Graduating With Honors

Abigail Hughes

Abby graduates tomorrow with her master’s degree and emphasis in accounting, with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Abby had previously earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration here at UNK, also with an emphasis in accounting. Abby has been a member of the Honors program, and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. She also served as membership vice president of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society. While working on her MBA, Abby had significant responsibility as a graduate hall director of Men’s Hall, where she had 113 young adults under her care, and served as co-advisor of the National Residence Hall Honorary. That experience sparked a real passion for student life and great opportunities for her to further develop her leadership skills. Abby believes that the students, faculty and staff at UNK and the College of B&T make this institution unique – a caring group of people who open their arms like everyone is family. When she first started her studies, Abby was pretty certain she’d be a tax accountant, and never really thought of any other potential career paths. But internships with McDermott & Miller and the Douglas County Clerk’s office expanded her horizons and presented new opportunities.  Abby has a lot of changes planned for the next 6 months. She’s going to start studying for the CPA exam – but plans to give herself about 3 days off before digging into the books again. She will be getting married in July and will move to Lincoln , where she has accepted a position as staff auditor with BKD. Abby admits she will really miss UNK, but while she’s leaving us, she’s also taking a part of UNK with her to her future endeavors.

Ron Wall

Ron graduated last December with his master’s degree and a perfect 4.0 GPA. Ron had previously earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at UNL, and came to our MBA program with a wealth of professional experience. He wanted to prepare for the critical strategic decision making that would be essential for his continued career success, and describes the entire MBA program as very fulfilling. His Organizational Behavior class challenged him to improve as a leader, and he leveraged those skills as he managed his personnel and project teams at Xpanxion. His Strategy class forced him to ‘get out of the trenches’ and take a big picture view on how best to meet long term objectives. And he was able to use what he learned in Operations Management class to create internal process improvements for Xpanxion. Ron enjoyed the program’s emphasis on critical thinking, and says he took value from each of his courses. He thanks the faculty and staff for demonstrating a deep zest for helping students reach their potential and feels he completed the program well equipped to advance his professional career.

Megan Thies

Megan graduates tomorrow with her master's degree. Megan had previously earned a bachelor's degree with an emphasis in management, at UNK, and came to our MBA program after gaining professional experience with Royal Engineered Composites located in Minden. The list of Megan's academic achievements is tremendous, including membership in Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Eta Sigma honorary societies, the William R. Nester Leadership award, Regents scholar, and Gold Torch Society and Honors Program member. She was a member of the Leadership Team for Campus Kitchen and Chief of Staff for the UNK Student Government. Megan states that while she still considers herself to be rather reserved, after completing her graduate degree she considers herself to be more "professional" and she looks at challenges differently now. Instead of reflecting only upon short-term impact of decisions, she now finds herself considering the long-term implications and can better appreciate the needs of different stakeholders who are impacted by those decisions. She credits her professors who brought real-world examples from their own experiences and says that realism truly amplified and enhanced the MBA curriculum. After graduation, Megan will continue her position as Human Resource Generalist with Royal Engineered Composites. Megan has completed Royal's leadership development program and is responsible for the recruitment, training, evaluation, and retention of personnel. She's also a member of Royal's Strategic Planning team, prepares monthly newsletters and press releases, and helps to develop policies that guide the future of Royal's operations.