Alison Kramer is a master at making the most of her time.
Throughout her NIU career, Alison, ’22, has worked around thirty-five hours a week while carrying a course load of sixteen hours or more. Between work and studying, Alison still finds time to belong to six student organizations, holding leadership positions in some.
“The fact that she successfully contributes to NIU programs at the university, college, and department level is extraordinary,” Associate Professor Linda J. Matuszewski wrote in Alison’s Impact Scholarship application. “Her ability to do so while also working and maintaining an outstanding GPA is evidence of her work ethic.”
Alison is working toward a double major in accounting and business management. Her family played a big role in shaping her drive to succeed. Alison’s father is a passionate and hard-working entrepreneur. Growing up, she saw him proudly supporting the family with his own business.
In recent years, the company fell on hard times. Alison sought a way to pay for college without burdening her family’s finances. She works two jobs during the school year and three jobs in the summer. Scholarships have helped make ends meet.
“It’s such a great feeling to be chosen for a scholarship. I put a lot of work into my academics, being involved around campus, and volunteering, and it’s nice to be recognized,” she says. “It’s inspiring to see alumni giving back to the school that put them where they are today. It’s great to see them giving a hand up to students in the same boat they were once in.”
Alison grew up in Genoa, just a stone’s throw from the NIU campus in DeKalb. She competed in a business case competition put on by the College of Business when she was still in high school. As a member of LEAD, NIU’s student organization for business ethics, Alison now helps put on that same event for local high schools.
“LEAD has really shaped who I am,” she says. She credits the organization for developing her presentation and communication skills. It also showed her how to conduct herself in a professional environment and influenced her ability to think critically about business ethics. The group also gave her the chance to travel around the country, an opportunity she feels she may have missed at a bigger university.
Alison hopes one day to start her own consulting firm helping companies switch to sustainable packaging.