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Being a BizDog

UMD BizDog Living Learning Community logo - Name with Champ head
February 27, 2019

UMD has its very own living learning community for incoming business students. 

Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are a great way for students to immerse themselves in a topic of interest. LLCs are centered on a specific theme or academic area. Studies have shown that these communities help students be successful, not only by providing them with peer and faculty connections, but through access to workshops and seminars centered around their theme or academic area of interest. At UMD, we have the BizDogs Living Learning Community.

The BizDogs community is a group of first-year, pre-business students who choose to live in a community with one another in UMD's residence halls. They take classes, study, and attend LSBE events together.

Students interact with LSBE faculty and alumni who guide them through figuring out any hurdles they may experience during their first year. They are able to participate in events, only open to members of their community.

Students are encouraged to establish professional goals for their collegiate career. A tutor comes to the BizDogs community to help students with their classes and can motivate students to form their own study groups.

Growing & Learning

Kaleb Mether, from Taylors Falls, Minnesota, majoring in accounting and finance, is a first-year student by age but has already accumulated third-year level credits. Kaleb will be graduating in three and a half years. Kaleb was motivated to attend UMD because he enjoys the campus size, the surrounding outdoor landscape of Duluth at his fingertips, as well as the high accreditation of LSBE.

UMD student Kaleb MetherHe has big plans for his post-undergraduate career, helping people with their finances. “I hope to take the Certified Public Accountant exam and get my CPA certification. After that, I hope to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms in the United States. Someday, I think it would be really fun to open my own tax accounting or financial planning business.”

Kaleb has always strived for success in everything he does. When he heard about the BizDogs option and the strong reputation of living learning communities, he “thought it would be helpful to be surrounded by other young business professionals trying to do the same thing.” All of the academic services were appealing to him as well.

He has made a lot of strong connections with his peers, from the beginning of his time as a BizDog. “My favorite part of BizDogs has been meeting a bunch of other business students who have similar aspirations as myself. Moving in with the other BizDogs two days earlier than everyone else made it easy to make some new friends right away.”  

There has also been growth opportunities during his time as a BizDog. Kaleb enjoyed working with the tutor that came to the community to help students with their academics and, “I have now taken over in that spot and am the new BizDogs tutor.” He was not only able to seek help from his previous tutor but saw potential in the role and sought it out, to help others. Other resources ranging from networking activities to academic advising from Tracey Bolen have been very helpful to him.

Thriving Together

Sydney Meister, a healthcare management major, from Marshall, Minnesota, is happier than ever that she is attending UMD. Originally, she was planning on attending a different school, but now she cannot see herself anywhere else.

UMD student Sydney MeisterSydney is concurrently a BizDogs and Honors Program community member. For this reason, she does not live on the BizDogs floor but finds herself within the community quite a bit. “Even though I don't technically live there, most people assume I do because I'm on the floor so often, “ she explained.

Sydney enjoys the sense of camaraderie that has been fostered on the BizDogs floor. “I also absolutely love the atmosphere on that floor. It feels like I'm best friends with everyone on the floor, and we all just get along so well.”

She knows she can rely upon and connect with everyone in the community, which makes her feel more at ease at UMD.  “All of us are in the same boat, and so it makes doing something scary, such as college, a whole heck of a lot easier when you know you have not only one person, but a whole group of people behind you to support and encourage you.”

She explains that the myriad of resources the community has offered has “significantly helped my academic career.” The BizDogs community gives its members access to reserved seats in required classes, personalized emails about current news at UMD, as well as a tutor that comes to the member’s floor to help them with any class.

Sydney is very thankful she has had this opportunity. “This experience has been an absolutely incredible one, and I am beyond glad that I decided to join this community.” She cannot imagine what college would be like had she not made the decision to live in a living-learning community at UMD. “I can honestly say that one simple choice has changed my college career dramatically and shaped it into what it is today.”

Learn more about the BizDogs community here.

Learn more about LSBE here.