Noah Perry got his start on a college degree at UW-Washington County in West Bend, after graduating from Menomonee Falls High School in 2013. After completing his Associate degree, he transferred to UW-Madison, where he completed a degree in Economics this spring. Perry is currently studying Chinese at Shaanxi Normal University in Xi'an, China as part of the Critical Language Scholarship Program. The two-month language training and cultural immersion program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
High school: Menomonee Falls High School, 2013 Graduate
UW-Washington County: Fall 2013 to Spring 2015
UW-Madison: May 2017 Graduate
Major: Economics with a Mathematical Emphasis
Certificate: Chinese Professional Communication
Career Goal: Since high school, I have enjoyed learning foreign languages and have studied Spanish and Chinese. In college, I discovered I enjoyed math and statistics and liked to study people, so majoring in economics was a good fit for me. I hope I can put together these interests and skills in my career to do something like economic research on international topics. This could include working for a consulting firm doing mark or investment research related to China. I am also considering graduate school to continue studying economics.
Why did you choose UW-Washington County? I initially intended to take a gap year after high school, but when the program I was going to participate in did not work out – at the last minute, I decided to go to UW-Washington County. At the time, I only intended to attend UW-WC for one semester. However, during my first semester, I realized that I liked the quiet campus environment and the affordable tuition. This allowed me to achieve my goal of graduating from college debt-free.
What did you find to be the most valuable learning and personal experiences at UW-Washington County? At UW-WC, I learned to manage my time in a low-pressure environment with few distractions. Upon transferring to UW-Madison, I continued to use the same study techniques and habits that I cultivated at UW-WC and was able to succeed academically in a much more competitive academic environment with more distractions. Also, I worked as a writing, math and Spanish tutor in UW-WC’s Learning Center for two semesters where I developed leadership and writing skills. When applying for jobs and internships, I have frequently referenced my Learning Center experience to describe my skills to employers.
How did your scholarships help you? UW-WC’s generous scholarships have given me the financial freedom to pursue unique opportunities during my summers. For example, I did a two-month culture and language immersion program in Mexico City during my first summer of college and an unpaid internship at an international trade consulting firm in Santiago, Chile last summer. Since I was unable to earn money during these summers, without the scholarships from UW-WC, I may not have been able to go abroad. These international experiences have been crucial in helping me define my interests and discern my career path.
Advice for incoming students: First, even if you are not sure what you would like to do in the future, working hard and doing well in school will put you in the best position to take advantage of opportunities that will come up in future. Second, try new things and take an interest in your classes, even the classes you are required to take; it will make studying more enjoyable and probably help you be more successful. I took an art class at UW-WC just to stretch myself and try something new. It was the worst grade I got in college, but I learned about myself in the class and found it to be a valuable experience.
How well did UW-WC prepare you for your last two years of college? I had no problem transferring my credits from UW-Washington County to UW-Madison and was able to finish my undergraduate degree in four years, despite changing majors. Through my classes at UW-WC, I was able to improve my writing ability, which has been an essential skill throughout college. In addition, while working as a tutor in the Learning Center, I discovered that I enjoyed math, which influenced my choice of major and consequently, my career path. While at UW-Madison’s International Internship Program, have been on the Dean’s list for two semesters, and earned second place at the Midwest Regional Chinese Speaking competition.
Would you recommend other high achieving students to begin their education at UW-WC? While larger or more prestigious schools tend to have many more opportunities on campus, I would definitely recommend that high achieving students still consider UW-WC. One of the most unique and valuable aspects of the campus is that students are able to get to know their professors even in introductory level courses. I enjoyed receiving personal feedback from my professors early on in my college career. I was also able to complete an independent study while at UW-WC. Being in small classes with dedicated faculty not only enhanced my academic experience, it also made it easier to ask for letters of recommendation when applying for scholarships, transferring schools and other endeavors.
UW-Washington County is located at 400 S. University Drive in West Bend. A campus of the University of Wisconsin System, it provides the best start on over 250 majors, with credits that transfer. For more information, visit www.washington.uwc.edu or email: firstname.lastname@example.org