Hannah Hulse '18 Melds Business Major, Firefighting Experience in Career Aspirations

Hannah Hulse ’18 started fighting fires to earn money for college.

Growing up in Eastern Oregon, Hulse used to spend her summers picking up litter — but at age 18, she got her first chance for something a little more daring, becoming a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service.

Today, the Pacific University College of Business student is ready to pair her love of wildland firefighting with her experience in business.

“When I came in as a business management major, I really had aspirations of working for Nike,” she said. “When I found out that business was what I wanted to be a part of, but also fire was, I knew I could somehow make a connection.”

As a firefighter, Hulse has gained invaluable skills in leadership and organization. During her second year of firefighting, she broke her foot and ended up spending much of the summer on the administrative side of the industry. 

“I absolutely fell in love with it,” she said. “I had a passion for specifically being able to organize things through logistics and operations of fire.”

At Pacific, meanwhile, she has been equally pushed to excel.

“Definitely the professors pushed me to an all-time high,” she said. “I’m so thankful for, in every rigorous class I’ve had with them, they’ve pushed me to become a better student and really know that what I put into it is what I’m going to get out of it, and for never letting me settle for anything else than what I’m capable of.”

Balancing summer firefighting, a rigorous course schedule that has her finishing college in three years, plus roles on Pacific's volleyball and lacrosse teams has helped Hulse prepare for a competitive career.

“Being a female in this industry, you have to take pride in who you are and prove you're worthy of your position,” she said. “I’ve been surrounded by amazing men and women in the industry who have pushed me to be better in mental and physical toughness.

“I’m pretty tough,” she said. “I’ll admit I’m tough. When you get in the industry, it's a whole different level of toughness, but there are amazing people around you and you're able to grow every day."

Mar. 16, 2018