Student Spotlights | College of Business | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Student Spotlights

GRACE BOYD, a senior studying accounting, is from Marion, Illinois. Her registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being the Vice President of Communications for Phi Beta Lambda. Grace is also a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Accounting Society. Grace is a legacy student as her mom is a fellow Saluki. Grace is a student receptionist for the College of Business Dean’s Office.

Grace choose to study at SIU for many reasons. “The accounting program here is great and I like the fact that it is close to home. I’ve grown up in southern Illinois so I have always been exposed to SIU and it just seemed like the right fit.” Grace feels that southern Illinois is a beautiful area. “Sometimes I think I take that for granted since I have lived here my whole life, but all the places we have around here to hike and just enjoy the outdoors are incredible.”

Grace shared why she feels the College of Business is unique. “I can’t speak for other colleges, but it seems like the CoB has a different atmosphere than anywhere else. Everyone is so friendly and we are all friends. The faculty/staff are also so welcoming and helpful. I have never felt like I was alone in anything I’ve had to face so far being a CoB student.”

Grace is currently working on learning some important skills. “I have learned how to handle myself in the business world. Before coming to the College of Business, I was never exposed to business or professional events. Attending the career fair and then the golf scramble really pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to interact with accounting professionals and my peers at the same time. I know I will continue to grow in this area too because the CoB does a wonderful job at connecting their students with professionals in their field of choice.” Grace has also learned the importance of time management. “Taking multiple accounting classes at a time can become overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of your homework and set aside time to study for each class separately.”

Grace’s most rewarding experience she has had in college has been finishing and getting a good grade on her tax return project last semester. Grace’s dream job is to be a forensic accountant. In the future, Grace will know that she has become successful when, “I am able to say I truly enjoy my job and the people I work with. I don’t want to wake up every morning and dread going to work, I want to be excited about what the day could possibly bring me.”

Grace has some advice for younger students. “Don’t be afraid to get involved. I transferred in as a junior and felt a little behind at first when it came to being involved and knowing people, so I just went for it. Everyone here is so welcoming and nice that I feel like I’ve gone here since my freshman year. Also do not be afraid of your professors. Some of them are more intimidating than others, but they are all incredibly nice and helpful. They really do want you to succeed and will do anything they can to help you. Never be afraid to go see them during office hours or email them with questions, or just to say hi to them in the hallways.”

ALEX BRINKMEIER is a senior from Pearl City, Illinois. She is studying marketing and getting a second degree in hospitality and tourist administration. Her Registered Student Organization (RSO) involvement includes the Business Leadership Council, being president of the College Panel Association, and a member of Delta Epsilon Iota Honors Society.

Some of Alex’s favorite fall activities include watching football games and having bonfires. Alex loves fall, the changing leaves and the changing temperatures. If Alex could be any animal, she would be an owl for two reasons. First, because owls are said to be wise. Second, she is a morning person, so she wants to experience night life and who wouldn’t want to be able to see at night? If a movie was made about her life, she hopes that Jennifer Aniston would play her. “Aniston is an experienced actress and I love her on Friends. The way that Aniston interacts with her friends on the show is the same way that I interact with mine!” she said.

Alex feels that the CoB is unique from other colleges. The fact the CoB is forward thinking and collaborative contributes to its uniqueness. In the real world, the different departments fight, but here they all work together. The CoB serves students to a whole new level compared to the other college she belongs to. The CoB advisors stay with the students throughout all four years, but that is not necessarily the case in other colleges. It truly drives her crazy when people are not living to their fullest potential. She wishes that she could get through to those individuals that they could do so much more.

As a whole, going Greek has been the most rewarding experience to Alex. Going Greek has given her opportunities in leadership and community service. She has also been able to network and meet new people.

Alex feels she is a people person and knows that she will have to work with people the rest of her life. Since starting college, she has learned to work and communicate with people in an appropriate manner. Back home, there is a saying “living under the Pearl City rock.’ Alex came from a small town of around 800 people where there isn’t much diversity. Since moving to Carbondale, she has learned to appreciate diversity.

After graduation, Alex wants to become an event coordinator in professional sports. She hopes that she will be able to start her career with a football team. The event coordinator is required to attend all games, but that won’t be a problem because she enjoys watching football.

Alex will know that she has become successful when she is able to come home after work, sit down and be happy about her life. A happy life would consist of a loving family, a nice home and having a job that she loves. She feels that the amount of money she makes will not matter as long as she has a loving family and friends.

Alex has some advice for new students. Start early and get involved in anything, whether it be Greek Life, RSOs or the CoB. The sooner that you get involved, the sooner you will make friends and the easier the college transition will be. Getting involved with the right people will also make the transition easier.

AUDREY BURGENER is a graduate student in the MBA program. She is the second Saluki in her family and she is a graduate assistant in the College of Business Dean’s Office.

Audrey chose to study at SIU as an undergraduate and graduate student because it is close to her home, in Olney, Illinois and she liked the diversity of campus. She feels that the College of Business is unique “because it has amazing faculty and staff that are always willing to help students.” She has learned the importance of managing personal finances from living on her own. “Nothing prepares you most for the ‘real world’ more than moving away from your parents and living on your own financially.”

“After graduation, I hope to have a job with a hospital or healthcare organization to gain more experience and exposure in the field of healthcare.” She also hopes to travel and enjoy time off from school. Audrey’s dream job is to become a CEO or administrative executive of a children’s hospital.

Audrey’s most rewarding experience in college will be the day she receives her master’s degree. On that day, she will have earned her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s degree all within 4 years. “In May of 2017, all of the sleepless nights, hard work, dedication and ambition will finally pay off.” Audrey has recently became a published author. “Enhancing Communication to Improve Patient Safety and to Increase Patient Satisfaction” has been accepted for publication in the Health Care Manager Journal. Audrey feels very accomplished in the goals that she has already achieved. She will feel even more successful after she receives her degree and is able to work in a career where she will be able to help others.

“By participating in and contributing to these different organizations, I have cultured time management skills as well as found my passion to help others.” Audrey was very involved with various student organizations during her undergraduate studies. Her involvement include being the treasurer of Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, the vice president of the Business Leadership Council, the public relations chair of SIU College Panhellenic Council, and a member of the Student Healthcare Management Association. Audrey has been a mentor with various organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom. She volunteered with the Keep Carbondale Beautiful project and is currently a member of the SIU Alumni Association. She likes to support groups such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Society.

Audrey loves many things about fall including the leaves changing colors, pumpkin spice lattes, the crisp air and that there are not any bugs. She would like to live in San Diego because of its weather. She also likes the idea of living near the beaches and being able to look at the palm trees.

Audrey offered advice to younger students. “The advice I would give to younger students would be to get involved, meet new people, and enjoy your college career. These are the best years of your life!”

GRIFFIN DAY is a sophomore studying finance. He is from Tuscola, Illinois and is the first saluki in his family. His Registered Student Organization (RSO) involvement includes being an analyst for the Saluki Student Investment Fund (SSIF), being a senator for Undergraduate Student Government, and is the treasurer for Club Baseball.

“I chose to study at SIU because I wanted to go to a four year university with a phenomenal business program that is located in the state where I live,” said Griffin. With all of that in mind, he found the College of Business (CoB) here at SIU. “This is the first time that I have lived on my own, so it has been cool to see how I have grown to be independent and how I was able to thrive on my own.”

He feels like the CoB is unique in many different ways. “I feel like all of the different programs that give the students a chance to get real-world experience is one of the many ways the CoB is unique. The mentor program, student lunches with individuals working in business and career trips are examples of some of the special programs that the college offers.”

Griffin feels his most rewarding college experience has been his overall personal growth. “Looking back at how I was when I moved in last year and comparing it to where I am now…it is amazing to see how much I have grown socially.” Griffin stated that his greatest challenge while studying his major was when he had to take a human physiology class, which involves chemistry and biology. “As a business major, taking a class about subjects that I haven’t learned about since I was a sophomore in high school, was challenging for me.”

Griffin hopes to live in Chicago upon graduation. “I am a huge Chicago Cubs fan, so living there would mean that I could go to all of their games and it is a beautiful city,” said Griffin. Griffin’s dream job would involve working for the Chicago Cubs in the front office at Wrigley Field.  

Griffin will know that he has become successful when he has the freedom to do what he wants. “I want to make sure that I have world experience and that I have been able to travel. There is a quote from George Bernard Shaw, ‘life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.’ I feel like this is a quote to live by.”

Griffin is an avid deer hunter and is excited to be back in a deer stand later this fall. He enjoys being outside when the leaves are starting to change colors, but haven’t fallen off the trees yet. “Southern I is beautiful this time of year when the leaves are changing colors.” If Griffin could be an animal, he would choose to be a lion because “it is the ‘King of the Jungle’ and I feel like I can relate to it because I am trying to work my way to the top of the totem pole.”

Griffin offered some advice to younger students. “I don’t know this from personal experience, but don’t skip class. In college, if you miss a class, you could easily miss out on a lecture over the entire chapter, if not more. Missing all of this information can easily make you fall behind. You should also get involved with various organizations on campus. Getting involved was how I made most of my friends. Also, if you are having trouble in class, you should definitely go and talk to the professor. Don’t just let it go, because if you don’t understand this topic, chances are you will fall behind in that class.”

ARIANA DEHOET is a junior from Murphysboro, Illinois studying marketing. Salukis run deep in Ariana’s family because her mother, aunt, and sister all went to SIU. But the Saluki blood doesn’t stop there, her father, Robert DeHoet, was the director of the University Museum for 25 years. It was very important to him that Ariana would one day attend SIU.

Ariana enjoys living in southern Illinois. She loves that this area has the most beautiful changes of seasons, especially during fall. “The scenery around campus is beautiful!” Ariana enjoys going to the Longbranch Café because of “the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The coffee and food is to die for!”

Ariana would like to have a summer-long vacation to visit her family in Europe after graduation. When she was younger, she would live in Nice, France with her family during the summer.

Ariana has learned that time management is a major factor in succeeding in coursework. She feels that she has become much better at planning ahead and balancing her priorities. She knows that she has become successful when she is happy with her achievements and has accomplished all of her goals. Ariana feels she has faced many challenges while attending college. “The main challenge for me has been balance. You sometimes feel overwhelmed with homework and studying. Finding a way to balance it all is a challenge, but it is well worth it.”

Ariana feels that the college is unique because it “provides students with programs that allow you access to beneficial materials needed for the career world.” Ariana was a member of the American Marketing Association. “Although the time involvement was short, it was a great experience and I was able to meet an amazing group of people.”

For Ariana, the most rewarding experience for her has been the wide variety of people that she has met. “Hearing about their experiences has given me beneficial knowledge and advice to learn from.”

Ariana has some advice for younger students. “Setting priorities is a major factor in succeeding. As a student, you have to work hard and manage your time accordingly with your studies. I also believe that it is important to have fun, meet new people, and enjoy the college life while you can!”

BRADEN DRAKE is a junior in the accounting program. He is the first saluki in his family and is from Carterville, Illinois. His registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being a member of the Accounting Society as well as the Illinois CPA Society. Braden is a College of Business Ambassador and a member of the ROTC.

Braden enjoyed growing up in a small town community southern Illinois. “In my town, everyone knows everybody, which is great, but it can also be a bad thing.” Braden likes the outdoors and enjoys hiking. During the fall season, he also enjoys bonfires and football. He played football in high school and played some with the intramural leagues here on campus. “Every year, I get with my friends and we have an annual turkey bowl over Thanksgiving break. We meet back at our high school field and play for the ‘cup’…which happens to be a plunger that we put the score on and give to the MVP of the winning team.”

Braden chose to study at SIU because it is close to home and the National Guard required him to stay within the state. “Ms. Rachel Richey knows me outside of the CoB. We were talking one day and she sold the program to me when I told her that I wanted to go into business. The Business Placement Center is a huge advantage for CoB students! Ms. Lewis is great and takes time to really help students that come in. The Connect2Career program is a great asset for the BPC.”

Braden’s dream job is to work for the FBI in the forensic accounting department. He has an applied science degree in criminal justice. He feels that the combination of that degree with his military background is the perfect combination for that job. He has to work at an accounting firm for a minimum of three years before he can transfer into working for the FBI.

Braden’s greatest challenge while studying his major has been balancing all of the RSO events with ROTC. “The college encourages us to meet people to get internships over the summer, but my summers consist of military events from the National Guard and ROTC. I keep telling myself that eventually an employer will see that I have been involved in multiple things. Hopefully, an employer will see that I have a military background and will want to hire me and get to know me better.”

“I have learned that internships are not everything! I have had multiple conversations with Danna Lewis about this and she keeps telling me not to worry about it. But it is really hard not to because that is all everyone talks about!”

Braden had some advice for younger students. “Take note that internships are not everything. But with that being said, you need to put yourself out there, get involved, use all of the resources that are here to help you and take advantage of everything you are learning in class.”

KATHERINE GALLICK is a sophomore from Morris, Illinois studying management. She is the first in her family to attend SIU. Her registered student organization involvement includes being a member of the Saluki Student Investment Fund (SSIF); a College of Business (CoB) student ambassador; a member of the CoB Mentor Program; a member of the University Honors Program; a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority where she is the house manager and Vice President of Finance.

Katherine chose to study at SIU for many reasons. “I chose to study here mainly due to a large scholarship I received. Beyond the scholarship, I love the area around SIU. I couldn’t wait to visit Giant City and all the other beautiful places there are to hike. I also felt very welcomed by the College of Business. I feel that I would not like my experiences at SIU as much if I were in any other college. The CoB has so much to offer to help me excel in my area of study and I have met some of my best friends in this college.”

Katherine’s most rewarding experience in the CoB has been being able to network with CoB alumni. “Last year I was fortunate enough to connect with multiple professionals who are part of the Executive in Residence Program. By networking with alumni, I was able to learn about what it is like to be a professional in the career world and what I can work on now to help me in the future. I hope that one day I can be as successful as the professionals I have met and be able to give future students the same guidance they gave to me. 

Katherine’s greatest challenge while studying her major has been learning how to keep her priorities straight. “There are so many important things that I am a part of and sometimes it is difficult to manage exactly which club, organization or class is most important.” Katherine is also learning the importance of networking. “I have had many opportunities by reaching out to people that I do not know, but have some connection with, through the CoB. By learning this skill early and practicing it often, I believe learning this skill early and practicing it often will make me confident in doing it when I have a job or am looking for a job.”

Katherine works as a receptionist in the College of Business Dean’s Office. She feels that the CoB is her second home because she is here so often.

Katherine has some advice for younger students. “Get involved! By being a part of multiple organizations and clubs, I have met some great people and have learned a ton. I would also tell a younger student to try new things. I had no interest in finance while coming to SIU, but I ended up joining the Saluki Student Investment Fund. By being a part of this fund, not only have I learned lots about stocks and trading, but I continue to learn how to communicate with all types of students.”

SEAN GAMMON is a senior that is graduating this week. He studied supply-chain management and is from Brownsburg, Indiana. He is a second generation Saluki and his Registered Student Organization (RSO) involvement includes being the Vice President of Finance for APICS. Sean is also a member of the marching band as well as the pep band. In his free time, Sean volunteers at local museums.

Sean chose to study at SIU because he was familiar with the area and the university, since he has family that lives around here.

Sean feels that the College of Business is unique “because it has the ability to allow students the freedom to go and learn along with the flexibility to offer new opportunities.” He credits the college for preparing him for his future career. “Course work and interactions with RSOs and companies are just a few opportunities that the CoB offered that helped prepare me for my future career.”

Sean is currently waiting to hear back about a job that he will take after graduation. He is open to any possibilities, but he hopes to stay close to his family. His goal is to stay in Midwest because he is familiar with the area. Sean’s greatest challenge while studying his major has been math. “I had to learn how to work with the math that is involved with my major, because it is not one of my strong points.”

“The most rewarding experience in college for me was making friends with individuals within the College of Business, as well as individuals that are not in the college,” Sean said. “Making friends opens new doors for opportunities and you get to have fun while you are learning.” He feels that he will know that he has become successful when he is happy and feels that his job is fulfilled. “Money is not necessarily the deciding factor in my definition of being successful.”

Sean has some advice for younger students. “Get involved!” Sean said. “This is how you meet people, find new opportunities, and how you learn. If you are not doing much outside of your classes, then you are not leaning much more than concepts.”

RADIA LAKHSSASSI is studying to get her third Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Radia has a Master’s Degree in Specialized Management along with a Master’s Degree in Control Audit and Research in Marketing. She is from Fez, Morocco.

Radia said that she likes to visit places that have history present in the city. If she had the chance, there are two places where she would like to live. The first one is Andalusia, which is located south of Spain. She wants to live there because of all the history in the city. She stated that “the Spanish kept the joy of living along with a colorful and loud life alive in the city.” To Radia, Andalusia feels like Morocco. The second place is Marrakesh, Morocco. She would like to live there because the weather is very similar to the weather in Texas. “It is a magical city that is known around the world,” she said.

Radia speaks five languages including Moroccan, French, English, Arabic and Spanish. She has a passion for cooking and discovering new flavors. While she was a stay at home mom, she ran a small business from home. She has a YouTube channel and a Facebook page where she shows people how to cook different dishes. Here is the link to her YouTube channel

There were a few reasons why Radia chose to study at SIU. One of the main reasons was her husband who is a professor and researcher of the College of Agriculture. They were both looking for new challenges and SIU seemed like the perfect place. They moved to Carbondale during the recession in Europe.

Radia said that she was able to adjust to living in southern Illinois very quickly after moving from Europe. Europe has a lot of big cities compared to southern Illinois. She loves living in southern Illinois because of all the outdoor activities available such as national parks and forests. Carbondale is great because of the diversity and the ability to meet new people from around the world! Living near Carbondale has something for everyone because there is nature, big cities are close, you can focus on studying, or you can start a family without having to worry about the hustle of the big cities. “Carbondale is the place to be for me and my family,” said Radia.

Radia feels that there are many factors that make the CoB unique. The faculty and staff are friendly. They are already helping you before you even start taking classes. The professors seem more like friends than professors. The professors are here to help you succeed and they get to know you on a personal level. The college is also unique in that they give you all the materials that are needed to be able to reach a successful career in the future. Finally, everyone within the CoB is closely connected. There are strong communication skills between everyone within the college and everyone is here with the same purpose to achieve success.

Radia feels that “becoming successful is not easy now days, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.” To become successful, you need to have the competitive advantage which means you need to stand out from all the other applicants. You will need to stay faithful in your capabilities and be ready to move any rocks that may be in your way. To truly become successful, you need to have courage, faith and confidence in order to achieve your dreams.

The greatest challenge for Radia while pursuing her degree was returning to school after being a stay at home mom for a few years. Radia has a two and a half old daughter named Yakout. Getting back into the rhythm of school has been a challenge, but she is feeling more comfortable now than she did at the beginning of the semester. She faces the challenge of being a mom whose child wants to play, but she is also a student who needs to study. “I say that I will play for ‘a little bit,’ but that turns into a lot longer” she said. Radia is thankful that she has a supportive husband who is ready to play and take care of the kids so that she is able to study.

Radia’s dream job is to become a professor at a university. She was a mentor for many years and loves to teach. She is currently a teaching assistant (TA) in the management department. She is very passionate about getting her Ph.D. because she wasn’t able to finish the first time. “Being a professor will give me the opportunity to balance my family and career” she said. “Priorities in life changes when you have kids. You will need to be able to balance out your life at home and your career. Having this career is the best way for me to be able to have that balance.”

Radia is planning on going to the St. Louis Zoo with her family over fall break. She stated that the zoo is so big and there something new every time you go. She is also planning a small party where she can get to know more people and be able to learn more about their culture. She is very open to different cultures and learning more about them.

COURTNEY LUCAS is a junior studying finance. Her Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) include being the president of the Business Leadership Council, a sector leader of the Saluki Student Investment Fund, and the vice president of Pi Sigma Epsilon. She is from St. Louis, Missouri and is the first Saluki in her family.

Courtney chose to study at SIU because it is close to home. “Another reason I chose SIU is the CoB seemed open armed for students wanting to go into business. A lot of freshman change their majors once they start school, but I haven’t changed mine since I decided to come here.”

Courtney’s dream job is to have her own financial advisory business. “I have wanted to do this since I was younger.” She is not sure where she will live after graduation but is hoping that her business will be located in either St. Louis or Kansas City.

Courtney has learned the how important networking is for individuals going into business. “Being open and cordial with everyone is important because you don’t know who can take you to the next level in life.” The most rewarding experience that Courtney has had in college has been being able to meet with recruiters and going to visit businesses. “I have been trying to get internships and I have been able to move to the next step in the process because I was able to put individuals that I have met from businesses downs as references.”

“My greatest challenge while studying my major has been learning how to balance my time between RSO involvement and studying for classes, especially the ones that I have a more difficult time understanding the topics being discussed,” Courtney said. To help with this challenge, Courtney has purchased a calendar. She has been writing down items to do on the schedule and trying to accomplish the tasks that are scheduled for that day. “I will know that I have become successful when people email me and ask how I got there or what I have done to try to achieve where I am now. I want people to understand that they can get to where they want to be, but they have to be willing to put in the work that is required.”

Courtney can play the violin and has been playing for 12 years. Her biggest pet peeve is nail biting. “I find it gross when someone was biting their nails and now wants to shake your hand.” She enjoys watching House Hunters and loves seeing all of the places they visit in Asia. “Asia would be an interesting place to live because it seems like a different world compared to North America. Living there would really give me a chance to learn about their culture.” Courtney plans on visiting family in Wichita, KS over the holidays.

Courtney has some advice for younger students. “Don’t be afraid to get involved with the CoB organizations and everything that the college is offering you! Being involved in everything you can will help you in the long run.”

JARED NICHOLAS is a junior from McLean, Illinois studying accounting and German. His registered student organization (RSOs) involvement includes the Accounting Society, the German Club, and being the treasurer of Kappa Alpha Order. Jared feels that southern Illinois is absolutely beautiful, especially Giant City and the Garden of the Gods. He is not a fan of the humid summers however and would prefer a bit more snow in the winter. If Jared could be any cartoon character, he would choose to be Jiminy Cricket because he always knows right from wrong. He also appreciates that he is a classy dresser.

Jared chose to study at SIU after visiting campus for the first time. While here, Assistant Dean Jill Gebke met with Jared and his parents about coming to SIU. “She invited Dr. Odom, the Director of Accountancy at the time, just to say hi, but he stayed for a long time to convince my parents and me that the accounting program was something special. But what really impressed me was how much Mrs. Gebke and Dr. Odom cared about me as a potential student. After that, I knew that SIU was a good fit for me.” Jared feels that the CoB is unique because it really focuses on getting their students jobs. “They also recognize that their reputation depends on good students and successful alumni, so the people in the CoB put a lot of time and energy into their students.”

After graduation, Jared is planning on staying at SIU to get his Master of Accountancy and CPA certification. He is then planning on attending law school. Jared’s ultimate dream job is to be the CFO of an international German company such as Siemens, Haribo, or BMW, but right out of school he would like to be a corporate lawyer, possibly specializing in patent law or tax law. He feels that he will know that he has become successful when he is able to enjoy going to work each day and finally perfect his work-life balance. He is looking forward to being able to travel and experience cool and exciting places.

Jared has learned to keep a closer eye on his finances. “Going out to boneless wings night every week really adds up. I can’t just swipe my debit card or hand out cash willy-nilly. I’ve started keeping a spreadsheet of everything I buy, so at the end of the year I’ll know just how much I’ve actually spent on food, clothes, textbooks, etc.” He became the treasurer of his fraternity this year. “This is the first time I’ve had to be in control of and responsible for other people’s money. Meanwhile, I’m keeping track of budgets and making payments to our national office. The job comes with a lot of pressure, but it’s teaching me to ask questions, be more patient with other people, and to figure out all the cool things Excel can do.” Jared has also learned a valuable lesson on keeping his house clean. “I learned that my parents really worked hard to keep a house full of kids clean. The only certainties in life are death, taxes, and dirty dishes.”

Jared has some advice for younger students. “Build your network. My friends in college are some of the closest I’ve had. We not only hang out and have fun, but we study together, plan our schedules together, and compare post-graduation plans. We can support each other when we’re feeling down and get ourselves through hard times. Never turn down a new friend!”

ASIA PEARSON is a junior studying accounting. Her Registered Student Organization involvement includes being a member of the Business Leadership Council, Saluki Student Investment Fund, Women’s Business Association and the Student Programing Council. She is the first Saluki in her family and is from St. Louis, Missouri.

Asia chose to study at SIU because of the quality of the business school. SIU is also the perfect distance from her home, not too close or too far. Her greatest challenge at SIU has been balancing her schedule between work, class, cooking and sleeping.

Asia’s dream job is to be a Certified Public Accountant in St. Louis. She will know that she has become successful when she has accomplished all of her goals and is able to help her family. “Currently, all of my goals are short-term. This makes it easier to plan for the future and to achieve my goals one at a time,” said Asia. If she had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world, she would choose to live on an island near Africa. “It would be beautiful since it is an island. This would also be a great place to live because I would get an opportunity to get in touch with my roots.”

The most rewarding experience that Asia has experienced is meeting new people. “The cool thing is that some of these people will become lifelong friends. Meeting new people is rewarding because you know that you will not be here alone for the next four years,” said Asia.

Asia has learned that being yourself is important. “In high school, there is more peer pressure where you are more likely to be pressured into doing things that you don’t want to do. This could cause you to become something that you are not. But in college, you are more likely to be yourself because you have learned that being you is the best person you can be,” she said.

Asia plans on going home and seeing her family over the Thanksgiving holiday. “Every 

Thanksgiving, the entire family gets together. This is when we will draw names for secret Santa…so if you don’t come to Thanksgiving, you won’t get a present on Christmas.”

Asia’s advice for younger students is to stay focused academically. “Make sure that your studies come first. You need to have your priorities straight.”

WILLIAM SCHEFELBEIN is a junior from Peoria, Illinois studying management. His RSO involvement includes being a Student Analyst in the Saluki Investment Fund-Consumer Sector, a CoB Student Ambassador, a Business Senator for Undergraduate Student Government, a Missional Community Leader for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and a Recruitment Committee Member for The Big Event. William also has two jobs where he is a student worker for University College and is an Intern for the SIU Foundation.

When William was in high school, he was the president of the Key Club. The Key Club is a service organization that helps the Northern Peoria and Dunlap areas. One of the duties as president of the club is organizing and running the local Relay for Life event. That year, they raised $18,000 for Relay for Life for cancer research.

There are many reasons why William chose to come to SIU. One of the reasons is that his dad is an alumnus from the College of Engineering. He looked at quite a few schools when trying to decide where he wanted to go, but SIU was the perfect distance from home. Another reason he chose SIU was the beautiful campus. He also likes the small class sizes, which makes it easier to get to know his professors. He said the size of the university is small enough where important people will know him by name.

William likes the multitude of outdoor activities that Southern Illinois offers. He has hiked to the beautiful Inspiration Point, went camping and has been swimming. He is unable to take part in these activities back home because it is too flat. William attended his first tailgate this past weekend. He enjoyed playing ‘poor-man golf’ and bags. His favorite tailgating food is the classic hotdog with only ketchup and mustard.

William’s dream job is to be a development officer because the job duties involve everything that he loves including fundraising, networking and traveling. His decision was influenced by his recent internship at the SIU Foundation. He also decided to pursue his Master’s degree to help his dream job become a reality. One of William’s greatest challenges in college has been learning the skills of organization and time management, which are keys to success in this field. In his major, he is learning these skills in the classroom, but he said you don’t truly learn the skills until you apply them in real-life situations.

William feels successful for multiple reasons. First, he has gained leadership experience and the ability to take initiative. Second, he is in a position where he can empower other students to do better. He is able to give valid testimonies for what works or doesn’t work in his personal life which helps him make strong decisions. Finally, William has a template of where he wants to be in five or ten years which ensures himself that he is on the right track. In his eyes, possessing all of these qualities makes someone successful.

The most rewarding experience that William has had in college was at last year’s CoB Hall of Fame Ceremony. He was able to have conversations and network with individuals in the field. He has learned that this field has much more to offer than just making money. He has learned that this career is about developing leadership skills, empowering others to take initiative and giving back to the community. 

William had advice for new students. He said to get to know your professors on a first name basis. If they are unable to pick out your voice on a phone call, then you are doing something wrong. You need to get to know them on a personal level which means investing time to get to know each other. It is also extremely important to get involved where you are living. Nothing is going to change if you don’t do anything but complain about a problem.

NOPPADOL “CHAMP” TUKSAKULVITH is a graduate student from Bangkok, Thailand. He studied Supply Chain Management during his undergraduate studies. He is now working to obtain a Master’s degree in Quality Engineering and Management. His Registered Student Organization involvement (RSO) includes being a board member for APICS – American Production and Inventory Control Society. Champ remains actively involved in the College of Business (CoB) by working in the Business Placement Center (BPC).

Champ chose to study at SIU after a friend recommended the business program. “The multiple opportunities and resources that are offered exclusively to CoB students make the CoB unique,” said Champ. He feels the BPC is a great resource for career advice and there is literally an RSO for almost anything that a student could be interested in. “You don’t realize this, but when you are a student from the CoB, you take all of these resources available to you for granted.” Champ’s greatest challenge was finalizing a major. “I started out in economics, thought about human resources, and then I found out that I really liked supply chain management.”

Champ credits the CoB for preparing him for his future career. “I have a sturdy foundation because when you are studying in the CoB, you take classes on all business areas during your first three years as a student. This means that you have a little knowledge in all areas. The fourth year is something that I like to call the ‘fun’ year. During your fourth year, you begin to take specialized classes. This gives you a chance to dive into your area of study and provides you with more technical knowledge. You can also have an internship, which helps bridge the gap between what you learned in class and what you will more than likely do in your career,” said Champ.

Champ feels that he has truly benefited from his internships. “My first internship was with Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. where I was an economics intern. During the internship, I had an opportunity to work on the website to try to convince companies to do business here in the U.S. My second internship was with Dunn Richmond Economic Development Center here in Carbondale. During this internship, I worked to increase investments in southern Illinois. I did a lot of Excel work, data crunching, and research. I also had the opportunity to participate in an externship program with Countrywide Transportation, which is a third party logistics company. This opportunity gave me a job shadowing experience and I worked on creating a potential customer list during my time there.”

Champ’s most rewarding experience in college was starting SIU’s APICS chapter. “Starting a RSO definitely has its ups and downs. All of the required paperwork was definitely a challenge and it was overwhelming. But getting to look at what you started is very rewarding. APICS offers a variety of opportunities for its members including guest speakers, an Excel workshop, networking opportunities, and the Annual Case Competition. During the Annual Case Competition, members participate in an online stimulation. The team will have to work together to make business decisions to make the best investment to benefit the company.”

Champ has some advice for younger students. “Take advantage of all of the opportunities that you are given as a CoB student. Internships are great opportunities that will help get your foot in the door. Also, graduate school is a completely different world from undergrad. At the same time, enjoy yourself because these are the last four years before you are in the real world.”

Champ was named the 2015-2016 Outstanding Senior for the Department of Management. In addition, Champ was also the recipient of the Outstanding Senior in the College of Business award.

HUMPHREY UTI is a junior studying finance. He is involved with the Business Leadership Council and is the first in his family to come to SIU. He is from Nashville, Tennessee.

Humphrey likes living in southern Illinois because of the change of scenery. He likes the fact that there is a lot of nature here and that it is quiet compared to back home. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home or hanging out with friends. Humphrey is hoping to go to a few haunted houses with some friends during this fall season. He enjoys scary movies that will be on television soon and hiking at Giant City State Park this time of year. Humphrey enjoys finding different ways to save money. He does this in a variety of ways including couponing, looking for deals in stores and shopping around for the best prices.

Humphrey chose to study at SIU for a few different reasons. Humphrey looked at multiple different schools and was excited to find that he could receive in-state tuition at SIU because Illinois is a border state. The fact that his home is only a few hours away helped Humphrey confirm that SIU was the best choice for him. “When I toured here back in my junior year in high school, I already felt the sense of being home. I felt like I belonged here because everyone was so friendly,” said Humphrey.

After Humphrey graduates, he is planning on going back home and finding a job. Humphrey’s idea of a dream job would be to become a real estate investor. He wants to flip houses and develop subdivisions back home. He is unsure how realistic that dream really is. “More realistically, my goal is to get a job in finance working as a loan officer because I really enjoy the detective aspect in that career,” said Humphrey. He hopes to get a job at Caterpillar Financial Headquarters working as a loan officer.

Humphrey feels that he is already successful. “I want to say that I know I will be successful when I am happy…but I am already happy, so that is not a real good indication of success,” said Humphrey. “I believe that when one door closes, another one opens which means that you have already become successful from one aspect and are working on becoming successful in a different area. I know that I am successful when I am able to put a smile on someone’s face when I help them out while doing my job.”

Humphrey has learned to be more open to possibilities because you will never know who you are going to meet. He feels like he is a good judge of character, but has found that really being open to getting to know people is better than judging them at first. “I have learned to always keep a smile on my face because you don’t know what kind of day someone else is having,” he said. “Offering to help someone out and talk to others who may not be having the best day is a goal for me.”

Humphrey offered some advice for younger students. “My advice to younger students is not to be afraid to put yourself out there in the real world…and start doing so early. You should take advantage of all the resources available to you. Work on perfecting your writing and communications skills now because this is something that employers look for.”