Business Administration at Aquinas College

Student Profiles

Sidney Veneklase

Senior Sidney Veneklase is taking advantage of the many dual majors offered at Aquinas College. She will graduate with a dual major in Business Administration and Communication. While being a busy student, Sidney finds time to serve as secretary for the newly formed public speaking group, SPARK. 

“Aquinas is like a big family!”

There are many things that intrigued Sidney to study at Aquinas College. The location is ideal, and the fact that Grand Rapids is a growing city appealed to her. "At Aquinas College, it is easy for students to get involved in campus events, organizations and activities," shared Veneklase, adding, "There are many clubs that cater to various interests, and there are many community volunteer and internship opportunities for students to gain first-hand learning experiences." Sidney knew she wanted to study at a small, private liberal arts school and Aquinas College was the best choice for her. 

Though Sidney's studies and secretary position take up a good portion of her time, she still finds the time to hone other skills and interests. She is an avid drawer and enjoys writing.

As a senior, Sidney understands the importance of building her work and volunteer experiences. She envisions a future career in sales or marketing and will leverage her skills and experience from two internships to launch the perfect career. 


Dan Diederich

Dan Diederich is a senior here at Aquinas College and is going to major in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. Dan is a very involved student and is thriving at Aquinas. He is the President of the Leadership Development Program, a captain on the lacrosse team, and is also participating in an internship with an AQ alum at the Highland Group.

“Aquinas Teaches you the importance in how to build long term relationships and even if mistakes are made, you have a whole community to help you learn and grow from them.”

Dan is very thankful for the family atmosphere that Aquinas offers compared to other colleges. Quickly after studying here when he first arrived, he really felt the deep relationships that you could form with the students and faculty. The campus felt very connected and made information and help easy to find when needed.

Not only did the family-like community draw Dan to study at Aquinas, but the location did too. Aquinas being located in a big fast developing city was a huge plus for Dan. Grand Rapids is a community that likes being close and friendly to one another just like Aquinas. The city is a great source of entertainment and has loads of opportunities for business administration majors to find success.

Dan spends lots of his time involved with his academics, leadership roles, and athletics, but he does find time to do other things he loves. He enjoys travelling, watching golf, and every fall, playing Fantasy Football with his buddies.

With Dan coming close to graduation day, he has given lots of thought to his plans afterwards. He, with the help of his brother, plans to take over a family owned insurance agency on the East side of Michigan. When the time comes, he wishes to expand to the West side of the state and have offices within his home away from home in Grand Rapids.

Riley Barnett

Senior, Rylee Barnett, both excels as a busy student and a talented dancer on the Aquinas College Dance team. She is majoring in Sustainable Business and is drawn to and is passionate about environmental studies.

"Primarily I chose AQ because it offers the first Sustainable business degree in United States and I felt it would stand out if seen on my resume. This program, along with opportunity to dance, solidified my decision to become a Saint."

Rylee originally was drawn to Aquinas by her opportunity to dance and that Aquinas offered the first sustainable business degree in the United States. However, at the beginning of her education, she wasn't sure if the sustainable business program was for her. Through the support and advice from her dance coaches and the head of the sustainable business program, she ultimately decided this degree was for her. Rylee's dance scholarship, along with the small personal classes and beautiful campus, are just a few things contributing to her love for Aquinas. 

Rylee is a dedicated hard-working student-athlete that participates in multiple extracurriculars. She is a member of the Association of Student Athletics representing her dance team and his head of marketing for the Leadership Development Program. With all of these activities she still finds time to work as a nanny and be a member of the Outdoor Adventure and Recreation group. 

Rylee is quickly approaching graduation and has been applying for jobs involved with sustainable food business. She is very interested within wineries and breweries, both in and out of state. 

Cal Lind

Cal Lind is now a junior exceeding in all departments of his time here at Aquinas. He is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Human Resources, and a minor in mathematics, with many extracurriculars to fulfill his college experience.
"One thing that's really nice about Aquinas is its location to Grand Rapids. I feel like there's a lot of networking opportunities available."

Cal was originally attracted to Aquinas due to the opportunity to play soccer for the Aquinas team and because of his Catholic background, he liked being a part of a Catholic community. Lind was always interested in a business degree, whether that be marketing or human resources related. He also loved the networking idea of being so close to a booming city like Grand Rapids. After graduation, Cal would like to find a job in the Grand Rapids area in the Human Resources department specifically, and build a career for himself through solid networking.   

Along with being a rigorous academic student and a member of the soccer team, Cal is also a student ambassador and an employee at the fitness center on campus. He also lives on campus in a Learned Living Community, an on campus house meant to teach, educate, and volunteer people about the environment and how to make lifestyles more sustainable.

Anna Curcuru 

Junior, Anna Curcuru, is a thriving student athlete at Aquinas College, majoring in Sport Management with a concentration in Marketing.  From a very young age she knew she wanted to study Sport Management, admitting she dreamt of making it big in the Sport Industry, once aspiring to be a pro athlete or the CEO of Nike when she was little.  

Between the great Sport Management program and the opportunity to hold down a position as an attacker for the Aquinas Women's Lacrosse team, Aquinas College offers everything Anna was looking for.  She also loves the college's location, as the Grand Rapids area is filled with various fruitful activities to be involved in, especially within the Sport Management field.

"Don't be afraid to get involved in your field.  There are always volunteer activities to take advantage of."

In fact, Anna stated her favorite thing about Aquinas is the vast array of opportunities found on campus.  One opportunity in particular that she has been able to take advantage of is a position as a Building Manager on campus.  She claims she has learned more about herself through this position than any other experiences she has had previously.

Beyond her studies, Anna stays busy with various extracurricular activities.  Along with her role as a building manager and a member of the lacrosse team as previously mentioned, she is also a student ambassador for the college.  Anna has already completed two internships during the summer of 2017 as well.  One internship with West Michigan Sports Commission and the other with the Michigan Sports Academy.

While Anna still has a couple years before graduating, she knows she wants to be involved in the Sport Industry, one way or another.  This coming summer of 2018, she plans on interning with a Sports PR Branding Firm in Chicago.  Anna is hoping her experience there will help guide her in the right direction toward her future career path. 


Madison Grit 

Madi Grit is a senior at Aquinas College, excelling in academics as well as her position as an outside mid/ forward for the women's soccer team.  Madi declared herself a Business Administration major with a Writing minor her sophomore year after hearing many positive remarks about the business program from fellow teammates.  She has also added a concentration in marketing because she is drawn to its creative aspect.
"Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is the only way you will expand your horizons and become successful.  The possibilities after you graduate are endless with a Business degree."

Between the "small college feel" and wonderful professors at Aquinas, Madi has enjoyed her time as a Business major.  Her professors "are very personable and want to see everyone succeed."  She also says, "the cool thing about Aquinas is that it is small, so your professors are very involved in helping you be successful."

In her free time, Madi volunteers at an organization called be nice., through the Mental Health Foundation of Grand Rapids.  This organization spreads mental health awareness in high schools in the Grand Rapids area.  Madi also had the opportunity to take part in the service learning trip to New Orleans Spring Break of 2018.

After graduation, Madi is aiming to find a job in the line of marketing.  She is looking to do an internship with the Grand Rapids Football Club (GRFC) over the summer.  She is also currently looking into future internships with North Western Mutual and Metro Health, in hopes that they might open doors to her future career.