UMC Alumni Dana Jonsson Highlights Her Academic Career

It was in the early 2000s that a confused student, unsure of what career path would suit her, began her journey to a now established and respected branch manager at First Community Credit Union in Crookston. In this report, UMC alumnus Dana Jonsson highlights a number of positive experiences and qualities she gained during her studies in business management and marketing at the University. of Minnesota Crookston.

When it comes to her favorite classes and learning new things, we had a long discussion about the marketing classes and teachers she took while being a part of the Golden Eagle family. As I was also a marketing alumnus, we had no trouble getting into it. We found ourselves comparing stories and sharing our favorite business aspects that keep us on the pitch.

Although, as most students know, it was not always an easy path to graduation. Considering that Jonsson was a transfer student from the University of North Dakota, she of course hesitated during her first few months at Crookston. Not knowing many people (or not at all), discovering a new campus, starting a new course, etc. It didn’t take long for Jonsson to turn these obstacles into opportunities. Jonsson describes her first impressions: “I like the community vibe and knowing your classmates, I came in as a transfer student so I didn’t know a lot of people in my program. But even these days, I still see them in the community and can talk and easily identify with them.

As we were discussing our college experiences, we came across a common thread in what we enjoyed in a classroom. At UMN Crookston, the motto is “Small Campus, Big Degree” and we both agreed that the smaller the classroom, the greater the feedback from students on their studies. We (Jonnson and I) have been on both sides of this story, where we end up in lecture halls of over 200 people and the other being on the first name basis with the professor. Jonsson also shares his favorite part of being at UMN Crookston “the teachers and staff care and want the best for everyone in the classroom.” If you are absent, the teachers notice it. It’s important to continue to make connections and get to know those around you.

When it comes to being a manager, being able to lead and communicate effectively is paramount. Jonnson explained how each employee she has communicates and reacts differently to certain tasks and situations. “I have learned to pick up clues and manage individuals through many projects and group activities at UMN Crookston.” I asked Jonnson if there was a certain teacher who had impacted his learning experience. She mentioned Steven Shirley, former professor of marketing at UMN Crookston and now president of Minot State University. “He taught me a number of things that I still apply to my career on a daily basis. “

As we wrapped up our interview, we found another shared experience that we think the majority of college freshmen have, the dreaded public speaking class. Jonnson says, “I was extremely shy in high school, to the point that I wasn’t comfortable talking to anyone. When I arrived at UMN Crookston, I always tried to avoid speaking and presenting in front of others. After failing to dodge both, I ended up breaking out of my shell at UMN Crookston. Now presenting and speaking in public is an important part of my job that I am very proud of and happy about. If I hadn’t been to UMN Crookston I don’t think I would be where I am now.

Jonsson has come a long way before being a confused college student with an unknown path ahead of her. Now she is doing great things at First Community Credit Union and we are excited to see what lies ahead in the future for former UMN Crookston.


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