Monday, July 1, 2013

What I Didn't Do as a BBA

When I was an undergrad, I never really struggled with figuring out what I was going to get a degree in. My family owns a restaurant, Vic’s Daily Café, so this initially ignited my interest in business. Also, in high school I took DECA, a business class, consecutively for three years. I competed nationally two of those years and had a blast. As a result of being raised in the restaurant industry, as well having such a good experience in DECA, I knew that I wanted to get a degree in business. However, that is as far as my thinking went when I was an undergrad. I think it was easy for me to lose sight as to why I was there because some of the classes were completely irrelevant to my degree. I am sure that some of you can relate to this.

However, in the middle of my undergrad program I took a step-back and truly delved into the reasons why I was in school and asked myself seemingly easy yet in reality challenging questions, like “what I want to do when I grow up.” Long-story short I ended up getting a degree in Business and Economics, as they both complemented each other well and I feel that they have made me well-rounded in my education.

Though I am glad I had this epiphany in my undergrad years, I really wished I would have gotten involved more in organizations and participated in events hosted by Anderson. I totally get that our lives are filled to the brim with to-do lists that seem to grow throughout the day. In my undergrad years I went to school full time (sometimes 21 hrs.), worked part-time, and volunteered mentoring middle schoolers. One of the most valuable lessons in life is how to manage ones time, something that I have always struggled with. Looking back at my undergrad years, I realize that there were many opportunities afforded to me that I did not take full advantage of. Some of these things are:

  • Professors: I have come to learn that professors really do care about our career path and are willing to help us. As an undergrad it can be intimidating going into their office. However, even if you don’t have questions about school work you should still talk with them. Ask them about their profession, like why they do what they do and what steps did they take to get there. Maybe their job is something that you aspire to do. Well, talking with them is a great way to learn more about it and to learn how to someday do that.

  • Events: AGBS, ALPFA, and so many other organizations host events throughout the year. As an undergrad, I did not attend very many of these. I wish I would have. They are a great way to get to learn about organizations, get to know other Anderson students, network, meet employers (potentially your future-employer), and eat some really good food (most of these events always have food, so that’s definitely a bonus).

  • Career Services: Not too surprising that I am mentioning this being an ambassador, but this seriously is an underused resource here at Anderson. Right now ask yourself: “Why am I in school?” I don’t know exactly what your answer was, but I can guess what it was not: “because I enjoy buying expensive books, pulling all-nighters, or aspiring to be a professional student.” You are in school to get a job. But not just any job, your dream job. Maybe you know exactly what that is. Well great, career advisors can help you take the steps to get there. Maybe you have absolutely no clue what you want to do, that’s not a problem at all. Career advisors would love to help you discover what job best suits you. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.

I really enjoyed my undergrad years. However, looking back I could have really benefitted and had an even more enriched undergrad experience if I would have taken advantage of the MANY opportunities available here at Anderson. So don’t just coast through school, but be in it with intention and filled with passion. I challenge you to sign up for an event you’ve never gone to before, talk with one of your professors during their office hours, and schedule an appointment with a career advisor. Enjoy the adventure of being an undergrad student!

Ashely Pandazis received her BBA from Anderson and is now working toward her MBA with a concentration in Marketing Management. In addition, Ashley serves as an Ambassador to Career Services.

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