The Semester of Achievement

Although I might have had many overwhelming duties, I feel like I have accomplished a lot this semester. I would say my biggest accomplishment was applying and getting accepted into the Bowden Investment Group (BIG). BIG is a group of 10-14 students who learn fundamental financial analysis and manage a portfolio of equities valued at approximately $154,000 owned by Appalachian State. Ever since I learned about it during my senior year of high school, I knew BIG was something I wanted to participate in. I have been to every interest meeting that I could go to since my first year. This semester was finally my opportunity to apply, which I had prepared for by talking to current Bowden members, as well as faculty and staff. Fortunately, I was accepted as one of the 12 members for next year. For the last six or seven weeks of the semester, the rest of the new members and I attended the BIG class for about five hours a week. I learned a lot from their presentations, during which the members of the current class pitched stocks to add to the portfolio. I just finished taking a class over the summer that prepared me for the next year of the BIG, in addition to this, I also worked an internship at Barclays headquarters in New York City.

Aside from Bowden, I was very involved in the Walker College of Business this past Spring Semester. I participated in the Holland Fellows, a program that emphasized teamwork, research and presentation skills. The Chinese students from Fudan spent about 3 weeks in Boone and Washington D.C. with us working on the research project and becoming friends. We presented our research on the future of individual transportation at the Shanghai economic forum which was a very surreal experience.

In addition to my Holland Fellows commitment, I also served as chair of the Outreach Committee for Walker Fellows. I planned and executed the service events for the Walker Fellows program. We had an Adopt-a-Street cleanup, a financial literacy volunteering day at Avery County High School, and a random acts of kindness event for the College of Business community. I am probably most proud of the random acts of kindness event.  My committee and I arranged an event where we gave out free cookies and had students write thank you notes to faculty and staff in the college of business. It actually took a lot of work to publicize the event and to make sure every faculty and staff got a thank you note.

Another service-related event, which I am also very proud of, is the Honors College Formal. I am the president of Appalachian Honors Association, which is the student side of the Honors College. We planned a second-chance-prom type of event for the Honors College. It was held in the student union, we had catering, decorations, props and a picture booth, paper plate awards, and senior thesis awards. As an “entrance fee,” we requested everyone bring a $3 or toiletry donation for OASIS, a non-profit serving people who have been through domestic abuse and violence. It took about 6 months to plan the entire event, but it went perfectly and was a huge success that we hope to do again every year. I hope for this event to be my legacy at Appalachian and will continue after I graduate.  

Overall, this semester has been busy and fun. It is my last semester taking 18 credit hours but I managed to have a lot of fun going to performances, club events, and celebrating weekends. I am so grateful for this past semester and everyone in my life who has made it successful and enjoyable.

Written By: Alia Dahlan

For more information, please visit:


Published: Aug 10, 2018 9:07am