BHSU alumni share their success as part of International Women’s Day

Kimberly Talcott, Coordinator of News and Media Relations

SPEARFISH, S.D. –Black Hills State University alumni share their success stories with us every day – and in keeping with the theme of International Women’s Day, here are a few recent favorites.

The following four are recent BHSU alums from the last three commencements and have each had a unique experience. Because of their experiences and educational opportunities on campus during their time at BHSU, they all had a job lined up following graduation.


Allie Geier-Barlow

From Roscoe, Allie is a graduate from the fall 2018 class. She received two degrees, graphic design and communication as well as a business administration degree with a specialization in marketing.

Allie works as the digital content specialist at Monument Health in Rapid City. “I had such a great experience at BHSU and have to thank all of the faculty, staff and fellow students that made me the person I am today,” Allie says.

On campus, she was actively involved. From business clubs like Buzz Marketing, Enactus and Beta Gamma Sigma to her job in the Marketing and Communications Department, Allie says that the experiences helped her develop the skills she needed for her job.

“My involvement on campus allowed me to grow professionally and develop skills. Through my involvement, I learned how to be a leader, take initiative, and push my creativity,” she says.

BHSU works closely with businesses and organizations in the Black Hills community which provides students unique opportunities during their studies. Allie says, “In several of my classes, we helped local businesses with various projects and provided actual input to grow their company. This was not only valuable to the businesses, but also to me as a student. We worked with clients and discussed issues as business professionals – similar to what I do every day at my job.”


Rebecca Golliher

Working for RESPEC as the marketing specialist, Rebecca (Becca) Golliher is a Rapid City native and graduate of the spring 2019 class at BHSU. Becca graduated with a business administration degree with a specialization in marketing as well as a social media certificate.

BHSU began offering a certificate in social media in 2017. The certificate helps students recognize the need for social media use for business and organization promotion and adds a unique dimension and credential for students upon graduation according to Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, associate professor of mass communication.

With modern workplaces and professionals adapting to the technology, this certificate is certainly nice to have in your back pocket to help you stand out as a credible candidate.

Becca shares that the “what’s next” can be most daunting upon graduation. “With the combination of my college education, previous job opportunities, and encouraging professors, I felt equipped and confident in myself,” she shares.

Proud, Becca states with a smile, “Now, post-graduation, I have an amazing position at a globally recognized company right here in the Black Hills.”

During her sophomore year, Becca knew what major she wanted to pursue, but she was very uncertain and unaware of where that could lead. One professor, assistant professor of management Dr. Barbara (Bobbi) Looney helped guide her.

“Dr. Looney believed in me and told me to apply for a summer internship that I thought I had no chance at – which I got and stayed at for a year and a half.”

Over the course of three years and five internships, “My understanding of marketing was broadened even beyond what we learned in the classrooms, and my future in the industry became so much more real and attainable,” Becca says.

Jessica Ross

Graduating just a couple months ago, Jessica Ross completed her degree in corporate communications from BHSU. From Sheridan, Wyo., Jessica was able to find her first job after graduation while wrapping up her final semester.

“I accepted a position at Arete Design Group (ADG), a premier architecture firm based out of Sheridan. As the marketing director, I am responsible for all of ADG’s marketing efforts,” she explains.

Using skills learned in professional writing, brand strategy and implementation, promoting and growing digital platforms, and media relations, Jessica is able to contribute to the success of ADG’s unparalleled portfolio.

Jessica credits BHSU for giving her the tools and knowledge to perform her job well.

According to Jessica, “BHSU offers a unique and dynamic degree that has allowed me to pursue my dream career.”

Corporate communications is a perfect blend of the BHSU College of Business and College of Liberal Arts, creating an opportunity for students to obtain a variety of knowledge and skills that are practical and beneficial to the professional world.

Jessica says, “I am thankful for this unique degree opportunity that BHSU presents and the experiences during my collegiate career that put me in a great position to start an amazing job immediately after graduation.”


Kasey Grote

From Aberdeen, Kasey Grote graduated in May 2019 with a degree in business administration with a double specialization in marketing and economics and finance as well as completing her social media certificate.

Now working as a channel sales & marketing coordinator for B9Creations, Kasey oversees nearly 20 business partners on five different continents. From internships and conferences to pure networking, Kasey attributes BHSU coursework and opportunities with helping her advance and thrive after graduation.

She says, “The continuous support of BHSU faculty and staff allowed me to develop and nurture my connections with people in the community.”

Taking advantage of the University Advancement connections on campus, Kasey says she was able to establish her existing professional relationships and background.

Through the campus resources, she connected her background and passions with an internship at a startup business incubator in Rapid City.

On campus, Kasey was also an active member of business team Enactus and a student worker in the Marketing and Communications department. With having hands-on experience through the club and work while pursuing her degree, Kasey believes that BHSU helped empower her and strengthen both her professional and personal skills.

Four Black Hills State University alumni share their success stories and how they landed their first jobs after graduation.
Four Black Hills State University alumni share their success stories and how they landed their first jobs after graduation.
Four Black Hills State University alumni share their success stories and how they landed their first jobs after graduation.
Four Black Hills State University alumni share their success stories and how they landed their first jobs after graduation.