In her freshman year at St. Cloud State, Katie Schimnich jumped into campus with two feet and never slowed down her ambitions. The St. Cloud native and Sauk Rapids high school graduate enrolled in St. Cloud State as an honors student after having toured a variety of other colleges. She chose to be a Husky because she valued the campuses large population and small class sizes for honors students.
But she came admittedly wondering the same thing many students do, “what do I do with my life?” By utilizing the career center and her professors, who she felt were very open and willing to help her, Schimnich forged her way down a successful path at SCSU.
Today, the Biotechnology and Medical Laboratory Science double major is involved in a wide variety of activities on campus. She participates in the Medical Professions Association, Honors Club, and SCSU’s newly formed Lions Club. The new organization on campus Schimnich is a part of is similar to the St. Cloud Lions Club – a group with a mission to serve their community through fundraisers, providing grants, and engaging in service projects.
Her decision to join in so many campus activities was guided by her interest in making connections with people, something she believes is only possible by being involved. During her freshman year she participated in the Residential Hall Association where she eventually became an executive board member and was able to represent the university across the country. Her experiences in RHA pushed her to only become more involved.
But out of all her experiences on campus, none were as valuable as her time as a peer mentor for honor students. “Seeing them grow is so amazing,” Schimnich said about the students she mentors. “To see what people can do with just a little encouragement or just a little bit of support.”
She feels she’s been very influential to the students she has worked with and feel they’ve had a positive impact on her. She still checks in on them regularly and is impressed how much the freshman have grown during their first year.
Off of campus, Schimnich also participates in activities at her church, which has lead her to be involved in community meals and service projects. “Just doing the simple outreach of walking down the road and smiling at people, interacting with them,” she said helped her to be a part of the community.
Additionally she also works as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens. Her position there has positively impacted her career. She’s had the opportunity to participate in health and wellness activities put on by the company, such as when they bring in the American Heart Association for events to raise awareness and money for the organization.
After graduation she still has no set plans, but has considered continuing her education. Opportunities for a professional degree in the medical field could be on the horizon, but would require her to head to another university as those programs are not offered at SCSU.
Schimnich’s success on and off campus is attributable to her willingness to become involved and meet new people. While she has been involved heavily in activities since high school, it is never too late to join an organization. Not only can involvement on campus help in meeting new people, it can also be a great opportunity to develop new skills, build a resume, and benefit the local community as a whole.