Lifelong Lerner: Ella Kolln

Class of 2023 Graduate Ella Kolln

As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2023, Ella Kolln, honors operations management and marketing double major with minors in fashion management, french and international business from State College, Pennsylvania, has demonstrated remarkable dedication and resilience during her time at UD.


Kolln was nominated for this series by UD Assistant Professor of Management Frederick “Scott” Bentley, who said, “I had the pleasure of having Ella as a student in my undergraduate honors Strategic Management course. Ella exemplifies what it means to be a model student: someone who not only dedicates herself towards her education, but also towards contributing to the UD community more broadly.”

“To this end, I have always been impressed by Ella’s ability to achieve success through her coursework in the honors program, while also serving as a Lerner Ambassador, a teaching assistant across four courses, and a research assistant in Lerner’s Consumer Behavior Studies, all while also gaining crucial corporate experience through several internships. Overall, I believe Ella demonstrates the character, passion, and drive other students should strive to embody as a student at UD.”

In this profile, Kolln shares her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.


Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?

Kolln: I have gained confidence in myself and my abilities after four years as a student in Lerner Business School. Overall, I am more sure of myself and I understand that I am in charge of where I want to be, and I know I have the skills to get there.  


Lerner: What have been some of the challenges you have faced during your college experience and how did you overcome them?

Kolln: One challenge I’ve faced, along with the entirety of my senior class, was navigating school and friendships during COVID-19. This was a tough time for all students, pivoting to a new online learning environment and attempting to continue to create lasting friendships, while still complying with safety regulations. From this, I definitely became more adaptable and independent.  


Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience and why?

Kolln: One of my favorite UD experiences was studying abroad in Paris, France my junior year. I learned so much about myself and about how the world works, and I will always recommend studying abroad to students! Another experience that greatly shaped my time at Delaware was joining the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, where I gained valuable business skills and amazing lifelong friendships. 


Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?

Kolln: To me, being a Lifelong Lerner is synonymous with staying curious and inquisitive about the world around you. This means working to understand your current environment in the classroom as well as outside the classroom, learning about yourself and connecting with others, and being open to all the things you can learn from those around you. 


Lerner: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen to make the most out of their college experience?

Kolln: I would tell incoming freshmen that they will get out of college what they put into it. If you decide to become involved and put yourself out there, then opportunities will come to you. On the other hand, it is very easy to take a backseat to your college career and let it pass you by. You have to make the decision of what you want to get out of your college decisions. 


Lerner: Did you have a Lerner professor or staff member that had a big impact on your UD experience?

Kolln: Honestly, I feel like I would not be able to choose just one Lerner professor who has made a big impact on my UD experience because I feel as if every relationship that I have adds something special to my college experience. A few of the professors that have provided me with guidance, challenged me, or encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone include: Julia Bayuk, Thomas Bridges, Susan Murphy, Jackie Silverman, Anu Sivaramen, F. Scott Bentley, Kurt Norder, Matthew McGranaghan and Caroline Swift. Thank you to you all!


Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?

Kolln: Following graduation, I will be moving to New York City and working for Ross as an assistant buyer. I look forward to continuing my career in the fashion industry and eventually working for an international company. 

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