Alumni Business - Gil Atanasoff
Owner/Executive Director | Senior Helpers
1999 | Business, Management Information Systems
Why did you decide to attend UW-Parkside?
Landed a full-time job in my hometown of Kenosha, and UW Parkside provided the flexibility needed to attend classes around my work schedule.
How do you feel that your time at UW-Parkside prepared you for your career today?
UW Parkside provided a well-rounded set of classes in business and technology that gave me confidence to start my own business.
Favorite UW-Parkside memory?
Working on an IT-based project with a team of students who I still keep in touch with to this day.
How did your UW-Parkside experience impact your professional or personal life?
UW Parkside gave me the opportunity to interview on site with my first post-graduate employer, Harley-Davidson. I also met my significant other for the first time in a UW Parkside class we shared together.
Advice for current UW-Parkside students?
Learn everything you can, even in areas you may not be as interested in. As a small business owner, you have to be willing and prepared to "do it all."
How have you been involved with UW-Parkside post-graduation?
I still keep in touch with one of my professors, Dr. Dirk Baldwin.
Did you receive scholarships for any schooling at any point? If so, can you share why that scholarship was important or what your scholarship made possible for you?
I received an initial Freshman scholarship at UW Oshkosh, which help offset the cost of schooling my first year.
Professional and Personal Insights
Who has had the biggest influence on your life or your career and why?
My parents have always encouraged me to do my best and give maximum effort. When I made the decision to change majors from pre-med to business/IT, I was nervous to tell them. However, I was met with encouragement and support, which gave me the confidence to go after my professional goals.
What advice do you have for students who want to be entrepreneurs?
Take all the classes, even those you may not initially be interested in. You have to be well-rounded in Finance, HR, technology, etc. because as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are expected to “do it all,” at any given time!