News & Views‌

Embrace your adventurous side with help from UNI donors

March 10, 2016 - 12:00am
UNIBusiness Editor
Ireland's famous Cliffs of Moher

Imagine the UNI you know and love, as it is today. Much of what makes UNI a distinguished university has to do with the opportunities that are available: scholarships, study abroad, business connections, student organizations; the list goes on and on. Now imagine UNI without all of those components. Pretty tough to think about, right? That's the reality UNI's students, faculty, and campus would be facing if it weren't for the generosity of the many donors who contribute money to UNI every year.

Donor endowments make a colossal impact on universities around the nation; in the year 2015 alone, hundreds of billions of dollars were given to universities by contributors. UNI is no exception; in the 2014-15 school year, $28,261,436 were fundraised thanks to generous donors.

While every student at UNI benefits from these donations, one student in particular has taken full advantage of the opportunities available. Senior Brianna Vis (Finance) participated in a study abroad with UNIBusiness during the summer of 2014. "I went to Ireland [with] the Six Sigma Lean program that Dan Bumblauskas brought to UNI," said Vis. "We began classroom work after we got back from spring break and took the Six Sigma certification test towards the end of the semester, which you have to pass to be able to work on the project. We left for Ireland a couple of weeks after the second semester wrapped up, and we were abroad for approximately 4 weeks."

The study abroad fulfilled her Capstone credit requirement, "which is awesome since most students don't do their capstone until their last semester of college and end up doing something not very fun, like an online class with no cultural experiences," explained Vis. "This was a consulting project we did -- we went [to Ireland] and were paired with companies who had a project they wanted us to undertake and apply everything that we had learned to come up with solutions to their problem."

Ireland wasn't all work and no play. "Studying abroad enhanced my view of the world; here it's all classroom work (tests, projects, homework, etc.), but seeing a living, breathing company makes things so much more real. You see what you've learned about applied, and come back to the academic realm with more capacity for understanding," said Vis. "I think study abroad teaches you a lot of good real-life things too, like navigating public transportation, being engaged (there's not super great cell phone access across the pond for us Americans), and street-smart kind of things as well."

As much as Vis learned and grew during her time abroad, her involvement in the program was made all the more possible by the help she received from UNI. "I received a scholarship from the Study Abroad Excellence Award, the Fly-Free Scholarship (UNIBusiness Education Enhancement UG scholarship), and the UNIBusiness Dean's Fund for Excellence."

Vis is finishing up her last semester here at UNI and continues to benefit from the opportunities available. "I also have a scholarship for my CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification. They're covering the cost of my exam and registration fees. The scholarship is called the QuadCapital CFA Scholarship Fund," explained Vis. "To have an important role in finance, you need something to distinguish yourself -- if you want a career in trading, it's pretty much a requirement. The CFA is a huge differentiator and hopefully will serve me well in getting my first job!"

Overall, Vis' time at UNI, and away from it, have shaped the path she's on today. "I think more than anything, I learned about myself the most."

Students like Vis have benefited from donations to UNI and will continue to for many years to come. For more information on UNIBusiness' Fly Free Program and study abroad opportunities, visit https://students.business.uni.edu/professional-distinction/fly-free-summer-programs

Author

UNI Business

UNIBusiness Editor

UNIBusiness uses a team of writers to conceptualize, develop and share stories and updates with the public. If you have a story idea, an update on an alum or just want to say 'Hi', please email unibusiness.editor@uni.edu.