The Making of a Prodigy
Abby Wilfert, ’20, wasted no time after graduating with her Business Management & Honors degrees from the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration.
She began UND’s MBA program while managing her own businesses on the side and working as a graduate assistant in the Dean’s Office and Pancratz Career Development Center.
As an undergrad, Abby frequented the UND Center for Innovation, where she received coaching to help her entrepreneurial ideas become realities. The honors student proceeded to launch two businesses within a single semester. The first, Prodigy Marketing, is a student-run company that creates marketing plans for small businesses. The second, Abby Grace Designs LLC, showcases Abby’s artwork through custom pieces and greeting cards and serves as an outlet for her minor in Art History & Museum Studies.
“UND provides an endless number of opportunities to become more than just a student, so I tried to take full advantage of those opportunities on every end of campus,” explained Abby.
My scholarship donors taught me that if people could so selflessly support someone they had never met, then I could do the same for the people in my community.
She credits her early success, in part, to scholarships like the Center for Innovation Mueller Internship Merit Scholarship and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Program – both of which funded her businesses – and to mentors like Greg Page, former Cargill CEO and one of Abby's scholarship donors.
“My scholarship donors taught me that if people could so selflessly support someone they had never met, then I could do the same for the people in my community. They inspired me to give back with anything I had to give,” said Abby.
Abby has already applied this practice of giving back as a peer mentor and co-founder of the NCoBPA Business Leadership Club and by serving on various higher education committees, motivating her to explore a career in academia following her MBA graduation.
Highly regarded for her work on and off campus, Abby says there are many others at UND like her: “My story is not unique; I have seen dozens upon dozens of my classmates become leaders because of scholarships. The benefits of scholarships have no end; they have an unparalleled potential to transform an ordinary person into a community leader.”
We believe that an outstanding, affordable UND education should be attainable for every student who wants it. As students make hard decisions about where and how they will pursue their dreams, one thing is clear: scholarships make a difference. Studies show that one of the top three influences on a student’s decision is the size of financial package provided by the institution.