A list of firsts

Within the last 7 days, exactly, many firsts have happened in my life. They are as follows:

  • First day of Graduate School
  • Wearing stilettos to class
  • Creating a grad level presentation
  • Creating a presentation which may or may not ever be presented
  • Sitting in class in a comfortable chair
  • Sitting in class where the ‘desk’ isn’t attached to my chair
  • Having plenty of room to spread out my notes during class
  • Having a professor wear a suit to class, each class, not just the first day
  • Forgetting my name plate for class – which is conveniently sitting in front of me in my apartment, now
  • Having something to add to class, and actually saying it (trust me it doesn’t happen hardly ever)
  • Sitting in class for four hours
  • Being warm in Gerlach Hall

I’m sure there are many more, but these are just a few that come to mind.

I keep hearing the reoccurring theme to keep ahead of things. And, as I sit here at 10:30 at night, having just gotten home from class, I realize how true it is. For now, I’m off to read 50 pages about the origins and evolutions of the field of industrial relations.

The comfortable chairs and spacious desk areas!
The comfortable chairs and spacious desk areas!

It’s Intern (interview) Season!

You know how a lot of companies hire interns for the summer? I’ve heard it referred to more often than not as “intern season” meaning all of these clueless naive interns who are excited about dressing professionally swarm the office and try to schmooze with as many people as they can.

Well I am going to say that it is intern season here at Fisher within the MLHR program but I don’t mean it the way it is usually meant.  By intern season here I mean ’tis the season to be figuring out how to use our only semi-user friendly online job search system FisherConnect.  Great resource, don’t get me wrong, but navigating it takes some getting used to.  It also means that once you have figured out how to navigate FisherConnect you get to find out what companies are recruiting on campus, what they are recruiting for, and how to submit your resume to them in the hopes that they select you for an interview.

After you’ve done all that you sit back and wait for a bit and then the emails come rolling in.  And by rolling I mean that I have only gotten three so far. The subject email always has a generic tag line so it isn’t until you open the email that you find out if you have been chosen to interview.  I did receive two acceptances and one decline (can’t win them all..) and was euphoric for all of two minutes until I realized that I actually have to sit down and talk with these companies and explain to them how absolutely amazing and talented I am and they should hire me.  It’s probably a good idea if I spend some quality time on their company website as well.

(p.s. I am not even getting into all of the informational sessions and meet and greets held by companies…yet another opportunity to talk about how awesome you are! What great confidence boosters…but really they will be helpful and I’m glad for the opportunity)

In addition to all of this, you’re trying to balance classes, group projects and reading (which has been reasonable so far)…..this all adds up to a lot of crazy stressed nutjob students running around campus talking about the core values of a company next minute to the glory and wonder of statistics the next.

So to sum it up…yes I am busy with classes and preparing for 2 interviews that I know of so far next week plus attending three different career events.  Busy but well worth it once I get a great summer internship! Hooray for intern season!

I Suppose Public Speaking isn’t THAT Scary

The MLHR program requires many group projects and a lot of speaking in front of the class.  Public speaking is something that I am terrified of.  I don’t know why.  There really is no logic behind being afraid of speaking in front of people.  I keep trying to remind myself that I have done many other things in my life that are much more scary than public speaking, such as scuba diving.  Possibly getting eaten by a shark or separated from my group at 100 feet while scuba diving should cause me more fear than speaking in front of a group of my peers.  Well, that is not the case!

I expressed my fear of speaking in front of a group to one of my classmates who is a Teaching Assistant and she immediately said, “Come speak in front of my class on Monday.”  Initially I wanted to say no, but I realized that she was offering me a great opportunity to practice in front of a group of students who I will most likely never see again.  So, I agreed.

I did a short presentation on my Myers Briggs personality test results in front of her class this morning.  I was definitely terrified and I shook the entire time, but that really was the worst of it.  I am so thankful to my classmate for giving me the opportunity to practice speaking in front of her students and allowing me to face my fear head on.  It will only get easier from here!

My awesome classmate, Eva

I am too busy recently. But I really appreciate this status, since it brings me a great stage for self-development. Overwhelmed by the stress from study and new living environment, I also receive lots of help from my friends and classmates home and abroad. Here, I would like to show my sincere gratitude to my close friend and classmate Eva, who I met in the OIA during check-in. She is from India and she came here with her smart and nice husband Renji.

Eva is very easy-going, gentle, environment-friendly and helpful. She took me to the shopping malls and I got a very cute blue T-shirt that makes me very energetic . And she also offered yummy Indian food at her sweet home. Furthermore, she shares her hobby with me. She taught me about DIY decorations. Furthermore, she drove her SUV to pick up my second-hand furniture for my bedroom. Last but not least, she is that helpful that she gave me considerable suggestions about life and study. I don’t know what kind of things I can do for this kind-hearted lady!!!

Now we two are now team members in MHR863- Business Practices and the Human Resource Manager. I was overwhelmed by lots of new information. Eva comforted me  and also wrote an email to the other team members . I attach her email here——–

Lily feels bad that she was not clear about what the auto bailout topic was and is afraid to make mistakes again. So I was hoping we could all encourage her a bit. We are all here to learn and making mistakes is a part of learning. And frankly none of us know the actuals of the issue and need to read a lot about it too… So hope to see more of your mails bouncing in Lily.. 🙂

Then I also received encouragement from other members.

For instance, one of the members told me:

LILY!!! Please do not waste another second of your time feeling bad about anything! On top of Eva’s points, we will only work well together as a group if we are understanding of each other’s limitations as well as working hard, as we are clearly going to.
The point is, we each have different strengths and weaknesses, and I definitely see us taking turns leading on different things. We should strive to create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable putting their ideas out there to contribute, since that’s what is conducive to the collaborative success we will now rely on in this program. It is excellent that you are our marketing guru too! We will all find our niches and become better at developing plans of attack and work distribution as we adjust to this as well, I have no worries there.
Thank you!!!!!! You did make me stronger!

I now have more energy to prepare my program because help is everywhere!

Thank you, Eva!

First Week Lessons and Observations

The first week of classes is officially over.  It has been an exciting week of getting to know my classmates better, figuring out what time I should leave for campus to avoid traffic, realizing that time management is going to be a major factor in my success, and dealing with the fact that I am going to have to get over my fear of public speaking immediately!

Everyone in my program is extremely nice and I love how diverse our group is.  I think the diversity of our group is going to be a huge advantage and that we all have a lot to learn from each other.  Diversity can, of course, cause some barriers, but I have already experienced how supportive everyone can be when one of these barriers becomes evident.  Being supportive of one another is going to be so important.  This is new to all of us and I think we are all a little anxious!

Something else that I find interesting with a group of graduate students is that it seems we are all subtly competitive.  This competitive nature can be used in a productive manner and push us to do our very best or it can cause conflict.  Due to the fact that I have already seen so much support from my classmates, I think it is going to work to our advantage.

So far, I still LOVE graduate school!  I will speak more on time management and public speaking in later posts.  For now, I must go do homework!

Week one…I survived!

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m finished with what I’m considering my first official week of graduate school….some of the highlights:

-Work wise I finished training and was able to jump in and apply all of the things I learned in training.  My job title is Undergraduate Career Consultant and I work in the Career Management at Fisher.  I give students mock interview, review resumes and present to various classes about career management things! So this week I gave about 8 resume critiques and my first mock interview.  For the first time in well over a year I can truthfully say: I. love. my. job.

-I had two classes this week, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  The night classes are definitely going to take some getting used to.  I’m more of a morning person.  Wednesday night was Fundamentals of HR I which I think is going to be a little bit dry…especially with the first book we need to read.  But knowing the background and history of HR is obviously important to a career.  My Thursday night class is Business for the HR manager, basically business 101.  For the first hour of the class I thought I was in the wrong place–it was Fisher College comedy hour! Everyone went around and did introductions and I was impressed and happy with the amount of diversity and comedic genius.  There are a lot of students in my program from China, others who work full time and go to school part time and everyone in that class comes from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.  We were also assigned into groups for the first of what seems to be many many group projects.  What I like about group projects in grad school is that everyone is here because they want to be, making everyone very dedicated and hardworking.  It’s a nice atmosphere to be in.

-We get name plates to display in class so professors can easily see our names.  My goal was to make it a week without forgetting to take it with me after class.  I made it through two days.  I forgot to take it after class last night…the hunt is on….so if anyone sees it let me know!

This weekend my Dad is coming to visit…I got him an OSU t-shirt so he will blend in with the crowd tomorrow 🙂

Go Bucks!

Cheap Books and Tips.

I’ve noticed as I’ve read through several of the other blogs that people have commented on on the expense of buying books through campus bookstores or are curious as to where they can find a cheaper alternative. As my fiance puts it, I’m a connoisseur of online buying; most everything I buy is from online and multiple times cheaper than the vast majority of retail stores.

I discovered about 2 quarters into my sophomore year the art of buying books online. This quarter is probably my pride and joy as I saved $160 by buying my books online as opposed to buying used books from the campus bookstores. **NOTE** this does not apply to course packets. And for any professor reading this, sympathize for your students and don’t have course packets. Post readings on Carmen and make them buy a book. At least that way it’s re-sell-able.

How do I do it? Simple – Email your professor and ask which books are required for your class and be sure to ask for the edition. Once you have the title, author, edition and most of the time ISBN, google search the ISBN. Use the shopping function of google, which is AMAZING, and find the cheapest book. Amazon is good, but I much prefer abebooks.com. It tends to be a little cheaper and have less shipping. Amazon has the “super saving” deal where you can spend so much and get free shipping, but that’s only from Amazon, not their dealers, and most of the time are more expensive than the dealer prices or the prices from other online book distributors. Buy.com and half.com are other good sites, but always make sure you’re shopping through a secure site. Nine times out of ten, if the web URL starts with https, not just http it’s secure, but be careful where you put your credit card number.

Also, if you have the option of buying the binder-ready version vs the hard/soft back book, buy the hard/soft back book. Campus area stores won’t buy it back if it’s the binder-ready version. I learned that the hard way after “saving” $40 on a physics book and ended up losing $120 because I can’t sell it back.

More tips to come. For now, happy 2nd day of classes!

The first day of school…Again!

So I just wrapped up my first day as a graduate student about an hour ago!  Today’s class was like many other classes I have had in which the first day was spent going over the syllabus and introducing ourselves to our perspective classmates.  However, the class I had today is being taught by the Director of the MLHR program, Mr. Heneman, whom I am certain I will have again for a future class or classes.

My first impressions of graduate school at Fisher is that it is very fast-paced!  For instance, classes hadn’t even started and I found myself sending out resumes to potential employers in order to be preselected for a first round interview, which I might add will take place in 1.5 weeks if chosen.  Not to mention the coursework. LOTS OF READING!!!!  However, it can all be done. The most important element that I will need in order to be successful in this program, and after this program is to have a good tight grasp on the importance of time management.  I didn’t really implement the skill too much throughout undergrad, but I like to think of graduate school as my second-coming!  The time in which I can do and achieve all the things I didn’t do while in undergraduate.

Round II tomorrow…

Hunt for the Great White Internship

Part of the First Year MLHR experience is the internship hunt.  For those first years out there, let me pass down a little bit of advice.  From what I have heard, a lot of you are pretty stressed out.

So you know there is this perfect internship out there for you with the perfect company.  You don’t know exactly what it looks like or where it is going to be.

Excuse the deep sea fishing analogies, but it is kind of like traveling into unknown waters and going after something that is somewhat elusive and even a bit scary.

Here is the good news.  When you go deep sea fishing, the biggest part of the voyage is being prepared.  Having the right tools, a steady vessel, and a good crew makes the journey so much more fun. (Well that and a cooler full of beer).

The tools you need for your internship hunt are a polished resume, a practice run (mock interview), a nice suit, and well developed responses.  These are all things that you can do to prepare.

The vessel to get you there should be your individual characteristics, why companies want you over the 20 other people applying, the experiences in your life that make it a good fit.  These are things that you should be very familiar with, after all, you know yourself better than anyone.

A good crew on a deep sea hunt is vital.  Career services is that crew.  Make sure you keep them up to date, ask them questions, make networking connections, really take advantage of everything they offer.

If you really give it your all, the big fish will start coming to you.  Good luck to all of you first years out there!

Rather be Fishing,

Lauren

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Jaws*Jaws @ Universal Studios

Real World MHR 843

I signed up for an elective MHR 843 with Professor Rodek.  Going into it, I had heard good things about the professor and needed to take an elective and it happened to fit my schedule.  Did I have a genuine interest about Org. Change and Turnaround?  Probably not.

We had our first class today and TaDa.  Boom.  It hit me!

I am going to love this class.  First, we have a tremendous amount of knowledge and background diversity which is more reflective of the Real World than any class I have previously taken at Fisher in the MLHR program.

Second, Professor Rodek has Real World experience in the subject he is teaching.  Not discounting and of the other wonderful professors I have had.  It is just very refreshing to take a class where the professor can provide insights and stories and analogies to actual experiences and not just teach us directly from a text.

Finally,  in today’s economy of bankruptcy, mergers, restructures, and reorganizations, this class is going to prepare me for when it happens to me in … The Real World.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to this class.  I will keep you posted on how it is going, but at this point I recommend it to any MLHR student needing an elective because we are going to be facing these types of challenges in future careers!