Pursuing New Perspectives
Charlotte Epting-Schillinger, BSBA
Organization and Innovation Management
Getting a new perspective on the world is one reason people pursue higher education. Spending four years discovering different ideas, people, and passions expands our intellectual and personal horizons and shapes us in ways we never imagined.
Those new perspectives are one of the most important things College of Business Outstanding Graduate Charlotte Epting-Schillinger is taking away from her time at CSU. A business major with a concentration in organization and innovation management, Epting-Schillinger is graduating with very different views about others, the world, and herself than she had four years ago.
Finding Her Path
Like many first- and second-year students, Epting-Schillinger didn’t have a major in mind when she came to CSU. She tried classes in a variety of departments, but as a self-described “extroverted people person” who loves interacting with others and working as part of a team, she quickly realized that her major needed to let her connect with fellow students and consider topics from a variety of perspectives.
With its focus on people and leadership skills, management was the perfect fit.
“Having those soft skills is so important in the real world and is applicable to so many situations,” she said. “My classes taught me how to interact with people. Some of it is common sense, but it’s good to understand the theory behind it – to understand why this strategy would work over that one.”
“Having that sustainability perspective … is something that’s really valuable.”
– Charlotte Epting-Schillinger
Putting Learning into Practice
Epting-Schillinger put those management theories into practice and continued to broaden her worldview during two internships and an international trip.
As a public outreach intern at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, she used her people skills to coordinate outreach events and communicate with the public about the birds in the program. During an internship at Sam’s Club in Loveland, she delved into the corporate retail world, working in every department in the organization to gain a broad understanding of large-scale retail operations. The internship culminated in a formal presentation to regional executives on a Sam’s Club practice that could be improved.
In her favorite College of Business experience, Epting-Schillinger traveled to Ecuador as part of a service-learning trip. Through the College’s Education Abroad program, she and other BizRams visited eight communities throughout the country, learning about the histories and cultures of each region. The group visited a cacao factory to learn about the chocolate supply chain and completed a service project at a school in a rural area, doing basic maintenance work and delivering supplies to the students.
The trip let her see the world from an entirely different perspective – as an “outsider” in another country.
“I think any experience you can get to travel and see different cultures and get more perspectives that aren’t your own, you can grow so much from those,” she said. “It’s a humbling experience.”
New Perspectives and New Paths
Throughout her time in the College of Business, Epting-Schillinger has deliberately pursued those different perspectives to shape her learning. She keeps up with current events to offer relevant insights and spark debate in class discussions, and she’s made a point to take electives outside the College of Business.
“I like having friends of different majors and being able to bring in those perspectives. (My roommates and I) always love to talk about our classes, what we’re learning, and share our reading with each other,” she said. “If your bubble is just the College of Business, you couldn’t get those perspectives.”
Epting-Schillinger is hoping to use that well-rounded perspective – and the people and leadership skills she gained in her management classes – to work in community or international development after graduation. She had hoped to work in a traveling role with an international organization this summer, but like so many soon-to-be-graduates, she’s had to adjust those plans. She’s now planning to move to the Chicago area, where she’s from, to pursue a position in community development in underserved areas in the city.
No matter where she ends up, Epting-Schillinger feels prepared to tackle life’s next challenges using the skills and perspectives she learned at CSU.
“Being a BizRam means getting a holistic perspective on how to navigate the world we’re living in,” she said. “The College really embodies the workforce of tomorrow. It sounds cheesy, but … being a BizRam leaves you pretty prepared to go out into the world.”