By Heather Shaffer
Senior Capital Scholar Derek Koch has had many positive experiences while taking business and economic courses at UIS.
Derek decided to come to UIS because of the small class sizes and great housing options. He also liked the fact that UIS has the prestige of the University of Illinois name while still offering a small school environment and quiet atmosphere.
Derek has enjoyed living on-campus -- the first two years in Lincoln Residence Hall, which he described as fun yet conducive to studying and learning, and the past two years in the townhouses. He said he enjoys living in the townhouses as much as he enjoyed living in the residence hall.
Derek’s academic career at UIS has included coursework in business, management, marketing and economics. He said he enjoyed his business and economic courses because the information was useful and the professors were very knowledgeable and helpful.
During the summer of 2000, just before coming to UIS, Derek and his father began a business on eBay called PC Rejuvenator, from which they sell computer and electronic items. “I thought opening an eBay store would be a good way to start selling products, so I took the risk and got it started,” Derek said. He and his father began researching different products to sell, mostly computers and electronics, and slowly began listing the products on eBay. According to Derek, the business picked up and is still doing well.
Because of the knowledge he gained through owning his own business and through his coursework at UIS, Derek was able to obtain a summer internship at QuickDROP, a Springfield business that helps people sell things online. During his internship, Derek will help customers who bring items to the store, answering their questions, listing the items on eBay, helping ship items, and handling money for QuickDROP.
Derek found the internship through the UIS Applied Study Term Office. He said the AST staff was helpful in reviewing his resume and giving him advice and information about internship options.
Derek said that all the business classes he took at UIS will be useful during his internship, especially when he is handling money and working with customers. He also thinks that his Public Affairs Colloquia course Power and Negotiation will be useful dealing with customers and his supervisors. He added that another course he took on web design and HTML will be helpful when listing items on eBay.
He believes that his coursework at UIS has helped him improve his own eBay business. “I have learned so much in my business and economic courses that I will be able to apply to my business to help us become bigger and better.” He added, “I think my experiences at UIS will help me get a great job after I graduate.”