Noah Barnett '22, management, is the chair of Romain College's Student Advisory Board (SAB). The Romain College's Student Advisory Board provides support and advice on matters of interest to the College, its faculty, students and external constituents. Here Noah talks about his experience as a student at USI and Romain College and as a board member of SAB.
What makes USI and the Romain College of Business special to you?
USI, like for so many others, has become like a second home to me. The people I've met, the faculty I've studied under and the experiences I've had at USI have helped me grow as a person and make me feel very comfortable here. As for the Romain College of Business, ever since I started attending USI, I had a special connection to the RCOB. The professors, staff and peers I've met through the College of Business have been some of my favorite people to work and collaborate with.
What are some of your favorite classes at Romain College and why?
I've enjoyed so many courses at Romain College that it's difficult to narrow it down. If I had to choose a couple, I would choose Business Law with Dr. Jill Oeding, Global Economics Issues with Dr. Daria Sevastianova, and Business Communication with Dr. Cindi Clayton! In all three of those courses, I learned so much that has really stuck with me into my personal and professional life. Each course taught me new skills and ways of viewing the business world around me! Also, the professors always worked very hard to make sure their students understood complex subjects and made coming to class exciting.
Why did you choose your current major?
I chose Management because I have a passion for working with others. Ever since I first started attending high school, I found that working in groups, collaborating and managing interpersonal connections in a professional setting was something that I really enjoyed doing. This combined with advice from multiple mentors throughout USI led me to the decision to pursue a degree in Management!
What has surprised you about college?
For me, I've been surprised by how willing most of my professors have been to work with students on a personal basis to ensure their success. So many people always seem to have horror stories of professors or faculty from their days in college, but I've rarely experienced a negative interaction with most of my professors throughout the University.
What are some of your favorite spots on campus and why?
Of all the places to hang out and study on campus, the Quad has to be my favorite spot. The community of students from all walks of life and with all sorts of perspectives that are always gathered in the Quad is something I think is very special. Also, the Quad is nice regardless of the season, which I find special. I also love the various study rooms scattered around the Romain College of Business, since they offer a laid back and quiet place to work on assignments and collaborate with peers.
What advice do you have for incoming freshmen? What do you wish you had known?
I wish I would have fully understood the value of getting involved on campus. As a nervous and shy freshman, I hesitated to put myself out there, and didn't do so until much later in my college career. But I find it to be super important to feel connected to USI and the people there to make sure you're getting connected where you're able.
Do you have a strategy for staying focused when the demands of school, work, etc. seem overwhelming?
For me, I find that it's easiest to stay focused amid all the obligations of life by setting goals. Whether that's aiming to make the Dean's List, to pass a class that's giving you trouble or to maintain a specific work-life balance. Setting goals and benchmarks throughout the semester has always helped me to stay focused and motivated to do my best.
Who is your mentor?
I would say that I have two mentors, really, within USI. One of my mentors is a member of faculty, and one is a peer. My faculty mentor must be without a doubt Mrs. Renee Rowland, Director of Advising for the College of Liberal Arts. She has always lifted me up and inspired me to do my best and to pursue my passions with my education and has been a calming force any time I've gotten to meet with her. As for my peer mentor, a friend I've known for many years (and the Vice Chair of the Student Advisory Board), Thomas Busche has been someone who has consistently challenged me to be a better student and encouraged me to be involved with the University.
As your organization’s president/chair, what are some things you hope to achieve?
Like our previous chair, Reid Edwards, I hope to bring awareness and to continue to grow this relatively new organization. I want students of the Romain College to know they have access to a board dedicated to connecting them to the faculty and College itself. I also want students of the Romain College to feel that they too can take part in bridging that gap for other students by pursuing being on the board themselves.
What made you decide to pursue being an officer of your organization? How has it been different than you expected?
For me, I was encouraged by friends and peers to pursue becoming an officer within the Student Advisory Board. As mentioned previously, I love working with peers and managing projects, so getting to work closely with other members of the board and other officers is something I've always been passionate about. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in everyone's plans, so the transitionary period between Reid and I has been much different than we planned for originally, but it has produced a new challenge for me to learn from.
Tell us more about your student organization and why USI students should get involved with it!
The Student Advisory Board is here to help serve other students of the Romain College in representing them directly, including yourself, to faculty and the College as a whole. It's a wonderful leadership opportunity that can get you really involved in projects, efforts of improving the College, and in maximizing your college experience. It is also an organization that has a low time commitment element for general board members, since aside from initiatives, we only have four official meetings throughout the year!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Truthfully, I don't know where I will be in five years. However, I'm confident that with time and effort, I will discover my passion within the field of management and will be able to pursue a large array of opportunities. I also hope to continue to grow Avalon Studios, a videography business that I own and run with a close friend.