University Park, IL,
11:40 AM

First Generation Student: Michelle White

Michelle White is Business Administration/Marketing major at Governors State University, vice president of the Bega Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and president of the International Business Club. A first-generation college student, White dreams to one day work at a marketing consulting firm or to be a Marketing Manager for a large retailer.

White shares her story with us: 

"I come from a middle class family. We don’t struggle. We get by with just enough.

My mom and dad never completed high school. My stepfather also never went to college, and none of my siblings have either. Still, my mom made sure I was able to attend a private high school. She wanted me to have the tools I needed to be successful. I didn’t want to waste that and after high school graduation, I set my sights on college.

It’s taken me five years to finish my bachelor’s degree at GSU. It’s been a long journey, but it has been worth it.

When I first started, I planned to major in education. But, that wasn’t for me. On a whim, I took a business marketing class as an elective and that’s where I found my path.

Though others told me I needed to be sure what I wanted to major in when I started college, I have found that it’s OK if you don't. And even though some of my education courses don’t relate to my new major, I still benefited from what I learned.

I feel pretty happy with where I am right now and what my future holds. The internships I’ve secured also have confirmed I’ve made the right career choice.

My time at Governors State University has given me the opportunity not only to explore my career options, but to also explore the world. Through the College of Business, I have been on two trips — one to India and another to eastern Europe. I would like to study abroad in Vietnam this summer.

I love to travel and the opportunities to see the world through study abroad opportunities has been one of my biggest motivators. I have enjoyed learning about other cultures and learning about our host countries from my professors who have provided invaluable knowledge. They share their life experiences and business insights and keep me on my game, often reminding me that hard work pays off.

I feel like they’re just trying to give their students a head start on their careers.

I’m glad I took the tools my parents gave me and put them to use at GSU and that I took the time to find my passion."