Students in field

Student Spotlight: McEwen Stapleton, Management & Entrepreneurship

April 8, 2021

When McEwen Stapleton transferred to Finlandia University from Hope College, he was looking for a place where he could be himself. 

“Overall, I’m an outdoor-oriented individual and Hope College is dead-center in Holland,” said Stapleton, who is originally from Frankfort, Mich. “I am thankful for my experiences there, but it just didn’t feel like me. The city air starts to feel heavy after a while, and Finlandia felt more like me and just better since it’s in a rural setting.” 

In his free time, the Management and Entrepreneurship major enjoys hunting and fishing. 

“When I’m not in class, doing homework or having athletic obligations, I’m usually on the water or in the woods,” said Stapleton, who wouldn’t give away any of his top fishing or hunting spots.  

While he enjoys the outdoors, another passion usually gets in the way of his hunting time: football. Stapleton has one year of NCAA football eligibility left but is a junior academically. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cancellation of the 2020 football season is somewhat of a blessing for him, as he’s now eligible to play his senior year. 

“I’ve never gone a fall without playing football, and so I was kind of scared of that, but now I don’t have to worry about that,” said Stapleton. 

Academically, he loves the flexibility his degree will offer him after graduation. 

“You can go a lot of routes with a management and entrepreneurship degree,” said Stapleton. “I feel like it offers a lot of freedom and opportunity in my life. I love that the class sizes are small and you can get to know the professors on a personal level and they actually care about you. They want what’s best for you and that makes it so much easier to learn the material.”

Stapleton appreciates the hands-on learning opportunities in the Business school and was part of a class that helped Pro-Nav Angler plan to move into an international market last year. He’s currently deciding on an internship for the summer and hoping to go into the construction industry. 

“It’s a field of business that I’m passionate about,” said Stapleton. “I come from a real blue-collar town and I guess it’s in my blood.” 

Stapleton also made the Deans and Honors list for the fall 2020. He credits his success to the numerous opportunities on campus that make it easy for students to succeed and find help. 

“First and foremost there’s TRIO, so that’s a welcome little thing that the school’s got going for it.” said Stapleton, who never experienced anything like that while at Hope. “There’s more than enough opportunity to learn at this school and grow as a student.”

When asked what he missed most in regards to FinnU since the pandemic hit, he said playing football, but also the ability to connect with other students. 

“I attended broom ball every time they offered it, so I’d like to see a comeback for that at some point in time, but overall I miss hanging out and not being afraid,” said Stapleton. “The community and being with people are the things I miss the most. There are more than enough things to do if you’re willing to. Maybe it’s because I’m an outdoor-oriented guy but there are a million things you can do outdoors. With everything going on, you can sit in your dorm and complain that there’s nothing to do, but if you go out looking for something to do you’ll find more than enough things to fill your time.” 

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