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Articles by Logan Paluch

Regrets of a College Senior

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As I recall my experiences serving on student panels at events like Premiere DePaul and admitted student days, a common question from students was “What do you wish you did differently now that you’re almost done?” The typical answer was resentment of not studying abroad, what I regret most is not applying myself earlier.
I did not start my first internship until the summer going into senior year. I wish I had taken the opportunities of working and studying in Chicago simultaneously. As a DePaul student, you are able to work for a large employer and walk to campus after your shift, a key advantage over the universities that, due to their locations, require students prioritize summer positions and internships. Another benefit of internships early in college is simply exploring what interests you. There are many areas of business that fascinate me and I regret not bouncing between internships to gain an understanding and overall feel behind each varying interest. 

As a graduate, if your resume shows short-term employment you are looked upon as uncommitted and therefore an unfavorable candidate. Conversely, if you’re an undergrad with a similar resume, you are looked upon as curious, dedicated, and not something that employers commonly think of Millennials and Gen Z’s as—lazy. I don’t believe that prior internships can confirm someone’s interest 100% accurately for internships do have their limitations, but it would surely help one gain a better sense of the industry and employer.


Visit a Peer Financial Advisor

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As I mentioned a few blogs ago, there is new program within Financial Fitness where I recently got a job as a Peer Financial Advisor. With seven advisors in total available Monday to Friday in both the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses, our schedules are flexible to meet yours. As a Peer Financial Advisor, we are here to help students understand their financial aid, plan for studying abroad, manage credit, create budgets, and much more, all in a safe and confidential setting. 
Whether you’re an incoming freshman with questions on your financial aid package or extra financial aid opportunities, a current student looking for credit or exploring the finances behind apartment searching, or a senior looking to graduate soon seeking exit counseling for loans, Peer Financial Advisors are able to help. It is crucial that student increase their awareness behind their personal finances. A common trend I see as an advisor is the accumulation of debt from simply not understanding terms and conditions behind financial instruments. 

If you’re interested in making an appointment, email financialfitness@depaul.edu. Whether it’s as small as brainstorming new methods of saving, or devising a plan to pay off loans, a Peer Financial Advisor can help. Also, if you’re a student organization looking for a speaker to come in and give a presentation on personal finances, Peer Financial Educators are available through the Financial Fitness program as well.


Look out for Peer Financial Advisors at events throughout both campuses during weekdays. Feel free to stop by for questions or simply to grab a personal finances booklet.


Easy Money

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Although I am sure I wrote a blog on scholarships before, I want to reiterate the importance of applying for them because it amazes me how many students won’t after their freshman year. They’ll receive the same or perhaps less financial aid while the cost of attendance rises. If you finance your own college education, I’m sure you are all too familiar with the ins and outs of financial aid. If you aren’t, then please take my advice and relieve your student debt. Even if your parents pay for college, be generous back and reduce each of their quarterly payments with these simple tricks.

First, I encourage everyone to fill out the general applications available on Scholarship Connect. My senior alone, I received an extra $6,500 from the finance and accounting scholarships. There are few questions where the answers must be 500 words or less, but each general application puts your name in for multiple internal scholarships, so your odds are better than you think.

Also, if you have already filed for financial aid, if you need to, consider filing a financial aid appeal form. The 2019-2020 forms were recently posted and you find them at this link​As my dad always says to me, “The worst they can say is no”. My father and I sent an appeal form as an incoming freshman and every year since. The results can truly vary. 


Look Out for the New Financial Fitness

Finance button on keyboard

If you were a member of some clubs or organizations on campus, you may have had a run into the DePaul Financial Fitness Program​. The premise of this program is that an employee of the program would visit and provide tips and guidance on important financial undertakings like off-campus housing or financing your education.

I am proud to announce that have begun a new position of on-campus employment as a Peer Financial Advisor under the Financial Fitness Program. With the generosity of a donor, I am part of new specialty team aimed at taking the program into new territory. The new program hopes to expand outside class presentations and perhaps dive into one-on-one advising sessions. After my time as a Financial Coach at the Center for Economic Progress over the last summer, I was excited to see that kind of program make its way into DePaul.

The program is still being developed, but I am hoping that undergrads will soon be able to seek guidance from an advisor soon. I understand that college is not cheap, especially if you’re financing your education yourself. Things happen in life unexpectedly, and if you’re feeling stressed or simply need advice, I hope the new Financial Fitness Program will be a valuable resource at your disposal. I will provide updates on details when I attain them, but for now expect help on a topics such as credit building, student debt, loans, and applying for financial aid. 


Catch Me on Admitted Student Day

DePaul Sign


If you are a prospective student who has been admitted into DePaul University, I strongly recommend attending the admitted student days to hear first-hand from current students on their experiences at DePaul. Yes, you can read DeBlogs and gain a good sense, but these events are a great opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.

 You can hear from a panel of students from 10:00AM to 10:30AM in the Lincoln Park Student Center on the following dates:

 Friday, February 22

Friday, March 15

Friday, April 12

 I will be speaking at the student panel on Friday, February 22. If you are thinking of going into the Strobel Accountancy Honors Program then you were probably also invited to attend a Strobel Honors Reception. The receptions take place from 1:30PM to 2:15PM in the Loop at the DePaul Center on the 11th floor in the DePaul Club room on the following dates:

 Friday, February 22

Friday, March 15

Friday, April 12

 You can see me at the March 15 and April 12 receptions and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have before finalizing your decision on what college to enroll in. You can register at go.depaul.edu/admittedevents​



Unwind with Wine

Wine glasses


*This article is more directed towards juniors and seniors, but if you are under 21 then you have something to look forward to.*

As a student of three honors programs, I haven’t much leeway when it came to deciding my classes. Lately, each quarter would be one class towards honors accounting, one class towards honors finance, one class within honors requirements where I at least could decide the topic, and then one class that usually fulfills a business core requirement. After a fall quarter where I took two graduate-level accounting classes, an honors finance class, and an honors senior capstone, I was burnt out. That is why on the first day of the winter quarter I decided to swap an honors class for something I actually wanted to take out of my own freewill. With space for just one class in my last year of college where I could choose anything, I decided to enroll into HSP 333: International Wine Education and Management.

Sure, a class where you taste wines every week on Thursday may come across as wanting to receive an “Easy A,” but this class encompasses much more. I chose the class to expand my knowledge of wines in hopes of improving my etiquette for professional networking events or any other formal occasion. I’ve always enjoyed wine, but could never distinguish a good one from a bad one, nor did I know what to look for on a bottle. Midway through the quarter I can say that there I much to learn about wines and that the tasting component of the class is a way of learning the different varietals there are. Perhaps I enjoy the class because it is a different tone and pace from business courses, perhaps it is the free weekly wine. I encourage any student to not be afraid to look for classes outside your field or comfort zone if given the flexibility, because the last thing you want to say after you graduate is “I should have…”​ 


Trip Down Memory Lane

FLW HouseIn the concluding weeks of my junior year, I consistently look to the days behind me and reflect on my experience thus far. In terms of what has been most memorable, nothing compares to the first week during my Discover Chicago immersion week. My class was focused on Frank Lloyd Wright with an emphasis on his prairie-style architecture applied towards many houses and buildings in Chicago.

I remember the first time riding the L and looking at the train line map like it was in a foreign language. I thought to myself, “how could I remember all these stops’ names and where I was?” Just as any newcomer to the CTA, hearing the “doors closing” sent my class and me into a frantic rush into the train since everyone was afraid not to get left outside the cart and removed from the group. Then came the day when the professor let us get back to campus on our own after an excursion to one of Wright’s houses. It was that time when I had the first moment of actually exploring the city as a local, unrestrained of guidance and freedom to go anywhere I want. At the time I did not know where I was or how far from campus I had ventured with a small group of classmates, but now I realize it was Belmont since it was when I was introduced to Cheesie’s Pub & Grill.

For the rest of that quarter, I continued my explorer mentality and getting acclimated to the new lifestyle that is college. I would say I miss that feeling of being a newcomer, full of curiosity and awe from the new wave of experiences that were to come.  


Buses or Trains

While the bus is my savior when it comes to traveling to and from the Sheridan station, I ride the buses for more than just commuting to class. Since the train station is about five blocks west, bus #36 travels north and south on Broadway, a street lined heavily with restaurants and grocery stores. Timing the buses is sort of an art, however, one that requires experience with the CTA system. To this day I still am not quite sure how many minutes it takes from one train stop to the other, so I often will miss the bus that’ll pick you up at the train stations. The best way to track both trains and buses is the Transit Stop app. Although the Maps app that comes with IOS does provide bus arrival times, since I started using this platform about three weeks ago I had multiple instances where the Maps app provided wrong information. Such an instance was telling me a bus was arriving in three minutes but it turned out to be twenty-five minutes instead. So ultimately, what I am trying to hint at is that there is no need to waste money on Uber or Lyft, but instead, take advantage of the CTA system in which DePaul provides .  


Why I Chose to Become a Blue Demon Vol. II

On the other hand, choosing to attend DePaul, or stay for that matter, solely based on the premise it is located in Chicago does not by any means constitute a valid reason to study here. Truth be told, I think it is the field experience - in terms of jobs and internships - that separates DePaul from most universities. I see firsthand the dedication of studying in honors programs, declaring multiple majors, working a job as a full-time student (whether it be on or off campus) and attaining internships before graduation; all to which typical DePaul students will have the luxury of accomplishing as opposed to those of a state school. I see old high school classmates in their state universities partying and tailgating, to which I must admit seems so fun, you know that stereotypical college experience. But, it is no wonder as to why parties are the dominant theme; they don’t have some of the world’s most renowned cultural institutions, corporate employers, and recreational parks in their backyard. There is a reason why Chicago is the first destination they flock to when summer break comes around.  


In Search of a New Home

Looking for a New Home
 
Well it happened. I will soon have to say goodbye to my Centennial apartment. After trying to get a two-person studio amidst the mad rush of applying for on-campus housing, I was not fortunate enough to snag a place at Centennial​, or anywhere for the matter. So, where do I go now?

I have now accepted the fact I will have to live off campus next year, and I am perfectly okay with that. However, I am not sure about the whole process. I do remember a workshop within EDGE Program that pertained to finding apartments, but I threw away all of the sheets and notes I was given. 

Luckily, DePaul does offer guidance when it comes to searching for off-campus housing and not just on-campus. In fact, there is a website committed to just this reason. At this link, there is an interactive experience dedicated to finding that special place to call home. The listings here are rich with details, but can be a tad bit pricey. There is also apartments.com and apartmentguide.com to expand your options.

As for myself, I have just begun the process. I’ll come back to this subject once, or if, I find an apartment for the next few years. 

The Forgotten Two-Credit Classes

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When you receive your bill for your quarterly tuition, you’re being charged for eighteen credit hours every time. Yet, most students only enroll for sixteen credit hours a quarter. Why? They may find five classes to be too overwhelming, or simply because they don’t know that there are courses worth less than four credit hours.

I did not know until recently that there are one and three credit hour classes. Regardless of that, some majors have at least a few two credit requirements. What I am getting at is that there are ways to fulfill eighteen credit hours every quarter and not doing so in a burdensome way.

After getting those two credit courses that are required out of the way it leaves you with freedom to explore subjects that outside of your major or even college. As an accounting major I was required to complete a professional business writing course as well as a career management class for accountants. With no other requirements to look towards I was able to search for some unconventional courses for a business student. I currently am taking a two credit course in the history of jazz because I wanted to take a break from the formalities of business courses.

Some classes that intrigue me are the “PE” classes that are held at Lincoln Park’s Ray Meyer Center. These include basketball, volleyball, golf, or even actual fitness classes like weightlifting and conditioning. Imagine that, playing and studying a sport that you enjoy for credit. By fulfilling the full eighteen credits each quarter you increase your cumulated credit hours that slowly brings you closer to graduation. As a requirement for the Certified Public Accountant exam, I am obligated to complete one hundred and fifty hours, and each additional two credit hour class brings me nearer. So, before you decide to burn the money that goes toward those two credits, take a look into different areas of study and see if there anything that interests you.

A Secret to Scholarships

Scholarships
 
Being a private university, it comes as no surprise that DePaul has a higher tuition rate. Despite that, I chose DePaul because it was actually cheaper than my state school preferences after all the scholarships and grants they offered me. There are more scholarships out there other than what DePaul has to offer upfront when you’re an incoming freshman. In fact, there are scholarships that don’t even necessarily apply to your major and you can still be eligible. All scholarships, through DePaul and off campus funding can be found at DePaul’s Scholarship Connect. 

Once you are a DePaul student the first step would be to visit DePaul’s scholarship website​. Here you will sign in with your usual Campus Connect username and password, and will be directed to the main page. This will show you all your active or submitted scholarship applications. In order to view what applications are currently open, go to the “Opportunities” and choose between “Ours” for DePaul scholarships or “External” for such. Also, there is a “Recommended” tab that will show a list of scholarships that are though to be your most compatible according to your major. If there is any that applies to your major, I recommend filling out a general application, which is one application that makes you eligible for multiple scholarships.

Scholarships
And if you’re curious about who funds your scholarships, there is a “Donors” tab to read a short biography of your donor and the history of your scholarship. So, at least visit the Scholarship Connect site because any money that goes toward your tuition is always welcomed.

Living On-Campus

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Unless you’re a commuter, local, or just fortunate enough to have your place, you more than likely spent your first year of DePaul living on-campus. Although some look to the dorm life as a burden, I look to living on campus as an advantage more than anything else. As a sophomore living at the on-campus apartment of Centennial Hall, I deeply enjoy all the spoils that come with my time staying within DePaul.

Skyline
The view from my Centennial apartment that never gets old
Whether it was Seton Hall freshman year, or Centennial my second, it is really nice to be in the vicinity of nearly everything DePaul. If I want to work out at the Ray, eat at the Student Center, study at the library, attend Lincoln Park classes, or hop on the train, it is all within a short walking distance. For most that live off campus, it is a pain to have to get on the train or bus to go nearly anywhere. And with all that is available on campus, I find it much easier to get involved and active. As I have seen with some friends that live off campus, they’ll at times say they don’t want to do some things, like play basketball at the Ray​, because it’s too far.

Another great benefit of living on-campus that many people overlook is the quality of the rooming. As a freshman with anything from one to three roommates (such as myself) it can be difficult to appreciate the conditions you’re living in. In Seton we took pride in our high ceilings and walk-in closets. Now, I was lucky enough to get a two-person studio apartment at Centennial. My roommate and I are spoiled with our own bathroom, two closets, fully equipped kitchen, free laundry, and individually controlled air conditioning. I’ve been to a couple of apartments in Wrigleyville and none have compared to the spaces at Centennial.