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Letter from a senior: Advice for new Dyson students

Our group of Dyson students and professors, as well as Emzingo staff in South Africa, visiting with the owner of a spaza shop to learn about her business.

By Maddie Roglich ’18

Dear fellow Dyson School students,

I’m a little nervous to make my blog debut. But, here goes.

I hope the 2017–2018 school year is off to a great start! It is great to be back in lovely Warren Hall, hearing Cindy van Es singing greetings to you from down the hallway, and receiving welcome-back hugs from Professor Perez. And welcome to the #7 ranked undergraduate business program, part of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business—big things are happening.

To all students new to campus, I hope you are finding your way! To all first-years, welcome to case studies, and to all transfer students, welcome to semi-awkward speeches in ManComm and learning Excel like the back of your hand. Embrace it all and jump at every opportunity.

As a senior, I can’t help but already feel a little melancholy as I reflect on my time at Cornell and in the Dyson School. I started out as a confused, scared freshman, counting down the days until I could fly back home to Chicago for Fall Break, but let me tell you, these days, I feel like a completely different woman. Cornell, Ithaca, and Dyson have become the most welcoming and loving of homes. There is not a day that I am not excited to step into Warren Hall because I know I will run into at least a handful of Dyson friends who I can greet with ample joy and smiles.

A group of AEM 2700 TAs visited the TIME, Inc. studio, where we got to speak with Karen Kovacs ’86 (second from left), group president of brand and category sales, and tour the recording studio.
A group of AEM 2700 TAs visited the TIME, Inc. studio, where we got to speak with Karen Kovacs ’86 (second from left), group president of brand and category sales, and tour the recording studio.

If there is one broad piece of advice I can give to new students, it is to embrace every day. You will have so many incredible, unique opportunities here, from touring the TIME, Inc. studios with the group president of Category and Brand Sales, to eating free Dinosaur Bar-B-Que alongside classmates and professors, and from hearing the deputy commissioner of the NBA speak, to going on a trip with 12 classmates and two professors to South Africa. You might have even met one of your best friends at Professor Jack Little’s monarch butterfly release—you can probably tell that I could go on for hours.

There are so many opportunities that you have at your fingertips. I urge you to take advantage of them. You will make incredible memories, lifelong friends, and maybe even a little bit of money if you participate in the paid studies through the Business Simulation Lab. (Pro tip: save up this money in a fund so that one day when you live off campus you can use it. You’ll need it!)

Looking back on my time at Cornell, here is some advice for new students in the Dyson School. Enjoy!

1. Go to your professors’ office hours.

They are very helpful when you are confused about class material or life in general. The relationships I have formed with professors are a huge reason why I love Dyson. They have my back and they know what to say when I am looking for advice.

2. Take Mushrooms as one of your science classes.

Technically, it’s PLPMM 2013 – Mushrooms, molds, and more. I have so many fun mushroom/fungus facts to share with people when conversation gets dry and I don’t know what else to say.

3. Befriend Angela Petrucco and the Career Services team.

Collectively, Career Services staff know more people than you and your entire extended family do. You want to work in Sweden for a start-up focused on the environment? They probably know someone to connect you with.

4. Connect with Dyson alumni.

Interested in learning more about someone’s job or the industry they work in? Don’t be afraid to reach out! I emailed alumni freshman year simply to learn about their jobs and one of them has become my mentor and go-to for everything. The network of Dyson alumni is a powerful force; they want us to succeed.

5. “Borrow” from Trillium.

Don’t have napkins or plasticware in your dorm? Take a handful from Trillium—no explanation needed.

6. If you can, TA a Dyson class.

Being a TA for classes has been one of my favorite things. It is a great opportunity to work with students who are in the same spot you were a semester or two ago and to get to know the professor. Most of them are pretty cool people—Professor Streeter has her own company, Professor Lennox owns an airstream trailer, Professor Perosio directs a Dyson Study Abroad program to South Africa, and Professor Hwang used to fly to another city when he lived in Indiana just so he could go to IKEA … not to mention all of the amazing work they have done!

7. Go to the state parks and go hiking.

Watkins Glen State Park is one of the many nearby state parks worth exploring!
Watkins Glen State Park is one of the many nearby state parks worth exploring!

Some of the most beautiful sights are just beyond campus. If you like waterfalls (who doesn’t?) and enjoy the outdoors, check out Treman State Park, Watkins Glen State Park, or Taughannock Falls (it’s taller than Niagara Falls by 33 feet!).

8. Try the cornbread.

Cornell Dining makes incredible cornbread. Ask me about it—I’m happy to answer any questions.

9. Join a club or two.

If you find a club you are super interested in, join/apply! You will meet some of your best friends when you are working with other, very different people who are passionate about the same things that you are.

10. Don’t purchase a textbook unless you absolutely need it new.

Make sure you can’t rent the textbook or find it online as a PDF before you purchase it.

Archana Choudhary ’18, me, and Angel Ding ‘18 at the Dyson Senior Gala, where we helped with the event.
Archana Choudhary ’18, me, and Angel Ding ‘18 at the Dyson Senior Gala, where we helped with the event.

11. Consider concentrations beyond finance.

There are loads of opportunities out there and they don’t all revolve around finance.

12. Befriend people who aren’t like you.

You will gain so many new perspectives and viewpoints if you become friends with people from different backgrounds. They can teach you so much.

13. Always remember that you deserve to be here.

When the going gets tough, know that you got into Cornell and the Dyson School on your own merit and you can do anything you put your mind to.

While I started my freshman year excited to leave campus and go home for Fall Break, I couldn’t feel any more opposite from that now. You have a great journey ahead of you at both Cornell and Dyson—there is so much at the Finger Lakes, … excuse me, your fingertips*… for you to take advantage of and embrace. And remember, the Dyson School is Gorges! Learn more about Dyson’s undergraduate business program.


Learn more about Dyson's undergraduate business program


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Maddie Roglich ’18

Madeleine Roglich is a senior in the Dyson School from the western suburbs of Chicago, IL and is concentrating in Marketing and minoring in International Development Studies. She has interned as a district manager intern at ALDI Foods and as a members and markets intern at The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Maddie is interested in the intersection of marketing, the growth and expansion of businesses, and sports business. She is the executive vice president of the Dyson Undergraduate Council and the manager for the Varsity Women's Basketball team. She is currently the head TA for AEM 2700 and a TA for AEM 3249 and has TAed AEM 2420 and AEM 2240. In her free time, she enjoys watching/playing basketball, running marathons, writing letters, and enjoying time with friends exploring Ithaca.
Maddie Roglich ’18

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  1. Victor B. Younger
    January 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Hello Maddie,
    Thanks for being brave and writing this blog, Outstanding stuff! Your authentic words will resonate with your fellow Cornellians.Your comment around belonging and mindset are on point. Best of luck this semester! Thanks again for sharing your insight!

    Victor B. Younger
    Director of Diversity and Inclusion
    The Hotel School

  2. Derek
    April 15, 2018 at 7:29 am

    This post is very informative thanks for sharing!!

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