Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting on board

Before I came to Bloomsburg University, I mentally prepared myself for being constantly busy with studying and reading the thickest books I have ever seen in my life. High school made me honestly a little scared of all the work that would have to be put into college.

On top of being bombarded with school work, I was very shy and lacked a lot of self-confidence. Moving to somewhere new and bring surrounded by brand new people made me extremely nervous.

After my first couple of weeks of meeting everyone who lived on my floor and adjusting into the college life, I became much more relaxed and confident. I met an upperclassmen named Rob who happened to be a chair member of Program Board. He was the Special Events chair, which meant that he brought all of the mentalists, hypnotists, comedians, and magicians.

After days of Rob bugging me to go to one of their general meetings, I finally went. The students were very welcoming and seemed to really know their stuff. Now, I was still in the mindset of college being super busy and not having any free time, so I waited an entire semester before I actually started going to Program Board events.

The first event that I attended was "Midnight Came Early." When I first walked onto the quad I was handed a t-shirt and greeted with a warm smile and "Welcome! Thank you for coming to help us out today!" The night started out with four different inflatables from an obstacle course to a laser tag maze!

The entire quad was filled with students from the moment the event started until the event was over. Once it started to get dark, we had about 20 tables on the front half of the quad with candles and bingo chips on each table. Students could buy up to six bingo cards for 25 cents a card and win up to $350 in cash!

After Bingo was over, hundreds of students were lined up to get free pizza! I found out later that Program Board buys more than 100 pizzas from four different local pizza places downtown Bloomsburg once a month and every student with a BU student ID gets as much free pizza as they want.

The next day I talked to Rob and asked him why we do these sort of events for students. He responded with, "We do these events so students can have an alternative to underage drinking, and so students can feel welcome here at Bloomsburg University." The very next meeting, I signed up for every committee within Program Board and have been in love with it ever since.

As a marketing major, getting to know different people and networking is a huge part of being successful for the future. You never know who you are going to meet, that person might end up helping you gain a future job. Program Board has opened so many doors and created an infinite amount of opportunities for me.

For example, I met a student who encouraged me to come to a conference where people from different businesses come and talk about what they have to offer and about their company. After the conference I left with a part-time job offer as a sales trainee at Fastenal where I worked over the summer.

I have also made a lot of connections with people that are involved in marketing at conference where we go to watch entertainers try to convince us to bring them to our college. Those entertainers work with people that market them to students all over, and to experience something like that opened a new path of marketing for me.

Program Board is a very diverse organization, which in turn attracts a variety of students. We offer a little bit of something for everyone. You get to work with a lot of people who love their jobs and love working with other people. Program Board helps you learn how to work in a team in a relaxed and fun environment. Program Board plans and coordinates a lot of programs for students that require leadership and prioritization skills which you can learn and apply to school or to a future or current job.

At the end of each year, Program Board puts together a banquet to recognize the general members for their hard work. Many students have come forward during the banquets to talk about how Program Board really helped them come out of their shell. I remember one year, someone came up to me and said, "Before Program Board, I would sit in my room over the weekend while my roommates went out to party. Now, all of my weekends are full of fun and exciting events! My roommates are jealous of all of the fun I am having and want to start coming to the events with me."

Program Board has eight different committees: films, dance, travel, bingo and games, special events, hospitality, public relations, and sound stage. If you are interested in all things music, you can join the sound stage committee. If you organized every single dance in high school and that is your passion, dance committee is for you. If you are interested in marketing and love to travel places, you can join travel and public relations committee. If you just want to make friends and have a lot of free time on your hands, you can always sign-up for every single committee that we have.

— Chelsea Underhill, senior marketing major #HuskyLife

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