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!
November 25th, 2014
I hope everyone is excited to start their Thanksgiving breaks (I know I sure am!) as we approach the end of the calendar year. Thanksgiving, as you all know, is late this year, so this break for us at Bryant comes later than usual, which means when we come back the end of the semester will approaching. Because so much of the year has gone by already, Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on the semester (and year) that is nearly behind you and appreciate the things that we can sometimes overlook. So I hope that with all of the turkey in the coming days, also comes appreciation and time with the people you care about most. Just like anyone that is reading this, I've got plenty to be thankful for, but here's what makes the short list:
- I'm thankful for the countless men and women that work everyday to serve our country both internally and abroad, risking their lives every day so we have the opportunity to exercise the freedoms that they serve to protect. Thank you.
- I'm thankful for my hometown of Douglas, Massachusetts, and all of my friends that I grew up with there. I would not be in the position I am in now, or the way I am now, without them. I hope that as you enjoy the remainder of your own senior year and final months at the place you may very well have lived your entire life, you can appreciate what that place and those people have done for you.
- I'm thankful for every experience, opportunity, success, failure, and memory that Bryant University has ever given me. My first 5 semesters here have been so much more than I could have ever imagined, and I will be forever appreciative of that. The opportunities I have gotten in this Office of Admission, in Residence Life, in the classroom, and from the campus as a whole have been some of the best of my life. But above all, I am thankful for the people that this University has brought me close to; peers, professors, supervisors, and friends alike, they have all made my time here so worthwhile and I truly feel blessed to be even a small part of the incredible community that surrounds me.
- I'm thankful that I am healthy and in such a place where I am able to write this piece to you all and that you are able to receive it in equally as good health.
- I'm thankful for my family. The most important people in my life are those who have supported me from the beginning, and who will continue to support me at every turn around a corner and every decision I make. They're the people that make coming home for Thanksgiving so awesome.
Enjoy the holiday.
November 19th, 2014
This past Friday, the Bryant Men's Basketball season officially began. And began with a bang. The Bulldogs traveled to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the defending national champion UConn Huskies at Gampel Pavilion. While the game was on the road, the Bulldog faithful (or as we call it here in Smithfield, "The Dawg Pound") was in full effect in Connecticut as students filled two full buses of students to cheer on their team, and the arena itself was littered with Bryant University sweatshirts and memorabilia. The trek was about an hour and a half both ways, but boy was the drive worth it!
Needless to say, when any team goes on the road to face-off against the reigning national champions, you go in as underdogs. Bryant has always been in this role, especially with this being some of our first years with Division 1 playoff eligibility. However, being projected to lose badly against the Huskies did not stop Bryant from putting on a show. After going down early in the game, the Bulldogs went on an 17-0 run towards the end of the first half to take a 7 point lead into halftime.
Bryant led for much of the second half as well, and were tied with Uconn late into the latter parts of the half. Eventually, UConn became too much for Bryant to overcome and we were defeated, 66-53. However, sports journalists and radio hosts were buzzing about how the "upset-minded" Bryant Bulldogs put such a scare into the defending national champs. We were originally just excited to get the chance to play the national champions, but to almost hand them a loss? Even better.
Like I said before, the Dawg Pound travels. And this didn't just include students, but even President Machtley (and his signature selfies) made the trip down to Storrs:
For the full game recap from the exciting night in UConn, follow this link: http://bryantbulldogs.com/sports/mbkb/2014-15/releases/20141114szavz9
We were severely outnumbered (they only give the away team so many tickets), but we did our best to make as much noise as we could. Whenever the Bulldogs scored, 95% of the arena was quiet. But you could hear that 5% all the way from Smithfield.
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
November 12th, 2014
Hey all, I hope this whole daylight savings thing is treating you okay (because I shed a metaphorical tear every time it starts getting dark at 4:30), and that you are reading this in happy and healthy spirits. I want to talk this week about a skill that can be applied to your college application process, but also to even a broader scope for your future (and mine) as young adults.
I work within the Office of Admission in a variety of roles, but my most significant role is that of an Admission Fellow. Myself and six other students serve as fellows, and we provide assistance to different admission counselors while they are on the road and in the office. One of our main responsibilities is to give the interviews of prospective students who would like to be interviewed by the office as part of their application. Some of you reading this could have already had an interview (maybe with me!) and others may be interested in the process. So today I want to share with you my 5 tips for being a great interviewer, so that if you do come in to an interview you'll be prepared! (Remember, these are tips tailored for a college admission interview, but really apply to all types of interviews).
5. Do your homework. An interviewee loves to know the reasons you are here. If you took the time to come for an interview for admission, you must have reasons why you would like to attend that school, so tell them! It's great to know some information about the school you are at so you can apply specific programs that they offer to your particular interests. Be sure to check out the school's website so you are not going in blind and you can have a conversation with your interviewee about the institution you are interviewing to be accepted to.
4. Do your homework. Again. But this time, do your homework on you. This means that you need to be prepared to articulate your answers to questions well, and be able to reflect upon your past experiences. An interview is all about the applicant (obviously), so all types of questions are going to be looking to hear you speak about your opinions, your past experiences and activities, and to generally find out more about you as a person. You can prepare for this by creating a resume that documents the activities you have done in high school, or even just reflecting back before the interview so you can call upon the lessons that you have learned through your years and how those lessons can apply to studying at a college or university.
3. Get Contact Information. Your interviewer will often reach out to you with their contact information, but if they do not be sure to request it. Staying in touch with your interviewer and other members of the admission team is a great way to express interest in the school, as well as an avenue to ask further questions that you may have down the road. Always to remember to walk out of the interview with at least one e-mail address that you can go back to if you want to follow up or seek additional information.
2. Speaking of Questions...Ask Them. You are making a monumental decision in your life in choosing to attend a university. In order to make the choice that best fits you, you should ask questions to as many people from the admission team as you can. Not only is a great way to show interest and preparation for the school and for the interview, but there are no better resources for information about a school than the students that go there and the professionals that work there. I am always happy to reflect upon my Bryant experiences (hence why Admission lets me blog about them), so I love when prospective students are curious about the school and ask.
1. Be Confident! Far and away the most important rule of interviewing. If you don't believe in you how is the interviewer supposed to believe in you? Come to the interview prepared, well rested, and feel good about the conversation you are going to have with the interviewer. Even if every bone in your body is nervous, put a big smile on, and walk in the door (and then walk out with a smile too!). Above all else, be confident in who you are.
I hope I will see some of you in the coming weeks on campus, whether it be for an admission event or for an interview! To schedule an interview with a member of our admission team, follow this link here: http://www.bryant.edu/admissions/visit-bryant/
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
November 6th, 2014
Some people think that celebrating Halloween ends when it's no longer acceptable to go trick or treating in your neighborhood. Well, I'm here to tell you that those people are wrong. While the candy collection down the sidewalks of streets around your hometown may be behind us, the spirit of the spooky night still lives on.
This year's Bryant Halloween started in the morning in many cases, as certain professors offered extra credit to those students that showed up to class in full costume. Other professors brought baskets filled with candy (so maybe the candy part isn't over yet either?) to their classes, even if it was 8am.
Later that night, students put serious time and effort into crafting the most creative costumes and the results were hysterical, horrifying, and sometimes even both. This year Halloween took place on a Friday, and I was on call in my area of campus (I'm an RA, see blog 1). So while I didn't get to dress up on the actual night of Halloween, I did get a front row seat to see everyone's costumes. I wish I could paint you the picture of what our campus looked like with everyone dressed up as something different, but I'll have to settle with reporting and analyzing some of my favorites. Without further ado, my Top 10 Costumes of Bryant Halloween, 2014 edition:
10. Katniss Everdeen: Katniss kicks off our top 10 with a costume imitating her outfit in the first movie (the one based in the forest), equipped with her bow and all. This costume worked extra well because the person in the costume looks similar to Jennifer Lawrence to begin with! The look-alike element in addition to the comprehensive outfit gets her a spot on my list.
9. Waldo: A Halloween classic that is often overlooked, in my opinion. While the "Where's Waldo" theme shows up every year in Halloween, this year's participants excelled by adding to the costume. Not only was the red and white stripes evident, but the big glasses and red hat were a staple in many Waldo costumes.
8. Jackie Moon: Played by Will Ferrell in the movie Semi-Pro, Jackie's costume is easily noticeable with a nice big blonde wig and a Flint Tropics jersey. However, what separates the contenders from the pretenders is wearing the headband, the white shorts, and carrying around a basketball. The guy I saw had all of these things to make sure the costume was complete, and that's why he comes in at number 8.
7. Soldier: Again, this one is easy to do if you want to do a mediocre job. However, this army costume makes the list for two reasons: 1. His costume was complete with army boots, an entire camo outfit, and a face painted to make it look like he could hide in a tree and no one would see him. 2. This guy was a pizza delivery man. I repeat, a pizza delivery man! If he can dress up and make my Top 10 while still on the job, he's a true Halloween hero.
6. A Construction Crew: We enter the group costume section of out Top 10, and in at number 6 is a construction crew. This was a group of 8-10 males that had coordinated with matching outfits from a specific construction company, so all of their shirts matched, they all wore the same type of jeans , and matching yellow hard hats. Great team effort.
5. The 7 Dwarfs: I give credit to group costumes because it has hard to have that kind of coordination, especially with 7 people. These girls were matched to the nines, and each one had a hat on that distinguished themselves as 1 specific dwarf. Coordination + execution= Number 5.
4. Pocahontas: If there was a most detail oriented or complex costume award, this girl would have won the gold, silver, and bronze. There were all sorts of different colored feathers involved, an intricately painted face, it was extremely well done. On the basis of quality, I couldn't leave her off of the list, and she could have easily moved up even further if it wasn't for an incredible top 3.
3. Wendy Peffercorn and Squints: I may be slightly biased here because the Sandlot is one of my favorite movies of all time, but regardless this costume was creative and it snuck up on me. These are not main characters in the movie (recall Squint's crush on Wendy the lifeguard, and he fakes drowning only to have her rescue him), making this couple costume that much more likable. I appreciate someone who does their research and picks a costume that makes people say "Ohhhhh, that's funny!" That's what I did, and that's why that duo holds down the 3 spot.
2. Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan: The names are less important, but the legendary book turned movie, The Great Gatsby, has a particular style to it, and it's easy to tell when someone is dressed to fit in the Roarin' 20s. This duo matched in their appearance, but were both dressed to attend a Gatsby like gathering. Again, slightly biased because I am a big fan of book and the movie (really that time period as a whole), so when I saw the two of them together and realized what they were doing, I knew that they would be one of the best.
1. A New York Jets Fan: A Jets t-shirt, and a paper bag with eyes cut out to go over his head. An Easy Number 1. Congratulations.
I had some honorable mentions, but I think my Top 10 gives you a nice idea of the dedication and commitment that goes into each and every Halloween costume. Some are simple, and others take days to create, but each one has a message to send, a scare to create, or a laugh to be had, and that's what makes Halloween, Halloween.
And they said it was for little kids.
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
October 28th, 2014
Midterms are OVER. It's been a long three weeks with exams and projects due at the halfway point of the semester, so everyone over here in Smithfield has been tucked away at the library or working with their favorite tutor to make sure they're ready for that big finance test tomorrow. Well those days are finally behind us, and here we are in the last week of October! And you know that means: only a few more weekends of enjoying the fresh fall air outside before winter (yikes) strikes again.
My friends and I do everything we can to get outside during these nice weekends of the fall semester, and we often do that at the golf course down the street from Bryant. The Crystal Lake Golf Club is located 15 minutes from Bryant in Mapleville, Rhode Island, and they partner with the Bryant Golf Club on campus. Check out Crystal Lake's website here: http://www.crystallakegolfclub.com/) Just 1 of our over 100 clubs and organizations, (yes, we have a club for almost everything)the Bryant Golf Club works with the course to provide a discount for Bryant students to play there. Members of the Golf Club pay $20 at the beginning of the semester and can walk 9 holes twice a week for free. FOR FREE!
Every Wednesday afternoon is one spot that is always open to the members, and that is where most of the members will play together. However, the second nine holes can happen anytime during the week. Ryan Ianuzzi, who sits on the e-Board for the organization (who also happens to be very good at golf), said that the flexibility is a nice option. "Since a lot of students have busy schedules, I like how the club-course relationship allows us students to go out and play with friends when we are able to". Did I mention you only pay $20 a semester? Okay just making sure.
This nice weather and The Bryant Golf club perks make it easy to get over to Crystal Lake a play once or twice a week. My friends and I walk 9 holes every Friday afternoon all semester, and it's a great way to start the weekend off right. While some of us are better than others (and by that I mean a lot better than me), it is a great time no matter how good you are, especially when you get to soak up these last few fall days!
The Golf Club is an example of just 1 club on campus that makes students' Bryant experience that much more enjoyable. And to think, we've got over a hundred more waiting for you once you step in the door.
Thanks for reading, and go Dawgs.
October 22nd, 2014
This past week in Salmanson (our main dining hall, scroll down my blog a little ways to read all about it), Aramark hosted an event called "Farm2Fork", where they created specialty dishes with products brought in from local farms from around the area! This included a stir-fry dish with fresh vegetables from local farms, fresh apples and apple cider, and much more. I spoke to a representative from FreshPoint at lunch the day of the event, who told me all about what his company does to help get Aramark, along with other food providers, fresh food from local areas.
FreshPoint works in between the small farms in New England and the large food providers to connect them with each other. It can be tough for the chef's at universities to reach out and find small farms with the best produce in the area, because they are obviously very busy and need to feed lots of people 3 times a day! FreshPoint creates connections with local farms (and thoroughly inspects them to make sure they are the kinds of farms they want to be connecting with), and then works with the executive chef's at places like Bryant to bring fresh, local produce to our community.
My favorite part about the event was that they had signs telling everyone what local farm the produce and cider came from that day, it was cool knowing we got to support a farm that was just down the road while having a great lunch!
I left lunch last Wednesday knowing that Bryant supports local community farms, and had a few delicious fall apples in the process. Kudos to Aramark for putting on a great event!
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
October 15th, 2014
The firms in the insurance and accounting industries tend to hire new interns and employees in the fall for the following summer because their busiest time of the calendar year occurs in the spring (when most other industries hire interns). Why is this important to us? Well, two of Bryant's most popular majors are Actuarial Science (College of Arts and Sciences) and Accounting (College of Business). This means that many of our students were suited up and had resumes at the ready this week as they interviewed for internships and full-time positions in their respective field.So many of these Bryant students got the opportunity to interview with these companies through the Amica Center for Career Education, Bryant's outstanding career services team. They provide many services to Bryant University students, including mock interviews, strengths test, and resume critiques. However, what may be the most beneficial resource the Amica Center offers is called the Bryant Career Connection, where applications for internships and full-time jobs are posted to a portal where Bryant students can submit their resumes and cover letters to. The job-hunt can be tough, especially in the competitive world that we live in, so having all of these postings right at our finger tips to choose from is an amazing resource. Remember, Bryant students come from all over the United States and the world to study in Smithfield, RI, so the Amica Center does not just post opportunities in New England. There are internship applications for companies located all over the place, so that Bryant's widespread student population can find some experience wherever they choose.
Nick Johnson, a junior actuarial science major from South Windsor, Connecticut, interned this past summer at Traveler's Insurance in Hartford, CT. Nick has since been asked to return for another summer in 2015, but the internship hunt for Nick last fall was not so easy. With all of the companies and all of the applications, he's not sure what he would've done without the help of the Amica Center. "I wouldn't have gotten my internship without the Amica Center. Everything from the resume critiques to having recruiters come onto campus for interviews, having them as a resource throughout the entire process was extremely advantageous".
Dom Cauteruccio, also a junior study actuarial science, has interviewed with several recruiters on campus this fall, and he feels more prepared because of the services from the Amica Center. "I've heard lots of positive feedback about the resume that I've put together over my years here, and the Amica Center really helped me fine tune the intricacies of a resume to make it the best it could be for these interviews".
And to top it all off, Bryan't Amica Center, coupled with reputation and rigorous curriculum of our University, breeds tangible results. 98% of Bryant's class of 2013 had a job or was enrolled in graduate school 6 months after graduation. Now that's a stat for you!
Best of luck to all of Bryant's actuary and accounting majors as they look for that dream job or internship in the coming weeks!
For all stuff Amica Center, follow them on Twitter @bryantcareer
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
October 9th, 2014
When I'm giving tours of Bryant's campus, one of the most common questions that I get from prospective students and their families is "What's there to do off campus?". Bryant is practically neighbors with the Lincoln Mall, which houses all sorts of restaurants and food options, quick pick-up-the-necessities stores, and a giant move theater. Having this mall right around the corner is super convenient. However, when Bryant students are looking to get off campus for a night out on the town or to check out fun stuff that's going on in other parts of Rhode Island, we often turn to Providence.
For those of us not familiar to the area, Providence is Rhode Island's capital and the state's largest city. Bryant's campus is approximately 15 minutes outside of the city, and is easily accessible to students via the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which is free for Bryant students when they use their Bryant ID. Just in the past two weekends, two awesome events took place in Providence that many Bryant students participated in: the WaterFire and the Color Run!
All throughout the summer and into the fall, the Providence WaterFire is the sight to see in Rhode Island. Last weekend was just one of the many events that the non-profit organization puts on throughout the warm seasons. Small, sparkling bonfires are lit all throughout the rivers within Providence, and their is live music, lots of great food, and different fun activities for everyone to take part in while they watch the fires on the water light up the night. My words don't do it justice:
These are obviously events that are well attended by Bryant students, along with thousands of other people. It's a must-see sight for anyone in the area, and it's already been check off my Bryant Bucket List!
Just this past Sunday, I participated in a Color Run that took place within the city of Providence. The Color Run organization reaches wider than Providence, but this is just one example of all of the events that go on just 10 minutes from Bryant. It certainly makes the 3.1 miles a little easier with all of the free stuff we got, all of the color thrown at us, and all of the live music that was playing!
Just a few of the fun things on the list of must-see and must-do events in Providence, RI!
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
September 29th, 2014
Food's important. So yes, we hope you pick Bryant because of our academic programs, campus life, and our reputation in the eyes of employers. However, once you get here, you've got to eat here. That's where Bryant University Dining Services come in.
Here at Bryant, we have a multitude of different dining options on campus, each of which has a little flare of everything. And as much as I like food (see blog 1), I had to do some learning myself on all of the new options Bryant Dining Services has brought to campus this year so I could tell you guys! So, this past week I got an inside look at our brand new food provider, Aramark, and spoke with our Dietitian and Executive Chef about all things food at Bryant. Here's what I learned:
Each student has their own meal plan; this constitutes of swipes into our all-you-care-to-eat Salmanson dining hall, as well as dining dollars, which work at various cafés on campus as well as our second major dining option, Nick's Place. Nick's serves all kinds of different options, and is open late night once Salmanson closes for the evening. More commonly referred to as "Salmo", our main dining hall is open all day from 7:15am-9:00pm and has lots of great food for each and every meal. Here are some of the new things that Aramark is bringing to the table (pun intended) this year.
· The Global Kitchen serves to bring different cultures and international flavors to Bryant. They do this by sautéing your favorite fresh ingredients right in front of you to make different delicious stir-fry dishes. In addition, The Global Kitchen will have chefs that demo different kinds of recipes and will show students, for example, how to make homemade pasta or guacamole. It will also house monthly special events, like in September where they said "Farewell to Fenway" on the last weekend of the baseball season with ballpark favorites.
· Gluten Solutions provides students with specific dietary needs, options to have the same dining experience as the rest of the Bryant community. There are main entrees made without gluten ingredients served daily as well as common food items such as bread, cereal and desserts provided in a safe environment. Rice milk, Lactaid milk and other dietary alternatives are also offered here.
· The Asian Kitchen is another new component to Salmo this year, and includes an all-you-care-to-eat sushi bar with fresh ingredients that are crafted right in front of you. There are other different international dishes served daily as well as the Pho Noodle Bar with rotating broths, proteins, and fresh vegetables.
· Healthy For Life is a nutritional dashboard that provides information and tips on how to eat healthy at Salmo and in general. Aramark will also be rolling out labels that will tell students where the produce they are eating came from and what foods are organic. This will show everyone where all of our locally grown food comes from!
What impressed me the most about Aramark taking over the Bryant Dining Services this year is the freshness of the food and the options that they provide. Contrary to many other university dining services, Aramark cooks their food in small batches, not mass producing meals for 3000 kids at one time. 90% of the food they make is created from fresh ingredients and is cooked right in front of us. Fresh produce rolls in 7 days a week, and there is something delicious for everyone.
While I am just a fan of all foods, I must say that I am very impressed with what Aramark has brought to Bryant in its first month on campus. The company seems very excited about the future here on campus, and they are continually asking for students' feedback and working to improve every day. I hope you got the chance to test out some of their options at this past weekend's Open House, but if you did not or would like to know more about the dining services at Bryant University, feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian, Kate Moran, at email@example.com.Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
September 24th, 2014
It has been a a historic 2 weeks for Bryant University Football:Bryant's Homecoming festivities, this year on September 13th, always culminate with our football team's match-up at Bulldog Stadium. This year, the University of Maine came to town. Main, who was ranked #20 in the FCS at the time, had beaten Bryant in their annual matchup handily that past several years, however this year was a little bit of a different story. We beat UMaine 13-10 thanks to a last second touchdown and 4th down stop on defense, and the crowd in Smithfield was loud and excited the entire time. This win was our victory over a nationally-ranked in the program's history, and it has definitely put our program on the map. Check out the highlights of that huge win over Maine here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7P2X1JgYek&list=UUGtO1N8o1RMq4g-AM5Y–aA
With the largest win the program's history under their belt, the Bulldogs received their first ever national ranking in the FCS poll. For those new to Division I football, the FCS is the national sub-conference of division I that we play in, and the league pinned us as the FCS's 25th best team in the entire country. The Bulldogs had a chance to back up their national rank with a heavyweight bout against Liberty University this past Saturday night. The game against Liberty, ranked 24th in the FCS, was played on ESPN 3 and in front of the largest crowd that Bryant has ever played for. While not too many Bulldog fans could get out to Virginia to cheer on our team, I can say for a fact that most TVs in Bryant's dorm rooms were tuned to ESPN 3 Saturday night at 7pm.
Bryant would end up losing our match-up against Liberty Saturday night, 38-21, and have fallen to 3-1 on the season. They are playing Bucknell this weekend at Bulldog Stadium at 1pm and will look to get back on the winning track. It is a great time to be a fan of Bryant football as they have put themselves and the entire school on the national map. It was amazing to hear all of the yelling and cheering across the campus Saturday night whenever Bryant scored; and the game was all the way in Virginia!I can promise you that we'll cheer just as loud when Bucknell comes to town this weekend.
To check out all of the action from the week in Bryant athletics, check out the Black & Gold Report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhScfRcDPu8&list=UUGtO1N8o1RMq4g-AM5Y–aA
Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.
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"There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs."
"He who moves with each day is better than another who waits for luck"
– African Proverb
"Fun is good."
– Dr. Seuss
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'.
They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."
– John Lennon
"Whether you think you can, or can't, you're right."
"Find what makes you happy and who makes you happy and you're all set - I promise"
"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road,
and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
– J.R.R. Tolkien
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit"
"Don't count the days; Make the days count"
– Muhammad Ali
– African Proverb
– Dr. Seuss
– John Lennon
– J.R.R. Tolkien
– Muhammad Ali