Students in field

Alumna Jamie Thyrion overcomes obstacles on path to success

January 30, 2019

Below is an article from the Fall 2018 Donor Edition of the Bridge. See more articles from this edition of the bridge and see a full archive of past issues by visiting finlandia.edu/thebridge


As a student at Finlandia University, Jamie Thyrion (‘08) balanced raising an infant son, working a part-time job and tutoring other students while working toward her business degree. Make that work takes sisu, and there’s no shortage of it for this exceptional FinnU graduate.

An Ahmeek native and Calumet High School graduate, Thyrion decided to attend Finlandia in order to be closer to home.

“I wanted to be close to my friends and family while raising a family,” said Thyrion.

At the age of 19, Thyrion gave birth to her first son, Brenden, and worked her way through Finlandia’s business program while raising him.

“I think it was easier going to college with a child back then instead of now,” said Thyrion. “I wasn’t in class all day every day so it allowed me to take care of him, with a lot of support from my family.”

Thyrion also received support from her advisor and TRIO coordinator.

“My advisor and I came up with a plan to reach graduation based on my interests,” said Thyrion. “TRIO supported me through the process and followed up after graduation to ensure I had resources available to be successful such as mock interviews and resume assistance.”

Thyrion chose Finlandia’s business program because of the opportunities it could afford her and her family.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my career, but felt like business was so broad that I could learn the foundations and lead the way to growing my career within a variety of avenues depending on my interest and skills,” she said.

While she was focused on her career goals and schooling, she also realized the importance of helping others, which she continues to do in her current role.

“Between classes I helped tutor other students in the Tutoring Learning Center and met with English as a Second Language students, engaging in conversation and helping with homework assignments,” said Thyrion.

After Finlandia, Thyrion accepted a part-time job as a teller at Wells Fargo in downtown Houghton. Within a year, she was promoted to a full-time personal banker at the College Avenue branch where she stayed for five years before moving to River Valley Bank.

“I accepted the position at River Valley because it’s a family-owned and operated bank located throughout Northern Wisconsin and the Western Upper Peninsula,” said Thyrion.

In 2017, Thyrion was promoted to assistant market manager in Calumet. In the summer of 2018, she was earned another promotion and was named market manager.

As market manager, Thyrion manages the Calumet branch and serves at the face for the organization while helping it be a good steward for the community. An example of Thyrion’s efforts sits in her office in the form of an oversized check for more than $40,000 for the Portage Health Foundation’s “Flood with Love” initiative.

Thyrion’s advice to others stems from her time at Finlandia and the lessons learned while tutoring others.

“Find ways to stay involved with your community,” she said. “Whether you’re volunteering for a local organization or attending Rotary meetings, it’s a great way to connect with people and give service to others.”

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