Student Organization Spotlight: Beta Gamma Sigma

Beta Gamma Sigma is the official international business honor society for most business schools. Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) members are top performing students who typically end up in leadership roles across diverse sectors such as- non-profit, government, corporate and academic institutions. BGS provides lifetime value with a promise to bring opportunities, connections to all the members. Beta Gamma Sigma at UIC, established in 1973, continues to uphold the meaning of Beta Gamma Sigma: honor, wisdom, and earnestness. Members are involved in community service initiatives, alumni networking events and various career development opportunities. Learn about the journey of BGS at UIC from Karolina Ferens, Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter President. 

What is the vision of BGS and has it changed considering current times?
“The mission of the international honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, to cultivate and celebrate leadership and professional excellence, to advance the values of the society, and to serve its lifelong members.” 

Beta Gamma Sigma has always united the top performing individuals, specifically business students, across the university. Even though we cannot physically meet due to COVID limitations, we operate primarily through Zoom, GroupMe, as well as email newsletters. Our activity and engagement is stronger than ever, and we are extremely proud. The members truly recognize the importance of student organizations and active participation, especially during these challenging times. With that in mind, the vision of BGS has not changed, and we continuously recruit talented new members. We are very excited to see what the future holds for Beta Gamma Sigma!

Tell us about your experience organizing events for BGS in the past and how different it was compared to the last year.
Each year, we inducted new members and announced the new leadership board in person for the upcoming school year. Unfortunately, This year, to ensure the health and safety of our members, we will be holding our induction ceremony virtually. Likewise, to ensure participation among our members, we have had to think a little outside the box when organizing events to boost engagement. This semester, we focused on community service and organized several events through Lakeview Pantry. We helped the Lakeview Pantry by creating boxes for home deliveries and also, helped in packing orders for families. 

Tell us about the other events BGS plans to organize this spring keeping in mind the present virtual scenario. 
Next semester, we plan to collaborate with other organizations and host a Networking Night! Students will be able to speak with their peers and established professionals in the Chicagoland area to further boost their opportunities post graduation. It will help students with public speaking and professional presence in an online environment. 

What are the takeaways for students despite the absence of in-person events this year.
The takeaways for students this year is that education and participation does not stop simply because you are not physically present in a classroom on campus. This year has definitely served as an eye opener that no matter what, education can and will continue to prosper despite the format. Accordingly, this directly correlates to BGS and other organizations too. Even though in person events have come to a halt, the club will continue to be successful based on the effort put in by members and the leadership board. COVID is a bump in the road to a great future. 

What is the highlight of your association with BGS till now?
The highlight of our association has been our community service at Lakeview Pantry. Our organization spent time helping a non-profit whose mission is to serve those in need. In doing so, we were able to meet with each other and discuss the future of our organization while helping the community in the process. Overall, it was an amazing and humbling experience. 

Lastly, how important do you think it is to be part of a student organization given the present circumstances.
It is very important to be part of a student organization because this is the time when most students feel unengaged with the universities they are attending. Student organizations offer opportunities for students to stay connected with the school they are attending despite not being physically present on the campus. They are also a great way for individuals to network with their peers online, which can further break the awkwardness some may feel to speak face to face. Finally, student organizations can serve as a catalyst for joining any additional organizations once things go back to normal. 

Thank you Karolina and the entire team at Beta Gamma Sigma for your contributions to the UIC Business student community. If you are interested in joining Beta Gamma Sigma or knowing more about the work they do, feel free to reach out to Karolina at kferen3@uic.edu