Student Ambassador Spotlight: Ellie Potts

Hi, I’m Ellie Potts!

I recently started my Masters in Business Administration at Western and I will be graduating in Fall 2023. I graduated from WWU in spring 2022 with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Economics & International Studies.

Why did you choose Western?

I chose Western not only because of beautiful Bellingham, but because of the welcoming community this school imprinted on me when I visited before my senior year in 2017. The transition from my hometown in Olympia to Bellingham was seamless, as Bellingham became a second home very quickly.

What do you like about Western?

I have been very fortunate to have Western staff and faculty that truly care about the well-being and learning needs of students. I also like the culture of Western, as it has been easy to make new friends, try new activities, and adventure through Bellingham with all there is to offer.

Who are the professors you work with?

I work with a variety of professors in my MBA program, including business, marketing, finance, accounting, economic, and statistics professors. Currently, as a former ENVS/ECON major, I am really enjoying Craig Dunn’s Business in Society class.

What is your scholarship experience here at Western like?

I was gifted a scholarship during my first year at Western, one for my 2019 summer program in Ecuador with the Honors College, and was the beneficiary of funds for a flight home from my Semester at Sea program abroad in spring 2020. During my 4 years in undergrad, the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship supported my education, and I’m currently serving as a fourth year Scholar Lead to give back to students. Recently, I was accepted and gifted a scholarship to attend the Washington DC Campus program with political economy professor Edward Alden in December 2022. From studying abroad, dual-majoring and triple-minoring, to pursuing my MBA as a Graduate Assistant at Western, philanthropy has opened so many doors for me and I could not be more thankful for the gifts and support of this university’s constituents.

What would you like to say to a someone who has made a gift to support Western students and programs?

Your gifts change lives! Students can focus on their education and pursue amazing opportunities with your support. It has certainly taken a weight off my shoulders and has inspired me to someday give back like you have done for me. A tremendous thank you!

What do you do when you aren’t in class?

I stay busy—I love long trail runs, biking through Bellingham, rock climbing, and hiking in the Chuckanuts and Mt. Baker. I am always up for an adventure with friends. Studying abroad and having an international studies component in my major invoked a passion of travel, so outside of class I also enjoy planning trips internationally.

Where is your happy place either on campus or in Bellingham?

I love sitting in the sun on the steps outside of Parks Hall and the Atrium, viewing the comm lawn. Students always look so happy and upbeat, the vibes there are immaculate :)

What are your professional dreams and goals? Where could you see yourself in five years?

After receiving my MBA, I plan to apply for the Fulbright Fellowship program to study environmental economics in Europe. Travel and study abroad have showed me the various ways of constructing cities, running business, and simply living - that I would like to gain new perspectives on. Upon my return to the US, I plan to be a business consultant for sustainable futures, keeping business accountable and responsible for the health and environment of our communities. My dreams and goals for the future involve travel, helping communities, and crafting a better future for the next generation.