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College of Business Alumni

Six Stories from OM&IS Scholarship Recipients

Justin Kuryliw - 2010 OM&IS Graduate

The scholarship I received while at NIU had an immediate and lasting impact on both my student and professional career. Immediately, the scholarship that I received provided financial assistance which enabled my active involvement in several student organizations -- time that would have otherwise been spent working part-time. This extra time enabled me to contribute back to NIU as a leader in the College of Business Deans Advisory Board, the OM&IS Student Advisory Board, the Experiential Learning Center, and as a philanthropic leader in non-college of business activities. The leadership experience I gained is irreplaceable and is primarily the reason for my internship and job-placement upon graduating.

In addition to the leadership experience I gained, the scholarship opened up several networking opportunities with the scholarship sponsors, which I have remained in contact with since graduating. Three years after graduating, the scholarship continued to pay dividends when I received my dream job offer from Salesforce.com. I was referred by one of the scholarship sponsors, who has since turned into a lifelong friend.

The scholarship I received was life-changing and I am forever grateful for the friends I met, the opportunities that were opened, and the experience I received as a result.

RJ Kunde -2011 OM&IS Graduate

The scholarships awarded to me during my undergraduate career at Northern Illinois University were nothing short of small miracles. For many students including myself, economic hardship was one of the most challenging obstacles faced while attending college. I speak on behalf of many hardworking students who often hold multiple jobs, have children or other serious financial obligations. Had it not been for these scholarships, we may never have had the opportunity to complete our undergraduate studies in a timely, cost effective fashion, or potentially at all. Please consider the impact you can have on the lives of many students as you decide whether to donate to this cause. The importance of these scholarships cannot be overstated, and there are many hard working, involved and selfless students that can immediately benefit from such generosity.

Korrey Stralka - 2012 OM&IS Graduate

The Millington Scholarship for the Advancement of Women in Technology provided me with one of my most cherished experiences - the gift of a great education. As the oldest of 5, my parents were unable to financially support me through college like they would have liked. Scholarships such as the one offered by Mr. Millington provided me the opportunity to attend Northern without having to worry about the cost; and the fantastic education I gained as a student of the college of business prepared me for the career I am in now. Without donors as kind as Mr. Millington my story would have been very different - and I will always be grateful for his generosity.

Matt Carlson - 2013 OM&IS Graduate

As a student of the OM&IS department I worked very hard inside and outside of class. The money that I received in scholarships played a large role in my path through NIU that ultimately led to my successful transition into the business world. Because of the scholarships I did not have to take out student loans or work during the semester.

By having the financial support of generous funds and individuals I was able to focus the energy left after class into extracurricular activities and became the president of the OM&IS Student Advisory Board. Ultimately due to the focus that was enabled by the scholarships I was able to graduate with a 4.0 GPA and start my career in the very competitive IT world in a development program for future leaders.

Thank you to all who are involved in the scholarship programs; you have each impacted my life and future in a significant way.

Carly Steffen - OM&IS Junior Student

While in high school I knew I wanted to do something with computers but not sure what. Visiting the NIU College of Business helped me decide I wanted to pursue a degree in Operations Management & Information Systems. I fell in love with Barsema Hall and the professors I met and the atmosphere where everyone is encouraging in wanting to help you to succeed. Being the recipient of the Millington Scholarship while I was still a senior in high school has helped move me towards my goal. Not only has it helped with tuition costs, but the scholarship showed that people believed in me. It has encouraged me to do more and become more involved in school. I want to encourage others to create scholarships to help other students attend NIU and the College of Business. It will help with the financial pressure and make the school more appealing to potential students.

Charles Besenhoffer - OM&IS Junior Student

"Success does not come to you, you go to it," were words etched on a framed poster of a lighthouse in my living room. Sometimes, though, the path is not very clear to those who travel it. I found that despite clever wit, ample opportunity, and exercise of diligence that I came up wanting just last year. While my parents were separating, money was not a resource of any abundance, and so I dared to hope for help from the school.

It was to my great fortune that I was awarded the Nathan Griffin Memorial Scholarship, which gave me the money I needed to continue my studies. It isn't always a matter of being the smartest person getting a full ride; in fact, I imagine there are many students who just need a helping hand from time to time.