Students of NIU Business: Jason Rivera

Hometown: Streamwood, IL

Year: Expected graduation: May 2021

Major: Business Administration

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is Business Administration with a minor in Business Analytics. I chose this course of study because I worked in retail as an assistant manager and wanted to my expand my knowledge and skill set so I can one day run my own business. As a manager, I really enjoyed helping both customers and fellow employees, and it felt very rewarding when I was able to help someone reach their goals.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something that I found pleasantly surprising in my experience at NIU is how welcoming and invested the faculty are with their students. Many professors and advisors I’ve interacted with have encouraged me to participate in different activities, programs, and organizations. Without their suggestions, I would not have gained the experience, knowledge, or friends that I have from trying out the different activities. They are always patient and willing to assist students however possible and I owe a lot of my college experience to them.

How have you connected with other students at NIU?
I have connected to other students by joining a few organizations while also starting conversations with students in my classes. One thing many College of Business students relate to each other with is the difficulty of some of the core classes. Having study sessions and going to tutoring helped build common ground for conversation and enabled us to get to know each other.

Are you involved in any student organizations or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am involved in Business Administration Student Association (BASA) as secretary along with the Experiential Learning Center (ELC) this semester. Being part of BASA has been very valuable to my experience because I was introduced to many different students, alumni, and guest speakers that gave me insight on what to expect from a variety of careers. After joining BASA’s e-board, I grew to learn the different roles members have and why they’re important for any organization. As part of the ELC program, I am gaining a lot of experience from working as a consultant for a company faced with business problem that our team gets to provide solutions for. The program has given me a real look into what it’s like working for a company, collaborating with a team, and exhibiting expectations in a professional environment.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One of my favorite professors from the College of Business is Eric Michel. Professor Michel was my professor for MGMT 355 Human Resource Management last semester and really brought enthusiasm and character to our lessons. He always challenged us to look at the different aspects of a situation and presented information to us in a way that was easy for me to follow. He always had activities that would keep the class engaged and part of the conversation.

Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
One of the first things I learned to do differently was managing my time. Juggling classes, work, extra-curriculars, studying, exercise, career searching, social life and personal life was a real struggle. Something my classmate and friend told me was to make a list of everything important to me, whether it be now or in the future, and write them down. This really opened me up to finding balance and wringing out the extra noise, and I owe a lot of my success to the wise words of a great friend.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I like to visit the fountain in the back of Barsema Hall. Listening to the water helps me feel relaxed and recharged as I reflect on how I spent my day and what I want to accomplish with the rest of it. I also spend time streaming movies and shows, playing video games with friends online, and riding my bike.

reposted from NIU Huskie Spotlight; M. De Jean, NIU Business Director of Marketing

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