Whoa, whoa…who is this Lou guy?

Red Rock Cannon – Las Vegas, Nevada

Editors note: As you probably have already read from Mr. Ferguson, my name is Louie Zmich and I am filling the deep shoes left for me from Jake as the new Social Media and Marketing Intern here at NIU. This post is just to introduce myself and let everyone know who I am and what I’m all about. This will also be a good opportunity to say my vision for the blog posts and the direction I would like to take everything. As always you can fine me on all social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn(LouisZmich)) @LouieZmich. Let’s get to it!

 

So who am I? Well, to put it simply: I am a laid back, Type A, extroverted, outdoorsmen with a spiritually grounded earthy side to him, who’s role model is Theodore Roosevelt. Sounds like a huge contradiction right, my role model is a powerful well rounded enforcer, (President in 1901 – 1909, and accomplished more than I can ever type), but I also like to connect with people on a spiritual basis, how can this be?! Well, I pride myself on that to be honest. I am the type of person to embrace every hobby thrown my way; life is too amazing and wonderful to put people down for anything they love in my opinion. That being said, I also live my life by the attitude of, “Do things everyday that make you the best version of yourself.” What I mean by this, Is to do things in your everyday life that allow you to grow as a better version of yourself when you go to bed, than when you woke up. This can range from a simple task to complex life long goals, the bottom line is that you’re becoming a better person to make the world a better place, and that is what I’m all about.

 

But, I’m also a realist, and I know that sometimes when life gets in the way things become very stressful. So, to relieve unnecessary stress I love being outdoors (As pictured above in the Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas), and being active with sports and loving my family and friends. Board game nights, philosophy and cooking sessions along with camping, football and bike rides are not out of the ordinary for me what so ever.

 

A little bit about my background is that I have changed my major so many times. When I was a young little Italian boy I thought I wanted to be an Architect, simply because I liked math and I was a creative drawer (The logic of a seven year old). That changed into engineering as I grew into my high school years because I loved learning how the world worked. From there I changed from learning how the world works to learning how the mind works, and I majored in Psychology and Philosophy while I played golf at Elmhurst College. Business started to spark my interest because of being on the golf course and dealing with businessmen all the time at country clubs and what have you. So I tried to find something that not only involved the secrets of the mind, but also the study of business as well. Thus, NIU was my choice and Marketing was my career path. Funny how things work out isn’t it? After just typing that, and seeing it on my screen, it really makes a mental map in my head that’s rather logical; the transitions you make in life as person are just so fascinating to me. Everything truly happens for a reason and until you take a step back and look at your life road map, you would think it never made sense. But anyway, I am a junior this year, (major changes pushed me back a year) and loving every second at NIU. But enough about me, let’s move onto my vision of this blog.

 

Okay, so I lied this is about me, but only my thoughts! Everything else is content for you, the viewer, I promise. So my goal is to produce one article a week on a range of topics. Some will be things that I think the student body would be interested in, and other topics may be something happening around campus that needs to have the word spread about. Regardless, I really enjoy making these posts and I hope that I can reach out to some people with my thoughts and ideas! I also want to make guest posts as frequent as possible and not just have me blabbering all the time about who knows what. I am always on social media throughout the day so feel free to reach out to me, always looking to chat about life and crazy topics with people and just make new friends. I will also be updating all the College of Business social media pages, so be sure to keep up with those as well.

 

Well everyone, I again thank you for you sticking with me with this article and I hope you gathered a little more insight on who I am and what to expect from me in the future. Hopefully together we can make NIU a better place than when we came in, and hopefully we leave better people than when we woke up this morning.

 

Until next time, take care, and don’t forget to be awesome.

 

Louie Zmich

 

 

Goodbye for Now

Editor’s Note: Hello! Or should I be saying goodbye? For those of you who are just tuning in my name is Jacob Ferguson and I am now a proud alumnus of Northern Illinois University where I graduated with a bachelor degree in Operations Management & Information Systems (OM&IS). Before we get started with my final post I would just like to thank all of you who followed my journey at NIU and let you know that the real journey has only just begun. With that being said, you are in for a real treat this year as we welcome a stellar new Marketing and Social Media Intern who has his eyes set on raising the bar. If you would like to stay in touch with me or learn more about me please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacob-ferguson/49/121/998 or follow me on Twitter: @JacobFerguson53.

 

Goodbye for Now (…but only for now)

It’s bittersweet. When the discussion of writing my final post for the Student Voices Blog came up I honestly thought that the day would never come. It always seemed so far off but here I sit pressing keys on a keyboard and spilling my thoughts hoping that I can capture everything that has been running through my mind since I was asked what I would say. With that being said, I will do my best to keep it short and sweet.

My time at NIU was invaluable and my experience serving as the Marketing and Social Media Intern for NIU’s College of Business was truly one of a kind. I was fortunate enough to have been blessed with a plethora of opportunities that set me up for success and ultimately help shape me into the person I am today. I am forever grateful for what NIU has done for me and am looking forward to continuing to create my legacy.

You might be asking, what am I up to these days? The answer to that question is that I get to serve as a City Year AmeriCorps Member at John Hope College Preparatory High School in Chicago for the next 10 months where I will serve as a tutor and mentor to freshmen and sophomore students in an effort to increase graduation rates and make an impact in the lives of the students that we serve. City Year, for those who don’t know, aims to bridge the gap between what schools and teachers can provide and what students actually need.

Without further ado, it is my great privilege to introduce the new Marketing and Social Media Intern for the College of Business, Louie Zmich. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Louie in the past and I know he is up for the challenge. Stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled as he will be formally introducing himself in the coming days.

Finally, I will leave with a quote that stuck with me throughout college as I hope you will find some meaning and inspiration in the same way that I did.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

I wish you all the best of luck this year. Go Huskies!

The Start of a New Beginning: My Journey to NIU

Editors Note: Hello everyone, I want to introduce myself before I start this article. My name is Louie Zmich, and I am a transfer student from Harper College, a community college in Palatine, before that I went to Elmhurst College. So this entry is going to be about my journey here to NIU and what it was like in the transition into a bigger school while transferring over credits from two different colleges. If you would like to know more about me you can follow me on all social media @LOUIEZMICH and check out my Beard and Mustache club that’s here at NIU on Facebook to find out what we’re all about, simply search “NIU Beard and Mustache Club.” Enjoy!

(I am the gent on the left.)

Transfer Student Experience - Louis Zmich

Transfer Student Experience - Louis Zmich

What was it like transferring to Northern Illinois University; honestly, I would describe the overall situation as being very smooth and welcoming for the most part. I am a firm believer in the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” That being said, NIU was always one of my top picks for schools, but when I graduated high school my number one priority was going to schools that offered me the opportunity to play golf, and was close to home in order to be close with my family. Elmhurst College fit the bill, as I was not only able to play golf, but I was also able to study Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy at a school that was known for those majors, it was perfect, until everything came to a halt. Elmhurst College was a private school and tuition was a monster to pay for. Not only that, but since it was so expensive, I had to commute an hour round trip everyday just to get to classes. It just didn’t even feel like I was attending a university because at the end of the day I was back in my parent’s house. From Elmhurst College I saved some money at the community college, Harper College, but I quickly realized that even though I was passionate in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy, my personality was much more suited for the world of Business. I just loved the concept of meeting new people while being professional, and working my way into the corporate world was something that really got the gears turning in my head. It also helped that the majors I listed above were great assets to have to put towards the Business world.

Even though I had decided on Business, my decision was still not set on NIU. My gut feeling kept telling me NIU, but all of my friends were going to schools in the city, and loving the city life, so naturally I was pulled to follow my friends. I felt that universities in the city just did not match the needs I wanted. NIU is a big college but professors here do not treat you as just another number, they actually want to sit down with you and help you succeed. Any college can say that, but I experienced it first hand when sitting in on classes and talking to students at universities in Chicago. That reason alone spoke wonders about the staff at NIU, and that goes a long way in my book, after all isn’t that what you’re paying for? Plus, NIU has a wonderful bus system that will honestly take you anywhere you’re looking to go, even to the train station to travel to the city, so it was a win, win. NIU even has an app that is constantly being updated and shows you where the bus is, in real time, you cannot get anymore convenient than that. Right off the bat, the fact that the people on the phone and in the classroom were so accommodating to all my questions, along with transportation to visit my friends, left me excited to find out more about the school. When I came to visit, I was pleasantly surprised.

The DeKalb area felt very welcoming to me, some people do not appreciate these little things but I sure do; the little mom and pop shops, the small farms down the road selling their farm made produce, and all the old homes that have been here for almost a century. That stuff really pulls me in, and I had not even gotten to the school yet, so overall it had a small town feel with a big school atmosphere, everywhere you went, people were supporting the NIU Huskies, I loved that.  After our tour of the school I realized something very important to me, besides the cool places around campus, like comic shops, places to eat, and the old nostalgia the buildings had, to the beautiful new buildings on campus, I realized that NIU really took the time to make sure you got involved and fit In wherever you were coming from. Sure other schools do that too, but everyone I met, professors, and TA’s all gave me their Business card and actually made me feel like I could contact them anytime and ask questions, little things like that really resonate with me, and trust me, I have made connections with professors from contacting them and meeting with them. On top of that, NIU has a wonderful program connected to all the community colleges and Universities in the area, where your credits easily transfer over. I honestly didn’t have any credits get misplaced when transferring in, and as you may know, that is quite stressful not knowing if something will transfer over, NIU made that very easy to achieve.

So, I got accepted and I’m ready to move out, what’s next. Well, I need a job to pay my bills, and more importantly I need a place to live. This was my only gripe through this process, was finding a place to live. Quite frankly the housing on campus is just inconvenient for me, the price tag is just not obtainable for me at all, but I do have to say that I would have met much more people a lot sooner if I had stayed in the dorms, so maybe you’re also paying for the convenience. So, dorm living and apartment living in Northern View, was just not an option for me personally, but I would have loved to stay in the dorms to meet all the cool people and participate in the floor activities. After looking around at the local housing situations, I decided that I was best suited with a private company with a small owner. To me, it fit my needs because I was able to have a relationship with the owner and have a landlord that I knew personally after a while. That is just my style, but it certainly was welcoming to see so many housing options, there is an option for everyone’s living wants and needs. So once I made that realization, I then looked at the private companies around campus, and I could not have made a better decision. I ended up going with D & J Properties, a small company owned by Dan and Joe Sears. Cheap, close to campus, and the brothers live in the neighborhood, so anything that goes wrong, they are around within the hour, it really was a perfect fit, I could walk to campus and still pay for myself to live on my own.

My next objective before even coming to this school was to get involved and find a job. This section right here is what I think NIU strives, there are so many clubs and organizations on campus, you honestly will not be getting the full experience if you do not join something. Seriously, professionalism aside, get off the couch and join a club, you will be happy you did. There are so many choices for jobs and activates, it’s a bit ridiculous, but in a good way. I applied to a lot of jobs on campus, and they were all responsive in a timely manner, but I ended up taking a job at the Police Department on campus being a student patroller. The Chief of Police here honestly has done so much work over the last two years he has been in office. As students, it really feels like the officers are understanding at the fact that you’re going to go out on the weekend, so there are no questioned asked services like walking escorts home, and buss services like Late Night Ride, as long as you’re being safe and getting home safe, you’ll have a way back to your bed at the end of the night. Just for your sake, and the officer’s sake, be respectful and they will respect you. That’s so comforting to me, and I’m sure it’s comforting for your parents to hear as well. Everything is so close to campus as it is, so the walks home aren’t that long anyway, but a warm buss on a DeKalb winter night cannot be passed up, trusts me. The Police Department fit my schedule needed, as the job is overnight work, and it gave me a chance to move up in the company as next year I will be a supervisor on the team for Huskie Patrol, what a great experience.

Lastly I wanted to talk about clubs and organizations, there are seriously too many to choose from. An entire gym full of tables has rows and rows of clubs and organizations to choose from. Sports to hobbies and Greek life, you name it they have it. Well, maybe not everything, so why not start your own? That’s what I did, I wanted to create a club that taught boys how to be functioning men of society, to teach how to dress, speak, and treat women the way our grandparents did. So, I had the idea and ran with it! You only need one other person to back you up and you can start your own club, and boom, the Beard and Mustache Club of NIU was born. Now, it’s more complicated than that to have your club recognized by the school, but you can find that out on your own, you just need faculty members to get involved and most are accommodating. But seriously, join something, no excuses, when you join a club you are going to make friends who instantly have the same interest as you, and that is so valuable, trust me, sometimes it’s about who you know in life and what hands you shook, and you can only do that when you get involved. I personally joined the Ultimate Frisbee club, Bowling Club, and started my own club in a matter of weeks being here. Unfortunately the Ultimate Frisbee and Bowling Team did not really fit my schedule for the semesters, but along with scheduling issues I also decided to try and join the Profession Business Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, I currently am a pledge and I can say it honestly has been the best time I have had at NIU so far, seriously, again, join something, make friends and just get involved. So many people probably have told you the same thing, but its true, I cannot stress enough how enjoyable my time here has been because of these clubs and organizations. With a little hard work you really can go far here.

So besides the small things I said about the school, I really only scratched the surface, I glanced over the fact that there’s tutors all the time ready to help you, and most of the professors are ready to jump by your side.  The campus is full of tools and just like anything in life, you get out what you put into it, if you come in here just wanting to coast by, you’re going to get an experience that fits the bill. If you try new things, meet new people and really get involved, you never know whom you are going to meet. More importantly, you don’t want to look back on your college experience and realize that you didn’t take advantage of everything this school gives you, from the surrounding town, to finances and activities, I am glad I transferred and switched my major, because the three years I now have here, I know are going to be some of the best years of my life. Good luck on your journey, and hopefully your experience is going to be just like mine, amazing.

Letter to Present Self: College Edition

Editor’s Note: Hello! It’s Jacob Ferguson again, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the NIU College of Business. I hope you all are surviving midterms and looking forward to Spring Break just as much as I am. Just a few days from now and I’ll be cruising along the Western Caribbean with some of my best friends. The goal of this Student Voices post is primarily to reflect on the present as well as share some of the advice that I would give my present self. I’ve already written to my past self so I thought it would be fun to write a letter to myself in the now. If you would like to learn more about me please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.

Jacob Ferguson - College of Business Marketing and Social Media Intern

Jacob Ferguson - College of Business Marketing and Social Media Intern

Hello Jacob,

I hope all is well and that you are making the most of your last semester of college. The end is near, so do not give up. I know that you think you know it all but I am here to tell you that you don’t and that is perfectly okay. I am writing you to share with you some advice that might make it a little easier. Keep what I tell you in mind but remember to make your own mistakes because that is the only way you will learn. Here goes nothing…

  • Senioritis does exist and you will catch a mild case of it. It is important that you keep focused and don’t lose sight of the reasons why you are here.
  • I may regret this one later but if an opportunity comes up that you cannot pass up than don’t.
  • Don’t be the senior that falls off the face of the earth and can’t be found his last semester of college, remain involved and don’t burn bridges.
  • Don’t forget to call. You may be heading back home in a couple of months but it is still important to stay in touch with those individuals who have always been there for you.
  • Continue to take advantage of every opportunity thrown at you especially those you get to travel.
  • Go out more! As long as the work gets done it is more than alright to go out on a weekday and let loose.
  • Don’t forget to exercise! As you’ve gotten busier this has become less and less of a priority. It is important that you take care of yourself.
  • Be honest and own your flaws. It is okay to admit that you are overwhelmed at times and it is better that you communicate that to those individuals you are working with than wasting their time.
  • Don’t forget to smile…and dance! Trust me, the more that you do these two things the happier you will be.
  • Do what you are passionate about and don’t let the financial aspects of life keep you from doing the things you want to do.
  • It’s cliché but be the good you wish to see in the world. Put your words into to action and don’t be afraid to educate and inspire. All it takes is a little bit of courage to change the world.

Make the most of these next couple months because you will never be as young as you are right now. Leave your legacy and don’t be average. Keep on keeping on!

Sincerely,

Jacob Ferguson

 

NIU Hidden Gems: Food Edition

Editor’s Note: Hello! It’s Jacob Ferguson again, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the NIU College of Business. If you’re like me and are always looking to try new things then this is the post for you. The goal of this post is to share with you some of the hidden food gems that I’ve found in my four years here. If you would like to learn more about me please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacob-ferguson/49/121/998 or follow me on Twitter: @JacobFerguson53.

Who doesn't love waffles?
Who doesn’t love waffles?

Whenever I travel somewhere new the first thing I do is pull out my smartphone and find out what is around me. I am not looking to see where the nearest Chipotle or McDonalds is but where I can find the nearest local diner or family owned restaurant. The same goes for attractions and things I would like to experience. I strive to be different and hope to continue to add to what I hope is an endless list of adventures.

With all this being said, I have come across some hidden and not so hidden food gems in or near DeKalb that I aim to share with you. The hidden gems include: Fatty’s Pub and Grille, The Junction Eating Place, Sweet Dream Desserts & Catering, Yen Ching Restaurant and Ollie’s Frozen Custard.

Fatty’s Pub and Grille: The Official Pre and Post Game Headquarters of NIU Athletics and Home of the World Famous Cajun Fried Potato Salad – Fatty’s Pub and Grille truly is a must have experience that is unique to DeKalb. If you’re hankering for a burger get yourself over there and don’t forget to try the potato salad.

http://www.fattysniu.com/

The Junction Eating Place: The Junction Eating Place, simply known as The Junction, is hands-down my favorite place to go in DeKalb. The food is delicious (I personally enjoy their breakfast), the environment is warm and cozy, and the staff is really what sets this place a part from the rest. Whether you are looking to recover from the night before or just looking for a great place to eat, The Junction is your place to go!

http://www.junctioneatingplace.com/

Sweet Dream Desserts & Catering: Sweet Dream Desserts is a family-owned bake shop and café located in Sycamore that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. They have everything from scones and sweet breads to homemade cookies and cheesecake. Everything is baked fresh and stocked each morning so it’s key to get your sweets and treats before they run out. There is also a mean breakfast buffet on the weekends if you are a fan of breakfast food.

http://sweetdreamdesserts.com/

Yen Ching Restaurant: I can guarantee that Yen Ching Restaurant is the most fun you will have at a restaurant in DeKalb. The two ladies who work there are extremely friendly and funny always leaving you with a smile on your face. The food is also as good as any which makes it an easy choice whenever I want Chinese.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/yen-ching-dekalb

Ollie’s Frozen Custard: It may be cold and snowy out but that shouldn’t stop you from trying this hidden gem. Ollie’s Frozen Custard has the best frozen custard based concoctions in all of DeKalb and luckily for us they just opened for the season this week.

http://www.olliessycamore.com/   

My challenge to you is to try them all before you graduate. There may even be a prize involved for anyone who takes a selfie at each one of these restaurants.

Career Fair Advice: Stand Out From The Crowd

Editor’s Note: Hello, world! It’s Jacob Ferguson, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the NIU College of Business. With the NIU Internship/Full-Time Job Fair this week we wanted to provide you with some advice on what to do once the Career Fairs are over.

NIU Career Fair

NIU Career Fair - Students connect with employers to learn more about opportunities available.

I hope you all had an awesome experience at the Career Fairs this week and had the opportunity to network with some individuals that will be able to aid you in developing yourself professionally as well as personally. Now that the Career Fairs are over some of you may be asking yourself, what do I do next? I am here to enlighten you on a few of the things that you could and should be doing.

1)      Initially while the experiences and conversations are still in your mind I suggest taking the time to jot down some notes detailing who you spoke to as well as what you talked about. This will be a great reference point for when you communicate with these individuals later which leads me to my next point.

2)      Do not, I repeat do not forget to follow up with the individuals you met and spoke with at the Career Fairs. Whether it be through email or a hand written note it is important that you follow up and continue to develop those relationships even if nothing comes out of it right away. There is a great chance that someone you met at one of the Career Fairs will be able to aid you in your professional life in the future.

3)      In addition, you may have had the opportunity to sign-up for some interviews with some of the companies you spoke with at the Career Fairs. Take these interviews seriously and attend every one that you signed up for as long as you are willing and able. Even if it is an internship or job that you don’t necessarily want it is great experience and shows the type of individual you are as well as the type of students we have here at NIU.

4)      With all this being said, the search should not begin or end at the NIU Career Fairs. You should be constantly researching companies and applying to jobs that you are interested. I personally have had the most luck seeking opportunities out on my own. There are so many opportunities out there that not everyone know about that you can be taking advantage of.

You’ve pressed your suit, polished your shoes, and now you feel like you are ready to take on the world. Good luck!

How Am I Going To Pay For This?

Editor’s Note: Hello! It’s Jacob Ferguson again, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the NIU College of Business. If you’re like me each time a new semester rolls around you’re wondering to yourself, how am I going to pay for this? Well here is your answer! The goal of this post is to both remind you that scholarship applications are due on February 1st and to shed light on some of the opportunities that I have taken advantage of in my time here to help financially support myself through college. If you would like to learn more about me please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacob-ferguson/49/121/998 or follow me on Twitter: @JacobFerguson53.

Jacob Ferguson - Kevin D. Knight Leadership Awards Ceremony

Jacob Ferguson - Kevin D. Knight Leadership Awards Ceremony

As a first generation college student I was tasked with the responsibility of figuring out how I was going to pay for my next four years of education. Luckily as a result of my hard work and determination in high school I was fortunate enough to be rewarded with a fairly significant financial aid package resulting in my not having to pay a whole lot my freshman year. I knew it wasn’t always going to be that easy though.

Entering my sophomore year I focused much more on seeking out opportunities on my own that would provide value as well as make paying for my education a little easier. I applied for a House Leader position for the University Honors House and was fortunate enough to get it. This opportunity provided the chance to develop myself both personally and professionally as well as a tuition waiver that reduced the cost of room and board and a free meal plan. I heard about this opportunity from a mentor of mine who had been a House Leader himself and he highly recommended it. I also applied to be a part of the Research Rookies Program here at NIU, which links students with faculty mentors in their major or area of interest to conduct a small-scale research project. This program not only provided me with the opportunity to learn what research looks like in my field but also upon completion I received a stipend. My roommate freshman year was actually a part of this program and after seeing what it did for him I knew I had to do it. In addition, I also got a job with Athletic Communications as a Media Relations Assistant where I performed game day operations for NIU sporting events and earned an hourly wage. The final opportunity that I took advantage of my sophomore year was that I served as a Peer Mentor for Huskie Service Scholars Program which I heard about on the radio if I remember correctly. This is a program that strives to develop a peer network and provide support that enables students to engage in service work on campus and in the community. Like many of the other things I did I was rewarded with a tuition waiver upon completion.

During my junior and senior year I lived off-campus which believe it or not is drastically cheaper than living in the dorms. The only downfall is having to cook your own food. In addition, as a result of one of the previous opportunities I had taken advantage of I was presented with the opportunity to be the Student Manager for the NIU Women’s Soccer Team. In this role, I was tasked with taking their marketing to the next level and assisting the team in any way necessary. My reward as you could guess was a tuition waiver.

Something else that is important to take advantage of is summer jobs and internships. When given the option to sit around all summer or work I would always choose the latter. I have had the chance to do both and looking back can honestly say that not applying yourself for a few months is actually a step in the wrong direction.

The overall message is to take advantage of the endless opportunities that are in front of you to help you financially support your way through college. It doesn’t just stop at scholarships so don’t give up when you get that rejection letter. Work hard and persevere and good things will happen I promise you that. With that being said, NIU Business Scholarships are due February 1st. Stand out from the crowd and apply today!

http://www.cob.niu.edu/scholarships/

Welcome Back: Let The Games Begin!

Editor’s Note: Hello! For those of you who are just tuning in my name is Jacob Ferguson and I am a senior Operations Management and Information Systems (OM&IS) major here at Northern Illinois University in my last semester. Before we get started I would just like to thank all of you who followed my journey thus far and to inform you that you are in for a treat this semester. The goal of this post is to inform you on the direction that we at College of Business plan to take the Student Voices Blog this spring and to help you get a head start. If you would like to learn more about me please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacob-ferguson/49/121/998 or follow me on Twitter: @JacobFerguson53.

New Year's Eve in New York City - "The Big Apple"

New Year's Eve in New York City - "The Big Apple"

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope you all had the opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends and family as well as take a load off from the ever-demanding fall semester. I myself had the opportunity to do all of that in addition to doing one of my favorite things, traveling. I am lucky to have spent New Year’s Eve with some of my best friends in New York City – “The Big Apple”.

In terms of the Student Voices Blog, similar to last semester we plan to be transparent in our posts and will try to give you a taste of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to this place that most of us call home for four some odd years. The only difference this semester is that topics were hand selected with students in mind and will focus on providing students with an escape from everyday life.  As always this blog is written for students and by students.

With regards to helping our students get a head start on the semester brace yourselves as we are about to present you with 6 easy ways to get ahead:

1)      Start the sleep cycle – Get into a habit and don’t sleep away the most productive part of the day.

2)      Check internship deadlines – Whether you like it or not, it is never too early to get a jumpstart on your future employment and save yourself a headache later on.

3)      Jumpstart your assignments – Thinking about course materials ahead of time will go a long way in making the grade.

4)      Fill out FAFSA – The deadline might seem far away but filling it out early will only increase your chances of receiving the best financial aid package for you.

5)      Set goals – Take a moment to reflect on your best as well as your worst habits from the previous semester and make a plan.

6)      Get excited – Staying eager and positive is half the battle when heading into a new semester.

Good luck and have fun this semester! Go Huskies!

Behind the Scenes with Bryn Gibson: The Door Guy

Editor’s Note: It’s Jacob Ferguson, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the Northern Illinois University College of Business here! This week we caught up with Bryn Gibson a senior majoring in Business Administration to see just why he holds the doors open for his peers every day.

Bryn Gibson - Business Administration student at NIU

Bryn Gibson - Business Administration student at NIU

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“My name is Bryn Gibson. I am a 23 year old man pursuing a degree in business administration at NIU. I grew up as a home schooler where my mother was my teacher until my senior year in high school. She was a teacher and administrator for a school district and probably the biggest influence in my life. I am a rather simplistic man in that I pursue my version of what Aristotle referred to as “the good life”. What my good life entails is accumulating wisdom, knowledge, close ties and relationships to people, and being genuine to others by being honest and showing every person I meet a general degree of respect. I place respect of my fellow man in high regards. My hobbies include cooking (Eastern Japanese and Western Mediterranean cuisine specifically) , origami, reading, writing, and Japanese martial arts.”

Why do you hold the door open at Barsema Hall? Is Barsema Hall the only place?

“My philosophy for why I hold doors for people is very simple: I care about others. There is a practical and altruistic reason for why I do this. The practical reason is because I more often than not see people distracted through various means, such as talking to someone else, having their hands full, texting or making a call. Through these means of distraction, I see a decent number of people run into the door or can’t open it due to no available hands. So I took it upon myself to try to either ensure that they continue having a good day by removing one minor annoyance from their busy day, or I alleviate said minor annoyance from their bad day making it a little better for them. The altruistic reason is simply because I like to help others from big ways such as volunteer work and tutoring, to very small things like holding the door and smiling at others (I smile a lot because I love to do so and a single smile can be a powerful positive force for someone. More so than most realize). It is part of my never ending pursuit of the good life and becoming a decent person for others. I don’t know as to whether or not I am a good person because that depends on who you ask (as is such with many conversations in life), but I strive for excellence and decency for myself and others, which helps show others that there are decent people in the world and that it’s the right thing to do.

Barsema Hall is not the only place I have done this at. Pretty much at any building on and off campus that I have been to I have held the door for people. I did so at every place I went to since I was three years old.”

Where did this idea come from?

“This idea actually came to me when I was around three years old. I remember seeing other people hold doors for brief moments in the various places I went to, and I decided that I would adopt that philosophy and practice it during my life (I plan to keep going as long as I live). My mother taught me to seek the good that I can do for others and to manifest that good in subtle ways. It’s through this kind of mentality that I try and search for the good in everything I do and always criticize myself as to how I can become better with each thing I do.”

What kind of feedback have you received from students and faculty?

The feedback from the students and faculty at NIU has been very positive. I do not do this to receive praise from others, but if they want to thank me then that’s their choice and I really do appreciate it. There have been times where doing this has made certain people very uncomfortable, with a few incidents resulting in vulgar feedback and asking me to stop doing it because they took it as a signal that they cannot open the door themselves (which from reading what I wrote previously, that is not even a thought in my mind). But the overall feedback has been very positive. I expected such because the students and faculty at NIU from my experience are very ethical, intelligent, and kind populace. They are rational people who seek to be a positive force for change in the world.”

What other things are you passionate about?

“I am passionate, as many others, about justice and the fair treatment of all. It coincides with my personal philosophy to help manifest that every person has unique qualities and deserve a general level of compassion and respect (essentially, treat them like people who are ends in themselves, rather than a means to an end). Another thing I am passionate about is meritocracy. I believe firmly in working for what you want because it teaches self-discipline, personal growth, and innovation. These things are critical, in my opinion, to the future of reason, compassion, and progress of people. That a person’s value comes not from where they come from, who they are related to, or how much money they make. Rather it’s about one’s work, dedication, reason, and personality should be what determines their value. Essentially let them show you who they are before making conclusions.”

Can we plan to see you during the spring semester?

“I will return to NIU in the spring. I hope to meet more great people as I have since the time I arrived.”

Monday Lunch Bunch

Editor’s Note: It’s Jacob Ferguson, the Marketing and Social Media Intern for the Northern Illinois University College of Business here! We caught up with Lindsay Barnaba a senior majoring in management, to see what all the fuss is about with a student project called “Monday Lunch Bunch.”

Monday Lunch Bunch, a student-run business here in the NIU College of Business.

Monday Lunch Bunch, a student-run business here in the NIU College of Business.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“I am a management major with a leadership emphasis. I am minoring in Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship and I graduate May 2015. With my degree, I hope to one day run my own business in he food industry. I am passionate about food and cooking because food is the one thing that brings people together and can always make people smile. Whether it is my own business or if I am working for someone else, I would like to produce food that positively impacts someone’s life.”

What is Monday Lunch Bunch?

“Monday Lunch Bunch is a student-run business that launched as a result of MGMT 427, which is Entrepreneurship and Business Model Design. We sell subs and sandwiches made by Feed ‘Em Soup Community Project. We are also associated with MSAB – Management Student Advisory Board and will be giving half of the profits we’ve made this semester to that organization. The other half of the profits will support Feed ‘Em Soup.

We started this business to offer students, faculty, and visitors in the NIU College of Business quality lunches that aren’t available at Three Sons Cafe, located in Barsema Hall. Some options we have offered are: Italian Beef, Pulled Pork, Turkey BLTs with Avocado, and Buffalo Chicken Wraps.”

 Where did you get the idea for Monday Lunch Bunch?

“I got the idea for Monday Lunch Bunch after observing students’ behaviors in Barsema Hall’s Atrium around lunchtime. There was always a long line at Three Son’s Café particularly after UBUS 310 ended. Students always get either a hot dog or a plain deli sandwich. Since we spend so much time in Barsema studying and going to class, I saw an opportunity for more variety in lunch options for students.”

Why did you decide to partner with Feed ‘Em Soup?

“Feed ‘Em Soup is a great local organization that serves fresh and delicious meals to anyone in the community – regardless of their situation. I have volunteered with the organization in the past through the Management Student Advisory Board, and I was able to see that those running the organization are passionate about what they do and love doing it. I chose to partner with this organization because they are much more than just a soup kitchen, and I wanted more students to become aware of the food that Feed ‘Em Soup makes.”

What is MGMT 427?

“MGMT 427 is an Entrepreneurship and Business Model Design class taught by Dr. Mooney. The class is about identifying and developing business models that create value for the customer and profit for the company. Each team in the class was assigned to develop and operate a student-run business for 8 weeks. My team’s business is the Monday Lunch Bunch, and we chose to split our profits between the Management Student Advisory Board and Feed ‘Em Soup.”

What is the Management Student Advisory Board?

“Members of the Management Student Advisory Board (MSAB) serve as the voice for Management students. Our purpose is to reflect and represent student views and advise the Department of Management on all matters that students are concerned about. We have developed a Mentor Program for students that are looking for advice from someone that has experience taking business classes and for students who would like help finding the right tools and resources to study for their classes.”

What will both the organizations be doing with the profits you make this semester?

“The Management Student Advisory Board has been fundraising this year to create a scholarship for a future Management student, so I hope that the profits we earn can help make this goal happen. The profits that are shared with Feed ‘Em Soup will help support the organization’s operations in order to continue running its community kitchen.”

Will you continue to run Monday Lunch Bunch after you have completed MGMT 427?

“We have discussed the possibility of continuing Monday Lunch Bunch next semester with Feed ‘Em Soup and the organization is very willing. However, this will not officially be decided until our first MSAB meeting in January. “

 

Monday Lunch Bunch is serving its last meal of the semester on Monday, November 24. The lunch option will be Feed ‘em Soup’s Italian Beef with chips and a drink for $5!

(FYI We only have one more meeting this semester so I am leaving out the days we meet since it might change next semester.)

The Management Student Advisory Board meets every other week in the Department of Management. It is free to join and all Management majors are welcome! Please visit our Facebook page: facebook.com/mgmtsab to see what we have been up to this semester and what’s in store for next semester!