The process of applying to college was not an easy feat, but Amanda worked hard to come to St. Kate's. "As a first-generation college graduate, I navigated the many applications, standardized tests and essays to achieve six years of higher education. It wasn’t easy, but I always enjoyed the majority of my classes."
She is using the skills that she learned to help her family pursue their educational goals as well. "Now, as my cousins set out on similar paths, I help them plot their course for applications, FASFA forms, resume writing and internship opportunities."
Amanda described her experience at St. Kate's in three words — "engaging, fulfilling and community."
"Before my senior year at St. Kate’s, I interned with Hennepin County Environmental Services Contaminated Lands Unit — that opened my eyes to the field of environmental health and safety. I was able to shadow the manager Rosemary Lavin, a St. Kate’s alumna, thanks to an arrangement with St. Kate’s career development office. I eventually was able to work for that department for a year."
"With this experience and the professional connections I made, I applied for graduate school. During subsequent interviews for internships and jobs, my time at St. Kate’s inevitably was discussed — and served as a great conversation starter because people usually knew a Katie."
Aside from interning, one class in particular stood out to Amanda as being influential. "Professor Kay Tweeten’s upper-level immunology course for biology majors had a reputation of being tough and well-worth taking. We used a small textbook, which is a rare in a science class where 1000-plus-page textbooks are the norm, and we spent a lot of time learning about the field through newly published scientific journals. This taught us not only how information moves from research to textbook, but also how to decipher a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It was the perfect class to segue from classroom to real-life work as most of us were soon to graduate."
"I’m an industrial hygienist at 3M. A large part of my job is to understand how chemicals in the workplace behave, and how to control them in a way to keep them from being harmful. My degree in biology and minor in chemistry are useful on a daily basis. I also have a master’s degree in environmental health, with a focus on industrial hygiene."