Starting as a class project, JEE Foods has grown immensely and is established as a fully operating 501c3 nonprofit. While discussing the organization, Levi stressed the importance of having that first person to believe in your idea. One might expect a high school teacher to be his "first person"; when asked who his “first person” was, Levi responded with the United Nations, saying it so nonchalantly that it was almost hard to believe. While the team has their financial support, the company is entirely run by college and high school students.
According to Levi, the FYIC courses have helped him fully understand business concepts in the real world. While he was operating a business before, he claims he was just learning along the way. Now, he has concrete knowledge of how to approach his position as assistant director. Another concept that has been extremely beneficial was how to cross-manage. Seeing as the classes are intertwined, he has been able to intertwine the departments of his company similarly. Going forward, Levi hopes to expand operations across multiple states.
Don’t fret next time your parents ask you to mow the lawn. Just hire this FYIC student!
Founded six years ago, RC Mowing is a mowing and landscaping company based in Dublin, OH. Connor Andrews, a co-founder, is currently in the FYIC and is studying Marketing.
When Connor was just in 7th grade, he and a buddy decided to mow their neighbors’ lawns for some extra cash. Little did he know, it would expand to a 10-household clientele with occasional side jobs. By the time he was a sophomore in high school, Connor was able to buy his own riding mower and trailer with the money he made from the past summers’ work. This was also the year he began marketing through NextDoor - a neighborhood app to keep residents in the know.
When he is not checking up on MarketGames, he is overseeing his business back home. Other than his brother, his main channel of communication is email. According to Connor, BUS102 has immensely improved his overall business communication skills when it comes to communicating with his clients, or potential clients, by teaching him how to maintain professionalism, establish goodwill, and recognize the rhetoric behind the email.
After this year, Connor plans on passing down the business to his little brother, while occasionally overseeing the business. If your family or friends are located in Dublin, OH and are looking for a landscaper, contact RC Mowing at firstname.lastname@example.org
When this FYIC student isn’t carving it up on the ice, she’s filming others doing just that.
Emmy Garcia, a first-year student studying information technology and film studies, founded EAP as a senior in high school. EAP is a video editing company that spotlights athletes, models, and friends. Although video editing just started as a hobby for Emmy, many viewers were catching on to her talent and began sending edit requests. Since high school, Emmy has gained numerous followers and clients, including some from Canada.
Before coming to Miami, Emmy decided to put EAP to the side and focus on her education and athletics. However, she says that ESP 103 with David Eyman made her realize that her business can become much more than just a side gig. Emmy also stated that she is extremely grateful for the business communication skills that she has developed in BUS102, seeing as most of her clients communicate with her via Instagram DM or email.
Going forward, Emmy is hoping to film in other industries, like concerts at bars in uptown Oxford. For some of Emmy’s edits, she even uses her own music that she produced through High Street Records. Along with EAP, she hopes to develop her music production skills during her time at Miami.
Check out Emmy’s videos or request an edit on her Instagram @hockeytm !
Meet Keagan, our student spotlight of the week! Keagan is a finance major from Dallas, Texas. On campus, he plays intermural basketball and is a member of the multicultural society for business majors.
Keagan’s favorite class at Miami is his Acting class – he enjoys doing improv and loves that the teacher has created a really light environment to the class. Within the First Year Integrated Core, Keagan BUS101. He attributes much of his enjoyment of the course to his professor, Gary Oliphant who brings with him both an energetic and humorous approach to teaching with very a tangible business sense. Keagan acknowledges that BUS101 will serve a strong core and foundation to his learning in the business space from here on out.
Thus far, the biggest learning from the FYIC has been working with people from diverse backgrounds, with differing personalities and ways of approaching problems. Team work is critical and it’s exciting to see how people approach problems through so many different lenses. The First Year Integrated core truly offers students an opportunity to experience these things from Day 1.
Fifth Third has asked Miami’s students to think about how they can create a better experience for traditionally underserved groups in banking and Keagan is excited and ready to tackle the charge with him team. From researching, understanding the data, and ideating, these next few weeks will keep Keagan and his team busy as they tackle this dynamic charge from Fifth Third. He’s most passionate about bringing Fifth Third a meaningful solution that will have a tangible impact on individuals.
For future students, make sure you’re organized! Be detail oriented. The FYIC is a process that builds up to something and being diligent early will pay off in the long run. From public speaking to organization, team work and beyond, the FYIC will set you up for success both here at Miami and beyond!
Thanks Keagan for sharing your passion for the FYIC with us and stay tuned for the next Student Spotlight!
Meet Molly – a freshman finance major in the First Year Integrated Core! Outside of the Farmer School of Business, Molly enjoys her Anthropology course where she has an opportunity to learn about cultural diversity in the United States. She reflects on the fact that this course is an outlet from her business courses and it gives her a different mindset and way to approach problems. Within the First Year Integrated Core, Molly’s favorite class is ESP103. She attributes her love of the course to her professor, David Eyman and to the new ways of thinking she has learned. She finds the environment to be engaging and fun – being creative is something you don’t always have the explicit opportunity to do in school.
Thus far, in the First Year Integrated Core, Molly has learned about the importance of time management. She has learned how to manage work and stay on top of things. Beyond that, successful team work is critical in the FYIC. From the beginning of the semester through the client challenge, team work is the glue that holds these four courses together.
Molly’s advice for future students in the FYIC is to embrace it! You might not understand why everything is the way it is at first, but she suggests that students trust the process. The awesome team of faculty have researched and worked hard to develop a curriculum that fosters student success. Everything is done for a reason. More than that, become friends with the people in your classes. You have a unique opportunity to learn from students all around the country and they bring with them unique and diverse perspectives. Lean into those and enjoy the process because it’s such a big part of all that we do in business.
Molly really enjoys her team and is excited to dive into the client challenge. She’s ready to start ideating and developing solutions for Fifth Third and is excited to deepen her relationship with her team throughout the process. Good luck Molly!
Meet current F.Y.I.C. Student Samuel Wenger from Cincinnati, Ohio! Samuel is majoring in Finance and is working towards a minor in Political Science. On campus – he keeps busy as he is currently pledging on of FSB’s Business Fraternities, Delta Sigma Pi, and plays on the Miami Club Lacrosse team. He has been enjoying the semester and acclimating to life as a Miami student.
Samuel’s favorite class at Miami is American Politics & Diversity. He enjoys this Honors course because he is consistently having open and engaging discussions and continues to consider how he can be involved in the political sphere. Like many other students in the First Year Integrated Core, Samuel has found a lot of value in ESP103 – the core’s Creativity and Innovation course. He has found that the course gets him to think in new ways and that the concepts he is learning can apply to every field and career.
We are just past the mid-term point in the semester and thus far, Samuel reflects back on his ability to apply his foundational knowledge in a business setting. Transitioning from high school to a first semester college student, there have been plenty of opportunities to challenge, grow, and connect-the-dots on a wide variety of learning opportunities. The First Year Integrated Core offers a truly wholistic approach to transitioning students into the business mindset and these foundational elements will transfer throughout the next four years for students.
Samuel’s Advice for Fellow Students:
Plan out your time well – In class work typically lines up as these courses are integrated. Have an understanding of what’s going on for the week and plan accordingly. Especially if your projects have group components, plan ahead.
Find something the allows you to take a step away from the academics – Even though school should always be a priority and especially in the FYIC, your collective work is very important, you need to find some time away from those things and invest in on other outlets. For Samuel, that was lacrosse! Take the opportunities to have fun in college too!
With the rest of the semester in front of him, Samuel is most looking forward to the client challenge. Having the opportunity to work with a real client and with real data while in a small team setting truly mirrors the way real business professionals are solving complex business problems.
Thanks for tuning in and learning a bit about our Student Spotlight this week! Stay tuned for even more featured students and their insights to come!
This week, our Student Spotlight features Cortlin Morris, a first-year student from Dallas, Texas! Cortlin is an active and engaged part of Miami’s campus community as she is really involved with YoungLife College where she is in-training to become a leader. She is also involved with IGOODEA, an organization dedicated to developing the creative skills of its members so not only do they learn creativity, they live it!
Cortlin’s favorite FYIC classes is BUS102. She has enjoyed learning how to communicate effectively and professionally. Making the transition from writing for quantity and length in high school to writing in a concise yet meaningful way has been key!
Half-way through her semester in the First Year Integrated Core, Cortlin reflects on the importance of time management. By leveraging faculty office hours, fellow classmates, and peers, you are able to build a diverse network of support to help you throughout your time in the FYIC and beyond. She has also enjoyed making the transition from learning about business concepts to applying them in a real-life setting. Investing in those areas that might not immediately be easy is a sure way to stay ahead of the curve and to continue challenging yourself to learn, grow, and personally develop.
When asked what she is looking forward to most in the FYIC, Cortlin shares her excitement towards working on the client challenge. Taking everything both she and her team have learned thus far, she is excited to put all of the pieces together and tackle the challenge holistically. She is also curious to see how other teams will approach the challenge as it’s unique to see so many innovative solutions to the same key problem manifest throughout this opportunity.
Meet Harrison! Harrison is a first year Economics major from just outside of Chicago. On campus, he is involved with the ASG Funding & Audit committee. He also admits to spending a lot of time studying and preparing to do well in his classes!
Harrison’s favorite class in the First Year Integrated Core is ESP103 – Creativity & Innovation. He enjoys the class as it is so different from any other classes he has taken. He knows that the skills he is learning are relevant and important to his future career in business!
Most importantly, Harrison sees the First Year Integrated Core as providing him a solid base and foundation for both his time here at Miami and beyond. From high-level presentation skills to introductory coding with SQL, Harrison is building a tool-kit of valuable skills that we know employers are looking for.
When reflecting on his time in the FYIC thus far, Harrison advises other current students in the First Year Integrated Core to be as involved as possible. If you dive into the classes looking to get an experience, you will be much more successful than if you are just looking to get an “A”. You get out of the FYIC what you put in!
We can’t wait to see how the client challenge goes for Harrison and his team at the end of the semester! He’s excited by the opportunity to work with Fifth Third and he’s ready to continue learning and growing throughout the process this semester.
Meet Lily! Lily is a sophomore Marketing and Entrepreneurship double major from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is involved with PSE, a professional business fraternity, the founder of AWE, Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship, and serves as an ASG Student Senator on campus.
Her favorite class in the FYIC was ESP103. It has impacted her ability to be creative both personally and professionally. Through that experience, she has been able to explore how to grow her personal brand, her leadership, and her forward-thinking skills -- accepting and embracing ambiguity is now very familiar to her!
Lily met her two best friends in her 8:30 a.m. ESP103 class last year. Beyond that, Lily attributes her respect for personal responsibility, initiative, and problem-solving skills to her experiences in the First Year Integrated Core. She recommends that First-Year students take advantage of the opportunity to work together in diverse teams. She stresses the importance of being open-minded towards people that think differently and share unique values separate from your own.
With the opportunity to give back to the FYIC, Lily has taken initiative to serve as an FYIC Undergraduate Associate this semester in ESP103 with Professor Elizabeth Troy. She enjoys the opportunity to mentor students, develop a deeper understanding of in-class concepts, and have fun!
Thank you for learning a little bit about Lily! Stay tuned for our next Student Spotlight!
Rachel Cleveland is in pursuit of the Miami Experience. As a sophomore Supply Chain Management major with a minor in Spanish, she is wholly focused on not only reaching her end goal of a degree from Farmer School of Business, but also on fully utilizing the wide range opportunities that Miami provides its students to grow. When describing what drew her to Miami she said that “As a student originally from northern Minnesota, I still find myself frequently explaining to people that I don’t go to school in Miami, Florida. I heard about the university from an upperclassman friend and after touring, fell in love with the sense of connectedness. The importance of networking, global exploration, curious questioning, and personal growth are at the forefront of all that Miami does. It’s not just a statement, its tangible actions that affect students in a very real, positive, and meaningful way. I know this value will carry through long after I graduate.”
With that experience comes a wide array of classes that are meant to widen students’ perception and understanding of the world, while also creating skills that will drive them to become leaders in their respective fields. Rachel says that her favorite so are MUS 135: History of Jazz and BUS 102: Business Communication “As someone with a passion for listening and understanding jazz music, Dr. Kernodle brought a Miami Plan class (MUS 135) alive in a really meaningful way. Lecture was engaging and she asked students to connect with music in a bold way, coming to class was exciting because you never knew what the day would offer. BUS 102 [was] perhaps most rewarding as a first-year student is learning how to write and achieve success at a collegiate level. Transitioning from high school to college expectations is challenging no matter your background and BUS 102 prepared me in incredible ways to both access the FYIC program and the rest of my academic courses successfully. [BUS] 102 asks you to assess audience, situation, and context to analyze and respond to real world situations. No matter what career field you end up in, this is a critical skill.”
Currently working as an Undergraduate Assistant for BUS 101: Foundations of Business in the First-Year Integrated Core, she says that “Since finishing the FYIC program, I found myself wanting to stay involved with the evolution of the program…I genuinely see the value in the opportunity FSB is providing to students and hope to see its continued success. The FYIC program introduces students to the Farmer School of Business and the quality of work expected from students. You will learn to appreciate what your professors expect out of you as they are training you to be a globally minded, critically thinking student ready to contribute in an ever evolving world. The program allows you to establish yourself, begin to denote what interests you versus what doesn’t, and form meaningful connections with faculty that will help make the rest of your Miami experience exceptional.”
Speaking of her own experience in the FYIC Rachael said “The FYIC program challenged me. It was the first class that I’d ever taken where I knew I would be good at some things and challenged in others. Learning where I fit in as a leader was critical in assessing where I could utilize those strengths or rely on others to help me learn and grow. Especially for a very type-A person like myself, this program encourages you to let go, accept that failure is a critical component of future success, and embrace teamwork as a communal process towards an outlined end goal. A semester later, I still find myself reflecting on the skills learned from the program. Both in respect to challenges and successes, there is plenty to take away and apply to internships, other classes, or personal leadership styles. Most universally perhaps was the FYIC’s ability to focus on the importance and necessity of communication in a raw way. Working in teams of individuals that likely differ from you in style, priorities, and work ethic; it is critical to take note of where strengths lie and communicate, repetitively if need be, the end goal and timelines for meeting such a goal. Teams that are open yet firm with one another, collectively understand the end goal, and challenge one another to be the best are the teams that will succeed.”
When considering the long term impact of the FYIC Rachel said that “Before the FYIC program, I didn’t have a firm grasp on what it meant to be a business major – it seemed general and all encompassing. As the process evolved, you could clearly see and define where parts of the program would clearly appeal to individuals interested in each sector and area of business. The FYIC program was like a puzzle and each discipline had their own piece to contribute. It helped clearly define the importance of process, communication, collaboration, and integration across fields and offered a much clearer insight to the business process. I know for a fact that I have become a better communicator and team member as well as a team leader. The program encourages leadership as well as mindful participation and I think both leading and listening are critical components to successful business leadership. Additionally, the opportunity to see so many different ideas and solutions for the challenge is so exciting as it shows there are countless ways to think about a problem and that each individual team brands themselves and their solution as “the best.” It makes me hopeful to know that in an often turbulent world, there are so many bright individuals and bright ideas willing to challenge the status quo.”
Rachel describes what she likes best about the FYIC. “The FYIC challenged me in countless ways. The first being, quality management. Everything that gets turned in needs to be substantive and representative of your team, in its entirety, to the highest caliber possible. Taking shortcuts doesn’t fly because others are depending on the quality of your work. However, this notion is reciprocal. Just as your teammates depend on you, you depend on them to turn in the same manifestation of work. I now carry with me an increased importance and value placed on team collaboration and communication for the sake of turning in the highest quality work possible. Working for a major client proved Miami’s dedication to providing students with tangible and real experiences. There was an expectation of excellence and a standard to be met and this standard and association with Miami and the greater business world will continue to challenge and encourage students to be forward thinking, young business leaders fueled by integrity.”
Turner Rollins, a Marketing major in the Class of 2020, is on a path to success. As a First-Year Integrated Core (FYIC) student in the fall of 2016, Turner believes, “the FYIC impacted my college career by giving me a taste of the real business world.” He expresses that this is a rare opportunity for people his age as “young students get to make a presentation that has the potential to make a difference in the business world. It can be very empowering to give first year students this much freedom and trust.” Turner says that learning how to work with ambiguity is the most valuable asset he gained from his time in the FYIC. “Like most students coming from high school, I was very used to rigid guidelines in my classwork. Not having that was very daunting at first, but I eventually learned to find it liberating to have the freedom to go wherever I wanted to with the project.”
Working with First-Year Integrated Core faculty, Turner is currently working on a research project studying successful traits of inter-team dynamics. He credits the Farmer School of Business and the First-Year Integrated Core for aiding him through this process by arming him with different approaches to new problems. What sparked Rollins’ interest in inter-team dynamics was his own experience. “It taught me a lot about time management and changed the way I viewed teamwork.” The final client challenge project “helped me, and my team, figure out how to use each member’s skill sets to produce the best results. When conflicts arose we had to learn to stick together and move forward as a unit because the teams weren’t changing but the way we worked could.”
Turner’s advice for incoming students is to “stay open to change, learn to incorporate every team member’s ideas, and focus on making the best solution for the Client Project. I would also urge other students to start their own projects, there’s people and resources here to help you if you ask.”
Reaching for the stars is an everyday occurrence for Madeline Falknor (Marketing, 2020). As a Marketing sophomore, Madeline has already started her own business, Madeline & Company, and has been featured in Oprah Magazine. Last year Madeline was a part of the First-Year Integrated Core’s winning team of the fall Client Challenge for Kroger. Recounting her experience in the program Madeline said "The FYIC program really provides a strong base for the rest of the business courses FSB students will take. Learning about a four different areas of business helps students understand how everything ties together. For FSB students to be well-rounded and ready for the real world after college, they need to be flexible and know about other areas of business beyond their major to best solve problems in their career."
When asked about what she valued out of her time in the FYIC she replied, “One of the most valuable skills I learned during this program was the importance of time management with a team. Between 8 credit hours for the program of work and a huge client project, there sometimes is what seems to be an endless amount of work to do for just one program. My team and I learned how to prioritize tasks by creating a semester calendar and weekly to-do list so we could be the most productive in our limited time together.”
When reflecting upon the fall 2016 Client Challenge Madeline stated that “I was surprised that we would be able to work with clients and real data the first year in FSB! I figured that client work would be at least junior or senior year, so I liked that we were given real world problems during my first year in FSB. The Client Project helped me grow as a student in several ways. Beyond just typical learning in the classroom, I was able to combine information from several classes into one project. Skills like teamwork, public speaking, professionalism are all skills I learned that are applicable to future courses and jobs. Although it was a difficult and challenging client project, it was rewarding to be able to see the client like your presentation and solution. My team and I won the FYIC fall semester competition. It was so rewarding to see all of our work pay off at the end!”
When asked about the strategy that her team used Madeline said that “One of the best decisions my team and I made at the beginning of the semester was to schedule three weekly team meetings. Every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday night we would get together at the same time and same place to work. Regardless of whether or not we had any assignments due, we met to brainstorm, research, and work ahead. Even if we had gotten everything done, we would go even just to hangout; we became such great friends and ultimately worked better together because we had taken the time to get to know one another and figure out strengths and weaknesses of each individual. Similar to how a class time is scheduled, we knew we had to be at those meetings on time and ready to work each week, which helped us focus and accomplish our goals.”
After being asked about the overall impact of the FYIC on her view of the business world and college as a whole Madeline answered that “Before this program I dreaded public speaking and presentations. They would make me so nervous, and I never felt confident. With the help of BUS 102, I was able to practice public speaking in a comfortable space and improve with the help of my peers providing lots of feedback. By the time the final presentation in front of a few hundred people came around, I felt confident in my presentation and public speaking skills that I wasn’t too nervous. I have to admit that while it is still is not my favorite thing to do, public speaking has gotten so much easier for me. It is such a valuable skill to have in an aspect of the business world.”
For what advice she would give to incoming students Madeline said “After watching lots of presentations, my team and I found that presentation was everything. One team might with an average idea but great presentation might do better than a team with a great idea but average presentation. You have to sell what you are presenting! Put the time in and practice until it is polished!”
Currently Madeline is attending classes and is also continuing her involvement in the FYIC by being an Undergraduate Assistant for BUS 101: Foundations of Business with Dr. Drew Marsherall and is looking forward to a great semester.