Category Archives: Student Organizations

Meet Tim Spehar…

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Tim Spehar is a spring 2017 graduate of our engineering management major! He recalls visiting a series of universities during his junior year of high school. He and his Dad traveled around the state of Michigan before making it up to the U.P. to check out Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics.  During his visit, Tim found exactly what he was looking for: the opportunity to combine both business and technical skills into one program. When he left his campus visit, Tim knew he had chosen his college! He knew he would be coming to Michigan Tech to major in engineering management.

Tim’s four years on campus were packed with classes, involvement in student organizations, and playing outside. As he reflects on his experiences, he came up with some advice he would like to share with future students:

  1. Academics come first. College chemistry is a lot more difficult than high school. When arriving on campus Tim was used to being able to get good grades without putting in extensive study time. Even if you’re at the top of your high school class, you are going to need to devote more time to your studies in college.
  2. Get outside your comfort zone. In his first year of college Tim’s roommate was a guy he went to high school with. Although they came to school together, Tim said he was surprised at how quickly he branched out and met new friends. “It is important to get out and meet people during orientation week when everyone is trying to find their place on campus.” He advises getting to know your neighbors in the residence hall. When Tim moved off campus, he moved into a house with guys that lived near him in Wadsworth Hall.
  3. Pick up new hobbies. Tim played rugby and lacrosse in high school, but when he started at Michigan Tech he decided not to play on the club teams here. Instead, he got involved in starting a new student organization on campus! American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM). Tim worked closely with both Dr. Dana Johnson and Roger Woods and became the first president of the Michigan Tech chapter of ASEM. This organization is a student based chapter of a national organization that is centered around raising awareness of engineering management as a profession.
  4.  Attend every career fair. You just never know who you are going to meet. During the fall career fair of his senior year, Tim was waiting in a long line to talk to a recruiter from a company he was interested in.  While he was waiting in line he started reading information on a nearby table for a different company. He ended up going to their table and talking to a representative for Therma-Tron-X Inc. After talking a while he was offered an interview for the next morning.  It wasn’t long before Tim was invited down to their office in Wisconsin and ultimately was offered a job.

Tim has already started his position as Project Engineer at Therma-Tron-X Inc. and has been enjoying his first few weeks on the job. On behalf of the School of Business and Economics, we congratulate him and wish him the best on his future endeavors! If you’d like to get in touch with Tim please feel free to send him an Email at tmspehar@mtu.edu, or follow him on Instagram @the_cycling_engeineer

Tim commencement with parents


2017 Beta Gamma Sigma Induction Ceremony

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On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the Michigan Technological University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma inducted 17 new members.  Beta Gamma Sigma is an international honor society that recognizes the top 10% of undergraduates and the top 20% of master students.  Michigan Technological University’s Chapter Advisor is Senior Lecturer, Sheila Milligan. This year’s inductees are as follows:

Seniors

Leslie Ditlow, Kalli Hooper, Kelsie Nummilien, Nyomie Olson, Anne Raisanen, Brenna Thompson

Juniors

Tanner Flatt, Devin Kero, Emma LaFleur, Kayleigh Lake, Jackson Pundt

Masters

Jannah Brandt, Tessa Haapapuro, James Schmidt, Nicholas Steffey, Dong Xia

Each year, SBE faculty who are a part of  Beta Gamma Sigma choose an additional faculty member to induct into the society. This year, Professor of Practice, Russ Louks was inducted.

Beta Gamma Sigma Faculty Members

Dr. Mari Buche, Dr. Sonia Goltz, Dr. Dana Johnson, Dr. Dean Johnson, Mr. Bryan Lagalo, Ms. Sheila Milligan, Dr. Junhong Min, Dr. Paul Nelson, Dr. Emanuel Oliviera, Dr. Howard Qi, Mr. Joel Tuoriniemi, and Dr. Jeffrey Wall


Meet Erin Lipp…

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Erin is a second year accounting student from Traverse City, Michigan.  During her search for the perfect university, she recalls looking for school with a prestigious academic atmosphere in a location that would allow her to continue to enjoy the outdoors. In the fall of her senior year, Erin was invited to participate in the School of Business and Economics’ Impact Scholarship Competition.  At the competition, Erin and her family had the opportunity to meet several faculty members including Dr. Heather Knewtson.

This fall, two years after participating in the scholarship competition, Erin had Dr. Knewtson for Introduction to Finance. Even though they had met briefly, and some time ago, Dr. Knewtson remembered having met Erin and her parents at the competition and was excited to have her in class.  Joel too recalled having met Erin, and was enthusiastic that she had chosen to pursue a degree at Michigan Tech. Erin says this is just one example of our faculty truly caring about their students.

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All through high school Erin was an avid runner and skier, but was not sure if she would continue to compete at the collegiate level.  During her freshmen year at Tech, she was a walk on for both the Nordic and running teams.  Needless to say, she never looked back.  Erin has continued as a three season athlete.  That means she runs on the cross country team in the fall, skis on the Nordic team in the winter, and runs track in the spring.  “Being an athlete really has taught me time management. I need to go to sleep early so I can wake up and be productive in classes and at practice.” Traveling many of the weekends throughout the year requires her to stick to a strict study schedule so she is able to make the most out of every day.  One of her favorite parts about competing on the home trails is seeing her professors in the crowd. “It is much different for someone to show up to a ski race and stand around in the snow than it is to come to an indoor sporting event and sit comfortably in the stands.” Erin says she can’t imagine what she would do with all her time if she wasn’t involved in athletics.

Erin Lipp III

While being a student athlete does take up on average 15 hour a week (plus travel), Erin has also made time to get involved in an academic organization, Kappa Sigma Iota (KSI).  KSI is a student organization dedicated to helping students gain an understanding of the business world through networking, guest speakers, and CPA/industry tours.  In her first year at Michigan Tech, Erin went on a trip to Minneapolis with KSI.  They visited a few companies and firms including Caterpillar, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Grant Thornton.  After their tours, she sent a follow up Email to Grant Thornton thanking them for the experience, and mentioned she was interested in exploring a career with a CPA firm.  The representative from Grant Thornton got back in touch with Erin and invited her to participate in a four day recruiting conference known as Grow with Grant Thornton.  In July 2016 she headed to Chicago with other college students where they were exposed to Grant Thornton’s services lines such as audit, tax and advisory.  Shortly after the program ended, Erin was offered an internship for the following summer.  Erin is excited to spend this summer in Minneapolis where she will work as a tax intern.

While Erin is only half way through her second year, she knows she will pursue the Accelerated Accounting (MS) Michigan Tech and take the CPA exam.  We are excited to see what the coming years have in store for her!

If you’d like to learn more about Erin, or get in touch with her check her out on ZeeMee!


ASEM Becomes a National Chapter

The American Society for Engineering Management (National) announced a new ASEM Student Chapter at Michigan Tech.

The new student chapter at Tech has 15 student members including Kalli Hooper who will serve as the new national chapter president. Dana Johnson and Roger Woods will serve as their faculty advisors. The School of Business and Economics offers a BS degree in Engineering Management, which is the fastest growing program in their school.

– Dana M. Johnson – Tech Today February 3, 2017

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Accounting Club Visits Milwaukee

On October 13 and 14, Kappa Sigma Iota (KSI accounting club) visited Milwaukee to experience some business in action. The students were hosted by Becker Professional Education.  Their first stop was Schenck CPA firm, then they visited with PwC Advisory (the second largest CPA firm in the world) with a final stop at Bemis Manufacturing.  Students on this trip were able to meet with everyone from managing partners to newly hired accountants.  Some student comments on their experience:

“Accountants sure do love their jobs!”

“Excel is the tool of business, and I need to learn to use it better.’

“I got a better understanding of what they are looking for when they ask situational questions during an interview.”

KSI is already beginning to prepare for their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) which will take place in February.  Through this initiative students in the accounting club assist community members and area students with completing tax returns.

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