She’s All Business, All the Time
She followed in her sisters’ footsteps when she chose to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston, but Senior Bethany Novak has made her own way and carved her own path.
The business major from Dahlen, N.D., wanted something different than her sisters, Brittany 2011, a biology major, and Brooke 2013, a communication major. “I love the social aspect of marketing,” she explains. “I love having things in order and marketing gives me the opportunity to be creative and put my organizational skills to use.”
Growing up a farm girl, she naturally loved animals and even tried working for a veterinarian. After all, her mom worked for a veterinarian and their family raised cattle, horses, pigs, and of course, pets including their dog, Winston, a personal favorite. “It seemed like working with animals would be the perfect career for me, but it wasn’t,” she continues.
Then, Novak decided to combine some of her interests by pursuing agricultural business, but she soon discovered that wasn’t right for her either. “I took an aptitude test in high school and marketing was my strongest area, but at the time, I associated marketing only with sales, Novak says. “And, while marketing can be sales, it is a whole lot more.”
A visit with Courtney Bergman, a lecturer in the Business Department about her indecision helped Novak sort things out. “My favorite class so far has been brand management,” Novak smiles. “I put together my final project spring semester and totally enjoyed presenting my ideas to the class. Marketing is definitely where I belong.”
Novak has spent the last two summers planning and helping execute the scholarship golf tournaments hosted by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations and working closely with Associate Development Officer Derek Martin.
“Working with the tournaments has allowed me the chance to learn about people and connect with them on the telephone and in person,” she explains. “I love making those personal connections.”
Making connections is really where Novak excels, she has served as the chair of the Student Programming and Activities for Campus Entertainment (SPACE) committee planning activities for students. She enjoys the challenge of trying to book performers and entertainers that resonate with the varied interests and tastes of students across campus. Attending the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) has given Novak the chance to network with students on other campuses and to negotiate block booking acts that will be in the region performing to include a performance on the Crookston campus.
“The SPACE experience helped me find my internship and has given me some great experience in planning and in considering the interests of my audience,” she says. “I really believe it has given me room to grow as an event planner and marketer. I happen to be an extrovert and I love to present, I think for me, everything I do can be viewed through the lens of marketing.”
She hopes to move to a larger city when she graduates, “I feel like I have done the small town thing, and I love it, but I would like to see what is out there for me and go after it. And, I plan to bring my passion for marketing to everything I do.”
The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 23 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 degree programs entirely online. These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
In the photo, top, right, are Business Department Head Kevin Thompson and Senior Bethany Novak.