Albers School of Business and Economics

Undergraduate Programs Blog

  • Making the Most of Summer Vacation

    Posted by Margaux Helm on 6/2/2014 11:42:50 AM

    The concept of “summer vacation” doesn’t exist in the real world. As a senior graduating in two short weeks, the reality of this statement is finally starting to hit me. Unless I become a professor, this is the last summer vacation I will ever have. Not to be dramatic, but after 16 years of carefree, three month-long summers, the prospect of having to work in an office for 40 hours a week when it’s 70 degrees outside seems pretty bleak. Never again will my summer days consist of morning beach time, an afternoon water fight (plus Popsicle break), then a leisurely evening of reading in the warm air.

    But this post isn’t to bemoan the realities of the summer vacation-free working world; it’s to encourage you undergrads to savor your remaining summers! I’ve worked full-time every summer since I was 16 years old, so I’ve had to figure out how to enjoy my summer anyways. For those of you with summer internships or jobs, here’s how:

    • Don’t let your workday stress you out! Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have homework and try to disconnect from work once you leave for the day. You’ll be happier and more productive if you leave work where it belongs: the office.
    • Get out and have fun in the evenings after work. I know it’s tempting to lie on the couch after a long day, but go make some fun memories instead. Here are some low-key activities to get you out and about in the evening:
      • Go for a leisurely bike ride along a nice bike path. There are plenty in Seattle!
      • Catch those last rays of sun and head to the park to read, throw a Frisbee, or just sit and chat.
      • Go for a run or walk to someplace new: a coffee shop, a pretty viewpoint, a different neighborhood, etc.
      • Go to happy hour! It’s a fun way to unwind after a tough day and even if you’re not 21, you can fill up on delicious (and cheap!) bites to eat. Check out some of Seattle’s best happy hours here.
      • Go see an outdoor play or movie. From Shakespeare in the Park to movies like Pitch Perfect, Seattle has it all!
    • Take weekend trips – you’ll feel like you’re really on vacation if you get a change of scenery. Whether that’s going home to spend a weekend with family, going hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, taking the train to Portland, or heading out to a friend’s cabin, it's refreshing to get away from your daily life and enjoy all that summer has to offer.

    I hope this helps you take full advantage of your summer vacation this year! Enjoy your friends, get out in the sunshine, and relax before the new school year begins.

    Margaux Helm | New Student Mentor

    If I Could Do It All Over

    Posted by Gumpon Siriboon on 4/21/2014 03:32:48 PM

    As I sit here writing; I am coming to the end of my junior year.  Being over half way through my college experience, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting.  Reflecting on what has gone well, what could be improved on, and well, everything really.

    One question that continually comes up in my mind is the one thing I could change if I had the chance to do it all over.  And if I had to answer that question point blank, I would definitely say: networking. 

    As a first year student, I remember being constantly bombarded with messages regarding how important networking was.  Like clockwork, I would receive emails from the placement center with internship reminders.  My NSM sent me emails about networking opportunities. Guest speakers and professors continually talked about the importance of networking.  Frankly, I got bored, and frustrated by it all.  I told myself I had time (which I did), but now, as I am looking for internships, and post-graduation opportunities, I’m kicking myself for not going to more networking style events.

    Now that I am constantly attending networking events, I am realizing that the same people show up to the events a solid 80% of the time.  Sure, the first time I went to a networking fair, I felt awkward as heck.  I mean, I always feel a little bit awkward in social situations.  That’s just who I am. What makes events easier though is the relationships that you build with your peers, and recruiters.    

    The relationships that you establish at networking socials goes far beyond surface level conversations, and a handshake.  It’s really about keeping in touch.  Sending that follow-up email, asking what seem like mundane questions.  You think that everyone follows all of those tips that you get from listening to presentations given by the placement center? No.  In reality, only a few people actually spend the time to send thoughtful emails, and letters, and they really do set you apart from the rest of the pack. 

    It’s those relationships that you foster that will help you in the future.  It may not get you the job directly, but put yourself in the shoes of any human resource coordinator.  If you were sitting in their seat, would you want to interview, and subsequently hire another name on a resume, or would you rather interview someone you already know?  Most would go with the person that they know because there is a level of comfort there.  I know that I would. 

    Ultimately, networking won’t guarantee you a job in the future.  You still need to have all the qualifications that the position asks for.  But one thing is for sure, networking can never hurt.    


    How to Stay Motivated for Spring Quarter

    Posted by Kerstin Abbey Fajardo on 4/11/2014 04:33:22 PM

    The relatively good weather we’ve been having this week isn’t helping the fact that Spring Break is over and that summer is right around the corner. While many might already be in summer mode and others may have caught the oh-so-contagious Senioritis, there are still eight more weeks standing in your way.

    Even though you might want to spend all your time soaking up the sun, it’s important to stay on top of your school work. Here are a few tips to stay motivated and finish this quarter strong!

    1. Prioritize Assignments
    This is easier said than done! Do whatever helps you stay organized, whether it is a planner or to-do list. Plan ahead and don’t procrastinate because it will definitely help you in the long run. Who wants to worry about papers and assignments while relaxing at the park when you can relax with a clear mind?

    2. Reward Yourself
    After you finish a hard assignment, go ahead and give yourself a little reward. Having something to look forward to will motivate you to push through and finish everything. These rewards can range from sweet treats to watching one episode of your favorite TV show. Be careful not to cheat yourself and reward yourself early. It’ll take even longer to finish your assignment, and that’s not what you want.

    3. Find Alternative Study Places
    Are you longing for the sunlight? Change it up and take your studying to somewhere you can enjoy a little Vitamin D. It’s still possible to enjoy the sun and study as long as you find a spot where you’re not too distracted.

    4. Study With Other People
    Studying with others can help you understand the material better and can help you work more efficiently. It’s always fun to get a group together and spend a few hours studying at the library, but just make sure you actually study!

    5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
    You won’t get anything done with only a few hours of sleep. It’s important to get enough rest every night in order to focus completely in your work. Plan out your days in advanced so you don’t end up pulling an all nighter writing a paper or studying for a test.

    6. Work Out
    Working out not only helps reduce stress, but it’ll also help you get in shape for the summer! Think of it as hitting two birds with one stone. Take some time to go on a run to help you relax, get fit, and enjoy the weather.

    7. Stay Positive
    Although it’s easy to get that “I don’t care, the year’s almost over” attitude, resist the urge to go down that road! Try your best in your classes so you know that in the end you gave it your all. Be optimistic and work hard! If you work as hard as you can, the more rewarding it will feel when you finally finish the quarter.

    Good luck this spring!

    Abbey Fajardo | NSM

    Big Brother is Watching: Social Media 101

    Posted by Nantaporn Carlson on 3/11/2014 02:17:44 PM

    Starting college is the ultimate social media ego boost; with every three people you meet on your floor, you're bound to get at least one new follower on Instagram or Twitter. And now that we're almost two quarters through this school year, I'm sure we've all increased our follower count by at least 50. But be forewarned - not everyone catching word of your username is a student. There is a major population of alumni and professionals that are only one click away from seeing your photos from this last weekend's beer pong tournament. Consider this your first glimpse into how powerful, and risky, social media can be.

    Winter quarter of my freshman year I landed an internship with our athletics department, a dream of mine prior to starting college. My supervisor was a graduate student, and being only 7 years my senior, became one of my newest Twitter followers. Not having previously thought to censor my tweets, and recently discovering a world of new vices, I recklessly posted about my most recent weekend experience (photos included). Two days later, I was called personally by our Athletic Director to meet with him. Naive as I was, I wasn't prepared for the verbal butt-kicking I received. Turns out he had found my Twitter account through my supervisor and was none too pleased with my choice of content. To save you all the embarrassment and shame I felt during that 30 minute meeting, I've paraphrased the conversation into the following bullet points:

    1. You represent the people you work for, no matter the caliber of your position.

    Even the lowly intern forced to be Rudy the Redhawk is a direct reflection of the director, and there is very leniency for those who compromise the credibility of the head honcho.

    2. Use the "Would my Mom be okay with me posting this" rule.

    If you happen to have a very relaxed mother, you can substitute your conservative grandmother for an indicator.

    3. Understand the scope of your actions.

    The next professional that sees your racy IG post could be the person that declines your inquiry for a letter of recommendation, use your first years of college to start changing your mindset to include the next 5 years, rather than the next weekend.

    I was fortunate enough to escape with just a warning, but it was enough for me to completely change the way I treated my social media. Please consider switching your profiles to private and thinking twice about posting photos from your weekend festivities. You never know who could be watching.


    Nanty Carlson | New Student Mentor

    10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Freshman Year

    Posted by Margaux Helm on 1/29/2014 09:39:01 PM

    As a senior, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on my past four years here at Seattle University. Looking back, I wish someone had laid out all of the dos and don’ts of college life when I first started here. While this isn’t a comprehensive list, here are ten things that I’ve learned since I arrived at Seattle University in September 2010. Consider this one soon-to-be graduate’s guide to a happy and successful Albers experience! 

    1. Get involved. Whether that means planning Fall Ball as a member of SEAC, running for SGSU office, or pledging for Alpha Kappa Psi, go for it! You’ll feel more fulfilled, learn valuable skills, and make some great friends along the way.
    2. Use your resources. One of the great things about Albers and Seattle U is that you never have to go it alone. There are hundreds of people who can help you out; all you have to do is ask! The Albers Placement Center is hugely helpful at any stage of the job/internship hunt.
    3. Do your best. That goes for classes, internships, and part-time jobs. Just because making coffee doesn’t fulfill your lifelong dream of being an accountant doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it 100%. You never know when you’ll need a reference or where you’ll find an opportunity!
    4. Just talk to people. “Networking” seems like such a scary word, especially when you haven’t had a job before. But all it takes is being unafraid to talk to people! Whether they’re your professors or professionals you find on LinkedIn, just set up a meeting and chat.
    5. Get started early (on everything). As the quarters go by, projects in your classes will get bigger and bigger, so make sure you stay ahead of the game. Start the internship search early too! If you’re unsure about your career path, internships can be a great way to figure it out.
    6. Study abroad. It can sometimes be tricky for business students to study abroad because of our course requirements …but I promise you, it’s worth it. As cheesy as it sounds, living in another country for a few months definitely changed my priorities and the way I see the world. I hope it can be the same for you.
    7. Get out more. We all live in a beautiful city, but somehow we get far too comfortable staying within five blocks of campus. Take a break from that finance homework, grab a free Orca card from the Campus Assistance Center, and go exploring!
    8. Learn how to say no. At some point during the next few years, you’ll probably want to do a million things at once – that internship, that club presidency, that extra class. As tough as it is to say no, you can’t always do it all. Choose what you’re most passionate about and your nerves will thank you later!
    9. Go beyond Albers. We are all very fortunate to have the opportunity to take classes outside of the business school. As passionate as you might be about marketing, take advantage of the new perspectives you encounter in your core classes. After all when else in your life will you be able to spend ten weeks learning about the history of zombies?   
    10. Don’t be so stressed. My past four years at Seattle University have been incredibly fun and rewarding. Don’t let your worries about classes or your future career ruin these days for you – enjoy them!
    Margaux | New Student Mentor 

    Winter Quarter Blues

    Posted by Austin Porter on 1/25/2014 06:07:40 PM

    With the winter season in full swing, there always seems to come a time of reflection that can often lead to second-guesses and detachment.

    The, at times, dreary Pacific Northwest weather can tend to throw all of us into a daze, given that we allow it to do so. With an unfamiliar, ever-changing experience like college, this weather-induced daze can often result in a period of reflection full of second-guesses and faux regrets. It's easy to let yourself begin to question whether you made the right decision to attend the college or university that you chose or whether attending college was the right decision at all.

    While most everyone goes through the aforementioned period of contemplation, it can become even more damaging when it's allowed to transform into a period of detachment. When you allow yourself to become detached, you begin to impact not only yourself, but also your friends, family, classmates, and all other parties that you interact with on a daily basis.

    Whether this time of detachment lasts a week, month, quarter, or year, it begins to wear you and your most critical relationships down. With these thoughts in mind, I'd like to share a quote from one of my favorite comedians, Louis C.K.  

    "You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time."

    While his quote addresses a 25-year-old, I believe it applies even more so to those of a younger age. College and your 20s in general are a time to be okay with uncertainty and embrace it head-on. It's OK to feel unsure sometimes. Like Louis C.K. said, see what your feelings are showing you and use them to move forward in the direction that makes you happy. Take a deep breath; try not to allow yourself to become detached from your friends and family, and turn this time of reflection into a positive step toward the path that makes you happy.


    Austin Porter | NSM

    Keeping the Proverbial Ball Rolling

    Posted by Gumpon Siriboon on 12/4/2013 11:46:45 AM


    Congratulations for making through your first quarter at Seattle University!  Now that you’re through the first one, we still have two to go.  Today I’m here to try and give some helpful tips to help maintain some of the momentum that you gained academically this quarter.

    Rule #1: Not getting a 4.0 isn’t backbreaking.  If you only take one thing away from this, choose this: Grades are important, but they’re not everything. 

    Ask any admission counselor or professor, and they’ll tell you that you’re here for a reason.  If you weren’t smart, you wouldn’t be here.  The first critical piece to recognize is that the ability is there, it has always been there, and it will continue to be there.  If you didn’t get a 4.0 your first quarter, that doesn’t mean that you’re not smart or that you’re not going to get hired down the road.  This isn't to say that grade don't matter, I’m not saying that you should tank the grades, but just realize that a B here, or even a C+ there isn’t going to kill you. 

    What I’ll offer you is this; you should always be trying to do your best.  A’s are hard to come by in college; it’s OK if you don’t have a 4.0.  What you should absolutely be doing is utilizing your resources, (you have a lot here), while striving to learn as much as you can.

    All right, I just read over that last paragraph and realized that it was pretty cheesy, but the point is still stands, so it’s going to stay right where it is.  Here’s a piece of actual advice: take some time to reflect on the things that went well, and not so well and write them down.  Be honest with yourself now, even if you got a 4.0, met the love of your life, made a million dollars, or what say you, there’s always things that can be improved. 

    We tend to stigmatize failure, but should we really be doing that?  When I think about all the ways that I’ve grown in the last few years, I’ve found that more often than not, it’s through failing.  In fact, I’ve royally screw something up and end up having epiphanies.  I cherish the times that I fail because I remember them and try to improve myself so that don’t happen again.  This is something that has helped me understand that I’m always growing, adapting, and that I’m nowhere near a finished product.  I highly encourage you all to try something similar.          

    Golden nugget #2: Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  When you’re done reflecting on your successes and failures.  Take some time to think about what balances you out.  What are the little things that just make your heart skip a little beat, and make you grin?  Make sure you have time in your days to pursue those activities and moments.  I know that things get stressful, I’ll be the first to admit that I easily get wrapped up by everything and forget that I’m a real person and I’m not just a robot that goes to class, meetings, and never stops working. 

    Self-care is an area of improvement for me for sure, (see I’m even trying to follow my advice).  It’s a process, but even if it means that you have to take a step back from all your activities just to take a breath, that’s a step forward.  All that we can really do is to take those little baby steps.  Change and progress are rarely monumental moments, it’s much more likely to be incremental and almost unidentifiable.  We figure out that change has occurred through that ever-important reflection time.

    Quick recap: Grades are important, but they’re not everything, Reflect on the things that have gone well and things that could have been done differently, and finally take care of yourself.  It’s a long school year, things will change along the way.  Always remember that there will always be someone right there with you, and in the words of Dory from Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming.”

    Have a wonderful holiday season every.




    NSM Zac