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Success Starts Here: Getting Involved

| Carrie Ottum

"Success Starts Here" is a series of six articles that introduce new students to the UW-Eau Claire College of Business. A new article will be posted each week until the fall academic term begins. This is the third article in the series.

Getting Involved

While employers expect students to have good grades, it is often extracurricular activities that separate good job candidates from great ones. In the College of Business we call these activities "high impact practices (HIPs)." HIPs include collaborative research, academic competitions, professional certifications, study abroad programs, internships, service-learning, and student organizations. This week's article focuses on student organizations.

Introducing Tyler Tupy, a junior marketing major with a professional sales emphasis from Austin, MN. In addition to being Vice-President of the college's Student Advisory Council, Tupy is also the Vice President of Professional Development for Pi Sigma Epsilon and active on the UWEC Sales Team.  

Carrie Ottum, College of Business Outreach Program Manager, interviewed Tyler to learn more about student orgs and the value of joining one. You will meet Tyler and other COB student organization members at the COB Academic Mixer on September 3. Watch your email for more information.

CO: The university has over 200 student orgs on campus. The college, alone, supports 16 groups. What should students look for when selecting a student organization?

TT: When selecting a student org on campus, students should look for how welcoming the org is, what they can learn from it, what connections they can make from the org, how credible the org is, and what opportunities are available for the student to get involved with the org.

CO: What student organizations are you currently involved in?

I am involved with the UWEC Sales team, Pi Sigma Epsilon, and College of Business Student Advisory Council. 

CO: Tell us more about these students orgs and what you do in these groups?

The Sales Team participates in sales competitions all around the US and hosts a few sales competitions on campus such as the Great Northwoods Sales Competition, as well. I have participated in 6 sales competitions so far and hope to do more.

Pi Sigma Epsilon is a national and professional fraternity for men and women in Sales, Marketing, and Management.  I am part of the executive board and currently Vice President of Professional Development. Also, I have also represented the UW-Eau Claire PSE chapter at regional and national Pro-Am-Sell-A-Thon competitions.  

The College of Business Student Advisory Council is a council of student business organizations. This isn't a group you can join. Instead, the org is composed of the current president and a selected board member from each of the college's 16 student orgs. We collaborate with one another to grow our organizations and the COB as a whole. The council advocates for and serves as a voice for the College of Business students. We act as a liaison between the students and the faculty and are used as a vehicle to put students in front of certain campus visitors such as prospective students, the Dean’s Business Advisory Council and notable alumni. 

CO: Students say joining a student business org is important because it makes your resume look better. Why do you think this is true?

TT: Getting involved is an awesome way to build your resume. Companies look for leadership roles and want to see that you can handle multiple tasks at once. Also, they want you to learn how to effectively work in a team/group setting. By getting involved and being part of the executive/leadership boards, you learn how to organize your time, work with others, lead others, and work together with your peers to come up with real world solutions to support and improve the students organizations within the College of Business.   

CO: Why is it important to hold a leadership role in a student org?

TT: It is crucial to hold a leadership role in organizations because it helps you develop leadership skills that you otherwise would not. It also helps you learn how to overcome challenges and work with your team to overcome them. In many leadership roles, you are given opportunities to speak in public or lead meetings, which builds your confidence and develops your public speaking skills.  

CO: Some students are hesitant to join a group because they don't know anyone in it.  What advice can you offer them?

TT: I did not know anyone that was my age when I first joined PSE. It was difficult at first, but that pushed me to go out of my comfort zone. My advice is to get out of your comfort zone and network, talk to new people, meet new people, and really just put yourself out there. The more you can do that, the more connections you will get. It seems difficult, but most people are in the same boat as you and are more than willing to talk to you. 

CO: When is the best time to join a student org?

TT: I would suggest to join as early as you can! I joined first semester of my freshman year and that was one of the best decisions I have made in my college career so far. The opportunities you receive from joining an org as early as possible are so much greater than if you wait.

CO: Another concern students have is joining a group will take time away from their studies. How do you balance involvement with academics and life outside of school?

TT: You have to stay organized and work hard during the week. It always works better to get things done ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about it later. At times it can be tough, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices such as hanging out with friends to get stuff done. I think a big part of something that works well for me is just flat out staying on campus for long periods of time and grinding so I have time at night to focus on my extracurricular activities and social life.

CO: What is the most important lesson you have learned from your involvement in student orgs?

TT: The most important lesson I have learned from my involvement with student orgs is work hard to make good connections and always give your 100% effort even when you don’t feel like it. I try to carry this with me in all aspects of my life and it has really helped me excel in everything I am involved with.

CO: A good time for students to learn more about student orgs, including COB ones, is at the Blugold Organization Bash . . . BOB, for short. This fall's BOB will be held on September 11th from 11am-2 pm on the Campus Mall

Meet Tyler Tupy
Vice-President, College of Business Student Advisory Council
Vice-President of Professional Development for Pi Sigma Epsilon

Hometown: Austin, Minnesota

I became a Blugold because . . . the College of Business offers many great opportunities and the campus is awesome.

The coolest things I have been working on this summer are . . . My summer internship at a Farmers Insurance agency in Eau Claire and working with companies for my role in PSE, which involves coordinating all the professional development of the student org. 

My favorite thing to do on campus is . . . enjoy the sunsets while crossing the foot bridge. 

People are often surprised to learn . . . at one point in my life, I had 30 pairs of shoes.  I don't have that many now, because a dorm room can't accommodate that many. But I still love shoes. 

When I'm not in class, you will find me . . . playing intramurals, rollerblading, or being outside.

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to . . . Australia.

My favorite movie is...Remember the Titans.

My career goals are . . . working at a Fortune 500 company, starting out with a career in Sales, and working towards a management role where I can lead people and help them be the best they can be. Also, finding a company that aligns with my goals and values so intern I can be happy to go to work every day and have a successful career.

Introducing the Class of 2023! Meet your classmates, business faculty and staff members, your advisors, and some of the college's student leaders at the COB New Student Meeting on Tuesday, September 3 from 1:00-2:15 pm in the Schneider Hall. Watch your email for more details