Hannah | Class of 2012

Hometown: Stacy, Minnesota

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies -Entrepreneurial Business

Involvements: Eagle Scholars Honors Program, Dean’s List, Communications Dept. TA, Ezra’s Creed, Swing Dancing Club, Spanish Club, Academic Symposium, Christmas Extravaganza, Admissions Event Speaker, Sabbath Dinner, Cry Out Persecuted Church Group, Speak-Off, Bible studies, theatre, variety show

Why did you choose Northwestern, and why did you choose to apply for the Honors Program?

Coming to Northwestern was a very careful decision. I decided I wanted to go to a Christian college and narrowed down colleges all across America based on their beliefs about the inerrancy of Scriptures, their doctrinal statement, their majors, and their size. Northwestern fit everything I wanted and was also close to home!

I applied for the Honors Program not only because of the scholarship, but because I knew college was a unique time of my life in which I wanted to learn as much as I could. I knew the Honors Program would provide mentorship, training, networking, relationships, and challenges that I would not be able to get anywhere else. In short, I knew it would be a catalyst to my growth as a person in every way.

How have you been stretched  and challenged as an honors student at UNW?

One of the ways I have been most challenged is the continual drive to be looking and thinking and planning ahead. Whether it is for a project, a grade, or for graduate school, the Honors Program has made me more thoughtful and responsible about my duties both now and in the future. When you are in the Honors Program, it is not enough to see just until tomorrow—you need to be looking toward the rest of your life. Although that can be a little scary, it is also an incredible blessing.

How have you changed as a result of being an honors student at UNW?

If not for the Honors Program, I think I would be in a completely different place. It was through the support and mentorship of the honors program director and supporting professors that caused me to design my own major of entrepreneurial business.

What is something that surprised you about the Honors Program at UNW?

I never would have guessed the pure fun of the Honors Program! I think people get an idea that we might be stiff, boring people who just do homework all the time. Although the latter might be a little bit true, the former certainly isn’t! I have found honors students to be some of the most fun, energetic, creative, hilarious, and out-of-the-box people you will ever meet.

What opportunities have you had that resulted from the Honors Program?

There are many professional opportunities I never would have had, such as speaking in a multi-college academic symposium, giving a talk on scholarships for financial aid, and doing graduate-level research projects. These have truly prepared me for my career such that when I graduate, I know I will step into the “real world” with confidence.

Share a distinct story, memory or class experience that you've had in the Honors Program.

It has been in honors classes that I have made some of my best academics-related memories because of two main reasons: creativity and passion. Regarding the former, students in honors classes (for not all of them are Eagle Scholars) have such a unique sense of creativity. Whether it's the Old Testament being described in terms of interior decorating or a presentation being given in quiz bowl format or a rap song being written about New Testament textual criticism, there is rarely a dull moment in an honors class. Even more, the passion of the students is inspiring. They truly desire to learn, a passion that infects everyone in the classroom and makes you realize how glorious true collaboration and community can be.

What would you share with other prospective students considering applying to the Honors Program at UNW?

Go all out. Whatever you do in your honors program application, or your essays, or your presentations, think about all the ways you can stand out. Integrate everything you have learned from other professors and classes and really try to do work that is not only “good” academically, but beautiful—inspiring—even joyful. Whenever possible, do your assignments on topics you love and find the incredible glory of God in everything. The more you love what you do, and the more you train yourself to think creatively, artistically, and holistically, the more you will get out of school and out of the Honors Program—and out of life.

What would you like to do when you graduate from Northwestern? What do you hope to eventually do with your education? How will the Honors Program help you with your plans?

I plan on using my personally designed degree of entrepreneurial business to start my own horse training business after I, hopefully, get several internships in equine world. I love training liberty and bridle-less horses and eventually would like to get into the film and performance world training horses for movies and equine theaters and circuses.

What have you enjoyed about your Interdisciplinary Major? And how has it prepared you in looking towards the future?

I loved creating my own major. I know exactly what I want to do when I graduate, and putting this together lets me really focus in on what I want to do. When I first came to University of Northwestern, I had decided to be a Ministry major. I was hoping to eventually start a ministry involving horses. I then switched my major to Film Studies and Equine Business, and now I am an Entrepreneurial Business major.

Many people who want to be entrepreneurs have business backgrounds, but they don't have the knowledge of public relations or communications, ways that they can promote their business. I know that when I graduate I will be walking out with a major that looks impressive, that shows I am a self-starter, and that it will really stand out.

Tell us about: A life-changing moment? Something you’ll never forget? Best place to study? Anything you’d like to share!

Take time to live. Students in general—not just honors students—can get so caught up in work and in school that they forget to just sit outside and listen to the birds, or go on a spontaneous trip for ice cream, or laugh about silly things for an hour just because they can. Try not to ever take on so much that you don’t have time to live—because if you’re going through life without living, something inside of you dies.