University of Northern Iowa junior Kullen Koelker has a front-row seat to his future career.
Koelker serves as a manager for the UNI men’s basketball team and hopes to coach after his time on campus.
“I wanted to be a manager because my high school basketball coach was also a college basketball manager,” said Koelker. “I have been able to continue my basketball experience past high school even though I am not playing. It is a lot of fun to be able to talk to the players and coaches every day.”
The Burlington, Iowa, native has learned valuable skills from head Coach Ben Jacobsen and his staff that will help him when he is in charge of his own team.
“I have learned a lot from being a manager,” Koelker said. “It has allowed me to experience the game first hand at a new level. I have been able to see how the coaches run their practices and set up their game plans, which I will be able to apply when I become a coach.”
When Koelker becomes a coach, he hopes to man the sidelines at the high school level.
“I want to be a high school coach because I want to be able to have an impact on young adults' lives,” said Koelker. “I don't believe any student-athlete should have to experience having a bad coach. Sports are supposed to be fun, and I want to be able to be a positive influence in their life.”
In addition to coaching, the Finance major would also like to pursue a career in finance or real estate after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa. He teams his classroom work with involvement in the Financial Management Association, Rho Epsilon and the Investments Committee.
Adds Koelker, “I chose to major in Finance because I really enjoy the multiple concepts and wonders of money. I believe I can use that major to expand my knowledge to further help others.”
Koelker’s ability to pursue his future careers has been aided by scholarship support. He is a Roy J. Carver Scholar.
“A scholarship really takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders,” Koelker said. “Knowing that I can lessen my student loans and decrease my future debt is a fantastic feeling. Scholarships allow me to stress less about my financial situation and put more of my focus towards my school work and extracurricular activities.”
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“I was really ecstatic (when I received the scholarship),” said Koelker. “I felt so excited and blessed. I still can’t believe how lucky I am, and I will always be grateful for this reward.”