Eastern Oregon University > Mountaineer Magazine > Alumni Stories > Every room a classroom

Every room a classroom

Samantha Wegermann (top) and Briana Rosenkranz conducting a webinar for human resource for more effective employee recruitment practices.

Room 214 in Inlow Hall is not a classroom, but it’s where two recent graduates learned critical skills, discovered mentors and applied theoretical knowledge. 

Briana Rosenkranz, ’20, and Samantha Wegermann, ’20 and ’21, earned degrees in business from EOU, while gaining real-world experience through on-campus jobs and internships with the university’s marketing team. 

After graduation, they both entered Boise’s rapidly growing start-up market and quickly climbed the ranks. Rosenkranz started as a junior content marketer at Verified First, a human resources technology company. When she was promoted, Wegermann happily filled the vacancy and later became a full-fledged content marketer.  

Rosenkranz, now a Partner Marketing Manager, said her year-long role as EOU’s Public Relations Intern filled her portfolio with published press releases and gave her a big-picture perspective on strategic marketing. 

“I had collaborated with multiple stakeholders and worked directly with administrators, plus mentorship to learn about analytical tools,” she said. “I was already familiar with using strategic language to align every topic with company goals and presenting progress reports.”

Wegermann, who also served as ASEOU President, was a leader in Residence Life and held a student job as a graphic designer for EOU. She credits all three extracurriculars with landing her the job. 

“In a small community there are so many changes for hands-on experience. We had those transferable skills and real-world projects coming into the workforce. “

– Briana Rosenkranz, ’20

“I came into the interview with real projects I had done,” she said. “When I came into this position, they expected me to do graphic design, as well as copywriting. Even though I hadn’t done that directly, I had been observing marketing team members.”

Marketing courses provided a solid foundation and faculty ensured they had an understanding of the basics, but adapting to the demands of an actual workplace set both alumnae up for early success. 

“In a small community there are so many chances for hands-on experience,” Rosenkranz said. “We had those transferable skills and real-world projects coming into the workforce.” 

Wegermann discovered flexibility and opportunity from a rural education.

“EOU works really hard to ensure there’s a wide range of opportunities. I was hired straight out of my MBA and my supervisor has said I’m way ahead of where she’d expect a recent graduate to be,” Wegermann said.

Verified First helps organizations attract and hire high-quality employees more effectively. Rosenkranz hosts an industry podcast and works directly with HR professionals, connecting them with technology and colleagues to improve hiring, workplace environments and employee engagement, while Wegermann creates a range of materials and imagery to support them. 

From classrooms, to campus offices, to corporate success, Mountaineers are avid learners in every environment.