Two students walking down hallway of Illini Union with professor

Student Profile: Chris Billing

Hometown: Watford, England
Major: Accountancy
On-Campus Involvement:  Accounting Club, Business 101, Council of Presidents, Gies Ambassadors
Internship Experiences: I will be with PwC in its New York City office this summer as an Audit and Assurance Intern.

Why did you choose Illinois and/or Gies College of Business? The rankings and impressive distinctions were what initially attracted me to Gies, and the friendly impressions I felt on my campus tour were what made my decision clear.

What's been your favorite business course and why? ACCY 301 with Professor Davis is my favorite course because of its content and the way it is taught. The class material provides a strong foundation of financial accounting which is only enhanced by Professor Davis' experience as a former CFO.

What's the best part about being a Gies student? It is truly amazing to know that no matter where my interests take me in business, Gies will always have excellent connections and resources to help me guide my future career path.

What advice would you give a prospective student in the college search process? I would suggest aiming high and looking for a university that will encourage you to do your very best and foster a collaborative environment. For me, my peers and instructors at Gies have challenged me to fulfill my potential and have provided crucial support along the way.

What advice would you give to incoming students? I recommend taking the time you have before coming to Illinois to learn about some of the exciting opportunities we have at Gies. There is no doubt you will find organizations, classes, and programs that interest you at Gies, but the earlier you can focus your intentions and take action, the better!

What are some of your favorite TV shows, movies, musicians, podcasts, or books? Ever since I read a few of the comics with my dad as a kid, I've always loved the Marvel movies. Additionally, some of my favorite books include Educated, When Breath Becomes Air, and Direct from Dell.

What do you do for fun in Champaign-Urbana? Exploring Downtown Champaign by seeing a movie at the Art Theater, dining at one of the great restaurants, or walking under the festive street lights are great ways to enjoy the local area.

What's your favorite place to eat on-campus and/or off-campus? Jurassic Grill - it's simply the best!

What surprised you most about the University of Illinois and/or Gies College of Business? The sheer amount of people who are here to support you is truly amazing. I came into Gies not knowing anything about how to accomplish my goals, but there were people from my first week who have helped me in many incredible ways until now. As a senior, I am able to give back to those who are in my position and am grateful to do so.

How have you found ways to make a big university feel small? I joined a couple of organizations that had other students with similar interests as my own and made some great connections with the supportive faculty. These two methods gave me a strong network of individuals I could turn to for help and a sense of community.

Student Profile: Julia Chillon

Hometown: Frankfort, IL
Major: Marketing and Information Systems
On-Campus Involvement: Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity
Study Abroad Experiences: Short Term: Brazil & Argentina
Internship Experiences: Advisory internship at PwC, summer 2019

Why did you choose Illinois and/or Gies College of Business? I chose Gies because of the people. To me, there is no other school that you will be able to have real relationships with faculty, collaborate with other students, and feel prepared for life after Illinois. Gies is a family.

What's been your favorite business course and why? I have really enjoyed my BADM 320 course, Principles of Marketing. This course made me really excited to put the skills and concepts we learned to use in the professional world.

What's the best part about being a Gies student? The opportunities.

What advice would you give a prospective student in the college search process? Find your fit. Focus on the place that you feel most comfortable pursuing your passions with the people around you. Look for the school that will help you develop the best version of yourself. Go wherever you feel happiest.

What advice would you give to incoming students? Ask questions and visit campus! This is your future- make sure you are as prepared as you can be the day you step on campus!

What are some of your favorite TV shows, movies, musicians, podcasts, or books?

  • TV Show: Scandal, Bloodline
  • Movies: Meet the Robinsons, Good Will Hunting, Footloose
  • Books: Looking for Alaska, A Walk to Remember
  • Musicians: Taylor Swift, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Mt. Joy

What do you do for fun in Champaign-Urbana? I love to go to the Japanese Gardens! In the spring and fall, the gardens are so beautiful to walk around. I also love to try out smaller cafes in the downtown area.

How did you find your community on campus? I found my community on campus by talking with other students. Walking into the BIF atrium can be overwhelming, but every person wants to make connections with you. You just have to put yourself out there a little bit.

How have you found ways to make a big university feel small? Take the opportunities that are given to you. Find your niche and find your people!

Student Profile: Fatimah Ibidunni

Hometown: Joliet, IL
Major: Finance
On-Campus Involvement: National Association of Black Accountants
Study Abroad Experiences: Semester Abroad: Milan, Italy
Internship Experiences: Wells Fargo Risk Management Intern in Charlotte, NC

Why did you choose Illinois and/or Gies College of Business? I chose Illinois because it was far enough away from home but close enough that I would be able to go home if I needed to. I also became well aware during my freshman year in college all of the opportunities that existed in Gies College of Business that I knew I had to transfer in.

What's been your favorite business course and why? My favorite business course so far has been BADM 320 with Mark Wolters. He brings amazing energy to class every day that makes class enjoyable. In addition, he has his own YouTube channel so he understands the social media aspect of marketing which is so important in the world we live in today.

What's the best part about being a Gies student? The best part of being a Gies student is the reputation and prestige that you become associated with once you are admitted into the College. I love just the mention of the Gies College of Business name gives me an automatic boost when introducing myself.

What advice would you give a prospective student in the college search process? It is important to understand what you want out of your college experience. You are in college to learn but also have some fun along the way. I think that the University of Illinois is the perfect place to find that balance. We work hard and play hard.

What are some of your favorite TV shows, movies, musicians, podcasts, or books? Right now my favorite TV show has to be Westworld. My favorite movie is Inception, hands down. I love lowkey RnB artists like Brent Faiyaz and The Internet, and my favorite rapper is J.Cole. My favorite podcast lately has been Black Girl Podcast.

What's your favorite place to eat on-campus and/or off-campus? Potbelly and Sakanaya for sushi.

What surprised you most about the University of Illinois and/or Gies College of Business? What surprised me most about Gies College of Business is how involved the faculty is with students. It is not uncommon to be in the BIF atrium and see the Deans or Administrators walking around talking to students. I have been able to make great connections with them and that is something I never would have imagined.

How did you find your community on campus? I found community on campus through many of the student organizations that exist. There were so many little communities available for me to join in my freshman year that created a small feel to a large campus environment.

News and Events

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Can luxury brands also be socially conscious?

Luxury brands are struggling to successfully incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their brand platform. Now for the first time, Gies professor Carlos Torelli is proposing a solution that could help the world’s most luxurious brands join the CSR movement.