SBI has totally redefined my academic experience at Villanova, in the best way! As a psychology major going into my junior year, I felt like I needed something to supplement my resume, and this was just the thing to do to give me the right knowledge and tips for job hunting. I attended the program and earned my minor this past summer, and I really wanted to help attract other students to this awesome opportunity. The way that I found out about SBI was through a friend of mine who did it Summer 2013, so I figured I could definitely speak to the program since I just had the experience so recently.
In terms of moving forward with my career, SBI has helped give me the confidence to be proactive with employers. The Professional Success course we took over the summer instructed us how to perfect our resumes, how to thrive in a job interview, and most importantly, how to network with ease. I think networking can be used in literally every aspect of the job search, and is so imperative to having connections. You never know what can happen, but if you’re smart, even the most unexpected relations can link you with just the right employer, and that’s something I learned through SBI.
I’ve also found out that I absolutely love marketing, thanks to this program! In our Competitive Effectiveness course, we learned the basics of advertising, marketing research, segmenting, knowing your target audience, and branding; I found myself getting really excited to come to class to learn about these every day, so I’m actually adding a marketing minor to my course load this year! I’m super pumped to keep learning – and keep taking classes with the lovely Dr. Julie Pirsch, of course!
As a previous Competitive Effectiveness team leader, I know how tough it can be to balance group dynamic with producing the best work possible with the most efficiency. The biggest thing I learned as a leader (that I can take to other places on campus, like my Villanova Supernovas a cappella group) is that you need to spend time together not doing work, because that fosters a better environment when you are working together. My group went out to Chipotle for lunch one day after an Economics test, and we loved just hanging out and not talking about our deliverables for an afternoon. Taking breaks is so much more important than we thought!
I really surprised myself in that I actually enjoyed all of my courses over the summer (yes, even Finance and Accounting…!) because the faculty were so fantastic. I wanted to become an ambassador to stress to students considering applying that the professors are just as committed (and dying for the beach and/or naps) as the students are, which is something so cool about our program. They really reached out and made themselves available virtually whenever we needed them, which is a wonderful perk that you might not get during the school year. Overall, SBI was a really awesome opportunity that I’m so glad I had the chance to experience, and I really feel like I’m going to benefit from having this background under my belt when I dive head first into the real world after Villanova 🙂