1/13/2013 1:41:00 PM Life after Graduation: Corey Sjoquist
by Connie Bickman
Note: This column features "hometown folks," specifically Cannon Falls and Randolph High School graduates - of any year - and their unique or interesting careers. If you know of anyone you feel would make an interesting feature, email firstname.lastname@example.org - Email address of person must also be included.
It didn't take long after graduating from Cannon Falls High School in 1992, for Corey Sjoquist to realize an appreciation for the advantages a small community has to offer.
"Growing up in the Cannon Falls area meant seeing familiar faces wherever you went, giving you a true sense of belonging," he related.
"I spent most of my years growing up in the White Rock area. Working with my dad, uncle, and cousins on our family farm. This not only taught me responsibility, but also the understanding that what I did, or didn't do, made a difference and impacted others."
Corey also admits that participating on the speech team in high school helped him to discover that he enjoyed communicating in a variety of ways.
"Although I didn't know what type of career I would find after high school, I knew I wanted one that utilized my speaking skills," he stated.
As a freshman at UW-La Crosse, Corey had the opportunity to work in the admissions office. That experience led him to a three year stint as a campus tour guide. He admits that being a tour guide helped him to understand the admissions profession. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Mass Communications and a Master's of Science in Education in College Student Development and Administration, Corey was hired as an admissions counselor at the college.
Corey has a deep appreciation for the work he does. "Working in college admissions has been a great fit for me. It has been over 20 years since I started working in the UW-La Crosse Admissions Office as a student, and since then I've successfully 'climbed through the ranks' and now serve as Director of Admissions. Every single day presents new challenges and opportunities for me to address, while still having the opportunity to open the doors of higher education for future students."
He continued, "Very few students enter college with an interest in working in college admissions. For many people, it's a job that you fall into. I can't imagine my life had I not fallen into this job that turned into a great career."
Offering advice for anyone who may be interested in an admissions job, Corey adds, "College admissions is a tremendous career for those who value higher education, enjoy working with people, and appreciate the variety of thoughts and perspectives of others."
Children of Mark and Cindy Sjoquist, Cannon Falls, Corey and his sisters are all graduates of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and all were campus tour guides while students.
Monica (Sjoquist) Dinauer (34), lives in Caledonia, Wisconsin. Molly (Sjoquist) Olson (27) lives in Mantorville, and currently works in college admissions. Maggie Sjoquist (24) lives in Cannon Falls and will be Maggie Wilson after her marriage on January 5. Corey's grandparents, Wayne and Irene Erickson also reside in Cannon Falls.
"Reflecting back upon growing up here, I've realized that Cannon Falls is a community with people who understand the importance of giving back and helping others. I believe the values you learn from growing up in a small community like Cannon Falls will help people be successful in whatever career they choose.
Corey and his wife, Stacey, who currently live in West Salem, Wisconsin, met while students at UW-La Crosse. Stacey is a physical therapist at Mayo Health System-Onalaska and the couple have three sons, Liam (10), Elliott (7), and Graham (3), and a baby daughter, Mabel, who was born in November.
Çorey noted, "Stacey and I make a great team and we have been fortunate to find a healthy balance between our professional careers and creating a home for our family."
Corey's future plans are to continue working at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, to help prospective students and families understand the amazing opportunities available to them.