Undergraduate Student Life

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  • Midterm Week!

    I can’t believe this week is already midterm week!  BIF is buzzing with students studying and prepping for interviews.  The beginning of October is definitely one of the busiest times of the school year.  I had my first exam this morning and I have two more later this week.  Even though this week is very stressful, I like getting all the exams done in the same week.  Unlike high school, students in the College of Business only attend class for a couple hours a day (you could have 2 or 3 classes a day whereas in high school students have around 6) so there’s lots of time to study and get ready for tests.

    Interviews are another crazy part of this time of year.  Fortunately, interviews are conducted in BIF.  Students are well acquainted with the building and there are many familiar faces so it takes some of the edge off interviews.  Everyday BIF is filled with different companies – today KPMG, Navigant and John Deere are interviewing.  I love that the College of Business offers so many wonderful opportunities to meet recruiters and interview for positions within the firm.

    If you haven’t come down to campus yet, I highly recommend visiting to get a tour and see what I’m talking about!  Remember the priority application is November 1!  GO ILLINI! 

  • Career Fair

    Last week was the College of Business Career Fair – over 200 companies came down to campus to recruit students from our College!  The Career Fair can be a stressful time, but as long as you prepare for the event by researching companies you are interested in – the event will go smoothly.  You may think as a freshman companies won’t be interested in hiring you.  While not many companies hire students after their freshman year (typically companies are looking for sophomores, juniors and seniors).  There are many great ways to get involved with firms early on in your college career.  The first way is through a winter job shadow.  Over winter break, students in the College of Business have the opportunity to spend a day with a major firm close to their hometown.  In the Fall, freshman and sophomores apply for these job shadow opportunities and they are made aware of their placement before winter break.  My freshman year I job shadowed at KPMG (one of the Big 4 accounting firms).  I kept in touch with the firm over the years and in the Summer of 2011 I had the opportunity to participate in their Summer Leadership program and I interned in the Audit practice in Summer 2012.  I also received a fulltime offer!  This is why it is so important to start making connections with companies early on – it is important to show interest and to get know the culture of a company so you will feel confident in your decision about where to work in the long run. 

    Another great way to get involved and make an impression on a company is to participate in their case competition.  Many large firms offer case competitions – groups of about 3-6 students come up with a solution to a case about current problems in the field and present their solution to a panel of professionals from that particular company.  My freshman year I competed in Ernst and Young’s “Your World Your Vision” case competition and my sophomore year I competed in PwC’s “xACT” case competition.  My team took second place in PwC’s competition – both were awesome experiences!

    I’m sure attending a Career Fair seems intimidating right now – but don’t sweat it!  Every freshman in the College of Business will take Business 101 (BUS101) in the Fall of their freshman year.  Students learn how to write a resume, dress professionally, and talk to recruiters amongst many other things.  The Business 101 course helps students prepare for their initial interactions with recruiters so they can leave a lasting impression. 

  • Back to School

    School is finally in full swing! I'm not sure how I feel about homework and exams still, but I am excited to be back on this campus when everyone is buzzing around with first week jitters. The weather is beautiful, some teachers actually believe in "Syllabus Week", and the first football game is this Saturday. The beginning of the year brings so much life to this campus.

    Here in the College of Business, everyone seems to be fitting into their daily routines. The business fraternities and Business Council all have their info sessions this week. Many large companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, have been in the BIF courtyard promoting their companies and handing out food and goodies. Business books are flying out of our offices left and right. Career fair is right around the corner. As much as we all are reluctant to purchase our textbooks for the semester and adapt to our new class schedules, I think everyone can agree they are extremely excited to be back on campus. Here's hoping for a great year at the College of Business!

  • PwC BBQ

    Today is the PwC BBQ in the BIF courtyard.  PwC (formally known as PricewaterhouseCoopers) is one of the Big 4 public accounting firms.  The “Big 4” reference the four largest international accounting firms – I’m sure throughout the year the bloggers will be mentioning these firms.  Every Fall, the Big 4 come down to campus to recruit students and welcome everyone back to campus.  The annual BBQ is a great way to get acquainted with the firms and some of the professionals that work there.  I highly recommend freshmen attend the BBQs and other casual recruiting events even though internships and jobs seem a long ways away.  However, it is never too early to start networking with firms.  I remember attending the BBQ as a freshman and meeting the U of I recruiter.  Now, I will be an Audit intern in Summer 2013!  The College of Business offers so many opportunities for students to connect with firms such as this one.  

  • August? August!

    I can't believe that it's August already! Summer has flown by, and that means there's a lot to talk about! Here's a bit about what I've been up to this summer, and even more importantly, why we are all excited for August 27!

  • One last word

    Sadly, this will mostly likely be the last post that I create for the Undergraduate student blog...since I'm no longer an undergraduate student. I'll be moving to Las Vegas to start working for a production company (another alum, in fact).

    I am so incredibly speechless about my education and experience at the University of Illinois College of Business. I've tried probably 6 different times to summarize what I'm thinking and each time I just have to delete it because it isn't capturing what I'm trying to say.

    Giving up on deleting and just going with it, I'll say that every student looking for a college to call home for four years has his/her own set of needs that need to be met. And I cannot imagine of a world in which the University of Illinois College of Business would be unable to meet a student's needs. It is simple unfathomable to me.

    You go to a dean and say, "I want to start _________ in the College" and they say, "What do you need me to do to help?"

    You go to a professor and say, "Wow, I really bombed that exam. I guess I didn't really understand the material. What can I do to improve my situation?" and they say, "Why don't you stop by later and we'll find a solution that meets both our needs."

    You go to a classmate and say, "I have a job interview in 3 hours and I'm really nervous" and they say, "Let's run through some mock questions together."

    I know not everyone will have the exact same experience I had, and quite frankly, that's okay. Everyone is different and their experiences reflect that. And THAT is exactly why I can't imagine the Illinois College of Business failing to meet a student's needs; because the college recognizes that higher education needs to be a personalized experience.

    They gave me a customized experience. I was one of the 600+ students in my class at the Illinois College of Business, and for each time that I needed help, advice, or even employment, I was the only student in my class to them.

    It was an absolutely perfect experience.



  • Womens Leadership Conference

    This weekend the College of Business will be hosting the 2nd Annual Womens Leadership Conference.  I participated in the conference last year and I'm looking forward to doing so again this weekend.  The College invites selected high school freshman through juniors to come visit on Saturday.  We have these young women participate in a variety of leadership and team building activities.  They also get the oppotunity to interact with College of Business professors and students.  

    I've been working with College of Business over the past couple of weeks to help plan the event.  We made some additions to the event which I think are going to make for an impactful and exciting day.  My favorite part of the event is the panel discussion.  I always enjoy sharing my experiences at the University of Illinois will prospective students.  

    Hopefully we'll see some of your faces in the BIF this weekend for the conference!  I'm very much looking forward to it.  As always, feel free to reach out via comments or email if you have any questions regarding the College of Business!

  • Lessons I've learned

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    As the years go by I start to realize just how much I’ve gained here at the College of Business. Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve gathered through my freshman and sophomore year.

  • Course Registration

    Registering each next semester can sometimes be a very stressful process. I have learned over past three years to start early so I don't get overwhelmed once my timeslot opens. I have a few basic resources that I use when registering.

    1. Plan multiple schedules on scheedule.com. This website is amazing. It has the entire U of I couse database and lets you play around with class time slots. All you have to do is enter the couses you plan to take during the semester you are registering for. Then you can manually build a schedule or the website will come up with every possible combination available with your classes. You can also give schedule preferences such as a one our lunch slot, no classes before or after certain times, and whether you want your classes clustered together or spread out. I highly recommend this site for everyone!

    2. Schedule an appointment with your advisor a month in advance. Registration is one of the busiest times for our advisors. Typically, advisors calendars are full with appointments two weeks before registration opens. I always like to go over my course plan with my advisor to make sure I am on track to graduate.

    3. Check out different professors' ratings on ratemyprofessor.com. This webstie has honest reviews of most professors on campus. You can see their ratings in easiness, helpfulness, rater interest and clarity.

    4. Talk to your friends! People who have taken classes in the past are some of the best resources to use when picking classes and professors. They know how classes run and which professors are more popular for certain subjects. Students have a wealth of knowledge and are nevery shy to tell you the truth!

    If you plan head and use your resources wisely, registration can be a breeze!

  • Illinois: Big and Small

    So, it's decision time. Well, it's not really decision time for a couple more months. What happens between now and May 1 will have a major impact on your next few years. What do I always do before a big decision? INFORMATION, INFORMATION, INFORMATION!

    Figure out what is important to you. Make a list of your values. What is important to you for a school to offer? For the students around you to care about? Do you want to know the Deans? Do you want to have an impact? Do you want Big Ten sports? Then, find somewhere that matches those values. Listen closely to what each campus prides itself in. Are the professors the best thing? The students? The facilities? What do you value?

    Here's why I picked Illinois...

    I was between lots of different schools, big and small. I did not know if I wanted to go to a big school with tons of opportunities, but where I might fall between the cracks, or a small school, where I would get to know my professors, advisors, etc.

    What I found at Illinois was that I didn't have to choose! The College of Business has 3000 undergrads. You get to know everyone in the College. You know your advsiors, you know the Deans, you know your professors, and you meet your best friends. I live with business majors, hang out with them over the weekends, and study with them. It is an absolute small school feel.

    Then, on the other hand, I'm part of a Big Ten community. I go to football games with 60,000 screaming fans and am part of amazing traditions. We have access to over 1,000 Registered Student Organizations that literally offer anything and everything you can think of. We have best in class Research opportunities. Oh yeah, and people here are amazing.

    Where else do you get to meet with the Associate Dean of the Undergraduate program one-on-one starting from Day 1, do top-tier research with your professors, and spend your Saturday afternoon at a Big Ten football game? 

    Say it with me... 

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