Student Spotlights | SIU College of Business and Analytics

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!”


BLAKE BUSSIE is from Baltimore, Maryland. He received his undergraduate degree in marketing and is currently in graduate school studying professional media and media management. Blake’s ties with the College of Business are still strong. He recently became the alumni advisor for Pi Sigma Epsilon and still drops in on the Business Leadership Council (BLC) meetings. Blake served as vice president of Business Leadership Council for two years.

Blake had a few reasons for choosing to come to SIU for both degrees. “For undergrad, I came to SIU through the summer program with the Office of Minority Affairs. Mr. Haywood had a great idea with this program! This program gave students a head start in college where they had a chance to stay in a dorm, have a roommate, see campus from a tourist perspective, see the town, and take the ACT. Coming here in the fall was still a little intimidating, but not as bad as it would have been since I already had my toes wet at SIU. Choosing to come here at the graduate level was really not significantly different. I looked at other schools back home but none of them really had anything of interest to major in. I thought about getting my MBA here, but I found a program that specialized in what I wanted to do.”

Blake’s dream job is to become a marketing manager for a big company. “My ultimate dream would be to work for a big company such as Starbucks, Amazon, or Microsoft. I would really like to move to Seattle and work for one of those big companies, but in order to do that you have to start at a smaller company.” Blake said he will know that he has become successful when he is “living in the city of his dreams, with his dream job, and living a fun-filled life. His moto is ‘it’s all about location, career, and adventure.’

Blake’s greatest challenge while studying his major has been all of the discussions that takes place in class. “It is truly difficult to understand the other person’s perspectives and may be difficult for others to understand your perspective. You then have to have this big discussion where everyone puts their thoughts together to understand where they are coming from. Conversations like this really makes you think.” He has also learned two important life lessons while living on his own. “The first thing I have learned from living on my own has been how to be fiscally responsible. The second thing I have learned is that organization is the key! You can’t forget to do things and you have to remember to keep up with maintenance. You have to be responsible where you live. Your parents are no longer here to take care of you and you have to make sure that everything gets done.”

Blake has two rewarding experience since he has started college. “My first rewarding experience in college was being part of the Freshman Interest Group (FIG) my freshman year. It made living with a bunch of strangers much more enjoyable. They were constantly helping us get involved and build relationships with faculty. This made my transition here so much easier and enjoyable! My second rewarding experience has been all of the jobs and careers that I have had here! SIU definitely build up my résumé with all my jobs and internships. I have been really thankful for this! I know that a lot of getting these positions has a lot to do with me, but the university gave me all of these possibilities. I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without it!”

In August, Blake became a Zumba instructor at the SIU Rec Center. “Being a Zumba instructor has really challenged me because, contrary to what people think when they meet me, I am actually really shy during first impressions. But I don’t know what happens during Zumba, but I can really break out of my shell. The music truly moves me.”

Blake shared his advice with other students saying, “My first piece of advice to you is to take advantage of what is free here because free things lead to others. You truly have no idea how much stuff is free here at SIU. Things from food, to events, to the rec center, to the health center, to things at the student center. My second piece of advice is no matter what, everyone should be themselves. I was way shyer when I first moved here. College is that time when you can actually find and be yourself! I guarantee you will get through college so much easier if you do this. This leads me to my life moto: ‘If you embrace yourself, you will embrace 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.”


AARON GOECKNER is junior from Altamont, Illinois. Aaron is a finance major and is studying accounting as a minor. Aaron’s registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being members of the Saluki Student Investment Fund (SSIF) and the Special Olympics RSO. He is also a team member for SIU’s team for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge. In addition to his RSO involvement, Aaron is a business owner! “I own my own landscaping business that I started in high school. My business started out as home maintenance. Since spring is quickly approaching, there will be more steady work for me.”

Aaron had a few reasons that helped him make the decision to come to SIU. “I really liked SSIF. I truly like to apply what I have learned in class to the real world. Being a part of SSIF gives you the opportunity to really feel the importance of what you learn in class. I also truly enjoy how understanding and personal the faculty of the College of Business is, especially in the Department of Finance. SIU gave me the ability to connect with my professors and learn more than what is being taught inside the classroom. I also received the Chancellor’s Scholarship. So really, coming to SIU was a pretty easy choice.”

Aaron has learned an important lesson about taking what you learn in the classroom and applying it to the real world. “I have learned that you have to learn more than what is being taught in the classroom to be able to excel in what you do. If you look at a student who is part of the CoB and one from Harvard, they are generally getting the same education in undergrad. But where those two individuals will differ is in what they have learned outside of the classroom. One thing that I am learning is how to relate to people and to connect information over the years to make educated decisions quickly. There is a whole class offered in the CoB just for this topic. You have to have the ability to make decisions…and sometimes making the wrong decision is better than not making a decision at all. You also have to have skills when it comes to customer service. Small business rely on their customers and if one leaves because of bad customer service, that could be the difference of the business staying open or having to close because they can’t make ends meet.”

The greatest challenge Aaron has faced in college has been time management. “Time management has really been a challenge. Between preparing for the CFA Challenge, work and class, I have really had to learn how to manage my time. Time management is going to get worse here soon. I am going to begin studying for the CFA Level 1 test that I am taking in December. The pass rate is really low and it is probably one of the hardest tests out there to pass. They recommend that you study around 300 hours for this test. I am hoping that I will be able to pass my test and then I will start preparing to take the CFA Level 2 test the following June.”

The most rewarding experience Aaron has had in college was finishing the CFA report last Friday. “My team has five individuals that has worked together on this project. I can say that I have invested well over 200 hours by myself in this project. We started this project back in October. We had to spend time figuring out the company and learning everything about a company that you are unfamiliar with. I have learned that the more work you put in something, the more frustrating it is when something doesn’t go right, but the more accomplished you feel when the project is completed. Being able to see everyone succeed in finishing the CFA report has been really rewarding.”

Aaron is not sure if he will know that he has become successful. “I don’t know if I will ever know if I’ve become successful. Someone will probably have to tell me if I am happy. I am not one that likes to settle, so I didn’t want to put a cap on how much I can make or what would qualify me in being successful. If there is not a cap that can stop me, then I will continue to push myself. I am not sure if I will ever retire. The job that I want will allow me to work as long as I please. But sitting at home and not having anything to do will truly drive me crazy. So, I guess my answer is I know that I have become successful when I am happy…but how do you measure happiness?”

Aaron’s advice for younger students is to “get involved your freshman year in something that you are passionate about! Don’t just settle for the minimum requirements to be involved in that activity. You should do everything that you can (and more) for that activity. Try to learn from older students and faculty. You will be surprised how much they want to help others, but you have to realize that they won’t search you out. As a SSIF leader, I have told all of the members in my group that I will help them in any way possible, stay up all night as many times as they want, but I will not seek them out to see if they need help. Make sure that you go above and beyond in whatever you choose to do! You will be surprised in how that extra step may land you a recommendation letter from a professor or a job that you applied for!”


BRITNI HARPER is a graduate student studying accounting. She is graduating next Saturday with her master’s degree. She is the first Saluki in her family and is from Springfield, Illinois. Britni enjoys being outside in the summer. She looks forward to boating, visiting the beach on summer vacation, and catching up on Netflix shows this summer.

Britni decided to come to SIU after visiting the campus. “I had a college visit during the springtime and campus was absolutely beautiful. During my visit, I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Odom and Jill Gebke. They were both really upbeat and made me feel like my concerns were a priority. After this meeting, I felt really comfortable with making the decision to continue my education at SIU.”

Britni feels that the College of Business is unique because “the College of Business is a relatively small college on a big campus. The same is true for your major because it is smaller than most majors on campus. With that being said, if you are a part of the CoB, you get the perks of being at a big school, but you have smaller class sizes. When classes are smaller, you have the opportunity to be at a personal level with the professors. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to have graduate level professors teach their classes, even if they are not planning on attending graduate school. The college feels a lot smaller than what it actually is and it is great to be part of the CoB.”

Britni feels that this year has been the most challenging. “Currently, I am balancing 12 credit hours, having a 20 hour graduate assistantship in the advisement office, working anywhere between 15-20 hours a week for a local law firm office, and studying for my CPA exam. I am the type of person that likes to see how much I can do and I think that I have finally found my limits. Balancing everything has really strengthened my time management skills because I want to find time to do things that I enjoy. I make sure that I get all of my work, studying, and homework done during the week so that I can have free time on the weekend.” Britni has big plans after she graduates next week. “After graduation, I plan to move into an apartment in St. Louis, Missouri. I will also be studying to take my final two CPA exams.”

“My most rewarding experience has included getting involved to get the ball rolling. Being involved has opened up many opportunities for me including an internship at KPMG in the spring of 2015. At the end of that internship, I was offered a job with a starting date of September 2017. This would not have been possible if I hadn’t been involved. I feel successful when I have younger students come up to me and ask how I got here. Having students ask me about my success is really exciting for me and I think it is fun to watch them succeed. I had my job offer for over 2 years, so it is fun to see someone else being offered the same opportunities that I had a few years ago.”

Britni is ready to begin pursuing her dream job. “My dream job is to be a partner in a big four accounting firm. I am kind of starting my dream in September because I will begin my job as an associate at KPMG in St. Louis, Missouri.” Britni has a unique way of looking at success. “I feel that there are many different levels of success in many different areas. As far as my career, my long term goal is to be a partner in the firm. I know that I will be successful in fulfilling this goal on day, but I have to meet smaller goals before I can get there. Overall, I know that I have become successful when I have established a good work-life balance.”

“I know everyone says this, but my advice for younger students is to get involved. It doesn’t matter what you get involved in, but you should try to be as diverse as you can. You get to meet so many people when you are involved. Meeting people gives you the opportunity to make friends and make connections with individuals that you may contact later in life. You don’t realize this now, but you are gaining so many experiences and connections by being involved.”


CREE HARRIS is a junior from St. Louis, Missouri studying management. Her registered student organization involvement includes serving as the vice president of the Women’s Business Association; programming chair for Naturalistas; member of Black Women Task Force, Blacks Interested in Business, and National Association of Black Accountants.

Cree chose to study at SIU because it is not far from home and allowed her to receive in-state tuition. “The College of Business is also nationally ranked, so it just made sense to come here.” Cree really enjoys being in school. Her favorite part of southern Illinois is all the little restaurants that you can’t find anywhere else, especially Chango’s Bar and Grill. Cree likes Chango’s for many reasons including “good food, great deals, it is open late, and it is convenient because it is located on the strip.”

Cree stated that her greatest challenge while studying her major has been her studying habits. “I do not have good studying habits and exams are my downfall because I get really bad anxiety.” Cree has also learned an important lesson from living on her own. “Organization is the key and if you are not organized, then your stuff will literally be everywhere. I, unfortunately, learned this the hard way.” Cree’s most rewarding experience was being inducted into the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. Last year she was the Vice President of Public Relations for the society.

“My dream job would be working as a brand manager or an agent for a company and work my way up to senior status,” said Cree. “I will know that I have truly become successful when I have a salary job, am living comfortable, and most importantly am happy.” After graduation, Cree plans to get her MBA and to get a job in Texas.

Cree enjoyed her semester break by spending time roller skating with her little sister and visiting all of the museums back home. Cree loves soccer and would someday like to see a female soccer team at SIU. She played soccer for four years in high school and was the team captain.

Cree shared some advice for younger students. “Get involved on campus and do things! It is very important to get to know people. Your college experience will be better when you are involved.”


DALTON HOCH is a junior from Carterville, Illinois studying finance. His registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being the treasurer for the Financial Management Association (FMA), a member of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM). He is a legacy student as his mother is a fellow Saluki.

Dalton chose to come to SIU for a few reasons. “The College of Business is nationally known and is a prestigious college. SIU is also where I am from. Going away to a different university was naturally difficult. I wanted to get started on the right foot and being in southern Illinois made it easier to network. SIU is also affordable and I really like the campus.” Dalton likes to participate in many outdoors activities.

Dalton stated that his greatest challenge that he has faced in college “was not directly related to any specific class. I have had a challenge with learning the in’s, out’s and shortcuts in finance. General education classes are easier, but this is all new material because none of this was taught in high school.” Dalton has also learned valuable lessons from living on his own. “It was a huge benefit for me to live on my own. I was able to learn how to solve my own problems and learned to rely on myself. This was really my introduction to adulthood and it taught me to be independent. Being in college in general and being involved in RSO’s has really made a difference to me. Having the RSO involvement made me see what leaders are like. It gave me the ability to voice my opinions and I am now able to communicate more clearly.”

Dalton’s dream job is to be the CFO of a company. “I will accomplish this by getting an entry level position and will advance within the company through working hard. When I have a home, a stable, good earning job and am married is when I will know that I have become successful.”

Dalton shared about what his most rewarding experience has been in his college career. “The most rewarding experience I have had in college was when I made the Dean’s List. Making the Dean’s List is rewarding for many reasons. I made the list during my first semester here. Everything was new to me because I was at a different college and it was really hard to adapt. I was also working a full time job and was involved in RSO’s. I was very proud of myself because I was able to juggle everything and still managed to get good grades.”

Dalton is happy that spring has arrived because he enjoys being outside. “I love going on hikes and just being outside in general. I also enjoy fishing with my friends. I don’t want to sound too cheesy, but I am really looking forward to taking my girlfriend on a picnic and going on a hike at Giant City.”

“My advice for younger students is to get involved. Once you get involved, you will get to know more people. The more people you know, the easier classes and living will be.”


SAMANTHA HUMPHREY is a senior studying accounting. She is a legacy student from Round Lake Park, Illinois. Her registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being a member of the Accounting Society, president of Beta Alpha Psi, and Illinois CPA Society ambassador.

Samantha chose to study at SIU mainly because of the accounting program. “When I visited the accounting program, I really liked that the faculty members were all welcoming. I also liked that the program is accredited. Another reason that I chose to come to SIU is because my mother and sister graduated from the university. Carbondale is a nice change of pace compared to up north and the people here are really down to earth.” She also feels that the Business Placement Center (BPC) makes the College of Business unique. “I don’t know of any other college that has their own placement center like we do. The BPC has been instrumental in helping me advance my career in accounting by helping me get an internship with KPMG in Milwaukee. I also know that the BPC has helped other students get internships.”

“My junior year as a whole has been my greatest challenge. During that year, I had a leadership position in all of the organizations that I was involved in. I was also working part time in the Academic Advisement office. I also feel that the courses were more challenging and that caused me to have better time management skills.” Being the president of Beta Alpha Psi has been Samantha’s most rewarding experience she has had in college. “Being the president of Beta Alpha Psi is rewarding because we are in charge of Adopt a Spot and we also have the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In the leadership role, I also have the opportunity to help members advance in their careers.”

“The VITA program has really challenged me because so much time and energy goes into making the program successful. Since I am the president of Beta Alpha Psi, I am in charge of organizing the program. I also oversee the volunteers to ensure they know what they are doing, because it needs to be done correctly since we are doing someone’s taxes. Being in charge of VITA has really helped me with time management skills because a lot of time goes into making this program successful.”

After Samantha graduates in May, she is going to go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for an internship with KPMG. “I will be a business and tax intern for the summer. After that, I am planning on attending graduate school, but I am not sure where yet. I also want to become a CPA after I get my master’s degree. My goal is to work with KPMG after I become a CPA.” Samantha’s dream job will have a “good work-life balance. I want to be able to support myself, enjoy going to work every day, and most importantly I want to be happy.” Samantha will know that she has become successful when she is able to go home after work and relax.

My advice for younger students is “to get involved and get to know people. You also don’t want to get too wrapped up in your work, so make sure that you have fun! Also, don’t take the time you have living with your parents for granted. You will miss them a lot when you live far away!”


CHIA-LING HSU is studying to get her Masters of Business Administration. This will be her second master’s degree with her first being a Masters of Finance. Her registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes the Graduate Student Investment Fund (GSIF). She also enjoys taking part in international activities around campus and going to the Rec Center. Chia-Ling is a first generation student and is from Taiwan.

Chia-Ling is looking forward to spending her first spring in the United States and enjoys being outside. “I really feel that southern Illinois is a good place for retirement. The students here love to go to the Rec Center and the library. To be honest, I don’t feel that there is a lot of interesting things to do in the city because I don’t enjoy shopping. I do really enjoy the view of southern Illinois though. I am not the kind of person that enjoys the urban lifestyle, I am the type that enjoys the country lifestyle better. Being in southern Illinois really gives me the chance to focus on my school work.”

Chia-Ling chose to study at Southern Illinois University because she is part of an exchange school from her hometown. “I chose to study here because my professors back home came from America. They showed me the American English culture during my childhood including the food, accent and gave me the American personality of being open-minded.” Chia-Ling feels that diversity is why the College of Business is unique. “Within the CoB, there are a lot of different people from different countries. In the future, we may work together which will allow a lot of different cultures to mix together. In my mind, the college is very unique and the diversity makes the college more attractive.”

Chia-Ling’s is hoping to work in the banking industry. “My dream job is to work in consumer banking in a global bank such as City Bank, Bank of America, or JP Morgan. I was an intern for Citi Bank and really enjoyed working there.” Her definition of success will be based on the balance of her career and her family. “I want a good position in a company that will allow me to achieve my goal. I know that I will be successful when I feel satisfied at my job and am able to help others through my work. As far as my family, I hope that I have good kids where we can talk and play after work. I also hope that my kids will feel that ‘their mom is awesome.’ I feel that it is hard to get a good balance of work and family in today’s society.”

Chia-Ling’s greatest challenge while studying her major has been taking a marketing management course. “This course was very tough for me because marketing in the United States is amazing and contains a lot of history. I have never covered any kind of marketing courses until I got to this class. We had to read so many articles every week and had to do a case study two times during the semester. International students are not as good at communicating their thoughts in English as they are in their native language, due to the language gap.”

“The most rewarding experience I have had in college was when I was given an opportunity in my home country with the Youth Ambassador Program in 2014. I received two months of intensive training to work with a group of students. Most of the students were really strong art majors such as dance, theater, or music. We traveled to six different countries in Africa and the Middle East during a period of one month where we performed 90 minute performances on a stage every day. I had never performed on stage before and spent a lot of time helping others change behind the stage. I have not experienced very much culture shock coming to the United States due to my experience where I felt lonely because I didn’t speak the language or have familiarity with their food. Feeling lonely really pushed us to perform better during the next performance. This opportunity was really rewarding because it gave me a chance to meet a lot of different people and I gained a global view of the world.”

“My advice to you is to work hard and play hard because life is so short that we need to catch up every moment as much as possible. We can challenge ourselves again and again to improve. Don’t reject any opportunity for you to improve yourself.”


HOLDEN JOHNSON is junior studying accounting. He is the first Saluki in his family and is from Weldon, Illinois. His registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being the secretary for the American Marketing Association (AMA). Holden was recently elected president of AMA for the 2017-2018 school year. In his spare time, Holden enjoys hiking and bike riding.

Holden had not heard of SIU until he spoke to a friend who was attending here. “A friend told me to look it up and I am really happy that I did. I really liked that I would be able to attend an accredited program. SIU is also located in the prettiest part of Illinois and I have some family that lives here as well. I really love the College of Business and I am proud to be a Saluki!” Holden credits faculty in making the College of Business unique. “The college has top-notch faculty that really care about the students. They want us to gain knowledge and will give up their time in order to help us succeed.”

Holden’s dream job is to be in a managerial position where he is able to change the world. “I want to make a difference, not at just the town level, but I want to change humanity for the better. I will know when I have become successful when I can see the changes that I have created. I would be happy when I am able to influence other’s lives.”

Holden’s most rewarding experience he has had in college has been “just being part of the College of Business in general. I was part of the Freshman Interest Group (FIG). While being part of FIG, I was able to meet with CEO’s of different companies. While meeting these individuals, they laid out the groundwork and showed me how I had to be in order to be successful. Being part of AMA has also been really rewarding because I have been able to work closely with companies and help them in marketing.”

“Being part of the American Marketing Association has really challenged me. While being part of this group, I learned that I didn’t want to be in marketing and that made it really difficult to stick with it. Since I stayed with AMA and got involved, I realized that this was helping me develop a diverse way of thinking.”

“My advice for younger students is to be diligent in your coursework. It is great to have fun, but you have to realize that you are here to further your education in the dynamic world of business. With that being said, you have to be willing to change in this field and you have to be open to different things.”


KAITLYN KERN is a senior studying management. She is a first generation student from DuQuoin, Illinois. Her registered student organization involvement (RSO) includes being a member of the Student Healthcare Management Organization (SHMA) and being a delegate on the Department of Management Advisory Board.

Kaitlyn chose to study at SIU because she really liked what the College of Business had to offer. “The college had really high ratings and the community was very important to me. The College of Business is unique because of all of the different services that are available to the students. The college in general goes above and beyond to help their students succeed.”

Kaitlyn’s most rewarding experience in college has been a mix between being a delegate on the Department of Management Advisory Board and working for the Provost. “Both of these positions have offered me great opportunities. While I was working for the Provost, I developed a greater appreciation for what she does and being there made me feel important. Being a part of the Department of Management Advisory Board has given me a chance to get hands on work experience with people in other business areas.”

Kaitlyn’s plan after graduation is to go to graduate school to get her Master’s in Healthcare Administration. She is currently looking at a few schools that offers this degree. Kaitlyn’s dream job is to be a hospital administrator in a prestigious hospital. “I am hoping that I will be able to get a job in St. Louis, Missouri.” Kaitlyn feels that she is already successful. “I feel that I have already become successful, but I am constantly improving myself in order to become more successful. I have goals that I keep building on. When I have accomplished one goal, I set a new one so that I am always working to improve myself.”

“Being part of the Student Healthcare Management Organization (SHMA) has really challenged me. SHMA is associated with applied sciences in healthcare. Healthcare management is my minor, so it has challenged me to meet new people in order to get to know them.”

Kaitlyn has learned the importance of networking. “Being able to network and communicate efficiently is extremely important within the business world. Before I started attending SIU, I was very shy. I truly didn’t realize how important these skills are in business. SIU has provided me the tools to help me work on improving my networking and communication skills.”

“My advice to younger students is to get involved! You need to try to get a good balance between school and activities, but you also need to take some time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to work on your networking skills because this is big within the College of Business.”


KATHERINE KOVIC is a senior who is studying accounting and receiving a minor in American Sign Language. Katherine’s registered student involvement (RSO) includes being the Vice President of the Business Leadership Council, the Treasurer for Beta Alpha Psi, the Business Leadership Council Representative for the Accounting Society, a College of Business Student Ambassador, a member of Sigma Kappa and the Accounting Society. Katherine is a third generation Saluki and is from Pinckneyville, Illinois.

Katherine had a few reasons why she chose to come to SIU. “I really grew up with SIU. My parents would always bring me to football and basketball games! I absolutely loved it! I came to my first visit to the College of Business during my senior year in high school. I really liked what the college had to say about the accounting program. Another important deciding factor was that the placement ratings for recent graduates were very high. This was really important to me because this was during the intercession where people were graduating from college and were not able to find jobs. I also really liked how involved the students were within the college. During that visit, I was also able to meet a few professors and I got the feeling that the professors really cared about their students succeeding.”

Katherine feels that the people within the college really make the College of Business unique. “The professors genuinely care about you! They really do want to take the time to get to know you and they try to talk to you when they see you.”

Katherine’s greatest challenge while studying her major was during the fall of 2015. “During this semester, I decided to take 17 credit hours which included 4 classes at the 300 level! My greatest challenge during the semester was Intermediate Accounting Part I. I don’t like saying this about classes, but this course was truly the ‘weed-out’ class. If you are unsure if you want to go into accounting, this is the course that will make your decision. I did really bad on the first test and I truly felt like I wasn’t going to be able to pass the course. When I talked to my mom, she told me that I could do it and that I couldn’t quit. I ended up going to talk to the professor where I spent time asking questions if I didn’t understand something. I ended up passing that course with an A!”

Katherine’s plan for after graduation includes continuing her education to get her Master’s of Accountancy degree. “I really want to focus on taxation. I will then hope to get a job at a Big Four firm or maybe open up my own firm in Charleston, South Carolina. I really would like to live there because I love it! We took a bus tour there where you could learn about the city and see all of the beautiful sights. I am truly a beach person. I really love the colors and natives’ accents as well.”

Katherine has some advice for younger students. “I know that everyone says this, but seriously, get involved! You should also seek out your professors and build relationships with them! Your professors may have connections in the real world, but you won’t know until you go and talk to them. Your professors may also be able to help you with scholarship or internship opportunities if they know you. They will also be willing to help you if you need it!”

Katherine is looking forward to spring break. “I am planning on going home. Some of my plans for the week include relaxing, going to a Blues Game because I am a huge fan and going to a trivia night to support my former teacher’s daughter. I also have to study for a test that I have to take when I come back.” Katherine also shared a random fact that not a lot of her friends know about her. “I have taken a trapeze class with my mom and it was so much fun! The best part is flipping over the trapeze bar and free failing!”


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.”


GRANT MILLS is a junior studying management. He is a legacy student from Carterville, Illinois. His registered student involvement (RSO) includes being the chief philanthropy officer for the Saluki Entrepreneur Corps (SEC) and being a member of the Financial Management Association (FMA). Grant really enjoys being outdoors. His favorite outdoor summer activities include hiking, kayaking, going to the lake and fishing.

Grant chose to come to SIU because it was affordable through in-state tuition and he also received a few scholarships. “I am paying for college myself and I am all about saving money anyway that I can. Grant feels that the Business Placement Center makes the College of Business unique because “there is not another college on campus that has one.”

Grant’s greatest challenge while studying his major has been “learning all of the fields and trying to work them into a knowledge-based setting. Even though this was challenging, it has made my college worth it.” The most rewarding experience Grant has had in college has been “balancing work and school.” Grant has managed to earn good grades while he worked two jobs during a recent semester.

After graduation, Grant is planning on securing a job that will allow growth within the company. He is also hoping that this job will allow him to do some traveling. “My dream job would involve me being able to help people, but I am not able to do so in a healthcare field. My dream job would also allow me to be able to balance a successful career and a loving family.” Grant will know that he has become successful when “I do not have to worry about money and when I have a happy family. I hope that I will be able to see the world with my family.”

“Being involved with Saluki Entrepreneur Corps (SEC) has really challenged me, but for the better. It has challenged me to be more efficient. It has also challenged me to strengthen my marketing and networking skills. SEC has also helped me develop critical thinking skills and has taught me to look at things from many different perspectives.”

My advice for younger students is to “definitely join RSOs! Joining RSOs really made me think differently. RSOs also gave me the opportunity to learn hands-on what I have been reading about in my classes and was then able to apply that knowledge. RSOs are also a great networking opportunity and you should network as much as possible!”


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.


JOE TIGER is a senior from North Aurora, Illinois. Joe is studying business economics and marketing. Joe is the first Saluki in his family. Joe’s registered student involvement (RSO) includes being the vice president of the American Marketing Association (AMA).

Joe decided to come to SIU for many reasons. The first reason was the affordability of the university. Another deciding factor was that the College of Business is very highly accredited. Joe visited the CoB while attending a community college and felt that it was the right fit for him. Another reason that Joe came to SIU was that it was located in the state.

Joe’s favorite place in Carbondale is Rehn Hall. “When I am in Rehn Hall, I know that this is really why I chose to come to SIU. Every time I enter the building, I feel like I am on the path to success. When I am here, I see a lot of amazing people including the faculty, professors, graduate assistants, student workers…everyone here is always so friendly. I visit Rehn often because I always see people I know and my friends are always here.”

Joe enjoys being in southern Illinois because “it is a change of scenery from the big suburban area. I like the fact that there are more trees here and that when I am here, I have a completely different mindset than when I am back home.” Joe is happy that spring is here. “I really enjoy being outside and just being comfortable. During the spring, I enjoy sitting on my balcony, relaxing and enjoying Mother Nature.”

Joe’s greatest challenge while studying his major was doing a marketing research project. “This project was tough, rewarding and fun all at the same time. When I look back, I try to remember what made me want to pull my hair out. I decided to do the project with my friends, but by the end of the project we all wanted to kill each other. Looking back I am happy that I stuck it out. I also feel that it is rewarding to say that I accomplished this project.” Joe also shared about his greatest experience in college. “Being a part of AMA is extremely rewarding. Within AMA, I am able to practice business and leadership skills that I will be able to use in the future. I also get to meet people and get to know them.”

Joe has not thought about his dream job, but he knows that he wants something where he will be able to have fun and be happy. Joe will know that he has become successful when “I am making a lot of money. In reality, it is not all about the money, but let’s be honest…money always helps. Being happy is really the key to knowing when I have become successful. I also hope that I will be respected at my job. I truly think that I will know that I have become successful when my children are proud of me (even though I don’t have children yet).”

Joe has some advice for younger students. “Be smart in your decisions and think about your long-term effects of coming to a university that is far from your home. You don’t want to put a square peg in a round hole…meaning you want to make sure that the school is the right fit for you. I am not saying not to come to SIU, but you shouldn’t come here if it is not right for you. Here’s the thing, if you are not happy then you won’t be able to succeed. In the end, you will find the right school for you and hopefully it will be SIU. You should also get involved in what makes you happy.”


MORGAN TIGHE is a senior studying marketing from Dunlap, Illinois. She is the first Saluki in her family. Morgan’s registered student organization (RSO) involvement includes being the president of American Marketing Association and being the vice president of Phi Beta Lambda.

Morgan chose to study at SIU after she visited campus. “Honestly I found the campus to be beautiful and nature was woven into the campus. With all of the parks and nature around me, it truly feels like home.” Morgan feels that the College of Business is unique due to the faculty. “The faculty within the college are all so helpful and generally nice and will go out of their way to help everyone! I have personally worked with so many faculty members and have never come across one that I didn’t feel that I could talk to.” She also credits the college for helping prepare her for her career. “The college has prepared me for my future career in so many ways. All of my professors have gone into great detail when teaching courses to make sure that everything makes sense. You also take classes that teach you how to apply the knowledge that you have learned to the real world.”

Morgan’s greatest challenge while studying her major has been deciding what she wants to do within marketing. “There are so many things that you can do in marketing such as branding, sales and advertising just to name a few. I love it all and marketing is truly a broad field!” Morgan has learned the importance of keeping the earth in mind during your career. “During my marketing research class, I worked closely with the Sustainability Office and learned how to help the environment. I learned all about their office and what they do for the campus. I have now applied the skills that I learned to my life and will hopefully be able to apply the skills to my future office.”

Morgan is very involved with Phi Beta Lambda. “Every year you compete at the state and national levels in a variety of different areas. You truly have to study because you are competing against the best in every state or around the world. This has truly helped me develop some of the management skills that I possess today. A random fact about me is that I won 10th place for Marketing Concepts in the Phi Beta Lambda National Competition. I also placed in the top 15 for Marketing Decision Making and Analysis during the national competition.”

Morgan’s most rewarding experience in college is closely associated with the American Marketing Association. “Being president of American Marketing Association has really been the most rewarding experience that I have had in college. This has given me a great opportunity to network with the businesses in the area and people within the College of Business.”

Morgan has been talking to a few companies and exploring career opportunities that are available. She is hoping that she will have a job she loves so she can start working after graduation. In the future, Morgan will know that she has become successful when she has a job that she loves, is good at, is happy, and living a good life. Morgan would love to live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has lived there before and she feels that it is like home. “I love the winter and it is winter there for three seasons. While living there I found an interest in curling and skiing.”

Morgan has some advice for younger students. “You should definitely get involved! I personally feel that you can’t get the full experience if you are not involved. Get involved with not only RSO’s, but go to the etiquette dinner, and attend career fairs or workshops! College is truly all about getting experience!”


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.”