Student Narratives: Aowyn Leonhardt

Aowyn Leonhardt is a born and raised Humboldt local getting a double major in Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and two minors in Applied Statistics and Applied Mathematics.

She was awarded the Economics Department Academic Achievement Award, was nominated for the College of Professional Studies Excellence in Academics Award, and is the treasurer of the Accounting Club.

Her local roots and her motivation has helped her make the most out of her time as a student and meet her goals.

The Road to Humboldt and Economics

Right after high school, Aowyn decided to move to Washington to take a break from school and gain some work experience. She knew she wanted to attend college but “what really made me decide to go to school was knowing that… I didn't have any skill or education that I could transfer to other fields.”

Moving back home was an easy choice for her as she was able to save on the cost of living and already had an established presence in the community. She was very comfortable around campus, having grown up so close she would visit the campus with her parents, who also attended Humboldt. 

Aowyn started Humboldt as a Business major and added Economics as her second major after taking Econ 210. “I took Econ 210 as part of my business course requirements without really even understanding what economics was. I    really liked that course and fell in love with economics.”

Aowyn has been involved with lots of the hands-on learning opportunities offered by the department. She has been a supplemental instruction (SI) instructor for Econ 310 and had a research internship with the County of Humboldt and another internship with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She also has been working as the assistant editor on the Humboldt Economic Index for 2 years. Her roots in the community, along with her internships, helped her to get a job at the SBDC Technical Assistance Procurement Center.

She thinks the department is great. It’s very small, which gives students the opportunity to really get close to the department faculty and participate in many of the hands-on learning opportunities they offer.


Something that is very unique to this generation of students is the effects that the coronavirus pandemic has had. Though many were negative, being forced to use a variety of online tools made Aowyn an expert at using them in a professional environment. “At the SBDC everything was on Zoom. All the meetings and a lot of the work was at home so having those skills really gave me a head start and made me a bigger asset to the company.” Being able to work directly with her professor also helped her learn what it is like to communicate in a professional environment.

Her advice for new incoming students would be to space out the classes you are going to  take and make sure that you don’t take all the difficult classes at the same time. She also stressed the importance of networking - not just with the faculty but with the students  as well. She stressed the importance of making friends with students that are about to  finish school or have already taken some of the courses you plan to take. Getting advice from them on how to manage your time or even what professors they preferred can be hugely advantageous.

What’s next

After this semester she hopes the pandemic will abate enough to allow her to study abroad in  Japan. She had a great experience studying abroad in South Korea before the pandemic and would have traveled more for school if the pandemic hadn't gotten in the way. After graduation, she would like to go to graduate school to obtain a PhD, though she doesn't have a specific school in mind at this time