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Janice Wu
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Zhiqing (Janice) Wu

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Business administration-management, business administration-management information systems

Activities: Student United Way, Advertising Developers (ADs) Club

Internships: Foundations intern at St. Elizabeth Hospital; corporate relations/foundations intern at Chicago Alzheimer's Association; client services intern at ADP

Post-grad plans: I had the privilege of graduating a trimester early, so I am enjoying life as a college graduate as I type this! Currently, I am planning my move to Seattle where I will be working as a support engineer at Microsoft.

Why Augustana?

When I applied to college, Augustana was not on my initial list of colleges—I didn't even know it existed. After reviewing the promotional materials Augustana filled my mailbox with, I decided to apply and interview on campus. Mike Pettis, my admissions counselor, told me I’d be a good fit and that I would receive an appealing financial package; that sold me.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

I walked onto campus a pre-med student and walked off campus a business student. When I graduated high school, I was determined to study pre-med in college in pursuit of becoming a surgeon. Never would I have imagined that I’d end up in a completely different area of study. Throughout the past four years, I have also gained skills, experiences and confidence that will help me succeed wherever I go.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

  • Dr. David Thornblad: for pushing me outside of my comfort zone while providing tremendous support.
  • Doug Tschopp: for helping develop my creativity and teaching me to employ a variety of perspectives to look through.
  • Mrs. Mamata Marmé: for being patient and understanding when my Type-A personality stressed out over every little bump or turn in the road.
  • Christina Henzen and the CORE office: for always believing in me, even when I lacked the confidence myself.

Peak experience?

My fiancé (class of 2017) and I participated in the 2017 Rogers Business Plan Competition where students create business plans for an idea they have to compete for a cash prize. Throughout the process, I was able to utilize many of the lessons from my business coursework to conceptualize an idea, research information to back it up, and present the business plan to a panel of industry professionals. After many all-nighters, we placed first and are the proud owners of one of those ridiculously big checks you see on TV. While the cash prize was amazing, the best part was turning an idea that, two weeks prior, had been scribbles on a piece of paper into a comprehensive 35-page business plan.

This personal project could not have been possible without the skills and knowledge I gained through Advertising Developers Club. ADs is where I learned the importance of understanding my intended audience as well as developing my marketing savvy. I participated in the creation of marketing plans for Snapple and Tai Pei from start to finish. Both ADs and the Rogers Business Plan Competition gave me presentation skills and portfolio pieces that have set me apart from other interns and candidates at job interviews. (And I am confident the marketing plans and business plan played a role in helping me land my job at Microsoft!) 

What surprised you?

Not everything has to go according to plan for things to work out. That was hard for me to accept. I am the definition of a planner. I am the girl who shows up to vacation with a detailed itinerary (and backup plans in case things don’t work out). My planner personality showed especially during registration time. In my mind, I had to be in the classes I planned or my life was ruined. Sometimes (most times) life doesn’t work out exactly the way you plan or expect, but having trust in your efforts can go a long way. 

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to study abroad in East Asia where I traveled around Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China. As a Chinese immigrant, I was excited to travel with my peers and professors and learn about China from a different perspective.

What will you miss the most?

There are many things that make Augustana memorable, ranging from the beautiful campus to its diverse students. But what sticks out the most are my relationships with my professors. They were, and still are, so willing to go above and beyond to push me not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Be bold! Take a class that sounds scary, join a club you know nothing about, apply for that internship that seems out of reach. You'll learn something new and even discover new interests!

“Janice took her experience from the ADs group National Student Advertising Competition team and put it to good use. She applied what she learned in ADs about strategic plan preparation and verbal presentation skills to win $7,000 in a business pitch competition. Then to top it off, she was able to leverage her experience in interviews with Microsoft to land her first job.”

– Doug Tschopp, director of the Entrepreneurial (EDGE) Center, and instructor, communication studies