My first semester as a student at the University of New Hampshire within the Paul College of Business and Economics has been nothing short of spectacular. I made a transition to a large university almost three times the population of my town this fall and I am incredibly grateful for the decision I have made. Not only did I move into a foreign world of human interactions, but also decided that my studies would be focused towards business, a field I had never once taken a class in before attending college. My extroverted, loud, and flamboyant personality suddenly fell into the back seat and I become quiet examining and adjusting to my new world of college life in Durham. While I became more aware of my surroundings and peers, I discovered an appreciation to valuable connections with others on campus that drew me closer to them and made this large campus seem an ounce smaller. I soon came to discover that the Paul College of Business and Economics FIRE Program valued these connections as much as I did.
From the very first day on campus the FIRE Program introduced us to our new teams and peer advisor, which gave all business students an upper hand on meeting friends and recognizing new faces. We then proceeded to learn where our classes would be located, helping us feel more comfortable in the paths we were about to walk every day. Most importantly, the first day we discovered a family of others with whom we would share every day with within the upcoming months. This gave me great satisfaction and comfort knowing that the individuals with whom I had just identified myself with, would become a place of haven to turn to in times of need.
Throughout the semester the FIRE Program encouraged all members to become active in the UNH community and build valuable relationships by providing us with a schedule of events weekly which I utilize every day. To value the importance of attending these events and encouraging interaction, the FIRE Program incentivized each event attended with team points. These points then add up at the end of the semester and the winning team is valued with an academic achievement prize. An ingenious way to help freshman become more acclimated to the Durham campus. This technique was one of the leading factors in helping me attend some of the various events that were proctored during my first days on campus.
I connected to the FIRE Program in various ways because of the ability that the program had in helping me grow throughout the UNH campus within my first months of living here. I was pushed to break out of my inner beginning shell and immerse myself in UNH culture expressing my true self. I was finally able to put a name to the faces I had seen on a day to day basis walking past me on campus by going to FIRE events. Midway through the semester I felt like I wanted to become more involved in Paul College but did not know where to start. Therefore, I naturally turned to the FIRE Program. I engaged in meetings with the other FIRE Igniters and then applied for a job through the help of connections I had made through FIRE resources.
The FIRE Program has served me as a linkage to human connections on the UNH campus and has helped me acclimate more quickly than I would have without it. This program values students first-year needs and continues to help students like myself grow by assisting us form relationships with others. FIRE is the fundamental foundation of helping business students like myself grow within the business community and will continue to advance in the assistance of putting students needs first.
About Emma Bogardus ’21:
Emma Bogardus is from Littleton, NH and is a first-year student in the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. Emma is currently undecided in Business Administration and has plans of studying abroad in the years to come. She enjoys her time as a member of Women in Business, NH Outing Club, UNH Ski and Board Club, along with serving as an Igniter for the FIRE Program. In the future, Emma looks to expand on her involvement on campus as well as discover her passions in the business field.