Oh, the places you’ll go!

I transferred to NIU my second semester freshman year without a clue where to live or what to do. I didn’t know anyone at NIU that could give me useful tips or suggestions on where to live. Like most incoming students I took a campus tour but was only able to see Neptune. I ended up staying in Stevenson because this is where the transfer house was located at the time.

After residing in Stevenson freshman year, I decided to move out of the dorms and into an apartment. I chose an apartment for not only financial reasons, but also because I wanted the experience of living on your own. The first apartment complex I lived in was the Varsity Square Apartments. I shared a one-bedroom apartment with a friend, and although it was nice, sometimes it felt congested because there was limited living space. From here I moved into a studio apartment within the University Height apartment complexes. Once again, I didn’t mind living in these apartments, but I lived alone now and it was nice having my own personal space, but it was too quiet too often. I finally decided to move into a two-bedroom apartment with a good friend of mine. I’ve been here for 2 years now and I couldn’t be happier 🙂 . I now live in a Star Apartment complex off of Spiros. I like this apartment because it has prime location. The NIU bus stop is right outside my place, I’m closer to my college and live relatively close to other friends.

My recommendation for any incoming students would be to check out the different floors that are arranged by interest or major. I know that is something I wish I would of done as a freshman. I have seen so many successful students and friendships come out of these types of living arrangements. They are beneficial in so many ways. Not only will you have similar interests, but also you’ll always have someone to walk to class with, exchange notes with, do homework and projects with, and study for tests with. No matter which living residence you chose to go with, just remember to make the most of it and participate in the open door policy!


I Heart NIU <3

I Heart NIU because it has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities it has to offer. I Heart NIU because of the people I’ve met here. I Heart NIU because of the sense of community felt. I Heart NIU because of my College. I heart NIU because it’s become my second home. I Heart NIU because it offered me a chance to see the world. I Heart NIU because it’s shown me the type of person I want to be. At NIU I have experienced some of the best times of my life and have created memories that I will treasure forever. By becoming involved and taking all the opportunities presented to me I’ve been able to work on some pretty cool projects and events with amazing people. I can honestly say that I have made long life friendships while attending NIU. Whenever I’m on campus, there is a sense of Huskie Pride felt throughout. Although we may all have our differences in opinions and interests, we still come together as one, Huskie Strong, the type of feeling that makes you proud of your University. My college has also offered me various opportunities. The College of Business has provided me with an enriching experience and endless opportunities to get involved and learn outside the classroom. Along the way, I have had the pleasure to learn from some of NIU’s greatest mentors who have opened my eyes to life’s endless possibilities. It was here at NIU that I was able to find my life’s direction. Through NIU’s opportunities, I was able to travel to five different countries in Europe over winter break and learn about other cultures and their business practices. NIU has helped me grow and develop, personally and professionally; I plan to always give as much back as I have taken!

Why do you Heart NIU?


Campus fun and safety :)

 As the semester winds down and class due dates creep closer, I find it important now, more than ever to discover ways to have fun and reduce the stress related to school and work. Some ways I have fun are attending our home football games, where the Huskies are currently undefeated, and by attending organization sponsored events! Going to the home football games is a great way to support NIU and our football team, while hanging out with friends at the same time. Some of my best-kept memories stem from attending home games. The energy is so intense and everyone comes together as one huge Huskie Family! These are the times and memories you don’t want to miss out on! I also enjoy supporting NIU’s organizations by attending the various events hosted by them. This fall I have been able to support the NIU Honor Program by attending their Culver’s fundraiser. Not only did I get to enjoy some soft-served ice cream with new friends, but also I was able to give back to NIU.

When it comes to having fun off-campus, the DeKalb/Sycamore area offers numerous activities! One of my favorite things to do is shop downtown DeKalb in the various boutique shops. Each store is unique and you can always find something original and fun. The movie theater in town is another thing I like to do in my free time. I just recently saw the new film Catching Fire and it was amazing. My friends and I went to the midnight premier and enjoyed staying up all night to watch it.

It’s important to have fun while in college, but it’s equally important to stay safe on and off campus. In my opinion, I think NIU is a very safe campus to be on. Our new Police Chief, Tom Phillips, shared some insight with the NLA’s on his new initiates and tips for staying safe that I keep with me now. One of the most important items he addressed was the use of social media and emergency situations. Sometimes what one says on a social media site can be misinterpreted or come from an unreliable source. He stressed the importance of not always believing what you read on these sites and in the case of a real emergency, a university wide message will be sent out through NIU’s Emergency Notification System. He also stressed the importance of safe walking around on and off campus. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t be the person walking with your smartphone glued in front of your face because this is an easy way to target yourself for theft. Instead, always walk in groups and try to limit your cell phone use while walking around at night. A third initiative he shared with us is his concern with the dim lighting off-campus. He sees a need to brighten the streets and make it a more welcoming and safe environment. I think Police Chief Phillips made some excellent points and I’m happy to share them with you so we all gain knowledge on campus safety!

If you find yourself feeling uneasy at any point or time, the following numbers are good resources for both on and off campus use: 

Emergency: Dial 9-1-1

Non-Emergency: (815) 753-1212

Late Night Ride Service: (815) 753-2222

Huskie Patrol (Walk Safe): (815) 753-9658

For other safety tips and information, go to http://www.niu.edu/campuslife/safety/

Engaged Learning Opportunities

Midterm week has just passed, which means the fall semester is half way over; I cannot believe how fast time has flown. It feels like yesterday I was presenting my Impact Analysis Project to my fellow interns and a top management team. I spent 10 weeks of my summer as a Store Management Intern with Kohl’s, with a end goal of developing and presenting this Impact Analysis Project. Over the weeks, I was responsible for finding an area of opportunity that I could analyze and then try to create a solution. I found my opportunity within reaching daily credit and e-mail goals. Over the weeks, I tracked our daily numbers and was able to come up with a possible solution. I ended up creating a side-by-side training program that proved to be successful among the associates and increased their daily goals by 50%. This project really developed my analytical and presentation skills. It allowed me to work closely with Kohl’s Executives and store associates to gain a better understanding about the company. This experience was unlike any other I have previously had and I am fortunate I was able to participate in such a program.

The next adventure I am looking forward to is my Study Abroad trip. This winter I will be partaking in a Winter Break International Business Seminar program that exposes students to several cultures and companies. We will travel to London, United Kingdom; Paris, France; Geneva, Switzerland; Heidelberg, Germany; Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In each country we visit different companies and speak with their CEO’s and CFO’s. I hope to create lifetime memories with the people on my trip as well as gain real world knowledge about our global economy. Stay tuned for updates about the trip!

For more information on International Business Seminars, go to http://www.ibstours.com/about/index.php

Let the classes begin…

The second week of classes of the semester just ended! This fall I am enrolled in 5 classes: ACCY 306, MKTG 325, MGMT 346, OMIS 450 and MGMT 335. It’s been a busy start to the semester; there is a paper, project or meeting going on every day. At times it can be overwhelming, but it keeps me on top of my game!

 In my MGMT 335 class, Organizational Behavior, we took a personality test in order to discover our strengths and weaknesses inside our groups. I always love getting the results back and seeing how close I think it is to my personality. It turns out, almost all of test results were on point this time.

 I would say I am most excited for my accounting and organizational behavior class. Numbers come easy to me, so I enjoy working through problems and organizing data. The only down side to my accounting class is it starts at 8:00 am, which is brutal because I am not a morning person! Organizational Behavior revolves around how people and groups act inside an organization, which I find interesting to learn about how people interact with one another.  Also, my Organizational Behavior class provides each student an alumni-mentor to work with throughout the semester. I am especially looking forward to this because my mentor works for a financial institution and I hope to gain real-world knowledge and guidance about what I want to do after college from this experience.

For the remainder of my time at NIU, I will be taking a combination of finance, accounting, marketing, management and operations management and information system classes, which is my favorite part about being a Business Administration major. I enjoy learning about all the different aspects of the College of Business versus just one subject. In my opinion, it will pay off to be knowledgeable in all business disciplines (let’s hope I’m right!).

 My favorite class I have taken at NIU would be my calculus class I took sophomore year. I know how nerdy that sounds (trust me), but I enjoy solving math problems and equations! Also, I think I enjoyed the class as much as I did because I had a truly extraordinary professor that made learning calculus fun for anyone (as impossible as that sounds).  Each year I grow more excited to becoming one step closer to graduation but at the same time I am going to miss walking NIU’s campus everyday and spending a great portion of my time in Barsema Hall.

Hope everyone else had a great first few weeks of classes 🙂

My first post!

Ello there! My name is Mandy Schlegel. I am a Business Administration within NIU’s College of Business. I belong to the Alumni and Foundation Committee for the Northern Lights Ambassadors.

My college search began with one main question in mind: How far away can I get? My journey with NIU did not begin until second semester freshman year when I transferred in from a small school in Missouri, Northwest Missouri State University.  When looking into different schools to transfer to, NIU caught my eye. There are a few reasons I chose to transfer to NIU, the biggest reason being the location. My family lives in Geneva, IL and when I went away to school in Missouri the first semester I struggled with being six hours away from them. Now, I only have a 30 minute commute so I am able to choose when I want to go home. I also chose NIU for its business school. NIU’s college of business has many programs ranked nationally and is 3rd in the nation for ethics. Not to mention, the College of Business had a guest, Jim Corneilson the National Anthem singer for the Chicago Blackhawks, come speak to the students and staff. As you can see, I am proud of my college, as well as, to be a Huskie at Northern Illinois University!!

Northern Lights Ambassador is a program that selects students based on academic leadership and excellence and involvement in engaged learning activities who each represent the different colleges and the NIU community. I chose to become a NLA because I found it offered a variety of opportunities unlike any other organization on campus. I really wanted to get more involved on campus and feel like a bigger part of NIU outside of the College of Business. Being a NLA exposes you to students from each college and some very unique experiences. I am most excited to work with the Alumni Association this year to connect and meet with NIU Alum and to give NLA all I have to offer.

 When looking back on all the experiences I’ve had with NIU, the most memorable was the time our football team made it to the Orange Bowl in Fort Lauderdale. Ultimately, it did not matter if we won or lost, it mattered that we made it this far. With that being said, the energy and hype the NIU community felt made even the littlest of fans excited to be there. The community came together to support this once in a lifetime experience. Students were able to buy bus packages to travel down, which is what I did. Being on the bus with other students and faculty with so much Huskie pride was unreal and unforgettable. I’ll always remember NIU fans flooding the stadium as soon as the gates opened. You could hear chants ringing throughout the concrete fixtures as we marched inside. I was able to make lasting friendships and memories by being involved here at NIU and my advice is for anyone to do the same! Get as involved as your schedule allows you, it makes your experience.