Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Don Sawruk

Don Sawruk '70

"My two business degrees from LSSU were instrumental in preparing me to work at all levels of Edison Sault Electric (ESE), concluding with the privilege of becoming ESE President in 1998. My company also takes pride in that 14 out of a total of 17 management personnel and about 20% of hourly employees at ESE either have degrees from or have attended a substantial number of classes at LSSU. Finally, our company and employees have contributed in excess of $500,000 to various LSSU projects over the last 25 years. ESE Believes in Blue."

Edison Sault Electric Company
President and CEO
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

LSSU Business and Economics Outstanding Alumnus Award '03

Admissions

Grab Hold of Your Future

Anna Wilson

Lay out for me what attracted you to the degree you graduated with, and what your short/long term professional plans are?

Lake State is a local University that gave me the option to earn my education while be located close to my family.  My short term goal is to gain as much experience as possible in the community and to possibly continue my education toward a Masters Degree.  I’d like to continue my work within the city and take advantage of opportunities to be more involved in local politics.  In the long term, after I’ve made myself as competitive as possible in my field (marketing), I’d like to move, to get a job at a medium to large size company and work more with individual products or brands as opposed to marketing a company itself.

What kind of experiences at LSSU best prepared you for what you're now doing?

While at Lake State I was the President of the LSSU chapter of SIFE.  It was a great learning experience in applying business fundamentals in the community through programs and projects, as well as in event planning, project management and maximizing positive group dynamics.

What is the array of work you do with Soo Co-Op?

As Marketing Associate I am responsible for the credit unions communication with its membership. This includes creating credit union brand awareness, building membership and member activity, and generating growth through various avenues such as marketing campaigns. In addition to my daily duties as marketing associate , I assist  in the coordination of six youth credit unions and work hand in hand with area schools and educators to prepare today’s youth in the areas of financial awareness, money management and career development.

Do you have specific projects underway (that you can share) that might interest the public?

I am involved in the planning of Soo Co-op Credit Union’s 50th Annual Meeting.  As a Credit Union, our organization is owned by our members and as part of the structure of the Annual Meeting, our members vote for the board that will be making decisions on their behalf.  Because we’re member-owned, our members are much more involved and we’re accountable to them, not as a business, but as people that serve them.  For this reason, I’ve gained great experience in the rare dynamic of business that is people, not-profits.

Have you had a neat moment that made all of the studying and hard work at LSSU worthwhile?


"Lake State is a local University that gave me the option to earn my education while be located close to my family.  My short-term goal is to gain as much experience as possible in the community and to possibly continue my education toward a Masters Degree.  I’d like to continue my work within the city and take advantage of opportunities to be more involved in local politics.  In the long term, after I’ve made myself as competitive as possible the marketing field, I’d like to get a job at a medium to large size company and work more with individual products or brands as opposed to marketing a company itself."

— Anna Wilson, Marketing ('06)



I’m not sure that there was a particular moment, but since I’ve graduated, I feel so much less constrained in pursuing opportunities in my field, and in others because I feel that I’m well prepared to be successful in whatever I do.

Did you take advantage of any career-related internships or jobs before you graduated?

SIFE provided me with as much of a stepping stone as I could have asked for.  I made contacts with, and learned from some of the most successful business people in companies throughout the U.S. 

What kind of opportunities have you created for yourself with a college degree?

My education, the foundation of my occupational skills, has helped me to continually worked my way up through different positions to get where I am now.  I have networked with nation-wide companies, through SIFE, and I have created a name for myself in the community through my involvement in local organizations.

What are some of your outside interests?

I am a Board Member on the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Authority, in which my marketing background has been beneficial.  Also, I work with the International 500 Snowmobile race as the Chairperson of the Non-Race Events Committee and I work in the pits doing timing for the race and other tasks.  I am studying snowmobile mechanics to eventually become a race official or snowmobile technician.  I compete on the Soo Co-op Credit Union bowling team and I’m continually involving myself in various community events.

 

Psychology Driven...

Mary-Ellen

Mary-Ellen
Psychology

"LSSU is a relatively small school and I believe for this reason I have received a better education. The close atmosphere as opposed to a larger university has provided me with an opportunity to become acquainted with my professors. The professors therefore have an opportunity to assist with problems fairly easily, especially in upper level classes. The classes are fairly small also which provides one on one conversations which is very helpful."

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