Jordan Wollschlager – Alumni Profile
Jordan Wollschlager, Watertown, SD
Lake Area Tech Financial Services, Class of 2011
Why did you choose to attend Lake Area Tech? My high school DECA teacher, Mrs. Siem, suggested I tour Lake Area my senior year. I thought it would be interesting to see where my father had gone to school but wasn’t sure what program I could study. Mrs. Siem recommended I visit with Kelly McDaniel in the Financial Services department. Right away, we hit it off! I was able to relate to him which made it clear, Lake Area was the right fit for me.
Where are you employed today? First PREMIER Bank
When was the last time you visited campus? Last week (September 2023)
What was your favorite thing about Lake Area Tech? There were several things I enjoyed about Lake Area. One favorite that stands out is how well they work with their students’ individual situations. I was able to secure a teller position at a local bank which worked well with my Lake Area class schedule. It allowed me to gain banking experience and earn some extra money to help pay for school. I was asked to go full time prior to finishing my last semester of school. Kelly was more than willing to work with me, so I was able to accept the promotion and to get a jump start in my career while finishing my degree.
What was the biggest lesson you learned at Lake Area Tech? Kelly McDaniel often spoke of his prior career as an Ag lender and how important the bonds were that he formed with his customers. Learning to make and value relationships would become an essential part of my everyday life. Relationship building and connections to customers, referral sources, center of influences and friends all started with Kelly’s guidance.
What made you want to continue your education? I really wanted to stay home and farm with my dad, uncle, and grandfather, however, was told there was not enough to go around. After meeting my dad’s ag banker, I realized that banking was the side of financial services I wanted to pursue.
What advice would you give a current Lake Area Tech student? Make the most of your time at Lake Area and in Watertown. Push yourself outside your comfort zones to meet people. You never know, they could end up becoming your friend or a customer down the road.
What makes you proud to be an Alumni of Lake Area Tech? I am lucky in the fact I was able to stay in Watertown and get to visit Lake Area a few times a year. I have had the opportunity to come on campus and discuss banking within their classes. I truly enjoy seeing the students and hearing their stories of what they would like to do in the future and where they plan to take the skills learned at Lake Area.
As a foundation board member, I am able to help with scholarship review which has become one of my favorite things to do with the foundation. Reading the stories of incoming students and knowing the places they can go in just a few short years is exciting. Their possibilities are endless with the help of Lake Area’s instructors and leaders. Our community recognizes Lake Area Technical College as a tremendous asset and genuinely supports them.
What advice can you give to Lake Area Tech students that will be entering the workforce? Go the extra mile, volunteer, and find a way to be active in the community you want to live in. Step up because you want to not because someone makes you. Becoming a valuable member of the community will help you have a successful career.
A note from Lake Area Tech: We congratulate Jordan on being named the 2023 Businessman of the Year by the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce!