Returning to campus after fall break is such a bittersweet feeling. I was sad to leave a home full of great food and better family, but I am excited to get back to campus and end a great semester! There is however one thing that excites me more than anything about returning to campus and that is Illinois basketball. Coach Groce and the Illini are currently undefeated and everyone on campus is very excited about how our team has been playing so far!
This year, I am a member of the basketball student cheering section, Orange Krush. As a member of Orange Krush, I have the opportunity to sit right next to the court every single game. Never have I experienced such an exciting atmosphere as when I had the opportunity to sit courtside while Illinois played 18th ranked Gonzaga my freshman year. If you are a basketball fan of any sorts, I recommend becoming a part of Orange Krush when you get to campus!
Orange Krush is a student led organization that not only cheers at every basketball game, but also has the opportunity to give back to the community around us with grants and donations going to many local charities. This past year, the Orange Krush Foundation donated approximately $150,000 to the University and 61 charities.
Many other College of Business students like me are involved with business organizations but are also involved in the Orange Krush Foundation as well. Joining Orange Krush is not only a great way to support our university, but also a great way to meet other students from around campus.
Waiting for the game to start!
I had to share the view with this guy for the entire game!
The Calm Before The Storm
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, good food, and gratefulness. I think that this Thanksgiving was surrounded by a very unique time – with the typhoon in the Philippines and the destruction from the tornadoes right here in central Illinois. Those extremely devastating situations were a blatant reminder of just how much I have to be thankful for while people across the world and also right next door are suffering from such great loss. Sometimes I think it’s healthy to step back from our lives and truly reflect on everything we have been blessed with. I am glad that we have a national holiday for that here in the United States, but I wish that it could be more of a lifestyle – spending time each day being thankful for all that we have. Our entire week of Thanksgiving break was very rejuvenating and came at the perfect time. I spent a lot of time lounging around watching movies, reading, cooking, baking, and spending quality time with family. Now it’s Monday and we are back at school and are already crazy. We have a week and a half left of classes and then comes finals week. This time leading up to finals is full of last exams, big presentations, group projects, and lots more. Thanksgiving break was definitely what you can call “the calm before the storm.” The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! In just three weeks we will be home for a month of winter break and finished with first semester…and then will come even more lounging around and watching movies and family time. During these next few weeks when I am busy and stressed, I am going to do my best to remember how much I have to be thankful for – especially the opportunity to go to such a wonderful university.
The Age Old Balancing Act
Thanksgiving break is right around the corner, and with it comes relaxation and lots and lots of food. But as soon as we come back from break it will be Finals mania! This is always around the time when I think about the advice my parents gave me before coming to school: that balance is key to a healthy lifestyle. With so many ways to get involved, a rigorous set of coursework, as well as fun social events popping up everyday, it can be very hard to balance it all! It has taken me the last two years to realize how I balance studying, working out, and hanging out with friends.
Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way:
- Study during non-test weeks. This allows you to skip over the stressful cramming right before tests, and actually allows you to absorb the material and truly understand it.
- When possible, refrain from ordering food to BIF. We all know especially around this time of the year it is easy to basically call the Business Instructional Facility our first home since we spend the majority of our day in classes or studying in the building. In my experience, it is always a good idea to take a study break and whip up a quick meal in your apartment.
- Take the time to go to the gym. Over the summer I started doing yoga, and I can honestly say it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Blocking off times in your day to workout at the gym is a great way to blow off steam.
- Remember to have fun. The College of Business at UIUC has a phenomenal academic program, and this is clearly demonstrated through the truly incredible faculty as well as interesting courses offered. That being said, it can be easy to get caught up in studying 24/7 to get the grades you want, but the best students have a great grasp on work life balance. Find that balance, and there is virtually no limit on what you can accomplish at this University.
Future Women in Business Fall Conference
If you are a female, we have an exciting event coming up for you! It is the Future Women in Business Fall Conference and it is an event that I have been working on for the entire semester now. I came up with this idea as I thought back to how much I struggled with deciding what major to pursue in college. A lot of people recommended business, but I honestly didn’t really know what that entailed. I had this (very far off) perception that business was for outspoken and competitive individuals who sat at a desk all day long working with numbers and spreadsheets. I decided to heed the advice of others and I declared a major in business, not really looking forward to what I was getting myself in to. Now that I am a junior in the College of Business here at U of I, I laugh at my old perception of a career in business. There is such a vast array of things that you can do with a business degree – things that I never thought of. A degree in business can open the doors to so many opportunities and it is not a degree that restricts you to one specific industry. I want current high school girls to realize all of the different things that you can do with a business degree. The Future Women in Business Fall Conference provides a way for female high school students to learn just that. It is perfect for students who are considering a career in business, for people who are exploring what major to pursue, for people who feel lost on what to choose, and even for people who think that they could never see themselves in the business field. The event will consist of a keynote speaker, alumnae presentations on what they are doing with their ILLINOIS business degree, and a panel of current U of I students. The alumnae are from companies such as Google, Motorola Solutions, PwC, Groupon and others. It is an event that I wish I had the opportunity to go to when I was making my college and major decision. You will learn that business is even for someone who is soft-spoken, loves to bake, and wants to have a career that helps others – people like me.
Where: The Illini Center – 200 S. Wacker Dr. in Chicago
Date: Saturday, November 23rd
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Follow this link to register TODAY because space is limited: http://business.illinois.edu/undergrad/admissions/events.aspx.
We hope to see you there!
Welcome to my first blog. I have never blogged before so this will be a new and interesting experience. Let me tell you a little bit more about me; I am a sophomore in the College of Business pursuing a degree in Supply Chain Management and International Business. I was born in Guatemala City, and Spanish is my native language. When I came to the United States everything was different from what I used to do. One of the biggest challenges I faced was learning English, and I am sure that I will never stop learning it. But that didn’t stop me from getting accepted to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I went to Evanston Township High School where I had very good teachers and people who helped me succeed along the way.
Why did I end up at U of I? I applied to different universities and I got accepted to all of them. What made the difference in my decision was that here at Illinois I found a welcoming place full of good people who are devoted to helping students like me thrive. Another reason for me choosing U of I was that wherever I go there is always someone who shares the same Alma Mater. This builds long friendships and great networking opportunity to better succeed in the real world.
The decision to come to the College of Business at Illinois is one that I will never regret! I look forward to posting more throughout the year and hopefully get to meet you during an admissions event in the future. Go Illini!
Soaking in the Knowledge
When I first started pre-school, I remember playing with blocks and learning the alphabet. In elementary school I learned how to multiply and divide. In middle school I learned how to read chapter books, and in high school I learned about the joys of physics. Thinking back to pre-school I remember going to school was my favorite part of the day. But somewhere along the way, school became more about passing tests and memorizing definitions, and I forgot about how great it was to actually learn and absorb knowledge. That all changed when I came to the University of Illinois. I still remember walking in my first class of freshman year, Philosophy 101, and making some of my first friends in college. That class, along with some of my other business courses has 100% shaped who I am today. Especially now, since I am learning about all the various functions within the business world- it has become crystal clear to me that I have fallen back in love with learning. Going to class is great not only because you are surrounded by your friends, but also because the knowledge you gain the classroom can really be applied out in the real world. Business 101 is a course that every freshman within the College of Business takes. I know, personally, I still think back to group projects in that class where we had to think through situations and use our problem solving skills. I actually have a full day of classes ahead today-and I honestly couldn’t be happier to spend my time learning interesting and applicable things!
-Until next time
We’ve finally crossed into the second half of the semester! That means the first wave of midterm exams are complete – that we may, or may not, be feeling good about. If that last exam crept up on you and you found yourself wishing you could pause time to clock in a few extra hours of studying, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. As a current senior, I’ve seen my fair share of classroom habits and I’m here to pass on some of my favorites.
It's Okay To Be Unsure
If you were to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was five years old, I would have said a princess. If you were to ask me the same question at age ten, I would have said a teacher. At age fifteen, I would have said a journalist. Entering college, I was asked the same question, and my response was, “I have no clue.” At every point in my life I had some sort of idea of what I wanted to do, except for the time when I actually needed to know what I wanted to do. Or so I thought I had to know. I felt so uneasy not having a major set in place. I had so many friends who knew exactly what they were going to study and what kind of career they wanted to pursue. I felt behind and lost. The reality, however, is that it’s okay not to know what you want to do. You don’t have to know coming into school. By taking different classes and taking advantage of all the resources here for you at the University of Illinois, with time, you will figure out what your passions are and you will gain clarity. So please don’t feel stressed or worried that you don’t have a set plan. Instead, find freedom in the fact that you can explore many different options and have an incredible about to choose from. View it as an opportunity instead of a hindrance. I’m now a junior and twenty years old. While I have a major set in place and certain ideas of what I want to do, I’m not exactly sure where I’ll end up. The future will always be unknown. But that’s the fun part.
Nothing makes me happier than to walk outside and breathe the fresh autumnal air on this campus. The colors are changing everywhere, and there is not a prettier sight than the greens changing to oranges and reds. Clubs on campus are getting into the spirit of things: October Lover’s Club is kicked into high gear, dorms started decorating for Halloween, and Espresso Royale changed its menu to incorporate apple cider basically into every drink. I think you can tell autumn is my favorite season- but there is something about autumn on this campus specifically. Going to Curtis Apple Orchard a few miles off campus is one of the highlights of the fall season, not just because they have amazing apple donuts and cider, but because I get to spend it with my friends! All of campus is joining in on the fun, and I can’t wait to see all the upcoming bonfires, carved pumpkins, and homecoming festivities.
Homecoming week kicked off this past Friday October 18th, with the campus wide volunteer initiative called iHelp. Students spend this day volunteering in various parts of campus and in the Champaign- Urbana community. Alumni all across the world can also volunteer in whatever area they live in on this day in respect to the Alma Mater. In addition to that, there are a whole bunch of activities like the ‘Illini Block Party’ as well as the Homecoming Parade that take place all this week to get students and alumni excited for the upcoming weekend’s football game. Best of luck to everyone on upcoming midterms! Go Illini!
The Joys of Case Competitions
It’s that time of the year where you look at your schedule and automatically feel stressed! Right now, many students like myself are busy with midterms, case competitions and interviews for internships.
Last week, four of my friends and myself competed in the Boeing Business Case Competition. A Case Competition is where a company presents students with a problem the company is currently dealing with and a team has the opportunity to present their solution to the company.
In the competition, Boeing presented Illinois students with a supply chain problem they are currently dealing with, and it was our task to come up with a solution to their problem and present it to their Supply Chain team. I was proud of our team for placing 2nd out of the ten teams. Even though we did not win the competition, it was still a gratifying experience as we have all received interviews for various positions within Boeing. It’s such a rewarding experience to work in a group of dedicated students who all push each other to do their best work. I can say that the group of students I had the opportunity to work with are some of the most talented and driven students I know.
One of the best aspects of my Illinois experience thus far has been the opportunity to collaborate as a group on various projects and cases. The College of Business provides students with many opportunities to work with real companies in real world situations though case competitions and consulting projects. Case competitions build on the skills learned in the classroom while providing real world experience in a practical setting.
Until next time,