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Scholarship Spotlight: River Shumate, Accounting Major

November 25, 2020
Business Students Finlandia University

River Shumate, far right, at the 2020 BPA Day in February.

River Shumate is a junior at Finlandia studying Accounting from Ishpeming, Mich. Shumate is a member of the Business Professionals of America group, TRIO and men’s basketball team. He is a recipient of the Finlandia Merit Scholarship and the UP Commitment Scholarship. Below is a piece written by him about his experience at FinnU and how the scholarships have helped him and his family cover the cost of attending Finlandia. 


My name is River Jordan Thomas Shumate and I am a student-athlete studying Accounting at Finlandia University. Before attending college I bounced around from school to school in high school. In my junior year, I attended a school in Florida with 2000 kids. At the end of my junior year I ended up moving back to the state of Michigan in the city of Ishpeming. The schools in Ishpeming are a lot smaller than the one I attended in the state of Florida. 

River volunteering at the Mobile Food Pantry in November 2020.

After graduation from a small school in Michigan, I realized that there are many opportunities at smaller schools that aren’t necessarily offered in bigger schools due to the number of students. I learned that teachers at smaller schools have more opportunities to work one-on-one with students. Not only that, but the teachers at the smaller schools seem to care more. Finlandia showed great examples of this by offering many ways to succeed. Some of these ways to succeed are through the TRIO program and the opportunity to attend your professor’s office hours. The decision to enter the business program at Finlandia University was easy for me.

There are so many opportunities I am thankful to come across while chasing my accounting degree at Finlandia. If I had to select one opportunity that is helping me succeed, I would have to choose the opportunity to be a part of the BPA (Business Professionals of America) program. The reason I appreciate this program is because it offers the chance to make connections that will help with your career. Not only that, but the program looks good on your resume.

My personal goal after attending Finlandia would be to enter a career and find success. This is the hope of every student who goes to college. I really just want to make sure I live comfortably. I want to start a family and offer them a life I never had. I feel like I am on the right track so far; Finlandia was definitely the right choice for me. With that being said, attending Finlandia came with some surprises! The first surprise to me was the amount of snow Hancock receives even just compared to Ishpeming! I feel like attending this school really helps to create and develop character! Surviving the winters in Hancock really does help develop SISU! The best surprise for me though, would have to be how welcoming the community is! The people of Hancock are really welcoming and supportive of the athletes and students who attend Finlandia.

Related Articles & Links

Donate to support student scholarships
Giving Tuesday 2020
Student Scholarships
Accounting Program
Business Professionals of America
TRIO Student Support Services

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