On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending the Extraordinary Achievement Award ceremony which honored MBAs who went above and beyond the minimum requirements of being an Illinois MBA student. There were 18 students nominated, each of whom have engaged in outstanding personal acts, impacted the community or impacted the MBA program. I was lucky to be one of the nominees, excited to be honored for all of my hard work and dedication to the program.
The 18 students nominated were first years, second years and professional MBA students. Their achievements were many and varied. Some students were nominated for going above and beyond the required duties of an MBA Association board member, others were nominated for running a wonderful first-year orientation program and still others were nominated for solving important administration problems and much, much more.
Each of the 18 students was given a certificate acknowledging their achievements by the Dean of the MBA program. Out of the 18 nominees, three were chosen as winners: Kristen Sackley, Kara Johnson and Colleen Symansky. Kristen, a professional MBA student, was nominated for her dedication to connecting the professional and full-time MBA students. Kara, also a professional MBA student, was nominated for her dedication to improving the MBA program, and finally, Colleen, a second-year MBA, was nominated for her dedication to the MBA program as an Orientation Coordinator and program volunteer. Each of these students had given so much of their time and effort to the university, being chosen as recipients for the Extraordinary Achievement Award was a way the university could publicly thank them for all of their efforts.
After the ceremony ended, I was able to sit down with Colleen and asked her how she felt about being one of the award recipients. Colleen said, “It was an honor to receive an Extraordinary Achievement Award…I truly believe that you will get more out of your MBA experience if you fully immerse yourself in the program, both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. Events such as the Strategy Case Competition, Scholarship Case Competition, recruiting days and New Student Orientation allow you to leave your mark on the program and help shape the future of the Illinois MBA. This program is only as good as the students in it so get involved early and often and help make the Illinois MBA program the best it can be!”
I couldn’t agree more! It’s clear from Colleen’s words that her involvement in the program has led to both personal and career growth. We only have two years to make our mark—volunteering to help the program is one of the many ways to make your time at the University of Illinois truly extraordinary!