CSU, Chico’s College of Business Student Advising & Services
Episode 12– CSU, Chico College of Business Student Advising & Services (Transcript)
students, chico state, business, college, campus, advising, jenn, people, helping, program, strengths, mba program, share, first generation students, resources, assessment, recommendation, major, chico, degree
He-Lo Ramirez, joshuah whittinghill, Nicole Gager, Teresa Hernandez, Introduction Music, Jenn Duggan
He-Lo Ramirez 00:00
Heytanayem nikki yam sa He-Lo nikki Mechoopda Maidu. Hello everyone. My name is He-Lo and I’m a Mechoopda Maidu. We acknowledge and are mindful that Chico State stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people in this area, the Mechoopda. And we recognize their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that have sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries, and continue to do so today.
Introduction Music 00:27
Teresa Hernandez 01:14
Welcome back to yet another mini episode of archives first generation one of many super excited to have you join us again today, we have a great resource that we want to let our listeners to know about. But before we begin, again, first generation one of many of our podcasts and our mission is to create an archive of discussions with and about first generation student experiences in and out of the classroom. We hope to continue raising awareness and understanding provide voice for students and alum as well as present resources for faculty, staff and students working for and collaborating with first generation students. And it’s my pleasure to introduce my co host, joshuah whittinghill. Hey, Josh.
joshuah whittinghill 01:55
Hi, Teresa. Great seeing you again, another point five mini episode.
Teresa Hernandez 02:03
Yes. There so fast, but so full of information. So I’m excited for today’s
joshuah whittinghill 02:06
Yes, it’s great to be sharing these resources and helping get the information out to all the listeners on campus and off campus as well. So that could mean you know, current students, faculty and staff, but also future students who may listen to the episode. As I have heard from one high school teacher, they’re sharing it with their students who are first generation so so our audience is growing, which has been wonderful to hear about from people out there. So today, we have a quote to start out with, from the ever famous or infamous, unknown. You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character. And we thought that was an appropriate quote, as our guest today both sort of help students do that process of struggle of being a college student, but also maybe not doing well or maybe doing really well but still maybe questioning themselves in the process. And our guests today are from the Business Student Advising Services at Chico State. Our first guest today is Jenn Duggan. Jenn was born in Northern California and has called Chico her hometown for over 20 years. She received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Education from CSU, Chico. She is very proud to work for the College of Business and help students thrive at Chico State. She is a first generation re-entry college student earning her bachelor’s degree at the age of 32 with three children at home. She loves encouraging non traditional college students and is committed to helping them feel at home not only at Chico State but within the College of Business. Her goal is to have every student leave her office with an understanding of degree requirements and a strong belief in themselves to achieve their individual aspirations. Hi, Jenn, thanks for being here.
Jenn Duggan 04:07
Yes, of course. Happy to be here.
joshuah whittinghill 04:11
And our next guest today is Nicole Gager. Nicole is a Chico State alumna and Chico native. She received her Master’s Degree from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and is an MBA Academic Advisor for the College of Business. She is passionate about higher education and enjoys assisting students. As a first generation college student herself, she is particularly passionate about helping other first generation students achieve their academic and professional goals. But welcome, Nicole, thanks for being here today.
Nicole Gager 04:44
Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me.
joshuah whittinghill 04:47
Yes, perfect. Glad you’re both here today. So Teresa, let’s get rolling right into the questions.
Teresa Hernandez 04:54
Yeah, perfect. So to get started, to let our listeners know a little bit more about you both. Can you go ahead and explain to us what your role on campuses and if you don’t mind starting us off, Jenn?
Jenn Duggan 05:06
Okay, thank you. Um, so right now I’ve worked on campus for about 13 years. I’m a first generation college student, I got my college degree when I was 32, and have three little kids at home. And the story that I like to share about that is, my dad used to always say that the only thing a college degree was good for was debt. So, on one hand, it was nice, because I know a lot of first generation students have a lot of family and parental pressure to earn a college degree. And while I didn’t have that, I was left to navigate that completely on my own, which is, was definitely very challenging. But I did learn from a lot of my mistakes along the way to go back to work well, I’ve been on campus for 13 years. Right now I work for the College of Business. I’m the senior coordinator for advising and student services. So we oversee all events for recruitment and engagement, and tutoring and class planning and scheduling for undergraduate students who are majoring in Business.
Teresa Hernandez 06:21
Oh, wow, that’s amazing. Perfect, thank you for that. I’m certainly gonna dig into that a little bit more and ask more about your resources. And Nicole can go ahead and let us know what your role on campus is?
Nicole Gager 06:31
Yeah. Absolutely. So I’m also actually a first generation college student, and I’m the first person on both sides of my family to have a master’s degree as well. So I’m happy to be here today. I am an academic advisor, I’m actually newer to the College of Business. But I advise for our Masters of Business Administration program. So essentially, what I do is I help students plan their degree program I explain, you know, prerequisite courses and things like that. And, you know, I sometimes help students figure out which MBA program that we offer is a good option for them. And I typically tend to, you know, connect students to different resources that are available to them here on campus.
Teresa Hernandez 07:13
Awesome, amazing. So kind of a little more information on the next step to pursue their MBA. Can’t wait to hear more about that as well.
joshuah whittinghill 07:21
Yeah. And it’s, it’s almost as if you both saw the questions I know we were going to talk about today, you’re just leading us perfectly right into the next phases. So Jenn touched on a little bit, but we want to make sure we’re clear with listeners that we actually have you have you both in the same office. But you’re going to talk about two different specific programs. Nicole and I had the pleasure of just meeting three or four days ago, and she shared her information, I thought, oh, that would be great to have out there. Because I’ve been on campus for a number of years, and didn’t even know that was such a specific specialized advising resource that students have here. So let’s go ahead and start with Jenn, if you can tell us a little bit more, what does your program do as far as business advising for undergraduate students.
Jenn Duggan 08:10
So, um, what I would say is that a lot of college students are used to having faculty who teach, also helping them with their class planning. For business majors, we have what we call centralized advising, and that is to allow our faculty time to do research and stay current in their professional fields. So what’s nice for our students is that they can come to see us either drop-ins or scheduled appointments. The Business major has a lot of prerequisites, which is basically you have to take classes in a very specific order, in order to progress and graduate on time. So I always tell students, you don’t have to memorize those you just need to know to come to us. So we help students every semester with class planning, we help students kind of determine what they want to specialize in business, whether marketing or accounting or project management. There’s a lot of diversity within that. So we help students with that as well. We don’t do much on the career advising side, but there is we have a specialist that works with business majors. And then we also do recruitment events for new students orientation, making sure students are understanding the degree requirements their very first semester and feeling part of Chico State.
joshuah whittinghill 09:43
Excellent, thank you that great service, for the undergraduate seems to have right on campus because business can be the major itself can be a little bit much where a student starts out, hey, I want to do finance and then they realize oh, I don’t think that’s all that what I really want to do. I like marketing, I’m more of an artist, I want to get into that side of it. And so, so it is great to have those resources and kind of bounce ideas off of advisors with the experience, right to be able to say, Oh, this, this, this option might be a little bit more focused of what your interest really is. And I know I was a, I got to advise business first generation students for a number of years. And that was a lot of it, of knowing business. What does that mean? And then a lot of them were like, I just want to start a business. So entrepreneurship, all of a sudden became an option, a number of years back, and they and they realize, Oh, that’s, that’s much better than just accounting or finance, because that’s not that’s not the area I’m really, really excited about doing. So now. People make it through their degree, whether they’re in business or not. And they think, Hmm, I want to do more school. So Nicole, can you tell us what does that mean, for the College of Business and students interested in graduate school?
Nicole Gager 11:01
Yeah. So I mean, I’ll echo what Jenn said, I basically do everything that Jenn said that I do it for our graduate students. And to your point, you know, I do chat with students who are interested in kind of advancing their career in business, although I will say I don’t just serve students who have a background in business. So I work with students kind of across campus from from many different academic backgrounds, who may be interested in going into that field. And I basically work with them to see if, you know, their career, their ambitions, align with our program, and then help them of course, apply and get through the program. So I work with business students, I help advise them, but I also, you know, work with students who aren’t necessarily from a business background.
joshuah whittinghill 11:53
Is there is there anything specific that that is maybe different that you do for students? Do you work with undergraduate students at all trying to help get them and gain access to the graduate program?
Nicole Gager 12:07
Yeah, I guess I didn’t explain that super well. So yeah, I will chat with so mainly, my main role is to help students once they’re in the program, right. But I do get a lot of inquiries from students, undergraduate students who are from different programs, who may be interested in things like you said, like marketing, or they may be interested in opening their own business, even if they have a background in something else. So I do help explain the program and the prerequisites and the things that they need to do and talk them through that process. If that makes sense.
joshuah whittinghill 12:39
No, that’s perfect. That’s great. Thank you. Because I know that was one of the discussions you and I had with a student last week, who is finishing up an MBA program. And they were talking about that they didn’t even take any business classes really, you know, as an undergraduate. But then as they were researching, they realized, oh, wow, this MBA program, is just what I’m really looking for what I want to go to in this career opportunities. So that’s an important message that, that students can come from any major once they finish, and if MBA looks like an interesting path for them, and in the most beneficial, then it’s definitely a great program here on campus for them to look into. And not just Chico State, but other MBA programs for students. Cuz a lot of times students want to go away from where they do undergraduate work, they want to move on, or they they want to move back home by their family, and there may be a program for them, then in those areas as well, too. So thanks. Thanks for sharing.
Jenn Duggan 13:33
That reminded me of an example. Can I share real quick?
joshuah whittinghill 13:37
Oh, for sure.
Jenn Duggan 13:38
Okay. So I just last week, met with a business major who, who reached out and said that he was thinking about double majoring, because he you know, because he was worried about being supposed to graduate this spring he was worried about is he going to get a job, he wanted to participate in commencement. Um, and so I was talking to him a little bit about what he would need to do if he wanted to double major, but I was able to share with him that something I don’t think he really knew because he’s first in his family to go to college, in that he could finish an MBA program in the same amount of time as double majoring in something and that would be better for his resume than double majoring. It would. It’s a more advanced degree than double majoring in something if he were to go on and pursue an MBA, for that particular student how Nicola and I would partners then I could have her hand meet with her and she would be able to talk to him about how much it’s going to cost. What are the requirements? When does he apply? What can you expect from the program? So there’s kind of a lot of back and forth between the both of us. And the point is is not really marketing or selling our program. We don’t work on commission. It’s getting to know the student to help them follow the path that’s in their best interest.
Teresa Hernandez 15:07
Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s something too, that students are seeking out. They just don’t know exactly where to go or who to go to for their specific question. But you know, and especially nowadays, if you can save a student time, or show them a different pathway to get to where they want to be that maybe it’s less expensive, or they’ll save money, because the MBA program is perfect for them. That’s something super central for our students to know. And if they have these questions, and they want to be able to reach out how, how would our students or how would people best access or services
Jenn Duggan 15:39
For on the undergraduate side, if it’s somebody who’s in high school, or a community college transfer student coming in, at the junior level, there’s a variety of different ways to get a hold of us. Right now, even though we’re still virtual, we have our main office ringing to our support coordinators phone, and that phone number is listed in campus, but it’s 530-898-4480. Students can also email us at email@example.com And like I mentioned earlier, we are always available for drop ins or scheduled appointments. So students go to the Chico State College of Business main webpage, they can see the link to drop in and see us or to or to schedule an appointment.
Teresa Hernandez 16:38
Perfect. Thank you for that. Definitely have students reach out to you, Nicole.
Nicole Gager 16:42
Yeah, I was just going to add that if there are students who are interested in the MBA program, specifically, the best way to get ahold of me, the quickest way is to email me just simply at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a number which can be found on the website, but I’m still a little new. So I’ll be honest, I don’t remember it off the top.
Teresa Hernandez 17:03
No worries, we can. Also they can go ahead and look at it and then access that as well.
joshuah whittinghill 17:10
So So essentially, you’re saying you already entered it into your cell phone? And then that’s that, right.
Nicole Gager 17:15
joshuah whittinghill 17:17
That’s the way of the way of phone numbers nowadays. Right?
Nicole Gager 17:20
joshuah whittinghill 17:21
Don’t have to remember any of them. So. Okay, so we have another question for yall’s. Do you have any other useful information details? Or any data points, data points, anything you want to share? that we haven’t already touched on today? And if not, that’s okay. But you never know, as you’re talking right? things come into your mind, boom, boom, boom, so.
Jenn Duggan 17:49
So yeah, I mean, I can comment a little bit of one of the things that so when I first started working at Chico State, I worked in the admissions office. And when I moved over to College of Business, one of the things that I thought was pretty unique and special, and gives me a lot of pride for working for the College of Business is I started to notice right away that when I was working with seniors who still had one or two semesters left, they already knew where they were going to work, they had already been offered a post graduation job. And so when you think about the return on your investment, college is extremely expensive. Right now, business majors, even in this economy are getting jobs before they even graduate. Our program is built in with a lot of internships, group projects, community service. And so this allows our students to get out into the world and start networking. So they’re not just sitting in a classroom taking a test, it’s multiple choice. They’re building their resume with internships and networking opportunities. And it’s just a really great way for them to get connected so that they they know that the all the hard work that they put in will pay off. And if they do everything right, they will probably be like our average student, which is someone within four years of graduation makes over $80,000 a year. So it’s a it’s a great major for students who really aren’t sure what they want to do. There’s a lot of different areas within business that can put you in a lot of different directions. I also like to say that it’s a helping profession, and business sometimes people misconceived it as just, you know, money hungry, corporate, and that’s not really what it is. It’s a very rewarding career, where you’re helping people in a lot of different important areas in their lives.
Teresa Hernandez 19:55
Thank you for pointing that out too good. Before I met people in some of my peers became very majors and I learned a little bit more about really how diversity in the overall major business and your specific concentration is. I feel like you just hear about or kind of have like that stereotype of just 100 people want to go to business, it’s just if you want money, you do this. But it’s, it’s incredible how much more and how expansive it is and what you can do. And it’s definitely not centered on that specific idea.
Jenn Duggan 20:25
Yeah, I will say to you, if any of our listeners out there are looking at other colleges, a lot of programs, and in other CSU are impacted. So it’s very competitive to get into our program ranks with the same of those, but we’re not impacted. So the reason that that is important is because that means if you want to, you can graduate in four years, you’re not going to have any problem getting your classes. And you don’t have to have, you know, a GPA over 3.3 in order to get into our program.
joshuah whittinghill 21:02
Well, that’s great to hear, thank you for sharing that a little bit there, too, every little bit is useful, right? Every little morsel of information to help. So to make a quick left turn, or a quick right turn, as if you’re driving down the road in your car, we wanted to point out that that you don’t officially have the title in your college of anyone who has a CARS right the College Advising and Retention Specialist. However, the College of Business, this model of a Student Success Center, and this specified advising has been around for a number of years. And so we wanted to point that out because this is sort of a series we’re doing of having all the different cars from campus to beyond their own episode talk about what they’re doing in their college. So we want to make sure to point that out in case anyone wonders like what happened to the college business cars, they don’t get one. But it’s because you already have a system in place. And the name change wasn’t, I guess needed or wanted or voted upon who knows what happened?
Jenn Duggan 21:58
Well, I will say I am on that committee. So it’s not my official title, but I’m part of the cars group. And we are the model everyone is is kind of following the College of Business lead, which is great for students because they can go to a centralized spot and be able to always see an advisor, it makes it much more smoother the process for students to be able to get the advising that they need.
joshuah whittinghill 22:27
Excellent. Thank you. Okay, and so to wrap up our show, as tradition goes, we have our recommendations. And so Jenn, do you have a recommendation to share with listeners today?
Jenn Duggan 22:42
Yeah, actually, I wanted to share something that has been incredibly influential in my life. And that is the Clifton Strengths Finder test. It’s an online assessment that you can take. And the reason that I really like this is it comes out of over 70 years of research of people studying the best of the best. And they develop these 34 characteristic traits. And when you take the assessment and identifies what your top five strengths are, it comes out of the positive psychology movement. And so instead of focusing on things that may be our areas of weakness, this tells us what we’re naturally talented at, and helps us grow from those traits. So for example, and part of that research included studying people who worked on their weaknesses and those who worked on their strengths. And you saw really no statistical difference for students who were working or excuse me, students, or people in general, working on their weaknesses. But it’s quite different in contrasting story, when we focus on what we naturally are gifted at. The reason that I loved it so much is it really launched my professional career to be able to focus in on what my strengths were, and helps with engagement and really loving what you do. But I also saw differences and improvements in how I related to my kids and my husband, based on knowing what my strengths are and the strengths of other people. So the the website to be able to take the assessment is going to be in the notes from this podcast. And I would encourage everybody who’s listening to check it out and take the assessment.
joshuah whittinghill 24:38
Perfect, that’s a great one. Thanks, Jenn. Because that’s because that’s not just about if you’re a business student, right? That’s just if you’re a person and trying to find a certain path or a certain way or, or just more interest that would help cater to the strengths you already know you have, and even under uncover some strengths you didn’t realize you had.
Jenn Duggan 24:57
Yeah, definitely millions and millions. People all over the world have taken this assessment.
joshuah whittinghill 25:05
I thought you were gonna say, millions and millions of people are currently taking this all over the world. Yeah, yeah, yep. That’s the marketing side of Jenn Duggan coming out of the College of Business. So, all right, Nicole, do you have a recommendation for today?
Nicole Gager 25:26
Yeah, um, you know, my recommendation is for folks right now, who might be I don’t know, maybe struggling to find work or maybe who are thinking about a career change. My recommendation or my advice is, you know, put yourself out there and and reach out to that person on LinkedIn and try to build your network. And if you’re in college, or maybe a college grad, you know, get back into contact with your local Career Center. I know it’s a really trying time for a lot of people right now. But there are so many people out there who are willing to help you and your local, you know, your college career center wants you to get in contact with them. So I say, if you’re in that situation, take the risk.
joshuah whittinghill 26:11
Wonderful. That’s That’s great. Definitely right. Just like a whole quote in the beginning of our episode, right of learning from failure sometimes, and being able to move forward and get yourself up. It’s one of the frameworks I’ve been really the last few years looking at more of like this whole pedagogy of failure. And the idea of what you do once that happens, I have one to share. And so it is a TED talk by Hamza Khan. And it’s called stop managing, start leading. And its premises, we’re looking at the change in difference of working with college graduates coming out of college in the last few years and into the next, you know, five or 10 years, as we look at a different generation, really moving into the workforce, and to not be moving forward keeping everything how it hasn’t been status quo for the last 30 40 50 However, a number of years, right, as far as in the works in different fields you work in, but really become a leader in a different way. So that’s my recommendation for the day. And Teresa, you have one to recommend and then and then take us out for the day.
Teresa Hernandez 27:21
Hello, yes, I do. So mine is simply not related. But a resource I’d like some huge lately, I think last week, I shared a book on self care and more so building up like your confidence within yourself. So this week, I have discovered quite a few podcasts, you know, in my long drives is in such So, um, one of the ones that I’ve actually liked, and I feel like might be a good time for our listeners, it’s called and this is if you’re into true crime. So I will put in that disclaimer, I didn’t realize I was but I am. And it’s called my favorite murder. And it’s just pretty great. Because at the beginning the hostess love to banter and I just think it’s it’s so refreshing to hear people just have normal conversations, especially during this time, they feel like I’m within in the conversations I like to you know, make remarks in my head back to them. But anyways, and they’re just, they’re super funny. So you’ll laugh. I know that doesn’t sound right with the title of that podcast. But I definitely suggest you check them out. And just give it a shot and hopefully can reach other podcasts that you can play in the background as you do homework or do anything related to that. So that’d be my recommendation. And with that, I hope you all enjoyed our episode today. Definitely utilize and take the resources and the recommendations of our guests to heart and make sure that you look into if you have any questions and always feel free to reach out to us if you have any other questions about anything that was discussed on this podcast. And with that, I will say bye, and I hope to see you next week for our next episode.
joshuah whittinghill 28:57