Technology Leadership Program, Target Corp. Agnew is one of only 15 chosen of this program.
As Katie Agnew ’11 can tell you, sometimes extracurricular activities can really pay off. Agnew, a math major from Princeton, Minn., spent most of her free time at Macalester working on the Student Activities Program Board, serving as its chair for the last two years.
In her senior capstone project, Agnew used integer linear programming to find optimal meeting locations. When she told her Best Buy supervisor about the project, the woman quickly asked if they could apply it there.
She’s snagged an internship working in corporate and retail events at Best Buy from this experience. She worked 20 hours a week with a small team that plans all Best Buy’s internal events, such as store grand opening trainings for managers, top salesmen incentive trips, and vendor shows for company personnel.
Although just 22, Agnew has plenty of event experience to offer Best Buy. In her first term leading the Student Activities Program Board, she started the Winter Ball, which was so successful that it grew from 600 people in its launch year to 1,500 this year. Last spring she interned at the New York Fun Factory, a leading special events production company in the New York City area, and last fall she worked on the Holidazzle parade for the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
But it was at Mac, on the Program Board and as an orientation coordinator, that she found her niche. “I learned to love events at Mac,” says Agnew. “It’s what I did for fun at school.”
She’s also putting that math major to use. In her senior capstone project, Agnew used integer linear programming to find optimal meeting locations. When she told her Best Buy supervisor about the project, the woman quickly asked if they could apply it there. So now, using her own programming, Besy Buy is figuring out which towns—factoring in costs, number of attendees, total distance travelled, and other variables—would be the best spots to host Best Buy’s smaller events.
For this and other reasons—same food service, similar billing system, company-sponsored clubs and organizations—Agnew says, “it has been a very comfortable transition from Mac to work.”