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Lauren Girard on the Stiller School of Business, Studying Abroad Around the World, and Life in Burlington
Stiller School of Business
Data Analytics and Digital Marketing
Shanghai, China and Dublin, Ireland
What is the best thing about the Stiller School of Business?
I like the community. Everyone knows everyone because of our small class sizes, which creates a close-knit, welcoming community. Plus, I love the professors at Champlain. They know your name, and they're very understanding and kind. I feel like I can stop and ask any of my professors a question and they'll have an answer.
Do you have any plans for study abroad?
I will be traveling a lot while at Champlain. I lived in Shanghai, China the summer after my sophomore year, completing an internship through the Freeman Foundation Grant program. After that, I went to Dublin, Ireland at Champlain's campus for the fall semester. The Office of International Education is a big reason why I came to Champlain. They make studying abroad easy and seamless.
What is like being a student in Burlington, VT?
Burlington is such a great town. Part of choosing Champlain for me was the location. I love watching the sunsets and going to the Church Street marketplace. There's always something to do, because everything is walkable. The whole city and community feels like a part of our campus.
Derrick Blackwell-Hunt on the International Roundtable, Internships, and Quest
Stiller School of Business
Legislative Intern for the Office of Congressman Peter Welch in Burlington, VT
Medical Records Representative at Community Health Centers of Burlington in Burlington, VT
What made you choose your major?
I chose International Business because I want to travel. I love learning about the world, different cultures, and different people. The introductory course that International Business majors take when they first get here really shows you how you're going to be able to interact with different people. I feel like this major is the best at Champlain because it goes with everything.
Are you involved in any extracurricual activities?
I'm pretty involved with the International Roundtable, which is a group at Champlain that offers a safe space for all sorts of political opinions and backgrounds. We structure debates; it's interesting and it works. I feel like we're learning a broader view of why people advocate for certain things.
I also joined Quest, a men of color affinity group. We have different topics to discuss, like a spoken word poem day, where we broke down different poems and how they related to our personal experiences. It was a good support group during my first year—a great family. We look forward to it each week, and we want to team up with other affinity groups around Vermont.
Have you had any internships during your time at Champlain?
Scott Baker, the Dean of the Stiller School of Business, was my Advisor before he became Dean, and he has been a guiding force since I've been here. He gave me tips, sent me to academic coaching, and was really supportive. He was the one who helped me get my internship for the office of Congressman Welch. I enjoyed working with Congressman Welch a lot because he is very human. I attended events with him, like meeting people at the farmers market, getting people's names, corresponding with them, and taking pictures.
Heather Macfarlane on Studying Abroad, Personal Projects, and Campus Resources
Stiller School of Business
International Business and Criminal Justice
What projects have you worked on in classes that you’ve found particularly rewarding or useful?
One of my favorite parts about Champlain is the license professors give students to work on what interests them while staying within the learning objectives. In one of my Core classes, The Global Condition, we were tasked with analyzing one of the global issues that the United Nations is tackling. I chose human trafficking, as that had been an area of interest for me in the past. Through this research project, we were encouraged to find primary research and do interviews rather than just relying on our previous knowledge and secondary data. This helped me gain a broader idea of the local contexts in which human trafficking is seen and deepened my understanding of the topic. By the time the project was finished, I had a topic that I could speak on with information to back up my position and a solid perspective on the overall fight against human trafficking.
Have you had a chance to study abroad?
I was lucky enough to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I could not recommend a better study abroad experience for students. The Champlain team in Dublin is one of the most welcoming groups of people you will meet and they do everything they can to ensure students have the best possible experience abroad.
The Dublin experience is ideal for a few reasons. The number one most important for me was that the cost remained the same. All of the financial aid students receive on campus in Burlington will transfer to their time abroad. Without this, going abroad would not have been a possibility for me. The next reason the Dublin Campus is so amazing is that it provides a home base. Students do their classes Monday through Thursday, enabling them to have three-day weekends every weekend to travel to other countries. This is highly encouraged by the staff and faculty who can offer recommendations and suggestions for most locations around Europe. The last point to make is the utmost excellence brought to the classroom by the Irish professors. They have a worldview and experience that makes even the most mundane of classes seem exhilarating. These professors fit in with the passion that every Champlain professor brings to the table and give students insight into the culture in which they are currently immersed.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found about Champlain?
I was surprised just how much support exists at Champlain. There is support for everything if you ask. There are tutors to help with tricky homework problems, there are RAs to help navigate roommate disagreements, and there are relevant internship opportunities in your inbox almost daily.
My favorite support is the Career Collaborative. They use their immense network to get you into the right office and have you shaking the hand of your future employer. All it takes is an email and they are happy to look over your rèsumè and cover letter. Once they have read through your rèsumè, they will make sure to also send you opportunities that they think would be a good fit for you.