"Faces of UB" - Business School Edition
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If you aren't folllowing the University of Baltimore's Instagram account (@eubiebee), you might be missing out. This spring the university's social media team began a series called #facesofUB. Twice a week a new student profile emerges on the social media platform and provides a window into who we are at UB.


Here are a few stories that featured Merrick School of Business students.


Julie Styers


I got married and started having kids when I was 20.


So I wanted to do that and then, you know, a couple years into all that I was like, wow, I really shorted myself by not getting an education because you had to work three times as hard trying to raise a family. My husband, neither one of us had a college degree and I had always said I want to go back, I want to go back. I had four little kids and there was no way to go back. "I think at that time there were a couple of classes you could take like over cable or something like that. There were no Internet classes, so it was not possible. My sister, I would say about six years ago, she's 6 years older than me and she went back to school and I was like you know what, yeah, I can do this. My kids are grown now so then I was able to do it.


When I first started school, I walked in the door—I mean it took me 15-20 years to even go sit for a placement exam—and I was thought I'm going to go take one class and if I pass it, I’ll take another. And I've got a pretty good GPA, I got involved with Beta Alpha Psi, I’m doing an internship, I’m just doing a lot more than I thought I ever could so I think that that's probably what I’m of most proud of, that I can keep everything under control. "I have a lot on my plate. I’m doing the internship, I work another job, I have a family four kids we have farm animals so I don't like going on so I'm impressed that I was able to do it all and do a good job at it at the same time.

--Julie Styers, a B.S. in Business Administration student specializing in accounting. She is already taking courses with a goal to pursue a M.S. in Taxation.


I’ve been teaching a couple of high school courses on the side in business, public speaking, economics, stuff like that. That hour or two that I have is the most rewarding time I have all week. 

When I was an undergrad, I wanted to get people together and run study groups. I’d just send an email to the roster and I’d eventually get phone numbers and text them and it was insane; I’d be sitting there and all of a sudden like 10 people would show up. And they’d all be looking to me and I would be up on the white board for like an hour, drawing out and saying, 'I think this is it,' and figuring it out and then we’d actually have almost like a class session right there. There’s like 10 of us jammed in the study room and it’s hot as anything, but we’ve have an exam tomorrow and we’re studying.


I ran 15 or 20 of them as an undergrad and I’m proud of that because it was all me. There wasn’t anyone else that organized it or was leading the sessions and I was really proud of that. I was also proud of the fact that the people who came to the class sessions, they all did better. My professor in global business was like, 'Did you run a study session?' He said he was looking at the sheet and everybody in my group scored like a letter grade higher than everybody else.


That was kind of when I realized I should start trying to do this [teaching]. And that was nice because that was probably the most organic way it could have happened.


--Zachary Nelson, who transferred to UB from Carroll Community College and just graduated from UB's MBA program.

I didn't know anybody at UB when I came here and I came to orientation, sitting in the Lyric and I sat down there and I was involved with my high school, but not with my community college at all and one of the things was I missed being involved, so I was sitting in the Lyric at orientation and I promised myself to get involved and immerse myself in the UB community, not knowing what I would I would get my feet into.

I got an email from the SGA saying get involved with campus-wide committee so I joined facilities committee and then through that, I joined SGA. Through that, I met people in other student organizations, became the treasurer of the International Student Association and this year became president of the senate for the Student Government Association, remained treasurer for the International Student Association, and became president of the Investment Society here at UB.

I was an orientation leader this past spring semester and what was very interesting was talking to other students that were in my same situation not even two years ago and I met someone at orientation and they were like, ‘Yeah I want to get involved, and I said we have a position open in UBIS. He became the vice president and now he’s meeting all these people trying to get involved in stuff, so it's very interesting to be helping people following in the same footsteps.

One of the most rewarding lessons I’ve had here at UB is becoming involved, immersing yourself into the community. The stories you hear, the people that you meet are way more valuable than a test that you’ve taken and you’ll forget 20 years from now because, you know 30, 40 years from now you're not going remember the projects you did or the test that you took, but you'll still probably remember the people you went to school with, especially here where people’s stories are so vastly different.


--Kevin McHugh, who just graduated from UB's Merrick Business School and will continue this fall as a graduate student here.


Micayah JohnsonI don’t settle. I really strive for the best I can get at everything I can. That’s why I’m here.

I’m from Liberia. I transitioned here seven years ago in America with no family, no attachment. I sat for a visa interview, so I came here as a permanent resident. That was an opportunity. I had never dreamed about coming here. I always looked down on myself. I don’t have family in America; I thought I would never be that person to go there. So when I did apply to sit in this interview, it was just a trial thing from high school. Somebody helped me to fill out the form. I didn’t even know how to access the computer.

So when I was called that I won the opportunity to come to the embassy for visa, I didn’t have money--it was about $1,200 for the process--so my family started. My mom was selling bread, cutting wool in the bush, burning coal, just for me to raise this money to pay for my interview fee, which was $600. Going through this process, it took me one year, eight months to come here and I left my 7-month-old baby. He was crying 2 in the morning on my way to the airport. I left my baby, my son, to come to America to no family. I remember on the plane everybody who sat by me was trying to encourage me because I couldn’t stop crying on the 23-hour flight. So it’s been a long ride coming here.

Just seeing myself here, I know I’ve come from a worse place, so I believe there is nothing from America that will let me down because I’ve seen worse growing up as a child. I’m just grateful for every opportunity that I’ve had. I’m proud that I’m educated. I’m proud that I sat with my peers in classes. I’m proud that I have a voice to contribute to what we’re learning. I’m proud my professors have listened to me. The school administration has helped me in every way that I needed help. I’m very grateful for everything UB has given me.


--Micayah Johnson, a member of UB’s Class of 2019 who graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration, specializing in finance.


Thomas PutmanA lot of people talk about the colleges that you transfer to as being much more competitive and sort of brutal, like you’re there in the classroom and you’re competing for good grades, but I never really got that vibe at UB. I transferred in with a bunch of other students who were also transferring in. We ended up taking similar classes and seeing each other and it was really more of a hospitable environment, like we all sort of made friends and have been working through it together and we’ve all been helping each other along the way. I really didn’t think that’s what my undergraduate experience would be like. I thought I would just be transferring and just sort of taking classes and working toward the degree, but I see the same faces over and over again. I’ve had some of the same professors a couple of times and it’s really been helpful for getting through the rest of the degree.

And one other experience that I’ve had at UB that I didn’t think I would get out of my undergrad experience was doing one of the global field studies trips. Last year, we went to Thailand with Dr. Pitta and it was a huge cultural and educational experience and something that I was really glad to participate in. It really just puts the whole globalization of business into perspective. I never really thought about working abroad as a career potential, but now it’s one of my career goals.

--Thomas Putman, a B.S. in Business Administration student focusing on accounting. He transferred to UB two years ago from Carroll Community College.


Ryan ClaggettI like numbers and I like problem solving.

I don't like crazy numbers with calculus and things like that. I like regular math and then I like accounting because of the things you can do with it and the understanding that you have when you look at numbers and are looking at business deals. Like if you have an accounting understanding, you can understand the numbers, understand what numbers should be and what they mean.

And you can do a lot with accounting. You don’t have to be just be an accountant. You can get into finance and of course you can do so many things with the government, but it's business administration with the accounting, so you're also getting the well-roundedness of being a business student. You're not just in the corner working on numbers all day. You still get to learn how to work with people and work in a team environment. That’s pretty much why I like it.

--Ryan Claggett, a B.S. in Business Administration student specializing in accounting.


Liz PittsThe school's been very helpful to me. My last semester, I was diagnosed with cancer and I reached out to ask if there is anything that they could do financially to assist me, and Assistant Dean Kathea [Smith of Merrick School of Business], she stepped right up and helped me get a scholarship for my final semester. It was unexpected and it was wonderful and it was extremely supportive and it’s a great memory.


"It was all very new to me. I’m 33. It was in October that they found out for sure, so it was very recent. I was leaving my job at the bank and I was going to be without benefits. I was going to do all my routine tests and just through that process, they discovered that I had cervical cancer, stage 1. ... "It was very stressful and very sudden, but I was so close to being finished with school. It's a big priority for me to finish, being so close, and so I wasn't sure exactly what would happen, but it was nice to know—Kathea has been so very helpful in so many ways.


I had surgery in December. They just reconfirmed that nothing had spread and they had removed all the cancer and it’s just checkups every three months from here on out. I got very lucky.

--Liz Pitts, an International Business graduate, May 2019.

Cynthia GreenApparently, I am a person who likes to take complex situations and sort things out and make things happen positively related to those problems.


I really am motivated by—I am a Baltimorean, I am a native—and I am motivated by what the city’s potential is and real estate and economic development are some of the big-ticket items that this city needs to have some progress with. Of course, there are other areas like education and criminal justice issues, but if you can give people decent housing and decent work, you’ve gone a long way to fixing some of the other problems. And I might be doing it in a small case-by-case manner, like in the [Court] Navigator Program, just working with individual people to help them be their own representation, but that’s one way to help people.


I worked for the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and they have a real estate project tracker where you tracked major projects over $1 million that were being developed at different points in the city. The tracker, basically, you could go in and you could see in different time periods and different locations, there was also a source map, so you could see all over the city. I was inputting the data, so people could see where all the latest projects were happening. Because it was in the 2014-15 time period, that was right after we had the major crises, so it was really fulfilling to put out there in the database that things were still thriving and that projects were still going forward. It was a major time for development in the city of Baltimore. Doing that work was quite fulfilling. I really felt part of the progress for the city.

--Cynthia Green, B.S. in Business Administration student, specializing in Real Estate and Economic Development


Tyler MedleyMy best memory is taking Marketing 301. We were assigned a project by Professor van Vliet. Basically, the project was to create a marketing plan for a company named Furbish; they try to enhance the ecosystem by building plants mainly to improve the environment surrounding a city or within a city. One of my tasks for that was to go interview the CEO of the company. I think that was the most memorable experience because I was always intimidated of executives and speaking to them one-on-one, but sitting down at a conference table just made me feel very relaxed. It was like they’re human beings just like we are; they just have important positions within their workplaces.

The fact that I had internships while being a student at UB has helped me maintain the notion of being consistent and not being complacent in where I am and wanting to obtain more knowledge than I already have. Everyone wants to be rich, but being rich mentally and knowing more than your competition, that might help you leverage opportunities in the workplace. Like, I think the fact that I have the experience with the CEO, that helped my communication skills. It helped me to better understand how to communicate with an executive.

--Tyler Medley, B.S. in Business Administration student, specialization in accounting, and a Bronfein Scholar. He graduated in May 2019.




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