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Caitlin Brotz '05 vividly recalls dreading all the writing she had to do while taking classes for her business administration degree. Today, the award-winning business owner is thankful for those writing assignments, a staple in the college's applied liberal arts curriculum.
"Never in my wildest imagination would I have realized how much of what I do on a daily basis depends on writing," said Brotz, the owner of Olivu 426, a boutique specializing in homemade, all-natural cosmetics and health products. "When you're not able to write well, it says something about you. My Lakeland experience helped me develop the skills I use to communicate every day."
Olivu's success has positioned Brotz as one of Sheboygan's top young business leaders. Olivu was named the 2010 Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, and Brotz was named one of the top 10 young professionals from Sheboygan County by Coastal Connections, the Young Professionals Network of Sheboygan County. She is currently president of Sheboygan Harbor Centre Business Improvement District.
Brotz uses the versatility of her Lakeland education daily, as she is in charge of all aspects of her business, including employee management, strategy, payroll, marketing and public relations. "So many of my classes and lessons are applicable to what I'm doing," said Brotz. "I kept all of my textbooks and I refer to them often.
Lakeland gives you the tools to cover all the bases when you're on your own, and I have frequently called some of my former professors like Prof. Schilcutt. I trust the advice they've given me because it's helped me get this far."