Reflection on my Research Experience

I am extremely excited for Undergrad Research and Artistry Day (URAD) to be here. It is finally the opportunity for my to show off all my hard work and to share what I learned with others. I am also very excited to see what my other fellow Research Rookies have learned in the past academic year. I think it will be interesting to actually see what they have been working on, instead of trying to imagine their experiments as they talk about it at meetings. The Research Rookies program has not given us a lot of time to understand each others research projects, so URAD will give me the opportunity to understand what research is being performed in other colleges. I also am excited to see what older business students have researched to help me get a better of how to the next steps in my research career. I am nervous to speak only in front of the judges because I am afraid my faculty mentor and myself overlooked a variable in our study. There professional experiences in the business world make me worried for what they can critique me on.

My next steps with my undergraduate research will be in the form of a Honors Capstone. Research for business students is not common for business students and do not offer much benefit when applying for graduate school. I decided to continue my research in the form of the capstone so I can graduate with Upper Division Honors Distinction. I plan to do my Honor Capstone on the audit challenges of the rest of the B.R.I.C. countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). These countries have a great potential economic growth. With these economies growing rapidly, businesses will move into these markets to earn greater profits. With this internal auditors need to know the challenges of performing an audit in each region. Much like my current research did with China, I plan to follow with the other cultures. I also will move into business consulting in the form of research. Instead of researching a topic, I plan to research companies and suggest ways to help boost efficiency and profits. I will do this through the ELC program or as an independent.

Overall, I enjoyed my Research Rookies experience. I got to meet a lot of interesting people who became part of my professional network. I have gained mentors in the process and received a lot of good advice about the field of accounting. I also learned about the area of internal audit which will help me in my field. I would like to thank Dr. Sinason for all his help with my research. His guidance has really been a big help in performing my research.

Being a Research Rookie!!

Recently, I have been thinking about what it means to be a Research Rookie. The Research Rookies basis has been a foundation of what I can achieve at Northern. This program is the concrete foundation on the idea of research and helps me understand the process of research. I have learned a lot through the program and have met a lot of interesting people who are now part of my professional and personal network. I have gained mentors, who I know will always be there to help me and give me advice. I have learned more about Internal Audit outside the classroom compared to in lectures. My knowledge has help me get my internship at Navistar and be able to compete. The Research Rookies program fuels my thirst for knowledge and makes me want to learn as much as I can about business. So in the end  the question is, “what does it mean to be a Research Rookie?”

The answer to that question is simple. Being a Research Rookie means representing NIU. I am representing NIU through my studies and with my interactions with professionals as I survey them and interview them. I also am using this opportunity to learn. In my opinion, there is a reason that Research Rookies alumni continue onto bigger and better things. I am sure they would agree when I say Research Rookies is a large contributing factor for measurable success. I know when I achieve bigger and better things, much credit will be given to the program.

Spring Semester Midterm Check

My research has been going according to plan! I have been fortunate to have a professional network who has been helping me in my project by giving advice on internal audit process. My mentor Dr. Sinason has given me some contacts to interview to get a better understanding on the challenges of doing an audit in China. I have been performing interviews to get a better understanding on how the communication and culture differences of China makes the prep and follow through more difficult. We also agreed to make a survey and have it distributed on various internal audit forums and discussion pages. All the pages I have attached the survey too have a total viewership of over 100,000 internal auditors, so if I get a 3% response rate that would still be 3000 responses. By the end of spring break I would have begun to sift through the results to my surveys with my mentor and help use our data to make a conclusion. In the meantime, I have completed a poster design workshop to learn how to best format my poster. After attending my poster workshop I had the motivation to start my poster even though I did not get too far! I completed my the acknowledgement portion and the background information portion. I am happy I started so I do not feel rushed to get it done and I can complete it to the best of my ability and when I work on my poster I get more excited to work on my project. My goal is to finish data collection by the end of spring break and finish my poster before the end of March! To finish my research in time, I just have to use my break to the fullest and work ahead. I am very happy where I am with my research and look forward to getting it done.

Recently, President Baker and Dr. Stover opened their home to the Research Rookies program on March 2. This was a fun activity because I got to talk to my cohort about how their research is going and their plans for the future. I believe the Research Rookies program is missing on the social aspect in allowing us to get to know each other, but the reception was very beneficial in doing that. I also enjoyed the President’s house because it was filled with student art. Art is a fascination of mine and seeing the work of students that I walk past on campus is very exciting. It is exciting because the art could be based on their perception of something I see daily.

I believe the program has helped me grow in many ways. The program has been a good practice run for when I do my Honors Capstone and other future projects. I also got to know a mentor on a more personal basis who can help guide me through my personal life and help me learn. I also got to learn more about internal audit to the point where I am comfortable doing my internship this summer at Navistar. I learned enough about internal audit to where I am able to compete with the older students. I plan to continue me research whether I am at NIU or another school of choice.

Working With My Mentor

One of the best things about working under the Research Rookies program is getting to know my mentor!! The definition of a mentor is that of an experienced and trusted adviser and that is certainly what the program Research Rookies have given me. My faculty mentor is a professor in the College of Business and has extensive amounts of knowledge in the area of Internal Audit. My mentor has been a huge aid in assisting me with the scope of my project and his experiences about Internal Audit with me. He helped me with writing my proposal and assisted with the formation of my interview questions. He has also shared his professional connections with me during my interview process to gain information to present. The Research Rookies program also acts as a mentor to me as they have been a big help mentoring me with the idea of research. They have been a big benefit as I struggled writing my IRB application and completing my ethics training.

My research is going on pace from the projected timeline I created. I have completed all literature review and am ready to start completing interviews to gain data. I had to take a couple steps back as I went from looking at the manufacturing industry to all companies with Internal Audit departments. The reason for this was so I can get more information to present!! I am very satisfied with my research and am excited to do another year!!

This summer I have earned an internship in the Internal audit Department at Navistar International. Navistar is a leading manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, defense vehicles and engines. I also have plans to continue working special events with the Financial Aid Office at Northern Illinois University on the weekends. I may continue my research over the summer or generate new ideas for a new proposal depending on how this year ends. I do plan on continuing my research next Fall but I would not have time to continue due to my internship!!navistar-logo

First Semester Reflection

My first semester as a undergraduate research participant was eye opening. This semester was my first semester engaging in some sort of undergraduate research. I learned how the process of starting the research process works, as it takes much more than simply background research and doing an experiment. Through experience, I learned how to complete a formal research proposal. Creating my proposal was much more difficult than I thought because I was required to define each step of my research process and had to complete an extensive amount of background research. I also had to complete an IRB application, which was difficult because it had to prepare my interview questions ahead of time and had to provide explanation on why I am asking those questions and what I hope to gain from those questions. While filling out the IRB application, I had to reflect on the vision I had for my research which was very difficult. I also got to practice my elevator speech more and got to expand my professional network.

My first semester in research has been very rewarding. With my internal audit knowledge gained from my research I now have internship with the Internal Audit team at Navistar International. I know it was because of my research because I have not taken a single class on internal audit. My research on internal audit is the only exposure to internal audit. I also was fortunate to meet other professionals in the field who not only helped with my research but offered a lot of advice for the career of internal audit.

My first semester as a student went well as I have achieved a lot. My classes went well as my research motivated me to work as hard as I did on my research. I also moved up in many organizations across campus. I was named the fundraising chair for Delta Sigma Pi and the Editor for the Belief Briefings Newsletter for the Belief Program. I am extremely excited for everything this semester has to offer. DSCN7114

Starting Second Semester

As the new semester starts up in the next week, I have been focusing on my research before loosing myself in the next semester. I have spent much of my break doing literature review on the topic of Internal Audit and the culture of China. I have spent countless hours with my nose in Internal Audit books or searching the web. Not only have I arranged to meet with Dr, West on a more frequent basis, I am scheduled to meet with Dr, Sinason as we agreed to meet on a weekly basis. Not only have I been given aid from my faculty members, but company contacts have been more than willing to offer assistance and feedback. The company I am interning for, Navistar, contacted me with other Internal Audit departments I can use as reference to carry out my research. These companies are more than willing to help me out because they want to give back to NIU.

I am kicking my research into high gear because I know how busy next semester will become. I will be joining two honor societies this semester and trying to juggle the many organizations I am already part off. For these reasons, I have been doing the best I can to get ahead in my research. I am more than excited to see what end product my research gives me and presenting my findings to a company. Next year, I would like to become a student mentor so I can help other business students conduct research as it is difficult in my area.


Research Rookies Reception


 At the beginning of December, the Research Rookies program hosts a reception to honor the students and mentors participating in the program. It is an opportunity for students to get to know each other and the faculty they will be working with, as well as some of NIU’s administrators and special guests that support the Research Rookies program. This year’s reception was held on December 1st, in Altgeld Auditorium. The Research Program taught us how to give a proper elevator speech about our research process. We were advised to keep our elevator speech under twenty seconds as we introduced ourselves with our major, faculty mentor, and our research topic. My elevator speech went like, “Good Afternoon, my name is Jesse Laseman and I am a sophomore Accounting student at Northern Illinois University.” “I have the pleasure to work with Dr. Tim West from the College of Business Accounting Department and our research is going to focus on internal audit and international logistics. specifically how the internal audit process varies in China, compared to America.” Many of the Research Rookies were nervous to present their elevator speech but I was comfortable with giving mine. I was comfortable presenting because I knew my project and spent much of the semester reviewing it. I was always very comfortable presenting my speech because I have had to give countless elevator speeches in my time at Northern. I give a lot of tours of the College of Business where I have to introduce myself and my studies. I have also given a lot of speeches over the years, both in school or out of school.

I enjoyed the reception because it shows how much Northern, the community, and the College of Business cared about the work my Research Rookies class have done. President Baker, administrators, professors, and community members all showed up for our presentations. It means a lot to see our hard work noticed by the community. and university. Even though my faculty member could not make it to the reception, many members of the College of Business to support Lauren, Rachel, and I. The best part is the fact that the interest in my research is genuine. For example, as soon as the reception came to a close a College of Business graduate student rushed over to me to give more details about my research. Even though this student was clearly more knowledgeable on the subject of Internal Audit he still valued my comments and opinions.

The best part about the reception was the fact that my grandma and mom were my guests for the afternoon. It was nice to have my grandma there because I got to give her a tour of the campus and talk about my studies. It was great to have my mom there because she is my biggest supporter and fan. I got to show her that with her help I have achieved so much at school. I truly believe I would not be where I am without the help of my parentsgrandma

Research Rookies Proposal

Since my last blog post I have finished my rough draft on my research proposal. I learned a lot from completing the CITI Application. For example, I learned what questions are ethically correct to ask and some that are not. I also learned the steps involved in completing the IRB Application. At the end of completing the CITI I received a CITI Completion Report which is attached. I am happy I have finished the CITI because I will not have to complete it again as I continue this project or other projects in my time at Northern. I will not have to complete it again as I continue my research as a second year Research Rookie or as part of my Honors Capstone research project. The CITI was also beneficial when completing my proposal.

I finished the rough draft of my proposal and have identified areas where it needs improvement. For example, my background area needs improvement as I was unsure on how my detail was needed. I had to explain how the culture of China differs from America. I also needed to state the process of my research better and explain in more detail my research. I needed to explain the companies I selected to contact and why I chose those companies I did and the similarities they had. With the help of my student mentor, faculty member, and the Research Rookie program I am now ready to start the research process.  I have some changes to make to my proposal and have to have my IRB application approved before I can start. I am having the challenge of performing a qualitative research model and learning how to collect data. My model is my mentor and me are interviewing internal audit departments of three similar companies and gather evidence. I am having a difficult time figuring out what five questions to ask and how I can turn their reply into valuable data.

I am excited to be able to start doing research and start learning about my topic. I can not wait to discuss my project with community members and faculty at the Huskies Research Rookies Reception. My time with Research Rookies has benefitted greatly throughout the semester by helping my get to know professors that I will have in the near future and motivated me to work hard in my classes and become more of a well-rounded student. My goal is to continue as a second year Research Rookie and hope to become a student member to give back to the program. I am most excited to meet with companies with my findings with hopes to change the internal audit process.

Research Mentor Selection

West_TMy research is making great progress as I have selected a faculty mentor. My faculty member is professor Tim West from the College of Business Accountancy Department. His research focuses on cost prediction and performance measurement in two industries: health care and manufacturing. For the past 10 years, Professor West has worked closely with the U.S. Army Medical Command to assess the operational efficiency of Army medicine. I chose Dr. Tim West for many reasons. I primarily chose him because he also has extensive knowledge on the area of public accounting, which is an area of accounting that I may be interested in working or doing research on. Dr. West is also familiar with manufacturing in which is the industry my research will focus on, so his knowledge can be very beneficial. The last reason, I chose Dr. West is because I have not worked with him prior to my research so I get an insight to his knowledge and network with him. I have met with him a couple times to discuss a research topic and to understand internal audit more. I am excited to work with him over the next couple months. He was more than happy to work with me even though his research is different than mine.

My meeting with Dr. Sinason was more than beneficial as he has taught me a lot about Internal Audit and gave me some very valuable professional contacts I can refer to as I continue my research. Dr. Sinason also gave me some materials I can review before I continue my research. Sinason is willing to help with my research as I go forward as I can ask him for questions, which means lot to me. Both, Dr. Sinason and Dr. West showed me how great the professors in the college of business are by going above and beyond for a student. It is the dedication to the students, that is the reason I am happy with my time at NIU.

The topic of my research is in the area of internal audit and international logistics. At the moment, I am doing background research on the topic of Internal Audit and all steps needed to perform an audit process. I am interested in seeing how the internal audit process varies based on the country the audit is being performed in. Business and companies perform on in the global market, so therefore internal audit teams must perform audit in other nations. I am researching and developing a formal process that a company can use to make their audit more efficient and collect more valuable data.  Since my project will involve interviewing accountants in the field I will need to complete the CITI Ethics training and fill out an IBR Application for my research, I am very excited about this opportunity and I get increasingly excited with every article I read or case study I review.

Begining My Research Journey

My name is Jesse Michael FB_20141228_21_04_42_Saved_PictureLaseman and I am currently a sophomore Accountancy student at Northern Illinois University. With a degree in accounting I hope to work with taxes or audit for a public accounting firm. I am also working on a minor in Economics with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I chose a minor is Economics because I find economic trends and the stock market interesting and I believe it would help me on my accounting studies.  I am from Belvidere, Illinois and chose NIU because of everything it had to offer. I wanted to attend a larger school because it would have more to offer such as programs, clubs, and opportunities. NIU was also my primary choice to continue my education because the business school and the Accounting Program were competitive.

Since my first day on campus I have remained involved on campus and in the College of Business.  I remained an active member in Delta Sigma Pi (Professional Fraternity), LEAD Ethics organization, Internal Audit Association, Honors Program, Lambda Sigma Honors Society, and other organizations. I also work on campus in a student worker position.

I am very excited to be a part of Research Rookies because it can help me apply my knowledge, let me work with a professor, and build my resume. The part I am most excited about it because it can help me learn more about accounting outside of the classroom and allows me to apply it back to my studies. My only regret is that I joined the Research Rookies program when I was a freshman. I hope to continue research as a second year Research Rookie and with the University Honors Program.

For my research I am interested in the topic of Internal Audit. I grew a passion for this after spending a week job shadowing a Fortune 500 company by the name of Navistar with their Internal Audit team. This externship opportunity with University Honors Program evolved into an internship with the Internal Audit Department at Navistar. It fascinates me how Internal Auditors get to improve any business by assessing areas of risk and turning them into areas of profit. Internal Audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.  In conclusion, Internal Audit strives to fix areas of weakness with any company and improve them while at the same time consulting management on crucial business issues.

I am to meet with a few professors to decide a faculty member to aid me with my research. I am scheduled to meet with Dr. Dave Sinason of the Department of Accounting. I have worked with Dr. Sinason with the Internal Audit Association so I am familiar with his work. His research interests include auditing and governmental accounting, with a specific interest in fraud detection, auditor liability, and governmental auditing. I am excited to meet with Dr. Sinason because he is very well respected in the field and knowledgeable on the topic of internal audit. Another professor that I am scheduled to meet with is Dr. Tim West with the accounting department. I am excited to meet with him and Tim West of the accounting department because I am fascinated with accounting especially in the area of manufacturing. I am excited to learn what they have to say and get to hear the advice they have for me. I also hope they can help me narrow down my research topic. I am excited to continue with my research in the next couple months. I am excited beyond words to learn more about accounting but I am nervous because I understand that it may be difficult do research in the area of business. Business is not like chemistry because I can not run tests and plugging in different chemicals. My research is going to involve a lot of literature review and interviews. I am nervous on how I am going to present my finding because it may not have numerical values. My excitement on doing my research outweighs my nerves.