Caitlyn Shumaker

Caitlyn Shumaker

Caitlyn Shumaker is a transfer business administration major from Bellefontaine, OH

Hometown: Bellefontaine, OH

Year: Expected graduation: 2024

Transfer from: University of North Dakota

Why did you choose to attend NIU?
I chose NIU because of their successful business school and the community. The Huskie family is one like no other.

What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I am on the softball team and am receiving an athletic scholarship as well as a transfer scholarship. Financial support has impacted my experience because it has enabled me to understand what it means to work hard and not settle for being what the people around you might perceive you to be.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a physical therapist. After some careful thinking and reevaluating, I realized I have a passion for organization and coordination. This has led me to pursue a degree in business administration with the dream of one day being an event coordinator or owning an event/wedding venue.

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is business administration with a minor in sport management. I decided to pursue this because you get a little taste of everything (accounting, management, marketing, etc.) with a business administration major. I thought this would give me the most success in any career down the line I find myself in. I added the sport management minor because I love sports and wanted to learn more about the industry in case I find myself pursuing a career in it in the future.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something I have found pleasantly surprising about my experience is the diversity of the people I interact with. NIU is well known for being a diverse university and community, and I have gained a lot of growth and knowledge from my experiences here. I get to meet new people from many different backgrounds, which has allowed me to expand my network and broaden my knowledge of others.

How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
I have been blessed to connect with so many other students around campus, as part of the softball team and in my classes. I have met people from around the nation and around the world who have helped me grow and challenged me to be better. It has been easy to connect with others when we all have the common goal of succeeding individually and as a group.

Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am a student-leader of Athletes in Action, a student-athlete ministry on campus. This has allowed me to grow in ways I never thought I would in college. Being a part of this group has given me the ability to be vulnerable, to be myself and most importantly, to share about Jesus with those around me. I am also on the softball team, which has helped me grow in so many ways as a person. Being a student-athlete in college takes a lot of dedication and perseverance. Because of my experience in college athletics, specifically at NIU, I have grown as a leader, a friend and as a competitor in life.

What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you feel safe, supported and successful? And how?
NIU Counseling and Consultation Services has supported me and made my time at NIU successful. Shyann Beach works specifically with athletics, and she has helped me tremendously in talking about myself and bringing out the growth I always knew was in me. She cares about people for who they are and dedicates herself to making those around her better people.

Are there transfer-specific resources, offices or services that you use to help you succeed at NIU?
When I transferred, the advisors in the College of Business and Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) made my transition smooth and effortless.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
My favorite professor by far would have to be Russell Page. I had him in the fall of my senior year, and he made the course fun. He gave us new ways to learn material from each other that allowed for an abundance of success. He also really cared about his students and wanted them to know they were included and seen.

How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
I have benefited from attending class regularly because it has allowed for human interaction I would not get otherwise. Seeing people and interacting with a diverse group of people every day has made me appreciate the college I attend. NIU has dedicated itself to being diverse and inclusive, so I am grateful for the chance to experience this every day on campus.

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot is Cast Iron Coffee. I am not a coffee drinker at all, but this coffee shop is such a warm and inviting place for college students. I see so many different people there and everyone is always so friendly. They have created a hangout and spot for people to meet each other where they're at. I am drawn to it because of its uniqueness compared to other coffee shops and places around campus.

What advice would you give to a student who is researching colleges to apply to?
I would say to find somewhere that feels like home and will allow you the most room to grow as a person. I am a different person now than when I first stepped on campus, and I have NIU to thank for that. Whether you go an hour away from home or across the country, make sure the college you attend is going to be somewhere you love to be.

Why is a college education important to you?
A college education is important to me because it has allowed me to expand my knowledge in a specific area I did not have before. I can choose a career that is going to bring me joy not just for a few years, but hopefully for my entire life.

What strategies do you use to manage your time between the responsibilities of school, work, friends and family?
Something I use daily is a calendar and a to-do list, which have helped me tremendously over the last four years of college. It helps me to stay organized, and I rarely forget anything because I know what I am doing and when. This has allowed me to create more success in my life because I do not need to stress about when things are going to be done.

How do you stay informed about events and services that are available on campus?
I stay informed by checking my email regularly for updates from advisors or faculty members about campus events I would be interested in.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I often watch a movie to help me relax and recharge. This always allows me to calm my brain and reset for the day or week ahead.

Please tell us about your job and hobbies.
I currently work at Kuipers Family Farm. I work as a farmhand helping out with the animals in the mornings. I enjoy working with the animals because it gives me a place to go away from school and softball that brings me peace and joy.

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