2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Maddie Krueger, Miami University (Farmer)

Maddie Krueger

Miami University, Farmer School of Business

“Big dreams, simple joys, face to the sunshine always.”

Fun fact about yourself: Having never been out of the country before, somehow, I was lucky enough to travel to six different countries right before Covid-19 hit (Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and France).

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

High School: Dublin Coffman High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Business Analytics and Marketing

Favorite Business Course: Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Thinking

My favorite business course was Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Thinking. I took this class my first semester my freshman year, and to this day, I still use the lessons I learned and the skills I gained in that course both in and out of the classroom. This class was unlike any class I had taken in high school and it pushed me so far out of my comfort zone and taught me to handle ambiguity. We spent one class where we role played fun scenarios. I set up “Maddie’s Museum of Creativity,” and I also created my own Ted Talk of me speaking from 50 years in the future. One of my favorite assignments was to go out in the world and experience rejection. To complete this, I went to a Columbus Crew soccer game in Columbus where I tried to beg my way onto the field during a game. Of course, I was told no, but it was assignments like this one that challenged me to grow and become more confident in myself.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

President, Business Student Advisory Council (December 2019-December 2020): The Business Student Advisory Council serves as the liaison between the dean of the Farmer School of Business and the student body. The council works to develop and implement student lead initiatives, oversee all business organizations, and plan school-wide events. As president, I worked with all other executive positions and encouraged collaboration across roles to move the organization forward, keep the 50 members engaged, and accomplish our goals. Additionally, I met with the dean regularly to amplify the student’s perspective and to work with the dean’s suite to host events and implement initiatives. I previously served as VP of External Relations (Fall 2018) and Vice President (December 2018 – December 2019) on the council.

FSB Ambassador (Fall 2018- present): The FSB Ambassadors are a group of current FSB students who support the school’s recruiting efforts through sharing experiences and interacting with prospective students. As an ambassador, I lead tours of the Farmer School of Business for prospective students and parents weekly. I serve on student panels for first year students and mentor and acclimate first year students in the Farmer School of Business. With the shift to virtual recruitment, I made videos and wrote postcards and emails to engage potential future Farmer students.

Undergraduate Assistant, Farmer School of Business (Fall 2018, Spring 2021): As a sophomore, I taught an introductory business course to 20 students in collaboration with faculty where I led selected lessons. I currently serve as a teacher’s assistant for a consulting industry class to prepare students for a career in consulting.

Member, Zeta Tau Alpha (Spring 2018- present): I volunteer at various philanthropic events for breast cancer education and awareness across Miami University’s campus and the surrounding community.

Honors and Awards:

  • Financial Executives International Award (Spring 2020): Selected by Farmer professors and faculty as the top junior majoring in Finance in the Farmer School of Business. Was awarded a scholarship for this achievement and gained a mentor.
  • Business Honors Program (Spring 2018-present): Selected to be a part of the Business Honors cohort in the Farmer School of Business based on past academic success and an application process.
  • President’s List (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019): Selected by university president for being in the top 3% of students in the Farmer School of Business.
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Inductee (Spring 2019): Inducted into the international business honor society for being in the top 10% of students in the top 5% of business schools around the world.
  • First Year Integrated Core Client Challenge Winner (Fall 2017): As part of the First Year Integrated Core curriculum, I collaborated with a team of 4 peers to solve the client’s initiative over the course of a semester. Worked to generate a final solution based on interviews, research, ideation, and constant feedback. Presented in front of the client’s executives, Farmer faculty, and FSB student body. Selected as the winning idea by the company’s executives.
  • A&F Client Project Challenge Winner (Spring 2019): In my Honors Principles of Marketing course, the class was presented with a challenge to create an authentic, co-creation campaign for the Hollister brand. Through close collaboration with a team of five other students, insights were gained through market research to generate a final solution. Presented findings to a cross-departmental A&F team at the A&F headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Selected as the winning idea and awarded first place.

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • West Monroe Partners (August 2020): West Monroe Partners is a national business and technology consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. As a Customer Experience Consultant Intern, I collaborated on a small team to work on a Customer Experience internal accelerator project. I gained exposure to the consulting industry, the Customer Experience practice within West Monroe, and the Salesforce Service platform. I presented a final comprehensive project to internal Customer Experience managers, mentors, and fellow interns.
  • Commercial & Industrial Sales Intern at IGS Energy (May 2019 – August 2019): IGS Energy is a family owned and operated supplier of natural gas and electricity headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. As a Commercial and Industrial Sales Intern, I sold natural gas and electricity at the wholesale level to businesses in deregulated states. I strategically developed prospects and consulted with businesses about their current use case. I tracked the NYMEX market to present cost-savings and risk mitigation opportunities to prospects. Generated customized pricing proposals and presented contracts to prospective customers.

Where will you be working after graduation? Upon graduation from Miami University, I plan to move to Chicago to work for West Monroe Partners as a Customer Experience Consultant. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience with the firm, and I am excited to begin my career with West Monroe!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Through studying business for the past four years, one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that business truly can take you anywhere. Being someone who has such a diverse set of interests, choosing a field of study was challenging. I felt like at only 18 years old, I was choosing how to spend the rest of my life. However, I quickly learned that I could do anything with a business degree. I can go back to school. I can teach. I can go into public service. I can open my own restaurant. I can work in fashion. I can travel.  I can do anything with a major in Finance. This realization is one that excites me and allows me to not hold myself to one career path in the corporate world. I don’t know what my life will be like in 20 years, but knowing that the opportunities are endless, I am excited to see what’s in store.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The best advice I would give to a student would be to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes along. I have had so many unique experiences throughout my time in Farmer, and I attribute most of those experiences to saying “yes”. For example, I joined the Business Student Advisory Council my freshman year when I knew so little about it. I jumped right in and did not know the impact this organization would have on me. From there, every opportunity that was presented to me I made an effort to take full advantage of it. I have had lunch with CEOs. I have met Sanjay Gupta from CNN. I have built relationships with our deans. I even took a selfie with Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, all because I decided to make the most out of the short time I had in Farmer. I would tell future students to just say “yes.”

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? As I reflect on my favorite memories over the past four years, studying abroad was the most unique, transformative, and memorable experience of my life. I stepped out of my comfort zone going to new countries, knowing only a handful of people on the trip. I returned with some great friends, new stories to tell, and a newfound sense of confidence and growth.

As a freshman, I was slightly apprehensive about committing myself to missing an entire semester on campus, so I therefore chose to study abroad over our J-term, a condensed, 4-week experience. While this was an amazing opportunity, I realized at the end that I wish I would have opted to study abroad for an entire semester. I loved experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and tasting all of the yummy food! I wish I would have pushed myself to go abroad longer, to go on even more adventures in different countries. Still, I am still forever grateful for the time I did have overseas, and I would encourage all students to take advantage of any study abroad opportunities available to them.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Of all of the experiences I have had, serving as the President of the Business Student Advisory Council (BSAC) has been the achievement I am most proud of. In high school, I was always involved in our student government, and I knew I wanted to be involved in some way in college too. However, I didn’t anticipate how significant that would be for me at Miami. Once I got to Miami and got into the Farmer School of Business, I found a support system of peers, faculty (namely Michelle Thomas), and professors who pushed me out of my comfort zone. I took on a leadership role in BSAC when I was a sophomore. From there, I went on to be Vice President and eventually I became President. This was not something I would have imagined myself doing when I was in high school, and this represents the growth I experienced throughout the last four years.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate whom I admire most is Sara Ensor. I met Sara when I was a sophomore and she was a freshman interviewing for our business organization. What I admire most about Sara is not only how driven, hard-working, and bright she is, but the empathy, kindness, and thought she brings to every interaction. She is so widely liked and respected by all who know her because of this. I had the privilege of working with Sara on our business organization’s executive board over the past year. Sara balances me out so well and eases peoples’ stress because of her smile and the joy that she displays in meetings. I also admire how Sara brings her authentic self to every situation in and out the classroom. After working with Sara for the past three years within our organization, she took over as president of the Business Student Advisory Council. I was so proud to leave the organization I care about so deeply in such capable hands. I know that Sara will accomplish anything she wants in the future, and I cannot wait to see all that she does!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My older brother, Drew, has always been the person I most look up to and admire. Being born only 19 months before me, Drew and I have always been close. When I started kindergarten, he showed me the ropes. When I started middle school, Drew was there to sit with on the bus. When I started high school, he drove me to class on my first day. Starting college and not following in his footsteps was a new experience for me, and one that I struggled to adapt to

While I used to follow the path that Drew blazed for me, I now had to make my own decisions. However, despite being over six hours apart, I found myself still striving to be like him. Drew is an outstanding student, one of the smartest people I know. In every class I took, I always pushed myself to do better, to “be like Drew.” While this was at times unattainable, it always gave me something to aim for. I don’t know if he knows the impact that he has had on my life, but I want to thank him for treating me like the little brother he always wanted but never had. I think him for pushing me, for making me as competitive as I am, and instilling in me that above all else, being a good, decent person is paramount.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Upon graduation this May, I know what my first step in my career will be. I am beyond excited to begin working for a company like West Monroe that puts its people first in everything they do, and be working on the customer experience side of the business. Beyond this, I have two goals that I hope to accomplish during my lifetime.

First, I want to start my own business. As a kid, I always dreamt of owning my own wedding dress boutique. Throughout high school and early college, I worked as an intern at a high-end, couture wedding dress boutique in my hometown. Here, I further confirmed my passion for two things: I want to own my own business and that I love the wedding and customer service industry. While I am not sure exactly what type of business I will own, I have always clung tightly to this dream.

Second on my bucket list is to go back to school and get my MBA and potentially my doctorate. I have been so fortunate to have amazing professors who have impacted my life so deeply, and I want to have the opportunity to teach the next generation, to inspire students just as so many have inspired me.

What are your hobbies? I love to run, hang out with family and friends, cook, and root for the Green Bay Packers! My favorite place is anywhere by the water and under the sun. I also enjoy traveling and hope to visit many more places around the world.

What made Maddie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Maddie leads with grace.  She is intelligent and hardworking, but always humble.  She has been a student of mine for three classes, and she has made me a better teacher with her questions and insightful comments.  She inspires me and everyone around her.”

Jan Taylor
Senior Lecturer of Marketing and Director of Business Honors Program

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