SV: What made you decide to come to Saginaw Valley?
Vance: Regretfully, I didn’t start here right from high school. I received a scholarship to play football at Albany State University in southwest Georgia. Playing sports at the collegiate level was pretty intense, with 5 a.m. practices and the like. After a year and a half, I found it wasn’t what I wanted, and being 750 miles from home was not something I was used to either.
SV: Describe your first semester here.
Vance: I transferred here in Fall 2008 as an accounting major, so that hasn’t changed. I think I took 14 credits. I blame my roommate Joshua Rivers that semester for getting me involved in so many things since I’ve been here. He was always doing something, and I thought, “I want to do that too.” There are people that say there’s nothing to do here, and at first I was one of those people. It’s easy to come here and lose focus on what you should be doing. Part of the experience, though, is finding people, finding friends, that help you stay on the right way. I became involved in a lot of things. And because of that, I sometimes find myself being a role model and a mentor for other students.
[SV asked Vance to list what clubs and organizations he’s involved in. Vance decided to make the most of his college experience, though academics has always come first.]
• Minority Student Services Making Students Successful mentor;
• Initiated into Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity in 2009; Current Chapter Chancellor
• Resident Assistant (South East Community);
• Orientation Leader;
• Accounting tutor ;
• Parliamentarian for the Rho Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a fraternity he helped bring to SVSU;
• College of Business & Management student advisory council
• Inducted into the National Residence Hall Honorary (recognizes top 1 percent residential students who are exceptional leaders);
• Vance’s senior year will be capped off by his selection into the “ Roberts Fellows .”
SV: What do you find rewarding?
Vance: Seeing someone take my advice and apply it to their life. A friend took my advice and joined Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity. She enjoys it a lot and it has been fun to watch her confidence and business skills grow.
SV: You're a senior. Have you completed any internships?
Vance: I have recently accepted a summer (2011) accounting internship with Plante & Moran . I will be working in the Auburn Hills office doing auditing and tax work. [Founded in 1924, Plante & Moran is among the nation's largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms. It's among one the Top Ten Workplaces in Michigan (Detroit Free Press, November 14, 2010, and one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work 2010.]
I did an internship at Nexteer this past summer. I worked with engineers to create a special ordering system. It’s a great experience. I believe Delta Sigma Pi helped get me this internship because of the networking opportunities we have with alumni and professionals in the area. An SVSU Senior and Delta Sigma Pi past President, Caitlin Murphy, is HR Student Program Coordinator at Nexteer Automotive. "It is proof that getting involved gets you connected; and it gets you connected to the right people. These are the people that are on the right path and some of these can help you professionally.”