Marketing major Rebecca Schied received Niagara University’s Senior Medal during commencement ceremonies on May 22. The award is given to the student in the graduating class with the highest QPA (hers was an impressive 4.29). Rebecca took time while preparing for her graduate studies at Syracuse University to answer a few questions for the Eagle.
Eagle Magazine: Why NU?
Rebecca Schied: NU has a beautiful and peaceful campus and the people were very nice.The members of administration that I met with were very helpful and almost as excited for me as I was, and the students were generally happy and pleasant people. This made Niagara the place that I really felt I could grow both as a student and as a person.
EM: What was your favorite class?
RS: My favorite class would have to be my sign language classes. The professors, Nanette Harmonand Krista Rahelich, are wonderful people who both introduced me to another language as well as to another culture and even another side of myself. These classes gave me another way to express myself.
EM: Who were your mentors?
RS: Professor Bohdan Pikas. From the time I took his Marketing Principles class to the time I defended my honors thesis to him, he helped strengthen and guide me. I came to Niagara as a very shy and introverted person. Professor Pikas pushed me both to speak up in class and to not be afraid of failure.
EM: What was your favorite place on campus?
RS: The lawn between Clet Hall and St. Vincent’s Hall. I lived in Clet Hall for my ﬁrst two years and this is where my friends and I would do homework or just relax when the weather was nice. It was peaceful there, removed from most of the bustle of the campus and there were beautiful trees and ﬂowers. Just talking about it now makes me think about throwing a Frisbee or hearing someone practice their bagpipes.
EM: What did it take to earn the highest QPA in your class?
RS: It took a combination of skills. The ﬁrst was simply dedication. I attended every class, studied for every test, completed every assignment, and read every assigned chapter. This was crucial because all of the work fed off of each other. In addition, I was careful in my class selection, particularly with my electives, matching the classes to both my skill set and my interests. I didn’t just blindly pick a social sciences elective that was at the most convenient time or that my friends were taking, I picked a class that I was going to ﬁnd interesting and stay engaged in.
EM: What was the most challenging aspect during your four years here?
RS: All of the multitasking that I had to do senior year. During that time I had my regular classes, I had an internship, I was working on my honors thesis, and I was studying for the GMAT. This period of my life really taught me the value of time management and the importance of having a mental outlet. I probably spent more time working during that year, but I also spent more time just hanging out with my friends. Finding the balance was very important.
EM: What was the most rewarding?
RS: The most rewarding part came in my sophomore year when I took Principles of Management with professor (William) Angus. As part of that class we became academic consultants for Research In Motion, which is the company that makes the Blackberry. As part of a team, I analyzed the problem that was given to us and created a solution that was presented to company executives. It was hard work, but it was the most exciting feeling to hear from executives that you did a good job.
EM: What is the most important lesson you learned at NU?
RS: The most important lesson that I learned was not learned in a classroom. It was simply how to open up to people. I sometimes have difficulty opening up to people. But my classmates and my friends really helped me learn how to enjoy myself as well as enjoy being with other people. It’s not the kind of thing you can really be tested on, but it’s one of the best skills I learned and it is one that I am continuing to work on.
EM: What’s next?
RS: I am working hard to strengthen my business skills to make me a better asset for my future employer. After grad school I hope to get into marketing, perhaps working for a major corporation in its creative department or a marketing research firm. Ultimately,though, my path is not completely clear and I hope to be able to find more guidance throughout the course of my MBA and even from a summer internship.