Senior found opportunity for involvement, success at WSU
To have a well-rounded university experience, students are often encouraged to participate in activities outside of classes. Senior Laura Schlapp has heeded the advice, taking advantage of the opportunities that Wichita State has provided her.
Schlapp, an integrated marketing communications major and management minor, has been an active student at WSU for four years. She is the marketing and media director for Barton International Group (BIG), a member of Delta Gamma sorority, a mentor in the Emerging Leaders program and Order of Omega treasurer. She was also involved in Student Government Association.
Through BIG, she traveled to China in August 2012 for two weeks. The group of 11 students visited Beijing and Shanghai for exposure to international business and a different way of life.
“I think the most impactful thing for me was the culture,” said Schlapp. “I also really enjoyed learning about the businesses we visited because they were more on the manufacturing side of companies.”
During the trip, they also spent time at famous locations such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tienaman Square.
Preparing for the future
Besides involvement in student organizations, Schlapp, who will graduate in December 2013, also gained valuable experience through jobs and internships.
Schlapp is now the part-time communications assistant for U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo and the Fourth District of Kansas office. She runs his Facebook and Twitter pages and sends out media advisories and press releases to various publications. When Pompeo is in town, Schlapp accompanies him around the community to schools, chambers of commerce and media interviews.
“It has been a great experience because it directly ties with my major,” she said.
After graduation, Schlapp is considering graduate school.
During summer 2012, Schlapp held an internship in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas. There she answered phones, spoke with constituents, gave tours of the Capitol to visiting Kansans, sorted mail, answered letters, attended and summarized briefings, and worked on special projects.
“I really enjoyed working with Sen. Roberts,” Schlapp said. “Also, his staff was so nice and was really great about letting me do things with them so I could experience new things.”
While in D.C., Schlapp recalled a few memorable sightings of politicians.
“I brushed shoulders with John Kerry, so that was exciting,” she said. “Also, John McCain almost ran me over when he was jogging off to the Senate floor.”
Schlapp has also been working in the Vice President for Administration and Finance office for four years.
The Wichita State experience
At Wichita State, Schlapp said she has learned a lot and grown as a person, especially through the help of WSU faculty.
“I have personal relationships with a lot of faculty here, not just in the Elliott School of Communication, but also in the business school, and through my job and other organizations,” she said.
Schlapp also loves the energy and pride that people have for the university. For example, she traveled to the Final Four in Atlanta, and was impressed by the hundreds of students willing to drive 15 hours to watch their school play for a chance at the national championship.
“It speaks about the community at WSU, and if you get involved and really buy into the WSU life, you can have an amazing college experience and meet some great people,” she said.
Schlapp said that in her experience at Wichita State, she doesn’t see strangers on campus because of the school’s close community and her involvement at the university.
“I have met mentors, my best friends and some great people who I love working with,” she said. “I love being at WSU and take pride in where I come from.”