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The “I Am Building” students, from left, Braxton Noble, Jeana Wilson, Forrest Hull, Peyton Hillery and Tim Sakabu.

Sharing the Growth

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

'I Am Building' project pairs freshmen's paths with building construction

From that class, a handful of Spears School of Business newcomers were asked to share themselves during their college careers. The initiative documents the lives of these Oklahoma State students as they grew and developed, both academically and socially, corresponding with the construction and opening of the Business Building from a big hole in the ground to an impressive structure. They have shared their stories through videos, magazine articles, social media and more, attracting many followers.

A few days after the new Business Building officially opened for classes on January 16, we visited with these students about a number of topics. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Let’s hear from:

  • Peyton Hillery, Accounting major
    Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Forrest Hull, Finance major/ Economics minor
    Jenks, Oklahoma
  • Braxton Noble, Finance major
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Tim Sakabu, Finance major
    Antelope, California
  • Jeana Wilson, Management major/ Finance minor
    Stroud, Oklahoma

What has the experience of being an “I Am Building” student meant to you?

Forrest Hull: It has been an opportunity to kind of be forced into looking back at the path that my college career is taking and whether that time was filled with failures or successes, good decisions or bad decisions. It reminds me to be mindful of both the way that certain events molded my life in the past and also how the decisions I make now are going to affect my future.

Peyton Hillery: I have gotten to relive my college experiences, retell some of those stories and see it all in video and pictures. It has given me so many opportunities and networking opportunities as well.

Jeana Wilson: I feel like it’s been so much bigger than myself. I feel like I’ve been able to be a part of a legacy.

What have you seen or learned differently than if you had not been a part of the project?

Forrest Hull: I think one of the things I’ve learned in being in the project is to not really take myself too seriously. When I first look back and see the changes that have been made, especially through the hard times and the times of adversity, and realize I’m still here, I’m still OK, and it wasn’t the end of the world. I think being more comfortable in just everyday decisions and big decisions, and even small decisions, has been a huge benefit to me.

How has the project impacted your life outside of school?

Forrest Hull: It holds me accountable because I know that from the very first video that we did, this is something that’s going to be for the next four years. I should keep my act together because it’s going to be followed, and I don’t want to get to the end of our college career and think, ‘I look basically the same. I am basically the same. I have not learned a bunch of stuff.’ I want to see the progress.

Tim Sakabu: I always get a call from my mom when a new video is posted. She really enjoys being able to see both the program that I’m a part of in the Spears School of Business as well as my growth as a student.

How have you grown since coming to OSU?

Peyton Hillery: I’ve learned so much about networking, about leading others and just about making intentional relationships.

Forrest Hull: I am willing in general to just work with other people and the value that I place on that now versus from when I started at OSU. I think that maybe I thought a lot of stuff that I can do on my own, a lot of stuff I didn’t need or want other people’s opinions, but now I understand that interdependence is really more effective and way more valuable that just being an independent person.

Jeana Wilson: I feel like the biggest growth I’ve seen in myself is my confidence.

Who are some of the people at Spears Business who have impacted your life, and how have they helped guide you the last few years?

Braxton Noble: The most impactful person in the School of Business thus far for me has probably been Dr. Mary Gade. Dr. Jose Sagarnaga is my boss in the Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement Center, and he has really helped me become the type of student and person that I want to be upon my graduation from Oklahoma State.

Peyton Hillery: My adviser, Marissa McIntyre, has been through everything with me, through the ups and the downs. She’s led me through basically everything accounting. Also, one of my professors, Sarah Johnson, helped me get connected with accounting firms and gave me advice on interviewing and applying for jobs. I’ll forever be thankful for both of those women.

Forrest Hull: My peers, whether they be in FarmHouse or just people I know on campus and in classes, have inspired me in a lot of ways to make me a more balanced person.

Jeana Wilson: A few different faculty and advisers have really impacted my experience here. One would be Marissa McIntyre, my academic adviser. She is incredible in all forms of the word. Another would be professor Andrew Urich, who challenges the way that you think.

What was it like to see the building come up from the ground the last few years?

Jeana Wilson: Seeing the building come from the ground up from my freshman year has been phenomenal. It’s been so cool to be a part of seeing the hole in the ground and then just level by level going up, and now finally being able to walk into those doors and call this place my home.

Tim Sakabu: Watching the development of the building since my freshman year has really reaffirmed my decision to come here all the way from California. It was really an outstanding experience to see all of these people rally behind one building.

What was your first impression when you walked into the completed building for the first time?

Braxton Noble: I would say the biggest thing was seeing all the students welcoming the other students, helping them find their classes, and realizing how state-of-the-art it really is.

Jeana Wilson: When I first walked into the building it was complete awe. The building itself is just absolutely beautiful.

Peyton Hillery: Everything looks so inviting. I think the thing that I’m most excited to be able to use on a regular basis are the study rooms. The glassed-in study rooms are so cool, and they’re open and very well-lit, but they’re also private rooms that you can study in.

How do you see students taking advantage of the new state-of-the-art building?

Forrest Hull: I would say one of the biggest ways that students are going to benefit from the building is with accelerateOSU being moved into the building.

Jeana Wilson: I know that we have some of the most advanced technology on campus now because of this building. I feel like students will be able to take advantage of having a central location to do their homework, grab a cup of coffee, connect with professors and other students, work on their classwork, and want to be at the business school and feel at home at the business school.

Tim Sakabu: I’ve definitely noticed that a lot more students are excited to be taking business classes. Everyone is always talking about what classes they get to take in there, and there’s a lot more excitement around the campus.

What are you building at OSU?

Peyton Hillery: I am building skills to influence others by pursuing leadership roles in organizations I care about.

Forrest Hull: I am building the educational foundation that is going to set me up for the highest possible success in a changing business world.

Braxton Noble: I am building a habit of challenging myself and trying to pursue excellence.

Tim Sakabu: I am building a collection of meaningful experiences at Oklahoma State.

Jeana Wilson: I am building a legacy for future business students.

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