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!


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...

  T-Pain and Mike Stud!

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

Bryant Basketball on National TV

February 13th, 2015

As many of you probably know by now, our Bryant Men's basketball team is one of the more popular attractions on our campus, particularly in the past 3 seasons as they have become Division 1 playoff eligible and perennial contenders in the North East Conference (NEC). This year is no different, as the Bulldogs are 8-4 in NEC play, good for second place in the conference. In the middle of their conference play was a game that many people starred on the team's schedule: a Thursday night game in early February against Mount Saint Mary's on ESPNU…a nationally televised game in Smithfield!

When Bryant goes on the road to face the likes of UConn, Indiana, Gonzaga, and other national powerhouses, there games will usually be broadcasted nationally online on ESPN3. However, this game was particularly special because it would be a home game for Bryant, against a conference opponent, and on ESPNU, which is broadcasted nationally on TV as opposed to online (I had family up and down the east coast tuning in to check out the Bulldogs!). One thing that Bryant students love to do is to support the Bulldog teams, and in particular the men's basketball team (see my previous blogs about our crazy fan section, the "Dawg Pound"). Well we could not have a nationally televised game in Smithfield pass us by, so many Bryant students weathered the cold and got over to the Chace Athletic Center for the big game.

The game was back and forth all night long, and the Dawg Pound was anxiously pulling for our team to scrape out a victory. We sure put on a good show for national TV, as the game came down to a miss for Saint Mary's and a made free throw by Bryant's Shane McLaughlin to crank out a victory for Bryant. Check out all the highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyjlC4otoT8

President Machtley and his wife Kati Machtley were in attendance as usual on Thursday, showing the Bulldogs some love during their game. Here's Kati's tweet in appreciation for the Dawg Pound and the team:

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If you're interested in readin more about the Bulldogs or the big win, head over to www.bryantbulldogs.com.

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

We’re Back From Break!

February 1st, 2015

And just like that, the party is back! It seems like roughly 20 minutes ago I posted the farewell for the winter break blog, and yet here we are ready to rock and roll again. I know for you guys your break is only about a week (perk of college), but I hope you all had a great holiday season and are refreshed for the second half of the year. My break was filled with family, friends, lots of skiing, and one BIG interview...that brings me good news!

I applied for an intern position at Amica Mutual Insurance through our career services office at Bryant. I completed a virtual interview and then a formal interview (I tried to take my own advice from the blog about interviewing that I sent to you guys!). I was fortunate enough to be selected as the new Research and Analyst Intern in the Marketing Department at Amica, and I could not be more excited! Like I have told you before, our career services office here at Bryant (coincidentally called the Amica Center for Career Education) does so much for all of our Bryant students in helping us find out perfect internship or first full-time job. I found the Amica application with their help and used the application and interview techniques I have learned from them to find a position that fits me perfectly. With my concentrations in both Marketing and Analytics, this research position is great experience for me and I plan on learning a lot from my days working with Amica. I can't thank them or our Bryant career services team enough!

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Everyone over here in Smithfield is excited for the spring semester to begin. I hope in your second half of your school year, you receive some acceptance letters, keep up the grades, and enjoy every bit of your last few months as a high school senior. You will remember those days I promise! Live it up.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

Next Time You Hear From Me…

December 19th, 2014

We're in the middle of finals week here in Smithfield, RI, so needless to say it is crunch time in terms of handing papers in, submitting projects, giving presentations, and sitting in the quiet section of the library for 6 hours straight studying for your Market Research Exam tomorrow (a.k.a. me). The semester officially ends Friday afternoon when all of the exams are done, so as crazy as it is now, within the next 48-72 hours, Bryant students will empty out of the residence halls and relax for the next four weeks before gearing up for the spring semester again. That means that after this post, you won't be hearing from me for a few weeks as I head home as well. But before I go, let's talk about the big thing that will happen in the world of undergraduate admission between now and the end of January...Early Action Admission Notifications!

Here in Bryant's Office of Admission, Early Action decisions are sent out in the middle of January to students that have applied before that deadline. In my experience with prospective students, those that choose to apply to Bryant early action will also submit applications to the other schools that interest them early action as well. First of all, good for you guys staying on top of your game! Secondly, if you receive other schools' decision on your admittance around the same time you receive Bryant's, you'll have lots of letters coming in and lots of things to think about-don't fret!

One piece of advice that I always tell prospective students is to stay organized and stay ahead. You early action folks have already fulfilled part 2 of that tidbit, but staying organized is equally as crucial. I recommend that once these letters from Bryant and other colleges come out, that you make an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of which colleges you've been accepted to, which ones you have not, and which ones you are still waiting to hear from. Then include information that is important to you about each school: for example population, different majors, extracurricular opportunities, proximity to home, tuition cost, etc. If you are someone like me who applied to lots of different schools, it can be hard to remember all of the little details that can be very important in selecting the right school. So, as these letters come in, update that spreadsheet; it only takes a few minutes each time and it will make your life SO much easier come decision time.

 When I get back from break, I hope that that spreadsheet will be all set up, and Bryant will be at the top of the list! And of course, to those of you who have applied early action to Bryant University...GOOD LUCK!

 Enjoy the upcoming holidays with your family and friends, spend time with those you care about!

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Talk to you folks in January! And as always,

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

-Max

Living in Bryant’s Newest Building…and Filling it with Holiday Spirit

December 11th, 2014

For the second year in a row, I have had the privilege of living in Bryant's newest dorm on campus, Hall 17. Hall 17 is primarily occupied by juniors, while sophomores and seniors live there every year as well. It is a suite-style dorm (like all sophomore and junior housing), where you and one roommate live in a room together, and there are 2 other rooms that have two people in each of them. The six of you then share a common room fully equipped with couches and tables, as well as a bathroom.

There are several perks to living in Hall 17. First of all, it looks like a hotel both inside and out and is definitely the nicest dorm on campus. Each room has its own thermostat, so every individual pair of roommates can decide how warm or cool their room should be as opposed to the entire suite being one temperature. The rooms themselves are slightly bigger in hall 17, but there is a trade-off because  the common room is slightly smaller in 17 compared to other dorms. Additionally, most suites on campus have one larger bathroom, but 17 actually has three separate bathrooms in each suite. There is one full bathroom and two half bathrooms (just a toilet and just a shower). This is not an issue for my friends and I, but it sure is helpful when there is a suite of girls that all need the bathroom in the morning!

I happen to live on the first floor of my building, which presents another advantage. The majority of the first floor of hall 17 is actually a pizza place called Ronzios (I think it's a Rhode Island thing). First of all, there pizza and sandwiches are super good, and second of all it is about 15 steps outside of my door! Convenient and delicious, two of my favorite things.

I live with four of my good friends, and in spirit of the holiday season, each year we decorate our suite. While we aren't exceptionally creative and are limited in our resources, I think this is our best year yet! Check out some of these pictures and see for yourself:

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I hope life is good wherever and whenever you are reading this! Wish me luck as we head into finals time...the end is in sight!!!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

First Semester Class Update

December 3rd, 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed the long Thanksgiving weekend! It sure was good to be home. Now that I'm back in Smithfield with the rest of my fellow Bryant students to finish up the remaining three weeks of the semester, I thought I'd take this week's blog to give you an update on some of the things I've been doing in my classes. As you may or may not remember, I am a Marketing and Applied Analytics major, so you will probably be able to tell that most of my courses connect with one another and what I am learning in one class often ca translate to another.

Consumer Behavior: I take this class with fellow blogger John Logan, and it's based on concepts and theories related to how people make purchase decisions. It is especially focused on group and societal influences, decision making processes, and how different types of marketing techniques can be applied to every one of these theories that we discuss. My team and I just finished up our semester long project where we had to go out and film a section of the population to discovery what "A Day in Their Life" is like. The goal was to see how different types of people (ex: professors, students, veterans, retired people) behave and consume on a day-to-day basis. My group decided to study female college students from Rhode Island, so we filmed students from Bryant, Johnson and Wales, University of Rhode Island, and Providence College throughout the course of the day and then applied the concepts that we had learned over the course of the semester to the film of the female college students that we captured. We present this week so I am hoping it is well received because I think we did a great job!

Data Mining for Effective Decision Making: This is my analytics course for the semester, and in this concentration we look at large data sets and use various analytical tools and techniques to draw conclusions, predict future outcomes, and make accurate decisions that are all data driven. This concentration (and our Advanced Applied Analytics Center on campus) is sponsored by SAS, one of the leading business analytical software companies in the world. We have SAS loaded onto our Lenovo laptops at school, and are learning how to use this extensive software every day through hands on exercises. We just finished a project where we were given a large sales data set for a company over the past year, and had to break the customers into segments. Then we examined what was unique about each segment and how a marketing campaign could be specifically tailored to each of those various segments.

Managerial Accounting: This is a class that I think every person should take if they wish to work in a successful, efficient business operation one day. This is my honors class for the semester (I am in the Honors Program at Bryant), so our class is only composed of about 18 honors students. Managerial Accounting is focused on the internal side of accounting; things like budgeting, reports that are used by managers as opposed to stockholders, and general accounting information that is used more so by the employees of the business, not necessarily broadcasted to the outside world. For our final exam we will be presenting our report on a case study where my group needed to study a company's financial records and create an accurate, futuristic budget for the following year. We have to justify where all of the revenue is coming from, where the costs will be incurred, and why we budgeted certain items certain amounts of money. I think it is very applicable to any job anywhere because this is the type of information you need to have a basis understanding of no matter what business you enter upon graduation.

Market Research: This class is directed towards the methods and necessary steps it takes to conduct a research study. This includes creating surveys, meeting ethical qualifications, collecting and analyzing the data, and so on. My group in this class will present our research next week on the effect of sharing emotions on social media and if that sharing of emotion makes your feelings stronger. Our professor is very involved in his research as well (I feel like every time I research something in his field he is the one that wrote the article!), and my team is actually test running his emotion sharing hypothesis, so it was awesome to take a hypothesis from a professional researcher and be able to test-run it for him. It reassures me that the work I am doing is beneficial and applicable in the real world!

For more information on my marketing and applied analytics concentrations, or the Bryant curriculum in general, check it out on our website here: http://www.bryant.edu/academics/undergraduate/courses-of-study/

Also, make sure you're liking Bryant Admission on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram, it's a great way to stay in tune with what's up in Smithfield! And for those of you that applied to our Early action deadline of December 1st earlier this week, CONGRATULATIONS!!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max