Get to know Paige Sirek-Emerson

By UW-Barron County

UW-Barron County Student Paige Sirek-Emerson

Age: 19

Hometown: Rice Lake, Wis.

High school attended: Rice Lake High School

Current program or major: Business Management

Why did you choose UW-Barron County? I chose UW-Barron County for three reasons. First, I was not ready to leave my hometown yet. Second, I knew that college is an expensive journey, and I wanted to take the most inexpensive route. Third, I was fortunate enough to be educated on the benefits of starting out at a smaller college. I knew UW-Barron County would not be too overwhelming, and I would have the opportunity to get to know my professors on a personal level.

What surprised you the most about UW-Barron County when you arrived on campus? When I started my first fall semester, I was shocked to see how nice everyone was. I imagined college to be full of students who would keep to themselves. UW-Barron County is not like that. Most of the time, students and faculty will smile at you when passing you in the hallways. Throughout the year, students and staff have pushed me to be apart of so many activities and events. I joined clubs that I never thought I would enjoy. Now I have so many new passions.

Why did you choose your program/major? I plan on getting my bachelor's degree in business management. I would also like to get a minor in animal companionship science. One day, I hope to own an animal rescue shelter or work for the Humane Society. There is nothing better than rescuing animals and finding them their forever homes.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding? In my career field, I am learning that it is impossible to escape from science and mathematics. I am not the best at these subjects, but I am willing to put in the extra work to have my dream job.

In addition to being a college student, what takes up your free time? During the 2016-2017 school year, I served as a freshman senator in our Student Government Association. I started a club, The Friends of the Humane Society of Barron County, and I performed in a UW-Barron County's Theatre production, Rabbit Hole. I have a part-time job as assistant manager at the Humane Society of Barron County. Also, I have two dogs, six cats, two ferrets and 11 turtles that I care for at home.

Who has been your favorite professor or staff member? Throughout my first year, I became close with so many of the staff members. Mark Conrad was my advisor and professor. Terry Wiesner was the director of the play that I was in and my professor. Hope Dodge is the brilliant manager of the campus cafeteria, Riverside Café. I worked very closely with these individuals, and I have gained a lot of respect for all they do for our college. They gave me so much advice, support and guidance. I could never thank them enough.

What do you plan to do after UW-Barron County? I plan to go to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to finish my bachelor’s degree and to continue learning about companion animals. Whether I become an animal control officer, a manager of a rescue operation or an animal therapy trainer, there are so many animals that need help.

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming UW-Barron County students? Do not be scared to try something new. No one is judging you. Take advantage of college and the freedom in order to find yourself. Figure out everything you enjoy and run with it. You will surprise yourself.



Brian Becker