A Q&A with one of the 1,319 students who received a diploma May 4 at UW-Stout:
Name: Joshua Mentzel
Major: Construction, minor in business administration
Awards, honors: Summa Cum Laude
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I came to Stout because I was drawn to the idea of a hands-on, polytechnic college and the construction department/program was very strong. Stout had the newest and nicest facilities I had seen during all my tours of other colleges. In addition to all that, the atmosphere here made the transition into college very smooth.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? I would say the biggest obstacle was trying to be as involved as possible but still have enough free time to relax and really enjoy my time here. Other obstacles included dorm life, 8 a.m. courses, 8 p.m. courses and transitioning from the dorms to renting.
What stands out among your college experiences? The student organizations. I was a member of Sigma Lambda Chi, including board member 2018-2019; member of Habitat for Humanity, 2015-2017; and Student Construction Association member, 2015-2017. Being a member of these groups helped me form connections with people on campus that in turn assisted me outside of the groups, such as with classwork. I went on trips with friends, and it helped me make new ones. All of the groups gave me some level of responsibility to help ease the transition into real-world — work — responsibilities. These groups also helped me form connections with people in my industry and gave me plenty of potential job opportunities.
What’s next? Project manager at Horizon Retail Construction in Racine, starting June 3.