John Patten is an accountancy and political science double major from Bloomington-Normal, IL
Hometown: Bloomington-Normal, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Major: Accountancy and Political Science
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received the Presidential Scholarship in 2018, when I was a senior at Normal Community High School. Having this scholarship has allowed me the freedom to pursue extracurriculars and coursework I otherwise would not have pursued.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
I've wanted to be a lawyer since I was probably in junior high. I'm still pursuing that goal, though through a different major than I would have thought back then.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I double major in accountancy and political science. I chose each of these majors because they prepare me for law school and the practice of law.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
The NIU accountancy program has proven to be very strong. As I meet alumni and others who are familiar with us, people often go out of their way to note their respect for our program.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
The 2020-2021 Mock Trial season was completely online, but our team still bonded incredibly well over Zoom.
Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
Currently, I am the president of NIU Mock Trial. Formerly, I was the president of NIU's Residence Hall Association, as well as a Research Rookie and Research Rookie peer mentor. All of these experiences challenged me in different ways and forced me to think outside the box. I've also met some really interesting people through this involvement.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Dr. Kate Mantzke of accountancy. Kate was my faculty advisor for my research and my teacher for ACCY 450 (tax). The research and subsequent publication we have done together was one of the most valuable experiences I've had at NIU. Without Kate's help, it would not have been possible.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
The Barsema Hall atrium is one of my favorite places at NIU. The hustle and bustle of the atrium embodies the ambition and success of NIU students.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
Make decisions for the long term. Decide what you want to do, then figure out what it will take to get you there.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I've had to learn to be more outgoing and to be a better networker. In high school, everyone knew who I was, so I rarely had to be as outgoing as I do now.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
My favorite activities include bass fishing, jogging, reading and watching football.
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