Graduation year: 2015
Majors: Computer science; business administration-management information systems and marketing
Activities: Augustana Web Guild, Advertising Developers
Post-grad plans: Working a yearlong fellowship position in the EDGE Center
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
I grew up in the Quad Cities and always wanted to go to Augustana. I was already familiar with the campus, and in many ways I was eager to follow in the footsteps of my two older brothers, who are both Augie grads. The EDGE Center was also a selling point, as no other college has a program exactly like it.
Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?
Yes and no. I interned in the EDGE Center during the summer before my first year and already knew that I wanted to take a leadership position in the center. Yet my focus has changed as I shifted to studying computer science and marketing, which are majors that were not on my radar my first year. It wasn't until my sophomore and junior years that I found my passion for these subjects.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
My family has been extremely supportive throughout the last four years. Joe Santucci, the president of the Web Guild during my first year, taught me a vast amount about web design and development and did everything he could to prepare me to lead the group when he graduated. All the students I've worked with in the EDGE Center, who have made me laugh, helped me execute office pranks, played whiteboard darts, watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"...all while forming a team that has accomplished an amazing amount. Last, but definitely not least, Doug Tschopp, the director of the EDGE Center — the best mentor anyone could ask for — taught me a huge amount about marketing and the business side of website development (and Pez dispensers and British progressive rock bands).
A peak experience?
There were so many peak experiences. One would be meeting Steve Wozniack during my junior year at a professional web development conference. Other peak experiences were reaching 150 clients on annual contracts with the Web Guild and presenting a full advertising plan to executives from Mary Kay, McCann Detroit, and Leo Burnett as part of the National Student Advertising Competition.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
The biggest surprise was my growth as a presenter. When I began at Augustana, I dreaded giving presentations; nothing made me more nervous than standing in front of a group of people and talking. Yet, by the end of my junior year, I had become part of the ADs presentation team and had become very comfortable making a presentation.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice to help cover transportation, formal apparel and miscellaneous costs for my internships during the summer between my junior and senior years.
What will you miss the most?
One thing that I will miss is the camaraderie that formed in my most difficult classes. Augustana students really can be extremely supportive, and that has shone through in the most difficult classes when we would form study groups and try to help each other learn the most challenging concepts.
Advice for the Class of 2019?
Get involved in activities that give you real-world experience. Dealing directly with clients, managing projects and gaining technical skills can give you an enormous leg up in just about any field. Also, work hard in both classes and extracurriculars — it may be exhausting now, but when it translates into a full-time job down the road, you won't regret it.
"A leader for all four years, Andy exemplifies everything the Entrepreneurial (EDGE) Center is about. He manages projects, meets with clients and mentors other students. His big milestone was to double the amount of clients served by the Web Guild. He has diversified his EDGE experiences with many other types of projects, including jumping into an officer role with the ADs advertising team his junior year."