Prepared for Success: Millikin’s Paige Coleman is ready to take that big step following graduation

The Big Blue senior is a double major in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Business Management.

DECATUR, Ill. – As graduation is approaching for Millikin University senior Paige Coleman, she has been reflecting on her experiences these past four years. 

Paige has been an active student leader, holding essential roles in the student-run venture Millikin University Performance Consulting (MUPC), serving as President of the student organization Women In Business, and sharing her opinion on the Tabor Student Advisory Council. Through the Performance Learning opportunities at Millikin, Paige interned at State Farm Insurance and will begin working there full-time as a Software Engineer following the 2024 Spring Commencement on May 19. Her Big Blue experience is one she feels she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish at a larger university. 

Pagie Coleman

“I think you can't compare the opportunities you get at Millikin, from networking with alumni, with people on different boards and the professors. You get a lot more out of it,” she said. “I think it's harder to be close with those important people who can help you at a big university. I would choose Millikin again.”

Originally from Findlay, Ill., Paige is a double major in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Business Management. During her sophomore year, she attended Millikin’s annual Career Fair and connected with representatives from State Farm. Starting as a summer internship, Paige has continued there for nearly two years as a software engineer. 

“My team works on an application called Salesforce, which is a pretty big software program for databases, and my team works on the agent-facing side,” she said. “The application we develop is what the insurance agents see when putting in their customer data. Whenever the agents want to see something different or need different functionality, they tell the business partners, and the business partners come to us, and we develop it.”

Paige Coleman

Paige has the confidence to step into that new role thanks partly to her leadership positions on campus. In MUPC, which specializes in technical consulting for small businesses and organizations, Paige is a Senior Consultant, and after previously serving as a Junior Consultant helping clients with their projects, she is now managing the broader plans for the venture. 

“I’m now focusing more on planning the work, finding customers and clients, and then divvying that to our other consultants. We have 22 consultants this year, so we have a nice team, and we are maintaining about 15 clients right now,” Paige said. “A lot of what I do is just ensuring that everybody has work they're interested in and are keeping busy. Not all of us are IT majors, so there’s a lot of marketing, and we try to have projects that interest everybody and keep everybody involved.”

Paige Coleman
Paige Coleman receives the Excellence in Information Systems Award at Honors Convocation.

The Performance Learning projects prepare students for the real world, where lessons from the classroom can be applied outside of it. 

“I definitely think that Millikin helped me be prepared the best I could be for the State Farm internship. No matter your major, the work field and your job will be different than what you learn in class,” Paige said. “That's just how it is, but I felt pretty prepared from what I've learned at Tabor. A big thing that Tabor taught me is you don't have to know everything. You have to know how to find those answers or who to ask. The critical thinking behind that was probably the best tool that prepared me for that.”

As President of the Women In Business student organization, Paige helped organize the annual Millikin Makers Market, which allows makers, crafters, and artists from the Millikin and Decatur communities to sell their goods and services on campus.

“I think the best thing about the Maker's Market is that it gets community involvement. It's nice that we have a community where we can open our doors and allow other people to come, which also gives an awareness for Tabor and Women In Business,” she said. “It also allows our students and the local small businesses to grow, too, so it's just a win-win.”

Paige Coleman

While sitting on the Tabor Student Advisory Council, Paige helps provide student input on hiring new faculty, curriculum changes, and events the group would like to see come to campus. The experience has allowed her to continue to build a network of connections that will help her beyond graduation. As a soon-to-be Millikin graduate, the next group of Big Blue Tabor School of Business students will soon be looking to connect with her as a leader in the field.  

“After graduating, it will feel weird, as if I'm not the one you should be asking. I've been asking other people for the last four years, but it's nice that somebody did that for me, and now I can do it for somebody else,” Paige said. “I’ve visited friends who went to bigger universities, and when you walk around campus, there isn’t that connection. At Millikin, I cannot imagine walking into a classroom and not knowing the professor and not knowing the people I'm sitting next to.”