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Opportunities for CoB Freshmen

September 08, 2016, Chelsea Kujawa

${image-alt} More than 20 FIG students gathered at Touch of Nature

The College of Business offers a living learning community (LLC) at Brown Hall, located in west campus. LLCs are special residence hall communities that bring college or special interests connections into the everyday lives of students.

“Being part of an LLC helps students build camaraderie with other students in the College of Business, establish a circle of friends, and form study groups because of the convenience and resources that are close by,” said Rachel Richey, director of Enrollment Management.

Housed within the College of Business LLC are freshman interest groups or FIGs. FIGs are one-semester academic and social programs for incoming freshman. FIGs give students a chance to make friends and network with peers in their fields of study. Participants take a set of first year classes together. Students are able to live and learn together in the LLC.

“Being part of a FIG gives you more engagement and connection with students as well as staff the college,” Richey said.

Students who are members of one of these groups participated in an August 20 Touch of Nature team building event that allowed them to connect with peers in the FIG. FIG students also attend program lunches once a week, where they will have a chance to get to know staff and faculty members better, learn something new and even go on an exclusive career trip later this semester.

Hannah Pineau, a sophomore studying accounting, lived in the College of Business LLC and was part of the FIG last year.

“Being able to have classes with everyone made us become closer and helped build friendships to where we are all still friends today,” Pineau said.

Even though she initially was “hesitant about being a business student, Pineau said that being part of the FIG group – and the experiences provided – helped her decide on a career as an accountant.”

Jared Nicholas, a junior who is double majoring in accounting and German, lived in the LLC and was part of the FIG a few years ago. He feels that the most important components of the FIG are having classes and being able to do activities with other students in the same building.

“Right away we were all friends that could study, hang out and discover SIU together,” he said. “When College of Business events took place, we were all just down the hall to remind each other.”

Nicholas said he feels lucky because the friends he made while being a part of these groups are still present today, and he already has study partners for the more difficult classes this year.

Being part of the LLC and FIG communities are important to students so they can be successful in their college career. Richey suggests that new students become a part of the College of Business Mentor Program, in which students can get advice and guidance from College of Business Advisory Board Members. She also recommends that students check out the Business Placement Center because of the variety of resources available. Lastly, she recommends that students check out the Academic Success Center, located in Rehn Hall 10, where tutoring services are available to College of Business students. There is no need for an appointment in the Academic Success Center. The center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. Tutors in the center offer support in accounting, math, Management 318, Finance 330 and Finance 208.

Pineau has some advice for the students who have just moved into an LLC.

“Get to know everyone that is in the same college,” she said. “Because later in life, when you need to network, you will have other connections with majors that are different than you.”

She was on the second floor in Brown Hall, where there were multiple majors on the same floor. She said that, for her, living on that floor was interesting, because everyone was going in different directions in life.

Pineau also suggested that students should get involved with the Business Placement Center because of the great resources available there.

Nicholas also had some advice for the students that are part of these groups.

“Take advantage of the opportunity now to build those friendships while you live just down the hall from each other,” he said.

Nicholas also suggested that students should “go to any special events, whether on the floor, on campus, or even off campus to meet older students, faculty and visiting speakers while you still have the support of your fellow LLC or FIG members.”

For her part, Pineau said she wished she would have been more involved in the RSOs in the college. Pineau worked three jobs back home on the weekend. She is hoping to get more involved with the RSOs – and the college in general – this semester.     

The common thread of the advice that Pineau and Nicholas are providing to other College of Business students is this: Make sure that you get involved, – whether it’s with the students in Brown Hall, the College of Business or SIU in general. Both urge their fellow students to get involved with something that interests them, and to make the most out of their time on the Carbondale campus. The time students spend at SIU is not something that they will be able to get back, so each students needs to make the most out of their time here, whether it be volunteering, building life-long friendships or joining an RSO.

There are multiple events that are on the horizon for the College of Business, so be sure to stay up to date via social media about all of the upcoming fun events. And remember: Once a Saluki, Always a Saluki!