Take 5 Minutes & Countdown 5 Seconds: Westmo Alumna’s Advice for New College Freshmen

Getting ready to start college in the fall? Take advice from Kathryn Ayers Wickenhauser ’11 (Kappa Alpha Theta)— Be generous and brave.

Wickenhauser recently addressed high school seniors at Parkway West High School’s 2017 Senior Celebration, giving advice to the graduates about how they can use what she has found to be sources of her success in their own post-high school careers.

In her speech, Kathryn stressed two guidelines that she says have made a difference in both her personal life and professional life: “the five-minute favor” — helping people without expecting anything in return, especially if the task takes fewer than five minutes — and “the five-second rule” — starting a five-second countdown in your head motivating you to do what you might be afraid or hesitant to do.

“The key to success is generosity — it’s helping others with what you can when you can,” Kathryn said, discussing “the five-minute favor” in her speech.

About “the five-second rule,” Kathryn said, “By using the [it], you act on your impulses before your fear complex has a chance to kick in in your brain. I now use this rule daily, even multiple times a day. It helps me push past doubt and gives me courage to speak up in group settings and accomplish tasks.”

Click here for the full text of her speech.

Kathryn graduated from Parkway West in 2007 and attended Westminster for her undergraduate career, studying biopsychology, leadership, and business. She is a Kappa Alpha Theta and was involved in Student Ambassadors and the Blue Blazers Investment Committee, among other organizations. Following her time at Westminster, Kathryn completed a Master of Business Administration through Webster University.

Now, she is a regulatory compliance advisor at DataFile Technologies and has represented the company by speaking at numerous conferences. She says her passion is coaching healthcare organizations through one-on-one consulting or through conference presentations.

Kathryn returned to Westminster as a guest lecturer on healthcare security during the 2015 Hancock Symposium.

We are proud to call her an alumna and wish Kathryn — as well as 2017 graduates everywhere, from both high school and college — the best of luck in future endeavors!

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