March 13, 2024

Diersen grows, makes an impact through campus positions

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Editor’s Note — This is part of a student conversation series featured on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Medium page. The series highlights Huskers who are making positive impacts on campus, in their outreach work, and career paths.

Tori Diersen, an economics major from Brookings, South Dakota, is leaving her impact on campus through her role with ASUN and growing by seeking out hands-on opportunities.

As a Yeutter Student Fellow and a Bureau of Business Research Scholar, you’ve taken advantage of opportunities to advance yourself outside of the classroom. Why was this important to you coming into college?

Applying and practicing what I learn in the classroom through professional experiences solidifies my understanding and comfort with topics. As a Yeutter Student Fellow and a Bureau Scholar, I have been able to build on base concepts I learn in the classroom and build my research experience through projects. It was important to me that I advance my skills outside of the classroom because collaboration becomes more important, and I have learned to value that not all real-life questions and problems have easy solutions, or a solution at all. I have also learned how interdisciplinary the questions I am answering are, and these experiences often help improve my academic performance down the road.

Talk about being part of ASUN. What impact are you hoping to leave through your position?

I have been involved with ASUN for three years, all in some capacity with the Committee for Fee Allocations. It is such an impactful way for me to be involved on campus because I am always trying to share with other students what resources are made available to them through their student fees and listening to the shortfalls they have experienced with the services. I have tried to do my part to make sure that fees are being well utilized by fee users and students. I hope that I have inspired more students to look into joining the committee because of its unexpected connections with people around campus and the very tangible impact I feel I have every time I go to pay my semester bill.

You’re super involved on campus. What have you learned from your involvements or how have they shaped your college experience?

Getting involved on campus helped shape and refine my interests during college. I was in various clubs and organizations during my freshmen year, and I have slowly narrowed my involvement to what I am most passionate about. With every organization I am a part of this year, I can think of ways I have gained life skills that I will continue to use after college. Time management is one of the most important skills to practice and develop so that I can have time for classes, work, clubs, and my friends and family. I have also learned how important connecting with various people is, because it has expanded who I know and led to unexpected opportunities.

You helped create the inaugural Cornhusker Business Case Competition. Talk about why you wanted to create it and your favorite part/anything you’re proud of in creating and hosting it.

The idea for a UNL student-led case competition came from my experience competing at a case competition in Tacoma, Washington. We were having a discussion the night after we had competed, and we decided that we could create and host our own competition. The four of us split up the work, with two of us writing the case and the other two planning the logistics of the competition. My favorite part of the whole experience was taking a moment to soak in the day of competition when I realized that the students competing in the competition had risen to the ask of the case, and that everything was running smoothly. I am so proud of how the four of us turned an idea into a case competition and that we have now selected the next steering committee so that it can happen again.

Is there anything you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

I don’t have any specific idea or thing I hope to accomplish in my lifetime because I’m trying to keep open-ended goals that will allow me to discover my full potential. However, one bucket list item I have that will likely take my lifetime is donating blood and having it sent (at least once) to all 50 states.

What or who inspires you?

I’m always inspired by stories of people demonstrating grit and taking the lead when times get hard.

What is your advice to other students looking to make an impact on campus?

Explore multiple clubs and involvements. If you aren’t finding what aligns with your interests, start something new. All it takes is one leader with grit, an idea, and time to make an impact. There are lots of students on campus willing to try something new or already sharing the same passions as you.