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  May 12, 2003

Friendships Take Business Student
To Places Near And Far

Of all things, the Husky men's basketball 1999 NCAA championship win over Duke was the deciding factor that brought a Ledyard teenager to UConn. It doesn't sound such an unlikely move, except that this young woman had no interest in basketball.

The win meant that Kristen Setevage, Ledyard High School's top scholar that year, would head to the Storrs campus. Her decision had nothing to do with an interest in sports, but everything to do with friendship.

Class of '03
Image: Kristen Setevage

Kristen Setevage

Photo by Melissa Arbo

"I had never watched even a high school basketball game," says Setevage. "But I promised a close high school friend - who said I complained too much over what college I was going to go to - that I'd attend UConn if they beat Duke."

Setevage, whose only involvement in sports at UConn was a brief run at the varsity women's rowing team, has been a valuable player on the scholastic playing field, however. She's a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Beta Alpha Psi.

Her talents earned her two major scholarships, one from Wal-Mart, the other from Connecticut Info Tech. The Wal-Mart scholarship resulted from a winning essay in which Setevage revealed she was nearly held back in elementary school because of a learning disability. "I've always looked for ways to challenge myself in every way possible," she says.

That attitude proved an asset during her college years. "UConn is large and has everything to offer, so I wanted to get as much out of my educational experience as possible," she says.

"When I got here I knew nothing about computers," says Setevage, yet she will graduate this month with a degree in business administrati on majoring in management information systems.

During her undergraduate career, she did two internships, one with Groton-based Pfizer Corp., and the other with General Electric in Stamford. The internship at GE, as a member of a student team with the responsibility of solving a real business problem, earned her a job offer. In July, Setevage joins the company as an Information Management Leadership Program Trainee.

But Setevage continues to explore a range of opportunities. Earlier this year, she briefly set aside her business pursuits to attend a study program in Cuba, learning music and dance.

And after graduation, she heads to Nicaragua for an intensive Spanish language course.

After that, Setevage will travel to another part of the world - India. This trip was prompted by her friendship last summer with another GE intern whose family lives in India. During the trip, Setevage will get to meet her friend's relatives, and embark on a whirlwind tour of the country, including a stop at the Taj Mahal.

Setevage takes her friendships seriously. And her friendships are taking her places.