Max Karsok

mkarsok@bryant.edu

Hi I’m Max Karsok, I am a sophomore from Douglas, Massachusetts studying in the college of Business Administration. Some of my involvements here at Bryant University include Resident Assistant in the Upper Village, the Student Programming Board, the “Linked Through Leadership” Institute, the Honors Program, the Student Ambassador Program, and a student blogger. Thanks for reading!

The Scholarship Dinner: A Celebration of Excellence

April 16th, 2014

This past Friday, hundreds of prospective Bryant students attended our Scholarship Dinner. These are students that have been accepted to Bryant and were awarded an academic scholarship from the University. These students and their families sit at a table with Bryant Student Ambassadors (like me!) and Bryant faculty and staff. At my table, these people were John Denio, the associate dean of student affairs, and Alan Olinsky, an applied analytics and statistics professor. Alongside myself was another ambassador, Jenny Gagnon! Here's what the night looked like!

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 It was a fantastic meal with even better people! Included in the evening's festivities were addresses by our Dean of Admission Michelle Cloutier, President and Mrs. Machtley, freshman Kelsey Gainor, and senior Will Allen. Congrats to all of the scholarship recipients of the Bryant University Class of 2018!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

Relay For Life at Bryant

April 8th, 2014

This past weekend I, along with hundreds of other Bryant students, participated in the Relay For Life. As most of you I am sure know, Relay For Life is a massive fundraiser that takes place all over the map. People receive donations and pledges and then walk around a track or an area to fulfill their pledges and represent a fight against cancer. Relay For Life at Bryant is a huge event that goes all night long (this year 5:oopm-5:00am) and one where tons of students come out to "Finish the Fight" against cancer.

As you can see from this link (http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY14NE?pg=entry&fr_id=59109), the Bryant University Relay For Life raised over $30,000. What an accomplishment! Along with walking, the event included live music, lots of food, different performances, and structured ceremonies where members of the Bryant community shared their stories about their fight with cancer.

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My team was called "All Night For the Fight". We actually had so many people that wanted to be a part of the event that we needed to form two teams! Collectively we raised $2,487.34, with one of our team members Dom Cauteruccio raising $1,000 by himself, good for third most at the event. He said that "Over the past three years many of my close family members have lost their life to cancer, so I tried to do everything I could to help the cause".

All Night For the Fight was captained by a sophomore, Stephanie Leach, who says "I relay for my best friends' moms back home. I consider their fight to be my fight. No matter how much it hurts to walk laps for 11 hours straight, it's the least we can all do compared to what cancer patients see throughout their treatment". Steph and Dom are pictured together (when the walking was completed) on the left, along with fellow relayers Emily Gustafson and Richie Deluca.

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Here's some more of our team!

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I was truly moved by the outpouring of support from the Bryant community at the Relay For Life. I walked next to those who have had their parents, siblings, relatives, and friends pass away from cancer, and those who have had no one effected by cancer, yet knew they wanted to support the cause. It was cold, it rained, and peoples' legs were sore, but their was a greater good that every member of the Bryant community recognized with each step they took.

Like so many others, I relay for people and for reasons that I cannot simply articulate. The Bryant Relay For Life allows me to remember those people and those reasons with hope of a cancer-free future. While the damage cancer has done in the past can never be justified to those like myself, Dom, Steph, and others, a cure breeds a future full of health and happiness. We can only hope that the money Bryant Relay raised this year is the money that is needed to finally "Finish the Fight" and cure this disease. But if not, we'll walk some more next year.

So bring your sneakers.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

Where to Go and How to Get There

April 1st, 2014

A common question that I get on my tours and other admission events is "what is there to do in Smithfield?". While many students (including myself) find staying on campus on the weekends as how they want to spend their free time, there are plenty of options outside of 1150 Douglas Pike that are hot spots for Bryant students. Let's run through them:

  • The Lincoln Mall. Just five minutes off of campus, The Lincoln Mall has all of the necessities and more for Bryant students. Equipped with a movie theater, Chili's, Asia Grille, Five Guys and more, there are plenty of great food choices so close to campus. Also, a conveniently placed Target proves to be the store for every Bryant student to get the necessities they need for their semester long journey.  http://www.discoverlincolnmall.com/
  • Panera Bread and KiwiBurst. They should have their own place on the list right? Right around the corner form Bryant on George Washington Highway is a KiwiBurst and a brand new Panera Bread. To say they have been well received by the students of Bryant is a gross understatement.
  • Smithfield Crossing. Ten minutes from Bryant (one exit down 295) is the Smithfield Crossing. More dining and shopping options and a great way to spend an evening! 30+ restaurants and stores! http://www.crossingatsmithfield.com/
  • Providence Place Mall. 15 minutes from Bryant University is the Providence Place Mall. Providence, RI itself is a city full of things to do and people to see, and the Mall is one of those places. The largest shopping and dining option in the area for Bryant students, it has everything you need! For every one of my friends' birthdays we celebrate at Fire & Ice in Providence! http://www.providenceplace.com/
  • Boston, MA. Bryant is just under an hour away from Boston. No description needed her. Go Sox!

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"So now we know where we can go for dinner and a night on the town, but how do we get there?" (Great question, whoever asked).

  • Every Bryant student can bring their car to campus. Yes, even freshmen! And best of all, it is of no charge, all that is needed is a free parking pass.
  • The RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transit Authority) stops at Bryant and stops all over Rhode Island. With your Bryant ID, the RIPTA is free of charge. Just swipe your card and your good to go!
  • The Bryant Transportation Authority (BTA) takes Bryant students to the local malls and areas for a small charge, and runs constantly throughout the day to ensure Bryant students get where they need to be.
  • Bryant has recently added two ZipCars to campus. These are cars that can be rented out by Bryant students to get where they need to go. You simply pay for the time needed and any gas and you're off! It is great for getting to Boston for a night or if you are traveling with a full crew.

I hope that answers some questions about where to go and how to get there as far as local attractions around Bryant University!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

The Leadership Empowerment Experience

March 26th, 2014

Brand new to Bryant this semester is the Leadership Empowerment Experience (LEE), a leadership development program on our campus. Branching off of the previous program called "Linked Through Leadership", LEE is based off of the Social Change Model and a great way for the students of Bryant to educate themselves on what it takes to be a great leader. LEE's mission is posted below:

 The Leadership Empowerment Experience is an accelerated, hands-on, interactive leadership development program that is guided by the Social Change Model. This semester-long experience teaches students to become confident in their leadership abilities as they grow, develop, and transform along with their peers. In a three-stage process: Learn, Lead and Change, the participants will learn all about what it means to be a strong leader, while simultaneously learning about themselves, others and the world we live in. The participants known as empower-mentees will be placed in small teams with a peer and staff mentor who will collaboratively and cohesively guide each other through the learning process. The Leadership Empowerment Experience is an engaging journey that leads individuals through a series of four - 1/2 day workshops and various experiential learning components that will help build character, and create awareness about individual interpersonal skills, the value of teamwork and the global community.

The Leadership Empowerment Experience has three phases: Learn, Lead, and Change. In the Learn institute, we talk about ourselves as people, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to take advantage of our skill sets. In Lead, we talk about coming up with a vision and how to get others to pursue that vision with you by motivation. And finally, the Change session is all about leadership in its application to the community around us. Each session is a half day workshop with a guest presenter, and that presenter makes the sessions interactive with various activities to keep the students engaged in the discussion. We go through these three stages in small teams with three or four students and a mentor. That mentor is a senior leader on campus and we use that mentor as a resource for everything we might need as the semester progresses.

Last weekend my team and I completed the Lead workshop. The session was all about establishing a vision that is both far reaching and attainable. Once identifying that vision, one needs to work to motivate followers in order for that vision to become a reality. Motivation, to me, is one of the more complicated parts about effective leadership because it varies for every person. Learning about different motivating techniques will definitely help me as a leader next semester and beyond.

Like I said, the sessions are interactive. As part of the Lead session,  each team was required to build a raft made out of a float and two pool noodles. Each team then selected a member to race the noodle across our pool on campus to determine which team created the best and fastest raft. (the picture below is not my actual team, but I posed with fellow blogger John anyway)

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And here was the scene at the pool for the championship race:

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 Even though our team didn't win, a good time was had by all and a lot was learned. Those a part of the Leadership Empowerment Experience are the future leaders of Bryant's campus and it is a great thing to be a part of!

To learn more about LEE and Bryant's other Leadership Program Opportunities, follow this link:  http://intranet.bryant.edu/portal/campus-engagement/co-curricular-involvement/leadership-programs.htm

(Rumor has it John was blogging about LEE and the Lead session as well...interesting...)

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

#FlatTupper

March 18th, 2014

For those readers out there are prospective students accepted into the Class of 2018 (P.S. Congrats!) you have probably received Flat Tupper in the mail! For those of us that are not prospective students, Flat Tupper is a cutout of our beloved mascot Ironclad Tupper I that our Class of 2018 has been receiving upon their acceptance. Students are then supposed to take a picture with Flat Tupper and post it to the Bryant University Class of 2018's Facebook page, so that the future classmates of 2018 can see everyone's posts! You can also use the hashtag #FlatTupper on other social media outlets. Well, even though we're not quite part of the Class of 2018, us bloggers also have Flat Tupper and are taking him to our favorite places on campus. Here's my shot!

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I chose to take my picture with  #FlatTupper in front of the Amica Insurance Center for Career Education. The Amica Center is not only one of my favorite places on campus, but it has brought me recent and exciting news. I posted a blog awhile ago about the benefits of the Amica Center and how helpful they are in the job and internship search process, and they have done just that for me! One of the great benefits the Amica Center has to offer Bryant students is the Bryant Career Connection, which is a portal of job and internship applications complied by the Amica staff for Bryant University students to access. We are given a password and username and can access this massive and continuously growing list of opportunities whenever we wish to aid in our internship search. I took advantage of this opportunity provided to me as I search for an internship this summer, and I recently had two companies, both of which I applied to through the Career Connection, invite me to their company for an interview! Having the Amica Center as a resource on campus is incredible because it gives Bryant students countless opportunities to succeed in the real world. There are full time professionals staffed in the facility and, if you choose Bryant in the coming months if you have not already, it is a resource on campus you really can't go without.

I brought Flat Tupper to Bryant's Amica Insurance Center for Career Education because I truly appreciate its value and dedication to the campus. So many Bryant students find their first internship, their first job, or their dream job through the Amica Center, and Flat Tupper, as well as all of you, needed to see that!

An invitation for an interview or an invitation for employment at a company is sort of like an acceptance to college; a great opportunity full of excitement (and of course plenty of work ahead of you!). Once you have multiple offers from companies or colleges it is time to make a big decision. However, like I have told you all before, selecting a school, just like a summer internship, will be more about what you make of the opportunity than the opportunity itself. Perspective and attitude is everything, so remember that!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

Bryant on Break

March 14th, 2014

This week is Bryant's Spring break, so the campus is pretty desolate as we students unwind from a crazy first half of the spring semester. However, just to keep you in the loop, let's get you up to date on some Bryant Athletic News:

  • The Men's Basketball team lost a heart-breaker in the quarterfinals of the  NEC playoff tournament, with the champion moving on to the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Bryant lost 55-54 on their home floor against the 6th seeded Saint Francis of Pennsylvania team. For the story and highlights, follow this link: http://www.bryantbulldogs.com/sports/mbkb/2013-14/releases/20140305xbzsou
On a brighter note, Senior forward Alex Francis was named to the NEC First team, junior guard Dyami Starks to the second team, and senior guard Corey Maynard to the third team. Great season boys!
  • The Women's Basketball team defeated Saint Francis of Brooklyn in their quarterfinal match-up in Smithfield, and now face the top seeded Robert Morris squad in the semi-final contest Wednesday night. Follow up with the game in the coming days and be sure to check out the Bulldogs if they advance to the NEC championship!
  • The Men's Lacrosse team is 4-2 on the year as of early this week and is ranked 18 in the USILA Coaches' Poll.
  • The Men's Baseball team defeated North Carolina A&T earlier this week and move to 4-6 on the year.
  • The Women's Lacrosse team defeated Lehigh in overtime on Monday  and have jumped out to a 4-2 record this year.
  • The Women's Lacrosse Team (led by senior shortstop and fellow blogger Aubrey Mable) split a double-header with the College of Charlestown Tuesday night, and stand at 3-9 as they prepare for conference play.
Check it all out at  http://www.bryantbulldogs.com/landing/index ! Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.-Max

6th Fan Contest Update

March 7th, 2014

For those of who you follow this blog or any of the Bryant social media outlets, you are well aware of the contest we have been participating in over the last month or so. The NCAA put on a contest to determine which Division 1 university had the best fans in the country, with the voting up to the general public. People could vote once per day per voting method (ncaa.com, Twitter, and Facebook). Every school that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen would receive $10,000 in scholarship money, and the winner of the entire contest wins $100,000. Bryant advanced to the Elite 8 round before being eliminated by Arkansas State on Sunday night.

Bryant was projected to have the 258th best fan base by the NCAA at the beginning of this tournament, but boy were they mistaken!  We beat out almost every other division 1 school by finishing in the top 16 in the month long voting to advance to the second round. In the Sweet Sixteen, Bryant's fan base outdid UNC Ashville's, and thus was considered as a top 8 fan base in the nation. We eventually fell to Arkansas State in a close battle this past week. However, there is something to be said about a university with less than 3,500 students qualifying as top fans in the country. It really shows how much pride the Bryant community has about its beloved school!

The voting that took place over the past several weeks has really brought the entire Bryant community together. Complete strangers found a common thread in supporting the university's athletic department, and it was amazing to see such a small campus unite in support of their Bulldogs. To show you what I mean, here are just a few of the tweets from various Bryant accounts in support of the contest:

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Our Office of Admission was of course supportive...

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The Bryant Athletics Department spearheaded the voting effort, and here is what they were talking about...

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Yes, that is 1,029 votes cast by the tweet that President Machtley posted hours before the biggest snow storm of the winter. If that isn't an incentive for students to vote for the Bulldogs than I don't know what is. (And yes, he did cancel classes!).

It would take me days to show you all of the creative votes the Bryant community cast via social media, but check out the Bryant Athletics Twitter page (@BryantAthletics) to see all of the school spirit!

Bryant University will have an opportunity to prove how great their fan base is when the Men's Basketball team plays St. Francis (PA) this Wednesday night at the Chace Athletic Center at 7:00pm.  The men finished third in the NEC, earning them a first round home game in the conference tournament. The student section will be in all black and plenty loud enough for all of Rhode Island to hear, so good luck to the team!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

Connecting Your Education

February 25th, 2014

One question I always found myself asking in high school was "Why do I need to know this?" I never thought that the year the cotton gin was invented or synonyms of Latin pronouns were things that would help me in my future. I'm sure many of you have had this feeling before; it's frustrating. However, I am here to report that my experience at Bryant has been the polar opposite of that. Everything I have learned and am learning feels connected and relevant to real life, which makes it a little less tough to get up every morning!

This semester, I take (and I'll spare you the official fancy names) Marketing, Applied Analytics, Business Law, Financial Management, and Anthropology. Now they seem exceptionally different; some very number based, others qualitative. Some business major classes, other liberal arts core classes. However, Bryan't ability to blend business and liberal arts together has created a web of education that allows students like me to connect to their education and relate it to the real world. For example, here's how my classes work together just based on the things I learned about last week:

I learned in my Law class some of the many restrictions put on businesses as to what public firms have to release to the public. These public firms are owned by shareholders in many cases, and my last finance class revolved around the fundamental goal of businesses financially: maximize the wealth of shareholders. Shareholders may be majority owners or smaller owners who may be customers of the company as well. Analyzing financial statements like the balance sheet and obtaining sales data are all important pieces to a company, and it is that data that gets used by the analysts to predict future consumer behavior. My Applied Analytics professor discussed how important it is, when analyzing things like sales data, to realize you are using details from customers to piece together a larger puzzle. That way when one wants to predict future behavior, it is easier to simply fit a new piece into the puzzle than to start an entire new one. Advertisers use these puzzles to visualize the market they are targeting. My marketing class has been talking about how to take advantage of predictions of future trends without losing a grasp on the current trends. Creating this balance has a huge impact on what consumers buy and why they buy. Finally, my cultural anthropology class has our first exam coming up, and it is primarily based on why people do the things that they do. One of the major topics is now media and advertising portray certain images to the public, and how that forms a specific perception of society that eventually becomes a reality. How people engage in that reality is something that is constantly examined.

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Brain-Blast. Maybe I'll ace my midterms now! I think it is important to realize what your classes mean on a larger scale. At Bryant, and hopefully at other colleges as well, you are not just learning that debits go on the left and credits on right. You learn concepts that interconnect with one another and that supply you with real-world knowledge that will help you succeed professionally and personally. That's what college is all about.

On another note, Bryant has advanced to the "Elite 8″ of universities competing to be named the best student section and fan base in the country. Being a top 8 school is incredible for a university on 3,300 students strong, but we want to win! If you'd like to help us out, vote at www.6thfan.ncaa.com or tweet with the hashtags #6thFan and #BRYANT.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

Experiences in Residence Life

February 21st, 2014

Residence Life at Bryant University is something that I have become very involved in during my sophomore year on campus. I fulfill the position of a Resident Assistant this year and next year will be transitioning to a Head RA role as a junior. These responsibilities have allowed me to have a significant impact on lots of people and truly grow as a person!

Bryant's Res Life department focuses on fostering a positive, communal experience on our campus. Bryant has 17 residence halls and over 100 townhouses, where seniors have the opportunity to live in apartment style housing and cook their own food. Housing is available all four years for the University's students, and first-year students are all placed together in halls 14, 15, and 16. Halls 14 and 15 are traditional college halls with two people to a room and common bathrooms on each floor, while Hall 16 is a suite-style building where 6-8 freshmen live in a suite a share a bathroom among themselves. Sophomores and juniors live in similar suite-style set ups, typically with three rooms (two residents per room), a common room and a common bathroom. I lived in Hall 14 my first year and I currently live in Hall 17, which is the newest hall on campus that features study lounges and Ronzio's pizza on the first floor.

I interviewed and was selected to become a Resident Assistant at the end of my freshmen year. All RAs, new and old, come back before the fall semester begins to undergo a training process in order to be equipped with the knowledge needed for the position. Some of the roles of an RA include programmer, role model, mentor, teacher, policy enforcer, and friend. They are considered the "eyes and ears" of Residence Life because of their day-to-day interaction with every resident of Bryant. Above all, our job as Resident Assistant's is to create and improve upon the community of our campus. Bryant is known for having a very tight-knit group of faculty, staff, and students,  and RAs have a responsibility to foster that community by making Bryant University feel like a home away from home.

Here are this year's Resident Assistants!

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 The opportunity to become a Resident Assistant has offered me so much more than I could have ever imagined. I have honed my leadership and mentoring skills, improved conflict resolution techniques, and have gained a better understanding of myself. However, above all else I have met so many new people and created so many relationships that will last much longer than my tenure as an RA. The connections I have made with my co-RAs and supervisors have given me new friends and people I can look to for advice. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity Res Life has given me and I would recommend to any of my readers, current or prospective students, to apply for the position if given the chance!

This year Residence Life received roughly 140 applications for positions for the upcoming year. Clearly it is a competitive process, and that is because of short and long term rewards the position gives to all those who obtain it. It has absolutely been one of my favorite experiences at school so far and I look forward to what else it has in store for me!

To learn more about Residence Life on the campus of Bryant University, follow the link here: http://www.bryant.edu/student-life/live/housing/

P.S. I hope all of you New Englanders have invested in a snow blower, apparently winter doesn't start until February anymore!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

How to Take a Good Tour

February 12th, 2014

As an Ambassador of Bryant University, I give tours of our campus and tell my Bryant story all of the time. All of our Bryant Ambassadors are well trained and we try our very best to give every Bryant guest the best experience as possible on our campus. Our work will be cut out for us as decision time is right just a few months away, if it has not already started for some of you. As you take your second round of tours of the campuses on your list to visit, it is important that you be trained as well, but instead on how to take a good tour. Whether you are touring Bryant University or even another campus, here are my top five tips for making the most of your touring experience:

1. Do your homework. Do not go into a tour blind, without any knowledge of the college you are visiting that day. This does not mean that you need to know everything about the school that day (that's what the tour is for), but it is nice to have some context. Having basic information about their academic programs, typical requirements for admission, and general philosophy will be extremely helpful as you try to learn more about the school. This information can be found on the school's website, or on college search engines such as The College Board (https://www.collegeboard.org/).

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2. Take Notes. While the more important part of your role as a tour-er is to listen and take everything in, I recommend jotting some important details down. Something I remember from my college selection process is that it was hard to distinguish similar schools that I had toured at similar times, long before it was time for me to make a decision. I found myself asking "Was that the school that gave us free cookies or the one with the giant bird as the mascot?". While I was able to resolve these issues when I re-visited these campuses (see #5), I don't want you to have this issue! Try to jot a few noteworthy points about the school down, so you can remember the highlights of the tour. That way when it comes to April and May you won't be guessing which school was which!

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3. Come With Questions. This is the most important one!! Everyone who takes a tour has something they'd like to know more about that college (and if you don't, go back to #1 and research some more), so ask! Not only do you learn more about the school, but it makes the entire tour more engaging and exciting. From a tour guide's perspective, I would much rather give a tour directed by questions and things the perspective students and families want to know about than one directed by me just rambling. If there are specific things you want to know about each school you look at because that is what you will be making your decision based off of (i.e. cars on campus, certain majors, commuter accommodations, living situations, etc.) you should be asking those questions on each tour you take in order to create an accurate comparison of your options. Speak up!

4. Get Your Tour Guides Info. One of your greatest resources once you have taken the tour is your tour guide. Here at Bryant, we have business cards we hand out to each perspective student with our e-mail address on it so they can contact us if they have any questions. I have had several perspective students reach out to me as contacts after our tour, and I was able to help them find additional ways to come back for extra visits. If nothing else, you will already have a contact if you end up coming to Bryant University if you establish a relationship with your tour guide!

5. Come Back. As talked about in throughout our list, I highly recommend making multiple visits to the schools you apply to. Many perspective students will visit the schools on their "short list" multiple times (hopefully Bryant's on there), in order to get a better feel for the campus. I think that picking a college is an enormous decision and multiple visits are necessary to make sure you've picked the right school! The Office of Admission here at Bryant has tons of opportunities to come back and visit after your first tour, or even before. Among others,  you can come for "A Day with Class" and get to see what a Bryant class really feels like, as well as eat lunch with some of our current students. To see all of our opportunities to visit the campus of Bryant University, check out our Admission website at (http://www.bryant.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/) and click on "Register for an Event".

Happy Touring!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max