Vernon R. Wilson II
Major: Human Resource Management
School: O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
IU Student Involvement
O’Neill School (SPEA) Honors Society (2020), XAE Chi Alpha Epsilon (2020), Hudson and Holland Scholars Program (2018), Groups Scholars Program (2018), Academic Peer Tutor (2018)
Advice to underclassmen
I have two areas of advice I wish to provide for new students attending IU-Bloomington. The first piece of advice I wish I knew earlier as a student was the importance of office hours. Office hours is an amazing opportunity to get expert assistance from your professor. The professors also utilize this time to recognize a student's career interests. Oftentimes, professors may present external opportunities not offered to other students, simply from learning about you and your dedication to success during time spent with you during office hours.
My last piece of advice for newer students, especially given the experience of this past year of 2020, is to have constant communication with your academic advisor. Whether it be a difficult class you need to retake or any extenuating circumstance, all of my IU-Bloomington advisors have been here to help me succeed professionally and academically.
How 21st Century Has Helped You Succeed
The 21st Century Scholars Program has been crucial to my success as a student. This program not only provided me with a scholarship allowing me to soon graduate debt-free, but also provided a plethora of Financial Wellness curriculum through the MoneySmarts Initiative. In addition to the financial stability provided through this program, the office also supplied me with amazing academic advisors who were passionate about my success. I would often hang out in the scholar’s office and speak with the advisors frequently. All in all, the 21st Century Scholars Program not only offered me the tokens of success, but also provided the tools that allowed me to make better decisions, whether they be financial or academic based.
I aspire to work as a Generalist Human Resource Manager at a mid-size firm. I wish to connect my interest of public policy analysis to my career as a manager, by specializing in data and analytics.
How you coped with the last year in quarantine
This last year for me, as for many, has been very difficult. Oftentimes I have felt very isolated and overwhelmed by both quarantine and the social unrest across America. I have found the best way to cope with these circumstances was to get involved. Virtually, I have signed many petitions and spent my downtime learning to code websites. This is a skill I felt could expand my job horizons. While in-person, I have safely volunteered at a food bank, which facilitated the delivery of hundreds of food boxes to my community.
One last note I wanted to discuss further was the importance of mental health and checking up on family/friends this past year. For me at least, quarantine demonstrated the significance of staying connected with the people you cherish. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, we can all “zoom” together and share some smiles.
Favorite things about IU
When on campus, one of my favorite things about IU is walking the scenic trails around Kirkwood in the Fall. The campus is quite beautiful when all the leaves change colors, and in the spring when the flowers begin to bloom. Another favorite pastime of mine at IU is squirrel watching. Before coming to IU, I had never seen squirrels so big approach a human. I enjoy taking pictures and sending them to my family, who are always just as amazed.