Transfer Student-Athlete Finds a Home at MNU
| by Wyatt Stark email@example.com
Andrea Mendez (‘18), a senior from Anaheim, California, has made the most of her education at MNU. It’s strange to think that she may not have ended up here if it weren’t for her three older sisters.
“I’m the youngest of my three sisters,” Andrea says. “I watched all of them run track growing up, so I wanted to do the same. I got into it really young, and competed through high school.”
After high school, Andrea enrolled at Fullerton College in Fullerton, California. Andrea thought her competitive track running career had come to an end.
“I ran track at Fullerton, but just for a P.E. credit,” Andrea explains. “I wasn’t planning on competing, but I met a coach who saw potential in me. He trained with me all through my freshman year, and when he told me he was taking a new job in Kansas, he offered me a spot on his new team!’
Exploring the opportunity to compete in college Andrea visited MNU. She could tell there was something special about the place. The close-knit community was evident everywhere she went--with the cross-country team, throughout the student body, and in the classroom.
“I met my potential advisors and they set up a plan for me right there,” Andrea recalls. “I didn’t even know if this was where I was wanting to go, but they made it very convincing by having everything laid out and prepared for me.”
After weighing her other options back home in California, Andrea decided that MNU was the best choice for her.
“I could tell that MNU really cared about me,” Andrea says. “So, I packed my bags and moved to Kansas!”
Andrea has remained very active in the MNU community. In the two-and-a-half years that she’s been on campus, she has been voted vice president of the Student Diversity Council, qualified for the National Cross-Country Championships twice, and won individual conference track titles as well. When asked about her favorite part of MNU, Andrea spoke about the authenticity of the school.
“I like how everybody you meet here is genuinely concerned about your success,” Andrea says. “One professor who has helped me a lot at MNU is Dr. Hamilton, professor of communications. I wanted to be a communications major, but he challenged me to do both communications and marketing, so I gave it a try!”
Andrea’s ultimate career goal is to join a marketing team for a well-established company or non-profit. She credits the staff at MNU for helping prepare her for this task.
“Dr. Wallentine, professor of marketing, has also given me a lot of first-hand experience. She’s helped me apply what I’ve learned, and I feel prepared to go out and find a job right away because of her.”
Andrea recently completed her internship with MNU’s marketing team. She worked with social media, managed several campaigns and learned about public relations and web communications. She graduates this May and hopes to find a job in marketing or communications.