Shayla Hoenes ’12 graduated with a certainty that grew stronger during her ISU years. She left campus knowing she was ready to pursue her dream of working in interior and environmental design.

Beyond partnering with faculty who became mentors, Hoenes experienced opportunities outside the classroom that motivated her—from participating in a campus ministry to completing an internship and receiving a scholarship.

“It was a huge surprise,” Hoenes said of the financial assistance she received through her Family and Consumer Sciences studies. The money was used for one semester’s tuition.

“It lifted a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said. “I wanted to graduate with the least amount of student loans as was possible.” Hoenes worked two jobs throughout her undergraduate years, adding a third one semester to minimize debt.

“Getting the scholarship boosted my confidence,” Hoenes said, and only further enriched her years at the University. “I had a really good experience at ISU. My whole program was great.”

One of the highlights was completing an internship at Shive-Hattery and Associates, an architecture and engineering consulting firm. “It was a huge learning curve,” Hoenes said, recalling her excitement in taking on projects for Von Maur. Her work was so stellar she was offered a position and has been with the firm for almost two years.

Now ready to branch out and find work in residential interior design, Hoenes is excited for the opportunity to use her skills in a different niche and partner more closely with clients. She knows there will be challenges, but also has the confidence of a Redbird who is more than ready.