You might not always believe your teachers, but what you learn in the classroom can be useful in real life experiences. For example, sophomore Catherine Uricoli has been able to apply what she has learned, so far, as a finance major to her executive position that she holds in her sorority.
Catherine is a member of the Theta Psi chapter of the Sigma Kappa sorority. This past fall, she was elected by the chapter to be the Vice President of Finance and to be apart of the executive board that leads the massive 170-person sorority. Catherine’s duties include working with other executive board members and chairs to create an appropriate budget, billing and collecting dues from all the active members, reporting and abiding by all national Sigma Kappa Sorority bylaws, communicating with outside corporations to pay all necessary expenses while constantly communicating with her advisors. Clearly, Catherine did not learn the skills she needs for this position over night, so where did she?
“My accounting class definitely helped me with this position because the budgeting we discussed in the class helps me to try to keep on top of the chapter budget. It has helped me to oversee all revenues, manage the expenses to make sure they are balanced.” Says Catherine. She not only gives credit to her accounting class, but to her management class for the basic communication skills that have helped her to work with the chapter as a whole and also with her advisors. “I try to apply the specific qualities we learned about being a leader, such as listening skills. I take the time to understand other people before I speak.”
For those who also want to learn useful finance skills that they can be apply to positions or jobs, Catherine recommends taking management classes and specifically the management information system class because it touched on how to use excel, which is a very useful tool to have. Catherine also says “I would also recommend just trying to remain “in the know” about basic changes in the financial market so that it is easier to apply and see the impact of what you are learning on the world.”
Catherine and her first hand application of her in class learning to a real life experience is just one example of the many opportunities college classes will give you. Whether you’re a finance major or any other of the 160 majors offered by Penn State, there are many openings and chances to take your learning experiences outside of the classroom!