Made It Millikin: Seth Hansen, Class of 2021

Performance Learning has shaped the Millikin experience of alum Seth Hansen ’21

DECATUR, Ill. – During Seth Hansen’s time at Millikin University, Performance Learning opportunities played a profound role in his successful experience on campus. 

Those rewarding Performance Learning opportunities -- which give students a chance to test-drive their skills outside the classroom – proved influential to Hansen ’21 in his academic and employment endeavors. Now as a Millikin employee in Information Technology, Hansen’s graduate work in the Tabor School of Business Data Analytics Certificate program had him conducting groundbreaking Performance Learning research with local partners that will influence future decision-making around Macon County. 

Seth Hansen

Hansen came to Millikin from Springfield, Ill., to concentrate on a Management Information Systems degree and a minor in Cybersecurity. He got his first taste of the benefits of Performance Learning projects by participating in the student-run venture Millikin University Performance Consulting (MUPC) for seven semesters. 

“MUPC brings in real-world clients in the Decatur community and helps them with various tech issues or the implementation of their technology. We did a lot of work creating websites for the community, doing database upgrades, and conducting software research and development for a couple of various local communities,” Hansen said. “My favorite project involved Merri-Mann Herb Co., a local herb and spice manufacturer. We had to upgrade their database and ensure all the data was brought in seamlessly. It was great to work with local clients and customers, see your work in the community, and feel like you're making an impact.”

Seth Hansen

As an undergraduate, Hansen served as a Supplemental Instruction Leader through the Student Success Center, where he provided his expertise and offered extra instruction weekly to students who were running into trouble in some of the challenging courses in the Tabor School of Business curriculum.

Hansen’s coursework also opened areas of interest and gave him skills he continues to use today. 

“I chose Millikin because I was looking for a degree that incorporated tech and the business side of things. Management Information Systems was a good blend of those two,” he said. “My favorite class was the Web/Mobile Application Development course. It gave me my first hands-on approach to creating and developing iOS applications, which I found really cool. I could create an app on my computer, then plug in my phone and see it in real-time.”

Hansen graduated in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a challenging and unique time to enter the job market. After working for the national Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, where he was a member as an undergraduate, Hansen joined Millikin’s Information Technology department as a Database Analyst. 

Seth Hansen

“I thought it was the perfect opportunity, and starting this role at Millikin, I immediately saw the coursework that I did as a student translate into the work I'm doing today,” Hansen said. “As a Database Analyst, I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work, updating the database and ensuring that the right codes are in place for faculty to run their finances or Admissions to receive their applications.”

Hansen returned to the classroom last year to take part in the Tabor School of Business Data Analytics Graduate certificate, which is designed for working professionals, with courses offered at night following the workday. 

“The program gave me a lot of confidence in my role here at Millikin. It gave me a lot of useful tips and tools that I could use in my day-to-day work, especially the Data Visualization class,” Hansen said. That class really taught me the key topics that I need to know when creating dashboards and graphs for our faculty and staff.”

Seth Hansen

Hansen and the other members of his cohort were able to conduct first-of-its-kind Performance Learning research on domestic violence emergency calls in Macon County for Dove, Inc., a local non-profit organization

“We were working with real data about domestic violence and worked with Dove to compile statistics about how we can help the local community identify trends based around the issue,” Hansen said. “The Performance Learning aspect was great, as I could work with real data being collected in our community. Other graduate programs I looked into don't have this kind of opportunity to work with real data. A real-world project like this really gets you more involved with the project instead of it just being coursework. You are working in the community and making a difference.”