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September 16, 2014

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15 minutes with 2005 BHS grad Rebecca Winebar, now in an MBA program at University of Houston

Rebecca with her cat, Eleanor

15 minutes with Rebecca Winebar

What year did you graduate from Bluffton High School?

2005.

Where did you go to college and what was your major?
I spent four great years at Duke University, majoring in Philosophy and Political Science...and playing my clarinet in the pep band at basketball games.

I understand you are in an MBA program at the University of Houston. Tell me about it.
Well, I'm enjoying the program so far. I love learning, so even after a long day at work, I'm eager to go to class...as long as I have time to stop and get a large coffee on the way.

It's challenging in a whole different way than undergraduate was. The classes themselves aren't too difficult -- I'm in the second semester of a three-year program, so I'm still working on requirements like corporate finance and statistics -- but I'm still working on the time management aspect. Juggling school, school projects, work, work projects, and my very limited social life keeps me too busy!

Once you graduate, what do you hope to do?
I don't have any definite plans. I currently work for a small but growing IT consulting firm, doing everything from sales to service to accounting to client visits -- so, I'm getting a huge amount of experience with every facet of business.

My hope is that after I add an educational background to match my experience, I'll be able to do anything. My primary career goal is simply to have a job that I enjoy and that makes me use my brain every day. My plan will solidify throughout the next three years -- ask me again later on, and I'll have a better answer for you.

Have you seen any movies lately? Good or, one you wished you could have your money back?
I don't see many movies, but I did see Safe House recently. It was a decent action flick, I don't regret spending money on it.

What's the temperature in Houston as you write this? Do you ever miss a winter in the Midwest?
It's 72 degrees this evening, after a beautiful, sunny, 78-degree day. I can't deny that Houston has nice weather (except for the often-insane humidity and sometimes-insane amounts of rain), but I truly do miss winters in the Midwest.

Bluffton is home, so I like Bluffton weather the best. I like the separation of seasons in the Midwest -- leaves turning gorgeous colors in the fall, ice and snow in the winter. In Houston, there's only warm weather, hot weather, or rainy weather.

Can you recall your eighth grade science project? What was the title?
My science project was sort of a failure. I tried to graft vegetable plants together to create hybrid vegetables, but instead of interesting vegetables I ended up with dead plants. Title was something like "Grafting: Is It The Answer?" Clearly, according to my experiment, it was not the answer.

Have you ever seen anyone from Bluffton while you are in Houston?
I haven't. Throughout the last few years, I've met a couple people who were either originally from Findlay or Lima or lived there at some point, but I've never met anybody else from Bluffton. That's part of why I like being from somewhere that nobody here has ever heard of - it makes me unique.

What teachers do you remember from your school days in Bluffton? Any who inspired you to pursue an MBA?
I remember all of my teachers; Bluffton teachers are all great. No teacher in particular inspired me, but I feel very lucky to have grown up in a community with such a good school system.

Where did you paint your name on the street in front of the high school? What was the design?
I think the Bluffton tradition of street painting is so cool! Painting my name was something I looked forward to; growing up, I'd always look at the different designs every year. I painted my name sort of across from the band room door (which is fitting since most of my favorite high school memories came from band).

Nothing too special, just my name in bright pink bubble letters outlined in white. The street had been recently resurfaced if I remember correctly, so my bright pink showed up very nicely.

What was your favorite food in the Bluffton cafeteria?
The chocolate chip cookies that cost only 25 cents each. At least three times a week, I'd make a meal of cookies and french fries, another cafeteria specialty. My dining habits have since improved dramatically.

Do you have any tattoos? Or, if you ever got one what design might it be?
I have one subtle tattoo -- a red dinosaur on my midriff. Why? Well...I like dinosaurs. I got the outline done in Ohio, but then decided that he would look better in color and got the coloring done in North Carolina.