Jasmine Willis is a management major from Sycamore, IL
Hometown: Sycamore, IL
Year: Expected graduation: December 2021
Minor: Business innovation and entrepreneurship
Transfer from: Kennedy-King CC
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 wanted to be a teacher growing up. I quickly learned I didn't have that type of patience, so I pursued my bachelor's degree in management. In my own way, I'll be teaching by developing future leaders. My competitiveness also played a part in choosing management.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am majoring in management with an emphasis in leadership and management. I'm also minoring in business innovation and entrepreneurship. I always loved the persona that only "business professionals" seemed to possess. It's a different kind of confidence. My main reason, though, was being a consumer and feeling annoyed by poor customer service. I had my fair share of experiences! It made me want to move up in my position and become a manager. I felt I had an obligation to become a manager and develop other great managers, in hopes of making the company grow in the process. If my customers are happy, my business is too. Now, my love for the world of business makes us inseparable.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
How much my advisors care and the skilled professionals they have teaching. I remember that at previous schools, I didn't want to talk to my advisors because that wasn't the culture they wanted. Their task was to make sure I knew the classes I needed and that I registered. Here at NIU, I'm always communicating with my advisors. They want to see me succeed and they show it with action.
As far as the professors, there are so many with doctorates and years of experience under their belts. Not only is it beneficial for my knowledge, it's also been inspirational.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Connecting with my peers virtually was new and fun. Surprisingly, I didn't experience a lot of people with their cameras off, so we were able to get a little face-to-face interaction. Being comfortable in our own spaces allowed us to relax with each other, which allowed me to gain some friendships. Now that we've returned, it's been exciting to see them in person.
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 was a member of a dance group called Envy. It allowed me to escape from school. I love to dance, so having that outlet kept me level-headed. Now, I'm a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. It has helped me develop as a professional and presents great networking opportunities. I can lean on other members for advice, to have fun or just to encourage each other.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
I will say my favorites are Mark Groza (marketing), Bethany Cockburn (negotiation) and Furkan Gur (entrepreneurship).
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
I love the Holmes Student Center. It's definitely the heart of campus. Everyone is there, and you get to eat, study, and learn about all the different organizations and activities on campus.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
Be sure this is what you want! Because you're going to walk away from college with what you put into it. Also, remember to breathe. Meaning, you need to find a way to relax outside of school. Ultimately, stay focused and driven, and have fun!
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I had to learn to live on my own and become more independent.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I relish watching and going to the movies. Also, I love going out with family and friends for a good time.
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