During my first two years at the Paul College I have learned a lot. Yes academically of course, but also about the school, the people, the various options and majors, and I’ve learned a lot about myself. I have seen a lot happen in that time, from a brand new business school and a new Dean, to witnessing all of my new friends picking and then re-picking their own options and majors. I now have a grasp of what it takes to truly be successful at this school and I want to share my experience so that incoming freshman or anyone else can get a better understanding of what it takes. These are my tips that relate to the Paul College but I think they could apply to other majors as well.
1. Don’t be afraid to be an undeclared business major and have no idea which option you want!
When I first came to UNH I was an undeclared business major, but I was leaning toward Economics. After my first few business classes and my first Econ class, I knew that Economics was the right major for me. However, don’t feel like you have to come into the Paul College as an accounting major or marketing major. Once you get here explore all the majors by talking to students, talking to the respective heads of the department, and try taking a class in something that interests you. Also, go to the options fair (see the figure) to see what interests you. After you do your own research then you can decide which option you want or double option.
2. Have a connection with professors
One of the most difficult changes between college and high school is the class size. While some of your classes may be small the majority will be lectures especially as a freshman. As a student you shouldn’t be afraid to go to your professor’s office hours and ask about something that you don’t understand. They are there to help you and by going to see them you show that you’re trying your best.
3. Don’t slack off freshman year
Too many times I hear people say ‘well I would have a higher GPA, but I didn’t do well my freshman year.’ It’s college and a brand new experience, but remember why you pay all that money to come here: for the knowledge. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t be social and enjoy yourselves, because you should! But remember that your freshman year grades count just as much as any other year. Try hard and get a good start!
4. Join a business club or group
At the beginning of the school year I joined Atkins Investment Group and it has been a fantastic experience. There are many more student groups in all options and if there isn’t a club that fits you… then make one. There is also the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi that is for professional minded men and women. Remember as soon as you step on campus you are building your resume and joining a club or group will differentiate you.
5. Use all your resources
As a business student you have plenty of resources available to you. First off, the UNH Advising and Career Center gives students help with creating a resume, cover letter and they’ll also help you find internship. Make sure to visit them throughout your four years here. Right across the hall from career services is the guidance department where advisors will help you choose your schedule for four years as well as offer advice on anything you ask. Lastly, the business school is a resource. The breakout rooms provide a great place to study and the Great Hall is a great place to meet and socialize with other students.
6. Have Fun
I always say that if you are not having a good time learning then you won’t actually learn. This is college so while academics is important it is one part of the experience. Socialize, make friends, learn and experience as much as you can.
I hope these 6 tips have helped any incoming business students as much as they helped me. As my sophomore year comes to an end I hope to learn new things in my years to come.