Name: David Moonen | Class of 2019 | Major: Commercial Recreation, Army ROTC | Post Graduation Job: CEO of Merrimack Canoe Company

Favorite Part of Your WSU Experience

Escaping into the backwaters and bluffs every chance I got. I also have several professors that have proved to be valuable resources and friends that have helped me with school as well as business. I was able to take questions about composites, marketing, business, or general research questions to professors in these respective areas and have one on one help.

Most Important Thing WSU Taught You

Network and use your resources. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Also that having a passion for the bigger picture goal makes the smaller tasks associated with the goal less of something to be endured and more something to be embraced.

Challenges on the Way to Your Degree

Challenges on my way to a degree primarily had to do with time management and priority setting. Being in the ROTC program I have PT three days a week early in the morning and a minimum of two classes in La Crosse every week. Plus a minimum of 12 credits at Winona State and my job. I started at Merrimack Canoe Company after my sophomore year. I was hired part time to cut fabrics and help around the shop. The spring term of my junior year, I took an internship with Merrimack and got more involved in the administrative and strategic aspects of the company. My senior year I was offered a full-time position. I proposed then that I would like to run the company, and the shareholders agreed. My role as CEO with a vesting ownership plan in the company was solidified on Jan. 1, 2019. I also received an invitation midway through my junior year from an athlete in Rochester who is a competitor on the American Ninja Warrior stage to train with him once a week. My biggest challenges have definitely been making time to pursue all of my goals without sacrificing other important aspects of life.

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Advice to Your Freshman Self

Slow down.

Why You Are Proud to Be a WSU Grad

Because the people here are good. Always willing to help and here for the right reasons.

Winona State graduates experience a 95% job placement rate in their field. Many even land positions before graduation. Learn more about our 2019 spring graduates.

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