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Meet Clarkson

Melanie Waldman

Third Time's the Charm

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Quick Facts +

Where are you from?
Victor, NY 

What is your favorite activity outside the classroom?
Working as a hockey referee in the Canton/Potsdam area and enjoying time spent within the community and meeting new people.  I have been a hockey ref all four years at school and I just received my level three certification.

Proudest accomplishment at Clarkson?
Working with the philanthropy committee last year to hold a dodge ball game that drew more than 700 attendees. All proceeds went to the Make a Wish Foundation.

College is the time when students really figure out where they want to be in ten years.  Many people change majors at least once.  That’s all part of the college experience.  Just ask Melanie Waldman. She has changed majors — three times.

Melanie has been enrolled in two of three Clarkson schools — moving from the School of Arts & Sciences to the School of Business.  Melanie wasn’t confused; she was determined. She wanted to find exactly the right fit. She finally found the right mix of creativity and technology she desired in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship major.

Melanie came to Clarkson strong in both math and the arts, fitting in nicely in the School of Arts and Sciences. However, the curriculum in her first major had more science than she wanted and she looked for something more suited to her interests.  She then enrolled as a communications  major, but her new major still didn’t quite click.  So she did an about-face, majoring in Information Systems and Business Processes in the School of Business.  Melanie could feel she was close.  Eventually, she found her place among the members of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship major, where she can exercise her mathematic and creative interests.

“I finally found a balance between my creative instincts and my passion for the technical stuff in this major,” Waldman said.

Waldman exemplifies Clarkson’s motto to “Defy Convention,” but no one can say she hasn’t been successful.  Due to her drive, and knowledge of enterprise resource management program, SAP, she was accepted at IBM for an internship in the summer of 2010.  This has since lead to a post-graduation position working to improve IBM’s business practices.

Melanie’s future position will be based in her home of Chicago, but will involve lots of travel, which she is thrilled with.  “It really is perfect for me because I have the experience at IBM and the travel part of it is great since I clearly cannot sit still!”

If changing majors three times wasn’t enough, Melanie Waldman is deeply involved around Clarkson’s campus.  She is currently Vice President of the Clarkson University Student Government.  She is chair of several organizations, and recently finished rewriting the constitution for clubs and activities, saving money and establishing a stronger structure within each club.  Before her VP position, she was a Student Government Senator and Committee Chair.

Melanie and the other members of the Philanthropy Committee organized a massive dodgeball tournament last year that raised funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Her extracurricular's, both with Student Government and elsewhere, have allowed her to use her critical thinking skills outside the classroom and given her a glimpse of the professional working environment.

“The Senate is a professional organization, with a dress code and we interact with professors and other high-ranking people on campus, so having these experiences gave me a head start on the etiquette of working in a professional environment,” she said.

Perhaps the most impressive detail of Melanie’s Clarkson career is that, despite her three major changes and intense involvement around campus, she is expected to graduate right on time.  With her IBM ahead, it’s clear that Melanie is heading in the right direction.