Students of NIU Business: Kayla Jones

Hometown: Richton Park, IL

Year: Expected graduation May 2021

Major: Business Management, emphasis in entrepreneurship

Minor/certificate: Marketing

What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
When first applying to NIU, I received the Centennial Scholarship based on my grades and GPA prior to arriving. Later down the line, I received a scholarship from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and since then have applied for other grants and scholarships. Financially, it has taken a large burden off my shoulders. Although my fees were not completely covered, it did help lessen the out-of-pocket amount. I can only hope to find financial coverage for the remainder of my educational journey to law school.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
Growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer. I would spend days on end designing clothes and pricing them in preparation for my imaginary sales. I am not pursuing this as a major, but I do want to do something of the sort later down the line. I have considered opening up a small boutique.

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am a business management major with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. I am also pursuing a minor and certificate in marketing. I decided to pursue my major because I always knew I wanted to go into business for myself, but I was unsure what kind of business prior to coming to NIU. During the end of my freshman year I became interested in law and hope to pursue this venture soon.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU? To be completely honest, NIU was not my first choice but I wanted to give the experience a chance. You never know what you can gain by pursuing an opportunity. I was pleasantly surprised by the experience as a whole. I have been blessed to work with professors who care about me as a student, I have learned and mastered courses that I once thought were impossible, and I have received countless opportunities to accomplish steps toward my end goal of being a business owner and eventually a lawyer.

How have you connected with other students at NIU?
Personally, it all started with making connections with other students in my classes and in my residence hall. I know it may be intimidating at first to simply just walk up and start speaking to people, but that is how I made some of my closest friends on campus.

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 have been part of a few student organizations during my time here at NIU. They all have had their own unique impact on my development, personally and professionally. Although I am entering my senior year, I still want to take a deeper look into organizations I have not been able to pursue.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
It is hard to pick a favorite professor/instructor. They have all impacted my college experience in different ways and have truly made my time engaging and enlightening. The College of Business has introduced me to some of the most amazing people who truly care about their students and their education. Thank you all for everything that you’ve done.

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite place on campus would have to be the lagoon. As a peer educator, I was able to spend some time there and it is truly peaceful. Every now and then it is nice to take a walk and take in the view.

What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
Everything happens for a reason. You may not get accepted to your “dream college” and that is okay. Stay open-minded, because every college and university has something to offer. Also, going away to a university may not be for everyone. There are alternatives that may suit you better, and again, that is okay. Your future starts with you and the choices that you make. Make them for you.

Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
Since coming to college, I have had to develop a stronger work ethic and create a weekly schedule. In high school, my work ethic and discipline were completely different. As a freshman, that is what stressed me out the most, but once I put the proper schedule in place it became easier. College requires a certain level of self-discipline, and I had to learn that I may not understand everything the first time around or pass my classes without putting in effort outside of the classroom.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
Spending time with family and close friends has always been the ideal way to relax and escape the stress of daily life. Family is the most important part of my life because without them, I would not be the young woman I am today.

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

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