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Classroom to Careers: Brooke Fleener

**Brooke Fleener**
Senior in Speech Communication
Hometown: Carroll, Iowa
Conference Manager through Iowa State University Department of Residence, Conference Services

**A reason to stay**

Although she initially came to Iowa State to study Apparel Merchandising, Brooke quickly realized it was not the right fit. “Apparel Merchandising wasn’t for me,” said Brooke, “but Iowa State was still where I knew I wanted to be.” It was both the strong sense of community that Iowa State embodies and the vast opportunities offered which Brooke fell in love with.

Soon after she decided Apparel Merchandising was not right for her, Brooke declared Speech Communication as her major. “I knew I loved to communicate verbally with people, ” said Brooke. “I was really involved in speech and drama in high school and was never afraid to communicate in front of a crowd.” Now Brooke has taken the skills learned in class and applied them to her internship this past year as a Conference Manager through Iowa State’s Department of Residence.

**On the job**

One of the greatest obstacles that Brooke experienced as a Conference Manager was working as a supervisor of other highly experienced students.

“It was challenging to gain respect and serve as an authority figure for them,” said Brooke. “I think that it was a really great experience and a challenge that has made me a better and more experienced manager/supervisor.” From this internship, Brooke has gained valuable experience that will benefit her as she prepares for graduation and full-time job interviews. “I will be able to discuss the things I have done, the challenges I have overcome and the things I would do to make future situations better,” said Brooke.

**Final thoughts**

As graduation approaches, Brooke looks back on her positive experiences as an Iowa State intern.

“I think that this internship, especially because I was employed by Iowa State, made my college experience complete,” said Brooke. “It is amazing all the resources that Iowa State can offer outside of the classroom.” Brooke found her internship using Cyhire and reflects that her change in major made a significant impact on her college experience. “I think that switching my major was vital for me and my future. I knew that I wouldn’t have been happy with where I was and I am so happy that I wasn’t afraid to make a change.”