Leah Ruplinger – Milwaukee

Leah Ruplinger WI Grant
Leah Ruplinger plans to work in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after graduating from MSOE.

Name: Leah Ruplinger

Hometown: Milwaukee

Course of Study: Nursing with psychology minor

Why did you choose the Milwaukee School of Engineering?
Knowing that I wanted to go into nursing, I asked friends and families about colleges that they attended or suggestions of schools in the local area. Upon talking with Dr. Renee Wenzlaff, associate professor, she convinced me to apply as they have a wonderful nursing program and have clinicals in many well-known hospitals. My love for MSOE grew over the following year as I began to rule out potential colleges. I never thought that I would be able to afford MSOE, but my financial aid made it the nearly the same price as state schools. Through my pros and cons list, MSOE was clearly the better choice and ended up meeting all of my expectations. I had direct admission into the nursing program, which besides cost was a huge contributing factor drawing me to MSOE. MSOE also offered me numerous clinical settings and experiences in the big hospitals I could only dream of working in.

What are your career goals?
Throughout my time spent at MSOE, I have always wanted to pursue a job in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I am excited for the opportunities that MSOE has to offer, as I will be able to experience NICU in a clinical setting prior to graduation.

How has financial aid impacted your college experience?
Financial aid has allowed me to pick a college that I felt most at home with and knew I would excel in. MSOE has made it possible for me to graduate in the 4 years with a bachelor’s degree, which most schools cannot guarantee. Financial aid also helped ease the financial pressure of being able to balance school, work, soccer, and other extracurricular activities.

Did receiving financial aid impact your decision to attend MSOE?
Yes, immensely. I come from a family that doesn’t have a lot of extra money lying around. That meant if I wanted to go to college, I had to figure out how to pay for it. My financial aid made it possible for me to reasonably attend MSOE as long as I could find a private student loan to cover the rest. Financial aid, to my surprise, put MSOE in the financial ballpark of state schools. I feel like I was able to get the best bang for my buck by attending a well-known private school, with direct admission to my program for the same price as a state university.

What will a college degree mean to you?
I will be the first in my family to finish a 4-year college, in 4 years! A college degree means that I will be able to work in a field that I love! It means that I have continued to invest in myself in providing additional opportunities that I would not otherwise have. It also proves to myself, that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.

Have you learned something during college you didn’t expect?
I learned the value of creating connections and networks with the people we meet throughout life. I am starting the process of job hunting and the relationships that I developed through college have provided additional connections to my ideal job. Through professors and clinical experience, I have proven myself as a student that many would love to have as a future employee/co-worker, and they are willing to help me get to where I want to go.

What are your plans after graduation?
Following graduation, I want to spend two years in the health care setting finding the best-fit field for me. I mention two years because I have not yet decided whether I want to continue my education to become a nurse practitioner.

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