Kate Howell, president of Ivy Student Council 2018–19
St. Paul, Minnesota
Management Information Systems (MIS)
Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you chose Iowa State University?
I’m the youngest of three. My granddad, William Kernan, taught in the physics department at Iowa State, and both of my parents, Andi and Pete Howell, graduated from Iowa State, so I was practically born a Cyclone! Having grown up going to football games in the fall and VEISHEA every spring, cardinal and gold runs in my veins — and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why did you choose business?
I chose business because I have an analytical mindset but truly am passionate about people. MIS is a field where I’m able to support people in solving business problems by applying information technology.
Can you describe your experience at the Ivy College of Business so far?
I really couldn’t ask for a better experience. I joined the Ivy College of Business in the fall of my freshman year and thrived through a Business Learning Team, where a group of freshman business students take classes together and live in the same residence hall. From there, I really just wanted to take full advantage of everything that was available to me. I did this by connecting with my professors through office hours, attending CEO lectures and networking events, and I slowly built relationships with Ivy staff and administrators. I think it’s true that you get out of an experience what you put into it, but Ivy has more than returned my investment.
Did anything surprise you about majoring in business/your specific major?
I never imagined the opportunities within business, and specifically within management information systems, would have such breadth and depth. MIS students are uniquely positioned in that we bridge the gap between business and technology, which means that we can create and enhance value in a variety of roles and industries. Additionally, the business core curriculum that all students study ensures that no matter our major, we have a solid foundation in all fundamental business areas. I had no idea how many options I would have after graduation. I personally have been fortunate enough to intern with a leading health insurer and an international consulting firm as part of my undergraduate experience.
Is any one person having a significant impact on you while at the college?
Our Ivy Student Council adviser, Tara Fisher, has had the strongest impact in my undergraduate career so far. Tara saw leadership potential in me, and has nurtured my growth in Ivy and in student council, empowering me to take on more responsibility and challenge myself.
How did you get involved with Ivy Student Council?
During the fall of my sophomore year, I was attending a lot of college events and seeing the same friendly, knowledgeable faces. When someone suggested that I apply for the council, I jumped at the opportunity to join the group of college leaders. Once I was accepted into the council, I became involved as a member on a committee and later as a committee chair. I also took full advantage of the events and opportunities we had outside of formal meeting times.
Why choose a leadership position?
Ivy has invested extensively in me and as I alluded to earlier, the support that I’ve received has been transformative. I really believe in Ivy Student Council and the influential role we have in the college, so taking on a leadership position is an exciting way to continue my commitment to advancing our college and university. I am learning every step of the way.
Isn’t that a large time commitment?
It certainly is a time commitment. It’s an extremely rewarding one, and I know that the work I’m doing matters. It’s exciting to serve as a voice for the Ivy student body in various capacities and be in a position to create positive change within our community.
What would you like people to know about the Ivy College of Business? Would you recommend it for future students?
I think everyone should know that an Ivy education extends far beyond the classroom doors. Our students are involved in industry research, possess a global business mindset from studying overseas, and apply what we have learned in the classroom by competing at international case competitions. Furthermore, it’s the community in the Ivy College of Business that I will remember in 30 years. It’s not unusual to see a professor buy coffee for the student behind them in line, or to see an adviser in the stands of an athletic event cheering on their student-athlete advisee. I’m clearly biased, but I can’t recommend the Ivy College of Business enough.
I think everyone should know that an Ivy education extends far beyond the classroom doors. Our students are involved in industry research, possess a global business mindset from studying overseas, and apply what we have learned in the classroom by competing at international case competitions.”
President, Ivy Student Council