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Humans of Hillsdale: Elli Formentin

Humans of Hillsdale: Elli Formentin

Elli Formentin — Creative

Charger Tennis  |  Class of 2021  |  Grosse Ile, MI

WORDS: Calli Townsend

If you don't know Elli Formentin for her skills on the tennis court, you might know her for her fun and creative personality. In her third year as a Charger, she's overcome new challenges, learned to value what's really important, and begun to figure out what she wants for her life.

"The only mindset I had coming in to college was that I didn't want to go into the medical field," she said. "I knew exactly what I didn't want to do." 

So she chose to pursue a marketing management major knowing she wanted to work in business to some capacity. But again, she only knew what she didn't want to do — and that was something in the finance or accounting sector. Since then, however, Elli has found a way to combine her desire for business and her passion for arts with a graphic design minor. 

"I grew up drawing and I took painting classes when I was really young. I guess you could say I'm kind of artistic in some ways," she said. "I knew I didn't want to be an art major, so being able to combine marketing and graphic design is a happy medium." 

Now Elli spends a lot of her time in the arts building taking history of art and graphic design classes. She also works as a monitor at night. 

"I work the desk like six hours a week answering phone calls, taking ticket orders, and closing up the building," she said. "I spend a lot of time in there because graphic design requires a lot of outside of class work for projects we don't get done in class." 

This past summer Elli worked as a marketing intern at a consulting company called ESDI (Educational Data Systems, Inc.) in Dearborn, MI. This is a workforce development and consulting company that trains and equips jobseekers to succeed in their job hunt. 

"I worked four days a week and it was a paid internship, so that was awesome," she said. "They're a very personable company. Outside of the actual internship, I got to go on business lunches and I even had lunch with the CEO. He told me I was welcome back next summer."

As someone who chose Hillsdale for its culture and values, Elli said to continue working at EDSI would be the easy option, but not necessarily the right one for her. 

"To go back would be an easy yes for me, but I don't know that I'd want to work there," she said. "It's very opposite of Hillsdale. It's government-funded, so it was interesting to see how it differed and to see those different views." 

Elli calls herself a perfectionist and often worries about all the little details, which is something she's challenged herself to overcome since coming to Hillsdale. 

"I worry about all the little things instead of seeing the big picture. In high school I'd focus on the small things that were going wrong or didn't seem like the were going to work out," she said. "And most of the things I worried about weren't worth worrying about."

She's taken that lesson and applied it to her life now and has found a lot more peace and confidence. She says she tries to follow the advice, "If it's not going to matter in five years, don't worry about it for more than five years."

"I think coming in here freshman year I did a pretty good job of sticking to that. Everything was so new and I kinda just persevered and kept moving forward, especially grade-wise," she said. "When you get your first paper back and it's a C you're like, 'What is this?' I remember failing a Great Books exam and my parents got a letter and my coach got a letter and I was petrified. But in that moment I was like, 'It's not going to matter in the long run. It's only the beginning of the semester and that's the only grade so far. I can bring my grade up."

One of the ways Elli has found perspective is by setting her priorities and sticking to them. As a student-athlete with a job and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, she has plenty of obligations she has to balance.

"In high school I always kinda struggled with time management. At Hillsdale, I learned really quickly theres not really time for that, especially when you're a student-athlete and being away on the weekends, so the biggest challenge for me has bene managing my time and prioritizing school over social activity." 

Elli has had a successful first half of her college career and with this solid foundation, she's destined for even greater improvement. She's got a great perspective and a positive attitude. 

"I want to go straight into work. I just want do something on the creative side of business. I don't know exactly what that looks like, but possibly sales or something where I can interact with people," she said. "I really enjoy making others laugh and smile. That might sound weird, but there's something special about seeing someone else genuinely happy and knowing I helped bring that happiness to them."