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Alexa Pedersen
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Alexa Pedersen

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Westminster Christian High School

Hometown: Elgin, Ill.

Majors: Women, gender and sexuality studies; communication studies

Minor: Entrepreneurial studies

Activities: Her Campus, ENACTUS, Deta Chi Theta sorority

Internship: Leasing intern at Mac Properties

Post-grad plans: I plan on working at a small fintech startup in downtown Chicago. My goal is to start a consulting company within one year of graduation to help small businesses adopt feminist leadership principles.

Why Augustana?   

Out of all of the colleges that I looked at, Augustana stood out to me because of the many opportunities to get involved. I sensed that academics were very important at Augie, but I also got the sense that students were shaped to be well-rounded individuals as well, which was very important to me.

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

Not at all. When I first came to Augustana, I had no clue what I wanted to major in, what activities I wanted to be a part of or even what kind of friends I wanted to have. I kind of had my head in the clouds if you will, but luckily Augie had so many opportunities/resources that it was almost impossible for me to not find my way eventually. Fast-forward four years, and I can honestly say that I couldn't be happier about the choices that I have made.

Who helped you get to where you are now? 

I owe a lot of where I am now to Doug Tschopp in the EDGE Center. I had never had a class with him before, but one day I just walked into his office and said, "I don't think we have a club for entrepreneurship at this school, do we?" He looked me dead in the eyes after knowing me for all but one minute and said, "No we don't. You should start one."

From that day forward, I frequented his office almost every day. Sometimes I would stop by just to complain about my day. Other times I would ask for help about running my clubs or filling out forms, but no matter what I had to say, he was always there to listen and help me out. His support has meant the world to me.

Being president of Her Campus and ENACTUS, both of which are run out of the EDGE Center, has been invaluable to me—and I have Doug to thank for both of those! Doug truly took the time to invest in me as a person, and he has inspired me to invest in others in the same way.

Peak experience?    

Peak experience... How am I supposed to pick just one? I would have to pick celebrating my 21st birthday in Amsterdam. I remember the clock turning midnight, and being so thankful to be studying abroad, and also incredibly excited for the year ahead. I had an awesome internship waiting for me as soon as I got home from my trip, and I was looking so forward to making the most of all of the opportunities that senior year had to offer me as well.

What surprised you?    

Everyone reiterates the realness of the "Augie Bubble," so I think I assumed that the Quad Cities would never feel like home to me. I guess I was surprised with how much time I ended up spending off campus. From my weekly Farmers Market trips to my frequent strolls along the Mississippi River to my loyal coffeeshop study sessions, I was off campus all of the time!

How did you use your Augie Choice?    

I used my Augie Choice to study abroad in Amsterdam, which, by the way....Best. Choice. Ever. The funny thing is, I remember crying the day before I left because I was so scared to leave my life at Augie behind, but I truly can't imagine my Augie experience without it.

What will you miss the most? 

I will miss all of the little things, like scraping the snow off my car after a late-night library study session with my best friends or impromptu pick-up basketball games on Sunday mornings. No matter how busy or how hectic things got, I always had amazing friends who made time for little moments like those.

Advice for the Class of 2024?    

Since I was little, I have lived by a saying that goes something like this, "You may not be able to change the world, but you are perfectly capable of changing your corner of the universe." There are literally an endless amount of resources at Augie; use them to better your corner of the universe.

"I knew when I met her that she was going to make a difference and that we would become fast friends. Alexa said she was interested in empowering women and entrepreneurship, which made her the right person to advance programs that we shared a passion for. She worked her way to become president of our Her Campus chapter and started an ENACTUS chapter that is focused on social entrepreneurship. I am certain that Alexa will always make a difference for everyone around her."

– Doug Tschopp, Entrepreneural Center (EDGE) director and public relations instructor