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Results for "February, 2012"

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  • 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.

  • Working Across Campus

    One of the great aspects of U of I is that we not only have an amazing, top-rate undergraduate business program, but also other amazing programs across campus. I got to see, first hand, how beneficial this can be.

    I assist one of my professors in designing part of a course, and there were significant changes made to the class last semester. This semester, we wanted to see just how effective these were, and whether the message got through to students. We decided to create Focus Groups to better understand what students thought.

    I immediately started working on designing questions for the focus groups, and my professor suggested I get in contact with one of her friends, a professor in the Sociology department. I got to meet with this professor one-on-one and learn all sorts of new Sociology techniques, read an interesting article, and refine the questions. We're now in the process of gathering feedback from students to make the course even better.
    Professors here are amazing. They are constantly trying to figure out how to improve something that is already awesome. And, in the process, they empower students to reach outside their majors, improve many other skills, and make us all well-rounded. That's Illinois for you!


  • Attending the Career Fair as a Freshman

    This past week the College of Business has been buzzing with the excitement of the Career Fair. The Career Fair can be a stressful, yet an exciting time for students in the College looking for internships and full-time jobs. I believe if you attend the Career Fair as a freshman and start creating relationships early on, it'll make your life a whole lot easier once you are a junior or senior.

    I remember going to my first Career Fair during the Fall of my freshman year.  I was really nervous and kept thinking “who would want to hire a freshman?”.   What I didn’t realize at the time was that employers really are looking for freshman.  As a freshman in the College of Business you’ll take a Business101 course.  This course, amongst other things, will teach you how to write a resume, talk to recruiters and dress professionally.  My section leaders also stressed the importance of finding a Job Shadow at the Career Fair.  Job Shadows are days over winter break when freshmen and sophomores go spend a day at a company in a field they are interested in.  When I attended the Career Fair, I located the accounting firms and talked with their recruiters about Job Shadow opportunities.  I applied for a handful of Job Shadows at different companies and got an offer for one that winter break at KPMG.

    KPMG is one of the largest international accounting firms and definitely a place I knew I would be interested in working at one day.  At the job shadow, I got to meet partners in different service lines and young alumni from the College of Business who talked about their own experiences.  It was really cool to hear the path they took to get to their end destination.  All of the young alumni stressed the importance of staying in contact with recruiters and firms we thought we may be interested in.  I listened to their advice and stayed in touch with KPMG over the past 3 years and now I will be an audit intern in their Chicago office this summer.  Whether it was visiting them each semester at the Career Fair, attending KPMG events my business fraternity hosted, or stopping by their booth in BIF to say hello when they visited campus – I’ve always let KPMG know that I was interested in them and I truly believe that is how I landed the job.

    If you have any questions about Job Shadows or Career Fairs please let me know!  It may seem a little overwhelming now, but I promise the College always provides great advice, service, and opportunities to its students to make the process easier!

    Go Illini!!