Nina Radakovich ’16
Michigan native Nina Radakovich ’16 always expected she’d go to a big state school when it came time for college. Her dad suggested Lake Forest College as a place she might get more play time on the volleyball court.
After touring Lake Forest, Radakovich fell in love with the campus and was drawn to the opportunities the College has to offer. Radakovich never did play volleyball at Lake Forest, but she does not regret that decision. With just a few days before graduation, this business major and communication minor is a Forester you should know:
Q: What drew you to Lake Forest College?
A: “I thought it was cool that student-professor relationships are strong here. I realized those professors would be my contacts in the future. I also learned that at Lake Forest a lot of alumni are at your disposal to help with networking and mentoring. And I liked that, rather than attending 350-person lectures at a big state school—where you get lost in the shuffle—my professors would know who I am and help me to succeed.”
Q: Have you had experiences here—besides your classes—that have helped prepare you for your future?
A: “The most notable experience for me was study abroad in Prague in the Czech Republic. It was amazing and one of the best decisions of my life to experience a new culture and get an international lens on business. It brought new perspective. I took classes at the University of Economics, Prague, Mondays through Thursdays and explored the city. On weekends, I traveled all over Europe. I also had an internship last semester downtown at DuPuis Group, a Chicago branding and innovation agency, which I got through an alum. It was really cool to have that connection through Lake Forest. I was thrown into the business world and I cultivated skill sets that weren’t possible in the classroom. I really learned how to present effectively in front of people when the stakes are high, which is different than presenting in a classroom. I also learned how to participate in discussions effectively. It’s easy to clam up with people who are more experienced than you. I find it was really important to gain that confidence and learn to share what I have to say.”
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: “I’m a voracious reader. I love dystopian novels and even children’s books and expanding my mind by relaxing with a new book. I also like to explore new places. I take runs around campus and Lake Forest. A lot of times I end up just walking and looking at all the beautiful architecture in town. I do the same thing in Chicago. I like to walk around and discover new neighborhoods. So I love relaxing with a book, but also exploring new places. There’s a little juxtaposition there.”
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: “The alum I interned with at DuPuis reached out to me with an offer to be a freelancer strategist, where I’ll create value for well-known brands and determine the best way for our clients to go forth. Hopefully this will turn into a full-time job.”
Q: Any advice?
A: “Be curious about different things. It’s so important to talk to people who are different from you. Look up different ideas. Download the dictionary app on your phone and look up new words. That knowledge is so important. Talk to somebody you don’t know every day. Embrace the diversity we have at Lake Forest and everywhere you go. Everyone has their own wisdom, which they can impart to you. Don’t float through life with the same mindset.”
Q: Parting words?
A: “It’s been real, Lake Forest College.”