A Q&A with Jared Knepper, ’19 // Management & Innovation
Management & Innovation major Jared Knepper, ‘19, lived his time at Champlain to its fullest, from engaging with the Burlington community to studying abroad in Paris, France. In this interview before he graduated, we talked with Knepper about being in the Robert P. Stiller School of Business, and his growth as a Champlain College student.
Q: How did you learn about Champlain?
A: When I was completing my SATs and ACTs during my senior year of high school, I went on the College Board website and started plugging in criteria I desired in a school. I knew I wanted a four-year college that had a business program with an international focus and study abroad opportunities. I wanted to be in a semi-urban/semi-rural area. I plugged in all these details and plotted my results on a map. When I scrolled up to Vermont, I stumbled upon Champlain. I searched Champlain’s website and found a lot of things I liked, so I decided to visit. I took a tour, was accepted, and the rest is history.
Q: What did you love about being in the Stiller School of Business?
A: The Stiller School of Business has a lot of incredible faculty who have tons and tons of experience in their respective fields. They’ve come here to share it all with us in a very collaborative way. You never get a sense of condescension from faculty—they work as though they are your colleagues and peers, and there’s a lot of very personal engagement. During your time here, you’ll have a wonderful range of very experienced individuals who are ready to work with you and help you make discoveries on your own. Professors don’t tell you what your learning has to be, but they try and enlighten you as to what your learning could be. They guide you by asking some really valuable questions and exploring new places of possibility.
Q: What’s it like to be a college student in Burlington, Vermont?
A: Burlington has so many activities and opportunities. Whether you’re looking for something that’s professional or extracurricular or just downright silly—there’s so many things going on at all times of the year. We have events downtown, lots of restaurants, film festivals, and live music acts. There’s always a way to engage with both the space and people around you.
My favorite thing to do in Burlington is seeing concerts at Higher Ground or Arts Riot. We have a lot of local venues that draw some pretty big names, and some pretty unknown names too, but they’re always very fun shows and spaces.
Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I studied abroad during my junior year in Paris, France. I knew I wanted to go abroad from the time I started at Champlain, but wasn’t entirely sure where it was I wanted to land. I wanted to step into something very new when I went abroad, and challenge myself. While I was in France, I took the time to acquaint myself with a lot of things that were distinct to that foreign space. My courses for the semester focused on language, fashion, and architecture. I very much enjoyed getting to know a new part of the world through a different set of eyes.
Q: How have you grown since coming to Champlain?
A: I’ve changed so much since I’ve started at Champlain. The way that I dress is different. The way that I speak is different. The amount of experience I have is certainly different. The way that I analyze my problems and address challenges—whether they be academic or just my own personal life. It all shifts around. You spend so much time learning and adapting. I feel very ready to jump out into the world and continue my self evolution. I’m finding what thrills me, what I’m good at, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I really want to make an impact.
Q: If you had a time machine, what would you say to your younger self on the day you arrived at Champlain?
A: If I could go back in time and talk to myself on my first year at Champlain, I would advise myself to get better winter gear. Those coats and boots—you need ‘em.