Do it all … or nothing at all

This year I have decided to get involved as much as possible, and I’m losing some sleep for it. Currently I’m involved in the following:

  1. Continuing my internship at Cardinal Health
  2. President of GHRA
  3. Delegate – Council of Graduate Students
  4. Senator – University Senate
  5. Member – The Ohio Union Council
For me this essentially means 3 things 1.) Sleep is awesome 2.) I have to stay organized & 3.) I have an absurdly long e-mail signature. All joking aside, for me staying busy is what I prefer, and it has helped me grow and develop along the way. While I can talk about all the different areas, for this blog I will focus on my time at Cardinal Health.

This summer I interned at Cardinal Health in Dublin, Ohio. This was the best thing for me. The people there are great, I had a fanatic manager, it was fast-paced, challenging, rewarding, and was made up of people who like to win. This was the perfect place for me. While there, I work as an HR generalist supporting Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain. This is a long way of saying I worked with the parts of our business that were in other countries. It was great to work with an international team, and certainly was a learning experience.  I even go to travel around the country a little bit. Below is a picture of me doing some of the daily stretches with employees in our plan in Waukegan, Il.

As the summer came to an end, I was approached by my manager informing me that there was opportunity to stay on-board during the school year. I jumped at the opportunity. I couldn’t be more excited to stay on-board with the co-workers, team, and friends that I made this summer. I would be lying if I said its not a challenge to balance work, all of the above, school, my girlfriend, friends and family. However, I can say it has been one of the best times of my life. I’m busy, contributing to society, and so far keeping my girlfriend happy. Plus whenever I feel tired, I just think of the people in my program who have kids – hats off to you all.

So, what has this taught me? Well it’s still early on, but there are some clear takeaways.

  1. If you’re not having fun in anything that you’re volunteering to to – quit. I’m lucky that I still enjoy everything very much
  2. Treat work like a full-on-land-assault. Go as hard as you can till you know everything
  3. Take times to get away from it all. I have phone blackouts, no email, no texting, no twitter
  4. Laugh everyday – If I didn’t laugh everyday I’d lose my mind
  5. Mind your actions – People will remember what you do. If you make a promise keep it, and lead by example
  6. Don’t get in a pissing contest with a skunk – Don’t set your self up to do something that you know you will lose. Knowing your limits is key
More to come, but I’m about to go into step 3 so it’s difficult to blog with no electronic device.
Till next time, enjoy yourself.

Blogging it out … again

Well, it has been awhile, but I’m back. Despite a failed attempt at blogging last year, I have decided to give it another shot for year 2 in the MLHR program. A lot has changed since my last blog, so I’ll try to give the quick-and-dirty recap of what is going on in my world.

  1. I’m a SECOND YEAR: That’s right, I survived the trials and tribulations of a first year grad student and I’m ready to see this thing to the end. The cohort is as strong as ever. I would say as great as my summer was, the thing I missed the most was the cohort. While I’m looking forward to graduation, I’m not sure how I can go without seeing these people
  2. GHRA – For those of you who don’t know, GHRA (Graduate Human Resource Association) is a professional development, networking organization for those with an interest in HR. I’ve decided to take a leadership position in this group. It can be tiring at first, but very rewarding most days.
  3. Work – I was lucky enough to continue my summer internship, during the school year. I’m working at Cardinal Health as an HR Generalist. It’s a dream job come true – and that’s a good thing, because the 3 points listed here (thus far) don’t let me sleep as much as I would like.
  4. Nicole – If anyone knows me, then they are very familiar with my girlfriend Nicole. She’s also a grad student at Ohio State – studying Social Work. She’s is the one that helps me deal with all the other things I mentioned. Can’t say enough great things about this girl. We’ve been dating for a little over a year now and unlike my first attempt at blogging she’s stuck right by my side.

I would say that’s pretty good for a recap of where I am, and the main points of my life. I”m finding early on that most things only get  better with time like a good wine, or my experience in my program. Here’s to my 2nd round of blogging being better than the first.

— Shawn

Moments away from ordinary!

So this week has been a little hectic. It’s the first midterm week, as a grad student, and you can tell by everyone’s faces. Walking through the Fisher campus, a girl who I kind of know stops to chat. I’m with a group of friends walking over to get some coffee before our Statistics midterm exam. As we all go to leave, she says “Good luck on your midterms!” That was pretty nice of her, but then we stopped for a second, and were like “how did you know we had midterms?” The reply was priceless “Oh you all just looked stressed!” – That is the kind of week it has been.

However, you would never imagine this would be some of the best times I’ve had in the program so far. In this past week of studying I have learned more about my classmates than you can imagine. Pretty much every day has been a study session frenzy, so that gives you a lot of time to connect with your classmates. So on Wednesday it was nice that for a study break, I along with David, Shaun, and Wesley, went out for lunch. We headed to Upper Arlington, just a few minutes away from campus. Shaun and I decided to get my favorite, Tai’s Asian Bistro – while Wesley and David went with the exciting Italian rendition known as Piada! While the food was amazing, it was just great to connect with everyone. I learned about Shaun’s kids, and his experience getting his Master’s Degree in Higher Education. David talked about his roommate’s unique sleeping time while Wesley pretty much munched down on some Piada. While it seems brief, and I can’t really explain it, it has been these little moments away from ordinary that has made preparing for a midterm bearable. Making friendships and really connecting with each other is something that allowed me to get away from the seriousness and the pressure of the midterm.

So, yeah there is a lot of studying involved in grad school. More than I have ever done before. At the same time, it has been more fun that I have had preparing for tests before. Our study group dynamic is really fun, and something that I look forward to. So for those of you out there considering grad school, know that you will certainly have these amazing moments that make all of it worth it.

Big things : Small group

So, we’ve all heard the saying that, “Big things come in small packages!” Well, similar to the new Taco Bell XXL Chalupa, I disagree with this very much. I have a follow up to my previous post The Social Network!

So this week, Taco Bell came out with the XXL Chalupa. Any self-respecting college student will tell you the value of 4th Meal. So, not wanting to let my education get in the way of my learning, I had to try this new creation – if nothing else for educational purposes. Well, let me tell you this was quite the experience.

I approach the counter looking at my feet. At this point, I’m a little self-conscious because I know I want to order this, but at the same time, I don’t want to be judged.

“Yeah, I’ll have that one” I say, as I point to the menu above me. Perfect! It’s ordered and ready to go. I get it to my table, and this is certainly a hot mess of an XXL. So as I’m sitting there, during one of my several breaks (breaks that I need to take to rest from eating) I look down at the box, and in bold letters there is this quote:

Big Things Come in Big Packages

Don’t believe me? Have a look for yourself

The Biggest Taco you've ever had
Take a bite

And that really got me thinking that it’s not just a cute little marketing scheme – it is actually something that applies to my class. As I said, last week our class has developed a tradition of visiting the Varsity Club  (a local campus tradition) to celebrate another week of classes. And in no time at all, we have been able to create quite the stir. We’re known by the owners, we have our own section, but most importantly we have the biggest group of Pushed-Together tables you have seen. It’s amazing to think that we all were strangers until the middle of September. So I think the fact that we have been able to bond this quickly is a pretty BIG THING!

Our Weekly Special
Get Ready to Live!

The Social Network

So, as I sit there watching my watch tick-tock-tick-tock, I couldn’t help but wait to get out. I had convinced myself that this was not going to be fun at all. Everyone was pretty quiet and kept to their selves. This was NOT where I wanted to be.

That was the sum of my feelings in the first hour of orientation, 3 weeks ago. My first impressions were that everyone was taking it a little too seriously, and no one was looking to have fun. The orientation was great. The information was really helpful, we even left with little cheat sheet packets, in case we couldn’t pay attention. The only think that I thought was lacking were the people. I was able to chat with some people on the first day of orientation and they were really amazing. However, the majority of our class just seemed to be “strictly business.” So you can imagine that my first night coming home after orientation, I didn’t have the highest of hopes for my class.

Now, lets skip ahead 3 weeks in this process, and I’ll set the scene.

So, as I sit there watching my watch tick-tock-tick-tock, I couldn’t help but wait to get out. I had convinced myself this was going to be a lot of fun. Everyone agreed with me, and this was definitely where I wanted to be!

This was the end of our last class of the week – Statistics. Everyone couldn’t wait to get out, as we were all pretty out of our element from a full week of grad classes. So, we were pretty excited to get out of there and hang out. As soon as Dr. Bendapudi asked

Any last questions?

we were out of there. Our class headed to its usual spot – The Varsity Club. It’s a simple little sports bar, right next to the business school. Kind of small, and it really has a “Cheers” kind of feel to it. So that is where we went, and that is where we stayed for an hour or two. Some people had a few drinks, others didn’t. People were talking, others were listening. It was a great time for all, and certainly not what I had imagined at the end of my first day of orientation.

In the 3 weeks that this post covers, I felt better about my class and they had opened up. Little did I know the first day at orientation, everyone was nervous. Most people deal with it by becoming a little more reserved. My way of dealing with it is to just let loose. Luckily, by day 2 of orientation everyone made friends and started to exchange phone numbers. People were letting their guards down and friendships were being formed, as quick as a professor could assign readings. It turned into something great. So naturally, we were making plans, setting up study groups, social events, and even just times to grab lunch with each other. For me this was a perfect example of incorrectly judging a book, by a glimpse of its cover – from far away.

I’m sure this week will be the same as last. The week will start of strong, and people will be ready to conquer the world. By our last class of the week, I have no doubt that we’ll be running out of there, ready to hang out and catch up with each other as much as we can. So the past 3 weeks have been a huge transformation for me, and my classmates. We started out as people we sit next to in class, and it has turned into our own Social Network!

Time and Change

As a child growing up I heard the quote

The more things change, the more they stay the same

I just thought this was a grown-ups way of dealing with change. Little did I know its a truth that I would find out about Graduate School. Just graduating from Ohio State in the fall, I have to admit that I was certainly nervous, looking down the road for fall, which meant I would start school as a grad student. Even typing the words seems a bit odd. I have heard so many horror stories from the amount of reading you have to do, what is expected of you, and the stress of all it combined; not to mention the idea that I might actually turn from semi – to full fledged NERD!

So you can imagine my anticipation when on the first day of class our professor says

You are the best of the best, so as you see on the syllabus I’m expecting a lot of you

It was at that point, my entire class fell just an inch deeper in their seats. This is when it starts getting real. So I go home to my apartment. Grab a notebook, a text book, some pens as well as my favorite highlighters and get ready to go to work. It was then that it hit me, I’ve been here before. Yes, I’m not even a full week into grad school yet, but I already have a comfort area. Yes, it’s a different level than undergraduate studies. Yes, it does seem like a lot. Most importantly, yes – I have the tools for success. The same study habits and techniques that helped me succeed as an undergrad, are the same ones that I am using for my course work now. So while this may be a huge change in terms of what have experienced before, it’s really comforting to know that I’m not in the dark. The more that my life has changed from am undergraduate student to a graduate student, the more it has stayed the same.