News & Events

Home News & Events Alum­ni Spotlight:…

Alumni Spotlight: Trevor Wangsness

University of Northern Iowa Alumni of 2020

The most valu­able part of my expe­ri­ence as a Bright Schol­ar was the oppor­tu­ni­ty to estab­lish rela­tion­ships with every­one con­nect­ed to the Bright Foun­da­tion. Being able to work with them to give back made a last­ing impact on me that con­tin­ues to this day.

Cur­rent posi­tion: Data Solu­tions Asso­ciate at RTi Research

Cur­rent city: Cedar Falls, Iowa (job based in Nor­walk, CT)

What oppor­tu­ni­ties or expe­ri­ences have you been able to take part in that you might not have been able to with­out the schol­ar­ship?

I went to col­lege. I may not have pur­sued a four-year degree at all with­out the schol­ar­ship.

How did the schol­ar­ship allowed you to do these things: Grad­u­ate on-time, debt-free, launch your career and give back?

The schol­ar­ship pro­vid­ed a kick­start to my ear­ly life. It served as a cat­a­lyst and allowed me to work hard through­out col­lege, work in a job with peo­ple I enjoy, avoid all debt, and have a job lined up well before grad­u­a­tion. Since grad­u­at­ing, I have also been able to stay con­nect­ed to UNI through the Finance Advi­so­ry Board, as well as give back to oth­ers in need near my home­town.

How did your col­lege expe­ri­ence pre­pare you for the post-col­lege work­force? In what ways were you unprepared? 

Col­lege, and specif­i­cal­ly cer­tain class­es and pro­fes­sors, gave me the tools nec­es­sary to think the­o­ret­i­cal­ly. Being able to under­stand why some­thing is done, rather than just learn­ing how to do it, has helped me tran­si­tion into new ideas, be flex­i­ble in my thought process­es and enhance my job skills.

Who is your biggest inspi­ra­tion and why?

My par­ents are my biggest inspi­ra­tion. They are very sim­i­lar to Lois & Dale in that they work incred­i­bly hard, save for tomor­row, and give backfinan­cial­ly when they can and also by being there for any­one who needs them.  

What was your expe­ri­ence inter­view­ing for your first job? Do you have any tips to share?

My first job inter­view was very relaxed and friend­ly. My advice is to just be your­self. Do not put on a fake per­son­al­i­ty to try and impress oth­ers. A huge part of your job will be get­ting along with your cowork­ers, and show­ing your true self can help you find the right match. By being hon­est about who you are and what you can do, it’s more like­ly you will be hap­py in the long run. 

Where are you now in your career? Where do you see your­self in five years? 10 years?

I am in a grow­ing role in a com­pa­ny I believe in. I’m on a small team with peo­ple I tru­ly enjoy work­ing with. I don’t plan on leav­ing any time soon. I hope to con­tin­ue grow­ing in my posi­tion for a long time.  

What’s a fun fact we should know about you?

I am in a band!

Thanks for get­ting to know our schol­ars and alum­ni! Stayed tuned for more spot­lights and oth­er updates on our News & Events page, as well as oth­er updates!