Name: Tyler Hitzeman
Where were you born: Kewaunee, WI
Where are you from: Green Bay, WI
Majors: History, German
Year in school: Class of 2016
Interests/hobbies: Rock climbing, cooking, Packers
Involvement on campus: Student Health & Overall Wellness (S.H.O.W.), UW Flash Fiction
Career aspirations: To succeed as an Information Technology Lawyer
How has CAE helped you create your Wisconsin Experience?
CAE continuously challenged me to become a better-rounded student. During the Summer Collegiate Experience, I gained an appreciation for new art forms like classical music that I previously considered dull. As a participant of the Undergraduate Research Scholars program, I experienced the rewards of contributing to a large and relevant team project at a young age. Thanks to my First-Year Interest Group on Anne Frank, I was inspired to learn German and form unlikely friendships with my classmates. Finally, the Pathways capstone project challenged me to reflect on my goals and give an articulate and unique presentation.
CAE also provided me with unique and lasting connections. I became close friends with my floor mate from SCE. My advisor (Lauren) has not only given me direction and motivation as a student, but also supported me as a friend. After SCE, my critical thinking and writing instructor let me TA for him and has since become a close friend. None of these enriching relationships would have been possible without CAE.
What has been a memorable experience in college so far?
Participating in the Academic Year in Freiburg study abroad program was my most memorable college experience. Living in a new country improved my language skills, made me a more adaptable student, and widened my perspective. Plus, it was fun! The opportunities to travel, learn, and try new foods (and German beer) made it difficult to have an uneventful day. My favorite memories from my time abroad are working in a traditional German restaurant, going to concerts with my new friends, and Couchsurfing.
Describe what you are looking forward to after graduating?
In general, I am looking forward to working with a team. Aside from group projects, being a student is often a one-person effort. I think it will be rewarding to belong to a larger organization and have a common goal. I also look forward to applying the critical thinking skills that my years in the College of Letters & Science have developed.
More specifically, I am looking forward to staying in Madison to work in the Information Technology field. I also hope to work in Indonesia as an English teacher before eventually applying to law school.
What is one thing you wish you would’ve known coming in as a freshman?
I wish I would’ve known the power of the UW library system. As a freshman, the only tip I heard concerning school materials was “buy used books.” As a result, I ended up buying many books in the bookstore that were available for free right across the street in the library. In fact, I’d estimate that 90% of what I ever needed as an undergraduate was accessible through the library. Anything that isn’t in a one of UW-Madison’s forty libraries can often be ordered for free through Interlibrary Loan or UBorrow. Renewing books online also allows you to keep them longer, sometimes for a whole semester.
The library has a lot more to offer than just books, however. One can access hundreds of databases to find the perfect secondary source for a paper through the Article Search function. There are nice reference librarians who monitor the Chat service on the library page and offer help to students who can’t make it to a library. There’s even a plethora of popular movies, games, and CDs in College Library that are just waiting to be checked out and enjoyed—and it’s all free!
What tips do you have for getting to know faculty?
Keeping up with assignments and visiting office hours are, of course, important, but they don’t always guarantee a connection with a faculty member. After all, a handful of students do these things every semester. I think the best way to get to know someone is by distinguishing yourself. Sharing your reaction to a professor's recent publication or attending a departmental event can leave a big impression. Taking multiple courses with the professor also gives them more of a chance to get to know you better. Simply sending them an email thanking them for their hard work throughout the semester or sharing how you applied what you leaned in class allows the relationship to continue after the school year ends. The more ways a faculty member can continuously see a student’s interests and skills, the more likely the relationship will grow (and the better that letter of recommendation will be).