Albers School of Business and Economics

Undergraduate Programs Blog

Why I Chose Seattle University

Posted by Chisup Kim on October 1, 2016 at 8:10 AM PDT

Just the other day, a professor asked me what did I enjoy the most during my time here, and I jokingly told that individual that I would respond later. I thought about the best classes I took, my personal achievements, and my professional experience. But, when thinking retrospectively, my favorite part about Seattle University is that it highlighted the value of people, especially those around me. During my freshman year, I was not that involved. I had a good group of friends, but my extracurricular involvement was lacking. I joined one club, and went to two meetings. To say I was in that club would be an understatement, and I was ready to transfer from Seattle University after my freshman year from my perceived lack of opportunities. However, my sophomore year and on was when I finally started becoming involved. I joined more clubs, became involved in residential life, played on some terrible intramural teams, and became more involved in my business classes. My grades started getting better. My professional development soared. Most importantly, I met a large number of unique individuals, and recognizing their uniqueness only strengthened my understanding of myself.  As you can tell, I didn’t transfer.

What I enjoyed most is that I could get a quality education, while meeting the people who were here with me. Approximately 4,700 undergraduate students are enrolled at Seattle University, and not many campuses have the same luxury of this small community where you can connect with more people. At larger universities, a common psychological phenomenon is Barry Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice, where a larger abundance of people might actually lead you to meet less of them due to choice paralysis.  A close friend of mine that recently graduated from UW told me that she would meet people and never see them again in the sea of students. I’m happy to say that I cannot relate to that at all. We all share the same classrooms, Cherry Street, library, and most importantly, friends. I never met someone new, who didn’t have a mutual friend, and I think the small community here enriched my experience more than anything.

So, my biggest advice to freshmen is that you’re going to create your circles, but you should expand them as soon as you can. As busy as you are, go to that club meeting you’ve been pushing off. As much we hate them, create group texts to hangout. As much as you might get nervous, go meet that person sitting across from you. Meet these people because you’re going to see them around for the next four years, and for a select few, even longer. And if you don’t know where to start, my inbox is always open.


Best regards,

Chisup Kim | New Student Mentor

Test post

Posted by Liz on September 26, 2016 at 12:09 PM PDT

The Most Important Tab in LinkedIn

Posted by Fitz Jordan on June 2, 2016 at 10:06 AM PDT

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for professionals of all ages (including first year students in college) and across all industries (including the non-profit sector). I highly recommend all Albers students utilize this free social media platform to connect with other professionals and expand your network.

Something that typically remains unnoticed among Albers undergraduate students is the size and quality of the Albers alumni base. There are tens of thousands of alumni all over the world working at all types of companies in every occupation imaginable. And they’re almost always willing to help current undergraduate students connect with the professional world. So how can we get in contact with them?

When you log into your LinkedIn account, hover your mouse over the tab named “My Network”. From the drop down menu that appears, select the tab titled “Find Alumni”. You will be taken to a page that lists all 39,473 alumni of Seattle University. Use the filters in the center of the page to find an alumnus that works at a company you would love to work for in an occupation you aspire to attain. If you click the arrow on the right side of the filters window, you will see there are three more filter options for finding alumni. The “What they studied” filter is especially helpful if you are not sure what you want to do with your education because it allows you to see how alumni have used their degrees to get where they are today.

Once you’ve found an alumnus who works at a company you would like to work for in a position you would love to have, connect with them and send them a message. I recommend connecting with more recent graduates as they can relate more to your efforts of finding the right career path, but older graduates have great insights as well. In your message, ask if the alumnus would be available to meet for an informational interview. The Albers Placement Center has a great pamphlet for informational interviews that you can pick up whenever. Remember that people simply might not have the time to meet depending on their job or the time of year, so don’t be discouraged if they don’t reply or reject the invitation. If they accept, find a time you can both meet over coffee to discuss their company, their career path, their goals, and even internships. Be sure to share your own interests and goals as well. It is always courteous to find a location that is close to the alumnus’ workplace. Be sure to follow up with a thank you card or email, and try to stay in contact with the alumnus.

This has served as a great way for me to expand my network, learn more about different occupations and companies, and land the exact job I’ve been looking for. I know it can work for you too! Alumni are a great way to connect with the professional world, which makes the “Find Alumni” tab the most important tab in LinkedIn.

Please also remember that for these connections to work, you must return the favor when you are a graduate. So don’t forget to help undergraduate students find the right career path when you are an alumnus!

Senior Memoir: Three Things I Wish I did in Undergrad

Posted by Sergiu Ispas on May 26, 2016 at 12:05 PM PDT

With graduation in under two weeks, I want to share the top three things that I wish I was involved with in my four years in Albers:

1) Study abroad

Whether it was a scheduling issue or a conflict with work, I was never able to study abroad and utilize the connections that Seattle University has with various other prestigious institutions around the world. Regardless of what degree you are pursuing or the field of work are hoping to enter, college is one of the best times in your life to travel, see new places and immerse yourself in different cultures. All the classmates that I have spoken to about their study abroad experience have brought back fond memories and stories of their time in a different country. Even though four years seems like a long time, I strongly recommend that you start thinking about study abroad as early as your first year so that you can plan ahead and minimize the conflicts with classes and jobs.

2) Connecting with professors

At the Albers School of Business, we are very lucky to have professors that are passionate about their work and encourage all of their students to come during office hours for help of homework or to talk about research topics and post-college plans. At first, it may feel intimidating to speak to your professor one-on-one since we are all accustomed to the classroom setting. However, once I started going to my professor’s office hours, mainly for graduate school and career related questions, I found their advice to be extremely valuable in my post-graduation decisions. But by Senior year, I began to realized that I did not take full advantage of the opportunity to connect with my professors and learn about their path through academia and the workforce.

3) Getting to know people outside of Albers

The first year, or two, when you live in the dorms, getting to know other students outside of Albers is easy and comes almost naturally. However, as I migrated off campus and lived in a house further away, I narrowed down my friend groups to almost exclusively Albers students. This is by no means a bad thing, but I truly believe it pays off to talk to people who have different views on business and can provide insight on the world around us with their academic background. While it’s always fun to sit around talking about interest rates and how consumers make shopping decisions, I think it would benefit all Albers students to step out of their comfort zone and understand other people’s perspectives. After all, the Jesuits do encourage holistic learning.

Your experience in Albers is what you make of it. Your plans coming into college are likely to change throughout the years and you will find more opportunities for growth and leadership as you get more involved with your professors, colleagues and other opportunities provided by the school.

Some last words of advice:

Participate in EVERYTHING, even if it’s not your thing, you’ll probably find that if you participate you always have fun. Don’t be that kid that is “too cool for school” because you will miss out.

Best of luck!

Sergiu Ispas
2014-16 New Student Mentor

Achieving Goals with Flexibility

Posted by Kiera Olsen on December 4, 2015 at 2:12 PM PST

"Notification of Selection Results" the subject line read for an email I received one morning. Here it was, the classes I was registered for during my semester in Växjö , Sweden. A lot was riding on that two page document: tuition dollars, my graduation date, my pride at managing to squeeze in two abroad programs barely over SU tuition, and so on. So I opened it…and I was devastated. All electives. Each and every one of them from the Swedish classes to the course on European Union Politics. My dream of studying business in Europe was crushed. 

Now I had to make a decision and fast. Forfeit the $3000 down payment on the program and stay in Seattle or make the most of what I had been given. 

It wasn’t as if I wasn’t interested in the courses I had been handed. I’ve always been passionate about language at least and the history course seemed very appealing. Plus this was Sweden we were talking about: a beautiful country with gorgeous scenery, rich history, and a culture that, as I would later learn, fit my personality to a T. So I took the jump, boarded a plane and made my way to a tiny city near the most southern point of Sweden. What I would do to make up for the lack of business classes would largely have to wait until I got there. 

The first step was to make some friends. Linnaeus University welcomes more than 1,600 international students each year from over 60 countries, which meant that there was a lot of international networking I could accomplish. I started with the dorm building I had been placed in. Most students there were from the US as well, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t have valuable stories to tell.

Mission more or less accomplished, it was time to move onto the Swedes. Being that they are a generally introverted bunch (especially by American standards), this was easier said than done. Thankfully most of them spoke fluent English, which eliminated one hurdle at least. Regardless, I looked around for ways to connect with Swedish students and citizens of Växjö to get to know them and their culture. The Friend Family program and the Buddy Program were my solutions. The former program paired me with a local family who would meet with me once a month minimally to show me around and answer any questions I had about their culture, city, and country. The latter paired me with a Senior Swedish student who would essentially play the same role, but within the confines of the school. Through both programs I was able to rapidly expand my network and connect with those working in and studying the business field.

The next task was to explore a little. Taking advantage of the cheaper traveling expenses between European countries, I visited three other nearby countries during my stay. It was important for me though not to attend strictly as a tourist, but to study up on the country beforehand and visit significant historical sights to make the journey just as educational as it was fun. I am an international business major after all and what better way to study the international portion on a larger scale? 

I didn’t stop moving once I was back in my dorm though. Instead I took to studying as much as I could about business in Sweden on my own. From there I would develop questions to ask my expanding Swedish network so I could come home with the satisfaction that even though I didn’t have business classes, I was doing what I could to obtain that knowledge.

Studying abroad is always a daunting task no matter how well your plans go. As I sit here a year later, I am so thankful for the experience. Not only did I manage to achieve my goals, but I learned how to look past my inclination for a perfect plan, and to become flexible even when everything seems to be going wrong.

Kiera Olsen
Senior, International Business major, Japanese minor

Leadership is about Trust

Posted by Joseph Lopez on October 26, 2015 at 8:10 PM PDT

I'm standing next to Ms. Carmen Rodriguez in the early morning hours, in her one story apartment in Madrid, Spain. She would be my host mom for the next four months as I studied at a nearby university. I had just arrived the night before, a day later than originally expected, and I was apprehensive of what laid ahead. I had never been to Spain, let alone ever set foot in Europe. All the months of preparation (mentally and physically) had prepared me for this moment. I was going to be going to my first day of school, and Carmen was going to walk me from her apartment, in the North Side of Madrid, to the school's campus in the south part of the city by way of the famous "Metro" (the subway). I had to completely trust her sense of direction and her knowledge of the city to get me to school, only after a few short hours of getting to know each other. Walking out the door, I completely trusted in her. I made it to school that day, and every day following for the rest of the semester. But to this day, I never forgot her act of kindness when I was at my most vulnerable.

When was the last time you truly trusted someone? 'm not talking about trusting that your parents would send you money for food, or trusting your teacher would be there at your classes regularly scheduled time. I'm talking about trusting someone when you were completely out of your comfort zone. It's a tough question. Many times, people (especially people like me) hate relying completely on someone, especially in a time of vulnerability. But when I reflected on this moment in my life, I realized that Carmen had taught me a great lesson.

A good leader is able to help others, but a great leader is able to make you trust them. I had complete trust in Carmen. She explained the process of getting on the Metro, she made jokes when I didn't put my ticket in the right way of the entrance, but most importantly, she made me see that with building trust comes moments of growth. On that walk, she pointed out several places to explore; one of which was a great little café. On warm sunny days, I would go and sit at the café and just take in my surroundings. It was one of the best times of my life.

Trust was the ultimate factor here. Great leaders (like Carmen) can make other people around them trust them. Having trust and getting past points of vulnerability allow you to learn a lot about yourself while teaching you great lessons in how to lead those around you. Take some small steps in order to get there. We are a little past the midpoint of Fall Quarter, but its never to late to go to that club meeting, create that professional relationship with a professor, or even to go out and try that new restaurant you've walked past several times. Who knows, maybe you will find yourself in the middle of Madrid sitting at a café and enjoying the view.

Joseph Lopez
Management major | Senior
New Student Mentor

The Midterms are Coming

Posted by Danielle LeBaron on October 19, 2015 at 9:10 AM PDT

For most of you, midterms are just around the corner. For others, they may already be here. The most important thing to remember at this point, though, is "DON'T PANIC." Whether you've been preparing since classes began or are just getting started (it's ok, I've been there too), you'll want to find a study method that will set you up for success.

Here are some tips to get you on the right track:

  1. Strategize: Before diving into all the material your exam will cover, make sure you have some sort of game plan. This will keep you from (a) feeling overwhelmed with the material and (b) diverting into things you don’t even need to study. A simple list or a creative and colorful road map will do!
  2. Organize: Once you know exactly what you need to review, set-up your study space. Turn on some instrumental music or tunes you are already familiar to keep you focused. Get out some highlighters to color-code details that you may need to recognize or use on the exam. I usually differentiate vocabulary, high-level concepts, and anything the professor stressed during their lecture. De-clutter your desk of miscellaneous papers and unnecessary electronics (this includes your cell phone!!) to keep any immediate distractions out of reach.
  3. Practice: If your exam is equation-based, gather any problems you struggled with from your homework assignments. Redo them by describing (out loud) and writing down exactly how you should solve the problem. This helps you kinesthetically, visually, and auditorily remember the step-by-step approach for each problem type. However, if your exam is more of the subjective variety (i.e. short essays), create mini outlines of how your professors would expect you to frame your answer. You may not have specific material for those outlines, but by practicing you’ll have a starting point for the actual exam.
  4. Consolidate: Grab a flash card and write down anything you tend to forget or MUST know for the exam (i.e. equations). While you’re waiting for class to start, the flash card is a convenient way to get some last minute review without having to shuffle through all your notes.
  5. Ask for Help: If you're still foggy on some course material, make sure you ask for help! Connect with a classmate, form a study group, or stop by your professor’s office hours. Many math courses have some sort of study session that gives you a chance to work through example problems with your professor’s TAs. I've found those sessions as the best way to figure out any common mistakes I may have been making while solving problems. Also, some professors are gracious enough to provide a practice exam. Check their course on Canvas to see if they posted one!
  6. Treat Yourself: In-between your time reviewing, make sure you take a little break every now and then, for sanity's sake. The best way to do this is make landmarks on your review game plan. Make these breaks the time for a sweet treat, a moment away from your desk, or a dance break to re-energize yourself.

Although I didn't include them in this list, you MUST also remember to sleep and eat. If your body isn't in a descent state to absorb the information you're reviewing, all that hard work will be wasted!

I hope at least a few of these tips help alleviate some of those midterm stressors. You can make it past the "DON'T PANIC" stage and into the "I can do this" stage. I wish you the best of luck! 

Danielle LeBaron
International Business Major | Junior
New Student Mentor

Investing in your Interests

Posted by Chisup Kim on October 14, 2015 at 4:10 PM PDT

When talking to my friends, I often hear about their desires and wishes to travel abroad, but often their preset programs stop them from experiencing the distinctive cultures outside our borders. Although I highly recommend study abroad tours to everyone, not everyone that wants to go can go for whatever reason including: grades, classes available, or even the costs. I was in a similar position last year; I simply could not go on a study abroad tour because of my academic schedule planned out for me. Despite these circumstances, I managed to find a different way to use my passport.

Last winter break, instead of returning home to Las Vegas, I travelled to Guatemala for a service trip. There, my friend Sarah and I volunteered for a nonprofit called Long Way Home. Guatemala contains various problems involving poverty, lack of education, and environmentally unsafe methods of disposing trash. Long Way Home aspires to solve all of these problems through ecological projects. When I arrived, Long Way Home was essentially building a school made from trash in a small town called San Juan Comalapa. Comalapa has a huge waste problem by disposing their garbage into a deep pit. Long Way Home repurposes the trash into useful building materials. Old Tires full of cement were used stacked into sturdy walls. Empty beer and soda bottles were placed in lieu of windows creating beautiful lighting. Plastic was repurposed into reliable concrete. Like Seattle University, they even recycled compost to enrich the soil. The school was beautiful with the materials manifesting into marvelous structures.

Our work days usually started at 8 am and ended at 5 p.m., and the work varied everyday on the worksite. On the first day, we helped build a shed for their water containers. Another day, we went to gather tires from local mechanical shops to build more walls. The next, we were landscaping and reshaping the grounds for the return of the students. Every day surprised me with more and more hard work. But, helping Long Way Home progress closer to their mission made all the hard work valuable. When we were not on the worksite, we were exploring Guatemala. In San Juan Comalapa, we met internationally renowned artist Oscar Peren. Peren has paintings exhibited in many museums around the world, and you can even buy smaller paintings from him at his house. Beyond Comalapa, we took buses and taxis to get around. We traveled to Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala City, and various other areas. My favorite place was definitely the hike up the dormant Volcan de Agua. At the top, we could see the active Volcan de Fuego pluming.

Now, I know not everyone can afford to leave their homes during Christmas break, but the point is that you can find alternatives for your passions than the opportunities set out before you. I had an amazing time in Guatemala by going after opportunities. If travelling really is a passion of yours, then you can always find opportunities outside of school to capitalize on them. The best thing you can do for yourself is invest in your interests in and out of the classroom because the lessons gained will be beyond measurement. 

For more information about Long Way Home: 

For more information about study abroad: 


International Business & Economics (Double Major) | International Economic Development (Minor) | New Student Mentor

Building Your Personal Brand

Posted by Sergiu Ispas on September 30, 2015 at 9:09 AM PDT

As you begin the first year of your college experience as a student in the Albers School of Business and Economics, take a moment to think about your personal brand.

A personal brand is something that distinguishes you from other students and markets your unique talents and abilities. Branding has become more and more apparent in the business context since the implementation of social media and can boost, or damage, your personal image.

Why Should you Care?

Your personal brand begins today. You have already began your journey to molding your own brand by attending the Jesuit institution that is Seattle University. Every action you take, club you join and role you take on/off campus will affect your brand in one way or another. Sonia Gonzales, a career services manager at Florida International University says “the worst thing you can do is until you graduate before thinking about social media as a way to build a brand”. This becomes even more important as new trends in social media begin popping up and employers set out to conduct more thorough background checks.

How Do I Start?

You can start slowly. Here are just some of the things you can do today to build your brand:

Be proactive: Attend one of Alber’s LinkedIn webinars or visit the Albers Advising Center for tips on how to build a strong and attractive brand both off- and online. LinkedIn, similar to Facebook, is one of the most commonly used professional networking sites. By creating an account early in your college career, you can constantly update you job status, post new skills and achievements, and follow companies that you are interested in!

Get involved: After you feel like you have gotten the hang of the workload that comes with college classes, get a part-time job, do community service, or join a club you are interested in. Employers look for candidates who are involved beyond school and want to learn less about your job, rather the challenges and hurdles you faced in that position. If an employer is faced with two different candidates, Student A who got perfect grades but didn’t do much on the side, versus Student B that had decent grades but has continuously taken leadership roles, volunteered, and worked well on many teams, there is a higher likelihood that Student B will get an offer because they were involved and made an effort to expand their horizons.

Be authentic: Lets be honest. College is fun. There are endless opportunities for you to enjoy your college experience, and at the end of the day, it is important to remember your values and be authentic. To keep it short, post on social media only what you would want your future employers to see, because once it is online, it’s not that easy to remove.

Enjoy your first year in college, make new friends, discover new passions and be yourself. Your personal brand begins today, and you control how it will look when you finish your degree and begin looking for graduate education or a career.

Sergiu Ispas
Economics and Finance | Senior
New Student Mentor

5 Things I Learned from my Experience at Seattle University

Posted by Gerline Reyes on August 27, 2015 at 3:08 PM PDT

Summer is coming to a close and soon enough the university will be filled with new students. Within the past couple years I’ve spent on this campus, I’ve gathered a few tips based on my experiences here for you incoming freshmen, transfer, and prospective students.

Tip #1: Get involved.

Find something you can be passionate about. After being athletic all my life, I missed being in a team community upon entering college. Thankfully, I found rowing my freshman year. For anyone that’s met me, I know what you are thinking: “she is 5’4”, on the rowing team, and not a coxswain? There’s no way.” BUT, there is a way. Be passionate, get excited, and be open to options that at first don’t seem within reach. You’ll meet people, build friendships, and make connections with every club, team, internship, or job you pursue.

Tip #2: There is something for everyone. Find what interests you.

Seattle is a great place to first experience life on your own without the guidance and watch of your parents. Explore the concerts and music scenes around Capitol Hill and within campus like at SU’s big event Quadstock, make a Seattle Food Bucket List, and do touristy things in your new home. You only have a few years to freely explore the city. Go find the things you’re interested in, because in Seattle, and especially in Capitol Hill, there is something for everyone.

Tip #3: Get ready to work hard.

You’re beginning your adult life. The transition from high school to college is especially difficult for some, but luckily Seattle University is a great place to transition to. As a business student, you will be pushed academically. Professors push individuals to reach their potential and provide a great support system along the way. Believe it or not, your professors want you to succeed. Visit them during office hours; they are here to help you! Also, it’s never too early to begin networking with professors!

Tip #4: Work hard but don’t strain yourself in the process.

While it is important to push yourself, know your limits. I learned this one the hard way my freshman year. I remember spending countless nights cramming in the library, frying my brain at ridiculous hours in the early morning and still having to wake up (if I even slept at all) at 5am for practice the next morning. The more you plan and get a head start on assignments/ studying for tests, the better off you’ll be. Learn how to manage your time and how to prioritize. Help yourself out by being prepared, taking care of your precious body, and allowing time for your brain to rest. Trust me on this one.

Tip #5: Enjoy your time here.

I applied to 12 other colleges: a few in my home state of California, a couple throughout the nation, and many in the Pacific Northwest. After all my college tours and visits ended, I knew this region was the best fit for me. I believed this was where I could make the most of my college experience, and sure enough, I was right. Years after making my decision to commit to Seattle University, I am still happy with my choice and could not have asked for a better experience thus far. I am pushed academically and have learned to find interest in each course I take. I am still discovering new spots and eateries around the city where I can relax and take a break from school. I am provided with the business environment that is quintessential in building the foundation for my work experience. College really is a time like no other. Take your time to enjoy these next four years here. Regardless of where one goes to pursue a higher education, he or she should make the most of it, and Seattle is a great place to start. 


--Gerline Reyes, Junior, Finance major