Finance and Marketing MajorsBethany Barefoot-2016 Student Gallery Winner

"Everything you need to be your own definition of successful is provided for you at IUP. It is up to you as to whether or not you utilize those opportunities. IUP and the Eberly College of Business and IT offered me opportunities that exceeded my expectations and allowed me to grow as a person, student, and professional. The experiences I have had, the people I have met, and the knowledge that I have gained have all contributed to my success at IUP and Eberly."

I was born and raised in the small town of Fishertown, Pennsylvania, and attended Chestnut Ridge High School. Being a first-generation college student, I looked to my older sister and brother who attended Pitt and IUP respectively for guidance throughout my college search process. After applying to several colleges, I selected IUP for its quality education at an affordable price and also for the Eberly Business Honors Program, which offered me professional opportunities in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Indiaopportunities I never imagined I would have.

When I first arrived at IUP as a freshman, I knew I would have to become involved on campus if I wanted to be a successful student. I got a job at IUP Payroll Services, and joined the Cook Honors College, Student Finance Association, and Phi Beta Lambda. As I think most college freshmen experience, I tried to find where I fit in by joining everything I could.

It was during my sophomore fall semester when everything began to click for me. I was offered a new job in the Eberly Office of Undergraduate Student Services, I joined Phi Gamma Nu (PGN) and assumed leadership positions within the organization which enabled me to become a member and a leader in the College of Business Advisory Council (COBSAC), and I began taking advantage of the opportunities that the Eberly Business Honors Program offered me.

I have been involved in the College of Business Student Advisory Council (COBSAC) since the spring semester of my sophomore year when I was elected as the vice president of Publicity. I was given the opportunity to run for this position since I was just elected as Phi Gamma Nu's secretary, and COBSAC encompasses all of the student leaders within each of Eberly's 12 business organizations.

In time, I was elected COBSAC president. I more or less served as liaison between the student organizations and the college administration. COBSAC was a great way for me to learn the administrative side of how the college operates. I helped the college update organizations' websites, bulletin boards, prepare for the annual audits, and also create reports on the activities of each organization, and even led the initiative of designing a logo for COBSAC in order to raise awareness of the organization. Perhaps the most rewarding part of being involved in COBSAC was witnessing how the entire college came together on several occasions to raise money for community service projects. During my tenure in COBSAC, I have co-organized several fundraisers to benefit Eberly students in need and local community organizations, which raised over $3,000.

I have enjoyed my time in COBSAC getting to know the other student leaders in Eberly and helping and encouraging them to make their organizations the best they can be. COBSAC enabled me to become extremely involved in Eberly, and that is something that I will always be grateful for.

During my four years at IUP, I studied abroad in France and India, networked with alumni in Washington, D.C., New York City, and India through the Eberly Business Honors Program and also in Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; and Charlotte, N.C. through PGN, and had the privilege of being president of PGN, a business fraternity, and COBSAC.

Through my experiences I learned to conduct myself professionally, how to network and be a leader, and, most importantly, I created valuable relationships. I am confident these experiences have prepared me for my future career and more.

Bethany is the marketing and events specialist at Mid Penn Bank (as of June 2016).