- Streamwood High School
- Featured Alumni
Mitch Bendis has no trouble keeping himself busy. When he’s not focused on his studies in Human Resources and Industrial Relations, the college sophomore can sometimes be found engaging in political activism in the St. Paul area, where he ran a write-in campaign as a protest against a member of the local city council, or writing for the University of Minnesota’s campus newspaper, The Minnesota Republic.
Upon graduation from the U of M, Bendis can see himself going to work for a human resources department for a medium-size corporation. But he can also envision splitting the difference between his area of study and his activities by getting into HR consulting in government affairs.
Either way, HR “just seems like a field that I would excel at,” the 2016 graduate of Streamwood High School’s World Languages and International Studies Academy explains. “I enjoy solving problems, I like working with people, and human resources is evolving into something more technology-based and holistic. I want to maximize employee efficiency while also maximizing employee happiness.”
Bendis traces his affinity for problem-solving to his days at SHS. Some of the problems presented to him then had to do with what he intended to do with his education and his life once he finished with school.
“I had a lot of great teachers, in languages, history and English,” he recalls, “and one business teacher who was really fantastic was Dave Nickoley. He always pushed me to pursue what I was passionate about. He pushed me on how I was going to find real-world job prospects with a salary that would support me. Dave Nickoley was really the first person to say, ‘How are you going to do what you’re passionate about and what you can be successful in?’
“For as long as I knew him, he was always approachable, very honest and he had a lot of knowledge of – and connections in – business not only in the Elgin area, but in Michigan as well. He always seemed to go above and beyond.”
Bendis retains strong feelings for all of his experience at Streamwood High.
“The academy really laid a good foundation for how I approach problems and how I see the world,” he says. “I feel like you get out of something what you put into it; I put a lot in and got a lot out. The smaller learning environments … we were very close because we were always in classes together for four years. Working in small groups, getting a framework for solving problems, that really helps me in college. And the mentorship from various teachers and the advice about what I wanted to do … it was very helpful and it also prepared me for college.”