Albers School of Business and Economics

Undergraduate Programs Blog

  • Why Choosing a Major is the Least of your Worries

    Posted by Nantaporn Carlson on 2/11/2015 05:46:21 PM

    Professor: "We're going to begin class by introducing ourselves, our major, and what we plan on doing after we graduate."

    Girl next to me: "My name is Rachel, I'm a finance/economics double major with a non-profit leadership minor, and I plan on opening a NGO that leverages underwriters to fund educational programs for adolescent girls in Eastern Africa."

    Me: "My name is Nanty, and I have no idea what I'm going to do after I graduate."

    This actually happened during a class my freshman year, and I still think I'm a little scarred to this day. There is this immense pressure to make "life" decisions early on in college, and I'm here to tell you that deciding on a career as a freshman is pretty ambitious. Even deciding on major your freshman year can be too soon. Finding a major is not what we're interested in here at Seattle University, we want you to find yourselves.

    I know it all sounds abstract and existential, but I am always telling my mentees to start the major discernment process by thinking about what they like to do. You will come to love any major if you are able to relate what you learn in the classroom to what you want to be doing outside of the classroom. And it doesn't have to be specific - I have never heard someone say that they aspire to be an financial analyst, but I have heard someone say that they want to work at Amazon. It could be as simple as you want to have a career that is well-respected, and you'll constantly be surrounded by competent people (that's how I ended up an accounting major).

    I challenge you all to begin to think about the things you like to do, the people you want to be surrounded by, or even a company that you would want to work for - your major will come when you get to know a little more about yourself.


    Nanty Carlson | New Student Mentor





    Looking Back as a Mentee

    Posted by Barbara Hauke on 1/30/2015 04:00:52 PM

     The unfamiliar, brutal, cold weather’s setting in and the struggle of leaving my warm, cozy dorm room is becoming increasingly difficult. I watch from my window as the many upperclassmen roam around campus in their North Face jackets and scarves conversing and laughing together. I reminisce of the glory days in high school, when I would strut the hallways waving at the numerous friends I’ve made over the years; wishing they were here keeping me company in college. But that’s not the case. Everyday consists of the same routine. Wake up, get ready, go to class, eat at C-Street, and then come back to my room to kill time. I haven’t expanded beyond my comfort zone, met any new people or experienced any new things. Throughout my life, I was under the false impression that college was going to be the best years of my life. College is supposed filled with lifetime friendships, long lasting memories and exhilarating experiences. So can someone inform me why this hasn't happened to me yet?

    Today, I had a meeting with my business New Student Mentor. As usual he checked up on my academic progress and asked me if anything was bothering me about college. I decided to tell him about my struggle to enjoy college and confessed that I hadn’t made any efforts to get involved. I thought he would just give me the generic sympathy talk that everyone else gives me, but to my surprise he gave me advice that I will never forget. He told me that he too experienced similar troubles when he was a freshman, which is hard to believe. My mentor is currently working two jobs, involved in multiple clubs, maintaining a strong academic standing and has an internship lined up for him in the summer. How could he, someone with such a slow start end up being where he is today?

    My mentor told me his biggest mistake was only getting involved at the beginning of his junior year and expressed that it wasn’t easy. He strongly discourages anyone to take the path he did and regrets doing it. He wishes that I learn from his mistakes and start getting involved now. It’s never too early to start creating and nurturing relationships with your peers and professors. Even something as simple as joining clubs that intrigue you or doing community service is a great way to meet people. You never know when the next door will open for you. So now is a great time to attend that networking event, grab coffee with your professor, and get to know the shy girl that sits alone in class. The best opportunities can come from the people you least expect it. The more people you are acquaintances with the better. And the more time you have the easier it is to build these relationships. Who knows where you’ll end up in the future? But being prepared and on top of the game will put you in a great position to be successful. 

    Aaron Tom

    Self-Care is the Best-Care

    Posted by Gumpon Siriboon on 1/16/2015 03:03:28 PM

    Winter quarter is upon us and you know that Game of Thrones meme that has the guy with the sword and the text "Brace yourselves, winter is coming"? Well, brace yourselves. Because winter is here!

    Winter quarter is the quarter that students traditionally struggle with the most.  I mean, think about it, the days are depressingly short, it's cold, and there isn't Thanksgiving to break-up the quarter a little bit.  WQ is a time of year that self-care become so important to emphasize. 

    What then is self-care? For all intents and purposes self-care is what you do to keep yourself sane.  They're the healthy activities that give you a reboot.  Everyone has their own ways of taking care of themselves and I guess what I'm writing about today are a few things that I do to break myself out of the mundane cycle of class, homework, class, group project, class, meeting, class, etc.

    Physical Activity - Have you ever just left class frustrated? Maybe your teacher or a colleague just said something that drove you up a wall.  How do you deal with that white-hot, fist-clenching, jaw-gnashing emotion? My answer? Lift. Heavy. Things.  Others choose to go on a run (which I personally don't understand) and  do other cardio, yoga.  Turning to physical activity isn't just great for your body, but it can also be a great release for your brain as well.

    Go for a Walk - and I'm not talking about making that long trip from your residence hall room to the Cave to get a late-night snack.  This city is a beautiful place.  If you're feeling overwhelmed, grabbed a coat and just choose a direction.  Volunteer Park.  Kerry Park.  The Washington Arboretum, Lake Washington.  I can't tell you about all times I just picked a direction and walked.  Walking and just breathing  helped me think through a lot of the things that were bogging me down, and I came back (sometimes miles upon miles) later in a much better place

    Note: if you're going to walk make sure you're smart about it    tips and tricks from public safety  

    Talk it out - Sometimes there's nothing better than just airing out your deepest frustrations.  Keep in mind that there undoubtedly people in your life that care deeply about you.  Whether it's your friends, family, significant other, etc. There are people that would give the world to you, and they want nothing more than to see you happy.  If you're feeling down, reach out to someone that cares, and just talk.  Internalizing negatives feelings isn't a healthy habit to keep.  While I recognize that there are times where that can lead to motivation. I would argue eight times out of ten, not talking about what's making you upset in just eating away at you.  So find an outlet and just let it all out.

    These are only three things that help me  and let me emphasize it again, me . Feel better.  You can easily apply these things to your own life, but self-care is an intrinsically hyper-personal thing.  You know what makes you feel alive.  Just remember that there is almost always time to catch-up with work and that you'll always put your best foot forward if you feel like you're in a good place.


     Take care of yourself! 

    NSM Zac

    Study Tours: Guatemala

    Posted by Laura Molesworth on 1/13/2015 02:52:12 PM

        Guatemala is one of the most culturally rich countries in the world. Despite being the most populous country in Central America, its GDP is only about one-half of the average GDP for all Central American and Caribbean nations. It is full of history, from the Mayans, to the Spanish conquistadors, to the more recent 36 years of civil war. Over winter break, I went on Albers’ Study Tour to Guatemala with the Central American Development Economics course. I’m not sure that I know enough synonyms for awesome and life-changing to be able to adequately describe this trip, but I’m going to do my best!

          The trip started off in Guatemala City. We spent a day touring the city. Our time in there was very brief, but very powerful. The extreme poverty and income inequality that plague the country are striking. It was a completely different experience for me to be confronted with such a stark contrast of wealth and poverty. I struggled seeing the conditions that so many people live in. The tour of Guatemala City completely threw me outside of my comfort zone. It made me consider the extremely privileged life that I have been so lucky to have in the United States. It made me contemplate my Jesuit education at Seattle University, and the values of service and justice that it has instilled in me. My perception of extreme poverty was completely intensified after seeing it in all of its brutal reality.

           After our day in Guatemala City, we traveled to Antigua, where we spent the majority of the trip. La Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning that it is protected as a place of unique cultural or geographical significance. Antigua was completely different than Guatemala City.  Its cultural history and stunning Spanish colonial architecture make the city an attractive tourist destination. The juxtaposition of wealth and poverty were much less visible. In Antigua, we visited a variety of companies and organizations, from small startups and cooperatives to huge multinational corporations.

          One of the most impactful organizations that we visited was a coffee cooperative called De la Gente. De la Gente’s mission is to provide its farmers with access to the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to run a successful and sustainable business. With these tools, the farmers are able to maintain a profit, which allows them to invest in healthcare, education, and housing. During our visit to De la Gente, we picked coffee beans with the farmers, roasted coffee beans, and drank coffee from the beans that we roasted. Then, the farmers and their families welcomed us into their home, prepared us a meal, and we all sat down and ate together. Being so warmly welcomed and accepted by a group of people that we had just met was incredible. To listen to their stories and to spend an afternoon with Filiberto, Freddy, Julio, and Timoteo was the experience of a lifetime. They are so passionate about De la Gente and their coffee, and their passion and hard work have paid off. It was absolutely wonderful to see such positivity and success.

         After a few days in Antigua, our group took a bus to Lake Atitlán. Our visit to the lake was absolutely breathtaking. I have never encountered such natural beauty in my life. I think I spent every second at the lake staring at the water and the volcanoes trying to take it all in. We took a boat around the lake and visited a few of the towns along the water. It was very interesting to see how sleepy and quiet these towns were compared to Antigua and Guatemala City, where the streets were always full of people.

        My trip to Guatemala ended with a day trip to Tikal with another student who attended the trip. Tikal is a set of Mayan ruins in the northern part of Guatemala. It is one of the largest known Mayan archeological sites, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Touring the city was absolutely out of this world. I felt like I had traveled back in time. There were howler monkeys, exotic birds, and trees taller than I had ever seen. To stand among those ancient pyramids, where people had once lived, was extraordinary. Those huge structures were built without modern machinery, which, to me, is astonishing.

        This trip was a once in a lifetime experience. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it. I could not have asked for a more exciting ten days with such a wonderful group of people. For me, this was the perfect way to study abroad. Guatemala, I will be back!   

     Guatemala City


     De la Gente

     Coffee Beans

     Guate 2014 Group

    Photos by: Aljohn Gaviola


    Laura Molesworth | New Student Mentor


    Comfort Zones

    Posted by Liz Wick on 12/1/2014 03:59:32 PM

    I had a hard time leaving home and coming to Seattle University four years ago. When my parents were packing up the car to take me up I was sobbing uncontrollably. If you’re interested in a visual, think a two year old having a melt down in the grocery store when they don’t get the piece of candy they’ve been eyeing.

    I have always been a creature of habit and routine. I don’t like when my days aren’t planned out, I don’t like feeling unsettled, I don’t like change. So, naturally moving to Seattle from my home in Eugene, Oregon was a huge adjustment. The things I took comfort in were gone. No longer could I see my best friends, get coffee from my favorite coffee shop or go running on familiar trails.

    Of course, as time went on I started finding comfort from things in Seattle. I made new friends, discovered new trails and coffee shops that actually had better coffee. I started forming new routines and feeling more settled as each day passed. As a senior, I can happily say that Seattle is my home.

    In six months I will be graduating and am fully aware that change is once again on the horizon. I am happy to report that this doesn’t scare me like it used to. The most important thing I have taken away from my time at Seattle U is that living outside of your comfort zone is the best way to live. My advice to you, no matter what year you are, is to try and do this more often.

    Accept the invitation to hang out with new people, join the club you’ve been thinking about joining for months, ask out the person you think is cute from class, check out some concerts, study abroad or head somewhere new for coffee. While I did find my rhythm and routine in Seattle the things I’ve enjoyed the most here were the things I didn’t plan.

    Changing things up in life can be incredibly rewarding. It might seem scary or unsettling initially but take it from someone who used to think the only way to live was to live in their comfort zone. The best people, experiences and moments are waiting just outside of that zone.


    Meghan Manwill New Student Mentor


    Holistic Education: All About Being Active!

    Posted by Barbara Hauke on 12/1/2014 10:43:32 AM

    Some of us go to the gym on a regular basis and others spend their free time exploring Seattle and the communities around them. The word “active” means a lot of things to different people, but instead of defining active, ask yourself; How do you represent it in your daily routine as a student?
    Here are three ways that you (yes YOU) can be active in what you do:

    1. Active Learning
    It is safe to say that most of you came to Seattle University, a rigorous private Jesuit institution, to educate yourselves and develop a way of thinking that you will bring to your field of work in the future. You have a priceless opportunity to absorb information taught by knowledgeable faculty in your classes so take advantage of it while you can! Be active in your classes by staying engaged, asking questions, meeting with your professors and picking their brains on the concepts from class. For me, it has always helped sitting in the front row of my classes as it keeps me engaged, shows the professor I care and allows me to be more present in the class.

    2. Active Lifestyle
    Listening in class is important, but is very hard to do if you are not healthy. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that people who work out regularly are more focused, happier and overall physically healthier than those who do not. When you have some free time, remember that the gym has a ton of facilities and classes available to all Seattle U students so check out their new weights and different group classes to help you reach those fitness goals!

    3. Active Community Member Classes and the gym are both important but let's remember that Seattle University is located in one of the most diverse and exciting parts of Seattle! There are so many things to do off campus with Capitol Hill a few steps away and Downtown just a short walk down James Street. Take some time out of your busy schedules to explore all that this city has to offer from the great food, gorgeous views and diverse communities. Show your student leadership by volunteering through the Center for Service and Community Engagement at many locations right next to campus.

    College is what you make it. The best way to take advantage of all the opportunities around you is by staying active and being present in the all that you do!

    Sergiu Ipsas | New Student Mentor

    Homesick for the Holidays

    Posted by Erik Hagberg on 11/29/2014 01:30:01 PM

    Freshman year (and really any year in college) can be the best, and the worst, particularly when it comes to homesickness. It can happen at any time, unexpectedly (like in the middle of April) or more expectedly (like right before finals), and it's different for everyone. As much as we all can't wait to be away from home after high school or after a long summer break, it's almost certain that at some point within your college career you will feel a longing for home-cooked meals, your old bed, and having your laundry done for you. I mean, who doesn't like that? The important thing to remember when feeling homesick is to not fight it, feel embarrassed about it, or let it take you over. Like so many things, it's all about awareness. 

    I'll never forget the first time I felt homesick in college. So, here are some quick tips to combating homesickness: 

    1. Keep things interesting: 

    Part of the problem with homesickness is that you get tired of pretty much everything around you. When I feel homesick, the entire city of Seattle seems to lack any fun or enjoyable thing to do, which is just downright silly of me to think. Remembering all of the neat things to do around you can help remind you of the excitement and variety of experiences around you, something we all feel during our exciting college careers. Try to get out and do something you've always wanted to do, or try challenge yourself to a completely new experience altogether. Even if it's just one time, it can help distract you from thinking about home and add a refreshing perspective on things. 

    2. Don't slack off:

    It can be so easy to just give up on school work when you want nothing more than to be at home. You're tired, over-worked, and downright exhausted from weeks of doing homework, studying, tests, presentations...the list goes on. However, pushing all of your finals work further and further towards that impending deadline will only stress you out more. Rather than adding stress on yourself to a near breaking-point right before you leave for break, work on your assignments and studying just a little bit each day so your workload seems more manageable and so you can actually see the progress you're making. This will help make the end of the quarter/semester a lot more tolerable. 

    3. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good: 

    When you feel homesick a part of you is longing for the comfort of loved ones back home, whether it's your friends or your family, maybe a local community member. Yet, no matter how lonely you may feel at school, there's always someone there who cares. It can be a close friend or group of friends, your advisors (like the New Student Mentors here in Albers!), staff members on campus, the barista at your favorite coffee shop, and your professors. They all care and want to see you do well, and most importantly to be happy. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good, and I think you'll find yourself feeling better a whole lot faster than you think. 

    Try these tips out when you're starting to feel the homesick blues, and remember that it all goes much faster than you think! Enjoy the time you have in your classes, with your friends, and working on your studies because it goes so fast! Most importantly, be easy on yourself when you start to feel down. You got this! 
    Erik | New Student Mentor