As a sophomore, Matt Miller is involved in more things to count. Miller is taking a full class load, participates in many organizations, and still finds the time to play in a band. Read our interview with Miller to see how he balances it all.
HC: What are you involved in here at ISU?
Miller: On campus, I am president of Imaginations, vice president of Habitat for Humanity, Student Life Senator for Student Government Association. I am also a MASIA mentor, a CONNECT mentor, a STEP-UP fellow, a Robert Noyce Scholar. I am in the honors program here and do research with them, as well. As a MASIA mentor, I mentor students who are first generation students, low socioeconomic status (SES students), and minority students mainly from Chicago. For CONNECT, I mentor a student from Chicago. We Skype weekly and I make a few visits to Chicago and they come down to Bloomington-Normal too. STEP-UP is the most rigorous internship on campus. It is a Chicago Public Schools internship for four weeks over the summer, working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, teaching summer school, taking classes, and working with a community based organization. Off campus I am the volunteer coordinator for Rebound (an alternative to off-campus suspensions for junior high students), I am the Webmaster for Attack ACC (a cancer fundraising organization), and I teach in a school on the south side of Chicago every Tuesday.
HC: Do you have any jobs here?
Miller: I am a student manager for production services in the Bone Student Center. I am a front desk worker for the Student Involvement Center, a teaching assistant and tutor for the Developmental Mathematics Lab, and a research assistant for the Honors Program.
HC: I also hear you’re in a band? How do you find time for that along with all of your extra-curricular activities?
Miller: Yes! We are called The Prelude and I play the drums. We practice late nights after I am done for the day or on weekend nights. We play at campus events, Relay for Life, Fusion Brew, Coffee Nation, and we play any day and any time. We also play at birthday parties or grad parties.
HC: Wow, that’s a lot for anyone to handle. How do you keep everything organized?
Miller: I have a schedule of things that I do every week blocked off so that I know when I have free time to work on other things like classes. I also have a notepad file on my computer called “things to do” which tells me everything that I need to do so when I have free time, I just check things off the list. I only have one binder for all my classes and keep a ton of files electronically on my computer so I have things with me at all times. I also just think about things a lot so I remember what I need to do. Mental notes work wonders.
HC: Since you are involved in so much, do you have any advice for anyone who is hesitant about getting involved?
Miller: My advice would be that it is more beneficial to be involved with one organization and gain leadership in that one than being involved in everything. If you can handle more, then go for it! But you will gain enough experience with a single organization if you are involved with it enough. I just do things that I love to do, so being super involved is just having a super good time for me. I would never get involved with something that I would dread going to. It is easier to handle things you enjoy.
Check out his band Facebook page here.