Tabor Talks: Finance is the Future!

Money is everywhere in society. Undoubtfully, it is something that will always hold significant value, and be used as a tool to generate wealth and fulfill our wants and needs. But how knowledgeable do we need to be with personal finances in order to truly benefit from our hard-earned coins?

Being financially literate is very vital when it comes to putting yourself in a better financial situation and being able to sustain short-term and long-term wealth. There are millions of students across America educating themselves in the fields of business and finances; and I’ve had the honor to speak with Kentina Ishimwe, finance major at Millikin University, who finds this field of study very essential and something that “everyone should be knowledgeable of”.

Kentina is continuing her third year studying Finance and describes her experience as that of any typical college student. Her schedule consists of attending classes, studying, completing assignments, and working. Amidst completing her daily routine as a student, she’s very involved around campus. Kentina serves as a member in the Women in Business organization (WIB), the African Student Organization (ASO), and is the Director of Finance for Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre (PDST). Her schedule is proven to her that being a finance student is a “process” that “reveals the truths behind it”. Despite the difficulties she has faced, Kentina says that “it is better to know what you are doing so that the decisions you are making now can positively reflect in the future”. Building her financial literacy as a student will ultimately be very beneficial for her in the years to come. A piece of advice she wishes to instill in those who want to choose the path she chose is “to know what you’re in for… if given an opportunity to do an internship or be a part of a business, make sure that Finance is what you want to do.” To conclude, she stated that “if you have experience in your field of studies, you have an advantage.”

“If you have experience in your field of studies, you have an advantage.” – Kentina Ishimwe

left – Kentina Ishimwe, Finance major
right – Professor Michael Osei

I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Osei, Professor of Financial Economics, at Millikin University as well! In our conversation, I’d asked Michael, “how would you describe your teaching experience in Finance thus far?”, and in response he stated the following:

 “It has been a fun experience! It is always a blessing to get to do what you love. The pandemic has shown us the importance of financial literacy and smart financial decision-making. So, teaching finance and helping students understand basic financial skills necessary to make the decisions that will support a healthy and financially secure future is an exhilarating experience!”

At one point, Michael brought up the FAME subjects, which reference the four major subjects in the business world: Finance, Accounting, Management, and Economics. With Finance being the first, it serves as the most important aspect of business. Michael finds this field of study very significant in comparison to others as it has “a greater job mobility and higher growth rate than most business careers” and “helps you make financially responsible decisions” which we will all do very often throughout our lives.

Conclusively, he included some words of wisdom that he hopes every potential or existing Finance student will apply to their lives as they progress in their academic careers:

“Finance is an important part of everyday life and financial literacy can be the difference between poverty and a great life well-lived. So welcome to the world of finance! Remember, every decision in life involves a trade-off, so if you have made the decision to be in school and pursue a major in Finance then make it count; give it your best shot no matter how challenging it may be! Choose excellence and don’t settle for mediocrity or resort to excuses. No matter your background, believe you can for ‘if you can believe, all things are possible to [the one] who believes’. See each day as a gift and always make the most out of it!”

“Finance is an important part of everyday life and financial literacy can be the difference between poverty and a great life well-lived.” –Michael Osei


Jacobrionna Tennin

Finance Major

Millikin University | Class of 2024

The story of Mike Wilkin

I am an Organizational Leadership major at Millikin University. I reached out to Mike Wilkin, another Organizational Leadership major at Millikin. Mike and I have had several classes together so we are both aware that we are non-traditional adult students. Mike and I have similar hobbies and interests. It turns out, we have more in common than we originally thought.

I will always remember the first day we had class together. I did not make it three feet into the classroom when he was asking me what my name was and that I look familiar. Turns out, my grandpa used to coach him in baseball. On top of that, he knew both my mom and my dad from sports and roller skating together. He also is really good friends with my uncle. This just shows how small the world can be sometimes.

Mike’s story on how he became an Organizational Leadership major is an interesting one. Every person has their own unique story. Mike started going to Richland Community College back in 1993. He chose to not finish and ended up just working full-time in 1994. He has been at Caterpillar since 2017 and wants to further his career their if he can. His goal is to be in more of a training role rather than an investigators role.

We fast forward to 2016. He ended up going back to Richland 27 years later to receive his Associates. He went back to school because of his family. They wanted him to pursue his dream of teaching. Mike stated, “I talked to advisors at Millikin about their flex program. They assured me that I could teach once I got my degree and OL was closest program they had. Turns out, I need more education from a different college after Millikin to qualify for my teaching certificate.”

For some time, Mike has been bitter about being misled about his pursuit of his teaching certificate. With that being said, he has not let that affect his attitude and motivation to complete his bachelor’s degree. Instead of having a bad attitude about it, he has approached every class with the same positive attitude. If you have ever had a class with Mike, you know that his attitude and humor is contagious. He makes every class more interesting because of his stories and perspective on topics. He also is not afraid to share his opinion.

To start his day, Mike is up around 5:00 a.m. He has to be into work by 6:30 a.m. He works until 3:00p.m Monday through Friday. His favorite part of the day is the, “Cat500 at 3:00p.m. This is the race out of the parking lot and down 22nd street. In his spare time, he plays tennis, bowling, and slow pitch softball. But more importantly, he loves spending time with his family.  

In addition, I reached out to Janet Kirby. She is a professor and academic advisor at Millikin University. Professor Kirby and I talk frequently because I have had her for several classes and she is my advisor. Her advice to students for the OL program or any program at Millikin University is to, “take all learning in classes at opportunities to apply them to your work or other life experiences as they are introduced.”

Mike is one semester away from completing the OL program and plans on graduating December 21st. All the while, he is working full-time, going to school full-time and raising two daughters. He also recently got married. Mike is balancing a lot throughout the year but is making it look easy. I am grateful that I have got to know Mike as a person.

Author: Austin Hardin

Millikin OL Major: T1D level 12:Future T1D Educator: Grateful :Sports Fanatic: Christian: Yes, I can eat sugar

The Average Day of a College Student

There is an old saying that one of the keys to success lies in having a proper education. Nowadays with everything that has been going on with COVID-19 and the ensuing pandemic has lead to quite a bit of change. However, one thing that has not is the day-to-day life and experiences of the average college student. I recently sat down with Colton Adams a student at Millikin University to ask him about his college experience thus far in his educational carrier as a sociology major.

Lets start off with the basics shall we, Colton is currently majoring in the sociology degree program at Millikin University. He began his educational path at Richland Community College in an effort to fulfill most of the general education requirements for Millikin before even starting at the university. “Going to a private university such as Millikin straight out of high school would have been expensive. Richland has a lot of overlap and transferable classes with Millikin so it was cheaper to go there first and figure out what I wanted to do first before making the transfer.” I asked what exactly was the focus of his major to which he replied. “The focus of the sociology major is to study various cultures and their origins in regards to the countries that they came from. Most of the work I did in class consisted of writing research papers and taking the occasional tests. Also, there was a lot of reading that I had to do in order to properly understand the subject matter of the courses.” As we all know the real back bone of the educational system are the instructors and educators of schools and universities. However, for students there is at least one educator whom they enjoyed the most and for Colton that person was professor Ken Laundra. When I asked Colton why professor Laundra was his favorite instructor he said “He was laid back in letting us as students find our own way forward but he had a certain level of expectation when it came to what we needed to achieve in our education.”

The college experience is not limited to just the pursuit of an education or the completion of a degree but also broadening the social aspects of the individual. Attending classes takes up only a fraction of the average day of a college student as most of the time only a couple of classes are attended each day. Well then you might wonder what exactly does a college student do then with the rest of their time not dedicated to studying or classes? Extracurricular activities of course! I asked Colton what he did in his spare time he replied “I did a wide variety of things but for the most part I hung out with my friends.” This of course is an understatement as Colton helped set up his own billiards team called Big Blue Billiards. Needless to say, the day to day of the average college student is quite busy

Balancing it all with Erika

I am an accounting major at Millikin University, and I reached out to Erika Chapman, another accounting major at Millikin. I was surprised when we started to chat to find out she is a non-traditional adult student too.

Erika’s story on how she became an accounting major is an interesting one. She attended Richland Community College right out of high school and obtained an associate’s degree in Biology. She was then accepted into Parkland’s Dental Hygienist Program. Shortly after that, her manager at Monical’s asked her to take over their bookkeeping, and she was surprised how much she enjoyed it. She found out she was pregnant during her last semester at Richland and took a couple of years off after that to spend time with her son. But in the back of her mind, she knew she wanted to get a bachelor’s degree. Her experience as a bookkeeper led her to work towards getting a degree in Accounting.

Erika currently works as the assistant to the executive vice president,  credit officers, and the loan administration team at Hickory Point Bank. She learned about the position at Hickory Point Bank during a Career Fair at Millikin University and made the switch from Monical’s in April as she felt like it was a better fit for her current and future goals.

She rises early to get her son ready for daycare and is in the office well before 8:00 am. When her day finishes at Hickory Point Bank, she drives about thirty minutes to pick up her son from daycare by 5:00. Once she arrives home, she gets her son settled for the evening, and school begins for her. With her courses being online this semester, she spends about four hours in the evening doing school work. She shared, “the first two semesters at Millikin were pretty intense, but the last two have not been so bad.” She did share “she makes it a priority to finish her classwork during the week so she can spend time with her family on the weekend.” In addition, she mentioned, “she relies heavily on Outlook calendar and course syllabus to keep her on track.”

When I asked her what her favorite part of the day is, she said, “dropping her son off and the quiet time during her drive to work.” Also, “getting her son from work at the end of the day is also a highlight.” Her least favorite part of the day is “rushing to pick him up by 5:00. It can be a challenge to arrive on time depending on the number of red lights.”

Her advice to accounting majors is to “reach out and be resourceful.” She also mentioned, “if she reaches out to a professor and doesn’t receive a response, she reaches out to another one to get the help she needs.” In addition, she wanted to share, “embrace the uncomfortable; you have to uncomfortable to get comfortable.”

In addition, I reached out to Ed Weber, professor at Millikin University, and asked what his advice would be for accounting majors. He said, “As an Accounting Major, one should realize that they will be using spreadsheet programs on a daily basis.  And, as the Accounting requirements of the clients become more and more complex, likewise the resulting spreadsheets must become more and more complex to service those clients’ needs! So taking personal responsibility to learn the more advanced tools and techniques which are a part of all contemporary spreadsheet programs is an   essential requirement of every Accounting professional!”

Erika is just three classes shy of finishing her degree and will graduate in May of 2022. All the while, she is working a full-time job and raising her three-year-old son Jase. Erika is balancing a lot during this season of life and she is making it look easy.

Author: Tanya Vaughn #TVaughn217

In tune higher ed administrative assistant. Communicator. Boy mom. Pillow collector. Documenting daily life w/ paper & glue.









A Chat With Kim Dial

Wife, mother, grandma, previous student and a woman on a mission is Kim Dial and the one I chose to interview.  I met Kim shortly after I started working at Millikin and it didn’t take long for us to become friends.

While working full time here at Millikin, she was also excelling at being a student.  I asked Kim how she felt this degree had helped her. She was honest with me and stated at this time she has not seen the benefits of the degree. She is hoping sometime soon.  When asked if she chose the right degree, she stated that she is not sure.  She did say that if she had to do it all over again, she may have chose a different path.

When pursuing a bachelors degree, make sure it will help you fullfill your passion. That it will go along with what you want to do for the rest of your life. When asked about if she would want to go back and get her Masters degree, she was laughing and said the thought of going back to school again makes her very nervous and sick to her stomach.  Why? Because it takes a lot of commitment and time.

Sean whom is Kims husband was a student as well and they graduated together. This meant that a lot of their weekends were spent studying. When I asked Kim how much time she spent on homework she told me she would spend 2 to 3 hours every day. There was not a day that went by that she did not work on some form of homework.

She would also spend 4-5 hours of class time a week. There were times when she was juggling 2 and 3 classes at a time. I also asked her how she managed her time being a wife, mom, grandmother, student and employee. She stated that is the most challenging part about being an adult learner. It a balancing act!

“That is the most challenging part about being an adult learner. It is a balancing act!”

There were many late nights and early mornings! There were days where she took vacation days to write papers. She gave some brilliant advice when she said to plan ahead. Don’t wait to the last minute to do your assignment. Always stay ahead of the game. She spent many lunch hours working on homework and her boss at the time allowed her to work on homework as long as she was done with all of her regular duties.

“Don’t wait to the last minute to do your assignment. Always stay ahead of the game.”

Weekends were for her family and grandchildren. So when she knew they had something planned she would work day and night through the week.  “I would never let school come between me and my time with my grandchildren stated Kim. ”  “I set times to work on my homework and did not deter from that.”

I reached out to Janet Kirby who is the Chair/Assistant Professor in Tabor School of Business.  I asked Janet how she perceived the student spending their day in this major as well as how she saw the student in this major. “The Organizational Leadership Major provides insight and skills for almost any role in organizations and could be in a coaching role for employee development.”

“The curriculum supports strengthening of knowledge skills and abilities which enable the OL grad to see the whole organization and understand the interdependent relationships that are critical to successful operation. “


I asked Janet to describe Kim and below is her response:

Kim Dial as a student took full advantage of the concepts in each course by applying them to current work situations.  During the program she changed roles in her organization and showed a great deal of adaptability and creativity as she absorbed the work if a totally different type of department.  This change allowed her to apply even more of the knowledge skills and abilities she developed in new and exciting ways.  I think that successfully responding to this change gave Kim an increased level of confidence in her own abilities.”

 ” When students can grow in this manner, I am always amazed at the power of returning to college as a mid-career professional.  it allows students to tap into a vast pool of resources developed as an employee and put them to use in new ways. “

Author, Cindy Monkman

Pleasant & Organized Administrative Assistant, Reliable, Loyal, Calendar Guru, Efficient Money Manager, Event Planner, Customer Service Master, Typist Extraordinaire



A Day In The Life Of A Business Management Major

I decided to interview Reese Bradford. He is a long time friend of mine and is a junior in college. His major is Business Management.

To start off his day he wakes up and eats breakfast. While doing so he will catch up on any studying he needs for the day that is about to begin. Reese says,” you always have time for studying. Not having time is not an excuse.” This is strong words from someone who works two jobs along with being a full time student. Reese works at Chic-fila and cuts grass for people. After breakfast Reese heads to campus. He tries to get there an hour before class so he can jump on one of the computers. He then goes to his classes. After classes are over he goes straight to Chic-fila to work a 5-6 hour shift. After his shift is over he will head home to start studying. He will then finish his day by playing some video games online with his friends. He is also a member of the E-sports team.

After Reese took me through a typical day of his I was able to ask a few questions. The questions I asked were:

How do you stay motivated in regards to schooling?

“Staying motivated has never been hard for me. I simply look at the big picture. I am a firm believer in if you want something to just go and get it. I want this degree for myself and to make my family proud. That is good enough for me.”

What advice would you give to someone new to your major?

“Study hard. This degree is overlooked as being easy. At times it can be but always make sure you are one step ahead of your work.”

I consider to someone who works at Millikin to be an instructor towards me in many ways and my major is included in this. he is an instructor indirectly. this person Is Kramer Soderberg. I had the privilege to be coached by him for the basketball team at Millikin. He told me a story that has change d my life forever. It made me decide to work harder to obtain my business management degree and to take that motivation into any endeavor that comes after that.

The moral of the story he told me was to fill my cup. It does not matter how big your cup is, but it does matter whether or not you fill it. To further explain, the cup represents your potential. The amount that is filled represents your effort put forth to fufill it.

In other words Coach Soderberg said,” It does not matter how big your cup is, it matter whether or not you fill it.”

Kramer Soderberg - Men's Basketball Coach - Millikin University Athletics

Author – Tyler Joest

Tyler Joest is a Business Management Major at Millikin. He played basketball at Millikin. He is a junior and becoming a senior in college. he currently works a maintenance job at a winery. He also is a stock guru for an online community called Stock-Hub.

Tyler Joest (@tylerjoest55) | Twitter

The Millikin Experience: Dive Into the Big Blue

Starting college is a leap into the next chapter of your life. It can be both exciting and confusing. Every student embarks on their own unique journey when they begin here at Millikin. In the words of Dr. Mark Munoz, multi-awarded international business professor and distinguished academic author, “College is what you make of it. The more courageous and willing you are to pursue new directions, the more rewarding your experience will be.” Like all journeys, organization and planning will aid in keeping you on course. College is no doubt a stressful time, but it can be filled with rewarding experiences and new connections made just by reaching out and getting involved on campus!

I reached out to budding Millikin sophomore, Shay Buchanan, to get some inside perspective on her experience thus far. Having experienced her first year at Millikin during the pandemic, she found it surprisingly easy to manage her time across multiple extra curricular activities, classes, and assignments. Shay is involved in triathlon events and the Millikin swim team. This requires many hours of rigorous endurance training, practices, meetings, and competitive matches. Most of Shay’s time here at Millikin is taken up by her athletics, like many Tabor students can relate to. However, Shay says, “I haven’t much trouble managing everything.” When it comes to assignments, her most commonly employed strategy is setting aside specific times to ‘marathon’ through them with heightened focus to complete her work as efficiently as possible.

Shay is a very active member of the Millikin community. “My biggest surprise when arriving at Millikin was how friendly the students and staff are! I didn’t expect Millikin to have such a tight-knit community.” This sense of community and belonging is something Millikin prides itself on. You can experience the camaraderie simply by walking through campus; plenty of smiling faces and waves will grab your attention. The small town feel of Millikin’s campus is what is so appealing to many students. Not to mention the world-renowned faculty is dedicated to helping you grow and succeed no matter what department you are in. “All of my professors have been very enthusiastic, understanding, and willing to help whenever I need it. My advice to students is never be afraid to ask for help,” said Shay.  Professors frequently reach out to students and have a bond with their students. This is something many students find so helpful, and consider it a ‘leg up’ over other universities.

Finally, I had the opportunity to speak to Millikin’s clinical instructor of management information systems and advanced computer technologies expert, professor Ed Weber, who offered these words of wisdom, “Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. The college experience is all about learning and experiencing new things!” If you truly want the Millikin experience, get involved. “Join one of our 80+ student clubs, investigate Greek life, introduce yourself to professors and get to know them beyond the confines of the classroom.” I couldn’t agree more with him. There is so much to do at Millikin. I’ve been involved in many activities and even still, I’ve barely even scratched the surface. Connecting with my professors and sharing their passion for success has really made me feel valued at Millikin and encouraged to reach new heights. Professor Weber goes on to say, “Instead of simply attending your required classes, make sure you squeeze every possible drop out of your Millikin and Tabor experience!”

Make it big, make it Millikin!


By Jorie Clark

Business Management in Human Resources at Millikin University Class of ’22

Today with Tanya

Hard working employee, dedicated accounting student, and loving mother of 2 boys. Here are just a few phrases that describe Tanya Vaughn.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tanya, a student here at Millikin University with a major identical to mine. Not only a student at Millikin University, but also part of the faculty at Millikin University. Through interviewing Tanya, I learned about both her personal and professional life and my hope is, through this blog, I can portray her bubbly personality and passion for life.

As I think back on our 30-minute conversation full of laughs, encouraging words, and genuine conversations, my mind travels to one thing in particular, the twinkle in her eye as she speaks. Through Zoom, it is at times hard to gauge the person in the other box, however, this is far from the truth with Tanya. The double thumbs up she gave me as I mentioned my new career, the smile on her face while she mentioned her children, and that welcoming twinkle in her eye throughout our short meeting.

So, what does a day in Tanya’s life look like? Tanya starts her day at Millikin, working in the CAPP office from 8AM to 5PM, many times utilizing her lunch hour to complete her studies. Once 5PM rolls around Tanya switches from work to school once again and completes assignments, lectures, or other tasks pertaining to the completion of her degree in accounting. Two, sometimes three hours, she remains in front of the computer focusing on bettering her education, not only for her family, but for herself. Of course, this does not happen every night, and if it did, it would likely drive anyone mad. So, those nights she does get to step away from the computer once 5PM rolls around, she enjoys dinner with her family.

As if I have not gone into enough detail on the dedication Tanya contributes to her education, I have yet another example. Many Saturdays Tanya returns to her office and puts in more schoolwork. These days are often the most productive, with a clear head and distractions at a minimum, Tanya focuses on the future ahead, through homework, of course.

One thing Tanya recommends, encourages, and advises accounting students and classmates to do? Communicate, she could not stress this enough! Communication is key, communicate with professors when assignments might be late, when you have completely dropped the ball, or if you need a little help.

A quote that Tanya uses in her daily life is “we are responsible for our actions and God is responsible for the rest”, this quote represents Tanya in several different ways. For starters, this quote shows Tanya’s faith in herself and in God, a characteristic that is valuable. This also shows Tanya holds herself accountable and takes responsibility for her actions.

It was truly a pleasure interviewing with Tanya, my hope is that through this blog, the reader will get a glimpse of “Today with Tanya”.

Erika Chapman – Author
Hard working & determined wife, mom, administrative assistant, & accounting student. Focused on excelling in life. Lover of understanding happiness.
Tanya Vaughn – Blog Inspiration
“We are responsible for our actions and God is responsible for the rest.”

Brian Wise Blog

Brian Wise was a student at Millikin University, prior to that he attended Richland Community College. Brian’s extra-curricular activities were spent outside of class doing research on environmental topics. He would read articles that were given to him by his professor. He completed environmental topic papers on environmental issues like endangered species. The papers addressed environmental issues and how to make a difference in the area focus. Brian broadened his horizons outside environmental studies by taking criminal justice classes as electives. He also took electrical engineering classes and machinist classes. He had a hard time with PLC at Richland where he went before he came to Millikin. His classes gave him hands-on experience in his environmental studies classes and experiences. The classes took him to different parks and were taught conservation practices. He found the differences between parks and protected areas. During fieldwork, he would clear out brush from local parks and planted 150 trees during his time at Millikin. . He would also clear out trash from an old mound in Blue Mound, an old open pit gravel mine. Trash would end up in this area quite often. Brian chose to be a commuter because it was cheaper and he could still be at home. He also felt more comfortable than living on campus. Another advantage was that he was close to his job. A photo of him was not available to me. He did not do a lot of extracurricular activities because he did not play any sports. He felt his time was better spent by being outside just walking around parks. At home, he would spend most of his time doing yard work. Brian’s family has a farm so he spent time on his there working with animals and other farm chores. Brian likes to play pool at Starship Billiards with people from his work. But since it burned down he does not do that anymore. He enjoys spending a lot of time outside and with family. Brian lives with his family as of now and he is thankful for their support every step of the way. His favorite professor was David Horn because he interacted with him most and always had time for one-on-one interaction. Professor Roark also made an impact on him during his time at Millikin. Brian would help others by telling them that this program is not the easiest in the world. There are a lot of papers that will cause long nights. The stress of the high expectation in this program caused him to have night terrors and made him sleepwalk. One night during an exceptionally stressful time while sleepwalking he fell down his stairs and started screaming about snakes before eventually falling asleep again. Brian’s advice to students is “learn to love caffeine”. Brian felt even thru the stress and sleepless nights he learned to better himself and the environment around him. Since graduating he has applied to ADM and the Illinois EPA and hopes to be able to continue his concern for the environment there.