1. Read a book for pleasure
2. work on summer job applications/updating your resume
3. Learn a song on an instrument, or start to learn how to play an instrument
4. Learn a new recipe, or learn to cook in general
5. Create an exercise routine
6. Create a budget for next semester on excel
7. Get all of your doctors' appointments out of the way while you're home
8. Fix your sleep schedule and catch up on sleep you missed out on during exam week
10. Get ready for next semester - buy textbooks, supplies, print schedule, etc.
"11 Ways To Be Super Productive Over Winter Break" | Elizabeth
Muratore, University of Virginia | Odyssey
October brother of the Month: Isaiah Quick
Brother Isaiah is always willing to lend a hand, and makes an ideal candidate for Brother of the Month for October. He is consistently offering old notes to brothers, willing to help in any way he is able, and is always there when you need him. Isaiah is forever searching for new ways to help out any brother he meets. Congrats, Isaiah!
November Brothers of the Month: Peri Kiefer and Lauren Trombly
Our blog team got to sit with a management professor at GVSU and ask him a few questions about what life is like after college, and for some advice for soon-to-be graduating-college students. Several Lambda Xi brothers have had classes with Prof. Ballard, and we all have nothing but awesome things to say! Here is some of our Q&A session:
Q: What courses do you teach, and what did you study in college?
A: Bruce currently teaches two management courses at GV, and was in supply chain management before it was even called supply chain. He has an engineering degree with a minor in materials and logistics management, which is what supply chain was previously titled.
Q: Did you always want to be a professor?
A: He was a student just like us, sitting in the back row and not asking questions, but as he was getting MBA, he noticed that a lot of faculty didn't have Doctorates, but they were coming in after work, and he thought that it would be cool. He thought that when it came to retirement, it would be something nice to do, rather than play golf every day. "It would be fun to teach and give back to our community." He decided to teach at Grand Valley since his daughter went here, and he eventually became a Visiting Professor.
Q: Where all have you worked, and do you have a favorite place?
A: Texas Instruments, Herman Miller, and Johnson Controls.
He doesn't necessarily have a favorite place to work, but he loved working at TI, and was there for 14 years. They are consistently on the 100 Best Places to Work For list, and eventually was asked to move to Japan with his family. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard then decided to move back to Michigan so they could have more life in the work-life balance, but he genuinely did love working there.
For Johnson Controls, he worked in purchasing and finance in automative electronics. He gained financial experience in which he leveraged later in his career.
Herman Miller was a new experience for him, since he was a tech guy and didn't necessarily see himself working in office furniture. However, from what he tells his students in class, he has a lot of good stories from HM, and did enjoy working there very much. He brings ideas from HM to the classroom, and uses his knowledge from being a Director there to teach his students using real-life examples.
Q: Do you do any work outside of the classroom?
A: He has a small business to keep him occupied, since he is retired, but he says that it is more of a hobby for him than anything.
Q: What is one thing you always tell your students?
A: "In Operations, many students do not see the connection to their major. However, knowledge of how a business supports its customer through its 'make' function is very important, no matter what function in which you reside. Also, when we take about Lean, it is important to think about how it applies to all functions, not just Operations and Supply Chain.”
Q: What is a piece of advice you'd give any student, if they asked?
A: 1) When looking at where to work after college, look first at where you want to live, and then look for jobs in those areas. 2) "Know you end game" and research what skill sets you will need for that, and what jobs can give you that experience. 3) Early in your career, focus on learning. Create a solid foundation for career growth in the future.
There is one thing Bruce tells all of his students at the end of lecture, and hopefully it puts a smile on your face, like it does everyone who's had him:
After you celebrate not needing to buy a $100 textbook that your professor didn't even use, what are you going to do? How do you even know what you want to do? When thinking about post-graduation life, it can cause a lot of stress for people, especially when it comes to finding a job and not wanting to live at home.
Don't worry, there are a lot of resources online at your disposal, and we compiled some for you! There are a lot more resources out there, so please feel free to link some in the comments, or share some experiences you've had.
"Don't Know What to Do After College? A Practical Guide to Help You Decide" | Shemmassian Academic Consulting
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.