By Sydney Davis
Kierstyn Oldenburg works in Rochester College’s Student Financial Services, and she is the first person seen by many students when they start to figure out how to afford college.
What brought you to RC and why do you choose to work here?
“I had family that went here, so I had always known about it growing up. I wanted to be part of the community and had friends that worked here, so I just applied and got the job!”
What kind of education did you have to have?
“I was actually in early education. With my background in retail—experience in communication and with numbers running a store, they decided I was fit for the job.”
Where did you work in retail?
“I was working at Eddie Bauer when I came here—ready to get out of retail!”
What’s the easiest and hardest part of your job?
“The easiest part is working for a great team where I want to come to work every day.”
“When a student and parent comes in to go over the cost of college, helping them manage their initial shock of college cost today.”
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
“Working with the students—communicating and getting to know them. And the small campus which makes it a close community,”
What do you do outside your job to stay sane, relieve stress, etc.?
“I love my nieces and family. Beyond that, I love reading and camping—sitting around a bonfire.”
Where did you grow up?
“Detroit on the east side in the city. My mom was a nurse at the hospital and my dad worked for the city as a tax accountant, so I lived there my entire life until I was in college.”
What is your favorite thing to do in the Rochester area? Or in Michigan?
“My parents live in Traverse City, so I like going there. The cider mills and fall time. Rochester Yates Cider Mill is the best and going to downtown Rochester. It’s like a small town feel almost.”
What is your most prized possession?
“My nieces. I know that sounds weird, but I love them. I love being an aunt.”
What is your most embarrassing moment?
“I was at Great Lakes parking lot and I tripped over I don’t even know what. You know that feeling where you can feel yourself falling? I flew! And I just got up like ‘looks around’ and ‘laughs.’ ”
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
“I had to change schools my senior year of high school because my school closed down, and it was hard being the new kid in my last year. I couldn’t play my sports or anything because you had to be there for a year. It was a long time ago but it was tough.”
Who is your biggest influence?
“My parents. They are the most caring, loving individuals—they were medical missionaries in Africa—and I always say if I could live to be half as great as they are I would have succeeded.”