CPP Alumni Feature: Sophia Vrieling

April 2023

The College of Professional Programs is proud to recognize EWU School of Business Alumna, Sophia Vrieling.

Sophia received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Systems and Analytics from Eastern Washington University in June of 2022.  She was also the recipient of the Frances B. Huston Award, which honors graduating seniors who display outstanding academic achievement, intentional leadership, service to Eastern and/or the community. Sophia now works for Lifeway Christian Ministries as their Data Analyst.

Vrieling reflects on the phenomenal support Eastern Washington University provided during her college career. She highlights Patrick Jones, Kelly Cullen, Jeffrey Culver, and Duanning Zhou as influential mentors while working towards her degree. Sophia gratefully acknowledges how her education prepared her for her career.

It prepared me by providing a wide variety of courses on different systems I now use in the workforce.

While at Eastern, Sophia was involved in many extracurricular activities that made her college experience memorable. She served as an intern with The Institute of Public Policy and Economic Analysis (IPPEA), and participated in EPIC Adventures, Intramural sports, and Student Life to make the most of her time at Eastern.

As with many students who choose to pursue higher education, Sophia tells of her struggles with funding her college expenses. Financial troubles became a challenging roadblock when chasing her degree.  Through this hardship, Vrieling tells of the work ethic she developed while working to fund her education.

It was my responsibility to fund my education, which I’m thankful to have had to be wise with my money and work hard, so I always worked multiple jobs while in school, and outside of school, to continue my degree.

Sophia also faced an unexpected obstacle the summer previous to beginning college. She shares that her father suffered a major heart attack right before beginning her time at Eastern. Sophia persevered however, and represents the grit and courage it takes to be an Eagle.

After experiencing life as a student attending Eastern, Sophia advises other students to take advantage of the advice and mentorship professors offer.

Professors are always willing to help you and have many skills they want to pass on. Find a mentor, learn from them, practice your skills, and get as much experience while in school as possible to set you up for the job world!

Sophia is now especially grateful for the fond memories Eastern brought her. She revels when remembering the influential connections that were made, the fun recreational adventures she took part in, and the affordable education that was offered.

As the College of Professional Programs, we honor Sophia Vrieling for all her devoted work and achievements!