Plattsburgh State transfer student and triple major Ricky Chase is doing something not many undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in. He is serving as vice president on the national board for Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society.
Their mission is to promote, recognize, honor and reward academic excellence in entrepreneurship and encourage and recognize the practice of principled entrepreneurship.
Chase, majoring in entrepreneurship, marketing and business administration, has been serving as president of the local chapter since last fall, and he will continue to do so until he graduates in December.
“I’ve learned a lot about who does what, as far as faculty and advisors, but I’ve also networked a lot,” Chase said.
PSUC Marketing and Entrepreneurship Chair and Executive Director of Sigma Nu Tau Nancy Church said it is important for students to get the experience Chase is getting. She said it is a “big deal” to be on a national board as an undergraduate student.
“I don’t think too many students have attended a board meeting to see how it is run and how you go through a meeting,” Church said. “He’s seen us go through a whole year’s cycle of meetings, so I think it is a really good experience.”
She said if someone decides to go into the business field, he or she should know how to run a professional meeting.
Chase said he has become more organized since being elected into his position, and he takes what he has learned through the organization to other leadership positions he holds on campus, as well as his school work.
“I try to get all of my schoolwork done and then go to the extracurricular stuff, so it actually keeps me in check all day,” Chase said.
As the new member educator of his fraternity, Theta Gamma, he has to plan and implement lessons and other activities for the new class of brothers who is entering the organization. He said being in Greek life at PSUC is much different than what is portrayed in college-themed movies. There is a larger focus on brotherhood and community service.
“I have a good 30 people that would always have my back no matter what,” Chase said. “It’s a good support system, not only for school, but for life in general.”
His Little, sophomore Matt Jacobson, said he didn’t know him as well as the other brothers when he first pledged the fraternity last semester, but he said Chase seemed to know what he was doing.
“I felt like he could teach me how to become a better man and how to better interact once I graduate into the real world,” Jacobson said.
Chase also has been supervising the PSUC Fitness Center for the last two years, and he said it has given him more responsibility on campus. He said the employees of the center are similar to an organization because they all are so close.
“They teach me a lot about exercise and working out that I don’t get from business classes,” Chase said.
He said he helps people as they come in, answering their questions, which leads to other questions they have. It usually results in them having a “whole new outlook on the way they can work out.” He said he enjoys helping people better themselves as individuals, which is different from helping others in the business world.
Having the triple major has given him a broad outlook of the field. Entrepreneurship courses teach him creativity and promoting oneself as a business.
Business administration takes a management standpoint, while marketing is how to promote a business.
“I would really like to own a business one day, preferably a restaurant,” he said. “But I also know right off the bat, out of college, I don’t have the income or capital to do that, which is why I wanted to do all three (majors).”
He said he is always experimenting with food and cooks twice a day. He said he and his roommate try new restaurants in the area regularly. This past weekend, he personally catered for TG’s homecoming barbeque.
“We had a larger turnout than we expected, so we had to grab more food and cook on the fly, but it was a lot of fun,” Chase said. “It was the first time in a few years the actives had put on a barbeque for the alumni, so they were really appreciative of that.”
Chase said he started cooking about four years ago, when he realized going out to eat good food was too expensive and figured he would make his own food. Since he has been around food service his whole life, he said his interest stems from his past experience.
“My life pretty much revolves around food,” he said.
He has been employed at Log Jam Restaurant, a large restaurant located in Lake George, for the past five years.
“I love seeing people come in and have a great meal and talk about the food,” Chase said. “They leave, and they are happy.”
He said customer service is crucial to owning and operating a business because if someone doesn’t have customers, they don’t have a business.
Church said Chase is hardworking, ambitious and eager to learn, and it is obvious to her that he wants to get ahead in life. She said she can see that he wants to do well in his career, and he is honest, which she deems an important trait.
“You have to find your passion, whatever it is,” Church said. “It’s a tough business to be in, but if you love it, it’s not work.”
She said confidence is how a person carries themselves, and to her, he seems to be more confident in leadership roles now that he has had these experiences.
“As far as college goes, it is a great experience class wise,” Chase said. “I’m a really shy person, so doing fraternity stuff and Sigma Nu Tau has broken me out of my shell.”
Jacobson said Chase is passionate about everything he does, and he cares about everyone around him. He said he is going to miss him when he graduates.
“I’m excited to not be a poor college student,” he said.
He said students should take advantage of attending PSUC, and just because they are in college doesn’t mean they can’t travel.
Chase said during his time at PSUC, a couple of his favorite bands have been on tour. He has traveled to Buffalo and Brooklyn during one semester to see Pearl Jam in concert. During another semester, he and his friends drove to Illinois to watch the same band.
He said although they weren’t on campus, those might have been the best few days of his college career.
“Just because you’re here don’t forget about living your life. Don’t forget that life is actually happening around you,” Chase said. “It’s OK to go do those things you may never ever get a chance to do again.”
Email Lisa Scivolette at firstname.lastname@example.org