Posted 8 a.m. Sunday, May 15, 2022

UWL senior Derek Poggemann has received the Jake and Janet Hoeschler Award for Excellence, given annually to the top student in UWL's College of Business Administration. Poggemann will graduate Sunday with a bachelor's degree in information systems.

UWL senior Derek Poggemann receives Hoeschler Award for Excellence

During his time at UWL, Derek Poggemann hasn’t just received an education.

He has received the complete La Crosse experience.

“During my time here, I have particularly enjoyed the downtown and community life,” says Poggemann, who will graduate Sunday with a bachelor’s degree in information systems. “From getting food at Buzzard Billy’s, to the downtown Rotary Lights during Christmas, to hiking and hammocking on Grandad Bluff, weekends in La Crosse have always been eventful.”

Embracing the community is a core part of Poggemann’s identity. In fact, it was the tight-knit atmosphere around campus — “It seemed as if everyone was happy and knew one another,” he notes — that convinced the Appleton native to attend UWL.

Four years later, he has left quite the mark on campus, receiving the Jake and Janet Hoeschler Award for Excellence. The award is given annually to the College of Business Administration’s top student, with particular emphasis on academic achievement and leadership on campus and in the community.

“I feel like my dedication, hard work, and involvement at UWL has paid off,” Poggemann says. “Being recognized as the top student in the College of Business Administration is a great honor, and I am humbled to receive this prestigious scholarship. I look forward to paying it forward by continuing to involve myself with UWL post-graduation.”

Poggemann’s achievements at UWL include earning a 4.0 GPA and serving as president of two student groups: UWL’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Information Systems Association. He was also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honor society.

Additionally, he spent the 2020 spring semester in Aberdeen, Scotland, studying abroad through the UWL Exchange Program.

Poggemann’s interests have also taken him into the business world.

Poggemann has completed three internships at Heartland Business Systems in Appleton. He most recently served as a data analyst intern with Kwik Trip’s accounting department.

Studying information systems, he says, has provided insight and potential job opportunities in a range of fields.

“I enjoy that, as an information systems major, I gain expertise in both information technology and business,” Poggemann explains. “From taking programming courses, to finance courses, to marketing courses, it allows me to take a variety of paths post-graduation. Being the highest-credit degree in the College of Business Administration, the major prepares students to excel in our data-driven world.”

Poggemann’s work ethic has already paid off in the form of a job offer. Upon graduation, he will begin as a power platform engineer at Heartland Business Systems’ facility in Little Chute, just outside Appleton.

Having been inspired by other college entrepreneurs, he hopes to one day start his own business. When that moment comes, he’ll be well prepared.

“The College of Business Administration has been particularly impactful,” Poggemann says. “They have provided me opportunities to network, learn and get involved on campus. But most importantly, I have been able to form personal relationships with my professors that will last beyond my college experience.”