Making the Most of Her Opportunities

Nicole (Nettleton) Willenbring uses her finance knowledge, passion for writing, and diverse experiences as she begins her business career.

I was a double major, Business Finance and Journalism. I love the business side of things, but I also have a huge passion for writing.

I took a class called Topics in Journalism: Studying the Business World. I realized not a lot of journalists are trained in the financial sector. Paul Glader from the Wall Street Journal spoke in class and told us that journalists don’t necessarily know about dividends and interest yield curves. I think it’ll help to have both backgrounds.

Now I work for Target as a Business Analyst. I interned there for a summer and I loved the experience. A lot of people say an internship is like a 10-week interview, so I was really happy when I got a job offer. I accepted on the spot.

Bethel really prepared me for the internship. Having a liberal arts education was beneficial because it made me well rounded. At Target you don’t necessarily need to be a business major. They look for people with all sorts of different backgrounds and leadership experience. Bethel encourages people to get involved.

I was the sports editor for the Clarion my junior year, and I was editor-in-chief my senior year. I worked in the admissions office doing data analysis, which is exactly what I did in my internship. In my interview, having those experiences really helped.

I went to Europe to study international business on an interim study abroad trip.  My favorite place was Venice. I loved trying all the new food. The trip was a big eye-opener. It’s easy to think that everyone does life the way you do life, because you were raised a certain way. It was interesting to interact with people who come from different backgrounds.

It was cool to see the business processes in other countries. I was surprised that, even across cultural lines, there are a lot of similarities in the business world. We went to Faber Castel. It’s a pencil manufacturing company. We toured their production facilities. It was really interesting. There are so many things you never think about, like how pencils are made.

One thing I love about Bethel is the interaction between professors and students. I have a few professors that I’m really close with. They’ve been incredibly instrumental in my life and have shaped who I am and how I’ve grown over the last 4 years. I don’t know if you get that at other schools.

I think a lot of it has to do with the Christian environment. Christ calls you to serve other people and professors at Bethel take that to heart. They have a mission to see students succeed.

You need to take advantage of opportunities at Bethel. There are so many different things that go on and every experience you take advantage of will make you a more well-rounded person. Get involved, make connections. Connect with your professors. They care about you, they’ll challenge you, and they’re great resources to help you.