Student Spotlight: Rachel Franzen

By NKU Magazine Staff | Photography by Scott Beseler | Published July 19, 2019
Trey Burns

NAME: Rachel Franzen

HOMETOWN: California, Kentucky

MAJOR: Business Management

MINOR: Administration


Tell me about life pre-NKU. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a large family of eight in rural California, Kentucky.

Why did you choose NKU? What kept you here?

I chose NKU because it felt small, was the best choice financially and was the campus that made me feel the most at home. I stayed because the family atmosphere I felt when visiting became a reality. Academics and extracurriculars have opened portals for me that I never predicted possible.

Can you tell me a little about what you’re studying?

I am studying the ways to manage and upkeep a business. I have learned different facets of a business that will allow me to go into the workforce with knowledge of how businesses are ran from different positions such as accounting, human resources, marketing, etc.

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about NKU?

Growing. Our university is in a constant state of growth. To be at our university at this point in time has been an amazing experience. We have seen our university grow in so many ways: physically with buildings being added and renovated, athletics fully participating in Division I tournaments and academically with majors being added and programs being revamped.

What is the best thing about NKU?

I love the size of our university. It allows for the close-knit atmosphere that we have on campus both student-to-student and student-to-faculty.

What advice would you give a first-year student?

Get involved. You will hear it time and time again, but it is so true. There are so many different opportunities whether it be academic organizations, Greek organizations or just getting to know those in your classes, to get involved. The more friendships and relationships you create, the more at home you will feel here.

What’s your favorite class? Why?

I loved my Business Law class. It taught me so much relevant information to what was going on at the time. Professor Kathy Carnes has a way of making all the information interesting and interactive.

What has been your most challenging academic experience so far? Why?

My most challenging academic experience was my freshman year when I was in the College of Health Professions. Although the material was challenging itself, the biggest hardship was realizing that I had picked a major that didn’t suit me and trying to stick it out because I didn’t know what else to do. I made myself miserable trying to learn about something that, although very important, I was not interested in spending my life in.

What’s a favorite NKU memory you’ll never forget?

I was able to spend a week in San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the Professional Business Leaders National Leadership Conference. I came in first place in my event, and that is an experience I will never forget.

What is your favorite way to decompress?

My favorite way to decompress is to be outside, especially with animals.

Where’s your favorite spot on campus? What makes that spot so special?

I love the Campus Recreation Center. It’s a place where I can release some energy as well as a great environment that I can study in.

Who’s your favorite professor (or staff member)? Why?

Professor Kathy Carnes and Professor Mark Thackeray have both been favorite professors of mine. They go above and beyond to make sure we learn the content of their courses, not just know information for a test. Professor Carnes has lead me both in the classroom and outside of the classroom with the example she leads. Professor Thackeray has shown what a true business person looks like and what we can accomplish in different roles in a community.

Where’s the best place to study?

I prefer to study in the CRC. It’s not too quiet, yet it’s not too loud that allows me to learn best.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?

I love hanging out with family in friends whether it be at home, on campus, in northern Kentucky or in Cincinnati. The area makes it fun to be in the NKU community.

How do you stay focused?

I always have to remember that everything that I am working toward now will help me in the future.

What is your greatest passion?

My greatest passion is serving others. I hope to one day create an atmosphere in the workplace where employees and peers are able to put forth their best efforts for a company they love.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am most looking forward to seeing all the knowledge and techniques that I have learned be in used in the workplace.

What does getting your degree mean to you?

My degree has been a journey thus far. From changing colleges within the university to finding which major fits me best, my degree will say I made it. I have done this for myself to set a foundation for my future.

What are a few things every NKU student should do here before he or she graduates?

Every NKU student should get involved in some sort of organization to help them grow roots in the university. They should also take advantage of Career Services and all the resources they have available for students of all pasts and all futures.

Tell me anything else about yourself and/or NKU that you want folks to know.

Always push through. There are good times at the end of every struggle that we face as students. Sometimes graduation won’t seem possible, but it is. There is no shame in asking for help as long as you are grateful for what you receive.