The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Choosing which degree to pursue has to be one of the most nerve-racking and overwhelming parts of attending college. Hearing the opinions of the students enrolled in your potential major might answer any looming questions. Or it could give you an idea of where to start. The purpose of this article isn’t to force you to follow the business route, but to consider it a potential option. If you’re already studying business, great! You can still read about the resources your peers utilize in and out of the classroom.
I sat down with three students enrolled in the College of Business at Illinois State University studying different fields, including marketing, accounting, and finance. All three are high-achieving students with a promising future ahead. They are here to share their experience and provide you with tips for success.
Sarah Baldwin is a freshman marketing major and a part of Illinois State’s band and honors program. Next year, she plans to pledge to a business fraternity.
Because her mother has a degree in marketing, Sarah has already been introduced to the type of work made possible through a degree in the field. A major perk of her mom’s job was the versatility it provided. One day, she’d be working with the creative department and designing advertisements. Another time, she’d be analyzing how they did. This “scratches the creative and also analytical itch” for Sarah. The wide variety of skills that are taught to you within the College of Business is an attractive feature. You don’t have to feel stuck with your career choice or pushed into a box.
Although it’s only her first year here, Sarah has already found a sense of community within the College of Business. In almost all of her classes, everyone she talks to seems to be some sort of business major. She’s always running into them and bonding over shared experiences, which has allowed her to form a plethora of connections.
Jake Mueller is a sophomore accounting major. He’s heavily involved with the chess club on campus and will be the group’s president next semester.
He chose the accounting path because he’s always enjoyed working with numbers. So, he recommends the major if you’re the same.
“[Accounting] helps other people out with something they don’t understand; makes their life easier.”Jake Mueller – sophomore accounting major at ISU
Jake feels like the business program here is preparing him for his future career because he’s learned a lot of terminologies he’ll need to communicate effectively in the office, which will be helpful for him later.
Michael Baird is a sophomore finance and risk management major. He’s currently pledging for Alpha Kappa Psi and attends ISSF (Illinois State Students in Finance) meetings from time to time.
When Michael was younger, his dad worked at the Chicago Board of Trade and had his own business trading stocks and bonds. This sparked Michael’s interest in investing. He hopes the skills he learns through his degree will help him skip the traditional 9-5 work grind.
Michael said that a degree in finance and risk management opens you up to so many opportunities—you have the investing world and the managing world, and the list goes on. He mentions you can easily wipe out the risk management courses you need in the winter or summer. There’s a lot of room for growth and movement if you go down the finance path.
Internships are huge for any business major. Michael is already getting a head start by attending the Career Fair events hosted by Illinois State University. He says that through internships, you can learn what you want to do, and you can find your niche.
In addition, he recommends rushing a business fraternity. All the business frats available at ISU are great for developing professional skills, working on your resume, nailing your interviews, and getting a chance for an internship.
Tips for Success
In addition to personal insight, each interviewee also provided awesome tips for finding success in and out of your classes, regardless of your major:
Sarah: The biggest thing Sarah can recommend is time management (absolutely crucial). She advises you to not wait for motivation to do your work because it’s never going to come. Simply get up and work on something—it’ll flow so much easier once you start.
Michael: Something that students don’t take advantage of is their professor’s office hours. Michael advocates for his peers using the designated hours because professors are here to help them. You’ll never be a bother to your professor. He also recommends downloading and creating an account with Handshake, a platform that provides an easy way for students to find and apply for internships.
Jake: Jake had simple advice: check Rate My Professor. Although all faculty in the College of Business are wonderful, different people learn better with different learning styles. Seek professors that can help you retain the most information. You’ll get more out of your classes, and they won’t be as much of a struggle. On the Rate My Professor website, you can read reviews from students who already took a class with a specific professor. They’ll mention the course load and structure of the class period, so you can make an informed decision.
We have a diverse group of business students here at ISU, all in varying extracurriculars and majors. After all, the world of business isn’t one size fits all. There are multiple moving parts that go into a successful business. Some examples include social media advertising, financial advising, human resources, accounting, and so on. At the College of Business at Illinois State University, there is a space for you.