Associated Bank recently awarded Katherine Geersten, a student at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, with a $2,500 “Good Fit” scholarship for writing about what a good fit meant for her when choosing her college. Geersten is from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
The scholarship money will be paid directly to her university for the 2014-2015 school year to help with tuition, fees, books and supplies expenses.
This scholarship was awarded to only eight students out of nearly 800 entries throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Recipients were chosen based on their ability to creatively express why their university is a good fit.
“The ability to provide these students with scholarships is something that Associated takes pride in,” said Heather Freedy, bank manager, Associated Bank. “It not only reinforces our local involvement and dedication to the Wauwatosa community, but it also helps us to assist our customers with the high cost of education, making it more affordable for them to secure their good fit.”
The scholarship application process provided students the opportunity to not only describe why they have found a good fit at their university, but also to reward them for their abilities to tell their story on the journey to finding their good fit. Associated believes that finding this fit is imperative to the students’ success because it will also help lead them to the path of their perfect career.
At Associated, a good fit is giving customers all the advice and financial services they need, in one place. For Geersten, it means finding a university that feels just right. She relates it to Stephen Schwartz’s 1970’s hit musical, Pippin. It tells the story of a recent graduate from the University of Padua as he searches for something fulfilling to do for the rest of his life—finding his good fit.
“I am a senior music theatre major at Viterbo University, pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree, but I did not always think that my school was a good fit for me,” Geersten said. “In acting classes, we learn about opening ourselves to impulses, to trusting our gut, to taking huge risks and making big choices. When something is right, you just know.”
Geersten always had bigger dreams of studying musical theatre. She wanted to study “in a big city at a big-name school in a big conservatory with a big class and well-known teachers who would help me get a leg up in the big world of showbiz.”
When Viterbo was the only bachelor of fine arts music theatre program to accept Geersten, she said her dreams were drastically deflated. “Something I knew that was right for me to study became something I second-guessed on a daily basis as the days ticked down to my decision deadline,” Geersten said. But she also reminded herself that “Sometimes, in order to find our good fit, we have to take a leap of faith.”
“Part of ‘just knowing’ is the reflection that comes with it. I stayed because I am able to learn about my craft from a myriad of perspectives,” said Geersten. “I am a fuller person than I ever thought I could be at my small school, and my liberal arts education has shaped me into a well-rounded artist, taught to question my entire world around me, observe it, experience it, and learn from it.”
Like Pippin, she pondered what complete fulfillment meant to her. “My career path as a performer is not straight or set in stone,” Geersten said. “I have no idea where my path will take me, but I know what I am meant to be doing, and my school has given me the tools and the courage to pursue my dreams.”
“It was my honor to award this scholarship to Katharine for her dedication to finding her perfect fit,” said Freedy. “We know what good fit means to us, and it’s great that she was able to find that in her university. Congratulations Katharine!”