Playing Catch Up

One final exam and one paper away from finishing my first year in graduate school means it is time to play catch up.  I have to catch you all up on a lot so I will catch you up on a little bit today and this will focus on work.

I think one of the best things about the MLHR program is that it allows enough time for students to easily maintain a part time job as well.  Some of my classmates are able to have HR internships during the year which I think helps them in a lot in the classroom.  I am fortunate enough to work at Fisher in the Office of Career Management.  While this has helped me with my own job search skills, I’ve also had the opportunity to develop many other skills which I want to encourage everyone as you come into this program and a new job to do.  Recognize the skills you can learn and put in the effort to develop them.

I think one of the most important things I’ve taken away from the job this year is an incredible improvement in my public speaking skills.  I had to give a lot of presentations this past year about job searching, resumes, and interviewing.  I remember the first time I gave a presentation to an undergraduate class I was nervous, stumbling over words, probably not making sense, talking too fast etc. and the student feedback reflected this.  This quarter I ended up giving the same presentation again and the feedback was excellent, I felt confident, and-the kicker- I even liked it.  I think this will help a lot in future jobs because being able to speak well in public and in front of groups is an important skill in most fields,  not just business.

I also learned how important it is for me to be in a job where I interact with people.  My main responsibilities in the office are meeting with undergraduate students for mock interviews and individual appointments.  I love it because every appointment is different, every student is different, and it makes the day fly by.  There are some days however when a student shows up late or unprepared that I want to throw them out the window but otherwise I love them all.

I think the most important thing however that I have taken away from this job is the understanding of the type of work environment I need to be in for the long term.  From this job and the job I had before returning to graduate school I’ve realized that you know I’m comfortable in my place of work when I have no trouble singing little tunes to entertain co-workers, or write emails to Santa on a co-worker’s behalf, or look forward to spending time with them outside of work.  It is a close knit, supportive office dynamic that I need to make me a better more passionate worker which has let me to question which path to take in the long run.  After all of my classes this year and reflecting on what has made me happiest, I’ll be interested to see which direction- corporate or higher education- I will choose to take in June of 2012.  If I had to pick right this instant I honestly do not know, but now that I’ve seen so fully the importance of being happy at work, it is something that will be a top priority for me in my job search.

Up next time– what I’ve taken away from school and tips for those incoming first years.

Fun ways for a stress free (kind of…) quarter

I feel like I have mentioned how I feel about the quarters system before but I once again want to mention how difficult it is to adjust to having 3 sets of midterms, finals, and projects in the academic year.  That along with working part time and trying to have a life offer up some stressful situations.  Here are some ways I personally have been handling stress!

1) keep up with blog posts….this one I seem to struggle with but once this is submitted a layer of stress will magically melt away

2) Exercise.  Endorphins are good for you.  I participated in the Fisher 5k yesterday as a walker.  But a speedy walker! I also was inspired to run the last 0.1 miles with a co-worker for the pure satisfaction of beating another walker who mysteriously broke into a run close to the finish line.

3) Take advantage of the cheap prices at Aveda.  Get a nice manicure or pedicure or try out a new haircut.  (Disclaimer: I have yet to take this advice, but it’s on my list of things to do at number 578736)

4) Take in a movie.  Up on Bethel Rd, a few miles north of campus, there is a wonderful cheap theater.  Sure the movies have been out a little while (for instance they are currently showing Avatar, It’s Complicated, and The Blind Side all of which you can now watch from the comfort of your own home as they are out on DVD) but it’s still exciting to pay only $2 to see a movie in a theater

5) Indulge yourself in fast food every once in a while.  After I walked a 5k I promptly went to Taco Bell for lunch.  I had been craving the fake cheese and Crunchwrap Supreme for a while and felt okay getting it after my walk.

6) Actually study for those midterms and be proactive on getting work done.  A work in progress.

7) Go sing some karaoke with friends….this one I did a few weekends ago at possibly my favorite new bar in Columbus appropriately named “The Worst Bar in Columbus” no joke.  Check it out – they have karaoke on Thursday and Saturday, not that crowded and there is a very supportive crowd who makes you feel like Celine Dion when you are actually tone deaf and singing an old Backstreet Boys song.

8 ) It’s baseball season so get out there and watch the Sunday/Monday night games on ESPN to see how truly awful a majority of the major league teams are currently.  Although I must point out that the NY Mets are on a streak right now (a good one for once!) winning 5 of their last 6 (thank you Cubs and Braves) and for the first time since opening day they are above .500…!! If anyone is interested you can catch them versus the Dodgers tonight on ESPN.

If anyone else has any other stress busters feel free to let me know, I’m always on the look out!

Good luck on midterms everyone!

Spring Quarter begins!

Well I’m alive…but you wouldn’t know from my blog 🙁 sorry everyone.  In case you didn’t notice from my posts winter quarter, it was a hectic one and I have learned my lesson to never take on that much again.  Or, if I do, I need to learn how to function on very little sleep.

Despite winter being crazy, I did well in my classes and am overall pretty happy with how everything turned out.  I also had a great spring break to help me de-stress and get ready for spring quarter! I spent part of break down in Florida watching the NY Mets spring training.  I got some signatures, saw some great games, and enjoyed the sunshine.  I was then home in Connecticut for a few days relaxing with my doggy (who got realllllly fat while I was away.  We went on some walks.)

While spring quarter officially started yesterday, I do not start classes until tonight.  I am taking staffing, compensation, and a seminar on HR policy-whatever that means. It actually seems like a glorified econ class and I am now kicking myself for not saving my notes from my horrid intro and micro econ classes in undergrad (the classes that convinced me to change my undergrad major…)

I’m hoping the classes are slightly more interesting this quarter than they were the first two…I’ll let you know.

Since I considered myself still on spring break last night, I went out to a concert.  The past three days have actually been concert filled.  I know that people who don’t know Columbus do not consider it to be a place where things happen, but I must say I have been really happy with events that I’ve been going to.  My boyfriend and I went to the Ohio Theater Saturday night (which is a GORGEOUS theater….you must go to something, anything there to simply see it) to see David Gray.  He has been my favorite musician for a long time and he rarely tours in the US so when I saw he was coming to Columbus I was on it like white on rice.  And I was not disappointed, he was the most amazing artist I have ever seen live and I loved every second of it.  Then last night I was at the Newport which is a concert hall right on High St to see Train.  The Newport is your typical concert hall- dark, smoky, beer soaked floor but I really enjoyed myself.  Who doesn’t love the song Soul Sister?

So it’s Spring quarter, I kicked it off well, my classes sound mildly more interesting than they were the past two quarters, and Columbus does have things to do 🙂

Here’s to a great quarter- I promise I will be more faithful to this blog and happier because I’m less stressed and it’s getting warmer outside.

Catching up!

Right so again my apologies for it being a significant amount of time between posts.  And everyone is busy so I really cannot complain.  This is just going to be a mish mash of things that are have been on my mind that you blog world need to be caught up on, the first of which are my group projects.

Now I know in the “real world” I will be working in groups of people where we all do not get along and we need to learn how to work together and being assigned groups by professors gives us a chance to experience that yada yada yada.  They way I see it is when I am working in the “real world” those groups are my job…I won’t additionally have a million other hours of reading/class projects/another job that will take my mind away from things. This quarter I have two HUGE projects.  When I say huge I mean one involves putting together a research project, making a survey, finding a company that is nutty enough to let a bunch of students administer a survey asking employees about touchy HR subjects, analyzing the little data we do come up with, and spinning a bunch of yarn about insignificant data from a quasi-experimental research project, put together in about 6 weeks. Sounds like it’s gonna be great.  However my group for this project I was able to choose myself, we all get along, we are all on the same page, we all communicate, we are all friends.  Not a headache because we are able to laugh about it and every time we get a p value of about a million, we just laugh and mark it down to the fact that our sample size is exactly the required 25.

My other group project…not so much.  It should be the simpler of the two, pretty self explanatory, less stress project etc.  However this group is not of my choosing and the sides seem to be shaping up to be 2 against 1 as in myself and a group member are on the same page (which is to do the perfect amount of work that will get us an A and leave it at that) and another group member is light years ahead of us in thought process, complexity, and coming  up with awesome work that makes my head spin aaaaand is slightly too much for the project requirements.  We are still not getting on the same page and we present Monday.  Wish us luck.

So that has been a big occupier and I am probably sending and receiving about 15 emails a day regarding group projects.

I have also been sick.  I got it from a classmate and I have been carrying around my own tissue box, assorted meds, hand sanitizer, and cough drops for the past week.  I feel like I am finally kicking it but I mean talk about the worst time to be sick.

Aaaaand I got my exam back Monday (the exam that I knew I didn’t study enough for) and got a B.  Not the end of the world at all since I have another exam and this whole ridiculous project left to turn in but this definitely means I will be putting in a little bit more effort for the final.  I will also  be sure to bring about 10 pens because in the midterm my one pen ran out of ink.  The next pen I pulled out also didn’t work so I had to switch to pencil.  I don’t think the prof liked that one so much….

In better news I finally get to start taking classes that should be more interesting in the Spring.  I’m taking staffing and compensation, both subjects about which I know very little so I’m excited to get a move on with a fresh quarter.  I’m also excited because two amazing artists are coming to Columbus and I get to see both of them in concert this month.  The first is David Gray who I’ve been obsessed with forever and he will be in Cbus on the 27th and then Train is coming on the 29th.  So super excited already bought both of my tickets and I cannot wait to go 🙂

Good luck on the last few weeks of classes everyone and get ready for Spring Break!!! Woop woop!

This is not going to be an A+ week

This is not an A+ week for the following reasons:

-no one is showing up to their appointments at work which gives me more time to NOT study….

-I have a midterm this evening and I have studied probably in all total about 1.5 hours for it…which right now feels like plenty but tonight at 6 pm it will not be enough (funny how I know that yet I am blogging, playing bejeweled blitz on facebook, texting, and not studying…)

-It is snowing outside. Again.  Third winter storm in a week.  Note to self take winter quarter off next year.  ha. ha.

-It’s becoming crunch time on group projects and I feel like my group projects are behind.  One more so than the other but I see a lot of weekend meetings in the near future….

On the plus side of things….

-I may have summer plans…still in the works so no details for you yet blog world, but I’m not freaking out anymore.

-I got a new normal size water bottle on sale at Kroger this weekend and I like it.

-There is a .00000000000000000000000000000000000009% chance classes could be canceled tonight…even that gives me a tiny bit of hope

-I will be leaving for Florida in one month and 2 days for spring break!

So….I rate this week a B-….it would be an A if classes were canceled and the midterm was made a take home….

oh and ps– I just wanted to link to my little brother’s blog.  I’m not one for bragging but he is turning out to be a pretty good and interesting sports writer (specifically involving baseball and the NY Mets) so I wanted to link him and anyone interested should check it out…he’s getting noticed on the NY Mets blog circuit (who knew one existed…) and I’m happy for him even if he is a pain in my butt. Here it is:

Grade for the week: A+

It’s midterms week so I have decided to pre-emptively give myself an A+ for this week.  A few reasons are:

-I’m keeping my sense of humor.  I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor and can laugh at things, including myself when I do something stupid.  So I’ve been going out of my way to laugh this week.  A lot.

-My second reason comes from the lovely Samantha Johnson who sits next to me at work in the Career Management Office.  She gives me an A+ for the week because “Meg does a good job helping students find their path” meaning I am awesome at confidence boosting in the undergraduate community at Fisher.

-Career fairs make me stress out and give me anxiety but I successfully went to the Internship Invitational today and mingled and networked without having to breathe into a paper bag.  Not that I would have done this if this had been a B- week….

-I am not freaking out about midterms.  I put in a decent amount of study hours and feel like I know it…(I’ll get back to you after Thursday to let you know if I aaaactuallly knew it) and I did well last quarter doing the same amount of work so based on past performance I feel pretty good.

-I’m busy making fun plans for the weekend which includes celebrating my friend’s birthday, going out to dinner, and catching up on tv.

Therefore…A+ week.  Congrats to me.  Dr. Bendapudi and Dr. Klein if you are reading this I think you should consider this an A+ week for me as well.  Thanks!

Shocking discovery!! OSU has sports other than football!!!!!

So the title of my post is a joke, but being a student at Ohio State the one extracurricular activity I hear about the most is football.  I know more about the sport of football now than I ever have/probably ever will again.  And when football season is over, people are depressed.  So to the OSU community: there are a lot of other sports out there in the winter and the summer.

Last night members of my office where I work as a graduate assistant went  to an OSU hockey game.  The games are in Value City Arena and it’s a legitimate (and really nice) stadium.  It’s always shocking to me to see the facilities at a school like this compared to a D III school where I went to undergrad.  The hockey team was playing Ferris State and they won 5-3.  It was a high scoring game and really fun to watch- but there was not a huge crowd.  A completely different atmosphere than the football games with the crowds and the noise but it was still really fun.  We got great seats and all students can get in free– so go support hockey!

Our office also has plans to see women’s basketball and synchronized swimming!! I’ve never seen synchro so I’m really excited for that and our women’s basketball team is awesome so both should be really fun.  So I encourage everyone to take advantage of all the other OSU sports out there and cheer for the Bucks even when it isn’t football season 🙂

I’m a slacker!

The title of this post is my apology for being a slacker…but I think you will understand when I enlighten you about my life this quarter….or convince you that I am utterly crazy and I tend to take on a lot.

But first–this past Monday (as in a week ago…I know I know I know) was MLK day and Ohio State (unlike my undergrad) honors the day and everyone has the day off.  So while I could have spent the day sleeping in and watching episodes of Mad Men (my new obsession) I decided to join some other MLHR students and volunteer.  A group of about 9 of us all showed up bright and early to school at 7am to receive our volunteer assignment and spend the morning volunteering in honor of MLK.  Our group got assigned to the King Arts Complex which was putting on a full day event of performances, singing, recitation of famous speeches, etc.  Our group ended up helping to set up tables and having attendees fill out surveys so the King Arts Complex had more information on their visitors.  It was a nice way to spend the day and I was really happy that I took the time to do that, it makes me want to volunteer more often….now if I could just find the time.

Now as to my reasons why I have been a slacker on this blog.  This quarter I am taking 18 credit hours…this includes the 3 normal classes for the HR program which are 4 credits each.  I am also taking my yoga class (which I LOVE) which is one credit AND I am taking a practicum class through the Higher Ed department (this counts as my practicum/internship requirement to graduate…takes some of the pressure off).  This practicum class is 5 credits and requires that I work 10 hours a week in a different higher ed office (I’m working at Ohio Wesleyan).

So if you have done the math, I am taking 18 credit hours AND working 30 hours a week (my practicum and my assistantship).  Therefore I have become the master of lists and my planner is being used in full force.  I also finally got my outlook calendar on my phone so I can now use that….so needless to say it has been a lot but I feel more productive than I did last quarter…I think because I’m getting better at managing my time.

I also had my second round interview this past Friday.  I traveled to Pittsburgh (which seems like a nice city, although I didn’t see much of it…just highways) and had a 2 hour long interview.  By the time I was done I was exhausted and couldn’t put together coherent sentences.  It’s an internship I really want but I left feeling unsure of how I did.  I didn’t feel like I needed to cry about how awful I did but I also didn’t feel like throwing myself a party (although I did eat a greasy hamburger at Denny’s on the way home).  I should hear back in around 2 weeks (toooo loooong) so I’ll let you know.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

So that’s been life, I promise I’ll update regularly again this week! It’s slightly less crazy!

Let’s get creative.

So I’m still searching for an internship as well as a general career path and that is something I’m trying to really concentrate on this quarter.  I do have a second round internship coming up in a week so I’m preparing for that and there are also some more interview opportunities at Fisher in the upcoming weeks.  This however, from my experiences last quarter, is simply not enough anymore.

One challenge that I face is that I do not fit into a “box” and for a lot of companies that recruit at Fisher, this doesn’t work.  Companies that I have interviewed for seem to be looking for students with one track minds and in my case, they are looking for me to be interested in HR, HR, and HR.  I am interested in not just HR and I am even working towards a second Master because of my interests and for many, it is a problem.  Therefore…what I have to do is….

Get Creative.

I have started to take the initiative and just get out and talk to people in both the HR field as well as Higher Ed.  A great person that I talked to this week is someone named Troy Washington, the Director of HR at Ohio Wesleyan University, where I went for undergrad.  I set up an informational interview with him this past Wednesday just to talk about his career path and how he came to work in higher ed.  Talking to him was great, he was so open and friendly and had a lot of interesting information and advice.  One thing that we talked about was how to give myself a competitive advantage, which means breaking out of the traditional HR curriculum and take some electives in negotiations and decision science.  I know there are negotiation classes in the MBA curriculum that I could take as an elective so that will definitely be worked into my schedule.  I’m also going to look into some decision making classes, maybe in the school of psychology, this way I am arming myself with a lot of different skills that will come in handy in any field I decide to go in.

So future goals for this semester: continue networking and reaching out to people for advice on how to enhance my graduate education so I am better equipped for a job when graduation rolls around!

2nd quarter v. 1st quarter

I’ve begun my second week of my second quarter here at Fisher and I can already say there is a huge difference between the two.  I mean I guess this can be expected but I’m still surprised by some things.  I definitely feel more prepared because I know what to expect.  It’s also more fun because I know more people and I am closer with more people.  And I’ve re-adopted making lists.  I was the absolute queen of lists in undergrad….my planner was full of them, I would love to cross things off as I completed them, and I didn’t forget things.

Last quarter I made no lists, I actually hardly used my planner.  I’ve concluded that it is one of the reasons why I felt stressed a lot.  I just wasn’t keep track of things and never felt like I was getting things done.  Now I’m ahead of reading in two of my classes and I feel more in control with less time.

Additionally–I am taking yoga this quarter as a class.  I usually enjoy being active outside but Ohio in the winter isn’t conducive to that so to make sure I get some sort of exercise I signed up for yoga as a one credit class.  It meets Thursdays in the afternoon and I really enjoyed my first class.  It focuses a lot on breathing and clearing the mind as well as poses so it’s very relaxing.  Now I just have to conquer being able to actually clear my head.  The good thing about being at OSU is all of these different things available to take aside from the MLHR curriculum!

Now that I’ve crossed blog writing off my list–back to the Bachelor.  We get out of class early enough for me to catch the last 45 minutes of it 🙂