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Husker Turns Ideas Into Reality Through Research, Collaboration

Tori Diersen Applies Class Lessons to Impact Campus
by University Communication and Marketing
Husker Turns Ideas Into Reality Through Research, Collaboration
Tori Diersen, an economics major from Brookings, South Dakota, makes an impact on campus through her research and involvement.

Tori Diersen—an economics major from Brookings, South Dakota, with minors in international trade and mathematics—is leaving her impact on campus through her role with the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN) student government and growing by seeking out hands-on opportunities.

 Tori Diersen, second from left, helped create and launch the Cornhusker Business Case Competition with three other Nebraska Business Honors Academy students.
Tori Diersen, second from left, helped create and launch the Cornhusker Business Case Competition with three other Nebraska Business Honors Academy students.
As a Yeutter Student Fellow and a Bureau of Business Research Scholar, you’ve taken advantage of opportunities to advance yourself outside of the classroom. Why was gaining experience in research important to you coming into college?

Applying and practicing what I learn in the classroom during professional experiences solidifies my understanding and comfort with topics. As a Yeutter Institute Student Fellow and a Bureau scholar, I have been able to build on base concepts I learn in the classroom and build my research experience through projects. It was important to me that I advance my skills outside of the classroom because collaboration becomes more important, and I have learned to value that not all real-life questions and problems have easy solutions, or solutions at all. I have also learned how interdisciplinary the questions I am answering are, and these experiences often help improve my academic performance down the road.

Talk about being part of ASUN. What impact are you hoping to leave through your position?

I have been involved with ASUN for three years, all in some capacity with the Committee for Fee Allocations. It is such an impactful way for me to be involved on campus because I am always trying to share with other students what resources are available to them through their student fees and listening to the shortfalls they have experienced with the services. I have tried to do my part to make sure fees are being well utilized by fee users and students. I hope I have inspired more students to look into joining the committee because of its unexpected connections with people around campus and the very tangible impact I feel I have every time I go to pay my semester bill.

You’re super involved on campus. What have you learned from your involvements or how have they shaped your college experience?

Getting involved on campus helped shape and refine my interests during college. I was in various clubs and organizations during my freshmen year, and I have slowly narrowed my involvement to what I am most passionate about. With every organization I am a part of, including Nebraska Business Honors Academy, Big Red Resilience and Well-Being as a financial well-being chair, my internship at the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and a summer study abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I can think of ways I have gained life skills I will continue to use after college. Time management is one of the most important skills to practice and develop so I can have time for classes, work, clubs, and my friends and family. I have also learned how important connecting with a variety of people is, because it has expanded who I know and led to unexpected opportunities!

You helped create the inaugural Cornhusker Business Case Competition. Talk about why you wanted to create it and anything you’re proud of in creating and hosting it.

The idea for a student-led case competition came from my experience competing at a case competition in Tacoma, Washington. My fellow Nebraska Business Honors Academy teammates and I were having a discussion the night after we competed, and we decided we could create and host our own competition. The four of us split up the work, with two of us writing the case and the other two planning the logistics of the competition. My favorite part of the whole experience was taking a moment to soak in the day of competition when I realized that the students competing had risen to the task of the case and that everything was running smoothly. I am so proud of how the four of us turned an idea into a case competition and that we have now selected the next steering committee so that it can happen again. Read more about the competition.

Is there anything you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

I don’t have any specific idea or thing I hope to accomplish in my lifetime because I’m trying to keep open-ended goals that will allow me to discover my full potential. However, one bucket list item I have that will likely take my lifetime is donating blood and having it sent (at least once!) to all 50 states.

What or who inspires you?

I’m always inspired by stories of people demonstrating grit and taking the lead when times get hard.

What is your advice to other students looking to make an impact on campus?

Explore multiple clubs and involvements. If you aren’t finding what aligns with your interests, start something new. All it takes is one leader with grit, an idea and time to make an impact. There are lots of students on campus willing to try something new or already sharing the same passions as you.

Published: March 13, 2024