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molly polka
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Molly Polka

Graduation year: 2014

Majors: Business administration-finance, economics 

Minor: Communication studies

Activities: National Residence Hall Honorary, Politics Club, Club Lacrosse, National Society of Leadership and Success, Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Haunted History Tour, Dial-A-Dog, Model Illinois Government, Model United Nations, Phi Rho Honorary

Post-grad plans: Pursuing an MBA at Ball State University.

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?

I fell in love with Augustana the second I stepped foot on its beautiful campus. My father and I decided to visit the school on a whim. When we showed up on a random Sunday morning, we were a bit lost. A group of students saw our confused faces and immediately approached us; they gave us a mini tour and encouraged me to choose Augie. The sense of community and kindness our school has is unparalleled, and this was immediately apparent. The fact that the school is relatively close to my family and I was offered a nice deal made my decision easy. Four years later, I cannot imagine myself anywhere else. Augie was the perfect choice.

Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?

Not even close! Over the past four years I have grown in immeasurable ways. I have changed my majors more times than I would care to admit, have fallen in love, and have made monumental strides in pursuing my goals.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

It would honestly require a novel to adequately address all the individuals who have impacted my experience here at Augustana. To begin, without the continuous love and support of my family and friends, I would not be the person I am today. Furthermore, there are far too many teachers that I owe my gratitude — professors who have shaped and transformed me over the years — individuals I will never be able to fully thank. These teachers have been God-sent, and I feel blessed to have met them. For instance, Mrs. Marmé has guided me through thick and thin, while Dr. Marmé inspired me to become an econ major. Thanks to Dr. Weissburg, and his uplifting personality, I learned that you can find passion in courses you may have originally dreaded. However, without Dr. Coughlin's continuous patience and assistance I would not have been accepted into my graduate programs for the upcoming year, or received the graduate assistantship position to my number one school. Although this is his first year at Augustana, he has shown an immense passion for teaching and helping his students that is incredibly rare. Augustana is truly blessed to have him.

A peak experience?

As a sophomore I traveled to Brazil, and I cannot express how unbelievable this opportunity was. I was able to meet new people, try new foods and experience a new culture. From dancing the Samba, to climbing up to see Corcovado, to gaining a new family in El Salvador, this experience was truly remarkable.

What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?

As cheesy as this sounds, I learned that learning is fun. Thanks to my liberal arts degree, I was forced to take a wide variety of courses in many different disciplines; I found that I enjoyed all of them!

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to cover my living and travel expenses with my summer internship.  

What will you miss the most?

Augie has become my second home. I will miss the family I have created here and being able to see them daily.  

Advice for the Class of 2018?

Get involved and take absolutely nothing for granted. Make new friends and leave your comfort zone. These four years will fly by, but the memories you make will stay with you forever — make every moment count!

"Molly is the type of student that every professor loves to have in their class. She has the work ethic and intellectual capacity to achieve any goal that she chooses to pursue; and every task with which she’s charged is completed at the highest of levels. More importantly, Molly has the increasingly rare ability to balance extremely high potential and success with a level of modesty that is both refreshing and inspiring."

- Dr. Tristan Coughlin, assistant professor, economics