CSUF campus walkwayBeginnings are the way everything starts in the world, whether it’s with school, a relationship, a new job or anything in between. Being a beginner is different for everyone. When doing something for the first time, there may be feelings of hesitation and fear of failing at the task, leading to not starting it at all. So, what are some ways to ease yourself into starting the process? Puttylike mentions a few tips on how to be a beginner:

Focus on Doing a Little Often

Small steps every day are easier than trying to complete a project nonstop for hours. You can dedicate more time to learning about each step, which will result in a better understanding of the task in the long run. Working slowly also relieves the pressure of deadlines and allows for a discovery-based experience versus just crossing it off the to-do list. The consistency of working in increments will build a good habit allowing for effective retainment of the task.

Be Gentle With Yourself

Trying something new is inevitably going to come with frustration due to a lack of knowledge. You have to remind yourself that you are still going through the process and doing your best to get it done. The expertise and skill will eventually be learned if you keep at it; so, being good to yourself during the rough patches is very important. Self-care doesn’t pause when you take on a new challenge.

Keep a Journal

Depending on what the task relates to, you may want to keep a record of the good and the bad days during your journey. If it is starting a new business, you can reflect on your mistakes and document the wins as they come. Even with a new skill you can say what worked the best and what didn’t to potentially teach someone else. This will also give you motivation to keep at your skill, as you will be writing it down consistently and have a record of your progress.

Share the Experience

Support is a major factor in succeeding in life. Seek advice or help from those around you while you navigate this new experience; chances are, they may have some valuable insight you may have not known about. At the same time, taking photos and posting about it may inspire you to keep going on the days that are difficult and those around you hype up your progress.

Celebrate the Small Wins

Did you finally figure out part of that skill that you were struggling with? A small celebration would be a great way to motivate you to continue. These small steps will add up eventually to the final result, so celebrating successes large and small is important. Get some close friends together, unwind with your achievement and get ready to keep at it with the next step.

Reminding yourself that everyone starts off somewhere is a great way to take that first step. Believe in yourself and your capabilities to learn something new. You never know until you try.

CSUF Delta Sigma Pi chapter

CSUF Delta Sigma Pi chapter

Cal State Fullerton business students in the university’s chapter of the Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity are celebrating three awards received this fall from the fraternity’s national headquarters encompassing financial operations, professional activities and overall outstanding chapter status. The awards were announced on the Delta Sigma Pi website in October.

“To win numerous awards is a testament to the chapter’s overall excellence,” wrote Megan Allen, communications specialist at the Delta Sigma Pi national headquarters in Oxford, Ohio.

Earning the awards during the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to virtual learning makes the achievement even more remarkable.

The CSUF chapter netted the R. Nelson Mitchell Outstanding Collegiate Chapter Award, a regional accolade for chapters that best promote the aims and ideals of the fraternity through actions and activities; the Outstanding Professional Activities Award, bestowed at the regional level to chapters that plan and implement the most effective professional development program; and the regional Outstanding Financial Operations Award, given for best fundraising and financial management.

Founded in 1907, Delta Sigma Pi is among the largest co-ed business fraternities in the United States, with more than 260,000 initiates.

a frazzled student sits as a desk

Photo by Timmy Harris

Stress is present in our everyday lives, whether it be with school, work or other commitments. We either thrive or sink with being busy, so stress plays a vital role to keep us in check. We do have to consider, though, are we romanticizing having a fully packed day where we get little to no sleep and no food breaks? Too much stress is known to cause a variety of health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and anxiety to name a few (National Institute of Mental Health). It is important to understand your own limitations, especially when it comes to your own life schedule.

A story from Fullerton’s YOU website mentions Lucy Barnum, a college student, with her experience dealing with comparing her stress to her peers and how it affected her. She mentions, “the more stressed you are somehow proves you are more successful in school.” This thought process not only creates a large amount of pressure on students, but also contributes to the never-ending cycle of comparisons. When a student is proud to mention that they are getting three hours of sleep, it’s an indicator of an overwhelming amount of stress that is beginning to inhibit sleep and other daily activities. A balance is needed when it comes to school and our personal lives so that we don’t experience burnout.

The American Psychological Association reports that in 2017, 61% of students who seek counseling reported anxiety as their reason for the visit along with depression at 49% and stress at 45%. These high percentages amongst college students underscore the pressure of doing well in school along with all the other commitments we have daily. Most students either work full or part time to support their families, which adds to the list of responsibilities.

Knowing the high percentage of stressed out students and the potential health effects, what can we do to stop romanticizing stress? The simple answer is that it is up to you. No one can change what society believes all at once, so if you take the initiative to break the cycle of overfilling your to-do list, that is already a step in the right direction.

It is extremely important to assess your responsibilities and find where you feel the most overwhelmed. When you find the activity or commitment that makes you the most stressed, examine how that affects you physically. Whether it is a lack of sleep when you complete that task or heightened anxiety, this will provide insight on where you are spreading yourself too thin. In turn, a better understanding the effects of your routine and habits may encourage you to de-romanticize the stress comparison since you will have more awareness of how it is impacting you physically.

At the same time, surrounding yourself with individuals that value balance over burnout is a good way to encourage good stress habits. When you are in a group that is going all the time with no breaks, little sleep and no set meal times, you will inevitably be influenced to do the same. With friends who encourage taking study breaks, going out for lunch sometimes and have good time management, the need to constantly be stressed out will be partially eliminated since there will be no one to compare the high level of stress to.

Overall, romanticizing stress is a detriment to mental health and has long-lasting effects on the body. When taking a look at school, work and other commitments, it should not take up all 24 hours of the day. You should have time for eating, sleeping, breaks, and even just a few minutes for self-care. Life is about balance and less about who is doing more. After all, success is attainable with a balanced schedule, not just by being busy all the time.

Black Intellectual Center mosaic A Black arts institute – a place for intellectual study, a think tank for students of color with creative talents, a spot for senior faculty members and the Black community to mentor students, and a forum for synthesizing African American studies and the arts – was the brainchild of CSUF Associate Professor Natalie Graham.

Her vision recently became reality, as the university’s Planning, Resource and Budget Committee approved the Institute of Black Intellectual Innovation.

Natalie Graham

Natalie Graham

“Our goal is to see students and faculty fellows collaboratively conducting research, centered on assessing and dismantling persistent legacies of institutional, anti-Black racism in higher education,” says Graham, who teaches African American studies. “I see CSUF as a place for Black intellectual development. That’s what we can be known for — increasing achievement. I want people to understand that there’s something happening here. I think developing a cultural, intellectual space is a great step in that direction.”

Graham’s initiative is already attracting support, and Sheryl Fontaine, dean of the CSUF College of Humanities and Social Sciences, has reached out to donors for support. Howard Seller, professor emeritus of English, quickly donated $35,000 to support the institute’s development.

A central space for the institute will be located in the Pollak Library, where Graham envisions an open meeting area for students and faculty, which could also be used for lectures and small events.

Read more in this CSUF News article.

student writing on the Before I Die wallThe annual Before I Die Wall event hosted by the Business Honors Program is officially going virtual this year. The wall reflects hundreds of students from the College of Business and Economics with their dreams and aspirations for the future. Students write goals on the wall for school, career goals or personal endeavors for all their peers to see, bringing the Titan community closer together one goal at a time.

The event first started in 2013 and usually takes place in the SGMH Courtyard, but with virtual instruction, the program will to utilize Padlet to recreate the event with a similar format and sentence starter, “Before I die… ,” on the virtual platform for students to finish the statement.

“The Before I Die wall is a way for students to openly express their thoughts with one another by writing down something meaningful to them,” says the Business Honors program’s Vice President of Engagement Brittney Delgado ’22 (finance). “Although we can’t physically have it in person, it is so necessary to recreate the event virtually because so many students benefit by seeing one another’s thoughts and visions.”

The event will run from Nov. 9 through Nov. 13 on Padlet with a QR code to the wall. A few days before the event, the Career Center will be sending out a link to participate.

About the Business Honors Program

The Business Honors Program is a cohort-based program for core business courses with a structured roadmap for high-achieving students. Honors students also participate in community service, leadership positions, internships, recruiting, and study-abroad opportunities provided by the program. More information is available online

Tonantzin OsegueraAt age 13, Tonantzin Oseguera and her father left Mexico City to be with her mother, who had already come to the U.S., and to seek a better life stateside. As a non-English speaker, life in Southern California was very different for the teenaged Oseguera, who was an undocumented minor in the U.S.

But thanks to a transistor radio, which enabled her to pick up the language by listening to local music stations, Oseguera quickly excelled, becoming an honors student and taking advanced-placement classes at La Mirada High School, and pursuing track and field athletics.

An undergraduate scholarship to attend another CSU – Colorado State University – would change Oseguera’s career trajectory.

Three decades later, she was selected to serve as Cal State Fullerton’s vice president for student affairs, following seven years of leadership with Titan student programs.

Oseguera today leads more than 400 employees and serves about 41,000 students. She’s been a proud and engaged U.S. citizen for 15 years and has worked in academics for two decades.

And it was the challenges and high points of her life that motivated her to pursue student affairs as a career path.

“I experienced both sides of what I refer to as the ‘life-curve’ ‒ events that enhance and elevate you, or that distract and deplete you,” she says. “Year after year, I hear stories from students that sound similar to my own.”

Read more about Oseguera’s story and what she and Student Affairs are doing to improve the Cal State Fullerton student experience and make it more diverse and accessible in this CSUF News article.

current student members of the CSUF sales leadership center Students throughout the Cal State University system will have new opportunities to hone their sales skills thanks to the California State Universities Sales Competition, a collaborative effort between the sales education centers at Cal State Fullerton, Chico State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State Los Angeles.

The inaugural event, scheduled for Nov. 12-13, 2020, as a virtual forum, will be hosted by Chico State and include both individual and team competitions. The top three individual and institutional contestants will be awarded scholarships topping out at $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.

As one of the founding universities, Cal State Fullerton may send 10 student contestants to the competition, and non-founding schools that will also send students will send five. Read More

Anil Puri and Mira Farka

Cal State Fullerton economists Anil Puri and Mira Farka presented their annual economic forecast virtually on Oct. 22. Amidst the uncertainties related to the coronavirus pandemic, they examined the outlook for the national, state and local economies.

As 2020 dawned, economists anticipated a slowdown in economic growth and a possible end to the longest expansion in modern U.S. history. But no one foresaw the unprecedented disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which in the past eight months has cost more than 1 million lives globally and upended economic growth in much of the world.

“As 2020 dawned, even the gloomiest projections could not have foreseen that the world was on the cusp of a global pandemic, much less anticipate the devastation that followed both in human lives and economic costs,” reported CSUF economists Anil Puri and Mira Farka, who presented the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting annual economic forecast on Oct. 22. “The threat of the disease sent governments across the world scrambling for answers. Most resorted to containment measures that involved broad restrictions on movements and daily economic activity, though the severity of the lockdowns varied from country to country.”

These restrictions ranged from the draconian measures undertaken by China, the world’s second-largest economy, to the more muted approach of Sweden, Japan and Taiwan.

No nation has seen as many deaths or cases as the United States, with more than 8 million cases and 220,000 deaths. Still, the U.S. experience must be kept in perspective, according to Puri, provost emeritus and director of the Woods Center, and Farka, associate professor of economics and Woods Center co-director.  Read More

Internships, internships, internships. This is one of the most frequently used words in a college student’s vocabulary and the positions most sought-after during their undergrad careers. From big companies like Google and Facebook to smaller, family-owned businesses, internships provide students on-the-job experience before they graduate. With students and many employers currently working remotely, it is possible for you to effectively apply for these positions in a virtual setting. Here are some ways to maximize your internship search:

Get Organized

It may seem like a no-brainer to be organized, but it is essential to keep track of all your applications and login information. Certain positions may require information (like transcripts or recommendations) that you need time to collect, so writing it down will help you remember. For positions that have various stages, keeping those dates in one place will let you follow up if you move onto the next round. Being organized will also give you peace of mind that all your information for each application is in one place if you need to refer to it again.

Use Your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the major networking platform, and you will find job opportunities, both officially listed and often embedded and shared within personal feed updates. Let’s say you are connected to someone who works at Facebook. If they have an open position, chances are they may post it on their LinkedIn with either a direct link to the application or their email for you to express interest, giving you the opportunity to apply quickly.

Andre Rishi, a Graduate Career Advisor at CSUF College of Business and Economics, mentions that a ‘soft-ask’ can open doors and a ‘hard-ask’ can close them. He suggests that when reaching out to connect with new people on LinkedIn, make a “soft-ask.”

“Always keep in mind that they do not know you or your work ethic. If, for example, you are reaching out to someone who works in an industry that you are seeking to step into, then when you connect with them, do not immediately ask them for a job or take your resume to their manager. This is a “hard-ask”. This person does not know you or your work ethic at this point and there is no trust built between the two of you.

Rather, reach out with a “soft-ask”, such as, “I’d love to know more about your career path in XYZ field” or “I’d love your advice on how a new graduate should approach working in XYZ field”, or “I’d love to know more about the work culture of your company”. These are what we consider a “soft-ask”. What you are asking is not unreasonable and it is easy for them to say “yes” too. A” hard-ask”, if the contact has no relationship with you, is more likely to get rejected and it may be that the connection will no longer communicate with you. A “soft-ask” helps build a relationships and eventually open doors of opportunity for you.”

Ask Your Family and Friends

During this difficult time, businesses may need a helping hand. Maybe a friend of yours has a family business that needs extra help with financial matters or marketing. You can offer to help them out, and in turn, you gain experience for your résumé. While this may not be an official internship, you will apply your classroom knowledge in a real-world setting, which is valuable in the long run. At the same time, you may be more comfortable working with individuals you already know, so you may have less first-experience jitters. Sam La Scala ’22 (Business Major) had that experience and says, “My friendship with [Titan alumna] Rachel Griffin opened a door to my current position at Legrande Corporation. Since she knew my work ethic, and we had worked together in school, I was able to get my foot in the door and show my skills to the company, resulting into an internship when a spot became available.”

Get Some Feedback

While we may say we appreciate constructive criticism, it is still hard to take it, but feedback is essential. Résumés are constantly updated according to your experience and sometimes to the position you are applying to, and having someone review it is helpful for accuracy and readability. There are certain elements to your résumé that you may be personally attached to but may not be the best information for an employer, so getting input from a career advisor, VMock or a friend will aid your editing process. If you’ve written a great cover letter, it is also worth having someone take a second look for some pointers. If you didn’t land a position you applied for, try to reach out and see if they will tell you what to improve in your effort for the next time around.

Join a Club

With more than 300 organizations on campus, a club is a great way to widen your contact list for potential employers. When you join a club that you feel passionate about, you will be more inclined to connect and network – an advisor may have a connection to a company or a peer may be connected to your dream corporation. Organizations also offer leadership opportunities that enhance your résumé, and you will enjoy attending events at the same time, making it a win-win situation.

Be Consistent

There are so many listings for internships, but there may also be rejections. Applying continuously to as many positions as you can will, of course, increase your chances of landing an internship. Applications take time and effort to perfect, so applying to the positions you believe you have a good shot at is the best use out of your time. Reach out to your connections to see if they know of a position opening up, or talk to the career center; there is always something you can do to continue searching for an internship.

Overall, you may not see the fruits of your labor immediately when you begin applying for internships, but you will gain momentum as time goes on. If you aren’t immediately successful, that isn’t to say you didn’t do enough but rather a moment to evaluate what you can improve upon or do differently as you continue applying. Keep at it Titans, you’ve got this!

CSUF accounting student An Thein Le An Thien Le ’21 (accounting) is the recipient of the 2020 CSU Trustee Award for Outstanding Achievement, which honors a student from each of the 23 campuses that make up the Cal State system. It is the third consecutive year that a student from the CSUF Department of Accounting has received the award, which takes into account both achievement and need.

A Vietnamese immigrant, Le moved to the United States four years ago. She is a first-generation college student and has overcome the challenges of learning a new language and balancing a job and her studies, a testament to her work ethic and that of her parents. She is also active as events committee chair for the CSUF chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a senior supplemental instruction leader for the Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, and a certified tax volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

“Accounting provides fun puzzles that urge me to find correct answers through patterns, formulas and connections. Figures in accounting are not only raw data, but they also tell a meaningful story of a company’s health based on accurate analyses of financial statements,” Le tells CSUF News on why she selected accounting as her major.

Le’s goal is to become a certified public accountant at a Big Four firm, and she’s well on her way toward this achievement with a full-time employment offer at Grant Thornton scheduled to begin in fall 2021.

“An Le exemplifies the high caliber of student that our program ‒ which is known for its strong integration of technology, analytics and real world practices ‒ attracts,” says Accounting Professor Vivek Mande, chair of the Department of Accounting. “We are really proud that for three years in a row now, an accounting student has been selected as a winner of the Trustee Award.”

For more on the Department of Accounting, read our articles on CSUF accounting.