Thursday, June 21, 2012 myBiz Blog
How to Get the Most Out of SOAR: pre-Business Students by Melissa Lakritz

SOAR 2011 by Jeff MillerSOAR_2011_SchedulingSOAR 2011 by Jeff Miller

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and congratulations on your acceptance!  You will be attending SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising and Registration) at some point this summer, which you will be advised on creating a class schedule, learning about campus resources, and exploring the activities available on campus.  The advisors you will meet at SOAR are dedicated to answering all your questions and making the transition from high school or a previous university as smooth as possible.

One of the main components of orientation is creating a class schedule for Fall.  Once you have an idea of your interests, there are some steps you can take to prepare SOAR when discussing your future academic plans.  If you attend SOAR with some of these things in mind you can get the most out of the orientation experience and begin to prepare for your future as a business student.

Here are four prep steps I found useful:
  1. Get an idea of what classes are offered and jot down the ones that interest you. Take some time and explore the course guide, which is available under Academics on the homepage.  Think creatively about some of the subjects you may always wanted to learn about.  You can fulfill many of the general requirements with a wide variety of classes.  Take this opportunity to go outside your comfort zone; you might find something you never thought would be interested in. 
  2. Confront your doubts and challenge yourself. Forget about what you have heard about impossible classes or those that ‘everybody fails’.  You were smart enough to get into UW-Madison, and now that you are here you have the ability to reach your potential.  Of course, everybody has that one subject they feel does not come easy.  However, this does not mean you are not good at it, it just means you have to work harder at it.  Developing a strong work ethic early on in your college experience will only help you continue to succeed in any course you take here.  Take advantage of campus resources for tutoring and support.
  3. Plan a way to get involved. There are a countless ways to get involved as a business student.  You can search through the database of student organizations including professional business fraternities, community service groups, student government, societies geared toward specific business majors, etc.  Find one or two that you really want to be a part of.  Check out their website or Facebook page and get your name on their email list, that way you can be updated when events start in the fall.  It is especially important to remember that when you are applying to the Business School you will also need to submit a resume.  Getting involved on campus will enhance your resume and show that you have taken initiative to be involved in applicable business or service experience.
  4. Last but not least, be true to yourself when picking your major. It is common for your parents, siblings, friends, extended cousins, etc. to tell you what they think you are good at.  Only you can decide what you want to do with your life.  Do not make the mistake of only considering what has the best reputation or what makes the most money.  First, do what you love. Everything else comes second.

It might also be helpful for you to take some time to navigate through the Business School website.  There you will find a gold mine of information about anything related to the Wisconsin School of Business.  Still, if you have any questions while you are anticipating your orientation session, write them down and be ready to ask them at SOAR. 

Here are some more helpful links:

What to Bring to SOAR



Quick Look at the SOAR Schedule



Demos and Tutorials on how to use the enrollment system:

Melissa Lakritz is a junior at the UW-Madison and Digital Marketing Intern in the Business Career Center. Email to comment on this post.