And the Journey Begins…

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NIU College of Business Marketing and Social Media Intern - Jacob Ferguson

Hello! My name is Jacob Ferguson and I am a senior Operations Management and Information Systems (OM&IS) major here at Northern Illinois University. Before we get started I would just like to thank all of the previous interns and authors particularly the most recent one, Rob Willer, for all their hard work and their dedication to making this blog the best that it can be. The goal of this post is to give you a brief introduction to myself and to inform you on the direction that we at College of Business plan to take the Student Voices Blog this year.

I graduated from Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois in May of 2011 with dreams of going to college and my eyes set on one school, Northern Illinois University. One of my main missions since entering Northern Illinois University has been to leave it a better place than when I started and to enjoy myself as much as possible along the way. I think I have managed to accomplish at least one of those in my time here thus far. Furthermore, I am involved in such organizations as Delta Sigma Pi, CAUSE (Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs) and the Dean’s Student Advisory Board which I believe have all helped me to make tremendous strides in achieving the two goals mentioned above.

At the end of the day a lot has changed since beginning my time here at Northern Illinois University and it hasn’t always been good. I plan to be transparent in my posts and will try to give you a taste of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to this place that most of us call home for four some odd years. Topics will be selected by students and we will focus heavily on guest posts to give you different perspectives. This blog is written for students and by students.

Go Huskies!

 

 

Coasting Through a Hurricane

Senior year… there are far too many thoughts in my head about it. A lot of people coast through senior year and I anticipated being one of them. Unfortunately that isn’t anywhere near accurate.

I only have four courses, two of which are capstone courses but the work load is moderate to semi-high. Hurray. The next factor is adding in my job in the Office of the Dean, responsibilities as VP and President of a marketing organization and sales organization respectively, and being a finalist in the world’s largest sales competition. Luckily I’m not scheduled to work that many NIU athletic events this semester, phew.

I feel the pressure building because I need to be practicing all my material for the World Collegiate Sales Open so I represent NIU to the best of my abilities but it is tough to make this my top priority when I have homework, projects, quizzes, upcoming exams, board meetings and chapter meetings taking up time.

In the past two weeks I’ve capitalized on one of the perks of my job; free coffee. I still won’t classify myself as a coffee drinker (hate the taste) but it’s a cost effective way for me to get my caffeine fix so professors aren’t staring at my eye lids in class. I’m not trying to convey that I don’t like my classes, they are very interesting and I enjoy the material. But let’s face it, when you don’t have a whole lot of time to sleep the most interesting material in the world won’t keep you awake. Not this guy anyway.  I have several friends who are under just as much pressure with activities and feeling similarly overwhelmed, so I know I’m not alone.  It’s been more than worth it being as active and involved as I am and even though it’s tough, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

A former professor of mine tells us, “work hard; play hard.” I think it’s a fair mentality to have, working hard all week and having great times on the weekend with your friends. I don’t even care at this point how much sleep I’m getting or am not getting. I take a new direction in life three months from now so I have to squeeze every last drop out of college life while I can.

We’ve Got Talent

Monday, February 6 was Talent Acquisition Night for marketing and sales students. (This event is the equivalent of other department’s Meet the Firm night.) This was my first experience at a school sanctioned internship/career event. Interestingly enough I along with everyone else in my Advanced Professional Selling class last semester were responsible for selling tables to companies for this event.

There were over 150 students that attended and nearly 50 companies. I thought it was a great turnout for a departmental event and it truly was set up quite nice. I’ve been to a professional sports career fair twice and the amount of people there forces you to wait in line for a large amount of time depending on the teams you want to talk to. The marketing departments Talent Acquisition Night was nothing like that. If you waited in “line” you were just waiting for a rep to free up. It didn’t take 10 – 20 minutes to speak with someone.  One thing in common though, there are lots of sales jobs out there. You could tell the companies in attendance last night are big supporters of NIU either coming from the Sales Advisory Board, the Interactive Advisory Board or they are just companies that attend all the job and internship fairs here on campus. It’s great to see that all these companies have such a vested interest in the students here.

I’m usually really excited for events like this but I was severely lacking enthusiasm for Talent Acquisition Night because I have a job lined up after I graduate already. I’ve been telling myself I keep looking and keep applying but the motivation is no longer there. I figured it can’t hurt to go to TAN to at least network with companies there whether I was interested in a lot of them or not. It turned out to be a great goal to just network since I wasn’t in need of a job. I also got some great insight about career paths and following passions from some of the recruiters there. Over all I certainly recommend to anyone whether you’re looking for a job or not, it’s great to go for the networking, the practice and the tips you can receive.  It is totally beneficial and worthwhile to attend and make those connections.