Staying on Course

Kenzie Manthei

Photo by David Norris

Manthei outside her U.S. Bank internship location in downtown Mankato.

Bethany alumna MacKenzie Manthei hails from the tiny town of Belview, Minnesota. Belview, located in the farm country of the western part of the state, is so small there isn’t a school in the town. She traveled sixteen miles each day to Redwood Valley High School to attend high school. At Redwood Valley she was also a motivated student participating in dance team, golf, tennis, knowledge bowl, National Honor Society, and student council.

“I first learned about Bethany from my neighbor and great friend, Katy (Faugstad ’15) Fassett. After her first year at Bethany, she came home for the summer. I remember going for walks talking about her time at Bethany and the amazing friends she had met. The summer going into my senior year, I went to a Bethany Visit Day with Katy and instantly fell in love with the school.”

That visit served as the incentive for Manthei to apply and ultimately decide to attend Bethany. She earned a bachelor of arts in business administration in December 2018. Interestingly, her original academic plans took a turn in a different direction part way through her first year on campus.

“When I first came to Bethany I started on the track of a double major in chemistry and mathematics with the hopes of going into chemical engineering. As my freshman year progressed, I realized that even though I enjoyed chemistry, I decided that I didn’t want to do it forever.”

Manthei had a bit of exposure to the banking industry in high school, and the possibility of a business major had her thinking about a change.

“I job shadowed at a bank when I was a senior in high school and had always envisioned myself working in a professional setting. I began exploring the possibility of a business major towards the end of my freshman year, and the transition was so easy. I was still able to graduate in three-and-a-half years even with changing my major.”

She explained the process, “Professor Shoop was the first business professor I met with when I considered changing to a business major. From the beginning, he worked with me to make sure I was on track to graduate when I wanted, and was always willing to take a look at my schedule and help me plan out my future. He is a mentor who I knew I could count on to give me an honest opinion or advice, and would be willing to support me with any decision I made.”

Professor Shoop also helped put Manthei on the track to a productive internship. The internship, at U.S. Bank in Mankato, became much more for Manthei than ten weeks of summer employment. After graduating from Bethany, she’s now a full-time credit analyst for the company.

Manthei’s future might include some additional school.

“I love to learn, so I hope that whatever field or career I end up in, I’m challenged and able to continue learning each and every day. I am also planning to go to graduate school starting the fall of 2019 to pursue an MBA.”