Champlain seemed like an ideal school. When I was accepted and received a scholarship, it became even more of an option for me. After coming to Vermont for the first time for Accepted Students Day, I really loved it.
I started at Champlain as an undeclared Business student. Of all my business courses, I really enjoyed my accounting classes. They resonated with me because of where I went to high school (Maine School of Science and Mathematics). It seemed like a good career path, especially with the option to double major in Finance. After my first year, I declared a double major in Accounting and Finance.
Accounting and Finance tie into each other a lot. My classes are all specific to accounting and finance. They're math classes, and I love math, but they're more comprehensive and about understanding the numbers. And with summer courses and credit flexibility, I'll be able to graduate in four years rather than five.
A lot of people who graduated last year from the Accounting program worked in the Accounting Lab with me, and they had job offerings set up by second semester of their senior year. They were definitely prepared and had the opportunities to acquire those jobs. I am certain of myself and my capabilities, and I know I'll definitely be prepared for the job market after graduation, too.
Victoria, Accounting & Finance Double MajorHolden, MEROBERT P. STILLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
After trying to decide between majoring in fashion or business, Nyjah found her niche at Champlain...
I had to decide whether I wanted to pursue a career in fashion, or if I wanted to be on the business [side] ... of fashion. I've always had a love for numbers, so I choose to major in Finance. It was weird at first because I never had that [financial] background, but everyone in my major was very welcoming. I don't why it took me so long to realize this when I was trying to pick a major, but now I know this is what I was meant to do. At Champlain, your professors and peers show you how much love Champlain has for your program, and they also make you love it as well.
She has gotten ahead in her field with the Champlain Upside-Down Curriculum...
[Compared to] ... the others business schools I toured, the Robert P. Stiller School of Business was definitely the best, especially since they start us in our major right away. I have friends at other schools, and they're only getting into Accounting and Intermediate Accounting and Financial Management in their sophomore and junior years. I'm able to say that I did that my freshman year. I really love that I'm a step ahead of the game.
Her Core classes have helped change some of her perceptions about the world...
I took Environmental Ethics with Kristin Wolf in my sophomore year, which specifically focused on water. Not only did it open my mind to environmental ethics, but I went on to live a lifestyle where I am GMO free—everything's organic. I check the labels before I eat. I question everything that I am and all the things that I see. Without Core, I don't think I would be able to grow into the financial analyst that I want to be one day.
A few words of advice for future students...
The activities and everything that happens here are what you make of them, whether you wing it or you go in saying, "I'm going to do this."
Nyjah, Finance Major Philadelphia, PAStudied abroad in Shanghai, China and Ifrane, MoroccoROBERT P. STILLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Elijah was set on Champlain...I applied Early Decision to Champlain, it's the only school I applied to. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't gotten in! It has a good business program and I really like the small class sizes. The tight-knit community, the classes, the area, they all make for an overall great college experience.
At first, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do.I think for anyone like me who doesn't really know what they want to do, the Upside-Down Curriculum really helps because you can try things out. I know people that switched from business to film their first year, so it's really good for anyone who wants to try something and work it into their schedule. Before I chose Finance, I took a variety of accounting and finance classes because they're so close together. If I had wanted to switch to accounting or any other business major, I would have been equipped to do so.
Elijah loves the Core... I think Core is really cool. I can honestly say that the professors in the Core are some of the best, they are so good. The teachers are what make the Core. I had one professor, Erik Shonstrom, who is literally the best teacher ever. He just made me want to come to class because I wanted to know what he was going to say. I had a class called Bodies: Dance with him, so we got to try a bunch of different dances like salsa and hip hop. As a sophomore you can pick your classes in Core and really tailor it to your interests. It also made me a better writer, and it's a good complement to the major-specific classes because it's so different. It's different, but sometimes I do end up finding that it ties into my major-specific classes, which is interesting.
His internship gave him confidence...I was an intern at Redstone, a property management and real estate company. It was super cool; it felt like I was actually doing things in the world that mattered. It was a very rewarding experience because I felt like, "Wow, I'm here, I can work for a real company, I can do this and it's not as scary as I thought it would be." It was a nice feeling. I like how Champlain encourages you to do internships because you can really apply what you learn in class. If I hadn't taken the classes, I would not have known nearly as much going into the internship.
He enjoys getting involved on campus...When I got to college, I knew I wanted to get involved. I've been in CHAMP (Champlain Has Activities and Motivational Programming) since my first week here, and I became an Orientation Leader this year. I've also been an RA, and that was really cool. I got to meet a lot of people and the other RAs felt like a family. I play intramural sports, so I play basketball every Tuesday, which is a lot of fun.
There's so many clubs, and so many things you can do to get involved with student leadership. What I've told every first-year I've talked to is, "Just do everything, get out there, try new things. Your college experience is what you make of it, so make the most of it."
On summer in Burlington...I got the opportunity to stay here over the summer and I lived with one of my best friends. Whether it's exploring the area, hiking, swimming, shopping or just hanging out, there's something to do for everyone. We went to North Beach a bunch of times, and there's so many parks around where you can just toss a Frisbee.My friends and I did a sunrise hike, which was like a bucket-list item. We woke up at the three in the morning and hiked Camel's Hump. It was one of the best experiences ever. Another good thing to do is go to the farmers' market, because you really just get a sense of Burlington. Everyone is so happy and eating food together, there's people doing yoga and juggling. You can't go wrong with the farmers' market. No matter where you go, you're getting the Burlington experience. It's hard to explain, it's just Burlington.
Elijah, Finance majorKeene, NHStudied Abroad in Dublin, IrelandROBERT P. STILLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
I was attracted to Champlain because I wanted a small school where I could get to know everyone in my classes and know people across many different circles. I appreciate the opportunity to be with my classmates through a series of classes so we can build stronger connections and get to know each other more deeply. Between that and the residential experience, you get the opportunity to connect with just about everyone on campus, even the professors.
The Finance professors have knowledge and experience in finance that comes from the real world-when professors are talking about a finance concept, they've dealt with it directly in their careers. Professor Fritz Burkhardt is one of the most interesting people I know. For every lesson, he has a relevant, real-life example that really helps you understand how each concept works.
My classwork, which uses mainstream measures of financial success, gave me the grounding I needed to create more qualitative measures of success at my internship at Milk Money in Charlotte, VT. I worked to help investors understand and quantify the value of local investment. Milk Money is doing something very innovative, and my opportunity to work with them and define socially responsible investment criteria was definitely unusual. I think it will help me stand out to future employers.
I'm confident that when I graduate my skills can provide value to an employer. The professors I had brought real-world experience into the classroom in addition to their expertise and life experience. The class experiences, job placement resources and support at Champlain help me feel confident about finding the right employer when I graduate.
Augie, Finance MajorWaterbury, VTROBERT P. STILLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
In my first-year, first-semester class Business and the Entrepreneurial Mindset, we participated in a six-week project called BizCafe, in which we ran a virtual coffee shop and made weekly decisions surrounding the business, including analyzing income statements and balance sheets, hiring and firing servers, setting employee wages, advertising and promoting the business, setting hours of operation and setting prices of menu items.
Not only did my decision-making capabilities improve, but I also started doing a lot of analysis before making decisions. My horizons expanded incredibly in terms of the functional areas, such as accounting, marketing, operations, management and economics.
My internships provided me with a cumulative opportunity to integrate the skills I have learned at Champlain and apply them in a practical setting. For example, the Freeman Foundation Grant allowed me to spend two months in Shanghai, China. There, I interned at meXBT, a FinTech company that operates in a payment service provider industry, while also getting to experience authentic Chinese culture. I was also able to help with the launch of a payment service in Asia, which allows clients to transfer funds internationally via Bitcoin.
My leadership, presentation and teamwork skills have continued to strengthen since then, and I believe these opportunities will help me to apply my analytical skills and business acumen to be successful in the financial services industry.
Zhomart, Finance & Business Administration Double MajorAlmaty, KazakhstanROBERT P. STILLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
When I came to Champlain, I was a Business Administration major; after taking some accounting classes, I realized that I was good at it and had the skillset to double major with Finance. Accounting and Finance allows me to learn a lot and gives me skills that will position me well for any career in business.
If I choose to go into finance or pursue the CPA exam, I'll be more than prepared to go into either field because of what I've learned at Champlain. Also, with the credit that I brought in, I can reach the 150 credit hours needed to sit for the CPA exam within four years.
One of the best things about the double major is that the parallels between Accounting and Finance. The courses are structured in a way that really highlights where Accounting and Finance overlap, and the course materials also spill over into some of the Business Administration and Marketing courses.
The double major also positions you for the best possible career opportunities. Even if you don't sit for the CPA exams, you'll have this great foundation of accounting and finance that allows you to do well in any business career. I've already learned so much that when I enter the job market I'll be positioned to be a good asset for any company.
Jeffrey, Accounting & Finance Double MajorFarmington, NY ROBERT P. STILLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS