In 2019, Kaley Pederson traveled across the country from her hometown in Southern California to study and play Division 2 Softball at St. Thomas Aquinas College.
Though she was excited to begin college and experience living on the east coast, Kaley says that being so far away from home could sometimes be challenging.
“The culture and atmosphere are noticeably different,” Kaley says. “Our norm on the west coast is more laid back and relaxed and the east coast is more ‘hustle and bustle,’ where you need to go everywhere so fast and get things done so fast!”
It didn’t take long for Kaley to settle in though, because she was warmly welcomed to campus, not just by her team, but by the entire STAC community.
“STAC really supplied me with some of the most amazing people to help me feel less homesick along the way,” says the Business Management Major and Marketing Minor. “STAC’s campus is tight-knit where everyone knows everyone, so we are all able to help each other out.”
Over the years, Kaley has valued the personal guidance of her professors, especially Dr. Deirdre Engels, Associate Professor of Marketing, who she says “transformed her” and helped her choose her career path.
“She influenced me to pursue marketing through her classes, and now I am on track to be in that field. Because of her, I want to do digital marketing and I plan on that being my future career.” She has already gotten a taste of what it’s like to work in her future profession through an on-campus internship. As a social media/web design intern, Kaley has been creating social media posts and developing other content for STAC’s communications department. She’s also been involved in editing, revising, and building the college’s new website.
Kaley has always loved the outdoors and grew up surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and playing softball. She began playing the sport at the age of five, a skill that earned her an athletic scholarship in college, in addition to the academic scholarship she was awarded for her academic achievement.
Kaley also enjoys traveling, and she has already visited five countries, including Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and her favorite to date, Italy. “It is gorgeous there and the communities were just so beautiful,” she says. “They also have the best cuisine, by far!”
In her free time, she likes going to concerts and her musical tastes are wide-ranging, including artists such as Post Malone and Eminem, as well as One Direction and Guns and Roses.
What the future holds is yet to be determined, Kaley says, but when she graduates, she’ll venture home to Riverside, California where she’ll stay until she finds the perfect job opportunity. “As of now, I am keeping an open mind to career opportunities to take me to any coast.”