Alumni spotlight - Alexa Haushalter

Alumni spotlight - Alexa Haushalter
Posted on 04/24/2018
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Name: Alexa Haushalter
Parents' Names: Mark and Joan Haushalter
HS Graduating Class: 2013
College(s)/Degree's Held (Yr): Stanford University - B.S. in Mathematical & Computational Science 2017 and M.S. in Management Science & Engineering 2017

Current occupation:
I am an Associate Product Manager at Google.

Path to current occupation:
During my freshman year of college, I took my first computer science class. I was hooked; I knew I wanted to work in tech. The summer after my sophomore year, I did a software engineering internship at Google. I enjoyed the culture and problems on which I was working, but I did not want to be the one coding up the solutions. Instead, I wanted to be the one driving the projects towards launch. For that reason, I interned as an Associate Product Manager at Google the following summer. I fell in love with the job, which requires one to be a mini-CEO of the product. I work with engineering, UX, sales, business development, and various teams across the company, doing whatever is necessary to get my product to launch. A product manager's job sits at the intersection of all of these teams, making each day on the job unique and challenging. My favorite part about my job is the incredible team with whom I get to work beside every day. They are some of the most intelligent and driven people I know.
The biggest reward is seeing the product launch after all of the hard work my teammates and I put in to get it to that point. See Google's blog post for my most recent launch!

What activities were you involved with as a student at Bellefontaine High School?
At BHS, I participated in Indoor and Outdoor Track, AGAPE Service Club, Marching and Symphonic Bands, National Honor Society, and Mock Trial. I was a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Ambassador and National Merit Scholar. Outside of school, I worked at WPKO/WBLL Radio.

What are some of your favorite memories of growing up in Bellefontaine?
One of my greatest memories from high school was qualifying to the State Track & Field meet in pole vaulting. I had worked for six years to achieve this goal and to see it finally come to fruition during my last week of high school was a dream come true. My best friends and family came to support me at that meet, and I will never forget the time my coaches, namely Garth Miller and David Garcia, spent with me to help me achieve that goal. I was not the best athlete naturally, but I worked hard year round to vault to new heights. I am grateful to have grown up in a place like Bellefontaine, where my hard work was considered as valuable and worth a coach's attention as an all-star athlete's talent.
Another great memory came during my senior year at the State Marching Band competition. We earned a Superior rating at that competition, a goal that had eluded us since freshman year. After the competition, Mr. Antram was so overcome with joy. This was the perfect ending to his time as the band director at Bellefontaine High School, since he was retiring at the end of the school year. The reason this is so memorable is because it was clear all of my classmates wanted to earn the Superior rating not for themselves, but instead for Mr. Antram, as a testament to his incredible teaching and all of the times he went above and beyond to make sure our show was the best it could be. The camaraderie I felt in the marching band is incomparable.
Many of my fondest memories growing up were simply spending time with friends, whether playing euchre in Mr. Miller's calculus class or grabbing a snack at the local Dairy Queen. My memories are great not because of what happened, but because of the friends and family with whom I spent it. One of the biggest reasons I come home today is to spend time with the family I used to babysit, whose kids have now become like little brothers to me!

What about Bellefontaine City Schools helped prepare you for your post HS endeavors?
Bellefontaine City Schools provided me with the foundation that I needed to be successful at Stanford University. When I left for college, I feared that I would be behind academically; I was joining the ranks of some of the brightest students around the world. However, I quickly learned that I had nothing to fear, as my AP and Dual Enrollment classes prepared me for the academic rigor I was about to face. In Mr. Robinson's APUSH class, he expected us to read the entire textbook during the semester. At the time, I thought this was crazy; I didn't have for that! However, when the end of the semester rolled around, I had read every word in The American Pageant. When I got to college and was expected to read the textbook for every class within each 10-week quarter, it did not feel so daunting. Teachers like Mr. Miller and Ms. Mount prepared me for the laid back attitude of college professors. In their classes, it was up to me if I wanted to do my homework or study for the test. They were willing to provide me with as much support as I needed, but it was up to me to put in the effort. Their teaching methods helped me feel comfortable approaching my professors during office hours if I needed extra help, as I knew the responsibility was on me to make sure I was understanding the material.

Notes to the community of Bellefontaine:
I want to share with everyone that the opportunities at Bellefontaine City Schools have the potential to set you up to be extremely successful in life; all you have to do is take advantage of them. I am living proof of that after earning my degrees at Stanford University and going on to work for Google; two dreams that I now look back on and wonder how I got where I am today. The answer? My foundation at BCS. The school system allowed me to take online math classes since middle school to accelerate me when I ran out of classes to take in the school system, and let me leave school early during my senior year to take flying lessons at the local airport to pursue my passion. I am now a licensed private pilot, and have gone on to earn my instrument rating. My teachers and administrators encouraged me to believe that the sky was the limit, and truly seemed to care about me as a person. My mom always tells me stories of my past teachers asking how I am doing today, with genuine desire to know what I have gone on to achieve. It is so refreshing to go home to a place where people know your name and care about you, even years after you have moved on to endeavors thousands of miles away. If there is anything you want to achieve in life, you can do it with a foundation at BCS because the school system provides support to each student as an individual.

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