This fall, Mara Caldieraro '22 is taking on the role of president of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP). Mara is majoring in accounting and marketing, with a minor in finance. BAP is the international honor society for accounting, finance and information systems students attending universities accredited by the AACSB.
In addition to leading BAP, Mara is active in USI Marketing Club, the Honors Program, the Student Alumni Association, and Eagle Catholic. Take a moment to get to know this student leader.
What makes USI and the Romain College of Business special to you?
The Romain College of Business makes me feel comfortable and welcomed. I always come onto the beautiful campus to decompress. In addition, the professors and staff care about you and love to speak with you. It is fantastic that all of my professors know me by name.
What are some of your favorite classes at Romain College and why?
My favorites classes include Dr. Oeding's business law class and Coach K's (Dr. Kevin Celuch) marketing research class. Even though I do not have much interest in pursuing a career in law, Dr. Oeding made her class interactive and fun. The style in which she delivers the material was perfect for me, and she genuinely cares about her students. I have always had an interest in marketing research, and Coach K did not disappoint. The class was a perfect introductory in something that I could see as my career and Coach K's enthusiasm made me want to come to class every day.
Why did you choose your current majors and minor?
In my business classes in high school, I knew this was the field I wanted to pursue. For my marketing degree, I loved hearing from my mom's friend who works for a food company. She would always ask me and my brothers about box design and flavors of interest. It seemed like a fun job. However, I did not want to only have a marketing major. I took an accounting class in high school and learned I am good at working with numbers, so I added accounting as my double.
What has surprised you about college?
The most surprising thing about college is how many times the fire alarms go off in the dorms, and how much the professors care about you. I anticipated that they would know my name, but many remember details about my life and want to know more.
What school project(s) are you most proud of and why?
My school project that I am most proud of would be my honors capstone focused on marketing research. Coach K and I analyzed data and tested hypothesis. Together we learned how some of the variables in our data set related.
What are some of your favorite spots on campus and why?
I love heights and being outside; therefore, the business balconies are my favorite spots on campus. The second-floor balcony that faces reflection lake is my favorite spot to just take a minute and breathe because it is always peaceful.
What advice do you have for incoming freshmen? What do you wish someone had told you?
My advice it to get to know as many people as you can. Learn the names of people in your class and get their numbers, it is so much better to know you aren't going through a class alone. Learn the names of your favorite staff on campus, my favorite person in the loft left after my first year and I still miss Elsie. Go to office hours and get to know your professor, you would be amazed how much easier it is to go to class once you are friends with your professor. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask anything.
Do you have a strategy for staying focused when the demands of school, work, etc. seem overwhelming?
My suggestion is to give yourself a short break to feel of your feelings. Then pick somewhere either on campus or in your apartment that is your working only zone. No distractions allowed ie never watch videos on your phone in this spot. It helps your brain realize that work needs to be done if you are here.
Who is your mentor?
My mentor has been an ever-evolving role as I change. My mentor back home was a friend of my dads who was the president of a bank in my hometown. He actually convinced me to do accounting. Since getting to college, all my professors and supervisors have mentored me in some way, and I love hearing from as many people as I can.
As your organization’s president/chair, what are some things you hope to achieve?
I hope to bring in speakers that connect with the audience and have the members feel that it was worth it to join the club. In addition, I hope that through our community service we can make an impact on some people's lives.
What made you decide to pursue being an officer of your organization?
I wanted to be an officer because this is an organization that I truly see the benefit of. Through this club I have worked on my social skills enough to get 3 internships at this point. In addition, there has not been a female president of Beta Alpha Psi in a while, and I felt that I could help with adding diversity.
Tell us more about your student organization and why USI students should get involved with it!
Beta Alpha Psi is an Honors Society for those in Accounting, Finance, and CIS. We bring in speakers from the community, and we go out into the community to volunteer. It is an excellent networking club, and it gets your name out to numerous people in the industry.
If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what thing would you do?
I would move somewhere outside the Midwest and try to make a name for myself. I would also like to get my pilot's license.
Published September 2, 2021