FSB student Orgs Take Center Stage

September 2013

The Farmer School Commons bustled with students and advisors on Wednesday, September 4, some standing at tables, some shaking hands, some taking notes. A steady burble of lively conversation filled the space, along with colorful banners and tables arrayed with informational brochures and computers.

Meet the B-Orgs Night is a meet-and-greet event hosted by the Business Student Advisory Council (BSAC) at the beginning of every fall and spring semester. This event is an opportunity for students from all classes to speak with the executive teams of the twenty-seven organizations and three honor societies that Farmer has to offer and find the best fit for their goals and interests.

Michelle Thomas, Director of Business Organizations and Diversity, is adamant that joining an organization is key to succeeding in college. "Student organizations augment classroom experience," she said. "Learning begins in the classroom, of course, but there has to be a way for students to put their learning into practice outside of that room." And that way, according to Michelle and countless organization members, is to get involved.

One student who is already involved is junior Akilah Walton, President of the Multicultural Business Association. The group was formed as part of a class assignment Akilah was given by none other than President Hodge in her first year at Miami: on paper, create an organization that is not currently on campus. She and another student took the steps to see that it was implemented in reality as well, and she says that the experience has been a rewarding one for her. "Our goal is to give multicultural students an opportunity to be successful throughout their career at Miami and especially the business school," she said. "We offer freshmen opportunities for interpersonal development and also offer mentoring, conferences, and a lot of other activities to help broaden the horizons of the students."

"I think that organizations provide an amazing way for freshmen and sophomores to meet new people, expand their network, and develop experiences to help enhance their college experience," said Melanie Smith, president of the BSAC. "Student organizations are also wonderful ways to gain leadership experience, even as an underclassman."

Alpha Kappa Psi member Maria Minnie also spoke to the benefits of forming professional relationships. "I knew I wanted to form lasting friendships that would help me professionally as well," she said. Maria greeted students with a smile as they entered the Commons. "Before I joined, I didn't feel like I had a tie to Miami or a direction in the business school. Now, my organization gives me both of those things."

Andrew Niekamp, President and CEO of First Miami Student Credit Union, is glad he decided to get involved in the organization when he was a sophomore (he is now a junior). He echoed Michelle's sentiment about real-world experience: "Joining an organization is kind of like joining a company," he said, with emphasis that these experiences were vital to giving students that first taste of what the world outside the college environment is going to be like.

The consensus: being involved is an important part of the college experience, and it can lead to professional—and personal—growth on multiple levels. "My college experience has really been shaped by my involvement," Melanie said. "Each organization I am involved in has defined my college experience in a different way, and I have an amazing circle of friends from each organization. I have also received so much mentorship and guidance from older members in the organizations. I hope now as a senior I am able to give back some of the same advice and encouragement that I received as an underclassman."

For more information about an organization, visit the website at and come to Meet the B-Orgs Night in the spring! For help with interviewing or portfolios, please contact Michelle Thomas at and (513) 529-4236.