Diving Deep Into European Business at Artevelde University

By: Angela Arnold

A deep dive into one of my study abroad courses: I began virtual classes at Artevelde University in Belgium about a month ago. I am enrolled in two courses which are People Management and European Business. Of the two, European Business has been my favorite thus far. My professor has had an extensive career working in many European businesses and at the European Parliament. She is also quite an inspiration as she speaks 8 languages and has 2 small children at home. European Business only meets once a week and the majority of the class is lecture based. At the middle and end of the class every week we meet with other students in random breakout rooms to discuss the topics and our relevant experiences. Since these courses do not assign homework, a large part of our grade is based on the work we do in our semester team assignment. We were assigned to groups of 6 and as a team we will work throughout the semester to provide a research paper and presentation on a European business sector. My team has chosen the real estate sector and the research that we have completed thus far has been very dynamic and interesting, especially the variances by location. 

Another difference is with the class setup. As I said we do not receive homework, so our grade is based fifty percent on the team assignment and then fifty percent on the final exam. This is a big shift for me as I am used to the U.S. course structure of having multiple quizzes, tests, and a midterm exam. Since U.S. based educational institutions generally do not teach students about European businesses unless they specialize in it, I came in with a limited background of knowledge. What I knew came from reading the paper or watching the nightly news, so compared to my European classmates I had somewhat of a disadvantage. Within the first week the professor gave us website resources focused on European business and current affairs which I read at least twice a week now. Some of the topics that we have discussed up to this point include institutions of the European Union, the single European market, competition policies, European Union consumer rights and how to contact the European Consumers Centres (ECC-Net). We also spend the first half hour of class discussing current affairs in order to understand the impacts they could have on business and trade. 

In comparison to classes that I have taken at Millikin, I have noticed that courses at Artevelde are much more relaxed. They are focused on ensuring that you understand the content and take good notes rather than piling on homework assignments. I am so used to having homework every night that I feel like I’m missing something or that I have forgotten to do my homework. I compensate for that feeling by taking thorough notes and reading European news articles often. For future students interested in studying at Artevelde, I would absolutely recommend it because the pace is much different. I also suggest taking European Business and perhaps a language course if you’re interested in the Dutch, German or French languages. 

A Day in the Life of a Business Major: Ex-Athlete Edition

I chose to interview Davion Jefferson; he is a senior here at Millikin majoring in Digital Media Marketing as well. Having been an ex-athlete all of his life, finally having time throughout the day, that isn’t designated for practice or working out is a new part of Davion’s life.

What does your day consist of?

My day starts at 7:30, as I wake up, I mentally prepare myself for the day and tasks ahead. Having been a former football player, it is still an adjustment for me, to not have to get up and do some kind of physical activity. From there I get ready and eat. I have been an intern at Bob Brady’s Cadillac and GMC auto mall for the last 3 months. This has been a fairly new process to learn but I have enjoyed learning the business from the ground up. When I arrive the first thing I do is settle in and ask my manager, “Do you have anything that needs done”. Usually, the work that I do is, Direct customers to the right sales associate, make copy’s as well as excel sheets, car upkeep, which is moving the vehicles, fueling them, arranging them, making sure the cars are tagged, setting up sales displays for vehicles, organizing keys, as well miscellaneous tasks that I am asked to do. “Honestly, I am enjoying my time here. This is a new chapter in my life and I never thought I would be in this professional environment. It is rewarding and feels good to learn something new.” When I asked if he had any advice for students In the major, he says “Always keep your head down and your chin up. Always keep moving. Eventually, you will get to where you need to go.

My time generally consists of teaching classes, having office hours, working on research, grading, committee meetings, faculty meetings, and attending University events. It is tough to say what an average or typical weekday looks like because there is a lot of variance.  Some semesters, like this one, I am teaching on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  So, for those days I do less research, grading and other meetings. If I am fortunate, I am able to occasionally carve out a weekday where I just focus on research which involves a lot of reading and writing.  “Iv learned that time management is the key to staying on top of work”.

Meet the Author: Stephen Gudino is currently a junior here at Millikin U. He is majoring in Digital Media Marketing and hopes to be able to run brand awareness and social media strategy for an international business.

A Day In The Life Of a Business Major

Nick Majers

I am a sophomore currently studying business management and Millikin University. Eager to learn new skills on the job. Hardworking and enthusiastic person that enjoys working with partners or in a group. At my best when I can work on a project with my hands. A detail-oriented worker with experience with group work and customer service.Reliable worker someone that you can count on to get the job done. Love to spend time in the woods with my dog hunting and fishing. Enjoy watching sports with my family and playing video games with my friends.

Tommy Anderson
Professor Braxton

What is an average day like for a business major in college? I wanted to find out so I reached out to a friend of mine that is a college student majoring in business. My friend’s name is Tommy Anderson. Tommy is 20 years old and goes to Millikin University. I asked Tommy a few questions about what he typically does on an average day as a business major.

Tommy said “Normally my average day is pretty boring. I wake up and get on zoom for my first class of the day. The first class of the day is always the worst because it’s hard for me to wake up want to learn. Once I get in the shower I normally start to wake up get in a happier mood. After my first class, I look online and see what homework I have to do. After that, I plan out the rest of my day and work on any homework that I have. After I do my homework I get ready for any other classes I have later in the day. I also try to spend some time with my girlfriend if she isn’t busy with either her schoolwork or sorority life. At the end of the day, I normally put away all my school stuff and either hang out with my friends or I play video games.”

I also asked Tommy if he had any advice for someone thinking about majoring in business in college, and he said “The best advice that I could give someone that wants to major in business would be to first take some other classes so you can see what other options for classes. I say to do this because you may find something else that you really enjoy and it’s better to discover that sooner rather than later in college. Secondly, I tell people that if you just stay on top of all of your schoolwork you will be fine and should nothing to worry about because once you fall behind it is hard to catch back up.”

I reached out to Professor Braxton. A business teacher at a local college and asked them the same questions that I asked Tommy. Braxton told me ” An average day for me starts off with me waking up and getting ready for work. I then spend time with my family before I go to my office. Once I get to my office I read my emails, grade homework, and prepare for my classes. After my classes, I have my office hours available for my students. After office hours I go home and have dinner with my family.”

When asked what advice Professor Braxton had for an incoming business major he said “Keep your eyes on your goals in life. Your life and goals may change but you have to remember to keep your eyes on the prize and to never give up no matter how tough it gets.”

Life of full-time student and mother

Hello, my name is Vonkesha Brent, and I attend Millikin University majoring in Organizational Leadership. This is my senior year, and I will be graduating in December of 20121. I interviewed a fellow classmate of mines named Shonta Mckissic. I decided to interview Shonta because we face similar challenges will being a student in the flex program. The instructor that I interviewed is Keyria Rodgers. I decided to interview Keyria because I have known her since I was a kid. I ran into her at my first year at Millikin and had her as professor for a couple of classes.  

Shonta is a mom just like me. She also finds it hard to balance being a mom, a student, and working full time. She feels like she does not give her kids enough attention because she’s doing homework in her free time. A lot of her time is spent focusing on her classes. She’s taking 15 credit hours this semester and spend at least 2 hours on each course to get her homework done. Shonta barely have time to relax or do fun things due to working and focusing on school. “My typical days of being in the program is frustrating!” 

Shonta Mckissic- Millikin student

Professor Keyria Rodgers teaches many criminal justice classes at Millikin University in addition to her director roles. Professor Rodgers has many other obligations. She is the grant administrator for Macon County’s Adult Redeploy Illinois program, board member for the Juvenile Justice Initiative, founder of the Global Restorative Justice Partnership, and an independent consultant for grant writing and restorative justice training. In her free time, Keyria likes to play a variety of games and puzzles. She is also a business investor with many gaming companies which I think is cool. “It’s not just a hobby, it’s a part of life for me.”

 

Keyria Rodgers (Millikin professor)

Throughout the program it has been hard for me to focus. I am a single mother, full time student, and full-time worker. It has been extremely hard for me since the fall semester last year. My kids are attending school via virtual learning. It is hard trying to keep them and myself on track with our studies. Like Shonta, I feel bad at times because I have not had much time to spend with my kids. I explain to them that I am just busy right now. I try to take a day out of the week to spend quality time with my girls. I have not had much time to myself lately and it is well overdue. I am overwhelmed but I keep telling myself that it will be over soon. I am hoping things will get better for me to lift some weight off my shoulders because the load is just too much for one person. Despite the circumstances, I will make sure to push myself all the way through. My kids motivate me to be a better person all around. The long sleepless nights will pay off one day soon. I advise other OL students to not take on too much at one time. Also try not to get behind because it is hard to catch-up. 

Student-Athlete, A Day in the Life

The life of a student athlete is a hectic one. Being able to balance studies as well as being a collegiate athlete can be very challenging, especially in a difficult major such as biology. Student-Athlete, Austin has played baseball since he was 6. “I always wanted to play baseball” Austin said, “my love for baseball, also led me to chiropractic”. Austin has been accepted to Logan chiropractic school in the fall.

 The schedule of someone in a rigorous major takes a lot of planning already, “I wake up around 8:30 to study before heading to class or practice”. A normal day consists of 1-2 classes and 2-3 practice sessions. “Normally, we have hitting in the morning, and then practice for several hours again in the evening” Austin said.  On an average day, Austin says he spends about 5-6 hours at practice, 3 hours in actual class and usually at least 3 more hours studying and doing homework.

“Enjoy it, even though it’s stressful. Do what you love, and make time for the people that count”- Austin

A professor serving the biology department said, “it is important to balance your schedule and spend ample time with the material”. This professor also said that it is important to spend at least 4 hours of time with the material outside of regular class work per week.  “I really try and take the initiative to plan out my schedule” Austin said “because I am so busy, I have to take the time to study when I can”.

Meet the Author

Mackenzie is a senior biology major with a minor in environmental studies and a certificate in photography.  After receiving her undergraduate degree Mackenzie plans on pursuing a career in conservation.  Outside of academics Mackenzie is an active member of Alpha Chi Omega, My College Buddy and Big Blue Backpacks.  She is also on the Cross Country and Track teams. 

The Versatile Major: Organizational Leadership

Often times it is impossible to break into the more “comfy” financial side of corporate America without certification in higher education, i.e. degree(s). A concentration choice becoming evermore popular because of its flexibility in use is organizational leadership. This major offers potential students an education in influence, effective communication, team building, and management. Millikin University offers this concentration with a twist— a flexible learning curriculum to accommodate the not-so-average college student.

Jordan Carroll, Millikin University Organizational Leadership student

Jordan Carroll, a student in Millikin University’s organizational leadership program, works full-time while being enrolled in the program. She starts her day early with work and spends the evening pursuing her studies. With the spaces in between she fits in time for herself.

“Make sure you spend enough time on school and school work, but don’t drive yourself crazy. Make sure you give yourself a day off.”– Jordan Carroll

Dr. Jan Kirby, Millikin University Organizational Leadership professor

Dr. Jan Kirby serves in a leadership role of the college, along with being a professor in the department. She wears many hats and has the duty of delegating her tasks to meet her responsibilities. She manages her schedule based on the order things are due.

“…deadlines! I check to see what is coming up next then I plan what I do around it. That’s how I keep track of what’s important.”– Dr. Jan Kirby

Shantel Rogers, Millikin University Organizational Leadership student, author

Organized Chaos of Adult Learning

 Organized Chaos of Adult Learners

A Day in the Life of Mike Wilkin:

Mike Wilkin- “Ask for help!”
Mike’s Balance

Mike begins his days at work between 5am and 7am.  Mike spends approximately 25% of his day reviewing production defects documented by the internal auditors and then sorts them by location for investigation.  He then spends 50% of his day investigating the validity of those production defects and interviewing operators to determine root cause and corrective action.  Mike spends the remainder of his workday working with individual departments fixing any processing or material defects that need addressed and corrected. 

When Mike gets off work, he dedicates a few hours each evening to homework.  Mike is in the FLEX program at Millikin University and is a full-time student.  While Mike juggles his own assignments, he has a 17-year-old daughter that is currently remote learning.  She needs Mike’s help with her work as well due to the struggles high school students that are online learning seem to be experiencing.  Mike states, “online learning for high schoolers is pure garbage.”  These are some challenging times we are in and parents were not prepared for the added stress.

On Tuesday’s, Mike takes time for some selfcare.  Mike spends from 7pm-9pm at the bowling alley.  He is on a league and bowls 4 games individually.  On the other nights, Mike makes sure to take some time for himself.  He spends about an hour or so at the gym working out or playing Tennis.  Once Spring hits and the weather improves, Mike replaces these indoor activities with outdoor activities, including Softball.  Mike enjoys staying active and makes sure to take time for himself outside of the work/school obligations.  This is a great work/life balance.

Despite Mike’s busy schedule, he does his best to maintain a routine sleep schedule to ensure he is getting enough rest.  Rest is important when you are trying to maintain a hectic schedule.  Mike tries to get to bed around 8:30pm most nights.  Sleep is important to avoid burnout.

 Mike’s advice to anyone considering entering the FLEX Organizational Leadership program at Millikin University is to “learn to manage your time.”  Mike has realized that this is an intense program and every minute counts.  He wants everyone to know that the instructors want you to be successful and you will build relationships with those you are in the cohort with.  Mike’s final words of advice, “Ask for help!” 

I have enjoyed engaging with Mike over the last two years as we have worked our way through this program.  I can relate to Mike in the busy, non-stop, chaos and deadlines of work, school, and day-to-day obligations.  I cannot agree more that the work/life balance is key and so is learning to manage your time.  I also work many hours, have a teenager remote learning, and am a full-time student.  I struggle to make time for myself, but it is important to maintain your sanity.

Professor Melinda Rueter- “Find a structure that works for you.”

Melinda Rueter is a Professor at Millikin connected to the Organizational Leadership major and Tabor School of Business.  She teaches on Tuesdays and Thursdays but adds a 4-hour evening class in the Fall semester.  She advises Communication students on internships which can consume a considerable amount of her time during different parts of the semester. 

Melinda Rueter has worked with FLEX students and knows that most of them have a full-time job and often families in conjunction with the schoolwork.  Her observations from working with FLEX students who have jobs and/or families has been that finding a balance that allows them to complete all assignments can be a challenge.  Recently with COVID, she has noticed this to be especially hard for parents who have children that are also home participating in remote learning.

Melinda’s advice for students in the OL FLEX program is “to find a structure that works for you.”  She recommends advocating for yourself and finding support from family, friends, and other classmates.

About the writer:

Ashley Galloway- Writer/Safety Specialist/Full-time Student/Parent

Data-driven OSHA 30 certified safety specialist with 15 years industry experience.  Experienced maintenance technician in the manufacturing/construction industry. Strong operations experience and safety compliance with the ability to create a culture of engagement and organizational effectiveness. 

Dedicated to supporting performance excellence and continuous improvement processes while creating a competitive safety culture.  Strong case management, program implementation, and large project oversight with the ability to support business continuity.  Possesses team building strategies that support empowerment and continuous colleague development.  Ability to work in teams and create sustainable improvements within multiple levels of a company. 

Co-Founder of @NotForgotten a local non-profit that develops community engagement and resources for people living with exceptional needs.

Full-time student of organizational leadership at Millikin University and member of the Tabor School of Business Honor’s Society.

Legally (and Environmentally) Blonde

Hannah P., a sophomore at Millikin University, wakes up to her phone alarm at 7:30 A.M. She pulls on some leggings, a graphic t-shirt, some converse, and grabs her keys on the way out the door. She works, every morning, as an office assistant in the honors office. Her mornings are pretty laid back, she spends them intermittently filing documents and working on her schoolwork.

At 11:00, she clocks out of work and heads to her first class of the day. It is Philosophy of Law and fulfills a requirement for one of her majors, Pre-Law. This class explores the different philosophical approaches when considering court cases. Hannah chose to major in law because it is a concrete way in which she can change the world for the better. Her other major, Environmental Studies, is how she wants to focus her legal efforts. When I asked her what she hopes to achieve with her liberal education, she stated, “I plan on moving onto environmental law and working with different environmental organizations to decrease the impact that human functions have on the environment.”

After her philosophy class, Hannah goes to Logic and Critical thinking, which counts towards her Environmental Studies major.

When both her classes are finished, Hannah heads back to her apartment to work on some schoolwork. She gets a little bit of homework done and spends some time eating and relaxing. She is also taking an asynchronous class this semester, Written Business Communication, which is demanding because it requires her to schedule out when she will be completing her assignments. Hannah tries to get a start on her asynchronous schoolwork on Monday so that she is on track for the week.

Once recharged, Hannah heads out again for Moot Court with Dr. Robert Money. It is a curricular organization where students explore hypothetical court cases and their different approaches. Currently, the class is preparing for a competition where students argue both sides of the same case. Hannah particularly enjoys this class, because it gives her hands-on experience with legal cases. The Moot Court setting is an opportunity for her to critically look at legal procedures.

After Moot Court, Hannah heads back to her apartment to cook herself some dinner. This is her time to herself for the day, and she spends it unwinding. She listens to music, works on some homework, and heads to bed. Her day is busy, but she feels satisfaction in all that she has accomplished.

When I asked Hannah why she believed it was important that she was studying what she is, she said that “understanding how the way you’re living […] is crucial to healing the environment and solving the climate change crisis.” Mine and Hannah’s mutual advisor, Professor Roslyn O’Conner, also reiterated how students such as Hannah are key to solving the environmental tragedies our planet faces. “Our environment is suffering severely […] things are only getting better because we have students that want to step up and fix things.”

Studying how we can make the planet a better, more environmentally sound place is how we ensure a brighter future. A balanced planet where natural resources are available to those who need them and where wildlife can live without constant threat is where a truly peaceful society is born. However, the first step to reaching it is educating ourselves. When speaking about the larger implications of her work, Professor O’Conner said, “imparting the knowledge on how we can save the world and seeing that others are as passionate as myself about saving the world, it really gives me hope for the future.”

Maria Holloway-Racine – Student at Millikin University majoring in Acting and Environmental Studies. By studying two very different disciplines, I practice both my academic and artistic skills. When I am not rehearsing a scene, I am either creating captions for video lectures or sewing in the university costume shop. I am an eager person that hopes to explore all of my interests, creative or otherwise, at some point in my life. Nothing brings me greater joy than being outside.

Time Management 101 for Data Science Dummies

You look at your schedule and think to yourself, “Hmm, that programming assignment looks easy. I’ll do it the day before it’s due.” 

Don’t do that. That’s how it gets you. Programs put on a face of innocence only to take a toll of several tedious hours of coding.

Brian Freeman, a fellow data science (DS) major, agrees. When I interviewed him this week, he said, “It doesn’t matter how proficient you are in programming or working through proofs. You will get stuck with no idea why,” and I know that feeling all too well. For DS majors, the concept of time gets thrown out the window. You’ll start a problem at 9 pm, and before you know it, the sun’s peeking through the window. Time management is ridiculously important.

Brian Freeman – sophomore data science major

Brian is my go-to DS student and when I asked, he provided an outlook of his daily schedule. I realized that his structure would benefit not only me, but all of us in this major alike. It’s easy to picture and goes something like this:

  1. Between 9:00-10:30 in the morning, he does easy homework to get into a productive mindset
  2. For an hour after that, he exercises
  3. Around noonish, it’s lunchtime
  4. After eating, it’s straight to the robotics club room
  5. He takes his Zoom classes in the room to stay involved in robotics discussions
  6. Promptly at 5:30, he’ll get dinner
  7. In between classes and eating, he practices driving the robot and works on customizing its code
  8. Usually, after 6:30 or so, he’ll head home to do the rest of his homework

Brian’s schedule is a good model because classes and homework are evenly distributed throughout the day. He admits that doing one task for a long time can be mentally draining, so setting up times to wake up, eat, and sleep provides a rigid framework. The gaps in that framework get filled with extracurricular activities and personal time.

This correlates to another one of Brian’s genius tidbits. “The day before, I usually come up with a rough outline of what I want to do during the day.” This will help put your work and available time into perspective, which we all need to efficiently and effectively complete tasks and stay ahead. The next day will feel less daunting, preparing you mentally to be productive.

Dr. James Rauff, one of our professors, suggested similar practices when I asked him for advice earlier this week. “Start as soon as an assignment is given and take lots of breaks,” he says, “Spread it out. Have a ‘coding’ period in your calendar specifically for that.” 

Dr. James Rauff – professor of mathematics and computer science

In essence, planning and organization are what will keep us on track without lagging. I struggle with this a lot, and so hearing the same thing from my peer and my professor helped me figure out what I had to do.

Take it from me – don’t procrastinate that program, or it’ll haunt you. I hope Brian and Dr. Rauff’s valuable insight motivate you as much as it did me. Let’s get our lives back together, one bit at a time.

– Bushra Ibrahim

Bushra is a sophomore data science and computer science double major at Millikin University. With creative hobbies such as drawing, painting, and writing and more technical interests in mathematics, computer languages, and technology, she chose to follow an academic path that could entertain both. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are areas in which she hopes to build a career.

Parks & Rec – A Day in the Life of a Sport and Recreation Management Major

When most college students hear about the Sport and Recreation Management major, they immediately think of jocks who want an easy ride through college and are out to own a professional sports team someday. However, that could not be further from the truth. At Millikin University, the sport and recreation management major is anything but easy, and the students who take it are prepared to work in plenty of settings besides the pros.

Now, the first misconception regarding the sport and recreation major is that the students want an easy ride through college. However, the workload of a sport and rec major can be just as challenging to balance as any other major on campus. One reason for this is the number of extra-curricular activities that sport and rec majors are involved in. For example, over 90% of Class of 2022 sport and rec majors are on an athletic team at Millikin, and 100% have played at some point during their Millikin career. Coupling athletics, with sport and rec work, and other extracurriculars can be extremely challenging. I can tell you that from personal experience.

But enough about myself. I sat down with Millikin Junior Dawson Jones to get his takes on balancing the workload. Jones said that a lot of the struggle was time management. “It can be tough to find the time to sit down and write 2 multi-page papers a week when you have practices and games every day to go with classes and other extracurriculars”. However, Jones, along with other student-athletes at Millikin, find a way to balance out the time and give school their all. The time spent by sport and rec majors completing work and studying is usually around 2 hours per night. For most of us, nighttime is the only time we have available to complete our work and study up. Our mornings and early parts of the day are often spent in class, and our afternoons and evening are often spent in practices, games, and co/extra-curricular activities.

However, all the grinding to make the time is worth it in the end. The sport and rec major was recently overhauled to include a broader range of recreation-based curriculum. I asked Assistant Professor Joel Blanco about the reasoning behind the changes. “We wanted to broaden the major to prepare our graduates for more fields. Sure, there are jobs in pro sports, but there are only so many pro sports teams, whereas the vast majority of municipalities have parks and rec department”. Blanco’s words are not empty. The opportunities that this program prepares you for are limitless. If you asked a current sport and rec major what they wanted to do after college, you would get plenty of answers besides, “Have my own sports team”.

If you are looking into sport and recreation management as your major, I would recommend this. Come into this program with an open mind, and a good work ethic. You have no idea how many doors may open for you here at Millikin.

Dawson Jones, Junior
Sport & Rec Management
Joel Blanco, Assistant Professor
Millikin University
Nick Nemeth, Junior
Sport & Rec Management Major

Nick Nemeth is a Junior currently studying Sport and Recreation Management with a minor in communication at Millikin University. He is a student-athlete working in intercollegiate athletics as well as residence life.