Completing a study abroad can arguably be one of the most transformative experiences in one’s college experience. It may be tough to leave friends and family at first, but what you can gain in return is worth it. Especially with business being global today like never before, most employers prefer a candidate with international experiences. In fact, only 5% of university students today complete a study abroad. Studying abroad can exemplify a candidate’s adaptability, conflict management, and cross-cultural skills.
Here within the Lambda Xi chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, we had five brothers complete a study abroad recently. There are so many different programs and countries to choose from to complete your business courses. Whether you are interested in going for a whole year, semester, summer, or even a few weeks, there are options available! Our brothers graciously provided some advice and information about their study abroad experience!
Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia
Study abroad was not only an opportunity to spend a semester across the world preparing for my future, it was about meeting life-long friends, challenging myself, and being immersed in new cultures. This experience helped transform me into a better version of myself and I will never forget my time abroad! For anyone considering pursuing a study abroad, DO IT :)
Baden-Württemburg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Mosbach, Germany
Through completing the International Program in Business program at DHBW-Mosbach, a partnership university of GVSU, I was able to take business courses taught by professors from around the world alongside students from Germany, South Korea, China, and Ecuador. I was able to gain many rich friendships and unique experiences both from inside and outside the classroom. A day does not go by where I don’t think about my time abroad. It was an amazing experience to learn an entirely new language to me, German, and learn how to collaborate with people of different cultures and backgrounds.
If you are at all considering taking this leap of faith in studying abroad, I highly recommend it!
Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea (ISA Program)
If you're thinking about studying abroad, I would say, GO FOR IT! As cliche as it is and as often as people say it, truly don't worry about the finances and let that get in the way from you studying abroad. Prepare ahead of time, so if you're interested now, book time with the study abroad office to get this idea and interest actually on pen and paper. Then, do your due diligence by doing research about the program and prepare a realistic budget or plan to save up for studying abroad. Then work hard and save up, while being persistent in applying for scholarships when and where they're available. This is truly going to be worth it in the end because this not only sets you apart from many other candidates who haven't traveled abroad but also when will you get a chance like this again? Cause for the most part to the alumni I've spoken with and people who've worked for a while, all say the same thing when it comes to studying abroad when they didn't take the opportunity when they had it. They regretted it because when the rubber meets the road and you're working, it's hard to take time off, and life just gets busy.
So take advantage of all that GV and the rest of your undergraduate experience have to offer!
Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France
This past summer, I studied abroad in Grenoble, France for 5 weeks. I went through a Grand Valley partnership program with Grenoble Ecole de Management, studying international marketing and small & family business. The university has many locations across Europe but, I specifically studied at the main campus in Grenoble for four weeks and Paris location for the last week. Grenoble is located in the south east part of France, it is a medium sized city surrounded by mountains.
During my time abroad I took a lot of risks and went with the flow, which usually isn’t apart of my nature. I took many spontaneous trip with people I didn’t know very well and in return, I met some of my closest friends experiencing awesome adventures I wouldn't give up. The biggest takeaway from going abroad for more than a month was emerging into everything and anything that was thrown my way, I had so much fun abroad and cannot wait to go back.
Just go! If you are thinking about going abroad look into as many programs that interest you and don’t let the time span hold you back. Everything about being abroad was incredible, you grow in so many different ways. I always knew I wanted to study abroad, but an entire semester seemed intimidating. That is why I chose to go on a summer program but, personally i wish It was longer because it was very hard to return home.
Overall, I had a great experience meeting all sorts of new friends, learning in a different teaching environment, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
American University of Rome in Rome, Italy (ISA Program)
My biggest takeaway from the experience would be the ability to adapt to other cultures. I don't think we in the United States fully realize how instantaneously we expect to be satisfied. Everything abroad took longer than I was used to, and had an emphasis on things that I previously did not think was important. It was a great experience that helped me to work on my weaknesses.
For those who are thinking about studying abroad absolutely go out and do it. There are so many different programs available that you will be able to find whatever education, length, language, and location you are looking for. My one bit of advice would be to research the country you are thinking about going to just in case there is anything you would not be willing to compromise on. For example, I went to Italy in July. Italy is not a big believer in air conditioning, which would have been fine, except it was pretty much 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 80% humidity and no clouds for shade my whole time I was there. It was very difficult for my Michigander self to adapt. Fortunately, I had a lot of gelato to stay cool.
Delta Sigma Pi is a professional fraternity organized to foster the study of business in universities; to encourage scholarship, social activity, and the association of students for their mutual advancement by research and practice; to promote closer affiliation between the commercial world and students of commerce, and to further a higher standard of commercial ethics and culture and the civic and commercial welfare of the community.
On November 7th, 1907, four men attending New York University created something that has lasted over 100 years, and we hope to see continue for the next 100. These four professional individuals created what we know as the National Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, and they were the first brothers. They instilled the purpose of our organization, and allow every brother to expand their knowledge and skills professionally, academically, and socially. Every one of our hundreds of thousands of brothers started with the Alpha chapter, and we have them to thank.
So... DSP Is Old
While we know that DSP has been around for 112 years, but how old are we? Here is a list of things Delta Sigma Pi is older than, based on the official establishment date:
The Lambda Xi Chapter
The Lambda Xi chapter at Grand Valley State University was founded on April 19th, 1986. Since the Fraternity went co-ed in 1975, our chapter has always celebrated women being brothers. In fact, our chapter currently has a majority of girls. Since our founding, we have put on several different kinds of events to benefit all brothers, so that they can better themselves for after they graduate, and become alumni brothers. When every Lambda Xi brother is ready to graduate, we know that we have set them up to be productive professionals, for the rest of their lives.
An immense Fraternal Thank You to everyone who has decided to become a brother, encouraged someone to become one, or even just supported one through their pledging process and brotherhood. Thank you to every brother for encouraging others to join our organization. Thank you to alumni for sticking with us and staying involved after graduation. And lastly, a large thank you to our four founders: Alfred Moysello, Alexander Frank Makay, Harold Valentine Jacobs, and Henry Albert Tienken. Without them, we wouldn't be brothers.
Study skills are something that seem inherently customizable. Everyone has a different way of studying, right? Turns out, there are some generalized tips to help build an organizational system to keep information in order, how to take effective notes, and exam tricks to get an A. We took to one of the best resources for learning several subjects: Crash Course.
This YouTube channel, started by Hank and John Green and some colleagues, allows all students to learn about several topics, including, but not limited to: Physics, Entrepreneurship, Literature, Intellectual Property, and Study Skills!
The Study Skills series is hosted by Thomas Frank, is a Management Information Systems graduate from Iowa State University. He has a book dedicated on being a better student, has his own YouTube channel, podcast with his best friend, and website. For more information on Thomas, head to the College Info Geek website.
We won't be covering all of the videos in this course, but here are some of the best tips for everyone:
What Should I take my Notes ON?
While there have been several debates about whether one should take notes on a computer or on paper, there are pros and cons to both methods.
For actually taking notes, Thomas talks about the three main ways to take really good notes: outline method, Cornell method, and mind mapping. There are some key features that should be on every set of notes, though. Thomas recommends to focus on big ideas, bullet lists, examples (and how you can recreate them on your own), and terms and definitions.
How Do I take Notes?
Thomas mentions three general note-taking methods that are used: the outline method, the Cornell method, and the mind mapping method. The outline method is the one everyone is more familiar with, where you take bullet-style notes that look like, well, an outline. The Cornell method is a way to quickly write down the key points from lecture, and then a 1-2 sentence summary is written at the bottom of the page. Lastly, the mind mapping method is one in which there is a main idea in the center of the page, and points branch out from the main idea. You can do this method both on paper and on some websites. Here is how they look:
Hopefully, these few insights will help you take better notes during lectures or from textbooks, or help you explore more note-taking methods! For more information on this specific topic, please refer to the original YouTube video:
"It's not what you know, it's who you know." - Every modern business professional
You may or may not have heard many people use this phrase in classes, work, talks, presentations, but what does it actually mean? Do you need to get a degree if you have to know people to get a good job? Short answer: Yes, a degree or certification is how you get the skills necessary to be qualified to work in the business world. However, knowing people in your desired workplace, or even just someone who's career is what you're studying, can be a very helpful tool in building your career, whether it be one company forever, or several over a period of time.
Where do I start building a network?
While this question can seem daunting, the answer is relatively simple: anywhere. The easiest way is to join organizations at college that align with your interests, or what you want to do after college. Delta Sigma Pi is a great example of this; students coming together with similar interests to help each other grow professionally, and learn and develop skills to help them in their college and professional careers. Other examples of great places to get involved are: the American Marketing Association; Women in Business; the Advertising Club; social, religious, or academic/honors greek life/societies, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Black Student Union; Student Senate; etc.!
Another way to get an insight into a specific company you're interested in working for is to ask your professors. Typically, your class syllabus will include some basic information about your professor, but they will usually also talk about their job experience on the first day of class.
How do I stay in touch with my network?
There are two easy ways to keep in touch with connections, no matter where you make them: Having a LinkedIn profile, or carrying business cards.
In today's business world, everyone should have a LinkedIn account. It is, essentially, an online resume and helps employers see you are engaged in business. College students typically have relevant work experience, volunteer experience, leadership experience, and relevant courses taken, to show how they are preparing for after college. It should also include extracurricular activities you are involved in, and any leadership positions held. It is also helpful to have your URL be your name, so that connections can easily find you, or it's easy to share. It should also contain a professional headshot as your profile picture!
Here is a brother's LinkedIn profile for an idea of what it could include. A lot of people have different preferences about what should be included in one's profile, but if you think about it like an online resume, it will help with what you think is relevant information for potential employers.
Business cards are a great resource to have on hand when attending career fairs, conferences, tours, etc. They are a simple way to hand out information to multiple people at once, without having to repeat yourself. Also, if you are the only person with business cards at an event, it makes you more likely to be remembered! They're easy to make, and Avery.com lets you print them for free at home, if you purchase the perforated paper at your local grocery store.
All you need is some simple information: your name, email, phone number, and organization/college. It is also helpful to put your position in an organization or club, if you have a leadership position. Or, if you don't have a leadership position, you can put your major(s)/minor(s) that you are studying. Here are a brother's business cards, as a reference:
There are several websites that give advice on how to pick the perfect major in college, but how do you know which one is your perfect major? Based on some light research and some brother testimonials, here are some ways to explore any college or university and pick something great.
How to Pick a Major
First, how do you start to pick a major? One article by Zety gives a step-by-step guide, of which some highlights are:
One piece of advice we'd like to add to this list is to join clubs! One great way to learn if something is just an interest or something you want to pursue as a career is to join clubs. Sometimes, clubs will have alumni or professionals in the respective field(s) come in and talk, so members can ask questions.
What about double majors and minors?
What if you have multiple interests you want to study in your college career? Consider a minor, or a double major. At GVSU, adding another major or minor is relatively easy, especially with the help of an academic advisor. For example, Several of our brothers are double majoring with Finance and Accounting, since the two programs are so similar, credit-wise.
Also, there are several minors that are compatible with GVSU general education requirements. Two of our brothers are minoring in Anthropology, which spreads over many general education requirements, and also is something they are both passionate about. (It's generally a nice bonus.)
Interested in how Grand Valley programs work? Here is a complete list of GVSU major and minor programs.
How did Brothers Know?
We asked some of our brothers why they chose their major, or how they knew it was the right fit for them. Here is what they said:
Remember, most schools allow students to wait until the end of their sophomore year to officially declare their major(s). We don't necessarily recommend this, but not everyone knows what they want to do the second they graduate high school, and many people change their minds during their college career.
Many podcasts, YouTube channels, books, influencers, professionals, and professors tell people every day to start investing early. What some of them fail to mention, though, is how? How do you start investing, where do you start investing, and how do you know you need start now, in the first place? You have come to the right place! Based on research and a some advice from a financial advisor, here is a great place to jump from, when looking at how to invest as a young adult.
Advice From a Financial Advisor
We reached out to a financial advisor, who wishes to remain anonymous, and asked him how to start investing as a college student. Before we even started the interview, he said to first think about six questions he gave us. Here is some advice he gave, along with some other information:
Q: The money you are thinking of investing, what's it for?
A: Is it for anything in particular, or are you just looking to start investing? If you are looking to invest for a particular reason, be sure you have money put away just in case the market does go down for a while.
Q: Do you have other funds to use if you have an emergency?
A: Like mentioned previously, be sure to have money put away just in case your car breaks down, you get sick, etc. It's always good to have this money in general, but be sure to have money set aside separate from your investment money (aka what you plan on investing), just in case something should happen, and then if the market does dip, you aren't losing your emergency funds.
Q: If you were to invest this money, and you saw that it had gone down in value in a month - what do you think you would do/think?
A: Don't get scared and pull out of investments when the market dips! In general, investing is a waiting game.
Q: What books have you read or classes have you taken about investing?
A: Every business student at GVSU is required to take Finance 320, which gives the basics of moving money and investing. There are tons of great books on investing, here are some of our recommendations:
Q: Do you follow any investing blogs?
A: One great blog to follow is A Wealth of Common Sense. The article linked specifically talks about what you want your money to do for you. We also recommend the College Info Geek podcast and website. It is a great place to learn about study skills; personal development skills; advice on how to start investing; building a great resume, cover letter, and portfolios; and how to advance in the workplace while bettering yourself. The creator of the website even has a YouTube channel, where you can watch sister videos to the blog posts, if you don't feel like reading or listening to the podcast.
So you have a big meeting coming up, a presentation for class, an interview, or a job fair coming up, and you aren't sure whether the outfit you picked out is business professional or business casual. You've been told by your professors and friends what they think business professional is, but you still aren't entirely clear on what the guidelines are. Well, don't worry, everyone has been in the same boat at one time or another. However, they did not have the resources of the Delta Sigma Pi Fraternity to help them!
Here is YOUR Delta Sigma Pi - Lambda Xi How To Dress Guide!
Sometimes, the dress code for any workplace varies, depending on the work culture, so our tips are typically based on the work culture of companies brothers/alumni/professors have experience with and some light research. Be sure to check with coworkers about the workplace culture to be sure you never come over- or under-dressed!
For more information, please visit the following sites:
Congratulations to Kira for being our September 2019 Brother of the Month! Kira currently sits as our acting Senior Vice President and sits as one of the very first faces new pledges see as a point of contact, and acts as one of our largest advocates for the mantra "Recruitment never really stops." Thank you Kira for helping the Lambda Xi chapter in everything you do, and for being an amazing brother!