Southwestern Oregon Community College was one of 10 community colleges across the United States that German international student Tom Greutzmann visited, and it wasn’t difficult for him to make his decision.
“I was looking for something with housing; that was very important,” the 29-year-old business executive said, recalling his college search. “I liked the nature, the location; it’s not too hot and not too cold. It’s stable. My main focus was ‘Can I live here?’”
Greutzmann decided on Southwestern, and he excelled as he set the foundation for his future education and career path. Starting at Southwestern in 1996, Greutzmann became active in several campus organizations including Associated Student Government and served as a Resident Assistant in Student Housing while taking courses in business, economics, accounting and general studies. After two years he transferred to McGill University in Canada, where he earned a baccalaureate degree with majors in psychology, marketing and strategic management.
After spending one year in a direct exchange program to China with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Greutzmann landed a job with Bayer Corporation working in Hong Kong, where he worked for one year before transferring to Shanghai, where he spent the next three years as an Internal Control System Manager. Now he’s moving back to Germany where he is entering an 18-month executive development program to move into a more general administrative position.
Greutzmann visited the Southwestern campus recently on a West Coast trip and became one of the newest members of the Laker Club Alumni Association. He said Southwestern played a key role in his success in education and in business because of the small class sizes, supportive and caring faculty and staff, the various subject-oriented tutoring labs on campus and the chance to participate in extracurricular activities.
“I think the one thing that really stood out was really the dedication of the professors,” Greutzmann said. “The combination of classes and student activities all together was good, and having direct access to professors. I think that was a really good start for moving on.”