Jessica Kannegiesser, 32
Business Management/Marketing MSUB
November 11, 2016
By Blair Koch, University Relations and Communications, 657-2269
Jessica Kannegiesser isn’t sure where life will take her once she graduates from Montana State University Billings, but the 32-year-old is confident.
Kannegiesser, majoring in business management and marketing, has overcome a lot to study at MSUB and is forging a brighter path for herself, and she says, “more importantly, my son.”
The bright-eyed single parent describes how life unraveled after she graduated from Billings Senior High in 2002.
“I went to cosmetology school but after a boyfriend moved away, my life kind of fell apart and I struggled with addiction for a few years,” Kannegiesser said.
Five years ago, she changed her lifestyle.
“When I found out I was pregnant with my son I shaped up,” she said.
Continuing her personal and professional growth included a desire to obtain more education.
“I kept hearing radio ads for MSUB and one day I just drove here,” she said. “That decision was one of the best I’ve made and I started school in January of 2015.”
Today, she’s an active, albeit non-traditional, face on campus.
In addition to serving on the College of Business student advisory board, Kannegiesser is also the coordinator for the newly formed MSUB Junior Jackets program through the Student Union and Events Office.
Junior Jackets is designed to promote free and low-cost family-friendly events sponsored by student organizations, departments and the university.
“Being involved with Junior Jackets has literally been a lifesaver,” Kannegiesser said. “It’s pushed me into a leadership role and I’m involved in something that’s important to me: providing space for students where they can bring their kiddos to campus.”
She said it’s a lot of fun to see students like herself be able to participate in more functions.
“It’s nice to be able to have places where you can relax and let your kids run a bit,” she said. “The Junior Jackets is a great addition for the university and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
For herself, Kannegiesser said the experience has opened other doors.
“I used to always want to own my own business and I guess that entrepreneurial side of me is still there, but now I’m really exploring marketing and promotion,” she said.
For now, she is relishing her time at school and looking optimistically at what may come.