Bridgette Sieffert '21
B.C.E, M.S.E.C.E. '21 and '22 (College of Science and Engineering)
Alumni Association Member
GraduateTheU is a small business owned by a Bridgette Sieffert and her family, all University of Minnesota Alumni. Huge board game enthusiasts, they've been playing games together forever and were inspired to create a game of that captures and reflects their love of the University. GraduateTheU-Twin Cities Edition was several years in the making but came to life from this desire. Game play and content is designed to mimic student life at the University of Minnesota, allowing alumni to relive nostalgic experiences and prospective students and their families to learn about campus life and favorite places.
As sole owners of the start-up business, they were heavily involved in the development of our product from start to finish. From designing the board game layout, to researching the fun facts on game cards, to assembling and packaging each game by hand, this has been a once in a lifetime experience for their family. It has been a LONG road to reach the point of game production, including supply chain setbacks due to the pandemic, paper shortages, and months of working closely with the U to secure content approval and licensing for the game. As they look back fondly and proudly three years later, they're very pleased to offer the only board game fully dedicated to life and experiences at the University of Minnesota!
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Born and raised in Minnesota, Bridgette attended the University of Minnesota with her twin brother, Collin, a co-founder of GraduateTheU. Fast forward five years and she is a University of Minnesota 2021 and 2022 alumna! She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and quickly followed it with a master’s in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on virtual reality and computer graphics.
During her schooling she studied abroad at the University of Sydney for a semester. Living in Sydney, Australia was one of the best experiences of her life! She also had several summer internships including working as a data science research intern at 3M for two summers. It was here that Bridgette developed a passion for virtual reality and decided to stay an extra year at the University of Minnesota to pursue a master’s in this area.
Being a part of student groups on campus played a large role in Bridgette’s college experience. She was on the leadership team for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and attended several national professional conferences with this group. Through this group she helped mentor underclassmen girls pursuing STEM degrees. Additionally, she was on the board for IEEE Women in Engineering, a student group focused on promoting women in electrical and computer engineering degrees. Finally, she was the vice president of IEEE- ETTA KAPPA NU Omicron Chapter (HKN), an electrical and computer engineering honor society focused on tutoring underclassmen in electrical and computer engineering classes.
Outside of school she enjoys playing board games, sports, painting, traveling, and adventuring! She played on an intramural volleyball team for several years in college. It was during her undergrad degree at the University of Minnesota that her and her family came up with the idea for GraduateTheU – Twin Cities Edition. Fun fact - you can frequently find her singing the national anthem at various Gopher sporting events!