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Springfield, Missouri
Philosophy, Economics & Math

How is Drury preparing you for life after college?

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Student Spotlight: Meet Mauri Waneka

Developing relationships. Personalizing education. Working for success.

Mauri Waneka is brutally honest about her initial expectations of Drury: they weren't high. After growing up in Springfield, Mauri wanted to attend college away from home, so she headed off to California to pursue her education. Homesickness, though, quickly brought her back to Springfield and, ultimately, to Drury, where she anticipated a much less diverse college experience.

Turns out, Mauri was wrong.

"I loved Drury," she says, recalling her own surprise at the education offered at Drury. "It was amazing. It's just an environment that fosters whatever you want to do."

Citing personal attention from professors, small classes, and the ability to customize her education to her interests and goals, Mauri now credits her Drury education as one of the reasons she has a dream job waiting as soon as she graduates.

Next Stop: Success

In the summer of 2012, Mauri left Springfield behind for a 10-week internship at BNP Paribas, the largest bank by assets in the world. Selected from more than 1,500 applicants and chosen among a field of Ivy League scholars, Mauri applied the networking and critical thinking skills developed from her Drury experience to succeed.

"The way I've been able to interact and develop a relationship with professors is exactly how the business world works," she says. "At a certain point, everybody is qualified, so it's about who you know and how you can network. Because of my time here at Drury, I knew how to network professionally, how to develop relationships, and at the end of the summer, I was the only undergraduate to get a job offer for the equities floor."

So after she graduates from Drury in May, Mauri will be heading to the Big Apple to begin her career in equities with BNP Paribas.

"I don't know specifically what I'm going to be doing," she says. "Some people that might make nervous, but to me it's exciting, because it's kind of a mystery. I have no idea where they're going to put me. I could be trading. I could be selling. I could be working on building client relationships."

A Personalized Education

At Drury, Mauri has been able to truly explore her interests and receive a well-rounded education that has prepared her for the future. With three diverse majors - economics, math, and philosophy - she has developed a unique view of the world and an ability to analyze that has set her ahead of the curve.

"I'm 90 percent sure that most of why I got my internship and why I got my job is because I've studied philosophy, because when I see a problem, I look at it differently. I ask questions," Mauri says. "I don't say, 'Oh, this is one and this is two.' I ask, 'Why is it one?'"

At her internship last summer, Mauri says the interns frequently received feedback from bank employees. Very often in those feedback sessions, the other employees would comment on Mauri's tendency to ask questions and dig deeper for meaning in everyday scenarios.

"That's what a philosopher does," she says. "They're curious. They question. And I would encourage every student to at least take one or two philosophy classes."

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