A Day in The Life of a Tabor Student

As colleges and universities around the country have returned to in-person learning, campuses are thriving once more. Students can now interact with one another in person, gaining more knowledge and a better understand of fellow students’ routines, courses, and schedules. However, the return to campus means there is more places to be, things to do, and people to see. While higher education institutions continue to return to normal, it is important to get a glimpse into a day in the life of a college student. That such student is Isabelle Alwardt, a Digital Media Marketing major here at Millikin University.

At Millikin University, Isabelle currently takes four courses as a full-time student. The courses are Introduction to Financial Accounting, Principles of Microeconomics, Critical Writing, Reading, and Research, and United States Cultural Studies. When setting up her course schedule for the Fall 2021 semester, Isabelle took daily school, work, and recreational time into consideration as she commutes from Springfield, IL. When asked what her weekly course schedule was comprised of, Isabelle stated, “I set up my course schedule so I attend Millikin every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 AM to 3:15 PM. By doing that I gave myself plenty of time to work, study, and enjoy my free time every other day of the week.” In terms of her courses, Isabelle has enrolled in multiple courses in the Tabor School of Business that relate to various other majors such as Finance, Accounting, and Business. Since she only travels to campus twice a week, each course is one hour and fifteen minutes long, with Introduction to Financial Accounting at 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM, Principles of Microeconomics at 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM, Critical Reading, Writing, and Research at 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM, and her United States Cultural Studies course at 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM.

Outside of the classroom, Isabelle leads a busy life between work and personal interests. On days she does not have class, Isabelle works as a Coordinator at Ross Dress for Less. Her personal interests lie in travel and. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and her dog, Buster. When asked what activities she finds productive, she stated taking Buster on walks and runs is always beneficial for both of them. In response to a question about what an average day for her looks like, Isabelle stated, “On days I have school I begin by driving to Millikin for all four of my classes. After my last class at 3:15 PM, I head back home to do homework since I have those nights free. When I finish my homework, I usually take Buster on a walk and get some exercise for the both of us.”

Isabelle Alwardt

Along with interviewing Isabelle about her daily routine, I asked her for a piece of advice she would give other students in the Tabor School of Business. After some thought, she said time management is extremely important when juggling a full course load, work, and a social life. While many students may get bogged down by attending lectures, doing homework, and working, it is important to structure your daily routines throughout the week to ensure you have enough time to accomplish everything. “I set my classes and work schedule up to where I have a healthy balance between the two each week.”

Author: Jacob Blair

Jacob Blair is a Junior at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, majoring in Finance. In his free time, he enjoys toying with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, embarking upon challenging graphic design projects, and drag racing.

Numbers, Memorization, and Teamwork? An Accounting Major Requires More Skills Than Most Think

Written by: Zachary Auton

Passionate and driven full-time accounting student. Future CPA that will come to your tax and money needs. A huge sports fan- especially for Illinois basketball and the Chicago Bulls!

When choosing accounting as my major I first thought I was going to only be required to know simple calculations. After these interviews, I found out that was not true. It requires much more skill development such as teamwork, adaptability, and communication skills.

I had the opportunity to interview Derek Austin, a freshman accounting major here at Millikin University. I learned what a typical day was like for him. He wakes up every morning around 8am every morning. He heads to the gym around 8:30am and works out on various parts of his body depending on the day. I asked him what motivates him to go to the gym. He told me, “I go to the gym because I want to be in great shape for the soccer season.” He works out until around 10am and then heads home. He takes a quick shower and gets ready for class when he gets home. He leaves around 10:30am because he has his first class at 11am. He has classes until 2pm.

He then goes home after classes to work on homework or study for upcoming quizzes and tests. He does this until around 4 or 5pm depending on the day. Afterwards, he likes to practice his soccer skills. He practices for about an hour every day to improve his craft. He plays on the soccer team here at Millikin and wants to be at his best for the upcoming season next year. After he is finished practicing, he eats dinner around 6 or 7pm. Finally, he likes to relax and spend time with his family for the rest of the day. Whether that is just talking with family or playing video games. I asked him why he chose accounting as his major. He told me,

“I feel like it is the best fit for me. I work well with numbers, memorizing things, and with people- so I feel like this would work best for me. Plus, I like the opportunity of advancement and they are paid well.”

Derek Austin

Dr. Shailesh Patel is currently my accounting professor and primary advisor at Millikin University. I asked him why accounting is a great major. He said, “It is a great field. It is an exciting career. There are plenty of opportunities for advancements. It is a very rewarding career. Every day is different being an accountant.” I also asked him what advice he had for other accounting majors. He said, “Make sure you are good with people skills. At many of my jobs I had to work in teams. I had to work in teams up to 16 people.”

After he told me this, I realized that accounting majors need to have more skills than just the ability to do simple calculations. They will need to have the ability to work well with others, adaptability, and good communication skills.

Dr. Shailesh Patel

A Day in the Life of a Finance Student

Work hard, analyze data harder!

Iliriana Asani | Finance Major | Class of 2023 | PIVOT! |

Hello, I am Iliriana Asani, a finance major student at Millikin University, inspired to be a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). It is a sunny Tuesday afternoon in November at Millikin University, and I am collecting information from students and professors on their daily routine at MU. There’s no typical day here, but one thing is for sure: students maximize every opportunity they have.

Julia Zmucki, a Finance major student, is sharing her routine with me. For a sense of what daily life is like at MU, Julia gives a great description. HINT: There is data involved. For Zmucki, the experience has been great because she is currently studying to be in the financial investing industry.  She is among the outstanding undergraduates named to the Dean’s List at MU for the spring 2021 semester.

Keeping in mind that Julia is a senior, she describes her routine as follows: On normal days, she gets up by 6:30 am, gets ready and starts her internship where she organizes a lot of data and information. “I organize commission statements, reconcile them, import the data and write of the checks to be reviewed by higher management,” Julia explained. At 1 pm she instructs Markets and Institutions class, in which she teaches about day-to-day financial institutions, agencies, the Fed etc. She claims that some finance students involve in creating presentations for different companies, regarding their financial statements and cash flows. Hint: financial calculations. Also, she engages in projects and events. When asked about what she does outside of school activities, Julia said that she tries to be active by working out. Besides, Julia is also a team member of the Tabor Student Advisory Council’ Supplement Instructor. “I do homework and study for my future exams, there is always something to learn”, said Zmucki. This is a repetitive cycle for her, or any other students who might be dedicated to college as much as Julia is.

Major in Finance | Class of 2022

“All that I am doing in the school is giving me the opportunity to work with what I could be working with in the future,” Zmucki said.

Assistant Professor
Tabor School of Business
Christopher J Marquette
Assistant Professor of Finance
Tabor School of Business

I also had a chat with Dr. Marquette, Assistant Professor of Finance at MU, regarding a day in the life of a finance student, who shared some important advice about finance majors.

Dr. Marquette teaches most of the finance classes, therefore we spend a lot of time learning together. When asked what is expected from finance students, he responded: “Study! Keep up with their classwork. I think they should treat their college career as a full-time job”. From this, we can understand that students are expected to be on top of the game, spending 40+ hours per week over schoolwork. Keeping this in mind, the finance professor said that it is good for students to engage in industry-related extracurriculars. Most students work, which cuts the time that they could spend outside school activities. He encourages students to spend time studying, watching for current economic conditions and engaging/networking more. Dr. Marquette gives a very important advice to his students:

“Network. It is never too early to network and build contacts, both high and low, from professionals in the fields.”

A student’s life is filled with a lot of challenges, sacrifices, anxiety, stress, passion, but most importantly hope. We all work towards our goals, no matter what major we choose. One way might be harder than another, but at the end of the day, there is no substitute for hard work.

A Day in the Life: Business Edition

Written by: Caleb Bleich

My name is Caleb Bleich and I am junior business management major here at Millikin. I am also on the track and soccer team. As a student-athlete and business major I understand the struggle to manage your time. In this blog post I interview fellow student and two sport athlete Bailey Coffman and Professor Vernon.

Bailey Coffman

Bailey Coffman is a Junior Business Management student here at Millikin. She also competes in basketball and softball. I decided to ask her a few questions to help other students see into the life of a student-athlete in a business management major. The first question I asked her was how her typical day looked and her response was, “I start most of my days early with team lifting, or I go to Griswald to get some shots in before my school day starts. Then before and after lunch I have my business and sports management classes, and the end of my day is usually softball or basketball practice and homework before bed.” Bailey is a great example of someone who can manage their time well despite being in two sports. She says she has found a good balance between social life and school. I asked Bailey if she had any advice for business majors and this is what she said, “The biggest thing that has worked for me is being present in class and actively listening, and don’t be afraid to ask for help and use your resources provided when you don’t understand or just need extra help.” After interviewing Bailey, she made sure to say If you see her around campus don’t be afraid to say hello and ask her questions.

Dr. Alex Vernon

I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Vernon who is an associate professor here at Tabor School of Business. I started off by asking him what his typical day-to-day routine looks like and responded by saying that he is not so sure there is a truly typical day, but as a professor at Millikin he said, “This is a job where you get a lot of control over how and when you do work.  That is one of the things that attracted me to it.” He then went on to tell me his daily routine, which starts with him waking up at 430AM and making coffee well before most of us are awake. Once he has his coffee, he checks Instagram and Twitter and reading the news. He generally spends an hour on Reuters, which he says is a great source for business news. He then heads over to his computer to check his bank accounts and investment accounts. Now that it is 6AM he eats breakfast while reading BBC news. He has National Public Radio playing until 8AM most days. After breakfast he checks personal email, work email, and his work calendar. Then he checks Moodle and loads quizzes, assignments, etc. He keeps a clipboard with a fresh sheet of paper so he can create a list of things to be done for the day. At 7am he takes his daily 30-minute walk and then showers and gets dressed to be back at his computer by 8AM doing work such as class prep, grading, and reading. He arrives on campus 1-2 hours before his first class depending on the day. Some mornings he has meetings or may meet with a prospective student. As you can tell, his day-to-day routine sets him up nicely for the rest of the day. Once we were done talking about his routine, I asked him if he had any advice for students at Millikin looking for a career in business. His response was, “Take advantage of the opportunities and the time that you have in college and get as much work experience as you can.  Be entrepreneurial, start a business, or at least be involved with some sort of startup.” He said to try different things and make contacts. For his final pieces of advice he said, “Learn to do simple things well. Keep a calendar, make lists, submit assignments on time, arrive to class on time, etc. Develop a good personal routine and never get completely out of shape. Start learning how to exercise in the morning, because after you start your career, it is more difficult to make time to exercise in the afternoon. Read!  News, sports, novels, or anything. Just read!

Day in The Life of a Business Student

Christine Ngingo

I am currently a third-year Business Entrepreneurship major at Millikin University I work well with people because I’m vocal, open-minded, and approachable. I excel when working in collaborative groups to solve problems. I work best at public speaking, task prioritization, collaboration, public speaking, and social media marking. I aspire to work as a real estate agent after graduate school and hopefully start my own real estate firm one day,​​A reliable worker with group and customer service experiences. A trustworthy employee who can rely on the job. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends at places that are outside and require us to take part in activities.

I reached out to a classmate of mine and asked her a few questions on how an average day looks like for a Business Major. My classmate’s name is Coumba Niasse, she’s 20 years old and goes to Millikin University. During our discussion with Coumba, I asked about her normal day. “My daily routine isn’t always the same due to my schedule,” Coumba explained. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my busiest days of the week, so I do pretty much the same thing. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I get up at 7:00 a.m. and meditate because it’s the greatest way for me to start the day. I then proceed to the cafeteria for breakfast before heading to my first lesson, which begins at 9:00 a.m. Following my first period, I attend my next lesson, which begins at 11:00 a.m.”

Coumba continues says “I have lunch with my housemates after my 11:00 a.m class because I won’t see them for a while due to our hectic schedules. After lunch, I try to call my family in Senegal before it gets too late because of the time difference. Since I have a class straight after lunch, I try to speak as much as I can when chatting with my family. I go home after my third period and take a short personal break, which I use to scroll through my phone, nap, or read a book. When I finish my 2-hour break, I begin planning for the assignments I need to do during the next three days of class. When I’m done scheduling, I usually try to finish at least one assignment before going to bed on the same day. Mondays and Wednesdays are the only days I have class; however, I work from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on most days. After work, I start working on the majority of my assignments due that week.”

I also asked Coumba if she had any advice for a freshman majoring in business and a senior about to graduate from college. “For a freshman, I would say don’t stress yourself; you’ve got time, so chill out and enjoy every moment at school because you won’t regret it,” Coumba said. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you have them since the longer you delay asking questions, the tougher it will be for you to speak up. I would advise a senior to maintain positive relationships with everyone around them since you never know who you may need during or after college. Spend your last years of college focused only on what you want to accomplish during and after college, and nothing else.”

I reached out to my Principles of Marketing professor who teaches at Millikin University.  I wanted to receive some advice from Amita Bhadauria, who is in her first semester of teaching at Millikin. “Set high personal and intellectual expectations for yourself and live up to them,” Professor Bhadauria said. Also, try to avoid deferring what you can accomplish today to tomorrow.”

A Day In The Life

Author: Braydon Waller

My name is Braydon Waller and I am a business management with a focus on supply chain management major at Millikin University. A day in the life of a business management major is somewhat what you would probably expect it to be and definitely varying person to person. Personally I get up go to my classes then go about my day and finally when I get home for the night I begin working on homework or whatever may be due for that week and then repeat the next day.

A Day of Two Millikinites

Author

Jesse Ngoga, Senior at Millikin University, Management Information Systems

My name is Jesse Ngoga, and a Management Information Systems major. I am passionate and determined. I reached out to one of my professors and a fellow student and asked them a few questions.

Ed Weber, Clinical Instructor of Information System, Tabor School of Business

Ed Weber is a professor at Millikin since 2014. He teaches Information Systems in the Tabor School of Business. For most of his life, Ed’s day to day schedule has always been quite special. “I’m not trying to coy here, but my day is not very typical”, he says. He would start work at 11 PM and work until the next morning at 7 AM. He would then go to school, and sleep in the afternoon. He mentions that because his day’s structure is constantly changing.

Ed is the president and owner of Weber Enterprises, Inc. a computer consulting firm. He runs his enterprise together with teaching at Millikin. When working with a client, his day typically starts at 9 AM, and begins office work as soon as he gets to Millikin. He will then hold meetings and teach his classes until 6 PM. After that, Ed heads back home, eats dinner and usually work until 4PM the latest. He explains that this “may not be typical for most people in my profession.

When Ed is not working with a client, he gets up between 7 and 8:30 AM, showers, eats breakfast, and arrives at Millikin by 10 AM. He holds office hours until 11 AM, when most of his classes start. Ed then teaches classes, holds meetings and office hours until 6 PM. He is always done with his classes by 6 PM, except for a few days when he teaches until 8:30 PM. After that, he usually get home by 10 PM. On average, Ed spends 6 hours a week teaching.

Ed has not pursued many outside interests since COVID-19 began. However, he is an avid guitar player. Before the pandemic, he would play at open-mic nights in bars around Decatur. He would play and sing at Darney’s on Wednesdays and at Port Royal on Sundays. Ed also plays darts. He won a trophy in the dart league. He also enjoys hiking, and can usually be seen hiking or biking in the park. Ed used to be extremely involved in clubs and organizations before he came to Millikin. He was in the Rotary Club, and Chamber of Commerce, among many others.

Ed advices students who are thinking of going into Information Systems but are not sure of it to try it. “They may have never done IS or had an interest in it, it’s something that I would encourage them to at least try”, he says. He mentions past advisees that never envisioned themselves in IS but they came to realize how much aptitude they had for it and liked it.

Yves Izabe, Senior at Millikin University, Management Information Systems

Yves Izabe is an international student at Millikin since 2018. He is currently a senior majoring in Management Information Systems.

Yves’s day usually starts at 7:30 AM. He wakes up, takes a shower, eats breakfast and then heads to first class. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he starts his first class at 8 AM while on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, he starts at 10 AM.

Yves’s day usually consists of academic activities, where he attends class in the morning and spends most of the afternoon at work. He works at Kirkland Fine Arts Center, where he works a few days a week depending on his class schedule. On a normal day, he will usually work for 2 hours. As an MIS student, he has many coding assignments and projects that he has to complete. Therefore, he spends his evening working on them and other homework. On average, Yves spends 7 hours of his day on classes and other academic work.

Yves does not have a lot of extra-curricular activities as such, but his free time, he allocates his hours to his on-campus job and exercise. He goes to the gym occasionally, and also plays soccer with friends.

Yves has one special piece of advice to anyone who interested in going into MIS. He says that you have to be ready to learn and update yourself each and every day because the digital world changes everyday. For example, in MIS, people deal with various programming languages, and those languages are being updated almost every year. Therefore, as an MIS student, you are required to be learning something new every day.

The Makes of a Digital Media Marketing Major

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Kylie Venable | Enjoys learning new things and being presented with new opportunities. Detail oriented and disciplined marketing major. 

A day in the life as a Digital Media Marketing major may not seem like much. We go to class, study, do our homework, and continue with other commitments that we have made. However, the thought process of a marketing student is interesting to think about. We notice when a company has done an excellent marketing job on a product or service or when companies could have done a better job. Marketing students are always trying to get ahead of the game. 

Blake Ohrt | Junior Digital Media Marketing Major, Football Player

 Junior Digital Media Marketing major, Blake Ohrt, states “I chose marketing because it allows me to be creative in my occupation.” He later went on to say that he was tired of thinking inside the box and wanted to add a more personal touch to his work. His reason for choosing marketing was correct. While most marketing is done in teams, that does not limit the amount of creativity and personalization that can be done to a project. 

A marketing major will spend about sixteen hours, on average, in class per week. However, that is only the time spent in the class. Blake Ohrt spends about twelve to fifteen hours every week doing homework or studying. This can be doing assignments, projects, papers, writing notes, or going over course materials. His curricular activities take anywhere from twenty-eight to thirty-one hours per week. 

Blake is also a football player at Millikin. He dedicates around thirty hours every week for his position. Around twenty-two of those hours are spent at practice and meetings. The rest of those hours are spent on Saturday’s for deep practices or game days. The rest of his time is spent doing other activities he enjoys or relaxing and preparing for the next week. 

Amita Bhadauria | Marketing Professor

 Amita Bhadauria is a marketing professor at Millikin University. She has worked in different fields of marketing over her career and found advertising to work best for her. After gaining experience, Amita decided to become a professor so that she could help students begin their marketing career. When asked why she chose marketing as her career path she replied, “I like to interact with the customers and now students. I like to watch them grow into their positions.” Amita also stated that her favorite part about any aspect of marketing is conducting, analyzing, and posting research. She believes that obtaining a degree in marketing presents many opportunities because “every company has marketing, you can go into any field you want with a marketing degree and work your way up.”  

Advice that I would give to marketing majors would be to never slack off in school. Marketing is a competitive field and always going the extra mile is never a mistake, it helps you to stand out. Blake Ohrt’s advice to other marketing majors is, “Make sure to go for internships, they are the best way to learn about the field.” Amita also gave some good advice; “Always keep in touch with Millikin staff and alumni, they are always happy to help students succeed.” 

Less Partying, More Studying: Being a Biology Major Requires Dedication to Studying

Written by: Paige Spitzner

Determined full-time biology student – psych is a minor interest. Future chiropractor that will always have your back! Jokes, animals, and coffee are my jam!


Being a biology major can be very intimidating. When I took my first biology class at Millikin, I was scared because I did not know most of the information they were talking about. Many of my professors said to the whole class that this information is something we should have learned in high school. I did not cover many of those topics during my high school career. However, through determination, studying, and asking questions, I was able to succeed in my classes.

Many of the classes require hours of studying outside of the classroom. Dr. Schroeder stated, “the general rule is 1-2 hours of studying outside of the classroom for every hour inside the classroom.” This general rule applies to biology majors because, as Dr. Schroeder said, “most of what we learn in biology can’t be memorized the night before a quiz or exam.” It is beneficial to spend as much time, if not more, studying throughout the week for the same amount of time we spent in class. I always try to study the night after class for at least an hour to identify any topics that I need more clarification on or to ensure I understand the materials.

Dr. Jennifer Schroeder

Jazmin Brown, a friend and classmate, understands the struggles of being a biology major. She is also on Millikin’s women’s basketball team. School work and basketball keep her busy, but she also manages to work for the athletics doing laundry at Griswold. On any given day of the week, Jazmin’s daily routine starts out with classes. She then heads to work for for approximately 2 hours. After she is off work, she goes to the gym to work out, for at least an hour. When she is done at the gym, she finds something to eat and she starts to prepare for her final classes of the day, basketball conditioning, and basketball scrimmages. Once all of her classes and basketball practice is over, she finishes her day with homework and self-care.

Jazmin Brown

Majoring in biology is not limiting you to only have careers in health care fields. There are numerous careers outside of health care where it is beneficial to have a background in biology. Many people think that just because they are majoring in biology, they have to pursue a career in health care. However, that is not the case. Dr. Schroeder stated, “biology isn’t just for health fields though.” Many biology majors and their peers believe that a degree in biology means you have to have a concentration in a health care position. When Jazmin was asked what is one thing that she knows now about her major that she wishes she would have known as a freshman, she replied, “one thing I wish I would have known about my major is that the possibilities are endless with a degree in biology.”

Throughout my time at Millikin, I have learned that our professors want to see us succeed, not see us fail. Dr. Schroeder’s advice for biology majors is,

“Study early, study often, and ask questions! Most of what we learn in biology can’t be memorized the night before a quiz or exam. By reviewing material more often, we become more familiar with (and thus less scared of) the terminology. I also find that students are often hesitant to ask questions. Please ask them! It’s the only way we know what we need to re-cover or go over differently.”

There are also many resources provided to us that we can utilize if we are struggling in a class. Jazmin’s advice for fellow biology majors is,

“to use the resources provided to you by your professors because it may be what really helps you pass the course. As well as stay organized with homework, exams, and extracurriculars.”

Balancing the Books with Life

Written by: Serron Pettis

Futuristic student athlete ready to hurdle obstacles to reach my goal on the track and in life.

My name is Serron Pettis and I am a senior sports and recreational management major. Besides my academic pursuits, I am involved in different organizations on campus as well as being a track & field athlete. This major is a challenging and often changing but, can really be something you love when taking the right chances.

The sports management world is a large and ever-changing field. In sports management there are vast opportunities for you to discover ones career path. There are challenges but, with hard work, help from professors, and peers you will be able to gather skills needed for your career choice.

“My advice to a sports management major would be to stay organize and make connections. Being organized will keep you on top of your regular curriculum and co-curriculum while connects will help you branch out in the ever-changing sports world”

Joel Blanco
Joel Blanco

Joel Blanco is a professor of five years in the exercise science department teaching different sport majors similar to mine and other students. He feels the struggles of most of his students due to most of them being athletes or have other co-corricular activities.

He tries to make sure he lets the students explore their thoughts as well gain the proper knowledge for their fields, without overwhelming them.

I got an insider on what a day in the life of a sports management major is like from Derek Dayton. Derek is a sophomore sports management major here at Millikin, from Tolono, IL. On top of being a student he is also an athlete that runs cross country.

We sat and talked and ran through regular day for him with all activities entailed. Derek says he starts his Monday’s with an early bird alarm special of 6am then a run that starts at 7am. After his run he eats breakfast and ready for class. His classes last from 9am-12pm then gets a nice break for lunch, homework, or relaxation time.

He then has his last class at 4pm and once done with that the rest of his night consist of eating dinner and homework if he had more. Derek has a busy schedule but, he has learned how to balance everything and be successful by staying organized and making connections. He says his time here at Millikin has been great and some advise he would give would be to keep an open mind, your never know what you’ll experience.

Derek Dayton

“The professor do a good job at explaining certain questions and processes for your major and career.”