4 Reasons Business Students Should Study Abroad

by Tim Pate

Former finance student, Jason Sandry (’12), smiles at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Colorado State University and the College of Business are dedicated to providing students with a first-class, well-rounded education. One of the ways CSU ensures the best education possible is through a rich study-abroad program. The College of Business supports the University’s efforts to encourage students to study abroad, so we have crafted a list of the top four reasons you should look into a school away from school.

Push your boundaries.

Studying abroad requires a level of stepping out of your comfort zone. Living in a new place, speaking a different language, learning new local customs, or even eating strange food can be a challenge. These experiences challenge students to adapt to these unfamiliar environments, and new skills are born. College is a time for adventure, and the world is full of them.

Broaden your perspective.

Study abroad students enjoy a camel train in Merzouga, Morocco.

Understanding business principles and customs in the United States is important to a successful career, but we cannot ignore the fact that the world is becoming more and more connected. Studying abroad gives students the chance to experience and become familiar with different economic and political systems than that of the United States. Learning about how other economies operate and the role they play in the U.S. economy is highly valuable knowledge to possess.

Get scholarships.

The College of Business greatly encourages students to study abroad – so much so that it has provided scholarships specifically for business students interested in exploring and learning in a new place. One such scholarship is the College of Business Study Abroad Scholarship, which offers up to $2,000 for summer, $3,000 for a semester and $5,000 for a year-long study abroad experience. The Chris Collins Memorial scholarship is also available to juniors and seniors in the College of Business, and is worth up to $3,000. The Office of International Programs also offers the Fulbright program to undergraduate and graduate students. CSU wants to help you reach your dream location.

Impress recruiters.

In addition to your accomplishments in school, recruiters want to see indications that you have practical knowledge and experience outside the classroom. Studying abroad shows independence, motivation, and ambition – all traits highly sought after in new employees. Having study abroad experience on your resume indicates to your potential employer that you are capable of navigating new situations and that you have experience you can’t find in textbooks. If you want to get hired, studying abroad is a great way to show employers that you can handle the job.

College of Business students and alumni: Have you studied abroad? If so, leave a comment and tell us when and where you visited and what you studied. What did you gain from the experience? What would you recommend to students embarking on their first study abroad journey?

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Get Involved!

By Tim Pate

Congratulations! You made it through the first week of the fall semester at CSU. Most of your professors are diving into the material for your classes, and you are slowly learning or remembering what it’s like to be a CSU Ram.

As you become more accustomed with being back in school, I would like to encourage you to look into an opportunity to enhance your university career: student involvement. There is no better place to start than right here at the College of Business, where we have nearly 20 student organizations specifically tailored to your interests in the world of business.

Members of the Society of Human Resource Management Student Chapter use Hewlett-Packard HALO video conferencing technology to meet with Human Resource professionals from around the world. (Photo and caption courtesy SHRM)

No matter your concentration, the College of Business has a student organization just for you. These departmental organizations are here to foster your education and to give you real-world experience in the field of your choice. Get homework assistance, participate in competitions, or just meet people who share your interests. Clubs are great for networking and team-building, and they often lead to opportunities after college.

Student organizations also go beyond the concentrations within the College. A number of fraternities, honor societies, and diversity organizations are also available to help you become connected to College of Business and CSU communities. Even better, if there is an organization you have conceptualized but does not yet exist, nothing is obstructing you from establishing it and starting a legacy of your own.

At the College of Business, you can expect great professors who will develop in you a great knowledge of the business world. However, you have the power to enrich your experience at CSU by getting involved in campus organizations. What you gain in your time at Fort Collins is largely dependent on the effort you commit to making this time special.

Interested in joining a College of Business student organization? Learn more about them all here.

A Big Ram Welcome

The day has finally come: the Class of 2016 has arrived on campus. Ram Welcome festivities began at 8 a.m., when doors to the dorms officially opened. After you’ve moved all of your belongings and knick-knacks into your new room and met your roommate, CSU and the College of Business have a plethora of activities to keep you busy until classes begin on Monday.

Below you can find the events which pertain to you specifically as a College of Business student as well as other events of interest from Thursday to Saturday.

Thursday

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. | Carnival and President’s Concert: Games, snacks, carnival rides, and live music on the Intramural Fields located in front of the Student Recreation Center. Venture inside The Rec to explore “Retro Rec”, an interactive decade-themed adventure leading you through each area of the Rec Center. Explore programs and services offered through Campus Recreation, play games, and win prizes.

Friday

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | College Welcome: Meet with other College of Business students in the Rockwell Courtyard. Here you’ll get a chance to register, meet with advisors, learn about concentrations within the College, and explore various business-related student organizations. There will also be a raffle, and you could win prizes such as a new bike, a dinner in Old Town, or cool CSU swag. Companies who donated prizes to the College of Business’s Ram Welcome event include:

  • Butter Cream Cupcakery
  • Rams Book Store
  • Café Bluebird
  • Recycled Cycles
  • Noodles & Company
  • Pizza Casbah
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Big Dog Textbooks
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Kilwins Ice Cream
  • Chipper’s Lanes
  • Beau Jo’s Pizza
  • Sonny Lubick Steak House
  • Canino’s Italian Restaurant
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Ethics Matters Boot Camp (Required for new College of Business students): Establishing an ethical base before starting your college career is imperative to achieving success in both your college courses and later in the business environment. Ethics is the underpinning of College of Business courses at CSU and this boot camp is a great way to get started! “Ethics Matters” Boot Camp is designed to provide students with a preview of the ethical principles and foundations that will be embedded throughout the College of Business experience. Come prepared for an engaging, interactive, and fun learning experience!

7:00 p.m. – Midnight | Ramapalooza: Join Campus Activities at Ramapalooza for endless entertainment including live comedy and music performances, casino night, caricature artist, crafts, food, prizes, and much more. Watch The Hunger Games under the stars and meet GUIDE staff at this GUIDE sponsored movie event on the Lory Student Center Plaza.

Saturday

10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. | Ram Night @ SuperTarget: Stock up on supplies for your room and enter to in great prizes at an exclusive late-night shopping trip to SuperTarget. Catch the bus directly from CSU Transit Center, the south side of Corbett Hall (on Plum St.) or on the north side of Summit Hall (on Pitkin St.).

Upperclassmen: What do you remember about Ram Welcome and your first days at CSU?

Dorm Life 101: Advice From Someone Who’s Been There

by Tim Pate

Hello freshmen, and welcome to Colorado State University! Everybody at the College of Business looks forward to meeting each of you, and I hope that you are making the transition without any snags. As I get ready to begin my senior year at CSU, I start to reflect on my experience these past three years. When I arrived at CSU, I felt reasonably comfortable as I made the switch to college life; but there is one thing about which I wish I had had more comprehensive information at the beginning: life in the dorms.

Don’t let that first paragraph scare you – dorm life was not a terrible experience and some of my best friends now I met in those halls. However, some parts of dorm life did catch me by surprise (in good ways and bad), so I have taken it upon myself to try to minimalize the shock you might experience in your first year. The following items are pieces of advice I wish upperclassmen had given to me before I started living in the dorms.

Your roommate will get on your nerves (and you will get on your roommate’s nerves).

If you’ve ever shared close quarters with anyone for an extended period of time, you know why the above statement is true. In such close proximity, it is impossible to ignore another person’s flaws (especially if this person was randomly selected to live with you for nine months). Maybe your roommate’s possessions have an annoying habit of overflowing onto your side of the room. Maybe your roommate enjoys traipsing noisily into your room at 4:00 in the morning. Maybe your roommate just does something in complete innocence that drives you up a wall. Seriously, there is no avoiding it. The best way to handle this situation is to be open and honest with your roommate about any issues that arise, and to find somewhere outside of your room where you can go to find solace if you need it.

Relish your proximity to campus amenities – you might miss it next year.

I definitely took for granted how close I was to the best areas of campus when I was a freshman. I was within a five-minute walk of the library, the Rec Center, Moby Arena, and the Lory Student Center. A year later it was a 10-minute bus ride. The year after that it was 20. We have an incredible student recreation center (complete with a pool, rock-climbing wall, and two levels of exercise equipment), and I love doing my work on campus in Rockwell Hall-West or the Behavioral Sciences building. I would have frequented those places much more often had I known that simply getting there would be a hassle in the years to come.

Weird things happen in the dorms. Ignore them, and move on.

Dormitories are like ant farms: They consist of tons of people who do not know each other thrown together and left to fend for themselves. With this newfound freedom, some people go absolutely wild. You haven’t the slightest bit of control over how other people act, so don’t try to exert unattainable power. Nor are you committed to being friends with everyone in your hall; there’s nothing wrong with being selective.

Dorm food gets old.

Really old. You eat it every day. However, you can add variance to keep things a little bit fresher. There are multiple dining halls located all over campus, and with your meal plan you have access to all of them. My personal favorites are Ram’s Horn at Academic Village (try the pizza and burgers downstairs or the Mongolian grill upstairs) and Braiden (best handmade sandwiches and late-night shakes on campus). Another tip is to limit how much you eat each meal. Just because each meal swipe earns you unlimited food doesn’t mean that you have to eat until you’re sick. Have a reasonable meal each time and try something new but proportional the next day. You’ll keep an appetite for dorm food for longer, and you’ll curb that “freshman 15.”

Like I said, you might make some of your best friends in the dorms.

Meeting new people is one of the most fulfilling aspects of college. Branch out and introduce yourself to people in your hall, on your floor, in your building. Engage in the cheesy hall activities that your Resident Assistant promotes. You’ll discover lots of interesting people of diverse backgrounds who will genuinely amplify your college experience. Being in a new place and a new atmosphere can be slightly intimidating, but the adventure is made all the more enjoyable when you and some new friends can laugh about it together.

Upperclassmen: Do you have any pieces of advice you wished had been shared with you when you entered college? Feel free to leave your gems of wisdom in the comments below!

Laughter: The Best Discipline

By Tim Pate

No joke, humor serves a variety of purposes in today’s world. The ability to make others laugh can make you more enjoyable as a classmate, a teammate or an employee; but it is also important to laugh yourself each day to relieve inevitable stress. Here you will find a few examples how humor and laughter can enhance your work and your daily life.

Take a Laugh Break

LaughSchool and work can both prove to be highly stressful environments. When deadlines seem impossible to meet, when professors and bosses seem impossible to please, when your workload continues to grow heavier and heavier, comic relief is essential to maintaining optimism and sanity. Really great employers provide outlets for employees who need to blow off steam. (Why do you think so many people are dying to work at places such as New Belgium Brewing, Google, Facebook and OtterBox?)

However, you can find a source of happiness no matter where you are. My suggestion? Before you start to feel overwhelmed, put aside ten minutes to focus on yourself. Watch a puppy yawn on YouTube, scroll through a funny blog, read the funnies – whatever it is that helps you to smile, calm down and refocus. Scientists are learning that taking occasional breaks increases worker productivity to a much greater extent than painstakingly trying to remain focused the whole day through; so take a second and laugh a little on the job.

Make the People Laugh

What do viral videos, great Super Bowl ads, and your best friend all have in common? They can make you laugh. Clever marketers understand and are able to capitalize on the human desire to laugh. Of course, humor is a delicate art form that can be devastating if executed improperly, but that doesn’t keep ambitious people from harnessing the power of laughter. Learn the tricks of the trade and you could potentially capture the attention of your most important audiences.

Laugh at Yourself

On the off chance you are a human, I’m going to speculate that you have probably made a mistake or two in your lifetime. I’ll even go one step further and postulate that at least one of those mistakes was a BIG mistake. We all make blunders, big and small, and in this commonality we have to find some humor. Otherwise, how are we supposed to rectify the mistake and move on? Nobody should expect perfection from themselves or anybody else. Don’t take yourself so seriously that a single slip-up drags down the potential of the rest of your work.

Now go ahead: giggle, chuckle, chortle, and snicker…and watch as your productivity and happiness immediately begin to rise.