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Interviews: Workshopping the Final Step to Success

April 15, 2013

So what are we all in college for?  Yes, you in the back row waving your arm furiously.  Jobs, correct!  Give that girl a prize!  And what is the single largest deciding factor on whether or not you get one?  Well, that’s a subjective question but the answer I’m looking for is the interview.  If they don’t you’re your resume, they don’t call you and you keep looking.  It’s the interview that really makes or breaks the whole application process, because you know they’re at least somewhat interested and on paper you seemed qualified enough.  Okay, I know, an Honors College student doesn’t write in the second person.  I’ll stop now.  The basic point is that interviews are extremely important, and at times just as (if not more) stressful, especially when looking for one’s first job in the foreboding “real world”.

Earlier this month, the sophomore class had the opportunity (as does every sophomore class in the Miller Honors Program) to attend a two-part interviewing workshop.  Without going into trade secrets, in the first session we learned how to walk like John Travolta (you think I’m kidding…) and how to prepare a basic response.  Simple stuff.  But in the second, we got to tell our stories and even got to practice some interview techniques in front of our peers.  Now, those who know me might know I’m not the biggest fan of the workshops we normally have, as they just don’t fit my learning style.  When it comes to classwork, sure, but about “real life” stuff I’m clueless.  I think we all are; that’s the point of college.  Anyway, I’m normally not the biggest fan of the workshops; I know they help some people but the only way I thought I’d be able to learn interviewing skills is to do interviews over and over until I feel comfortable with any question that can be thrown at me.  I plan to do that, too, at the Career Center where they hold mock interviews and even mock stress interviews for those who would like a side of interview with their stress.  But, I found that this time I really walked away with some valuable information I’m not likely to forget in the upcoming weeks or months, even with finals quickly approaching (no, quickly isn’t the right word, it’s more like tearing down the highway towards me like the opening of Jeepers Creepers while I cruise unexpectantly towards summer).  I’ve realized that there’s a workshop for everyone in the Miller Honors Program from Resume to Interview, no matter what your learning style.  Mine just showed up last week.  It’s nice that slightly over two years out from us graduating, we get to sit in these specialized job-search-process training workshops, and I’m especially glad I found one to be as helpful as this last.

So, professors, while I’m sitting in my finals looking at Management or Finance questions, don’t be surprised if you get an answer in PAR format.

- Robert Franz, Miller Scholar Class of 2015

Scheduling 2013

April 3, 2013

Yes, I know there hasn’t been a post since February.  March is a crazy month for everyone, with Spring Break and usually an overload of projects, and setting up class schedules for the summer or fall semesters.  On top of that, lots of classes handle the bulk of their work in March.  Because of all of this, the program really didn’t have much in the way of blog-able events.  The sophomores had Part 1 of an interview workshop (blog posts will be forthcoming once we have part 2 today), and I’m pretty sure the Juniors had a workshop as well…but otherwise, March is a pretty independent month in student life.  So what am I talking about today?  Scheduling.

Scheduling is an incredibly stressful part of any semester.  Sometimes, an entire four year plan hinges on getting into a certain class or two.  And that’s where the Miller Honors Program can really come in handy.  For freshman and sophomore year, students are equipped with an advisor in student services of the Miller College of Business.  Students in the program also get to enroll in the Miller College of Business a semester early, allowing them to get into upper level major-specific classes.  That one has really helped me, as by the end of my sophomore year I will have completed 95% of an Economics minor.  Lastly, once students are enrolled, they receive a MCOB faculty mentor in their area of interest so that they can better coordinate both in and out of school experiences that will be beneficial to the all-important post-college job search.  Don’t worry though, I’m a sophomore and that still sounds scary.

- Robert Franz, Miller Scholar Class of 2015

Interview Day: Success!

February 27, 2013

Last Saturday, we hosted our annual Interview Day, an opportunity for incoming freshmen to interview for the scholarship associated with the program.  A ton of effort went into preparing for the day, and in our minds it all paid off more than we could ever have expected.  Overall, as students we were very impressed with the candidates and are looking forward to a strong freshmen class in the fall!

We like to think of Interview Day as a way to show the candidates as much about us as a program as we learn about them during their interviews.  Candidates were given a unique opportunity to speak to students in the form of personal hosts and panel speakers in order to get a more in-depth look at what our program can offer.  Panels were set up on topics such as Study Abroad, Internships, and Majors.  These proved to be just as informative for me as a current student than they did for the candidates, there may be an added major or minor in my future now…

The executive board organized two dual-class dinners for the current program students after all the activities wrapped up.  The seniors and juniors went to Puertas, a local Mexican restaurant (lucky!), while the freshmen and sophomores had dinner at Greeks Pizza.  It was a nice way to get to know the members of the program I don’t normally see in classes every day.

I just want to take this last opportunity to thank all of the candidates and families for taking the time to come out to Ball State (some from further away than others) to interview and spend the day with our program.  We appreciate all the candidates and their families’ time and consideration of Ball State and the Miller Honors Program.  Good luck with the college search and decision process!

Robert Franz – Miller Scholar, Class of 2015

Networking, Networking, Networking!

February 18, 2013

On the first day the class of 2015 met each other as freshmen, we were immediately thrown into what seemed like hours of mingling with each other and professors from the Miller College of Business.  Here we are, these scared little freshmen that have barely gotten settled into college, and we are forced to speak with random strangers who we are supposed to be our classmates for the next four years, as well as our future professors.  Talk about stressful.

However, this was an introduction to one of the most important skills that the MCOB Honors program has to offer: networking skills.  In business school, networking is pounded into your mind at any and every second because it is the most valuable skill to graduate with besides your degree.  We have the opportunity to meet many different speakers and professors being in the Honors program, as well as the opportunity to go on company visits to see how the “real world” actually works.  We are also paired up with Miller Mentors, or people who have graduated from the business college at Ball State and are in industry now.  These are just some of the ways that the MCOB Honors program prepares its students for the world outside of academia.

My Miller Mentor is a Ball State grad who works for Vera Bradley in Fort Wayne, IN, in Human Resources.  My networking with him has given me an insight into the field of HR and has supported my decision to go into human resources.  I have spoken with him about potentially getting involved with an internship at Vera Bradley, and I am hoping after next summer I will be able to write a blog post about having the Vera Bradley intern experience!

My mentor and I are also working on getting a day set up so I can shadow him.  Besides meeting with my mentor, I also have the opportunity to network with other mentors at receptions.  We have the chance to mingle and get advice from our Ball State alums, and it is a great opportunity that people outside of the Honors program do not experience.

In short, networking is vital to success in the business world.  If you love meeting new people and finding things to talk about with them, you’ll be a pro at networking.  If not, the Honors program has plenty of workshops and resources to get you networking into your future career!

- Emily Looney, MCOB Class of 2015

MCOB: First Class – Guest Blogger Marissa Wynn

February 10, 2013

As a member of the first class (2012) of Miller Scholars, I didn’t know what to expect from the program when I started.  I had taken AP and other “honors” courses in high school, but I had no idea if this would be the same.  I found myself wondering, “Would the honors classes be harder?” “Would I have more assignments?”  “Would I ultimately end up with better grades if I took ‘normal’ or easier classes?”

Now nearly a year after graduation, when asked about what my experience as a Miller Scholar was like, I can honestly say that the classes are probably the last thing I think about.  Though we did usually get some of the best professors, and we had a chance to work on some pretty unique projects.  What I think is more important than the grades and the classes, is sense of camaraderie that formed among the students in the program.

As with anything, being part of this program has its ups and downs.  Sometimes there is an event that students are invited to, but for us it is pretty much mandatory, sometimes these events are on a snowy Saturday in December that we would really rather spend playing video games or curled up reading a book in our nice warm residence hall.  But sometimes we get amazing opportunities, like a chance to attend the Disney Institute and travel to Disney World with some of our closest friends.  Whether specific experiences were good or bad, we all went through them together, and we developed a unique bond.  If twenty years from now I were to run into my least favorite person from our class, I would guarantee we could probably still easily find something to talk about.  For that matter, I’m sure I could find plenty to talk about with one of the current freshmen who I have never even met before.

The class of 2012 was privileged to help shape this program from the beginning, and while it may not have been the original intent of the program, I think it is quickly developing into an incredible network of peers.  If I ever wanted to work for an accounting firm for some crazy reason (sorry accountant friends, it’s just not my thing), I can think of 6 different people off the top of my head, who I could get in touch with who work at various accounting firms.  If I ever needed to move to Chicago, I know exactly who I would ask for advice when apartment hunting.  If I ever want to take a vacation to Disney World, I know I can ask Gayle for all sorts of tips!

- Marissa Wynn, MCOB Class of 2012

Student Life: A Sophomore Spring Awakening

February 6, 2013

Given the task of managing the Miller College of Business blog, I wanted to take my first post to give you an inside look: a student’s perspective of the current semester.  This semester is a big one: one of the last semesters with a good amount of program classes.  We stand on the precipice of delving into our own majors, seeing less and less of each other in classes and crafting our individual futures.  That being said, I enjoyed the classes I got to have with other MCOB Honors students, especially that they were sections created just for us with hand-picked professors (for better or worse!).  It is also the first time a lot of us have had 300 level classes, ever.  It’s nice to be able to have that experience with familiar classmates.  This semester, we have three classes together: FIN 300, MGT 300, and MKG 300.

Professors have really seemed to move drastically from what you might call a “sage on the stage” to a “guide on the side”.  What I mean by that is simple: they are not here anymore simply to lecture on the material, to cover everything in the textbook thereby making it useless for any attentive student to avoid outside reading, or even to teach class in a linear manner.  They are, instead, here to facilitate our learning, to be our guide to all of the concepts covered in the textbook as well as to give us access to information above and beyond what we get in the book.  As the first exam in each of these classes quickly approaches and I find myself as one of the aforementioned students who never used to do any reading, I say this: Will it be challenging? Yes.  Will it require a good deal of work and thought power to comprehend all of the more complex information? Yes.  Will it be worth it when I can leave a class at the end of the semester and actually KNOW substantially more than I came in knowing? Most definitely.

Here’s to a good semester!

Robert Franz – Miller Scholar, Class of 2015

Welcome!

January 22, 2013

Interview day for potential Miller Scholars is coming very soon, and we are excited to get the chance to meet you all! Interview day will be action-packed and will include a complimentary lunch, the chance to hang out with current members of the Miller College of Business (MCOB) Honors Program, a time to mingle with various professors, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions and find out anything you want to know about MCOB or Ball State in general. You will hear from several students within the program who will give you an accurate view of the school and program and are excited to meet you and answer your questions. We hope you are getting excited as well. Feel free to post any questions that you may have leading up to the big day. See you soon!

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