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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


Letter to Past 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 survived your first week and are looking forward to the summer just as much as I am. The goal of this post is to not only reflect on the past, but also share with all of you some of the advice I would give my past self or someone just entering 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 - Senior Year of High School

Jacob Ferguson - Senior Year of High School

Hello Jacob,

This picture brings me great joy because it captures you on your last day of high school. You thought you had it all figured out. You thought you had the perfect plan. Little did you know that plan was about to change. I am glad to tell you that you are better off for not following that plan and wanted to give you some advice for your journey ahead:

  • Get involved as early on as possible, it is truly what makes the next four years of your life bearable. You will meet most of your best friends this way and will develop yourself both personally and professionally in ways that you never thought were possible.
  • Focus on your GPA and doing well in your classes more than you would like to admit your first couple of years. With that being said, I am not telling you to not focus the last couple years…just that classes will get harder and that you might catch a common case of senioritis.
  • Don’t forget to call home. You might be busy and get caught up in life but that is no excuse to stray away from the people who have always been there for you and always will.
  • When you say that you will do something, do it! There is nothing worse than burning a bridge.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity you get to travel. Whether it be to a different continent, country, state, or city there is value to be found and lessons to be learned in the most unordinary of places. The cross-cultural experience you will receive as a result is invaluable.
  • Develop a budget and stick to it. There is nothing worse than not being able to do something that you want just because you don’t have the money.
  • Go out more and live it up! Don’t be afraid to meet new people and try new things. The video games and Netflix will be there when you get home.
  • Don’t fear what you don’t know. You didn’t know what you were doing back then and you still don’t, just roll with it!
  • Be weird! Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and march to the beat of your own drum. Also, don’t be afraid to dance!
  • Fail and make mistakes! Some of the greatest lessons you will learn are from the times you thought things couldn’t get any worse.
  • Exercise…somehow it always ends up being the last priority on the list. Find something that gets you moving and that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be running or working out, it can be racquetball or Quidditch. Just get out there and move.
  • When it comes to food and alcohol don’t be afraid to spend a little extra. Your body can only handle so much cheap vodka and late night Taco Bell. You will thank me later!
  • Go to class! You’ll learn what you need to know and you won’t have to cram so much the night before an exam.
  • Put the cell phone down! And with that being said never put anything on the Internet that you might regret later. If you won’t want your mom seeing it then don’t post it.
  • Just because it will look good on your resume doesn’t mean that you will enjoy it. Be sure that you are doing things for the right reasons.
  • Get used to checking your email and Blackboard. It is no longer your professor’s job to spoon feed you when things are due, it’s on you.
  • Keep applying for scholarships! There is so much “free” money out there and no reason that it shouldn’t be yours.
  • Don’t bring so much stuff! You will be amazed at how many things you thought you would need that end up in the back of the closet.

I could do this for hours but this is a good start. You have all the tools you need to succeed and I would bet my bottom dollar that you do. I will leave you with a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger that has really resonated with me these past four years, “The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.” Good luck and have fun!


Jacob Ferguson

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!

from India to NIU to the PwC Tax Challenge

Editor’s note:  Here’s a guest post from NIU sophomore accountancy major Jinay Shah. In this post, Jinay shares his experience with the PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax Challenge…which, we just learned from Jinay, turns out to be an overall business challenge.  Check it out!  

But first, we invited Jinay to share a bit more about himself along with his contact information.  (So if you’re on LinkedIn, add Jinay to your network!):

I am Jinay, a sophomore accountancy major in the NIU College of Business. I am originally from the Asian subcontinent of India where I was born, brought up and completed the peak years of my youth. I migrated to the United States in 2010 with my family to be closer to my extended family and to seek life-changing academic and professional opportunities. English was always treated as a second language when I was back in India which is why I lacked proper pronunciation, vocabulary and grammatical skills necessary to succeed in high school and University education. I have been involved a lot in the student affairs side of the University. I am currently the President of Grant Complex Hall Council, a residence hall here at NIU and I am also an active member of the Residence Hall Association. I often volunteer, put up interesting programs and develop leadership opportunities for students on campus. I am also part of the University Honors Program and live in the Business Careers House in Grant. I love photography, film and Technology. Over the summer, I like to go on video trips by myself in Downtown Chicago and make time lapses and just have fun with my camera and phone. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jinay26 & Twitter: Jinay26Shah. America is still new to me despite living here for 4 years and I look forward to meeting new people and learning alot about the culture and lifestyle.  Thanks!

The PwC Tax Challenge

by Jinay Shah

Hello Huskies! Greetings and Happy Holidays! I am Jinay, a sophomore accountancy major here in the College of Business. I wanted to share with you all my experience with the PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax Challenge that took place on our campus on November 4th 2014. To my surprise, there were very few participants in the PwC Tax Challenge. Perhaps, it was the busiest time of the semester. To everyone who is thinking about participating in the challenge, I would highly encourage everyone to participate in this Tax Challenge no matter what major you are. It has nothing to do with knowing the tax code or GAAP Accounting Knowledge. It is simply a test for professionalism and the ability to come up with a creative solution to a real-world business problem.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, commonly referred to as PwC, is a limited liability professional services firm that provides accounting and consulting support to their clients. It is one of the “Big Four” firms in the United States and a global brand. PwC hosts two challenges each year for students in business:  the tax challenge and the accounting challenge, respectively. The accounting challenge is a little more theoretical than the tax challenge. The tax challenge is more focused on the practical aspects of business issues. Our school proudly hosted the PwC Tax Challenge.

The first step in the process is to speak to NIU Accountancy Professor Julitta Gilbert who is the faculty sponsor for the Tax Challenge. She will be able to share with you her experience as she has been sponsoring the challenge for the last few years. Next, try to communicate with the NIU PwC recruiter, Amber Battin. She is on campus quite often especially during Internship and Career Fairs. She will be able to provide you with more in-depth detail about the challenge and how the entire process will work.

Secondly, find three to four other members who you can work with during the two week challenge and the presentation day. These members do not need to be your friends or acquaintances, they can be anyone in the NIU College of Business. Graduate Students, your T.A’s or even other members in different classes are some of the best examples of people to work with. Look at the challenge information page on PwC website which will tell you the limitations as to how many people at what level can you have in a group.

Finally, attend the challenge kickoff meeting where you will be able to meet other teams, NIU Accountancy Professor Gilbert and a few professionals from PwC. There you will be provided with complete challenge information, resources you may need…this meeting officially kicks off the challenge. You and your team will have two weeks from the meeting time to sit together, prepare a solution and your presentation for the final days.

I worked with two sophomore students, a junior student and a graduated teaching assistant. Our challenge was to find a solution for reporting Virtual Currency to a hypothetical government and a country. Our job was to come up with a solution for reporting virtual currency taxes and how they would be taxed. We all had different opinions as to solutions but we all worked together to come up with an enhanced opinion that was balanced and acceptable to all of us. One thing I was worried about was the team communication as to meeting times and agenda for meetings. Fortunately, we communicated well with each other utilizing social media and did not have any major issues. We were quite productive during our meetings as we split up responsibilities for research of various concepts.

The day before the presentation of our solution, we unfortunately lost a teammate due to a medical emergency. We had to re-practice our presentation and go over who was presenting what ideas. This gave us a real-life challenge itself because it does happen more often than we think in companies from my experience.

We then presented on the official Challenge day along with 3 other teams. We unfortunately did not win but had the opportunity to meet and interact with Senior Associates from PwC in Tax and Audit. It really gives you a fresh perspective on accountancy careers in PwC and in other companies. I really had a lot of fun as it was a really interesting learning experience for me and my team mates. I would encourage every single student in the College of Business at NIU to participate in the PwC Tax Challenge next year.

If you’d like more information about Jinay’s post, Jinay can be reached on Twitter at Jinay26Shah, on LinkedIn at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jinay26  and also via email at jshah26@niu.edu !

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!


10 Study Tips for Final Exams

With Thanksgiving Break coming quickly and finals week right around the corner all of us here at the Northern Illinois University College of Business thought it would be wise to provide all of you with some study tips for final exams. Don’t fear because we are about to present you with 10 basic keys to success.

NIU College of Business students working hard.

NIU College of Business students working hard.


1) Always prepare for tomorrow in an effort to make the most efficient use of your time.

2) Create study groups! Technology has made it extremely easy to do this at anytime from anywhere.

3) Establish a routine by setting aside specific time for school work and focus.

4) Find a quiet space where you can separate yourself from distractions.

5) Have a backup plan. Be sure to save that final paper on an external drive in addition to your computer in case things go wrong.

6) Maintain a master calendar to stay on top of assignments and not fall behind.

7) Stay organized by using folders both on your computer and for any printed materials as well.

8) Stay positive and remember why earning your degree is worth all the hard work.

9) Take a break and come back refocused.

10) Use checklists to ensure you are completing assignments on time and feel the satisfaction of checking each assignment from the list.

For additional academic support resources which range from tutoring and assistance services to academic opportunities and programs check out the link below or contact the Office of Student Academic Success.


For more study tips that we have shared on this blog check out the links below.