When University of Montevallo international graduate student Benedikt Schlederer came to the University as an undergraduate freshman several years ago, he said he could not have asked for a more welcoming atmosphere.
Schlederer, who is from Austria and was a member of the UM men’s tennis team, earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from UM’s Stephens College of Business last year and is now working toward his MBA at the University.
“From the very beginning, I felt a connection with this place that only got stronger once I got to know the faculty and staff helping me get everything ready to come to the United States,” he said. “When finally meeting other students, many of whom are now my best friends, I was sure that I belonged at Montevallo.”
Schlederer credits the personalized support he received from the UM athletics staff and SCOB faculty in helping him to succeed academically and athletically during his time at Montevallo. In addition to being a member of the men’s tennis team, Schlederer has also worked as a student employee in the SCOB for multiple years.
Now, he is only a couple of months away from earning his MBA and moving into the next chapter in his professional life.
“After graduating in two months, I will do a year of social service back home in Austria, working as a paramedic and giving back to my community,” he said. “After that, I hope to use the skills I have learned during my time at Montevallo to become a meaningful part of a non-profit organization, as I would like to keep helping others in the long-run.”
No matter where life takes him after graduation, Schlederer said he will always cherish his connection with UM.
“I could not have achieved everything I did during my time here without the amazing support from everyone around, no matter if it was faculty, staff or my coach,” he said. “There are a lot of things I will miss about Montevallo when moving on, but what will always stay with me are the great relationships I have built up and the friends I will know for the rest of my life.”