Value of commitment learned
A love of hockey, a desire for an education and an aspiration not to be debt laden brought Sheldon Schneider, Enbridge supervisor of shipper services for the North Dakota region, to Minot State University.
"I received numerous letters for prospective NCAA Division 1 and Canadian university hockey programs, but no scholarships were offered," Schneider remembered. "Brian Wilkie, MSU hockey head coach, called me. Minot State's student-to-faculty ratio was right, Minot is relatively close to home (500 miles), and Minot State was affordable since I was responsible for providing my own financing for my education."
As a student, Schneider developed fundraising ideas. He and others brought the hockey program out of the red.
"Being a Minot State hockey player was not easy," Schneider related. "The road trips were long, we fundraised, every day we had practice, and we had to stay focused on academics. Lisa Eriksmoen, student wellness and development director and campus advisor to the hockey team, and I would talk about Minot State, hockey, and life. To this day, we still have those same chats. I remember all the successes and disappointments. Playing Penn State in the national tournament at Minot's All Season Arena in front of thousands of fans was amazing."
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in finance in 2003, he played professional hockey in Australia.
"After returning from Australia, I started my professional career at BDO Dunwoody accounting firm in my hometown of Dryden, Ontario," Schneider said. "I worked there for two years before moving back to Minot to complete my second major at Minot State in accounting. During that 2005-2006 academic year, I became assistant coach for the Minot State Men's Hockey Team. In fall 2007, I accepted the head coaching position of the Minot State Men's Hockey Team. In May 2009, I accepted a position at Enbridge Pipelines as an oil movement scheduler. There, I worked with oil producers in North Dakota and Montana moving crude oil through our pipelines to destinations in Minnesota and Manitoba. Currently, as the supervisor of shipper services, I work with the oil movement schedulers."
Many MSU people influenced his life.
"It began with the Coach Wilkie," Schneider stated. "Starting and maintaining a hockey program on a limited budget, while recruiting top student-athletes is tough. Student Government Association's support with funding was critical and will always be appreciated. My teammates influenced me over the years. Looking up to the hockey team's veterans and learning respect, hard work, and the meaning of commitment. Again, Lisa Eriksmoen provided guidance for me over the years. Her passion for Minot State hockey and her commitment to the program has been unwavering since the beginning."
Minot State greatly impacted Schneider.
"From my finance and accounting professors, I learned the value of money and the concepts of how to operate a business," Schneider said. "Minot State allowed me to learn leadership qualities and put them to use by coaching the Minot State hockey team for three years. Some of the students and teammates I met there are my best friends. Most importantly, Minot State is where I met Becky (Inches) '11, my beautiful wife."
"For MSU students, I would advise ‘Network, build strong relationships and always work hard toward your goals and passions,'" Schneider concluded.