Be Thankful

So this month’s blog prompt is to reflect on a time when someone with a fairly different background from your own made you think about the world differently. However in my case, I have too many examples of this, I wish I wrote each one of them in my personal diary.

I guess I will talk about the time I feel like I am not thankful enough. I came to United States and NIU with the goal to get a bachelor degree and to seek for the experience that I would not get in Indonesia. Often, I feel so lazy to do my homework, study for exams or even going to classes in general. When the laziness in me kicking in, I would always remind myself of how lucky I am to get an education without having to worry about the fees and costs related to it. I have met some people at NIU who work more than one part-time job apart from taking classes to help them pay for their living cost as a student. They have no option but to wait until they get off from work and stay up late to do their homework or study for an exam. Therefore, I need to stop being lazy and to use my time wisely.

I never work while I am attending school until I came to the United States. I use scholarship and my family support to help me pay for my college education. I realize, compare to my peers, I always have the luxury of having an options about the activities that I want to do besides taking classes. I never have to think about fitting my after school activities in between classes and my job. It is the luxury that I never thought I have and it has been the reason to use my time more wisely as a college student. The luxury of having an options is also my reason to work even harder in classes and in life in general. I mean, how can my friend who take the same amount of classes as me and work two jobs can get 100 on an exam, while I am here who has more free time than that person got 60 on my exam??

Lastly, I want to share these two quotes that I got from the Internet to end my blog post for this month. Don’t forget to always be thankful for whatever you have. You never know, someone, somewhere out there is longing to have what you have. I hope you learn something from this post.

“Be humble, hungry, and always be the hardest worker in the room. Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had”

Business Passport at the College of Business

Have you ever heard about Business Passport program at the College of Business?

No no, you do not need an actual passport to become a student at the College of Business! Business Passport is a program that set to prepare students to become well-rounded graduates of NIU. Through the program, students will engage in various learning activities to enhance their leadership skill and global perspectives and increase their ethical awareness so that they become a better candidate on job searching!

Students of the College of Business are required to participate in the Business Passport activity of different categories (called continent) available throughout their time at NIU.

Some of the activities this past semester are Target Case Competition, Volunteer at Community Garden, Linkedin Profile Workshop, Lecture on Energy and Climate by Richard Alley and many more!

To find out more information about the program go on to this link ->  Business Passport Program and also like its Facebook page.

Let me know if you have any question.



Dear First-Year Students

First-Year Student,

Congratulation, you made the right choice to come to the best university in the state of Illinois!

Trust me, it is the best university in Illinois!

Now the question is how do you make the best of your time here at the best university?

As a junior at NIU, I find that the key to my accomplishments to date is by having a good network. The definition of good network is people who will be there for you no matter your situation is, during your ups and downs. These people are those who will exchange ideas with you, shared the same interest and perhaps introduce you to a new exciting things! They can be your friends but also your mentor.

I suggest you first year students to find this network of people as soon as possible.           How do you find these people?  Always introduce yourself and smile 🙂

-Zharfan Irawan-

My name is Zharfan and I am the Northern Lights Ambassador

Hi Folks,

I hope everyone is excited for the fall semester!

After having to go through a twenty hours flight, I am now back in the city of Dekalb. I am excited to announce to you that I got selected as the Northern Lights Ambassador for the year of 2014 – 2015!!

You might be wondering what is that?!

Basically, I am the ambassador of NIU. I will be responsible to become a liaison of NIU for the perspective students, current students, alumni, as well as the community. I am also responsible to help fellow student to make the best out of their time at NIU.

I intend to give back to NIU through my work as an NLA, I become who I am today because of this everyone in this institution. I am also keen to get to know more of my fellow NLAs personally, I think they are such a brilliant individual on their on way.

Class starts in just a matter of hours, I wish you all have a great year!

Bye – bye

Zharfan Irawan


Late Conclusion

Hi readers,

It has been a while since the last time I wrote on this blog. A lot has happened. To make it short, I was not able to attend the Undergraduate Research and Artistry day because I had to flew to Indonesia because the death of my mother.

This coming fall, I will be retaking some of my classes that I had from the previous semester. I promised to myself that I am going to be the best student I can next semester.

I hope to start writing again as soon as I arrive in Dekalb for the fall semester.

I hope everyone have a good day.




Welcome to the month of March and I hope everyone having a blast on Spring Break!

I am here to give another update about my research. I am now getting even closer to the end of the research rookies program. One of the outcomes of this research project is to present my finding at the Undergraduate Research Artistry Day (URAD), which will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. It means that I should be starting to prepare my poster about my research. However, I still am working on my research project. My faculty mentor and I finished creating the survey questionnaire. We also have submitted the application for institutional review of research involving the human subject. Everything was done before the spring break!

Hopefully everything works fine and I should be getting the results of the questionnaire very soon. I should have enough time to create my poster that will be presented at the URAD.

Lastly, I hope everyone having a good rest before raging back for another months of spring semester. If you are a freshman, sophomore, or transfer student please consider applying for Research Rookies program, you cannot go wrong with that! I will give you an update very soon.

Best Regards,

Spring Semester

Hi Folks!

Time flies! It is now the spring semester and I am halfway through my journey as a research rookie. I have been enjoying my time as a research rookie, working on the research as well as working with my faculty mentor, Dr. Dzuranin. She is willing to help me in ways she can. Once, she answered my questions through a phone call!

 My research project is going very well; I am now in the process of writing survey questions and learning how to use Qualtrics.  Qualtrics is software that allow you to create survey questions and format it however you want. It is definitely one of the benefits of being a research rookie, I got to learn new things that others may not.

Lastly, I hope every one of you have a great rest of the spring semester! 

Hi friends,

I would like to give a brief review of the research rookies reception that was held right before the start of the winter break. Research rookies reception was held to introduce this year’s research rookies to NIU community. The were research rookies, faculty mentors, families and friends on the event. The reception gave the research rookies an opportunity to explain his/her research project through a short video that we have previously recorded. The research rookies  also got to meet NIU alumni and the donor of the research rookies program, Harry and Jaymie Simmon. The event was marvelous and I was happy that they hold the reception just shortly before I started my final exams.

Lastly, good luck on your finals and have a great break!

The Time I Finish My Research Proposal


How are you doing? I hope everyone doing great! As you may see on my title, I have finally finished and submitted my research proposal. I am very glad that I finally able finish this phase of my research rookies journey. It was quiet daunting because I have never wrote a research proposal before. All the Research Rookies require to submit a written research proposal on Friday, November 15th 2013. The title of my research is, Understanding the Extent of Spreadsheet Use for Decision-Making In Organization. The research proposal consist of abstract, background and context, statement of significance and impact, statement of project objectives, methods, outcomes, project timeline and references. The most challenging part for me was to schedule my time between writing the proposal, studying for classes, and preparing for a tax competition that was held on November 1st, 2013. However, my faculty mentor, Dr. Dzuranin has been a very great help. She was very generous in helping me and answering all of my questions when I wrote the proposal. Looking back now, I am very pleased that I can finish them all.  Also, my team and I received an Honorable Mention from the tax competition!

My next task of this research project is to design a survey questionnaire that I will send out to employees of various organizations.

I hope everyone enjoying the last couple weeks of this fall semester. I will keep you guys updated and thank you for reading my blog!!