Editor’s note: During the busy-ness of finals week, take a breather between exams and studying and check out this guest post from senior management major Daniella Vintika. Daniella (pictured in the center, below) describes one of the most meaningful things she’s experienced in the NIU College of Business: building true relationships and friendships. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Daniella, and congratulations to you and your friends on graduating in just a handful of days!
by Daniella Vintika
I started at Northern Illinois College of Business two years ago. I came from a community college, so I entered NIU as a junior. It was the first time I took courses at a university. I decided to commute to NIU because I live about thirty minutes away, and it just made the most sense with my finances. NIU was an intimidating place for me at first. I was a little scared and nervous because I didn’t know a single person at the College of Business, but luckily that was going to change for me.
The first semester was challenging, taking courses like UBUS 310 and 311 together. This is something you’ll hear from almost every business student who has taken the courses. I learned fairly quickly that I was going to have to do a lot of teamwork. Basically every class I took had at least one team project if not more during the semester and some team assignments lasted all semester long. I knew that if I wanted to be successful during these next two years and get good grades I would need to make friends with the teammates in class. I was nervous at first relying on a group of people I had never met before and I knew nothing about their work ethic to do well in class (and I’m sure the same was true for them!) but being able to work with people you don’t know is a must for success. I will say I was pleasantly surprised with the results the majority of the time.
Throughout the semesters, I made genuine friends with individuals on these teams. They became more than teammates. They became people I could talk to about things other than school and get advice from about any subject in life and count on them for help when I needed it. Not everyone in every team I was in was a great worker or a great friend, but I could count at least one person if not more from each group who I would want to work with again in the future or continue a friendship. The relationships that didn’t end up working in some teams taught me how to handle different situations and that’s also very important. It was exciting to feel like I wasn’t alone at school and that I had true friends there with me along the way.
As friends we would look out for each other and really cared about each other’s progress. We would always check up on one another to make sure everyone remembered when due dates were coming up and give each other tips on how we could do assignments better. We worked together a lot through the semesters, creating study guides as a group to make the work load easier. We were all going through the same thing, day to day, and knew that helping each other out really helped us all out in the end. Although, it was hard work most of the time through the semesters here we also had alot of fun as well. We would hangout outside of school, go out together and let loose after long weeks of school work. We would work hard and play hard, even though it seemed like we were working more than playing. The friendships I created here have made my college experience at NIU truly a really great one.
These friendships opened me up to new things and always caused me to think about things differently, from a different perspective. Having these teams in college prepared me for the future, because I am much better now at opening up and creating relationships. I now know how to deal with different group situations whether they are good or bad. I recognize being able to handle this is very important in any career. I’ve learned from professors and guest speakers that you will have to work as a team many times in your life and I feel prepared and much more confident to do so thanks to the real life experiences I have had here at NIU’s College of Business. These semesters would have been much more difficult if I wasn’t able to have these friendships and I feel so thankful for that.
I graduate this December and now I have a great network of individuals who I call friends. Some of my friends are looking for jobs and some have jobs already and have offered to help me get at job at the company they work for. I think that alone tells you that they are a good friend because they want to see you succeed along with them. I cannot stress enough how important it is to build relationships wherever you go in life. I didn’t realize the significance of this when I first entered NIU but I know how this is really true. It will teach you a lot no matter what the experience itself is like. This learning experience has been the best part of being a student here at NIU and although I am sad to leave and everyone is going their separate ways I hope that I can keep contact with my friends and continue to build these friendships even more and long after graduation.