Reprinted from Exchange Fall 2016
A lone pair of footsteps broke the early morning silence in Pearce Hall's third floor corridor.
Stephen Dunn had shown up 30 minutes before his 9:30 a.m. culture and civilization of Latin America class began. It was test day, and it opened with the first exam in the final class Dunn needs to complete his Spanish for business major.
He already had been awake for nearly three hours, which was just enough time to drive from his Midland home to Mount Pleasant and continue preparing for his exam in Park Library's extended-hours study room while finishing his drive-thru breakfast.
Welcome to a day in the life of one College of Business Administration student — a very involved CBA student.
Dunn is pursuing additional majors in marketing and logistics as well as minors in legal studies and music. On this typical Tuesday, Dunn has five classes and won't return home until his oncea week integrated business experience finishes at 9:50 p.m.
"Today is my busy day, but most of my days are like this," Dunn said. "As long as I stay busy doing tasks all day, to me, it is energizing."
For Dunn, this all is part of the journey to move his career plans to the next level. A couple majors, a couple minors and keeping his eyes open to opportunities and options to pursue a juris doctorate or a master of business administration. He has narrowed his focus on applying to four potential graduate schools. For now …
Tuesday morning rush
Dunn was among the last students to turn in his exam to Krzysztof Andrzej Kulawik, the faculty member who leads a class where students are immersed in communicating everything in Spanish. Speaking in a different language doesn't phase Dunn, who spent last spring semester studying abroad at the ITESM campus in the north-central Mexico city of Querétaro. In addition to enrolling in two classes there, Dunn completed his marketing internship developing a marketing plan for Babilon Language Coaching.
"There were no limits to what I could do," he said. "I realized how much and what I did actually know about the business world."
Next, Dunn made a rapid dash from Pearce Hall, across campus and through the Bovee University Center en route to his 11 a.m. marketing research class in Grawn Hall.
Dunn quickly took a seat. Time for another quiz.
"Alright everybody," faculty member Michael Garver called out from the front of the room. "Notes away. Books away. It's go time."
Dunn and his classmates were quizzed on the podcast lecture they were supposed to review prior to class. The class then turned its attention to watching and critiquing small-group video projects, including one Dunn and two of his classmates produced. Exercises such as these are among what Dunn missed most when he studied abroad.
"Just being here at Central with fellow students, I think I'm enjoying it more because I didn't have this when I was studying abroad," he said. "I know it will be gone after I graduate next spring."
Into the afternoon and after business hours
When he left his class in Grawn Hall, Dunn passed along Warriner Hall and the University Seal and settled back into Park Library to continue studying.
Less than 90 minutes later, Dunn packed everything up again to make his way to the Music Building for Concert Choir rehearsal. It almost doesn't feel like a class to him.
"I was always in choir throughout high school, and I've been in the choir here the past three years," said Dunn, who sings as a baritone and also enjoys playing the piano. "For me, singing is very therapeutic. It always calms me down."
Choir concluded, and he continued his studies. When he
is on campus but isn't in class or studying, Dunn busies himself with his work as the Student Government Association legal clinic director. This is an appointed position that he had to apply for, which Dunn said was a welcome change from when he campaigned to get elected and serve as an SGA representative.
His final Tuesday class began at 7 p.m., and when this nearly three-hour class was over, Dunn packed up his books and headed home to get ready for the next day. All to prepare for the next steps in his career.
"I see all of this as training for my career, and if I can handle all of this, I'll be ready when the time comes to start my first job," he said. "Learning here gives you a sense of the whole business world, and it shows you how every part of business is fundamental to the next. When they all come together, that's when business is great."