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Erika Tanko

1. Erika, you came here from Cedar Creek High School, what moved you to choose Rutgers School of Business – Camden (RSBC)?
I chose Rutgers University–Camden mainly because Rutgers is known for their business school, and I wanted the Rutgers degree while still being close to home. Another deciding factor was that I wanted to play basketball, and Rutgers–Camden has a great athletics department. I also liked the diversity the school has and the welcoming atmosphere Rutgers–Camden gives off.

2. You’re only a sophomore, but have you gotten involved in anything on-campus yet?
I played on the Rutgers–Camden women’s basketball team my freshman year, however I decided not to continue with it my sophomore year. The end of my freshman year was when I decided to double major with Math, so I knew my workload would become even more immense. It was a great program and I loved the team, I just knew it was in my best interest to focus on school and keep my grades high enough to stay on the Dean’s list. I am also a member of the Rutgers University–Camden’s Honors College, which includes mandatory participation in events/activities on-campus to remain a member. This has allowed me to become more involved on campus, and has really helped me step out of my comfort zone and become more engaged with the university.

3. Wow, double majors aren’t an easy feat. Congratulations on your academic achievements. What originally made you want to get into those fields?
I started off my education with my major just being Accounting. I loved math and wanted to do something which involved numbers. However, after having to take Calc I, I realized that math is really what I am most passionate about and I wanted to pursue it further.

4. That is great. So how do you balance taking on two majors while working off-campus?
I balance taking on two majors and working mainly by having good time management skills. I utilize a lot of the resources at the library and Honors College. I also very frequently write things down in my agenda. I have all the deadlines for assignments, tests, etc. written down ahead of time. Therefore, I know of my assignments weeks in advance and I’m never blindsided. One very big support system is my mom for she always encourages me to be diligent and get things done early rather than late. On top of that, when I do have free time, I like to volunteer at the South Jersey Food Bank.

5. That’s so great to hear how you’ve managed your time, and were even able to give back to a great organization in the community. As you look forward to what you may want to do for a profession, has there been a favorite class of yours that you feel has prepared you best?
My ethics class this semester is definitely one of my favorites because it incorporates current events which creates a very thoughtful discussion where everyone is engaged. I don’t have a lot of time to watch the news and keep up with current events, so this class really helps me stay up to date on what’s going on around the world. However, as for a class that has prepared me the best, I’ll have to say my Business Communications class. It taught me simple techniques to help look your best and stay professional.

6. What has surprised you most about Rutgers–Camden from the time you arrived?
Something that has surprised me the most about Rutgers–Camden has to be the people. The students here are very engaged and eager to express their voice and help evoke change. It’s very inspiring to see, and encourages me to not be afraid to speak up.

7. What is one piece of advice that you would like to give the current Cedar Creek Senior class?
One piece of advice I would give current Cedar Creek seniors is to stay true to your heart and not let anyone tell you what you want to do with your life. I would also tell them to always stay focused, for it won’t always be easy.

Thanks for the taking the time to speak with us, Erika!

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