What To Expect In Your Freshman Year

The new academic year is just around the corner, which means USF will be welcoming a new wave of exceptional students to our campus! An associate dean and several students who have just completed their freshman year share their advice.

By School of Management Posted Thu, 05/04/2017 - 15:56

Ready for freshman year? According to Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs Peggy Takahashi, there is much for incoming freshmen to be excited about.

For starters? USF's prime location — and the fact that every student is provided with a bus pass for each semester with the promise of unlimited rides city-wide.

They should be excited about that, that they can explore this great city and take advantage of it," she said, "There's the Mission, there's Chinatown, there's Japantown, there's all these pockets of interesting things to see."

As for the School of Management, Takahashi said students should get excited for the curriculum which will "expose them to all the different facets of business." To those that are undeclared and unsure of what major to pursue in the School of Management, Takahashi said not to worry. "You will be able to experience different parts of business so that you can make an informed decision about your major,." she said, expressing that students are "excited that they do have the choice, and they have the time to make that choice."

You will be able to experience different parts of business so that you can make an informed decision about your major. Students are excited that they do have the choice, and they have the time to make that choice.

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs Peggy Takahashi

In the meantime, she advises students to "get involved." The School of Management has a number of organizations, and she explained that participation serves various purposes. "One is that it allows you to explore the major that you're interested in and meet people who are in that major." It also allows students to "rise up and take a leadership role." Joining a campus club or organization in the School of Management is also an easy way to bond with your peers: "The best way to meet new people and make friends is getting involved," said Takahashi.

When asked how USF stands out from other business schools, Takahashi emphasized the small class sizes. At USF, the biggest class Takahashi estimated is 40 students and "that's for the core," she said. "As you get into upper division major classes it's much smaller," she explained, "so you get a lot of hands-on attention." Because of the small class sizes, "there are a lot more customizable options for students in terms of how they interact with a faculty member," said Takahashi. "If you're one of five-hundred, you're not likely to be seeing the faculty during their office hours; if you're one of thirty in a class… then you're way more likely to be able to see the faculty and ask a question."

The benefits of small class sizes also reach out to the professional world since it's easy for students to interact more closely with their professors and get to know them. The importance of this, Takahashi explained is "when you are looking for a job and need a recommendation… you want somebody who knows you and they can actually write something about you from experience."

All in all, Takahashi emphasized that students should work hard, stay focused, and always remember to read the syllabus!


USF Student Anne Marie Bonino-BritschAnne Marie Bonino-Britsch BSBA '20 is a marketing major who recently was accepted into the School of Management Honors Program "which offers many opportunities for second year students in the School of Management to take more challenging classes, hone their skills and use them in a practical setting, and surround themselves with other like-minded, motivated students." Something that surprised her about USF was the abundance of events the School of Management holds. "There is always something happening, from lectures with CEOs of companies to advise-a-thons with members of the faculty to make sure you're scheduling classes that you are enthusiastic about while still staying on track to graduate." Bonino-Britsch expressed the most valuable thing she has learned while at USF is that "it's important to be patient with yourself." She explained, "Making the transition to college is difficult at times. but USF offers many resources to aid in your acclimation to these new surroundings…. Some days you'll want to hit the museums and see all the tourist attractions, and other days you won't want to leave your dorm, leaving you ample time to bond with your roommate(s). It's a matter of knowing yourself and being aware of what you need to feel your best."


USF Student Hanrui ZhangHanrui Zhang BSBA '20 is a member of the School of Management Honors Program as well as a coach at the USF Speaking Center. Zhang said "Regardless of your major, there will always be someone on campus who is ready to help you with whatever you may need. I think that knowing that I am in an environment where everyone wants me to succeed helps me feel at home in this school." He advises students to reach out to professors when help is needed, "You should never feel like you are being left in the dark on any concepts or lessons in the classes that you take," he said. Zhang added, "Something that surprised me about the School of Management was how much of a family all the students seemed like," he said. "From the orientation to your major to being able to meet the other honors students, professors and SOM faculty, every time I have been able to interact with anyone involved in the SOM has been extremely warm, helpful, and encouraging."


USF Student Chase DarlingtonChase Darlington BSBA '20 is an entrepreneurship and international business double major. He emphasized his involvement in the Club Managers Association of America, explaining the mass of "job opportunities and networking opportunities available through the club;" and described it to be "an abundance of affordable adventures that will stay with you for a long while." He also divides his time in other extracurriculars such as the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi and rugby! "I had not played a contact sport before this and was really worried, but I love it!" When asked, Darlington said that he was surprised about a number of things USF offers "Smaller than I thought. More well connected than I thought. More experienced professors than I thought."


USF Student Moh KaddouraMoh Kaddoura BSBA '20 is majoring in finance, minoring in Spanish, and hails from Boston. He said he was surprised by the abundance of resources within the School of Management. "In my Business 100 class, we got to hear from very accomplished and very successful guest speakers that are able to influence each and every student to work their hardest in order to achieve their dreams." Kaddoura praised his "Launch into Business" class and recalled his favorite project which involved "expanding an existing corporation to an international market;" the class was divided into groups to select their specific company and international market focus. "We had to do a lot of research about our industry and our new country. At the end, we not only learned about expanding a business and conducting business overseas, but also learned key lessons in teamwork which are vital in the academic and professional world." Kaddoura advises incoming freshmen to "Have fun and be open to trying new things and challenging yourself inside and out of the classroom."


USF Student Reiko SimmonsReiko Simmons BSBA '20 said "In your first semester, you truly feel as if the future and your career goals are being realized and are no longer just words on paper." She also praised the "Launch into Business" class because "it is the best overview of business one could ask for." Simmons enjoyed the class as she was able to work in a team as well as "produce unique business proposals such as franchising a Chipotle in South Korea as a potential business venture." Simmons and her group "came up with marketing strategies, learned about cultural preferences and even developed our own menu!" At USF, Simmons also gets to practice her marketing skills outside the classroom — additionally, she works on campus as a Marketing Game Day Intern for the Athletics Department, saying it "allows me to have hands-on experience coordinating marketing for my own school." She also contributes her time to the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta where she serves on the executive and cabinet board as the marketing team's publications director.

By Lonny Wysard