Max Karsok

mkarsok@bryant.edu

My name is Max Karsok and I am a junior at Bryant University. I study marketing and applied analytics, and am originally from Douglas, MA. On campus, I am the Head Resident Assistant of the Upper Village residence area, and work as an Admission Fellow and a Student Ambassador in Bryant's Office of Admission. Thanks for reading!


A Year’s End

April 28th, 2015

By this time now, we are getting pretty close to May 1st and the Office of Admission is buzzing about the incoming Class of 2019. If you have decided to join the Bryant community for the next four years by committing recently, congratulations and welcome! Like I always enjoy doing at the end of every academic year, let's take some time to reflect on the year that was and the year that will be. Let's get right to it:

·        My first year working for Bryant's Office of Admission as a Fellow was an awesome experience. I got to interview prospective students, engage with prospective families, present on important Admission information, and get a unique perspective of the application process in one of the busiest years in Bryant Admission history. To all of the Admission team, thank you!

·        This was also my first year serving as a Head Resident Assistant for the Bryant Office of Residence Life. This was one of the most rewarding responsibilities I have ever taken on in my life, particularly because of the impact I was able to have on the 10 RAs and 500 students I helped manage. I could not have done this job or have had this experience without the support of my Residence Life staff, and particularly Rui Montilla, the Resident Director of the area I worked in. He gave me an incredible opportunity and it has helped me in so many ways. To Rui, and the rest of the Residence Life team, thank you!

·        I completed several meaningful projects in my classes, all of which helped me develop my education in a different way. To give you the short list, myself and a team helped a business develop their social media strategy and increased their online engagement by over 100%, a group I was in created an advertising campaign for the newly released Apple Watch, I participated on a team that evaluated and researched the supply chain of Wendy's, and my analytics class researched the sinking of the Titanic; pulling data on every person on the boat to learn about what it took to survive the ship's disaster. Just a little teamwork right? To all of my group members, and the engaging faculty that have challenged us to achieve new heights, thank you!

·        As a junior, you may qualify to join several different honor societies that Bryant houses chapters for. I was lucky enough to be inducted into three this semester: The Mu Kappa Tau National Marketing Honor Society, the Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society, and the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Leadership Honor Society. I ran for the position of President of Bryant's circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, and was elected to the position just last week. I was incredibly honored and cannot wait to get started next year leading that great group of people. To the existing leaders and influencers of these prestigious organizations, thank you!

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·        Most importantly, my family and friends are some of the best around, and without them none of the above would be possible or nearly as fun. To all of you, thank you.

I hope you are joining myself and the rest of Bryant next year in Smithfield, Rhode Island, because it is going to be lots of fun. If not, thank you for reading this year and best of luck in your future endeavors! Bring on the Class of 2019! Enjoy the summer, and I'll see you around in September.

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Until next year…thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

Relay for Life 2015!

April 21st, 2015

One of Bryant's largest and most successful events of the spring semester is always Relay for Life. Bryant hosts its own Relay for Life in April every year, and the event is a huge fundraising generator for the American Cancer Society. The committee reported that Bryant's event raised over $30,000 dollars for cancer research and had over 400 supporters. It was quite the night!

My Relay team actually needed to be broken into two different segments because we have so many people. However, except for those that missed the picture or are studying abroad, here is our team:

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Our team captains Jana Kmec (3rd from the left) and Dom Cauteruccio (middle of the front row), were our captains this year and, along with Emily Gustafson, Jake Dericks, and Michelle Williams (also pictured), stayed up until 4:30am walking laps around the loop! The goal of the walking at Relay is that one person from your team would always be walking around the circle throughout the entire night, but not all teams have the man power or energy to make that happen. These guys did and they are an inspiration!

Many campuses host Relay for Life events, so I encourage you to attend yours next year, whether you end up at Bryant or even at a different school. They are lots of fun, and for a great cause. For more pictures and recap of the event, go check out @Bryant_Relay on Twitter. And again, I hope next year you decide to join the fight!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

Finalizing your College Decision

April 13th, 2015

We just hosted Bryant's Admitted Student Open House this past weekend (the place was packed on a beautiful day…awesome!), and hopefully many of you were able to attend. I thought about this because over these past few weekends, I am sure you have been attending all sorts of university open houses and this would be a good time to post about that little thing called a "college decision".

Some of you out there may already have committed to a university for the fall of 2015, be it an early decision or committing via early action. Either way, I congratulate you! For the rest of you, you have probably received most of your college decisions by know, and are deciding anywhere between 2 or 3 schools, or between 8 and 10. You've got a lot going on with your senior year of high school wrapping up and all of the memories that come along with that. But at the same time, you've got one of the biggest decisions of your life ahead of you. I'm here to give you a few tips to help you through that process.

Collect all of your info and organize it. This is especially true when you are weighing the options of several college, it can be difficult to remember the specific details about each college. I spoke about this last semester, but I recommend setting up an excel sheet to keep your decision making process organized. Keep track of the location of each school, its cost, the pros and cons, any special features that caught your attention on the tour, etc. This way you can get an accurate, personalized comparison of each college as you ponder your choice.

Re-Visit Each School. If you attended any open houses, you've got this step! These events are a great way to refresh your memory of each school. Also, at least at the Bryant open house you had the chance to speak with faculty, take tours, eat lunch in the dining hall, and interact with current students about their experiences at Bryant. Take advantage of these events and opportunities before May 1st!

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Go with your gut, you'll feel it. Collect as much info about each school as you can and make as educated of a decision as you can, but at the end of the day a college decision is often made by a gut decision. You'll be able to feel it when you are at the right school for you, and that is the one you should go with. While I hope you get that feeling here in Smithfield, RI, wherever and whenever you get that feeling, follow it.

Don't Overthink It. I've said it on this blog a million times and I'll probably say it a million more, but your final years in high school should be some of the happiest and fun times in your life. So I encourage you to take the time to make an educated decision to attend the college of your dreams. But I also encourage you to not let that decision take over your life. Play on your sports teams and in the band, have fun with your friends, and don't let your final high school months be all about the next phase in your life. Have them be about the phase of your life you are in right now. Soak it up.

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

Update on Spring 2015 Classes

April 6th, 2015

We are flying through the spring semester and only have about a month of classes left in the year. Bryant has been busy with all sorts of sporting events, community service, and other organization activities on campus, but we're also busy in the classroom! Here's an update on how my classes are going this semester and what kind of things I'm doing, that you prospective students will be doing down the road!

Advertising Management: In advertising, each class two different students present a paper that they have written on either a "good" advertisement or a "bad" one. We can pick whatever ad we want, we just have to make an argument that it is either effective or ineffective. This is the beginning to every class before our class discussion begins, and it is cool because the ads the students pick are typically relevant and modern. Sometimes the ads are controversial and we discuss the ethics of that, and sometimes the ads just make us laugh!

Digital Marketing: (see last week's post!!)

History of Modern Britain: This class is interesting because I have always studied history from an American perspective and how the United States acted upon or felt about a certain aspect of global history. However, this year in my Modern Britain class we examine the same time frames in history but from the perspective of Britain. This is especially cool when we talked about the American Revolution, where I had always learned about it from the colonial perspective. It is definitely opening my eyes to the bigger picture, there's always two sides to a story!

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Managing Information for Predictive Analytics: I am a big fan of all analytics classes here at Bryant because I believe that is the way of the future and I am excited that Bryant has jumped on that train. However, this class has showed me the less glamorous side of analytics. When most people hear that word they think of pie charts and graphs and crazy statistical references. That is often the case, but there is a lot of work that goes into building those results, and that's what this class is all about. We have focused on data acquisition and the construction of databases, as opposed to simply using them. I feel as though I know have a wider spanning understanding of the entire analytical process.

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Operations Management: This class is very focused on the supply chain of different organizations and is very case driven. However, we have begun a project that is conducted in a group and we need to find a supply chain employee of a company and conduct a formal interview with them. The interview is about their role in the company, the efficiency of their supply chain, and other logistical information relevant to the class. This project should shed some real-life light on the discussions we have been having in class, and our professor is hoping we can see the parallels between what we talk about in class, and the interviews we conduct with supply chain employees.

 

I hope classes are treating you well!

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

A Semester in the Sky

March 31st, 2015

This semester I am enrolled in a brand new class to Bryant called Digital Marketing. The class is new in that Professor Sharmin Attaran has revamped it to have a special focus in Social Media. We will become Hootsuite certified (Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that companies will use to put all of their social media accounts in one place so they can post, schedule, and monitor activity on their accounts), which is great for moving into the work force with that kind of experience. But what I want to talk about this week is the largest piece of the class, which is working with an existing company to take over their social media platforms for the semester. My friend and I Patrick McHugh have been working with Bird's Eye View Helicopters, a helicopter tour service out of Newport, Rhode Island that takes people up in the sky to view the Rhode Island coastline. It is a super cool service and existing and future customers want to be engaged with them on social media.

 

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This has been about as real-life classroom experience as you can get. Bird's Eye View is a well-known company with over 1,000 likes on Facebook alone. Pat and I have engaged with real customers and are responsible for posting daily content that is relevant and mutually beneficial for both the company and its customers. We come up with weekly schedules and have posts prepared ahead of time, because keeping up with multiple accounts that have loads of followers is a big responsibility!

I have learned so much about the intricacies of each different social media platform while working on this project in class with Bird's Eye View. But I think more importantly, I learned about the necessary professionalism that it takes to run a business's online profiles. This goes from websites to videos to statues, I have learned that being consistent and always keeping the brand image in mind are single most important lessons to be learned in business social media. (and Patrick and I got ourselves a bonus helicopter ride...PERKS!)

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If anyone is interested in checking out Bird's Eye View on the social media accounts Pat and I have upheld this semester, search Bird's Eye View Helicopters on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

The Support of Academic Advising

March 24th, 2015

We are getting to that time of year where us Bryant students are beginning to think about next semester's classes (times flying!). And with the excitement of a new semester brings the frantic questions like "what classes should I be taking?", "what requirements do I have left to graduate?", and "what major classes are left in the curriculum for me to take?". These are things that I start to think about, and rarely know the answers to myself! In comes Bryant's team of academic advisors.

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Bryant's Academic Advising Office is composed of a team of professionals that specialize in every aspect of the Bryant curriculum. Each student is paired with an academic advisor who serves as a resource to them when it comes to selecting classes, adding/dropping courses, and assistance with choosing a major. They also offer great advice on how to become a better student in general, and can recommend certain classes that we may find enjoyable because of what they know about us and the class. This is a very personalized relationship and they are not cookie cutter recommendations; these are people that have meaningful relationships with both students and the curriculum.

My academic advisor is Margarete Jean-Louis, and I typically meet with her twice a semester to discuss what classes I should be taking for the upcoming semester and my long term curriculum plan. This includes things like planning which classes I would want to take further down the road so I can plan to take certain prerequisites now to get into those upper level classes later on. She has been so helpful in guiding me along my course registrations and keeping me on track to graduate with the concentrations I want and on time!

To learn more about Bryant University's Academic Advising Office, check out their webpage here: http://www.bryant.edu/student-life/learn/academic-advising.htm

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

 

Spring Weekend Concert Reveal 2015

March 20th, 2015

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Every year, Bryant's Student Programming Board (SPB) puts on an amazing weekend's worth of events called Spring Weekend towards the end of April. This is typically the last weekend of the semester before finals start, and is a great way for students to celebrate the year that was and enjoy a warm weather weekend before we hit the books and then head home! Every year the weekend is headlined by a Saturday night concert, and in the past Bryant has had LMFAO, Big Sean, Time Flies, and B.O.B. as acts for the concert. This past Monday, SPB revealed the concert act in the Roto in front of all of the students! And the act is...

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We were all pretty excited to have these two stars come perform at our spring weekend concert at the end of April. Here's what the scene looked like on Monday!

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All of us here at Bryant just got back from spring break last week, so that always makes the first week back to school a little harder to wake up too! Thankfully this year, the concert reveal was the day after break, so we all had a little extra pep in our step heading into the rest of the week (now before you all go saying "we don't have a week off in March", we are even because you have your February and April breaks that us college kids are jealous of!).

The concert is a packed show every year, as Bryant students like to come out to the concert regardless of if they know or are huge fans of the performers. This year's spring weekend is Luau themed, so there were all sorts of Hawaiian activities going on, free smoothies everywhere, and awesome raffles. To me, the spring concert reveal always tells us three things: who the act is, that spring weekend is coming up, and most importantly...spring is in the air!!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

Working in Teams at Bryant

March 5th, 2015

One of Bryant University's fundamental themes in the universal curriculum is the simulation of real world activity. This means completing relevant projects, presentations, and teaching material that can be applied after graduation. A big way that Bryant is able to do this is by encouraging team projects and having faculty that assigns assignments to be done in groups. Bryant has taught me, and all students of the university, the importance of working in a team, and it has paid dividends already in terms of preparing for the future.

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To put this in context for you, last semester I took 5 courses and each one included a group project somewhere during the semester. 4 of those group projects were semester long. These group projects require team leaders, weekly meeting dates, deliverables and team requirements, and great communication between all members. Not only are there regular class requirements, but additionally there are longer term project deadlines to meet as the months go on. Here are a few examples:

Global Foundations of Organizations and Businesses (Spring 2013): My first flavor of the intensity of Bryant group projects came spring semester freshmen year. This class required each group to create their own business; from the marketing plan to the management structure to the product development. My group created a online marketing consulting firm, where we helped organizations improve websites and their presence on social media. Our business was called Innovation Creation Incorporation (ICI Inc.)

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Principles of Management 200 (Spring 2014): Our group needed to pair with an outside organization to help them improve a significant part of the business operation. Projects ranged from changing management structure to organizing events. My team worked with The Audubon Society of Rhode Island and created a Speakers Bureau. We interviewed different candidates to join the bureau from within the organization, and then helped market the bureau to different organizations that may want to hire them to speak. We did this by creating pamphlets and a website for the speaker's bureau, and it a great deal was accomplished in just a semester!

Market Research 312 (Fall 2014): This was a research based project where my team made a hypothesis about the sharing of emotion on social media. We conducted surveys and analyzed the results of those surveys to make valuable conclusions. Our team members then wrote a journal article about our findings, one that was supposed to be comparable to one you would find in a scientific journal.

 

It's all about being a part of team here at Bryant, there's just nothing like strength in numbers!

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

RA Selection for 2015-2016

February 26th, 2015

Right around this time of year the Office of Residence Life begins its preparation for the 2015-2016 academic year. Primarily, this means selecting their new set of Resident Assistants to fill the roles of those graduating. This is an extensive process because of the competition for the position and the importance of an RA on a college campus.

 I have written about the RA position in the past and how much it means to me personally, and to residents of college campuses. At Bryant, the selection process is tough because only a few candidates are selected. For me, I serve as a Head Resident Assistant, so I participate in the selection process a little more than most. I have been helping the Residence Life Office with conducting information sessions about the position. This means going into freshmen halls to tell the first-year students about the demands and rewards of the position, so that those who are interested in applying understand what they are applying for!

Candidates (this year nearly 150 of them) submit their application with a resume, and all are granted a group process interview and an individual interview. The group interview is where all candidates come together and are broken apart into groups to perform various activities. Current members of the ResLife team help evaluate candidates as they engage in small groups. The final phase of the process is the individual interview, where each candidate is questioned by two members of the ResLife office about themselves and the position. From there, the professional staff members (Director, Assistant Director, Resident Directors) offer positions to those candidates who stood out in all phases of the process. These new members are assigned an area of campus and join their staffs for the next year!

Being on this side of the evaluative process is a whole lot less stressful than applying for the position for the first time. It is fun for me to be able to give back the information and help I got when I first applied to the applicants this year. Even so, returning RAs must re-apply for the position, interview and all, for their candidacy for the upcoming year.

The Resident Assistant position is one filled with responsibility, leadership, and reward. I know you all are focused on just getting into and selecting the college of your dreams. However, once you get there, I always recommend considering the RA position. It is one of the best leadership experiences you can gain on a campus, you make great connections, and it is often very helpful financially. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had at Bryant!

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Give all of our applicants positive vibes as they complete their application process!

For more info on ResLife at Bryant University, check out their website: http://www.bryant.edu/student-life/live/housing/

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

The Spring Slate of Classes

February 19th, 2015

We have entered semester number 6 (holy crap), which means a fresh new line-up of classes to get the second half of junior year underway. Here's what we've got!

MKT 371 Advertising Management: This is a core requirement for my marketing concentration, and I am taking Prof. Sukki Yoon for the second straight semester. He taught my Market Research class in the fall and he was awesome! And because there are so many different classes offered I was able to find an advertising class that he was teaching and get in to it! This class is focused on the effects of advertisements on the public, and the best strategies on how to target ads to certain audiences.

MKT 381 Digital Marketing: This is an upper level marketing elective that I decided to take because of its relevance to marketing today. In a world that advances technologically every day, I felt that taking a course focused on the technology of marketing would be super beneficial to me. This course will illustrate the importance of marketing on digital platforms and the best ways to go about doing so.

MGT 201 Operations Management: Ops Management is part of every business student's core curriculum because of its importance to every business. Every functioning organization has several sets of operational activities that keeps the entity up and running, so this class will better our understanding of operating activities and how to best manage them. I myself was almost a supply chain major as opposed to marketing, so this is a class I am particularly interested in!

AA 304 Managing Information for Applied Analytics: This is my analytics concentration requirement for this semester, and it will be taught by a brand new professor to Bryant, Professor Kevin Mentzer. This is my third class specifically for the analytics concentration, the final class before completing my capstone project to complete the concentration requirements next year. It should be interesting!

HIS 452 A History of Modern Britain: As part of any degree at Bryant each student is required to take a lower level history class (100 or 200 level) and one upper level class (300 or 400 level). This will be my upper level requirement, and I am looking forward to the class because I have always had a passion for history, and in particular European history.

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That's what I've got going on this semester! I know some high schools have semesters where the classes rotate and other schools where you are enrolled in the same set of classes all year. Either way, you are halfway through another year so keep working hard!!!

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max