Emily Menk ’14

Studying art at Puget Sound really gave me so much more than what is shown in a course description or a catalog. Creative problem-solving, effective communication (written, verbal, and non-verbal), and sharp critical thinking skills are just a few of the skills that have been integral to my success after graduation. Even outside of the skills I developed in the program, I also built the foundation for life-long learning and creative exploration, developed a passion for experiential learning, and learned to recognize the intersections of culture in every place I go and in every encounter.

Art is a surprisingly interdisciplinary field; it’s not simply about images and design. History, psychology, communication, technology, sociology, math, chemistry, philosophy, and more are all found among the coursework and the learning outcomes within the program, preparing students to work in a variety of fields. I’m a testament to this—while I have worked in a photo studio, I also spent two years working for a (large) tech company before transitioning into higher education. These days, I’m wrapping up an M.S. in Counseling and Student Personnel (College Student Affairs), advising the MSU, Mankato campus programming board, and working with New Student and Family Programs. I’m still using the design skills on a regular basis, but I’m also able to build on my love of experiential education and help college students discover their passions. I’m planning on continuing my career in Student Affairs, and perhaps in a few years, I’ll begin working on a doctorate degree!

Editor's note: Emily Menk ’14, majored in art, was very active in student groups, and did summer research while at Puget Sound. After graduation, Emily worked in a tech company for 2 years, before earning her MS in Counseling and Student Personnel (College Student Affairs) at MSU Mankato. She is now the Assistant Director for Recognized Student Organizations, Leadership, and Nontraditional Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She oversees three areas within Student Activities: the Recognized Student Organizations Office, the Leadership U program, and the Nontraditional Student Resources Office. The RSO Office provides programs, resources, and advising for 225+ Recognized Student Organizations; Leadership U is a multi-method, primarily student-led leadership development program; and the Nontraditional Student Resources Office provides advising, programming, and resources for their nontraditional students on campus.