Undergraduate Student Life

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  • 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... 

  • What to Bring to College

    Even though your senior year hasn’t yet ended, I’m sure many of you are wondering what to bring to school.  I remember being nervous amount the amount of space in my dorm room.  At home, I have my own closet and bedroom, and space had never really been an issue before.  As school approached, I knew I had to buy storage items that would help me save space.  In this post, I want to give you some insight as to what to bring to U of I in the fall.

    First, I recommend bringing storage bins that will fit underneath your bed.  This is a huge space saver!  It’s easy to store sweats, work out clothes, sweaters, shoes, and extra toiletrees underneath your bed.  I recommend checking out Target or The Container Store for these types of bins.  You’ll find them in a variety of sizes and colors.

    Second, bring stacking hangers.  These hangers are long and you can hang multiple pairs of pants or shirts on them without taking up more space in your closet.  Here is a link to these hangers so you get a better idea of what I’m talking about: http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_011W946214110001P?sid=KDx20070926x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=011W946214110001

    Third, bring a shoe rack to hang in your closet.  This will save space, keep your shoes organized, and reduce the amount of clutter on your floor.  I’ve had the same shoe rack since freshman year and I think it works great!  I use a shoe rack very similar to this one: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=10207673

    Fourth, you’re in the College of Business, which means you’ll need to bring a suit to school along with a few nice shirts to go underneath.  As the years go on, you’ll build your professional wardrobe, but it is important to start with the basics.   I recommend bringing a black suit with maybe a white, blue and one other color shirt to go underneath.  If you shop around, there are some great deals on professional clothing out there!  You may also want to look into bringing a padfolio to store your resumes in.  You will need one for interviews and also when attending the Career Fair.  They are available for sale at the bookstores on campus so you can purchase that once you are here.

    These are just a few suggestions – hopefully it’ll help with your shopping!  Remember to pack a few orange tshirts too!

  • Exploring Downtown Champaign

    This year a lot of my friends brought cars down to campus.  Even though Green Street has some really awesome places to eat, we’ve been enjoying exploring downtown Champaign!  There are so many great eateries that no one really knows about.  We’ve been using the iPhone app, UrbanSpoon, and seeing where it takes us. 

    Our first adventure led us to Blackdog, perhaps the very best BBQ in the entire world.  Blackdog is this tiny restaurant, only about 12 tables, and has people waiting over an hour to eat.  Since our first visit, I’ve now been back a handful of times, both with my parents and friends.  I’ve ordered the brisket every time, although I think the best part of the meal are the beans.  I highly recommend this restaurant when you visit campus next!

    The following weekend we wound up at a little hole-in-the-wall place named Thara Thai.  Thara Thai had amazing pad thai.  It was a little pricey, but the portion was huge, so no complaints.  The third time I went to Yellowfin Sushi – it’s not too far away from Assembly Hall.  I absolutely LOVE sushi so my friend and I had fun trying a few of their specialty rolls, and of course, the seafood salad.

    Trying all these off-campus places has been really fun and I know we’ll continue to do it the rest of the semester.  If you drive down on your next visit, take a little time to explore the downtown Champaign area – there’s actually a lot of fun things to do that are unique to this area.

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