Management with a purpose
"A lot of my friends go to big schools — some have lectures with a thousand kids in them and I can't imagine that. My accounting class has 16 people in it."
Alison Koellner '12, accounting
Class of 2012 update: After graduation, Allison will take the CPA exam and then head to the New York City office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. There, she'll work in the assurance and entertainment, media and communications industry.
"When I was looking at colleges, I started in my sophomore year of high school and was looking at a lot of small liberal arts schools. I knew that was what I wanted. When I came to Bucknell, I just fell in love with it. I came back to visit two more times and each time I liked it more. It fit perfectly for me. I really like the attention. A lot of my friends go to big schools — some have lectures with a thousand kids in them and I can't imagine that. My accounting class has 16 people in it, and I really like that. All my professors know my name, and I love that about Bucknell. My twin sister, Melissa, is here, too.
"I like accounting because I've always liked math. But I also like the business aspects. Accounting mixes both together. I have an accounting scholarship through Price Waterhouse Coopers. Two Bucknell students each year can get the scholarship. It's nice because we go to dinners with the company and I get to meet other alumni from Bucknell. It helps me to see want I want to do after I graduate. Eventually, I'd like to do accounting for a nonprofit."
My other interests
"I'm on the Bucknell Inclusiveness Team. It's new. A group of 20 of us went to Chicago and, basically, we're trying to bring more diversity to the school. So, we went to Chicago to work with high school students in a low-income area. Each of us had a group of 10 kids and we talked about the importance of college and we led discussions about the differences between high school and college. It was a really rewarding experience.
"I'm also in GlobeMed, a group that's dealing with global health issues. We're focusing on Africa and trying to build a health center in Kigali in Rwanda. I'm the campaign manager for that and we sold T-shirts this year — black and red with a peace sign. We were able to raise a lot of money — more than $2,000. Now, we're trying to do a Global Get Down, a diversity dance.
"Study abroad is definitely in my future. I want to go to Greece and get the full cultural experience. And Greece is beautiful.
"I'm in a sorority — Alpha Chi Omega — and we do a lot of community service. Last year, I went to New Orleans with the school to help rebuild as part of the Katrina Recovery Team. I didn't know anyone when I signed up to go, but I became really good friends with everyone and it was a touching experience. I had no idea it was still as bad as it was. It had been five years since the hurricane and there were houses still sitting and rotting and molding. We helped a man, Anthony, to finish his house in the St. Bernard Parish. We were doing drywall and insulation the entire time. It was hard work.
"My Management 101 class partnered with the campus ROTC to fill 105 care boxes that we just sent to the troops in Afghanistan. The class was definitely the most interesting and hands-on class I have taken at Bucknell. It requires each 'company' of about 20 students each to decide on a product to sell and then work to take the profit and create a service project that brings the community together. I was VP of finance for my company and we chose to sell flannels with a Bison embroidered on the pockets. It was really challenging, but after working really closely as a group, we were able to sell out of our product. All the profits went toward sending the care packages filled with snacks, games, books and other items to soldiers in Afghanistan. We then went to local schools to have children make cards for the soldiers that we could add to the boxes to show our community support."
Alison is from New Hyde Park, N.Y.Posted Feb. 1, 2010