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Miah Shoffner

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"Looking back on my journey at Western, I can confidently say that this path shaped who I am today. My decision to attend the university opened doors to a world of growth, learning, and personal development."

Q&A with School of Business Student Miah Shoffner

How has your decision to go to Western impacted you?

Looking back on my journey at Western, I can confidently say that this path shaped who I am today. My decision to attend the university opened doors to a world of growth, learning, and personal development. From inspiring professors who have guided me to the friendships I’ve forged along the way, and everything in between has contributed to my personal and academic growth.

How was your experience in the School of Business at Western?

My experience in the School of Business has been nothing short of remarkable. The opportunities for growth and learning are truly boundless. The School of Business has provided me with a well-rounded education that has prepared me for success in the professional world. Moreover, it has emphasized hands-on learning experience, and taught me how to apply what I have learned in real-world scenarios.

What makes Western’s business school unique compared to a larger school like CSU or CU?

Larger institutions like CSU or CU do not have the sense of community that Western does. Western’s business school offers a more personalized and intimate learning environment. Faculty and staff are invested in the success of their students, providing individualized attention, mentorship, and support throughout their academic endeavors. Those connections are not just in the classroom but extend to a supportive network.

What was your involvement around campus and with the business school?

Throughout my involvement around campus and within the business school, I dedicated my time to my academic pursuits. Additionally, I spent three years as a member of the intramural club basketball team which allowed me to meet some amazing individuals. During my time at the business school, I served as a work-study student administrative assistant, where I took on various responsibilities such as organizing events. During my time I worked the Borick Scholars Weekend three times. My role also involved participating in multiple hiring committees for the School of Business. This multi-factored involvement not only enriched my academic journey but also honed valuable leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.

What is your favorite part of the Gunnison Valley or/and Western?

The tight-knit community is by far my favorite part of the Gunnison Valley; there is something special about the way everyone looks out for one another. The immense amount of outdoor activities is unbeatable; from hiking and skiing to fishing and camping, there is always something adventurous to do. But the most significant difference at Western is the people, I have never met a more caring, opportunistic, and kind group of individuals. The unique blend of personalities at Western is what creates its sense of belonging.

What are your plans after college and how did Western help you get there?

After college I will be working as a Marketing Coordinator with Dynamic Marketing, located in Dallas, Texas. Western has taught me the knowledge and skills needed to excel in my new endeavors through challenging coursework, extracurricular activities, and interactions with faculty. The support and encouragement that I have received from the Western community has given me the confidence to take the next step.

How did your job through the business school impact you? Did it make you feel more prepared for your future career?

I can confidently say that working for the business school has enhanced my academic experience along with preparing me for my future career. Over the past few years I have been given many opportunities to get real world experience. One of the highlights of my role has been organizing the Borick Scholars Weekend for three consecutive years. This experience has allowed me practice in event planning, along with logistics to execution. Additionally, working alongside the business school faculty has allowed me to cultivate personal relationships with each of them. I have had the privilege of engaging in meaningful conversation over lunches and dinners, where I have been treated as an equal. The sense of mentorship has truly been invaluable. My work at the business school has helped me develop a diverse set of skills, including communication, interpersonal finesse, listening skills, and the ability to think creatively and independently. These skills have allowed me to excel in my role and has equipped me with the tools necessary to navigate the professional world with confidence.

Would you recommend Western to incoming students?

Western is not your typical college experience, the small-town setting and harsh winters can be challenging, especially for those who are not used to cold weather. However, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Whether that is taking a trip to the river with friends in the fall, paddleboarding on Blue Mesa in the warmer months, or skiing at CB in the winter. For those less inclined to outdoor activities, like myself, there are many ways to stay engaged and busy on campus. Personally, I found fulfillment in extracurricular activities and spending time with friends. However, I have noticed that students that struggle here often isolate themselves and fail to seek out connections and friendships.

Success at Western hinges on your willingness to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and actively engage within the campus community. While Western may not be for everyone, those who embrace the opportunities and events offered at Western can thrive and enjoy a rewarding college experience.

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