January Already

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be a more frequent blogger, so here we go! Last semester I always had a mental list of ideas I thought would make good posts and would think, “Just as soon as I have a free afternoon, I’m going to write all these up.” But somehow those free afternoons never seemed to materialize. Now I’m scheduling some blogging time into my week to make sure I actually get to it.

The Dowager Countess never had to take Finance II.

First of all, winter break was amazing. I stayed up late watching addictive TV, I read non-business books, I took naps in the middle of the day—everything I love that I hadn’t been able to do with so much schoolwork. I also picked up some shifts at the bakery where I used to work, so I got to spend time with some of my old co-workers, decorate fun Christmas cookies and bûches de Noëland get a paycheck—it was the perfect arrangement.

I went to Ohio University for my undergrad, which was on quarters (though has now switched to semesters with almost every other school) and we had the most holy six-week winter break that stretched all the way from a few days before Thanksgiving to a few days after New Year’s Day. So part of me was still missing those extra two weeks from my break, but mostly I was excited to come back to school and be busy again. After about eight straight days of doing nothing but sitting (ok, laying) on the couch watching Downton Abbey and occasionally wandering into the kitchen to eat leftover pie, even I start to feel like a bit of a schlub.

This first week back has actually been very exciting. First, I went to the kickoff of the Corporate Mentorship Program, which I applied to way back in September. The program is basically what it sounds like: students apply to be matched with a business professional in the Columbus area to be their mentors. I’m always looking for people with more experience to give me a little guidance or push in the right direction, so I’m very glad Fisher has a program like this. In September I filled out a form explaining a little about my background and what I was looking to get from a mentor-mentee relationship, then the magic elves in the Leadership Development Office spent the last few months pairing my fellow students and me with our mentors.

I found out my mentor’s name and brief background information on Monday and then attended a reception on Wednesday evening for all of the mentees and mentors where we finally met. She’s great! We don’t have identical backgrounds, but there’s a lot of overlap and I could see immediately why we were matched. Not only that, I found her very easy to talk to and very helpful already, as I explained how my internship search was going and what parts of my professional development I was looking for help with.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, since my only knowledge of mentors has been watching Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock or George Christopher on Bored to Death, neither of which are perhaps the most shining examples. Fortunately for me, this first meeting with my mentor was great, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know her and benefiting from her advice and experience.

The second big thing this week is that my ongoing process of internship search/application/interview has kicked into high gear. I’m applying for marketing internships, and right now is when a bunch are popping up and coming due. I made myself a document that I’m calling an “Internship Matrix,” though it’s more of a spreadsheet, really, and I’m keeping track of the dozens of positions I’ve found and am applying to and then hopefully interviewing at. So far this week I’ve been on a pretty good clip of applying for one almost every day and checking them off the list. This is going to be the norm for the next several weeks, in addition to interviews and pre-interview events, both of which I have next week as well.

Anyway, overall I’m really glad to be back in school, even if it interferes with my love of lazing about. Fortunately I’d gotten so used to being busy all the time last semester that it’s easy to slip back into that mode. As long as I can keep up my work ethic and time management, and squeeze in some blogging time, I’m feeling pretty good about the next four months.

Unique opportunity through the Corporate Mentor Program – LDP

For those who decided to join the Corporate Mentor Program, Congratulations! This is really a unique opportunity that we as students receive thanks to the efforts of the Leadership Development Program.

Last Wednesday we had the opening event, and although not all the mentors were able to attend the meeting, it was a successful start (really nice setting, food and beverages 🙂 ). The initial opportunity to interact on a one to one basis with people who have had a lot of success in their careers was enlightening and certainly motivating.

My mentor who has been part of the program since its beginning commented about how this program has been improving over the years, and it has helped many people to learn and grow as professionals. In addition, he was surprised by the amount of students registered for it in comparison to previous years when the program was only available for a smaller group. Finally, he was very happy to see how many more professionals volunteered for the program and in general he mentioned that the experience was very rewarding for him.

This type of programs shows the commitment of successful professionals in the community to continue the development of Fisher students in a range of ways. The program also shows how Fisher retains strong relationships with many successful companies from around the United States and really offers an excellent learning experience to students from a professional standpoint. This does not take place in a class room setting and really shows how flexible Fisher’s education strategies are.

I am amazed for the opportunity we get to interact with high level executives and very experienced executives. We get to learn so much and share our progress throughout this year, and take pointers on what we need to do as we look into the future.

My mentor was very energetic and extremely open to support to my professional development. We talked over 2 hours and I sincerely did not notice how the time went through because there was so much to talk about his professional experience and my career objectives. His insight in this short amount of time was extremely interesting and opened my mind to a range of possibilities.

It is an incredible opportunity especially for international students to interact with local professionals, viewing the US industry from their perspective and getting an understanding of the real world as we currently sit. It also improves our knowledge of corporate America, culture and the political aspect that without doubt we will all encounter as we move through our careers.

Thanks to all the mentors and special thanks to the Leadership Development Program for the great effort. We certainly appreciate it!