Each year, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University welcomes newly admitted students to campus, where they will spend the following years learning and growing into exceptional business professionals. While attending college can be exciting and thrilling, the experience can also be challenging and at times confusing. However, students from the Whitman School Class of 2018 have some advice for incoming students to help them get acclimated to college.
Get involved in extracurriculars!
“I can remember being overwhelmed by all the organization tables draped around the quad and the Whitman School during my freshman year,” said Catherine Cummings. “However, those tables led me to get involved in organizations that have given me endless opportunities. I never thought in a million years that I would be a brother of a professional business fraternity, like Delta Sigma Pi, but it ended up being one the greatest decisions I have made. The experience even led me to join other organizations that hold a special place in my heart, such as Whitman Ambassadors, SU Global Abroad Ambassadors and Class Act.”
Network and take advantage of the resources in front of you!
“A ton of the opportunities that I had during my time here were found through networking, there are so many resources at Syracuse and Whitman that allow you to make meaningful relationships with professionals,” explained Dylan Gans. “Go to as many guest speakers and Career Center events as you can, become friends with the staff and faculty and get involved!”
Make a plan and hold yourself to it.
“What helped me a lot was making a Google Calendar where I would plan out my days,” said Olivia Liskowitz. “Block off time for things like class, group meetings, and working out. In a world where it’s really easy to say ‘I don’t have time,’ I found that laying it out on paper really helps to find chunks of time that you didn’t know you were wasting. Also, keep your end goal in mind. College can be tough, especially at points like midterms and finals. If you write down a list of everything you want to accomplish and hang it up in your room, it’ll make going to 8 a.m. classes or putting in extra hours of studying a lot easier.
Speak up in class, even when others don’t.
“You’ll find it a lot in classes that a teacher will ask a question and no one responds,” said Aaliyah Roesman. “You making that first move to add to the discussion might seem awkward, but actually it’s impressive! Not only does this one action look good to professors, but also builds your confidence. You also learn more from doing this and cuts down on study time.”
Find what you’re passionate about and commit yourself to that!
“While there are so many great opportunities to get involved, spreading yourself too thin means you won’t be able to truly commit to the things you do care about,” said Lindsay Swanson. “I suggest exploring different extracurriculars during your first year, but trying to narrow that down to a select few you’re really passionate about by the end of that year.”
Save yourself energy outside of the classroom by being alert in class.
“Always be present, both mentally and physically,” said Griffin Psaila. “If you’re taking the time to attend class, you should try to be as attentive as possible. I’m not saying you need to answer every question, but be present in class. Not only will it make building relationships with your professors and classmates easier, but it will help you be prepared come exam time. Going off of that, try your best to refrain from using your laptop in class.”
Build meaningful relationships with professors.
“The professors at the Whitman School are incredibly intelligent, insightful and talented,” shared Betsy Perkocha. “Many of them have worked in the industry before and are teaching from both their past experiences and from an academic perspective. They have so much knowledge and advice to share and are truly dedicated to helping their students succeed. I recommend staying late after the first or second class to introduce yourself to your professor to show them how passionate you are about the subject. Office hours are another great resource that should be taken advantage of as frequently as possible. Stopping by to review past homework assignments or exams, to ask a question or to even just say a quick hello is a great way to get to know your instructors on a personal level.”