Looking Forward to the Spring Semester

by Tim Pate

A new semester has begun at Colorado State University, and that means plenty to anticipate for CSU students. As the warm weather rolls around, students will get back in the rhythm of being a Ram full-time.

For freshman, this time of year means transitioning from apprehension at the prospect of new environments and challenges to excitement at embracing the next steps in a college career. At the other end of the spectrum, senior students realize that this is their last semester at CSU, which means charging into new territory come May. There are decisions to be made and opportunities to be had.

Spring semester at CSU is always a great time of year. The blossoming trees of the Oval never fail to provide a spectacle, and warmer days mean later nights spent on the intramural fields. It is also now that students begin thinking of their summer plans – be they visiting family, traveling or studying abroad, or staying in Fort Collins to work and take classes. Springtime shows students the multitude of possibilities ahead of them.

The College of Business too is alive with exciting prospects for students, faculty, and friends of the College. Events for students of all interests are on the horizon, as are career fairs and expos to get students connected with the business world. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to engage with the College of Business – the programs and events available are continuing to improve with each new semester.

This semester, you can look forward to these events and more:

Global Finance Summit

Friday, March 1, 2013
7:00 am – 1:45 p.m.
University Center for the Arts
Colorado State University
1400 Remington Street, Fort Collins, CO

Th­e Global Finance Summit will feature expert commentary and debate from financial professionals, economists, and academics on topics relating to the overall state of the global and domestic economy, fiscal and monetary policy, investment strategies, and business challenges.

Career Management Center Job and Internship Expo

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Rockwell Hall West, Atrium
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO

This event is an exclusive opportunity for employers to engage with College of Business student and alumni (closed event for Business Majors) in Rockwell West, the College’s state-of-the-art facility.  The event is smaller and more intimate, allowing recruiters more time to have meaningful interactions with our students.

Everitt Real Estate Center presents Mark Fleming: “Once a Hare, Now a Tortoise”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
4 – 6:30 p.m.
Fort Collins Hilton
425 West Prospect Road, Fort Collins, CO

Mark Fleming will talk about what is in store as we head into the traditional buying season in the housing market in 2013, how the economy will fare given the political and fiscal situations, and whether housing will be as strong in 2013 as it was in 2012.

Make sure to check the College of Business website and to keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings around the College – there are sure to be plenty.

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A little encouragement for Dead Week

Ghost town

Campus feels a bit like a ghost town, doesn’t it?

by Tim Pate

Here we are. We are in the middle of the dreaded Dead Week – the week before final exams when students realize that all the procrastinating of the semester is about to take its toll. Campus is hauntingly quieter than normal as the dark cloud of finals lingers over the heads of worried students. Students abandon their strict gym constitutions and late-night activities and elect instead to coup themselves in their rooms, pouring over dimly lit books and notes that haven’t been reviewed since they were composed.

Yes, it’s that time of year, and I know that the stress of it all might be getting to you. I’m also realistic enough to know that reading this blog post is probably another excuse for you to put off studying just a few more minutes. That being the case, I have a few words of encouragement to get you through these dark times…

You’re almost done.

That’s right. Winter Break is just around the corner, and all that is standing between you and that sweet relief is a few tests, your last remaining classes, and some study hours fueled by excessive amounts of coffee and energy drinks.

But when that has all been completed, you get five weeks (count ‘em – it’s five this year) with no academic responsibility. (That is, of course, assuming you didn’t choose to take winter classes.) It is important to remember this time of year that what lies ahead of you is nothing you haven’t experienced before. Even if this is your first semester at college, keep in mind that you had to take finals in order to get here. You and millions of other students have maneuvered finals successfully before now, and you can do it again.

So take a deep breath, stick your nose back in your books, and get to work. In only a couple weeks’ time, you could be drinking hot chocolate and sitting by a fire with the fright of finals a distant memory from your past.

Need to procrastinate a bit more? Tell us your plans for the break 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.

Summer Session: An Overview

by Tim Pate

College offers a variety of ways for students to ensure their success, and summer school is among those available opportunities. At Colorado State, summer school is offered in three sessions throughout the season, each lasting four weeks. Students have the choice to take classes during all sessions, or to just choose one or two to fit their schedules.

SunflowerHaving never participated in summer school myself, I decided to investigate the benefits and drawbacks of the sessions. The choice of whether or not to enroll in summer classes is highly subjective, so this post aims to serve only as a guide for students who may be considering the option. The following information was gained from asking multiple summer-school participants to share their experiences.

Positives

Summer school sessions, as mentioned earlier, are much briefer than classes taken during the regular school year. However, students in summer sessions have the capability of earning the same amount of credits in a shorter time period. This characteristic is highly beneficial for students who need to catch up on classwork in order to graduate on time. Short summer classes can also simply lessen the course load students need to take, which can decrease stress levels during the normal school year.

Classes during summer sessions are predictably smaller – most with only 20 students or fewer. This means that professors have more capacity to address individual student issues than during the regular school year. Students enrolled in labs have found this feature especially useful, because the hands-on coursework occasionally requires specialized attention.

Depending on how students schedule their courses and which classes they take, summer sessions generally still allow time for students to work. It is not difficult for students to schedule their classes in strategic blocks of time in order for them to still be available for work. While the regular school year and its full load of credits can make work schedules difficult to manage, summer classes can be squeezed together easily, and students can earn money while still attending classes.

Negatives

Some students have had issues with the fast-paced nature of summer classes. Because coursework is all crammed together over a four-week timescale, professors must conduct tests more frequently – usually every week. This means that students have less time to study and must move quickly in order to keep up with the coursework. Depending on your study style, this feature could be a drawback.

Given the brevity of the classes, it is almost inevitable that some content be cut from summer courses. I have heard that math and engineering courses generally provide the same content just at a much quicker pace, but most classes appear to leave bits out. Depending on the depth of understanding a student hopes to glean from a class, this fact should be something to take into consideration.

Finally, one must consider the tradeoff of free time for education. Each individual must analyze whether to devote time to classes or to enjoy the summer months. Sometimes summer classes are necessary, but other times it’s a matter of spreading the college work load over a longer time frame to reduce stress. The decision is truly that of the student.

The consensus from the folks with whom I talked regarding Summer Session at CSU was quite positive. Despite some minor challenges that come with enrolling in summer classes, every student with whom I talked recommended the courses as a way to stay on track for graduation. None of them felt overwhelmed by the course load, but did emphasize that it is a commitment to attend class five days per week. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Make the choice that best serves your needs; just be sure that you come to a conclusion with all the necessary information.