Grace Sherburne is a transfer management major from Byron, IL
Hometown: Byron, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Transfer from: Rock Valley College
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
Scholarships have made a huge impact on my college experience. Through the support of generous donors, I have been able to be more successful in my coursework and less worried about the financial burden that comes with earning a degree. I appreciate everyone who has chosen to support me financially and otherwise in the pursuit of my degree and future career. I will be graduating this December (2022), and I could not have done it without this support. Scholarships are very important and meaningful to students, in general, and all the donors who fund scholarship opportunities are a huge blessing. I am the recipient of:
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 have always had a passion for people—helping people, working with people, supporting people and so on. Originally, I thought this passion was leading me toward the nursing field. However, through a series of experiences, I found myself taking an organizational development class at my community college. After taking this class, I knew that this was my new path: to pursue a career in human resources and organizational behavior. Every subsequent management and human resources class I have taken here at NIU has confirmed this choice. I have never enjoyed learning so much as I do in these classes!
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is management with an emphasis in human resource management. I chose this field of study because of my passion for working with people and helping them to meet their goals, including career goals. I also believe that employees are an indispensable resource to all organizations and that human resources can play a major part in the success of a company.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Throughout my experience at NIU, I have had so many amazing professors who are passionate about their field and helping students grow and learn so they can make a positive impact on the world. The faculty is simply outstanding, and I have been able to form meaningful relationships with many of my professors. I still talk with and send general life and career updates to management professors that I had in previous semesters. That's just how much our management professors genuinely care about their students in general as well as the current and future success of their students.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
I have been very blessed through my chosen major. In the NIU College of Business (COB), participation with other students and networking with current students, alumni and other business partners and professionals is not just encouraged, it is an expectation and a necessity to being successful. In most of my prerequisite courses, I barely had an opportunity to meet the other students in my class. However, my COB professors make sure that we have ample time to meet, work with, challenge and support our peers. I have not had any trouble making friends, and I have never felt out of place or like I didn't belong in the College of Business.
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?
I have had many opportunities to participate in community service projects. I have also been able to volunteer at food banks, food pantries and Feed My Starving Children. I feel that it is critically important for the success of our society to give back to the community. I think giving back to the community is a core pillar of NIU, so it has been very beneficial to be a part of an organization that supports more than just my academic passions and pursuits. I have also had many opportunities to join notable groups such as the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society, Tau Sigma Honor Society for transfer students and the University Honors Program, where I had the opportunity to serve as an honors ambassador.
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The Department of Management has played a huge role in my success as a student and in my learning. The professors are so supportive, knowledgeable and helpful, even beyond academics to locating internships, giving life and career advice, serving as references and celebrating my recent engagement with me. My advisor, Steph Horgan, has been a phenomenal resource as well as my honors advisor, Linda Condon. They are very patient and helpful for me in navigating my major path and achieving associate honors in my two years here at NIU.
What Honors Program opportunities or support have helped you get closer to your academic or career goals so far?
The Honors Program has given me so many valuable opportunities. One opportunity that helped me get closer to my career goals was a job shadow program. The job shadow experience allowed me to follow someone in the field of human resources as they carried out their daily work activities. It was a great way to see firsthand what a job in human resources could look like.
What do you enjoy the most about the Honors Program?
My favorite thing about the Honors Program is the experiences that they offer. I was able to participate in a job shadow experience, and they also offer honors-specific courses and honors seminars. I had the amazing experience of taking an honors seminar with Dr. Melanie Koss, where we were able to discuss fun topics as well as sensitive issues in respectful and meaningful ways that promoted learning, growth and the importance of remaining open to important conversations and the thoughts, feelings and ideas of others.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
I have had so many excellent teachers in my time here at NIU, and they are all amazing professors for different reasons. My top favorite professors are Bethany Cockburn (Managerial Negotiations), Terrence Bishop (Employment Law), James Burton (Managing Individuals, Teams and Organizations), Brian McCormick (Planning and Staffing) and Eric Michel (Intro to HR Management and Compensation and Benefits). These individuals put so much time and effort into their courses and into developing great professional relationships with their students. They care so much about our learning and growth and are always available to talk or give advice.
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Attending class regularly is very important to the successful completion of most courses. Attending classes ensures that you learn all of the material needed to pass the class and carry valuable knowledge out into your career. It also allows you to network and build relationships with your professors, peers and department staff. While it is true that building relationships with others is not necessarily an essential part of earning most degrees, it makes the university experience so much more beneficial and pleasant to have those relationships. I enjoy coming to school because I know I get to learn new things and be amongst friends and colleagues.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the College of Business. I am drawn to this location because it is where I spend most of my time and the majority of my friends are in the COB.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I would encourage students who are applying to get involved and engaged with campus, your college, your department and your classes. Engaging makes your time at college more valuable and fun.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
While things like my study habits have changed, the most important thing I have learned is to think more strategically and critically.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I think it is very important to manage my time very well. I was home schooled for about 10 years, so I have a lot of experience motivating myself, disciplining myself and working in a variety of different settings, which has made me very flexible and adaptable. One thing I have found to be valuable is planning out my week. At the beginning of the week, I look at everything I need and want to do for the week and divide it up between different days. When I am scheduling out my week, I always make sure to schedule time to spend with friends and my fiancé every weekend. I also like to take naps and/or meditate when I can.
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