Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Alpha Phi Brothers & Day of Difference

Another semester means another day to make a difference in the Gainesville community. For many students at the University of Florida, Day of Difference is one of their favorite parts of the semester.  Enactus has continued to host this event for the past five years, and Alpha Kappa Psi’s Alpha Phi Chapter is especially proud of its brothers who participated this year.  For some brothers, they enjoy knowing that they made a difference while others are easily satisfied by seeing the smiles on the children’s faces at the end of the day.  Below are some AKPsi brother reactions to Day of Difference and how it has and will continue to impact their lives.  

Jake Buckels
 I really wanted to help out in the community and make a positive impact on the lives of young kids. Before this semester’s Day of Difference, I had previously volunteered for it during the fall 2012 semester. The most memorable aspect was seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids and how happy they were during the day. It wasn’t hard to tell that they will remember this day for a long time. I would recommend others to do it because not only do you make an impact on the kids, the kids will have an impact on your life. It will be a day that you will never forget.

Maggie Trychel
 I loved the idea of being able to help young kids though teaching them financial literacy and values vital to life. I had never participated before but I was really excited to this semester because I had heard about it last semester after the event. The most memorable aspect would definitely have to be when we were leaving our class and all of the kids got up and ran to give us hugs goodbye. It was truly such a rewarding moment and experience overall. Yes! I would of course recommend others volunteer, you're helping kids and this elementary school while having a blast teaching and making an impact on their lives. It's such an awesome experience and I would definitely recommend it because I know I'm for sure going back.

Brianna Bubbles Francis-Keane
I heard about Day of Difference through another organization I was a part of a year ago. I really wanted to do it then but I heard that they required training and I didn't think I had the time to commit to be trained. I waited a year and then decided to do it and realized training was only a few hours of one day, not bad at all. This was my first time participating and I loved every second of it. I love working with kids and with all the experience I have working with kids Day of Difference went so smoothly. The highlight of my time working with them was being able to break down the material to them and really trying to teach them to make sure they understood what was going on. I tell as many people as I can about Day of Difference, I think it is an amazing opportunity and it is a great way to give back in a powerful way. You really do form bonds with the children in that short period of time and it is so enjoyable and delightful. My experience was one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, I had such a wonderful time I'm trying to be a regular volunteer or class mentor for that school now.

Brittany Kroop
 After being at UF for 3 years, I finally had a class schedule with a Friday off that let me volunteer for Day Of Difference. For one day the student becomes the teacher as we go back to elementary school and remember why we loved going to school every day. Recess, library, story time, and fun coloring activities are just a snapshot into my day. After preparing our lessons the day before (I was paired with two AKPsi brothers Alia and Brenda) we walked into our classroom confident and excited to teach our Kindergarten class. I was nervous even though I knew that these kids were just excited to have a new teacher for a day, but I had nothing to be nervous about because the day went swimmingly! Even though the lesson plans are pre-set and everything is supplied via Junior Achievement it was so much fun to be the teacher and interact with the children. My most memorable moment was outside the classroom during playground when a couple of girls took special interest in teaching me ‘hand-clapping’ games. It brought me back to my days in elementary school with my eagerness for knowledge, adventure, and fun. I really hope that my schedule allows me to volunteer next semester because it really is a great experience that helps you grow, and see what it’s like on the other side.

Jele’cia Jae Milton
 What first interested me in Day of Difference was the knowing that I would be giving back to the community that I grew up. Making a difference in a child's life has always been something important to me. Children are our future, so, as an adult we all have to lay a good foundation down for them. I had never participated or even heard of Day of Difference before this year, but I'm definitely glad I participated, because it was fulfilling and quite a memorable. But, the most memorable aspect was when the kids became so attached to me. I ate lunch with them and went to recess. I had four kids literally attached to me because they wanted to hold my hand, so I told two to hold my arms and the other two to hold my hands. Seeing how they looked up to me and wanted me to stay was definitely a great memory to have. This experience is something I'll never forget and I definitely have, and will continue to encourage others to participate. Chances are I will continue to do it for the rest of my years in college.

Kelsey McGuirk
Day of Difference was introduced to me through Alpha Kappa Psi as an opportunity to team up with Junior Achievement to teach at an elementary school for a day. I love tutoring and working with kids to help them learn, so this was a great opportunity for me to give back. I have not previously participated in Day of Difference, but am glad I got to do so this year. The most memorable aspect was being there to witness the class understanding the material that my group and I were teaching. I had the pleasure of teaching a Kindergarten class so even though the children could get rowdy and off focus, it was so much fun to watch them learn the material over the course of the day, and have fun while doing so.  I would definitely recommend volunteering for Day of Difference! It is a lot of fun and a great experience.

Day of Difference takes place every semester: the Fall semester teaches kindergarten through second grade, while spring teaches third through fifth grade.  Day of Difference is at different schools to reach as many elementary students as possible.  We are proud of all the brothers that participated this year and cannot wait until next semester. So, sign up through Enactus for a life changing experience next semester!

-by Brother Gretchen Fisk 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Get to know : The Pledges

The pledge class of Fall 2013 was asked to impress the Brotherhood, and they decided to showcase this in a video titled "Our Learning Journey." 

Brother Melissa Morlan said of her pledge class:
"I've enjoyed every minute of this semester so far and am so proud of all my pledges. This video just reinforces all the great qualities of Alpha Kappa Psi and shows a small portion of the journey this pledge class has embarked on. I'm so excited to see all the wonderful things the PC Fall13 will do throughout the rest of the semester!"

-by Brother Leanna Scachetti

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Get to know : Brother Greg Cohen

Photo by Ben Simons
Greg Cohen is a Senior studying Economics at the University of Florida. Cohen pledged AKPsi in the Spring of 2012, and has stayed an active brother ever since. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Administration for AKPsi's Alpha Phi Chapter.

During the summer, Cohen interned with McGladrey as a Risk Advisory Services Consultant in Miami, FL and he will be returning to McGladrey as a full time associate starting in the summer of 2014. Cohen said he learned more in the 10 weeks of his internship than he did in his last three years of college.

Cohen was chosen to to blog about his experience with McGladrey. In one of his posts, he described the ways he suggests to make the most out of your internship. Read on to learn more about Cohen's experience with McGladrey, and what he recommends for your next internship. 

Making the Most of Your Internship

Written by Greg Cohen
Consulting Intern
Miami, FL

"Eight weeks into my internship, I can say I have learned more through my time with McGladrey than I have in my last three years in college. When you walk into your internship, be open to everything and anything you are exposed to, meet as many people as possible and excel at every task you are given. By following those simple guidelines, you will get the most out of any internship you get.

Working at a public accounting firm is a very eclectic experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a tax, audit or consulting intern, you will leave everyday learning far more than solely about your line of business. We serve clients and to do so, we have to learn and understand their business to provide them with the highest quality deliverable. Especially in consulting, where you breakdown a client’s internal processes, you end up understanding much more than testing internal controls, but about the nature of that business and what they do. The spillover to everyday life is incredible. I have spent a large portion of my internship working with financial institutions, and I did not know a fraction of what I have learned in regards to what goes on behind the scenes. Opportunities are always there for you to take, even as an intern, and you should take advantage of them whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet with an industry or line of business that you are not familiar with; it can only help you in the long run.

"Don’t be hesitant to befriend the people you work with or engage in a conversation with them; you never know what will come from it." -G.C.

Here’s a quick fact about McGladrey: we have more than 6,700 people in 75 cities nationwide. With a reach as far as McGladrey, you are bound to cross paths and work with someone from another office or state. Luckily, on my most recent engagement I had the opportunity to work with over 15 people from 5 different offices and even someone from an international RSM partner firm. Despite the fact that you are hard at work, you build strong friendships with the people you work with. Between Cuban coffee breaks and acquiring an appreciation for “truck music,” I have had a great time meeting such intelligent and diverse individuals. Don’t be hesitant to befriend the people you work with or engage in a conversation with them; you never know what will come from it. That leads me to my next point— put yourself out there! As an intern, everyone wants to meet and learn about you, and you should want to do the same. If there’s a networking event or company social, make sure to attend it. This entire experience isn’t just about proving that you’re a hard worker, but it is your chance to find out if McGladrey is a good fit for you. Get yourself out there and make sure that people know your name. Remember if you choose to go full-time, you will be spending a lot of time with the people you work with. Get to know them and let them get to know you.

"Always strive to get as much feedback as possible from your supervisors. If you know what you need to improve, you can work on it right away. " -G.C.

You aren’t expected to know all about tax, audit or consulting when you start your internship. That’s why you are here; but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your hardest to excel at everything you do. At the end of the day, you want to get as much exposure to your future career as possible and determine if it is for you. The best way to do that is give it your all. Most importantly, always strive to get as much feedback as possible from your supervisors. If you know what you need to improve, you can work on it right away. If you’re on an engagement that extends over two weeks, set up periodic feedback meetings with your in charge manager or supervisor. It shows initiative and that you’re open to constructive criticism. Showing that you are interested and engaged is a good indicator of your performance when it comes down to it. Remember, there’s more to your internship than just showing up to work on-time everyday—take advantage of each aspect and make the most your internship! "