SOAR Dinner Comments – July 13, 2022
Dean David Meinert, College of Business
Good evening and welcome to Missouri State University.
Please put your hand up if this is the first time you have visited the Missouri State campus. Thank you, I hope you have enjoyed your first visit and seeing how much Missouri State has to offer.
Parents, please put your hand up if you are a Missouri State alum. Thank you, alums, it is great to see you with the next generation of Bears. At last week’s SOAR Dinner, I had the opportunity to visit with a second-generation Bear whose daughter will be joining us in the fall.
I know it has been a long day, so I will keep my remarks short.
While I come to you tonight as the Dean of the College of Business, I can assure you that what I share reflects the thoughts and sentiments of the other academic deans, their faculty and staff, and for that matter everyone on the MSU Springfield campus who helps support our students.
When students and their families select Missouri State, we are truly honored. And we are committed to helping all of our students succeed both in- and outside the classroom.
Students, many of you will be “pedal to the metal” this fall and sail through your first semester and possibly first year with no issues. Others will hit a few speed bumps or challenges along the way… and I want to assure you this is normal and not all bad, as you will face challenges later when you go on to graduate school, start your careers, change jobs, etc.
The challenge for Deans, Department Heads, Faculty, Advisors, and others on campus is we do not always know who is struggling or needs our help. So, I want to assure you that the resources are in place to help you succeed.
- If you need help with your schedule or classes you will have access to advisors, faculty, department heads, and deans.
- If you are struggling with a class, the Bear Claw, located in the Library, can help with tutoring. And in some cases, colleges including the College of Business provide additional tutoring services.
- If you are looking for a part-time job on campus or off campus, Student Employment is there to assist.
- When you are ready to search for an internship or full-time position our Career Center staff is ready to help you with your resume and interview preparation.
- When you need to recharge your batteries, we have great recreation facilities for working out, intramural leagues if you like to compete, and athletic teams to support.
- And if you are ever having health or mental health challenges, we have an excellent campus health center – Magers Health and Wellness Center. The care they provide is outstanding which is why both my wife and I see Mager’s primary care physicians as did our two children.
You will often hear that BEARS CARE. If you need help, all you need to do is reach out. If you are unsure of whom to contact, you can always contact one of the academic deans. We do not have all the answers, but we always know who to contact to get students the help they need.
Students, I hope each of you has dreamed about where your degree and careers may take you. If the success of our alumni is any indication the SKY IS THE LIMIT.
This is my 32nd year as a BEAR. While I have seen tremendous changes in Higher EDUCATION, there has been one constant – the success of our graduates.
Earning a college degree is a tremendous investment and one of the biggest in terms of time, talent, and treasure (for tuition, fees, housing, and textbooks) students and their families will make… so I hope each of you is already thinking about how to maximize your ROI – return on investment.
While return on investment is taught primarily in the College of Business it is relevant to everyone one of our majors.
For some of you the return on your degree will be in the form of admittance to law school, medical school, or graduate school. For others, the return will come from being in the ROTC program and becoming an officer in the U.S. Army when you graduate. For others, it will be measured in the knowledge, skill, and experience you need to start and advance in your professional careers.
Regardless of your goal, I would like to share just a few thoughts on how you can maximize your return.
- Invest in your grades – employers and graduate/professional schools are looking for good grades and not just as measure of what you have learned. Good grades demonstrate your willingness to get up for 8 am classes, work hard in all classes (not just the ones you like), complete team projects when another team member drops the ball, follow directions, and much more. Everyone has potential but it is worth little if you do not demonstrate that you can perform. Treat school like a job with a set schedule to study and the grades will take care of themselves. There will still be time for socializing, work, and other pursuits.
- Invest in Extracurricular activities – Residence Hall Association, Student Government, Greek System, or one or more of the many Missouri State student organizations aligned with your major. Your grades are important; however, employers and others need to know you can work well with others.
- Secure an internship – related to your chosen career path. Think about internships early and often. For some majors there are internships after freshmen year, but for most they occur after your sophomore or junior year. Employers look for students with internship experience and graduates often receive higher salaries if they have had one.
- Seek out leadership opportunities – there are many opportunities, you can lead class projects, serve as an officer in a student organization, lead a student competition team, or work part time in a supervisor role on or off campus.
If you follow this advice, you will successfully build a resume that will help you get the position you really want, acceptance to graduate school, or admission to medical school, law school, etc.
Last, but certainly not least, have fun! Make new friends! And create some great Bear Memories!
Thank you! We look forward to seeing all of you in the fall.