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Name: Matthew Hiller, ‘06
Major: Business Management: Management and Marketing
Hometown: Crookston, MN
High School: Crookston High School
Parents’ Names: Jeffrey (deceased) and Georgene Hiller
Interview summer 2006 by Communications Assistant Debra Altepeter, ’07, communication major
1. List three adjectives that describe you.
Matthew Hiller describes himself as energetic, sympathetic and random.
2. Give a brief summary of growing up in Crookston before attending the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
Hiller worked for his dad at Starland Video and the Grand Theater in Crookston from tenth grade until his first year in college.
In high school, he was involved in golf, soccer, and the Leo Club.
He stated that he enjoyed Crookston because, even though it is small, he was always with friends and had a good time no matter what they were doing.
3. How was your transition from high school to college? Did you face any particular problems?
The biggest issue that he faced was being nervous. He was nervous about attending college and living in dorms, meeting new people, and the general experience of college.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston’s small size and Hiller’s involvement in UMC golf made the transition easy and made it unproblematic to meet people and make friends.
4. What were your initial expectations of UMC before attending? Were these expectations met? Exceeded?
He entered UMC with the expectation of a quality education. This expectation was clearly met.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston gave many options of degrees and opportunity to study abroad, which became the highlight of Hiller’s college career.
He was also expecting that living on campus, “on his own,” and away from his parents would give him more of a sense of independence, as well as he did not have to check in with them at night.
5. What aspects helped you to decide to pursue UMC as the university to attend to continue your education?
The main attraction for Hiller at UMC was golf and the former Information Technology Management (ITM) program. Before deciding to attend the University of Minnesota, Crookston, he looked into many other Universities, including North Dakota State University, Jamestown College, Bemidji State, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.
6. Did you have a clear goal in mind when you enrolled at UMC? Did you enter with the intentions of earning a degree in business management: management and marketing? Did you try or consider any other options that are offered here at UMC?
Hiller first came to UMC for Information Technology Management (ITM) major that was offered, and then switched his major as a sophomore. He always planned to get a degree. He was interested in business and computer side of business, he did not really look into the other degree programs offered at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and although he was aware there are several others available.
7. Did you find the UMC instructors to be equally engaging and approachable? Helpful and caring to student needs?
Hiller explained that the University of Minnesota, Crookston staff is very helpful. He also added that his advisor was very open and fit him into their schedule whenever possible. The other professors showed him the same care.
8. What aspects of your time at the university did you find most difficult? How did you work to resolve them?
Matthew found that the most difficult part at UMC was first coming here and adjusting to a new lifestyle and making new friends. To resolve this, he just kept an open mind and let things unravel the way they did.
9. What groups, clubs, and organizations have you been involved with at UMC? What rolls did you play and positions did you hold within each?
Matthew was involved in Campus Crusade, was a representative in the Crookston Student Association (CSA), and member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), involved in the Multicultural-International Club and served as a co-captain of the UMC golf team his junior and senior years.
10. UMC requires that all students complete and internship. What internship did you choose to complete and what did it involve? What other “hands on” and job experience did you gain during your years at UMC?
Hiller said that he completed his internship at Manaka golf course in Crookston, MN. He served as the tournament director. He and the tournaments and did the awards presentations. He also dealt with some of the finances and communicating with the members through newsletters.
Matthew gained more experience from tutoring Korean Students in an ESL course. He will be teaching the English language in Japan.
11. Give some information on your study abroad experience and what was the best part?
Hiller stated that he studied abroad in Japan the summer before his senior year. He lived in Tokyo for seven weeks with a host family and enrolled in a Japanese history and culture class. He had class from 9 am -12 noon and the rest of the day they would tour the city.
He said that he had a good time on the whole trip. He visited Kyoto and Hiroshima and do some other traveling. Matthew said that he met awesome people.
The biggest difference was the language. Another difference that he noticed was when he came home, he would stay home. He was not to come home and then go out again, they got everything done in the day and stayed in for the evenings.
12. How has UMC’s advanced technology improved your education and learning environment?
Matthew stated that being around a computer almost the entire day helped prepare students for the workforce because most jobs now require knowledge of working with computers.
13. Where do you hope to be in your career in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? What are your lifetime career goals?
In one year, Hiller sees himself working in Japan and plans to stay for two additional years.
In five years, Matthew sees himself possibly attending grad school somewhere in the states. He may also be working with international company and doing some traveling.
In ten years, he said that he will still be working on the plans he has for five years and progressing.
Hiller’s life long plans have not been decided yet. He wants to do some testing with different jobs before he makes his decision.
14. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
Matthew said his most rewarding experience was taking the opportunity to tutor the Koreans. He stated that he knows what it is like to go to a new country and not know the language. He said that people who are willing to take their time to help make the transition easier are greatly appreciated.
15. Do you have any ideas of how to make improvements at the university?
He said he did not have any ideas at the moment; the system seems to be working pretty well.
16. What advice would you give to present, future, and potential students?
Hiller explained that you need to come in with an open mind. The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a great school, you have to give it a chance. He also stated, “If you are here for 4 years, it will be one of your better experiences in your life!”
17. Whom or what is your biggest inspiration to succeed, and why?
Matthew’s biggest inspiration was his brother. He looked up to him and the way he handles situations and life in general. His brother is always pushing forward and progressing in his education. Currently, he is going for his PhD. Even though he is driven and focused, his outlook is to not take everything too serious, and have fun with it. This is an admirable combination in a person!
18. What parts of the program did you find most interesting and beneficial?
Hiller found an interest in service learning projects. This took his student learned abilities to give him a look into the real world.
For marketing strategies class, he worked with the Villa St. Vincent to promote their business by creating and distributing flyers and web ads and by doing research on financials.
19. If you could make one final comment about UMC and your time here what would it be?
Matthew ended by stating that he would like to thank all the professors and staff for making it all a very enjoyable and rewarding experience!