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!
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:
Our Office of Admission was of course supportive...
The Bryant Athletics Department spearheaded the voting effort, and here is what they were talking about...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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/).
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!
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".
Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.
February 4th, 2014
I could only go so many weeks into the new semester without talking about food, and that streak has come to an abrupt halt today. Over the weekend, myself and my friends Matt, Nick, and Emily visited what is nothing less than the finest cuisine on the campus of Bryant University: Fancy Salmo.
Sodexo, the provider of the dining services here at Bryant, created "L'Epicurien", a formal dining option offered to the community here. Because everyone here calls it Fancy Salmo and I can't pronounce its actual name, we'll just refer to its unofficially official title for the rest of this blog.
A portion of our regular dining hall, Salmanson, is sectioned off on the nights that Fancy Salmo will be open for business because the staff use the space to create a more formal atmosphere. Waiters and waitresses are equipped with ties and the tables you sit at look like this:
The menu is filled with gourmet options and delivered to the table on an iPad, where each person selects an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. Each course is delivered shortly after the previous one and there is minimal waiting between each one! Check out the pictures below, where you will see a shrimp appetizer, a pork main course, and an apple crisp dessert!
The service was great and the food was even better! As easy as it is to look at these pictures and mistake them for a five star restaurant, this is an option available for every Bryant student for much of the semester and is of no additional charge to the student! I had an awesome meal with some awesome friends this weekend, and to top it all off, who doesn't love fine dining in your college dining hall?
Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.
February 4th, 2014
The second semester is well underway here at Bryant, and even as it seems to get colder every day the semester is in full swing! This week I wanted to talk to you all a little bit about the college workload and the time it takes to stay on top of your classes. Many of you will be entering your first semester of college next fall and lots of freshmen often walk on to every college campus either extremely anxious about the workload or extremely unprepared for it. If you do decide to come to Bryant in the fall, we are really good at making sure both of those issues are fixed, but we'll get to that.
This semester I am enrolled in five classes, like a typical full time student will be enrolled in. I take two classes on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays that run 50 minutes long (similar to a high school class), two classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays that run an hour and fifteen minutes long, and a nigh class on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:00. Regardless of the times and days you take a class, a three-credit class at Bryant meets for two hours and thirty minutes a week. Compared to you a high school day where you take each class for fifty minutes five days a week, in college you are usually in class for only a couple of hours everyday. This means two things: you have much more free time on your hands, and you also have much more work to do outside of the classroom!
I am frequently asked on tours how much time I spend doing homework each day, and while I understand that that is a question most parents and students want to know about, it is not one with a definite answer. Each class and each professor is different; some may focus on smaller assignments throughout the semester and others may only have a midterm and a final. No matter what the format of the class is, it is important at any academic level to stay on top of all your classes. For me, there will be times in the semester where I will be crunched for time with due dates approaching, and other times where it will feel like I only have readings and less work to do. However, it is important to recognize the pace of the semester in order to try and stay ahead of long term assignments, because unlike high school, many courses at Bryant are mapped out for the entire four months, so you will know when tests and projects are coming up. I cannot stress enough that no matter where you go to school, utilize these long term plans so you are ready for what's up next!
One of the big reasons I decided to attend Bryant University was because of the academic environment and services I knew I would be able to take advantage of here. Our average class size is 28 students, and I personally have never had a class even that large. I succeeded in smaller learning environments in high school, and one of my biggest fears going to college was that I would be stuck in the back of an auditorium listening to a professor who I could barely hear. Bryant has provided with small classrooms and engaging professors, academic scenarios that have really helped me learn. Here's a look at a the typical size classroom at Bryant:
Bryant also has an ample amount of academic resources that have also helped myself and many other students keep control of the college workload. The Center For Teaching and Learning is a giant tutoring service at Bryant with both professional and student tutors in all areas of study. You can go there to have your paper proofread, make a personal appointment with a professional staff member, or even just sit in a quiet space to do your finance homework. The Center for Teaching and Learning, while providing many others services as well, offers me a security blanket when I am having trouble in a class because I know I will be able to receive the help I need from a service included in my tuition. To learn more about The Center for Teaching and Learning, check out their website here: http://www.bryant.edu/about/centers-and-institutes/ctl.htm
I hope this may have helped any potential fears about college classes at Bryant University and beyond. Remember, if you put the time in you will do well!
And finally, keep voting for Bryant in the NCAA's national contest to find the best student section in the country. Bryant currently is ranked in the top 16, and you can vote by going to www.ncaa.com/6thfan or by including or retweeting #BRYANT and #6thFan in your tweets.
Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.
January 23rd, 2014
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had an awesome holiday break and some relaxing time with family and friends (you'll really come to appreciate the extra time off in between semesters when you get to college, trust me!). However, Bryant students have begun to traverse through this snowstorm and drive themselves back to Smithfield, Rhode Island for the spring semester. School was pretty quite the past few days, so it's great to see everyone back and the campus buzzing again! Let's start off this semester's worth of blogging with some updates from all over campus:
- The freshmen class of 2017 is currently participating in the second ever "Bryant Idea". The Bryant Idea is a rigorous three-day program where all of the Bryant freshmen class comes back from winter break early and works on team concepts and design thinking. Students take a survey in the fall semester that assesses their interests, and at the Idea program students are placed in groups based on those interests and teams of 5 or 6 within those groups. These groups then focus on a particular problem and work to find a potential solution to that problem by thinking creatively and as a team. My class of 2018 was the first Bryant class to participate in the Bryant Idea and it was a great experience. My team was responsible for finding a way to make university libraries more adaptive to the 21st century, and we made a 3-Dimensional model of our own library to show the judges our idea. The program is three very long days but I left the program knowing so much more about teamwork and design thinking than I did three days earlier! To follow along and hear about all the buzz surrounding the Bryant Idea, follow them on Twitter @BryantIDEA. I'm sure this year's freshmen will come up with some fantastic solutions to difficult societal issues!
- In Athletics, our women's basketball team is red hot of late, winning 8 of their last 9 games. Both teams play Thursday and Saturday in NEC play, watch their games live at www.necfrontrow.com.
- Finally, Bryant University is currently in the mix of a national competition over which college has the best Division 1 fan base. As you probably have heard, Bryant students love to come out and cheer for their beloved Bulldogs, and the country is starting to realize it. As of Tuesday, Bryant University is ranked 11th in the country in terms of voting for the best fans. Bryant has been ranked as high as 3rd in the country!
To vote for Bryant University in the NCAA's 6th fan competition, tweet #6thFan and #BRYANT, retweet a tweet with those two hashtags, or vote online at http://6thfan.ncaa.com/
In other news, my brother Nolan just got accepted to Bryant over break! He applied early action, so I'm sure some of you who did the same heard the good news to! If so, congratulations! I hope you all decide to come here next fall. If you are waiting for other colleges or are applying regular decision, I wish you luck with the rest of the process.
Thanks for reading, stay warm, and Go Dogs.
January 7th, 2014
The dorm decorations are up, the first snow has fallen, and classes are coming to an end. Much of the buzz around the Bryant campus has begun to fizzle out as students baracde themselves in the library and their dorm rooms studying for their final exams. As we all look to push through this final week before winter break, let's wrap up this fantastic semester of blogging with some closing thoughts:
- The Festival of Lights is December 11th this year, a celebration of the holiday season here at Bryant. We have a giant menorah and a Christmas tree that looks like it came from a forest all lit up, and we celebrate the upcoming holidays with an awesome ceremony. Follow the entire night on their Twitter page (@FoL_Bryant) and look at all the pictures! Check out this gingerbread archway made for tonight!
- I passed in my management final report earlier this week (see previous blog). It was 92 pages and felt like it weighed 92 pounds.
- The Bryant women's basketball team defeated Dartmouth Tuesday night 79-69, paced by Courtney Schissler's 17 second-half points. The men's basketball team was defeated by Notre Dame 70-59 Monday night, and travel this Wednesday night at 7:30 to play Ohio State, the 3rd ranked team in the country. What an awesome experience for the team and another opportunity to put Bryant University on the map! The game will be streamed live tonight on the Big Ten Network. To read more about the Bulldogs' effort to knock off heavily favored Notre Dame, check this out: http://www.bryantbulldogs.com/sports/mbkb/2013-14/releases/201312094fij3l
- My intramural team won the first ever Team Handball championship this past Tuesday night. It was the first year Bryant instituted this league and it proved to be one of the most competitive! Here's the championship squad:
And finally, I hope you all have a relaxing and fun winter break once these next few weeks go by, and I wish you the happiest of holidays. Thanks so much for reading this semester, I can't wait to be back in January to start talking about acceptance letters!
As a famous man once said, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.
January 7th, 2014
Remember that huge Management 200 Service Learning Project I was talking about way back in September? Well it's done! After over three months of hard work and long meetings with my team, we have completed the project and will be passing in the final report this week. In case you missed my blog a couple of months ago, here is what my management team accomplished this semester:
We worked with the Audubon Society of Rhode Island to create and market a self-sustainable Speakers Bureau. The goal of the project was to increase the public's knowledge of the environment as well as the outreach of the Audubon as an organization. We conducted intensive interviews with four senior staff members of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and learned about their education, past work experience, and logistical preferences as far as public speaking goes. These four people composed our Speakers Bureau. We contacted over 120 local businesses and organizations to talk to them about our project and ask them if they were interested in booking a speaker for a future event from our bureau. We then created a mailing list of those organizations and sent it to the Audubon so they can send them more information about the project. Then, we created a pamphlet and a website to help with the marketing and start-up of the bureau. On the website, there are videos of each of our speakers speaking at an event. This way, potential organizations that may want to hire them for their speaking services will know what they look and sound like. You can read personal biographies about each speaker, as well as request a speaker and give feedback about their performance. This is a nice piece to the project because it can be implemented into the Audubon right away and make an immediate impact!
The Speakers Bureau is free of charge to the public (Audubon is a non-profit), so the idea is that this group of speakers will help educate the public about the importance of preserving the environment. The secondary effect of the bureau is that it will help get Audubon's name out there and hopefully increase their membership. Check out this preview we made of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Speakers Bureau: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn1GGQZ9L_Y
While the service learning project was both long and intensive, there is so much I have learned from the semester long experience. Not only was it extremely satisfying to work with a non-profit organization to help them with a long-term project, but it is nice to know that the work we did all semester long is now going to be implemented into the organization. One only gets so many opportunities to make a long term impact on an entire organization, and the fact that we had the opportunity to do so as sophomores in college is incredible. I also learned so much about team work and how the composition of a successful team is a very delicate thing. I was lucky to have three great teammates on my team (named "Business As Usual"), and we worked really well together through the high and low points of the semester. Bryant has truly taught me that the real world is full of team assignments, and no matter the size of the project or the make-up of the team, you need to find a way to meet the deadline. This project was as close to a real life management experience as you can get as an undergrad, and I am super thankful to have been put in this position to learn so much!
P.S. We had an in-class competition last week where each team presented their project to the rest of the class, with the winning team moving on to the final competition this week. While my team did not get the victory, a big congrats to fellow blogger John Logan on his teams win! Make sure you cross your fingers for him and his team as they compete for $500 this week at the finals. Also, if you ever need a speaker to talk about the environment at a future fundraiser or other type of event, use the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Speakers Bureau!
Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.
December 2nd, 2013
With all of our halls closed for the rest of the week and the parking lots emptied, let me be one of the first to say Happy Thanksgiving! Almost all of Bryant is back home for the weekend, but before you smother your mashed potatoes in your gravy let's talk about applying to Bryant early action next week!
Bryant University's early action deadline is this MONDAY, DECEMBER 2ND. In case you are not sure how it works, the early action process simply means that you will receive a decision from Bryant about your admission in mid-January. This is advantageous for you because you will know months early than if you were to apply regular decision.
I would highly recommend applying early action to not only Bryant University, but every school you plan to send applications too. When I applied for schools, I sent all nine of my applications in before the early action deadline, and I think that there are a few benefits to getting those applications in nice and early:
- The entire application process is completed earlier, relieving a lot of the stress that goes along with applying to colleges. While I am two years removed from going through all of the steps, my brother is applying early action to colleges now too (don't worry he applied to Bryant!) and he is already done with the process. Now he just waits for the decisions!
- You have more time to pick a school when you apply early action. Once you get responses from all of the colleges or universities you applied to, you have until May 1st to pick a school and send in your deposit. Selecting the institution you want to spend the next four years of your life at is no small decision, so in my opinion the more time you have to decide the better!
- And last but not least, early action makes your senior year of high school a lot less stressful. In my opinion, your last year of high school with the friends you have grown up with is so important and one of the best of your life. So get those applications in early if you haven't already, and then enjoy your senior year, because it is something you will never forget.
To learn more about applying early action and regular decision to Bryant University, go to their website here: http://www.bryant.edu/admissions/undergraduate-admissions/
Before I go, I again wish you and all of your friends and family a very happy Thanksgiving. Take some time this weekend (in between mouthfuls of mashed potatoes) to remind yourself of how lucky we all are and how much we have all been given. We are all lucky people!
Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.