UI at 150: 'What a life-changing moment'

UI at 150: 'What a life-changing moment'

Memory No. 1,281 on our special UI-at-150 website comes from EMILY JAENSON, who last month became the highest-ranking female in all of minor league baseball:

Sports junkie that she was growing up in Chicagoland, Jaenson arrived at the University of Illinois intent on landing a career in the industry.But it didn't go exactly how the history-making new general manager of Nevada's Reno Aces drew it up.

"I headed off to Illinois knowing I wanted to work in sports but not exactly sure how I would get there, so I selected what seemed obvious to me — physical therapy," she says.

"Despite strengths in English studies and lacking in math and science, I thought this would be the path. A few months into school, after departing 415 Scott Hall too many times feeling lost, I dropped some classes and entered into what felt like no man's land.

"That's when I signed up for Advertising 101 and met Steve Hall. Finally, a subject I was interested in studying that I could connect to my goal to work in sports," says Jaenson (BS '05, advertising), who in May became the only female GM in all of Triple-A baseball.

"Sophomore year, I had the chance to apply to the then-College of Communications. I vividly remember walking into Greg Hall, up the granite steps, in my flip flops, to turn in my application. What a life-changing moment.

"I went on to straight As, being involved, getting to know my professors, TAs and classmates, and senior year serving as co-president of the AAF competition. Illinois defined my studies and set the direction for the rest of my career."

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