a part of my life. My biggest goal is to be a Broadway actress. I feel that the expression in story telling that plays and musicals is unmatched.

My high school director inspired me to pursue a career in theater. He taught me all the basics of acting, so when I attended to Concordia I felt like I was advanced in the introductory theater courses. He saw potential in me and told me that I would do well in a career in theater. The constant support from my mother was also a huge blessing. She was a member of my high school’s drama committee, so she was always really well-informed about the program. Professor Woodall has also been a source of encouragement. As head of the whole theater department, she goes above and beyond what any other person could single handedly execute for a whole department. She provides so many resources, connections, and challenges for her students daily.

I look forward to traveling to theaters across the country. I can’t wait to be entertaining and teaching audiences about, history, imagination, and beauty.

School of Education

Josh Shull

Grade: Junior

Hometown: Evansville, IN

Program: Elementary Education, Theology minor

I hope to be an elementary school teacher, but ultimately I hope to serve in whatever ministry role God calls me to! As a teacher, I’m excited to talk about God’s grace, build relationships with the students, and be a positive role model.

I decided I wanted to be a teacher winter break of my sophomore year. I was influenced by conversations with my parents who helped me realize and process different activities I enjoyed that pointed me towards education and interacting with kids. I also had a handful of friends who affirmed in my decision which was encouraging and gave me lots of confidence. Ultimately, I did a lot of reflecting and praying about my decision and for God to lead me.

I would say I’m most looking forward to being able to talk about the grace God gives us everyday and the opportunity to build intentional relationships with my students and their families!

School of Health Professions

Maddie Bernhardt

Grade: Junior

Hometown: St. Charles, MO

Program: Occupational Therapy

My career will be as an occupational therapist. As an OT I will help people live fulfilling lives by helping them participate in their occupations. I want to be a pediatric occupational therapist because it will allow me to mix my passions of working with kids, science, and creativity. My main goal is to serve God by serving and loving my neighbors which I can do by helping kids become more independent and successful in their everyday activities. 

One specific person who helped me make the decision to pursue OT was my own occupational therapist, Miss Cindy. Miss Cindy worked with me when I was really little and I only have good memories of spending time with her. Looking back at my experience helped me realize I could be another kid’s “Miss Cindy”: someone who helps them grow and adapt through fun activities that just feel like play. 

I am most looking forward to spending quality time with my patients when I can share God’s love with them. I am excited to use my creativity to curate personalized treatment plans to help my patients achieve small victories that will make their life more meaningful. 

School of Nursing

Kirsten Steiner

Grade: Sophomore

Hometown: Villa Park, IL

My main career goal, no matter what kind of nursing I end up doing, is to help each of my patients get to the point where they can go back to their normal life and show them kindness and the love that Jesus shows to everyone.

When I was growing up my mom was very sick at one point, and we had a home health nurse come occasionally to help her. Every time the nurse was there, I would sit and watch her help my mom. She would let me help with some easy things and I loved it. So, when I asked my mom what she thought about me studying nursing in college she thought it would be very fitting, and that’s when I realized that God had put me in situations growing up to realize what my calling is.

I am most looking forward to getting into the field and helping people heal. I think a big part of the healing process, especially in a hospital, is the kind of staff they have. Nurses can help in so many ways just by doing their job, but great nurses connect with their patients and help them through the hardships they may be going through. I am so lucky to be in Concordia’s nursing program where I am learning to become one of the great nurses one day.

School of Pharmacy

Evan Hedeen

Program: Pharmacy

Hometown: River Falls, WI

I decided on pharmacy during my junior year of undergrad. I wanted to go into a higher degree and work in the medical field. I had a few friends that were going into pharmacy and after talking to them and seeing what the world of pharmacy had I was hooked! I wanted to be a doctor when I was growing up, but I also wanted a little more freedom in how I could serve and help patients. I always loved science and being able to help people when they need it.

After graduation I will have the PharmD doctorate degree. I hope to pass my board certification and law exams to then practice pharmacy in a hospital setting!

I have a few really close friends that helped sway me to apply to pharmacy school, along with my advisor from undergrad. They really pushed me to apply and they saw the potential that I had. I am looking forward to being able to serve my patients in a clinical setting. I love helping as part of a team and assisting as part of a care team. I also want to be able to use the knowledge that I have obtained here at CUW to better educate my patients on their medications and help them understand their medications better.

Ready to take the next step towards a graduate degree or career? Check out the virtual WorkForce Fair on February 22.

— Madelyne Arrigoni is a senior studying English, Mass Communications, and Photography. She plans to graduate in 2022.

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