Karla Lodholz — Alumni Stories — Foundation & Alumni | Northcentral Technical College
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NTC Foundation

Alumna Karla Lodholz

Remember when you graduated from high school and had to make a decision about college? Karla Lodholz does.

“I was young, a little scared and not ready to leave home by making a commitment to a four-year college,” she recalled. “The tech just worked for me,” said Lodholz. “I didn’t have to pass up an education because of any of that. That’s pretty powerful. All of the systems were in place. NTC made it very easy for me to have that opportunity.”

Once she started her coursework in police science, Lodholz discovered that the learning wasn’t all academic. “I became an ambassador while I was there,” she said, recalling how the leadership skills she learned helped her overcome her shyness. “I was able to step out of the box a little bit and into some areas where I could test the waters as to what my strengths and interests might be.”

Lodholz, who graduated with a degree in police science in 1988, now serves as a vice president at River Valley Bank in Weston. “My education at NTC provided me with the opportunity for some great experiences,” she said. “I was one of the first female interns for the Wausau Police Department, and interned with the public defender’s office as an investigator. But during that process I realized that even though I wanted to work with people, it probably wasn’t going to be in the field that I had originally chosen. NTC helped me find the direction I wanted to go.”

Speaking from experience, Lodholz had some words of wisdom for people who think college is not for them. “Start out with pieces that you can handle. If you’re not ready to go to school for four years, go to a technical college for two years. You will receive an unbelievable education, and during the process find out a lot about yourself as well. I evolved as I went. I thought, Two years? I can do that. And when I did that I thought, I can do two more.

“Always remain focused on what makes you happiest, utilizing the strengths and qualities that you already have,” she added. “You grow, you learn, you have the opportunity to meet people—instructors and peers—who have an impact on you for the rest of your life. I received a great education, learned life lessons, and became the individual I am today because of the solid foundation NTC provided.”

After graduating from NTC, Lodholz went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Marian College in Fond du Lac, and has since completed her master’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee.


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