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First-Year Student Stretches Strengths in Honors Academy and Beyond

Getting Involved Enables Out-of-State Student to Build Community
by University Communications
First-Year Student Stretches Strengths in Honors Academy and Beyond
Brock Mason joined the Nebraska Business Honors Academy, Inclusive Business Leaders and Pride in Business to challenge himself academically and socially. He encourages other students to take risks and get involved in clubs or classes.

Celebrating Pride Month, Nebraska Today featured Huskers like Brock Mason who are making an impact on campus. In his first year on campus, Mason — an actuarial science major from Geneva, Illinois — made sure to get involved, joining organizations that helped him stretch his strengths and carve out his own community. 

Talk about your experience in the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. Why did you want to be part of the academy?

I decided to join the Nebraska Business Honors Academy for a few reasons. First, I wanted to challenge myself. I love taking honors courses because I love the feeling of needing to solve challenging problems. Second, I liked the concept of having a cohort of people who will be in my classes every year. Many of the friends I made in freshman year came from this cohort. It provided both mental and social benefits for me. 

Brock plays trumpet in marching band uniform.
Brock Mason also made friends and grew his passion for music while playing trumpet in the Cornhusker Marching Band.
You’re part of the Cornhusker Marching Band, which incorporates students from majors in every college. How has this group helped you build connections and find community outside of your major?  

I met many of my other friends in the Cornhusker Marching Band. I play the trumpet, which I am sure makes you think of people who are annoying or arrogant. While that is the stereotypical trumpet player behavior — and some people definitely do fit that category — I have made lasting friends through it, too. Marching band is similar to the Nebraska Business Honors Academy in that it's a group of people who I can connect with throughout all four years here. It also helps broaden my horizons on campus. I tend to stick in the same area as a business major, so it is nice to talk with other people about their vastly different experiences. It is both fun and exciting for me to be part of such an important group that performs for thousands of people. Every game is an exciting rush of adrenaline, even if I am dying of heat or freezing. 

Talk about joining Pride in Business as a first-year student. Why was this organization important to you? 

Pride in Business is probably my favorite organization that I joined. One of my greatest fears is that I end up working somewhere that does not support me to be my true self. Learning about different businesses and what they do to be inclusive and how I can find somewhere to work like that helps assuage my fears. While it may be a smaller community than the Honors Academy or Marching Band, it is also the main activity I am involved in that hasn’t been hours of work every week. Pride in Business has been a fun hour of the week where we discuss important topics and have fun. I really hope that Pride in Business continues to grow as an organization so that more people can enjoy it as much as me! 

How have your involvements on campus, like Inclusive Business Leaders and Pride in Business, shaped your college experience thus far? 

Being involved on campus has helped me feel accomplished. Without my involvement, I would likely be bored all of the time. Without finding new experiences to put my time into, I would have nothing to do. With them all, I am far from bored. I took 17+ credit hours in both semesters and was involved in a variety of organizations. This helped keep me just the right amount of busy. I had enough time to relax, but not so much time that I was not being productive. 

Is there anything you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? 

My main goal for my lifetime is to keep learning how to play new instruments. I want to keep finding new hobbies and learning to do new things. I want to be able to compose a song and play every part of it myself. I want to keep learning and growing my whole life. While there are certain things that I know I will keep learning as I grow, the main thing I want to keep learning is music. Music is my passion and I want to grow that passion. Right now I am learning the flute. Next, who knows? 

What or who inspires you? 

The single person who has been my greatest inspiration in my life is my mom. She always stays positive in the hardest of times, something a pessimist like me could never imagine doing. She always remains calm and kind no matter the situation. I aspire to be more like her in everything I do. 

What is your advice to other students looking to make an impact on campus? 

My advice to other students, while it may sound cliché or overdone, is to get involved and take chances. All you have to do is take the first step, and the rest can all start to fall into place. Join that club you were thinking about joining. Take that class that sounds interesting. You never know what will happen and who you will meet. Some of the best moments of my life came from taking chances. So however scary it seems, taking risks is the best way to grow. 

Published: June 19, 2024