This semester was probably the most challenging I have had so far at Appalachian. I finally began to take upper level finance and accounting classes introducing me to a whole new level of difficulty. Now, I am learning more complex topics and going into much more detail than I did in the introductory courses. I was very excited to reach this new level in my academic studies, but it has been challenging to maintain a balance of my classes, club involvements, and social life.
In addition to my studies this past semester, I continued to explore a new leadership role. Last year, I was elected President of the Finance Student Association. It was very unusual for a freshman to be elected to such a high position, and I wanted to be sure that I could prove myself. I spent the year doing my best to initiate reforms of the club. In the past, the President has almost always been a senior, so he or she would not have very much time to create significant and lasting change. I have the unique advantage of being President as a sophomore, which gives me time to make major changes to the club.
I spent the past semester learning the ropes of my leadership role, getting a feel for organizing general membership meetings, recruiting speakers, and managing an executive board. It was very interesting being a peer leader because my fellow students would often look to me for all the answers, even when I was just making it up as I went along. Even though we ran into some problems, our executive team was able to rely on each other to get past the learning curve.
I made quite a few mistakes during my first semester as President, but I am excited to learn from them going forward. I have lots of plans for how I want to run the club next semester and next year, and I think as a second-year President I will be able to hit the ground running. I can’t wait to see what challenges and accomplishments the coming years will bring for the Finance Student Association.
Overall, this past semester was a great start to my second year of college. I can’t believe how much I have changed over the time that I’ve spent here at Appalachian. I have always been an innovator, ever since I was a little kid. I look at a process, or an organization, and I begin to think of how it could be better, stronger, more efficient. I am getting lots of practice honing my skills through my club involvements. I am already being rewarded by seeing lasting change slowly coming about. I hope one day to take these skills and transfer them to a rewarding career. But that is still a long way away. For now, I am content to enjoy my time as a Mountaineer.
Written by: Madeline Hamiter