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Undergraduate Student Life

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  • A Culture for Startups

    If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: UIUC feels like it has the benefits of a small school while still having the resources of a large BIG-10 campus.  There are so many neat and innovative things happening on this campus because students want to work with each other on projects that utilize their unique skill-sets.  Like many other engineering and business students, my friends and I got the itch to start our own company and try to develop something new! 

    This past summer, a few friends and I started working on a mobile app development company.  Without giving too many of the fun details away, our app is like a mix between twitter and google maps on your phone.  Building the business, working with our developers from Microsoft, and seeing the app develop over the past few months has been an extremely rewarding experience. While we are just one of the many startups on campus, we are constantly reminded at just how cool of an area Champaign/Urbana actually is and how lucky we are to have access to such great resources.   

    UIUC fosters a culture of innovative thinking and design.  Popular Mechanics recently named Champaign/Urbana as the 11th best startup city in America.  From my experience on campus, I believe this to be true.  Interestingly enough, UIUC made way for many innovative products and services that we use today.  Companies like YouTube, FarmVille, PayPal, Tesla, AirBnB, and Netscape all got there start here on campus.  

    If you want to go to a university that challenges you to be the best you can be and create new and innovative products, Illinois is surely the place for you. Now it's my turn to ask you: What will you develop?

    Landen Crews, Senior | Marketing

     

    To find out more about the startup culture on campus, visit the Technology Entrepreneurship Center website: http://tec.illinois.edu/about/. 

  • Getting My Life On Track: Things to Include in Your Planner

    Hey All! 

    It has been a while since I last posted so I'll take the time to introduce myself. My name is Ron Lewis and I'm an Accounting major and I hopefully plan on minoring in Technology and Management as the decision of whether I got accepted to the program or not comes out soon!

    This semester I have gotten a new planner that will help me to schedule ahead and hopefully get a higher GPA. I would definitely recommend using some type of planning technique or book so you won't have to keep everything in your head and possibly forget an important date or deadline. 

    So here are a couple of things that I have included in my planner: 

    1. Different events for Organizations: Being in so many organizations, it gets difficult to decide which events to go to each week and to remember what time they start. So before the week starts, I try to plan out the specific events that I want to go to for each organization so that I can plan to at least go to one event for every organization weekly.
    2. Exams with a Two-week Notice: Throughout my college experience, I have found that the 3 to 4 day cramming typically doesn't work for me. So in my planner I have included a two-week notice in my planner that tells me to begin studying for exams. Now this doesn't mean that I study all night for two weeks straight. This just allows me to really break down all the materials for a test and make a strategic approach to studying for an exam. 
    3. To-Do lists: Often throughout the day, I always remember something that I need to do for class or for one of my organizations. Whether its a book that I need, or a meeting for an organization, as soon as it pops into my head, I try to right it down so that I won't forget it. 
    4. Homework Assignments: Homework adds up in college and it takes a big percentage of many of my classes. So to prepare myself, I try to write out all of my assignments in my planner when they are given as well as the due dates to make sure that I don't forget any assignments.  

    Using my planner has really allowed me to get ahead of all my classes and start my semester on the right track! Hopefully this blog can help you get your life on track as well!

    Good luck on the 2nd half of the school Year!

     

     

  • Tips for Incoming Students!

    Hello everyone! As the spring semester begins, students on campus are busy adjusting to their classes and responsibilities. New classes, new teachers, new classmates. It can all be overwhelming, especially for incoming and underclassmen students. However, with these following tips and tricks, you will adjust to life on campus seamlessly!

    1. Get Involved As Soon As Possible. Of course this is easier said than done, however it is essential.  Here on campus we have an event in the beginning of Fall semester called Quad Day. This event includes a great variety of registered student organizations (or RSOs) of all different interests. In the College of Business, we have Business Quad Day a few days after Quad Day. At this event, all of the business organizations get together in the courtyard of the Business Instructional Facility (BIF). I really enjoyed both of these events and highly recommend them for all incoming students. 

    2. Network, Network, Network. As a business student, the word networking will become part of your everyday vocabulary. College is a great place to meet people who can offer unique perspectives and opportunities for you. You should network with professors, students, faculty, and professionals that come to campus. You never know when one meeting could lead to your future career. 

    3. Prioritize…but be realistic. To-do lists will become your best friend if they aren’t already. Staying organized is the key to being successful in college and later on in your career. By prioritizing your responsibilities, you will be able to be successful in your organizations and classes. These two areas will take up most of your time while in school, so by staying organized you will be able to have “free” time to enjoy other activities and hobbies. 

    4. Me time. The previous tip brings me to this very important one. It is so so so important to take time to do the things you love, whether that is reading your favorite book, listening to music, or going to a movie. Hobbies should not stop in high school. College is a great time to pick up new hobbies as well! We have over 1,000 RSO’s here on campus, and if you don’t find one you love you can start one yourself.

    5. Use your gym membership! Here at the University of Illinois we are very lucky to have amazing facilities like the ARC and CRCE. These facilities not only have great exercise equipment, but they also offer group classes. It can be hard to be motivated to work out - trust me I understand. However, exercise is one thing we should all prioritize. Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Happy people are bound to enjoy college significantly more! 

    As always, feel free to leave comments or questions below, and we’ll do our best to reply promptly!

  • Last 5 Weeks

    Junior year is going by fast and choosing classes for next semester is fun because I get to take courses in my major that interest me such as Business Process Management and Logistics Management. At this time of year there are a lot of events and free food at the College of Business which always makes my day. Also there are companies recruiting students which means that almost everyone will get a job after graduation. I have being interviewing for internships with different companies such as Hormel Foods, Kraft Foods, Target and PepsiCo. This is an exciting time and it’s important to keep up the hard work, but also have fun with friends. 

  • 7 Things To Remember While in College

    Hello Everyone!

    My name is Landen Crews and I am a senior in the Marketing & Information Systems/Technology program in the College of Business. I am super excited to share some of my college experiences with you over the course of the next few months.

    A friend of mine recently asked me to share several pieces of advice on what I think it takes to survive in college.  So as my first official blog post of the year, I will share a list of the seven things that I have found to be interesting or insightful during my time here at UIUC. 

    1)  Let your passions drive your actions - It’s likely that your passion isn’t accounting or supply chain management but rather something much deeper.  Don’t lose sight of who you want to be and what you want to do in order to find the highest paying job after school.  Find a company and career that will allow you to drink from the well of your passions.  

    2)  You don’t need to have THE plan, but you do need to have a plan. - It is okay that you don’t have the next 40 years of your life figured out quite yet.  Even if you don’t know where your road may take you, it is important to know what you would like to be doing for the next few.  Know what kind of clubs you want to get involved with and have a plan on how you want to take on a leadership positiion within.  

    3)  You don’t need to have life figured out, but you should surround yourself by people who you think do. - Be observant of the people you admire most.  It is likely that they have had the same struggles and obstacles as you.  Everyone from Jesus to Jay-Z and everyone in between had someone that they admired and looked up to.  Even if these people are parents or fictional characters, be a student of how they live their life.  

    4)  Take advantage of the amazing things we have on this campus. - It is very easy to live in a bubble within the College of Business.  There’s a reason why companies like YouTube and AirBnB had their roots at UIUC, go see how you can make an impact with those people who are doing amazing things. 

    5)  Be a pirate.  - Take yourself down a road where not many have gone before and see how you can make an impact.  What looks crazy now may be the next big thing; always take the opportunity to look like the crazy one.   

    6)  Don’t be afraid to be different  - The people we remember remember most are the ones who were different than the others.  We learn about people like Steve Jobs, MLK, and JFK because they changed the status quo.  

    7)  Know your strengths and weaknesses - The best leaders in the world are successful because they know what they do best and where they need improvement. 

     

    Have a great fall and GO ILLINI!!

     

    Landen Crews

    Senior, Marketing & Information Systems/Technology

  • The First Weekend - Munich

    Earlier, I wrote about study abroad in general and how amazing my semester was in studying in Germany. I promised you all more posts about my trips so let’s begin with my first trip to Munich with 4 Illinois students and 1 student from Indiana. The first two weeks in Vallendar were amazing. We met so many other exchange students and instantly became best friends with them and the actual students studying at WHU. Two of my best friends are actually studying abroad here in Champaign next semester from WHU and I met these two that first weekend in Vallendar.

    So on to Munich now. We took a 6am bus from Vallendar to Munich and arrived in the afternoon there. After walking aimlessly to our hostel (the manager was even a Cubs fan), we settled in and immediately headed out to explore the town. Munich is a fairly small city compared to a Chicago or New York but it is the size of a continent compared to Vallendar, so it was nice seeing a change of pace from the first two weeks. Munich was amazing; there was so much activity going on and a lot of culture. Munich is the capital of Bavaria which fulfills the stereotype people think of what Germans and Germany is. We visited the sites and explored the city which had a lot of history especially with the World War II sites and also lots of great food. During the Saturday we were there, we went to the “Disney Castle” which is called Neuschwanstein castle. Think of the Sleeping Beauty castle and this is it! It was one of the most beautiful and breathtaking moments of my life. Below is a picture of myself and my friend from Illinois Nick Buege.  I know you all are wondering, but yes we did go to Hofbräuhaus, which is the site of Oktoberfest. To be honest, this place was the best social atmosphere I have ever seen. There is something to be said in such a setting, enjoying the evening, hanging out with your best friends, and don’t forget eating large German pretzels! This moment on my first trip will be constantly etched in my mind and it makes this trip one of my favorites.

    It was an unplanned excursion to Munich but it turned out to be one of my favorite trips I went on. I wasn’t sure if it was the people, the culture, Hofbräuhaus, or even the Disney Castle, but Munich was a trip I will always remember and it is at the top of the list of cities I want to go back. 

  • Hello!

    Hey Everyone! 

        My name is Ronald Lewis and I am a sophomore in the College of Business planning on double majoring in Accounting and Finance. I am originally from Westchester, Illinois where I previously attended St. Joseph high school. 

        I originally decided to pursue a double major because of my interest in Investment Banking. I believe with  2 majors in Accounting and Finance, it will better prepare myself to be a more competitive candidate in the long run. However, many people in the College of Business always reassure me that each person path is their own, so I am trying to make sure that the double major is something that I really want to do at this point. Nevertheless, I have plenty of time to decide whether I want to double major or not so I am currently just taking my time to make sure I make the right decision. 

        Some things I am involved in on campus are Business Council, which is an organization within the College of Business that helps connect student with companies, while also giving back to the community through philanthropic events, and Illinois Student Senate, which is the official student government at the University of Illinos.

         This past summer, I had an opportunity to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Internal Firm Services (IFS) group in their Chicago office. It was a absolutely great experience as I was able to interact with so many professionals including managers and even partners of the firm. Right now I am unsure what I am going to do for next summer, but I am definitely looking forward to expanding my network and growing professionally. 

        If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email us at admissions@business.illinois.edu! 

     

      

        

  • It's Midterm Time!

                It’s that time of year, when all of your classes get a little bit more stressful because of midterm exams and project. This time of year always makes me think a lot about high school and how I studied back then.

                Most college exams are much different than high school, at least from what I have experienced these past two year. It’s not about being able to memorize information and then applying it. It’s about being able to fully understand topics regardless of the different ways a certain question may be asked, which makes things a little more complicated.

                However, don’t get me wrong. This time of year is not all that bad! Yes, most days consist of late nights studying, but you’re usually with a group of friends all helping each other succeed!

                This is a great example of how the College of Business is a great community. Every student here will succeed and get a great job when they graduate, so instead of being ultra competitive, students here prefer to help each other so everyone in the group does well together! This is a unique aspect of the College of Business that stood out to me when I was applying to schools.

                Although this is a very stressful time, it is great to know that I have a great group of friends and classmates who help each other get through it!

  • So…you want to know what it takes to get in here?

    It’s the question we get the most. It comes in multiple different forms. How can I get into the College of Business here? What does it take? What are you looking for in candidates? Everyone wants to know what exactly they have to do to get accepted into the College of Business. They want the formula. Well, here’s the bad news: there is no formula.

    What I can offer you are some honest insights straight from the Admissions Team: 

    • We take a completely holistic view, meaning we look at everything - grades, GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities, and evidence of leadership
    • There is no minimum GPA cutoff and there is no GPA that automatically gets you in
    • There is no minimum ACT/SAT score cutoff and there is no test score that automatically gets you in
    • We tend to weight grades more heavily than test scores. We believe strong grades show greater evidence of work ethic than a high test score.
    • We want to see that you are challenging yourself and taking AP/honors/advanced classes
    • Do not slack off senior year
    • We want to see that you are involved outside of the classroom, being a leader, and impacting your community 
    • Write strong applications essays. Write about something that makes you stand out and memorable

    I hope this helps! I would be lying if I said it is easy to get into the College of Business. It is competitive, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. If you don’t try, the answer will always be no. I really didn’t think I would get in, but somehow I did. So have more confidence in yourself. Never count yourself out.

     

  • Study Abroad!!!

    The first post of many on my adventures studying abroad in Germany.