Paula Veyhle is a finance graduate student from Ludwigsburg, Germany
Hometown: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Major: Master’s degree in finance
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
As a tennis player in the women's tennis team at NIU, I am on a full athletic scholarship. The financial support has helped me to focus on my studies, tennis and representing NIU in the best way possible.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
When I was growing up, I always knew that I wanted to work in business. Business is very broad, and I kept an open mind to different fields. I soon realized that I enjoy multiple areas of business, which is why I majored in management, minored in marketing, got a certificate in professional selling as well as a certificate in finance, and am now pursuing my master’s degree in finance.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
Currently, I am getting my master’s degree in finance. During my undergraduate studies, I took classes to receive a certificate in finance. This sparked my interest in the world economy, market regulations, investments and corporate finance even more, which is why I decided to continue learning by pursuing a master’s degree in this field. In addition, the finance program offers many great real-world opportunities such as the Student Managed Portfolio and the CFA Research Challenge.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I enjoy the community, openness to ideas and overall support, especially within the College of Business. As an international student, it is great to have a place here that feels like home and a community that feels like a second family. I know that I can turn to students, faculty and staff with any ideas, suggestions or comments. The overall support of everyone is invaluable and I truly appreciate this culture.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
As a student-athlete, I connected with other athletes right away. In the College of Business, I joined organizations and applied for projects and classes where students work together in small groups. This is a great opportunity to meet other students and form new friendships. For example, as a consultant in the Experiential Learning Center, I worked on two semester-long consulting projects with four to five other students. Now, during my graduate studies, I am in the Student Managed Portfolio, where six to 10 people oversee a portfolio of over $1 million. In these environments, you can get to know others very easily.
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?
Yes! I am the chair of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board in the College of Business and a member of the graduate curriculum committee. I also coached sales competitions, mentored incoming freshmen during the pandemic and became a finance tutor in the College of Business during my graduate studies.
As I mentioned, I studied leadership and management. These situations have been an amazing opportunity for me to practice leadership in the real world and take responsibility on behalf of all students in the College of Business. Additionally, it is important to me to give back to the Huskie community by mentoring and coaching students and by helping students succeed in their classes.
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The College of Business has done an amazing job in showing all the different opportunities that are available to students. Because of it, I was able to join the Experiential Learning Center, the professional sales program, the Student Managed Portfolio and the CFA Research Challenge. Additionally, my advisors in the management, finance and athletics departments have been very helpful in making sure that I can successfully take advantage of these opportunities while being a student-athlete.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
This is a tough question. Through my major in management, my minor in marketing and now my master’s in finance, I got to know so many amazing professors from different departments.
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Attending classes regularly has helped me to stay on top of my studies. I was always aware of new assignments, upcoming due dates and the current content of the class. Especially in an in-person setting, I got to know my classmates better because we saw each other on a regular basis. And even if classes were recorded and I could have watched them later, I joined synchronously to have the opportunity to participate in interactive discussions and ask questions right away.
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, especially the Finance Investment Lab. I enjoy being there because I can get a lot of productive and focused work done, which is even better with the new Bloomberg Terminals that we received this semester. At the same time, we have a lot of fun in the lab because everyone from SMP (Student Managed Portfolio) and CFA spends many hours there each week. We work and have fun together, which I think is an amazing combination.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I would say make sure you know what your priorities are and then map those priorities out. This helps with decision-making.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
The biggest difference was studying and living in another culture. Coming from Germany, it was important to me to successfully adjust to life here, be aware and really understand the cultural differences by constantly staying open-minded.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I enjoy sports and going to the city with my friends (Chicago is just amazing).
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