Katelyn Switzer

Class Year



Chicago, Illinois




Psychology, Communication

As a Chicago native and marketing major, Katelyn Switzer chose Carthage for its key location in between Milwaukee and her hometown, and the personalized education that she knew the school would provide.

Throughout her time at Carthage, Katelyn has followed her own advice, to “always go the extra mile,” and has participated in numerous clubs, events through Greek life, and J-Term study tours. She has made influential connections with many Carthage professors and staff members through her classes and extracurriculars, and enjoys seeing them at the Late Night Breakfast hosted in the Caf every semester before finals.

After Carthage, Katelyn hopes to continue her studies at graduate school while focusing on the positive development of herself and those around her.

“Before coming to Carthage, I think I underestimated the amount of resources and opportunities that are provided to students.”

Katelyn Switzer, ’19

Career goal

“I hope to have a career in the marketing field that offers a lot of upward mobility. Given the fact that marketing is a versatile field that affects countless businesses and organizations, my focus is on growth potential and the feeling that I am making a positive impact with whatever I am doing. I also hope to return to schooling to earn my master’s degree as well.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I have had wonderful experiences with my professors here at Carthage. Most notably, Dr. Julio Rivera has had a huge impact on my college career. He was my professor for Applied Statistics for Management and Economics, which was a challenging course for me since I did not have much experience with the subject. He was always willing to help not only myself, but everyone in the class who had questions or struggled. He even worked with individual students’ schedules to get them the extra help they needed. With the effort I put in to understand the topics in the course, as well as his support, I was able to excel in the class and decided to take his Marketing Principles course the following semester. I had a great experience in this class as well. Dr. Rivera saw potential in me throughout my time in his courses and he offered me the opportunity to complete market research with him through a service fellowship this upcoming school year. I would not have this opportunity to look forward to if it were not for Dr. Rivera’s dedication to helping his students excel.”

“I would also like to mention Professor Christopher Lynch who taught both my Western Heritage I and II courses. He pushed our class to think critically and engage in thoughtful discussion. Despite all the freshmen who take his Western Heritage courses, he still remembered me and asked how my classes were going when I ran into him on campus a year later. It is a perfect example of how much professors really care about their students here at Carthage.”

“Lastly, Dr. Jennifer Madden has been a fantastic advisor as I continue down my academic path. She goes beyond what is required of her with helping me stay on track. She has notified me of opportunities with guest speakers, has come in to speak with an organization I am involved with, and pushes me to take challenging courses to reach my full potential.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has been Marketing Principles with Dr. Julio Rivera. It was the first class I have taken that focused solely on my major and really solidified for me that I chose the right path. Between discussion, lectures, and creating a full marketing plan, I feel like this class really prepares students for further classes as well as for their future careers.”

Campus involvement

“On campus, I am currently a member of Carthage Psychology Club, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and an honor society for Psychology students, Psi Chi. I also work as a Student Ambassador. My biggest involvement is with Carthage’s chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon, a national co-ed fraternity focusing on marketing and sales. I currently serve as our chapter’s Vice President of Professional Development and work with our corporate sponsors as well as plan workshops and presentations involving Carthage faculty and staff. We have covered topics such as resume building and internships. This upcoming semester, we will be the host chapter for the Midwest Regional Conference and look forward to growing our chapter, networking, and attending the National Convention in 2018.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I have taken has been Behavioral Research Statistics. I took this class my freshman year and had trouble grasping some of the concepts. I succeeded in the class because of all the extra work I put in outside of the classroom. I would recommend this approach to anyone struggling in a course.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Throughout my time at Carthage, I have had several opportunities to apply skills learned in the classroom to real world scenarios. This has included working with classmates to create a marketing plan, run an experiment and prepare a full report on it, as well as lead countless presentations and class discussions.

“This upcoming January, I will be traveling to Sweden on a J-Term study tour to learn more about international business, marketing, and Swedish culture. There, I will sit in on classes and lectures at Gothenburg University, meet with executives from a variety of companies, and explore the city and surrounding islands.

“In addition to these opportunities, I will be working as a Management and Marketing Department Service Fellow, alongside Dr. Julio Rivera, this upcoming Fall. My project for the year will focus on using geo-demographic and psychographic factors to complete market research. My goal is to present my work at Carthage’s Celebration of Scholars and eventually at the 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.”


“I have received several Carthage scholarships including Carthage Academic Honors, Faculty Honors Scholarship, the Robert Todd Grant, as well as a donor-funded grant for earning a finalist position in the Presidential Scholarship Competition. Receiving the scholarships have allowed me to pursue my undergraduate education at Carthage. These scholarships have enabled me to work toward my degree exactly where I wanted to, at my first choice, Carthage.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Overall, I think most of my favorite memories at Carthage have started out as regular days and turned out to be really fun thanks to the friends I have made during my time here. Whether it be deciding to explore Kenosha, getting together on the first day back on campus after a break, or rushing to Late Night Breakfast the night before final exams, memories on these ‘regular’ days will definitely stick with me.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I have a few favorite spots on campus depending on what I have going on that day. The lounges in the Oaks are my usual meeting spot for everything from nights with friends spent ordering Chinese food and watching movies, meeting up with other students for group projects, or executive board meetings I have with Pi Sigma Epsilon. They are still fairly quiet if I need to get work done, but provide a relaxed environment with couches and a TV. I also really like the area in front of the lake, right outside my Madrigrano dorm room. There is the sand volleyball court and grill area, which are perfect for hanging out with groups, as well as the rocks by the lake, which is my favorite spot to go on campus when I am stressed.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I think my biggest surprise after coming to Carthage was the actual extent of the opportunities available to students who take initiative. I knew that there would be opportunities to explore different subjects, get involved in my major outside of the classroom, and experience the independence of living on my own without being too far from home. It is through staying involved and taking initiative that I have opened up opportunities I did not know about prior to actually attending Carthage, such as my fellowship position and leadership role with Pi Sigma Epsilon. Before coming to Carthage, I think I underestimated the amount of resources and opportunities that are provided to students.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“I think my 8-year-old self would be happy with where I am with my studies and career path as a 20-year-old. I have always been dedicated to my studies, even at that age, so I think my younger self would be proud that I still have the same work ethic. I also have countless childhood memories of running a lemonade stand in the summer months and always playing games with friends where we would pretend to own and run a store. I think it would make my 8-year-old self happy that I am going into the business field, even if it does not entail running a lemonade stand.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Marketing has its place in a wide variety of fields and can aid in countless other career paths. The skills and lessons that the Marketing Department instills in its students teach them more than just how to market a business. The skills you gain with a marketing major teach you how to market yourself whether it be to potential customers or future employers in a job interview.

“My biggest piece of advice would be if you choose to go into marketing, always go the extra mile. I have seen it time and time again in my courses that even if you have little experience in the class topic or have trouble grasping certain concepts, really dedicating yourself to it will help you grow as a student, as well as professionally. Not only will extra effort towards your classes probably increase your understanding, but your professors will most likely take notice as well. This helps you stand out in the classroom and better prepare you for the very competitive business field.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage for quite a few reasons. The location is what first drew me in. I wanted to go away to school but still be close enough to my hometown of Chicago to have the ability to go home easily if needed. Being on Lake Michigan is also a plus! I also loved how there are first year advisors and freshman mentors to ease the transition for incoming students and help them find their path. The biggest factor that set Carthage apart for me was the number of opportunities I could have at a relatively small school. At Carthage, I am a name and not a number to the faculty, staff, and my classmates. Professors know students by name and are there to support and help throughout a student’s entire college career.”