November, 13 2014
What started off as a cold, hour long bus ride to Fishers, Indiana, ended up as a striking success for the Miller College of Business at Ball State University. The first snowfall of the year decided to start on our way to the city just north of Indianapolis, and to our dismay, the heat on the bus failed to blow anything but cold air. About 16 current Miller Honors students attended the event, with four Miller Honors Alumni as well, in the hopes of recruiting some of the finest business students around.
Nearly 70 interested high school students and their parents were registered for the recruiting event. Ages ranged from sophomores to seniors attending high schools from Indiana, to Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Some students had been admitted to Ball State, some had not heard yet; however nearly all attendees were interested in majoring in business.
The current Miller College Honors students immediately began mingling with the interested prospects. Parents and students were able to ask their burning questions, and learn not only about the Miller College of Business, but the Miller College of Business Honors Program. Following the initial conversations with students and parents were multiple speakers on what Ball State University, the Miller College of Business, and the Miller Honors Program all have to offer.
Following the speakers, the students and parents were dismissed to their convenience. Multiple families remained to ask more questions and speak with a variety of current Miller Honors students. After wrapping up, the Miller Honors students ventured back onto their ice cold bus and headed to Steak n’ Shake for dinner. The laughs and stories exchanged the rest of the night were priceless, as that is one of the most rewarding parts of the Miller Honors Program.
I can’t believe it’s almost over.
It’s hard to think that a year from now, I will be an alumnus of Ball State and the Miller Business Honors program. Hopefully, I will be in my career in Human Resources waking up every morning with renewed excitement for my upcoming day at a company that I love.
Thinking back four or so years ago, when I was in high school trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I thought I knew exactly what was ahead. I have always been a planner, and I felt as if I had a solid plan to go into Music Business at a school down south. I would travel the world and live in a major music Mecca working for a widely known record label. It was a great plan and all, but it changed a little when I figured out I wanted to live in Indianapolis after I graduated from college. Don’t get me wrong, I love Indy more than anything, but it isn’t exactly the music mecca of the country.
So I changed my plan—and it wouldn’t be the last time. I went through a mini crisis, applying to other state schools in Indiana and surrounding schools with good business colleges. I still wanted to go into business, but I wasn’t really sure what area of business. In high school, I knew that you could go into accounting and become a CPA, so I decided to throw all of my passion into that area when looking into universities and programs.
I stumbled across the Miller Business Honors program at Ball State when I was searching for unique programs that I could get involved in. This program intrigued me initially for the scholarship opportunities, but the program kept me around because of the prestige and challenges it offers me as a student and a future business professional.
Eventually, I realized that there are more options than just Accounting; I explored our major offerings and found Human Resources. I fell in love with the variety of opportunities available for HR professionals, and I really felt like I had found my place. From my connections in the Miller Business Honors Program, I was able to figure out my passion, start my major coursework early, and even land a competitive internship!
As I am sitting here thinking about my graduation in May, I am in the process of looking for a full-time position for after I graduate. I was recently able to connect with an alum of this incredible program, and I will be interviewing at the Finalist Day on Friday for a full-time position (wish me luck!). This program has brought me a wealth of incredible opportunities and chances to expand my professional knowledge, and I have made incredible friends along the way.
I love planning for the future. I love the potential my future holds, and I love checking things off of my to do list. The biggest lesson I have learned while in college is to welcome roadblocks and take every challenge head on. If I hadn’t taken a chance on Ball State and the Miller Business Honors program, I wouldn’t have the same opportunities and the chance for a job after I graduate. If I hadn’t changed my life plan, I wouldn’t have found the major I am truly passionate about. Take a chance on your future by applying to be a part of this incredible program today. Who knows? It may be the best decision you’ve ever made.
-Emily Looney, Proud Member of the Class of 2015
This past spring, the honors program had the opportunity to take another study abroad trip to Europe. With faculty approval, the students chose to go to Germany and Ireland. The group was led by Dr. Tamara Montag and Mrs. Carla Flores out of the Department of Management in the Miller College of Business. The trip was the conclusion of an international business course that was centered on globalization. Our final project for the class was to write a paper about various similarities and differences between business in the United States and business in Germany and/or Ireland. We were able to get a lot of this information from our six company visits during the two weeks that we were abroad.
Our first destination for the trip was Frankfurt, Germany. While here, we had the opportunity to visit the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bank, and the KfW (a German development bank). We also took a train trip from Frankfurt to Bad Homberg, Germany to visit a company called Fresenius that works as a health care group. After leaving Frankfurt, we traveled to Munich, Germany, where we were able to go to PricewaterhouseCoopers (a public accounting firm) as well as Intel. The last couple days of our trip, we were able to fly to Dublin, Ireland, for some additional sightseeing.
At all of our company visits, we were able to learn more about the businesses as well as ask any questions that we had. This was a key resource when it came to getting information for our final papers. We had the opportunity to meet with people from all aspects of the corporate ladder to gain a better insight into their workings. One specifically important company that we met with was Intel. Intel does not typically allow undergraduate students to visit its facilities; however, the individuals there made an exception for us because of our affiliation with the Miller Honors Program. All of these opportunities were great experiences to be able to communicate and network with esteemed business people and learn more about international companies.
In addition to our company visits, we had a lot of free time to tour and sightsee. In all three cities, we were able to meander around shopping centers and sample traditional cuisine. We also had days with tour guides to show us around the most important parts of the cities. Some of the other fun things we did in Frankfurt were going to the Frankfurt Zoo, visiting the Palmengarten (a botanical garden), and seeing Rӧmerplatz (a reconstructed historic part of Frankfurt). In Munich, there was a large spring festival that a lot of the group was able to experience. This even included Germans dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndls. We also heard the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, a large ornate clock, chime while watching the figurines that twirl and dance to the tones. In Ireland, most of the group went to the Butlers Chocolate factory where we were able to take a tour as well as decorate our own hollow bears.
On the weekend and other free days, the group would split up for day trips. Several people were able to go to Heidelberg, Germany, to explore the town and see the historic castle. Another day, some people went to Schwangau, Germany, to see the Neuschwanstein Castle—the inspiration for part of Sleeping Beauty. A different group opted to go to Salzburg, Austria, where The Sound of Music was filmed. A large part of the class was also able to meet up with one of Dr. Montag’s friend in Stuttgart, Germany, to learn about his adjustment as an expatriate. It just so happened that there was another spring festival going on in Stuttgart as well. A few other places we had the opportunity to tour and visit included Dachau (the first concentration camp), Paulaner brewery, and the BMW Welt (a museum and showplace for some pretty fancy cars).
Studying abroad with the Miller Honors Program was an awesome experience! I enjoyed getting a small taste of international travel and being able to do so with friends and peers that I see every day. I also liked that we had to opportunity to meet with several companies during our trip in addition to our free time to tour and explore. It was definitely an enriching trip that taught me a lot and that was also incredibly fun!
-Bekah Bales, Class of 2016
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
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
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
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