Marketing, Sales and Service
Waukesha County Technical College
Manager, Events and Programs, Waukesha County Business Alliance
Robyn Ludtke faced a lot of obstacles while earning an associate degree in marketing at Waukesha County Technical College. After 13 years of bartending and waitressing, she wanted a career.
"I visited the Workforce Development office at WCTC and after talking with the staff there, they directed me to the marketing program in the School of Business," Robyn recalls. She went home and told her husband she was now a full-time student.
Despite having a toddler, Robyn attended WCTC full-time, got involved in student government, worked in the Financial Aid office and completed her degree in two years. She also lost her mother and had another child during that time.
Involvement in campus and community activities enriched her college experience and allowed her to develop relationships with college staff, instructors and other students. It also gave her the support she needed during the difficult times.
"When I lost my Mom they knew I needed some time and they allowed me time," she says. "One instructor referred me to the counseling center on campus. They were so supportive, sent flowers and raised money for me."
Dr. Susanne Fenske, director of student development, was especially supportive and served as a mentor. "Without her I would have given up," Robyn adds. "I owe all my awards to her."
Her work with campus clubs and student life led to her current position with the Waukesha County Business Alliance. "Now I manage community events and programs for business leaders," she explains. As the Events and Programs Manager, Robyn oversees 100+ programs annually and hosts several annual events with 300+ attendees.
Robyn is continuing her education by pursuing a communications degree from Ottawa University.
"WCTC is my roots and my foundation," she says.
Madison Area Technical College
Creative Marketing Manager, Wisconsin Restaurant Association
While pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry and geography Amy discovered her passion for art. After a few years of working in the sciences she was still looking for a creative outlet and pursued training in Madison Area Technical College's graphic design program.
"I reviewed the timetables for graphic design program courses and could not make that particular degree work for me," Amy recalls. "The next best thing seemed to be [Madison Area Technical College’s] Marketing program, as a few of the courses overlapped with the graphic design degree."
She called the marketing department dean who directed her to the Fast Track Marketing Program, offering four-hour classes one night a week. "The remainder of the coursework would be completed on my time, on my terms. It was the perfect fit," Amy says.
"MATC certainly helped me discover my passion! After taking my first marketing class, it was confirmed that I was on the right path. I truly enjoyed the projects and assignments and couldn’t wait to have the opportunity to apply them in real-life situations."
Western Technical College
Owner, The Wedding Tree
Debra didn’t think she had the time to go to school for four years or more. She wanted to get to work and appreciated that she could take meaningful, applicable classes without taking courses that would not help in her career.
"A technical education helped me realize my potential by giving me the confidence to believe in myself. This is in part due to the connections made with instructors," Debra states. "Looking back, my instructors gave me so much faith in myself and my abilities, I really thought I could handle just about anything." And now Debra is using those abilities to run her own business.
Moraine Park Technical College
Business Marketing, 1974
President/CEO, Hopper’s Silk Screening, Inc.
Mark started his business in 1978, a few years after he graduated from Moraine Park Technical College. Since then it has grown from a small, community-based business into one that serves customers all over the world.
Moraine Park helped Mark target special skills like business planning, economics, financial planning, forecasting, accounting, marketing and communications to compete in the workforce and empowered him with the confidence to move forward.
"It’s nice to see that almost 40 years later, Moraine Park is still a valuable resource for continuing education in the Fond du Lac area," Mark says.
Mary Beth Brockhorst
Moraine Park Technical College
Graphic Designer and Co-Owner, InSpire Magazine
An interest in helping others spurred Mary Beth’s creation of InSpire, a magazine for and about women. Putting her Moraine Park degree to work, Brockhorst and her business partners established InSpire in 2004. Today, the magazine reaches over 20,000 readers each month. It shares inspiring stories of local women who have overcome adversity or given of themselves in some extraordinary way.
"Recognize your talents, wrap them around your education and never become satisfied with the quality of your work," Mary Beth advises.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Welding - 1977, Marketing - 1983, Transportation Distribution - 1983, Supervisory Management - 1989
Account Executive, Otis-Magie Insurance Agency
Owner, Jimmy John's sandwich shops
After completing a welding program at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC), Scott took a job with the Burlington Northern Railroad. After a work accident cost him his left leg, Stariha went to WITC to seek retraining. He registered for the marketing program, and began a long journey of both professional and academic success.
"WITC is a very warm environment," Scott says. "I am very pleased with what WITC helped me accomplish monetarily. They gave me the tools to succeed both academically and financially."
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Marketing/Fashion Merchandising, 1988
Manager of Community Relations, Green Bay Packers
Cathy connects the Packers with the public in a variety of ways – including bringing smiles to the faces of countless fans. She oversees the organization’s community events, charitable contributions, youth football, and personal appearances by players and coaches.
Cathy says her degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) helped her in each of her jobs including a management position in retail and business manager at the Fort Howard Corporation.
"NWTC motivated me to continue my education," Cathy says. "It helped prepare me for the business world and gave me the tools to be a decision maker and problem solver."