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Rising senior Emma Schut is an accounting major, yet for her, it’s not numbers that matter; it’s words.

She knows those words go a long way and advises fellow students to use that gift to spread joy.

“Be kind,” Emma said. “Just from everyone I’ve met here and the overall atmosphere the College encompasses, being kind can go a long way without you realizing it. Just sharing a smile or asking, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ is important. It’s the little things that can affect someone’s life. When someone smiles at you, it can brighten your day.”

Emma carries this mindset into all aspects of her life at Olivet. Besides being a Presidential Leadership Institute fellow, she is a member of the bowling team and Soronian. She also plays the French horn and is a member of the Marching Comets and Wind Ensemble.

However, one of her biggest accomplishments is her involvement in VITA, a program focused on helping residents of the Olivet and Charlotte communities with income tax preparation. As the library site coordinator, she is in charge of setting up equipment, reviewing tax returns and helping Jackie Looser, assistant professor of accounting, with any other needs. The program has been both gratifying and educational.

“The experience has opened a new realm of service,” Emma said. “It definitely helped me prepare for my internship last year. It’s been an eye-opening, rewarding experience. Clients are grateful for the services we provide, and we educate them as best as we can about the process.”

This summer, Emma is furthering her education in accounting by working at Lothamer Tax Resolution in Lansing. She believes her experience at Olivet has given her the confidence she needs to perform well in her position.

“Olivet helped me step out of my comfort zone,” Emma said. “I grew into a more open conversationalist. When I came here, I wasn’t quiet, but I didn’t voice my opinion. I didn’t know I had it in me, but Olivet showed me that I’m more capable than I thought.”

But behind all this talk about numbers, Emma still reiterates the importance of how words can have a major impact on the world. She affirms that Olivet’s focus on individual and social responsibility is not only based on actions, but also on words.

“I think social and individual responsibility encompasses an aspect of Olivet that really makes you realize the importance of contributing to your success and others’ as well in whatever way you can, even if that means just checking up on a friend you haven’t heard from in a day or two,” Emma said. “Communication is important and people are depending on you, and you can depend on people around you.”

The impact of words resonates with Emma. After all, she has one message for the entire campus community: “Keep Olivet beautiful.”

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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