Project Buddies and Canned Food Drive

Talented, motivated, and dedicated: these are all words that describe the Business Honors students. And this coming week, we have decided to dedicate our time to people in need of help. The holidays are close and in the spirit of the season, millions of people will be holding canned food drives to distribute to families. During the next few weeks, Business Honors will also be holding a canned food drive as well as getting involved in philanthropy events.

On November 3, Business Honors will be working with Project Buddies, an on-campus organization that holds events for special needs college students. We will be taking a trip to Disneyland and spending a few hours with these students. I have worked with them before and know that all the students have a lot of fun and it really means a lot to them.

We will also be having decorated boxes in the Business Honors Center (SGMH 1407) next week to collect canned food for donations. The boxes will be separated between the four years for a little competition since we are competitive Business Honors students! This is the first year that Business Honors will be holding this event, so come out and give your support and hopefully we will be able to turn this into a tradition!

~Caroline Liang

Communication Skills Workshop: “FREE TO B”

So who doesn’t know Professor Clark? Of course we all know her because she’s the director of our program! On Friday October 26, the speaker at the weekly Business Honors Workshop was none other than our very own, Professor Clark.

Let’s take a look at what we learned about communication skills. One thing to remember is FREE TO BBE. What does that even mean and why is be spelled wrong? Don’t worry, it’s not wrong. Focused, Relaxed, Energetic, Expressive, Tone, Organize, Body language, and be what. When you introduce yourself, focus on your objective and relax. Engage with the other person by bringing energy and expression. Explain your current situation with your tone and make sure you’re organized. Present your request with your body language and what you want to be (what characteristic you want to express).

Professor Clark made the students put these new pointers to use by pairing everyone up and having them take turns in conversations with a “local business person.”

This last workshop had the highest turnout number yet, so keep it up Business Honors students!

~Paayal Bhakta

Meet Breta Hedges, Business Communications Professor

1. What inspired you to become a professor?

Mostly my mom, she taught at Orange Coast College all her life and I loved having her home during the summers so we could travel. Her schedule was always accommodating to my school schedule and I always thought it would be the perfect job if I decided to become a parent myself, which I did, almost 5 years ago. Most of my extended family is highly educated and most of them across the country are teachers or researchers at colleges. My dad also teaches in his field, so I guess I would have to say, teaching is just a large part of who I am; I come from a teaching family! 

2.  What do you love most about teaching?

I love working with students who REALLY want to learn. I have a lot of valuable information that I love to give to students who are interested. To be honest though, what other career can you have where you only go to work two to three days per week and only “work” 32 weeks per year? I do love the free time!  Teaching is great for my family, my students and myself!

3. What was your goal in life as a teenager?

I always wanted to teach from the time I was 5 years old, but I was shy and terrified of public speaking, so I didn’t think it would ever be feasible. It wasn’t until I turned 30, went back and got my MBA and started doing more teaching as part of my job, that I started applying to schools to be a professor. I never knew what I wanted to teach; I was interested in many topics, but my degrees were in psychology and business. I never thought I would teach business writing, and I never knew I could enjoy it so much.  Business Writing is, in my opinion, one of the most useful classes students can take to help in their business careers, and I love being a part of that.

4.  What is the hardest thing about being a professor?

Watching students that truly try very hard, but are still unable to do the work to a standard acceptable to pass the class. Some students will spend every week with me in my office hours and improve so much over the course of the semester, but their writing is still not where it needs to be when it comes down to passing the class. It is very hard to give a non-passing grade to a student who tries so hard, it has brought tears to my eyes on many occasions.

5.  What interests and hobbies do you have outside of school?

My family and I spend most of our weekends camping. We have an RV and will camp most anywhere; we love to be outside, at the beach, at the lake, riding bikes, playing family games. My life outside of school is all about my family; we do everything together and make fun for ourselves wherever we go!  Most of our life is about travel though.

6. Do you think students should treat their professors like friends? Or is it necessary to maintain a disciplined environment to create a good classroom environment?

This is a tough question that each individual professor has to make their own decision on. I personally like to treat my students fairly, honestly, and maintain what I consider to be a fun learning environment.  In order to have an open and fun classroom environment where students can approach a professor, and enjoy learning, I think you have to be open to a “friendship” of sorts. I tend to talk freely about my life if students ask me, but don’t readily volunteer too much about my personal life. I may like the idea of being “friends” with students, but I don’t join social networks with my students or “hang out” with them on the weekends.  I do feel like I am “friends” with many of my students by the end of the semester, and I always know I will miss them the following semester, but I rarely keep contact with students once the class is over.

~Caroline Liang

BH Speaker Series III: “Careers In Finance” with Miles Kendall (VONS)

Ever wonder what it would be like in the life of a top Finance Executive at a big company? Well, if you came to our Business Honors Speaker Series on Friday October 19, you would have had the chance to hear from our guest speaker Miles Kendall, Vice President of Finance at VONS, about what living life big is like. And if you were there, you definitely gained some valuable information about his life experience and filled your tummies with delicious Mediterranean food! For those of you that missed this opportunity, luckily, I will share with you some of the tips that he gave us.

We all know that our grades are very important, but in the work force, work experience is just as important. Many employers will pick students with good grades plus work experience over students with just a really high GPA. Our speaker was a person who had great work experience with satisfactory grades. This just goes to show how far we can go as Business Honors students with work or internship experience! One more important thing is that we should not switch jobs too often. Commitment is a problem that many people have. It is understandable that sometimes things can get boring, but when it comes to careers, you can’t just switch it like it is nothing. It’s important to let employers know that you will be a worthy investment and, just like you wouldn’t buy something if you knew you were going to lose it or it was going to break soon, employers don’t like to hire people that will leave soon. If you remember these two key factors, they will be valuable to your decision making in the future. And if you want to get more tips like these, make sure to come out to our future speaker series events!

~Caroline Liang

Boeing Case Study Competition: Part I

The Boeing Case Study Competition, for those of you that don’t know, is a great opportunity for students to challenge themselves with a real-life Boeing business case. During the next few weeks, the teams will use their collective knowledge of Supply Chain, Finance, Global Strategy, and Lean concepts to develop a solution to this business case which will be presented to a panel of Boeing executives on Friday, November 2. Out of the 8 teams chosen to participate in this competition, 4 of them are composed of Business Honors students! On October 18, the teams got together for the Case Study Kickoff Event, in which the teams gained an overview of Boeing, received details of the case study, asked questions and met their Boeing Mentors. Here is an inside look at why they all decided to work together.

 Team 1: Eric Don, David Peterson, Natalie Chau – “To aid our culturally diverse world, our team was specifically designed to achieve optimal performance and strategy through our eclectic strengths proven by work experience and leadership positions.”

  Team 2: Andrew Cavish, Brian Ross, Prianca Murthi, Flaviu Macavei – “We wanted to create a team that could bring in various business prospectives and expertise. Our group consists of 4 different majors: finance, management, accounting, and economics.”

Team 3: Irina Arora, Tyler Stewart, Steven Rodriguez – “Tyler, Steven, and I (Irina) have known each other for months and we are together in the Business Honors program, so we know each others strengths and weaknesses. That was the main reason we decided to work together. More over, all three of us were very enthusiastic about this competition and realized that nothing would be better than us forming a team.”

 Team 4: Neda Ghafourian, Elizabeth Garcia, Shastina Sarkosh, Jennifer Fletcher, Allison Fletcher – “Elizabeth Garcia and I (Neda) initially teamed up and decided to search our network to find students from various concentrations with strong individual characteristics to join our group. The individuals that first came to mind were Shastina Sarkhosh (marketing), Jennifer Fletcher (management) and Allison Fletcher (management). We were lucky enough that they accepted as soon as we extended the invitation. We believe that we have a diverse and strong group of women to lead the Boeing Case Study Competition.”

Check back with us in early November for an update on the winners of the competition!

~Paayal Bhakta

Career Development Workshop: Resumes and Cover Letters

How many if you have a perfect resume or cover letter? Put your hand back down because there is no perfect. On Friday, October 12, Lauren Klentak, Senior Career Consultant for Mihaylo Career Services, dedicated her time to come teach Business Honors students how to compose the best cover letter and resume.

I walked into the workshop with a brand new copy of my cover letter and resume and when I walked out, both papers were completely marked up with corrections and suggestions. No employer really looks at a resume for longer than 20 to 30 seconds, so you pretty much need to convince whoever is looking at your résumé that you are a worthy candidate in half a minute. Piece of cake, right? Well it is for everyone who attended the workshop. Getting a job today is definitely a cut-throat process because there are so many qualified candidates. So if sitting through an hour long workshop and taking some notes is going to give you an advantage, you better take it.

~Paayal Bhakta

Insurance Day

Insurance Day is an annual event held by the Center for Insurance Studies (CIS) for all students that are interested in gaining more knowledge about insurance, financial services, risk management, actuarial science, and more! This year was the fourth year that CIS has held the event and according to the secretary for CIS, each just gets better and better. With the help of the staff at CIS, the members of GIS, and amazing volunteers from various clubs on campus, including BAP, PSE, AMA, BHS, ENT and many more, the event turned out to be spectacular.

Many leading insurance companies were right there in our very own Mihaylo Hall, including State Farm, Liberty Mutual and Travellers, to give students the opportunity to ask them questions and offer opportunities. There were also many little fun prizes and food that were being handed; the best part was the whole event was free of charge to all students. I was able to attend and speak to a few companies including Liberty Mutual and Allstate. An interesting fact that I learned was that these companies, even though many would assume that they focus on finance and risk management majors, also include many programs for other majors including marketing (which happens to be my major) and accounting. So if you missed the event this year or decided not to go because it didn’t seem interesting, I suggest that you definitely check it next year – you never know what opportunities will be waiting!

~Caroline Liang

BH Speaker Series II: “Millennials in the Workplace” with Thomas Romero (KOHL’S)

Ever feel like it’s sometimes hard to understand the older generations and their thought process? I sure do. On the contrary, sometimes it’s even harder to get them to comprehend you. That is why we had Thomas Romero, a Kohl’s Department Stores University Relations Manager, come in on Friday, October 5 to talk about the different generations that we have in the workplace.

Thomas walked all the students at the speaker event through an enlightening and interesting presentation about the three generations that we have in our workplace, with us being the millennial generation. According to him, we like to live first then work while the other two generations focus on surviving and work first. Thomas then went on to reveal how these different values can affect the way people work together and how they influence each other, which was very interesting because being that the members of the event were all part of the millennial generation, we got to hear about what the other generations thought of us. The presentation was very well prepared and it was great when we had students ask questions (not to mention the gift cards that were handed out)!

After the presentation I was able to sit down with Thomas personally and hear his story of how he made it into the company as an intern and moved his way up to the position he holds now through hard work and dedication. Through this presentation we were able to gain knowledge from people that know what’s going on through the minds of other generation – and I say that’s pretty valuable information.

~Caroline Liang

Paayal Bhakta lends a hand to the Indian Student Organization Fundraiser

On Wednesday, October 3, the members of the Indian Student Organization gathered together to sell Dippin Dots Ice Cream on the Titan Walk! It was definitely a treat for those that were trying to get away from the hot summer weather. One of our very own Business Honors students, Paayal Bhakta, was over there and it just so happens that she is the VP of Finance for the organization. I sat down with her to find out more about their organization and how she runs these events.

What inspired you to take part in this organization?

Paayal: Last year my roommate and I wanted to be involved and we joined this organization to be able to promote our culture. After being part of the culture show and realizing how amazing it was, I decided to run for VP of Finance so that I could be more involved with the show and the club.

What is the goal and vision of the organization?

Paayal: To promote the Indian culture to bring all students together to learn together and have fun.

Why and how did you set up the event?

Paayal: We hold many small fundraisers each year to raise funds for the culture show which is the biggest event for our club and this one was one of them. We were able to contact the Dippin Dots in Fountain Valley and got a discounted fundraiser price to hold this fundraiser.

What was the outcome?

Paayal: The outcome was pretty successful overall. We would have liked to see even more money come in but we didn’t lose money and made a little bit of profit so the results are definitely good.

~Caroline Liang

Aprille Hwang’s Disney Experience

The happiest place on Earth, Disneyland. How many of you enjoyed running around this amusement part, eating a churro and waiting in line for your favorite ride when you were little? I know I used to… and maybe even still do. Disneyland is just one of those places that brings a smile to our face just by hearing the name. It’s no wonder freshman Aprille Hwang is so passionate about Disney. Let’s take a look at what Aprille has to say about her experience volunteering for the Disney table on October 3, 2012, feelings about the company, and advice to her fellow freshman class.

“I am passionate about Disney because all my life I’ve been around the Disney environment. I grew up in Florida with Disney World at my fingertips, and I lived in Southern California with Disneyland right around the corner. My family was very Disney oriented and I love that Disney makes every encounter with their guests a memorable experience.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress for the Disney Channel. However, it wasn’t until I was in high school that I saw more of a future working for the Disney Company. But regardless, I knew I wanted to work in the entertainment industry. My family and friends have always told me that they could see me there in the future.

For me, getting involved wasn’t difficult because the school provides resource fairs and lots of different clubs to explore. I love to get involved because it gives me an opportunity to make the most of my time here on campus. I believe that getting involved on campus helps to build school pride and appreciation for your education as well. I take every advantage I have to learn more through the workshops provided by SLI, Business Honors, or even the career center.

My tips to fellow freshmen is to get involved by prioritizing. College entails freedom, and you want to make sure you’re putting your time into activities that are worthwhile. The opportunity is always there, but it’s all about taking the first step. As for pursuing your dreams, I believe that dreaming big can’t ever hurt. It’s better to dream big, than to never dream at all. I guess that’s what motivates me to do what I do.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired! Not everyone can be so sure and so passionate about what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Also, it’s not easy leaving such a big footprint in the Business Honors Program during your very first year. I guess Aprille is starting to make Business Honors at CSUF the happiest place on Earth!

~Paayal Bhakta