Rising Junior Carsten Gregersen marches to the beat of his own drum — or rather mellophone! The actuarial science and mathematics major is customizing his college experience with a music minor, combining his personal and professional passions.
“I chose Olivet College because it was the best fit for me,” Carsten said. “It was ranked highly for my major; I enjoyed every tour I made to the College and never looked back. The Global Citizen Honors Program and Marching Comets scholarships helped me attend.”
Carsten’s involvement in student life goes far beyond the organizations that originally interested him. Now he’s also a member of the Alpha Lambda Epsilon organization, the Optimist Club, Mathletes and the Student Government Organization (SGA), too.
“Without the Marching Comets, I wouldn’t have been able to attend OC,” Carsten said. “I’ve had a wonderful time in the band and have met so many wonderful, lifelong friends. Coming to college was a big change for me, and I was never super outgoing. I was invited to so many events at Alpha E, and the members of the house made the house feel like a second family while away from home.”
Carsten’s involvement with Alpha E is what also drew him to SGA. He first served as the organization’s SGA representative before digging deeper to serve as the SGA treasurer. In addition, he’s also taken on the leadership role of vice president of the Mathletes, another example of how much Carsten has grown while at OC.
Carsten’s club and organization membership has afforded him many opportunities and travel experiences, but one stands out the most — performing in the 2020 Rome New Year’s Day Parade with the Marching Comets.
“One of the best experiences I have had at Olivet was traveling to Rome, Italy, over Christmas break with the OC Marching Comets,” Carsten said. “Being able to experience other cultures and travel out of the continent for the first time was amazing, and it would not have been possible without OC.”
Whether in the music or actuary classroom, Carsten is pleased to have great relationships with and support from his professors.
“The professors and staff at OC have always been so supportive and helpful, regardless of the challenges placed in front of me,” Carsten said. “From explaining how to do complex equations, to giving constructive criticism about whatever music piece I am currently practicing, the staff has always been amazing, and I am glad to have such a great resource available to me.”
These positive experiences are helping Carsten prepare for his future career. In addition to earning his degree, he’s also studying for the rigorous exams to become a credentialed actuary.
“I chose actuarial science as my major because when in high school, each year there was a career day where we signed up for different sessions and alumni presented on their career,” he said. “I went to the same session each year and learned much about the field, and in my senior year English class, we had a project to choose a career and present on it. One option was to shadow a business or individual to learn about their career. I contacted the alumnus that I visited each year and scheduled to tour Citizens Insurance in Howell. I enjoyed that day, so I set out to become an actuary. To prepare for this I am studying and learning as much as I can about math, business, and I am also studying for my actuary exams.”
During Honors Week this spring, Carsten was awarded the David N. Cutler ’65 Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship, honoring renowned alumnus David N. Cutler ’65, is awarded to a junior or senior who excels in math, science or computer science. Students selected to receive this competitive merit award are expected to make a substantial contribution in their field of study during their year as a Cutler Fellow. Rebecca Lifford also earned the David N. Cutler ’65 Endowed Scholarship.
”Earning the David N. Cutler ’65 Endowed Scholarship was very exciting for me,” Carsten said. “I am looking forward to researching and analyzing SIR models to identify key factors of eradication of pandemics, such as the one we are currently enduring.”
This fall, Carsten will begin the formal research on his project. His other goals are simple — to keep learning about himself, defining his career goals and enjoying the college experience.
“Olivet has helped me in so many ways. I have learned a lot about myself and what I want to do in the future,” Carsten said. “I love that the College isn’t huge because I can ask questions in classes without holding up 50 other students. The community is tight-knit, and there is always someone you know wherever you go.”
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-455-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.