Forever True, For Iowa State

Hands-on experiences lead to real-world opportunities

To say that Sophie Catus took full advantage of the Iowa State student experience is an understatement.

A recent graduate in supply chain management, marketing and international business, Sophie studied abroad three times during her college career (Italy, Greece and Spain) and gained hands-on experience solving business problems through the student consulting firm, CyBIZ.

“It’s easy to get plugged in,” Sophie says. “That was a huge factor for me in choosing Iowa State, in addition to the Ivy College of Business.”

Sophie comes from a long line of Iowa Staters, so she was familiar with the university. Still, she was surprised by the intimate campus culture.

“It’s a big university, but I see people I know all the time,” Sophie says. “And I’m so close with my professors. Their support gave me the confidence to get involved in things like CyBIZ, where I got to apply what I’ve learned in class to real-life situations.”

Iowa State has long been known for combining academic excellence and learning by doing, and the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign has heightened that experience for the 21st century. Funds to enhance world-class facilities – such as the gifts to construct the 45,000-square-foot Gerdin Building expansion – expand study abroad opportunities and provide hands-on experience in emerging fields ensures Iowa State students graduate ready to hit the ground running.

That’s what Sophie did. Before graduation, she accepted a position with PepsiCo as a supply chain management associate. She credits her CyBIZ experience for the skills, knowledge and confidence she needs on the job.

She also acknowledges Iowa State donors. “As a student, you don’t realize it, but without donors, you wouldn’t have all those experiences.”