Kristi McFarlane

Learning by Doing in Business Program Opens Doors 

During her internship at the Union Bank in Johnson, Kristi McFarlane ’20 turned her workplace into a classroom. She learned customer service skills, how to manage employees, cash handling, and communication techniques. 

Career Preparation Through Real-World Opportunities, Relevant Classes 

“Those are the hands-on things that are going to benefit me in the long run versus being in a classroom setting,” said Kristi, who is pursuing a management concentration in the business program. “The hands-on experience has been the best thing for me as a student.” 

The major offers Kristi and other students many opportunities to gain real-world experience, but Kristi’s business courses have been valuable, too. “My management classes are great because they are teaching me skills I need,” she said. A business law course also has been very useful, and in other classes, she has learned computer programs, including Excel and Word, that she needs to be successful in her career. 

A Community Where Faculty and Staff Know and Support Students 

Working in a full-time job as a student can be challenging, but faculty members help make it manageable. 

Business and Economics Department Chair Jim Black “has been great at working with me around that,” she says. “I really like that our professors know who you are. You’re not a number in a classroom with 40 people. They know your name. They know your hometown … They’ll accommodate you if you need that.” 

The campus fosters close relationships among students, faculty, and staff. “I like that I can go in and have a meeting with someone, and they know me,” said Kristi of Hyde Park. “I like the sense of community.” 

Kristi chose the business major because of the many career options she can pursue with that bachelor’s degree. “It opens a lot of doors — human resources, management, banking,” she said. “I see a lot of potential in myself in the business field.”