This year 25 UIC Business students were recognized with the Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Award for the outstanding contribution they have made to the university and surrounding community. The Chancellor's Student Service Award (CSSA) honors students who have relentlessly served the campus and the UIC community. We had the opportunity to learn about the incredible journey of one of our UIC Business student winners, Bruna Tavares.
First of all, congratulations on your success and receiving a Chancellor Student Service and Leadership Award (CSSLA). It’s one of UIC’s highest honors to receive for our students. How are you feeling about this award?
It’s such an honor to be one of the 12 students inducted into the Activities Honorary Society this year! Not only is it a great celebration of student involvement, but it’s also one of only 2 active traditions remaining from our Navy Pier Campus which makes it even more special. However, this award isn’t a representation of just me- it represents all of the amazing support I’ve received since I started at UIC - from academic advisors to my own peers, this award just shows that with the amazing support and community our school cultivates, students can achieve anything!
What makes you a student leader?
Most people would probably say I’m a student leader because of all the positions I hold in different student organizations, but the work I do in these organizations comes from the heart. I love being involved because it’s an opportunity to give back to the campus that has given so much to me! This campus is full of talented and hardworking students, staff, and faculty, and it’s an honor to use my talents to help improve our campus in any way that I can- whether it’s by coming up with innovative ideas for CBA in the Business Student Advisory Board or helping with small groups in Campus Outreach, I’m just happy to give back and set us up for success in any way that I can.
How involved are you presently on-campus - with initiatives, student organizations, etc.?
Right now I’m the Co-President of the Business Student Advisory Board and in Campus Outreach (CO). I’ve also been involved with some great organizations like the Undergraduate Women’s Network and Flames Consulting Group in the past. Through BSAB, we’re able to take what’s important to the CBA student body and help create initiatives within the college that set students up for success. In Campus Outreach, I’m able to build connections with students through faith in ways that I probably wouldn’t have if I never found out about CO.
What experiences do you think contributed for you to receive this award? Is there a program or initiative in particular that is close to your heart that you are incredibly proud of?
I think my work through BSAB so far has been the most rewarding in terms of my involvement at UIC! I’ve been able to advise the college in a new initiative they’re taking on where each incoming freshman student will be placed into a cohort. This cohort program will improve student connections and engagement and having been able to help the college develop it has been a great experience! Even if I’m only able to help in small ways like researching what other universities do, seeing it come together piece by piece has been really rewarding.
What is the driving factor to your success?
I think that to achieve success, you have to lead with your heart. If you’re not passionate about the topic or cause, there’s no way you’ll be able to get others to buy into it. That fire is what keeps you going when times are tough and helps you shine. Once you have that passion, build a network of support around you. Success is never a one-man show, and you need to be able to ask for help when needed. We’re so lucky to have a great network of support at UIC that ranges everywhere from our academic advisors to our professors!
What does your legacy look like?
At the end of the day, I just want people to know that I loved and gave back as much as I could to our community. A lot of people ask me how I handle a busy schedule with everything I have on my plate, and the honest answer is that I have to take it moment-by-moment because it’s hard. My motto for when times get hard is to use the talents I’ve been given to pour back into our community and leave it better than when I found it. There are definitely times when that’s challenging, and I’m not able to do everything I want, but as long as people see my passion and know that I truly love our university, I’ll be happy.
Lastly, what advice would you give for other students looking to receive a CSSLA?
My best piece of advice comes in three words: quality over quantity. Find something you're passionate about and pour yourself into it. You don’t have to be involved in 15 different things and running around campus all the time (I’ll admit to doing the latter haha), but find something that you enjoy and can give back to and do it. Use the talents you’ve been given to better that student organization, and don’t be afraid to take the leap!
Thank you Bruna for sharing your story with us and we hope you keep inspiring the rest of the students at UIC Business with your passion for good work. To stay connected with Bruna, you can send an email to her or connect on LinkedIn.