5 Strategies for Making College Work for You

Posted by on April 17, 2014

No matter when you start college—straight out of high school or as a second-career adult learner—the process can seem overwhelming and intimidating. That’s why the admissions team at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud (MSB) stresses the value of these five shortcuts to success.

  • Connect: Entering students need to connect with everyone who can help them achieve their goals, says Admissions Director Kim Plombon, beginning with their admissions representative and continuing with their advisors, mentors and instructors. They need to connect with the student services coordinator and with fellow student association members. They need to connect with career services and also the larger community. Each of these people has information and resources to help you along the way. It’s a lot quicker and easier than having to figure it out on your own.

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    Meet the St. Cloud admissions team: Jason Nguyen, Victoria Aretz, Kim Plombon, Tiffany Tate, Ronnie Kankaala, Ashley Hahn, Cathy Chabot

    • Conquer Your Fear: A lot of people put off attending college, Plombon maintains, because they are afraid. They fear failure, not being smart enough, not having enough time. The best way to conquer those fears is to identify them and make a decision. “Go to class, get the grades and prove it to yourself,” she urges. “That’s the way to build confidence and succeed.” Admissions Representative Ronnie Kankaala adds that understanding they are not alone helps students master their insecurities. There is a huge support system at the school from staff, faculty and fellow students. Reaching out is the important thing, she advises.
  • Treat College as Career: The fastest way to succeed as a college student is to think of school as work, emphasizes Plombon. It’s a mindset. Think as a professional would and outside distractions begin to melt away and you forget your excuses. Admissions Representative Victoria Aretz adds that students should take advantage of the applied learning experiences they receive at MSB. “It’s a [competitive] advantage,” she maintains, “because students are learning the skillset that employers are looking for. They have already had hands-on training in their field.”
  • Be Passionate: Doing what you love leads to the highest amount of success in the future. Get into the classes you love and enjoy, advises Plombon. That’s what drives you to your end result.
  • Utilize Resources: This includes the on campus and online library, technology resources and, especially, human resources. Admissions Representative Ashley Hahn reminds students, “We are literally just a phone call, email or text away. We are here to benefit and assist our students in their success.”

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New students put these tips to the test

As a full-time student and parent, first-quarter veterinary technology student Amanda Raths feels that starting college was a bit overwhelming. But she credits Ronnie Kankaala with helping ease the way and says she feels supported.

“There’s a lot of one-on-one here,” Raths maintains. “If I have an issue, there’s always someone I can talk to.”

Kayla Daily is also a first-quarter veterinary technology student but came straight from high school. “It was a little confusing figuring out registration and orientation,” she said, “but admissions and the teachers helped with any question or concerns.”

Second-quarter accounting student Hailey Angrimson admits that she had a hectic start. “I was working two jobs and started school, and it didn’t go so well. I’ve cut down to one job, and it’s easier now.”

Angrimson also capitalized on connecting with her peers right away. “I moved here not knowing anyone at all,” she said. “It was awkward for a couple of weeks. I wanted to make friends, so I joined the Accounting Club. It works to hang out with people who like what you do. It’s going smoothly so far.”

Admissions staff and new students agree that connecting and commitment are the two key components of success in college…and that MSB offers the opportunity to maximize both.


Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.