The Road to Productivity: Exploring How Warhawks Persevere and Prevail

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes, but with hard work there are no limits!” –Anonymous 

It’s that time of the year again when workloads outweigh energy levels! Winter is quickly approaching and finals are right around the corner for us Warhawks. During this time of year it’s easy to become stressed out, burnt out, or just down right depressed from the amount of work you have to complete.  So in an effort to alleviate some of that stress, here’s what a few fellow Warhawks from Career and Leadership Development had to say about how they stay productive during late semester chaos:

Lisa Helms: PRIDE Intern

“With school it is a little harder for me to stay focused but I usually pull things together at the last minute. However with work, I stay focused by making to do lists when I get into the office. I start by checking my email to see if there’s someone that I need to communicate with right away and I just take it one step at a time.”

Cherish Golden: PRIDE Intern

“ I usually go to the library and sit at a table in a quite area to stay focused on academics. I don’t get on the computers because then I’d be distracted.  At work, when I’m all out of tasks, I just find little stuff to do to stay busy. Even if it’s just fixing the chairs, I have to stay busy and remain on my feet in order to be productive. “

Radaya Ellis: Biology Major

“Well I have a productive playlist that I listen to when its grind time to get me back focused. Artist on my productive play list include artist such as Lil Boosie, to help motivate me, and Kirk Franklin, to uplift me. Listening to artist along those parameters helps keep me motivated both in work and at school. “

Katie Barbour: Involvement Office Graduate Assistant

 “A lot of times around the end of the semester I have a lot of big projects to do. So for me this semester I have two large group papers, as well as projects in two different classes. So at this point, it’s really a matter of working effectively with my group members and trying to be a leader within those two groups to make sure we get things done. Especially since finals are right before graduation and that’s when those things are due, and frankly I don’t want to be overwhelmed with group projects that late in the semester. So I think just being proactive and making sure you get things done ahead of time really helps relieve some of the stress”

Becky Wintringer: Warhawk Connection Center Intern

Becky Wintringer

“To-Do Lists are a big thing for me. I have post-its and color coded notes and stuff all over the place. I use my calendar to color code everything! Blue things are for class, green things are for work, and purple things are for organizations. I just try to stay managed by plotting out certain times of the day for individual things so that I’m not just doing all homework for three hours but individual tasks during individual times.

Anthony Richardson: Seal Entertainment Intern

Anthony Richardson

“In order to stay productive I pretty much just remind myself of why I’m here and I use that as motivation to assure that I persevere throughout the rest of the semester.”

We hope these tips can help you achieve your fullest potential and maximize your productivity during stressful times. Be sure to finish up this semester strong and don’t be afraid to join the dialog. What are some strategies that you live by to manage  stressful times and remain productive? Comment and share your ideas.

The Birth of a Student Leader: DeJuan Washington’s Journey

As I began my first semester as a first generation freshman here at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, I was plagued with various insecurities that forced me to question my value in higher education. Like many African American students at this institution, I struggled academically and saw little progress in my quest to mirror the academic performance of the majority population. I was lost. In search of guidance to aid me in my journey of academic excellence, I attended my first Black Student Union (BSU) meeting, a place where I would soon feel at home and culturally validated in an environment that was completely new for me.

As time progressed and I entered my second semester of my freshmen year, BSU became a place of common ground for me. I was able to connect with students who looked like me, thought like me, and more importantly we shared the same lived experience. It was almost as if we were a subculture within a larger culture that we had yet learned to conquer. The beauty of this experience was that even though we felt the clear division of cultures, we still managed to thrive and coexist with our majority peers.

It was during one of the weekly BSU meetings that a guest speaker, who I later learned was the Director of Career and Leadership Development (CLD) named Ron Buchholz, came in to speak about possible internship opportunities and the importance of getting involved on campus. Being the academically challenged freshmen that I was, I immediately skimmed over the information in the flier in search of the GPA requirement, and of course I didn’t meet the criteria. I did however skim over a position at the LGBT resource center that I knew would be great for me once I achieved the GPA requirement, so all hope wasn’t lost.

Following that meeting, I worked tirelessly to boost my GPA, spending long nights in the library, exchanging my thirsty Thursdays for study Thursdays, attending office hours and most importantly asking for help when needed. For the first time in my short lived colligate career, I felt like an actual college student. I taught myself how to properly prepare for exams, how to keep track of my progress in classes, and how to manage my time wisely. These self-acquired skills taught me to believe in myself and my capabilities. I also started to realize that although grades mattered, they didn’t define a person’s success. This realization gave me the motivation that I needed to apply for my first internship within Career and Leadership Development in spite of the many barriers that haunted me.

After completing the application and receiving a call back for an interview, I still had a tiny amount of doubt in my mind that I could obtain this position without meeting the criteria. As I walked into a tiny office to be interviewed, I encountered a warm greeting from a woman I’d later grow to love as Jan Bilgen. I immediately liberated myself of all anxiety, as she made me feel comfortable in her presence and I began to bare my soul as if my life (and bank account) depended on it. In what felt like only a few seconds, 30 minutes of conversation had passed before she informed me on the next steps to take if I were offered the position 2 weeks from then and we said our goodbye’s.

Two weeks later, as I sat in the basement computer lab of Benson hall typing away at my final English paper for the semester, my phone rings. At this point I figured it was a telemarketer as I’d forgotten all about the internship and quite frankly didn’t think I would get it.  When I answered the phone, I was greeted be the same welcoming voice I’d encountered two weeks prior, only this time she spoke with a level of suspense as if there was a purpose for her call. During the entire phone call, which lasted for all of 3 minutes, I still wasn’t able to convince myself that there was great news on the other side of the conversation. However, it was to my surprise that Jan Bilgen offered me the position as the new PRIDE intern for the PB Poorman Pride Resource Center located in Career and Leadership Development.

Obtaining a position in this office was critical to my development as a student leader for two reasons. For one, it thought me to always take a step out of faith, no matter if I couldn’t see what lies ahead. Secondly, it taught me to always believe that the impossible is in fact possible. If I had never believed in my capabilities, I would’ve never recognized my fullest potential; and if I’d considered my goal as impossible, I would’ve never made it to my current reality. These two things are vital to the success of student leaders, and this is why I’ll always be thankful for my internship experience with Career and Leadership Development.

After two years as a PRIDE intern and serving in various other leaderhip roles (Peer mentor, VP of BSU, McNair Scholar, ect.) , I’ve decided to take yet another step out on faith by accepting the position as the new Social Media Manager for Career and Leadership Development. While social media isn’t at all new to me, my lists of responsibilities are. In this position I’ll provide a fresh student perspective on topics ranging from career resources provided by CLD, leadership involvement opportunities, diversity and much more. Managing social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and a blog, I’ll be fully committed to providing the general campus community with an array of essential information. It is my hope that my story has inspired you all to be leaders in your own right in spite of the obstacles and that you keep following me on the new journey I’ve begun.