My Journey to MHRM-hood

As a MHRM student, a question I get asked a lot is “What made you want to get into HR?” So, here we go.

I came to Ohio State as an undergraduate in Engineering. I had a rough couple semesters when I realized thatengineering was not for me. So I started looking into the business school, and once I finished my general courses I had to choose my specializations. My choices? Operations Management or HR.

I picked Operations Management.

And I don’t regret that one bit. It led me to the teachers who helped me realize that I wanted more. It gave me a very solid background in the inner working of an organization. I learned about efficiency, lean principles, maximizing flow through a production line, and continuous improvement. I learned so much about operations, and I really enjoyed it. But somewhere during the program, I also realized that an organization can churn out production and services at its highest efficiency, but without people, they wouldn’t be able to do any of that. People are the heart of your organization.

Me upon graduation in 2017 in front of Gerlach Hall, my home for the next two years (one left, now!)

Studying Human Resources has opened my eyes to a whole new side of organizations. HR isn’t just firing people, and we’re more than the “people employees go to if there’s a problem.” Yes, those fall under our descriptions, but as the workplace is changing, our role is becoming more strategic.

Expectations for HR professionals are leading towards knowing how to analyze and interpret data, how to lead change in the workplace, and how to combine standard business practices with HR metrics to help lead the organization to their goals. To do that well, we must know about our departments, our business, our customers, our C-Suite leaders, our culture, and our vision.

My professor, John Shaffner, once told us that “as an HR partner, you will be expected to know everyone else’s business while such a consideration will not be extended to you.” And maybe that’s the case. But I didn’t go into HR to be cared about: I went into HR to care about people—more specifically, our employees and future employees.

I love the path my education has taken me on. However, I was able to combine both facets of my education into the best profession I could ever want. But no path is the same and no story is the same. Maybe you even have your own story to share. But if you’re thinking about HR, or wondering even what a “MHRM” is, ask me, ask anyone in the program. Because maybe it could help you with your own journey.

The days are long…

…but the years are short.

This is my last day in my second home Gerlach Hall. To be candid, I’ve been avoiding this blog post for weeks now. I sat down to write on multiple occasions only to be overcome with such nostalgia that I couldn’t ever actually begin writing.

The last two years have absolutely changed my life. I’ve learned more about the field of HR in terms of technical knowledge than I knew existed. What’s more, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever could have anticipated.

I know I’ve talked about this point for some time now, but to be explicit: I believe grad school is about so much more than classes, exams, and projects. Grad school is about pushing yourself to think in different ways. It’s about confronting the anxiety of presenting in front of 50 people. It’s about managing through the hurt of not getting that internship you thought you’d nail. It’s about sleepless nights, and not having the right answer all the time, and learning to dance in the grey area. It’s about learning to fight fair with your classmates and professors and respecting each other at the end of the day. It’s about failing small, learning from your mistakes, and remembering how to be a beginner again.

It’s about all this and so much more. But I wanted to challenge myself to choose my most meaningful learnings from my time in the Master of Human Resource Management program. Here’s my triple-distilled final list of takeaways:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. The business world is fast-moving and always changing. People move quickly and shake things up and make mistakes. Grad school has taught me that doing something is almost always better than doing nothing. Don’t know the answer? Give it a shot anyway. Don’t know how to start that paper? Just start. One of my classmates has often said: “you either succeed or you learn.” Grad school is about learning how to use your energy and effort in the direction of productivity.

Take care of yourself. What recharges you? Do that thing, and do it often. This year, even when I thought I’d run out of hours in the day, I made time to exercise–for just one hour. I knew I’d be able to think more clearly afterward. Everything that needs to get done will get done.

You get out what you put in. As I move through life, I realize that in nearly every organization, team, program, and job there are going to be two groups of people–1) those who put in discretionary effort, and 2) those who do the bare minimum. On paper, these two groups will look virtually the same. They’ll have the same credentials, degrees, and experiences, and positions, and they’ll probably have access to the same opportunities as a result. The difference is in the amount of time and care they have invested into each of these items on their resume. Did they do it to check a box or did they do it for the challenge, learning, and growth? I can tell you with confidence that merely checking boxes will catch up with those folks, so choose wisely which group you want to belong to.

How you do anything is how you do everything. Don’t wait to put your best foot forward. I run across people every day who are so engrossed in the next “thing,” and admittedly I am also guilty of such future-tripping. It was said best by MHRM class of 2017 graduate (and my good friend) Kacielife happens now. It is so easy to get caught up saying, when I nail that internship, get that job, graduate this program, get married, have a family, that is when my life will start. Try to remember your life is happening every day and all around yoube present for it.

To all my followers over the last two years, thank you for the honor. Best of luck in wherever your future endeavors take you! And to all my graduating classmateslet’s do this.

Reaching Outside the Comfort Zone

First, let me share some background on myself to give you some context for this post: I am originally from Upper Arlington, Ohio—less than 5 minutes from OSU campus. I attended The Ohio State University alongside 50% of my high school graduating class. During undergrad, while most of my high school friends could pinpoint exactly where they wanted to be 5, even 10 years from then, I always felt unclear about what I wanted out of life and unsure of how to figure it out.

In my junior year of undergrad, while many of my friends were securing study abroad opportunities, I knew I wanted to do something different, something that would challenge me and hopefully reveal to what I didn’t already know about myself—strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities. I wanted to know it all! I found National Outdoor Leadership School through a friend of a friend, and I embarked on what was to become one of the most rewarding and bizarre experiences of my life…

I slept in a sleeping bag for 85 consecutive nights next to 16 strangers who would soon become my closest friends. We backpacked through remote sections of the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico and the Galiuro Mountains in Arizona, carrying everything on our backs that we needed to survive for 3 weeks at a time. We climbed the incredible granite domes of Joshua Tree National Park– powered by bacon, coffee, and laughter. We navigated class-3 rapids in whitewater canoes on the Rio Grande, paddled past Mexican military clad with automatic weapons, and didn’t see another human being for 18 days. The vastness of the wilderness was exhilarating, humbling, inspiring, and terrifying all at the same time, and I came to learn more about myself than I ever expected.

When I graduated from undergrad, I knew I wanted to marry my education in psychology with my passion for the outdoors to facilitate meaningful experiences for others who might benefit. I took a job as a Field Instructor for Evoke Therapy Programs helping struggling adolescents and young adults work through depression, drug addiction, trauma, and motivational/behavioral problems. In this job, I worked a non-traditional schedule of 8 days in the field, followed by 6 days off. I saw recovering drug addicts celebrate 30 days of sobriety in the field over no-bake pies. I saw teenage boys with autism begin to challenge rigid patterns of thinking and to develop their first real friendships. And I saw adolescent girls with a history of self-harm come to believe that they mattered in the world. I count myself lucky to have been a part of the transformation process for the clients I worked with, whose stories continue to inspire me and put my own struggles into perspective.

Me and my best friend Taylor when we worked in the field. This was the equivalent "business casual" in the industry.
Me and my best friend Taylor when we worked in the field. This was the equivalent of “business casual” in the industry.

It’s clear that the program I attended and the wilderness therapy program I worked for are very different. The takeaway that I hope becomes obvious here is that there is a certain inherent healing effect of being outside. I also think there is a deeper level of learning that comes from challenging experiences with real consequences—learning what is in and out of your control and how to adapt to adversity. I believe my experiences in the outdoors have shaped me into someone who can find hope and happiness in just about any situation, and I’m grateful for that.

If there is any piece of advice I would give someone who is uncertain about their path in life (and trust me, you’re not alone), I encourage immersing yourself in an experience that you’re afraid of. I’m talking the thing that you always wished you could do but could never actually imagine yourself doing. There is deep self-discovery and self-awareness that comes from pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone.

backpacking, Ohio State, High Sierras
The OSU Outdoor Adventure Center traveled to the High Sierras last summer. Seriously awe-inspring stuff.

The great part about OSU is that we have access to so many different experiences– so many that I hear people talk about how they struggle to fit in everything they want to do. Well, here is one more for you: the OSU Outdoor Adventure Center. Of course there is the famed indoor rock climbing wall, but what a lot of people don’t know is that as students we also have access to adventure trips. From rock climbing, to sea kayaking, to dog sledding—there is really something for all seasons and to suit all tastes. The best part is that there is no experience required for most and all are welcome.

rock climbing, OSU
Indoor rock climbing wall at OSU during the Valentine’s day climbing competition. Participants were held together by a paper chain and had to complete the climb together. They also do other silly stuff, like zombie themed climbing hours for the premier of the Walking Dead.

I can’t emphasize enough the benefit of pushing yourself to challenge fears, insecurities, an preconceived notions of your own limitations. From my own trips, I’ve learned to work with diverse teams, lead others in high pressure situations, and accomplish stretch goals with limited resources. These are all skills that translate remarkably well to “real life,” and that I plan to leverage in work and life in the future. Get out there!

A Juggling Act

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“Work-Life balance” is a phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My first two weeks of grad school consisted of 12 hours of class, 40 hours of work, 2 career workshops, 3 informational meetings, 1 career fair and several long hours of reading (exact number unknown). I ate a lot of fast food, slept far less than the recommended daily average, and managed to wash exactly zero dishes. Let me tell you, grad school at the Fisher College of Business is no joke.

I’ve always considered juggling one of my strengths (no, not literal juggling). But by the end of the first week, I already felt myself floundering– barely treading water to stay afloat in the sea of opportunity. I found myself looking around in my classes, wondering how the heck is everyone else doing it?! How do I juggle work, school, and a social life, which are all arguably—and certainly in my opinion— components of a healthy life? Is it okay for one to win out over the others, or even more dramatically, to drop one entirely so the other two can survive? Well, I decided to ask around and collect some data.

The bad news: no one really knows how to do it. The good news: everyone is in it together.

More on the bad news:

Well, it could be more accurate (and less sourpuss) to say that the jury is out on how to best juggle the trifecta of work, school, and a social presence– and everyone has their own strategy. My advice in three simple steps:

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  1. Schedule: Have one. Plan out what needs to be done and do the things you tell yourself you’re going to do. It feels good to deliver in tangible ways and to follow-through—for yourself. In the words of a wise Morgan Hite, “there is no substitute for sanity.”
  2. Make time for the things that reinvigorate you: This is important. Spend time with people you love, have a beer with a friend, watch stand-up comedy, blast the music in your car and sing at the top of your lungs. These are a few things that help me put chaos back into perspective.
  3. Take Pleasure in the Simple Things: Even when you feel like you don’t have time. Get some fresh air, people watch on campus, enjoy the walk home from class, appreciate the full moon and the sound of summer nights while they last. Try not to rush—appreciate the transition times as much as the activities themselves.

More on the good news:

We’re in this together. I’ve known my cohort for less than three weeks, and I already feel we understand one another better than most. There’s something about being stressed together that connects people on a deeper level. I realize now that I’ve missed this feeling from undergrad.

Maybe it’s because we’re like-minded people who genuinely care about helping people become the best version of themselves (call it HR). Maybe I just lucked out in the gamble of grad school cohorts. But when I think about the last few weeks, one word dominates—grateful. I am grateful to be treading water in this sea of opportunity and wisdom that is the Fisher College of Business. It is one of the best “problems” to have.

Paraphrased from the wise Dr. Larry Inks (Clinical Associate Professor at FCOB), there’s only one thing to do with the towel of experiences that make up life—wring it out and soak ’em up.

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Getting Into the ‘Swing’ of Things

From navigating the city-like campus of The Ohio State University, to making new friends and participating in on and off-campus events, the past week has been full of excitement and filled with new firsts! I’d be totally fooling myself if I said that my first week of grad school hasn’t been an adventure.

To cap off an already enjoyable week, the MHRM first-years and second-years participated in Summit Vision, an indoor and outdoor education center in Westerville, Ohio. We were given the opportunity to participate in activities that truly challenged our ability to work collaboratively in a team, communicate with each other, and rely on one another -all essential skills for future HR leaders!

On an individual level, we were all challenged to step outside of our comfort zone. For some, that was an easy task. But for me, stepping outside of my comfort zone required a great deal of courageousness, self-confidence, and outward trust. This manifested itself when it was my turn to climb up a 50-foot pole and jump off of the ledge.

The entire time leading up to the jump, I was nervous. In fact, I was among the last people in my team to climb up. But as I stood, gawking up at my daring teammates taking the plunge before me, I found myself more and more inspired to accomplish the same feat. “If they can do it, why can’t I?”

Just as that thought crept in, the beginning of a mental shift took place. I reminded myself that stepping outside of my comfort zone was supposed to be uncomfortable, scary, and maybe even a bit risky.

So I did it. I climbed up the pole and took the jump -which was more like a backwards side step- and went in full swing, high among the trees, screaming at the top of my lungs with my eyes closed as tight as possible while clenching firmly onto the swinging rope.

After several oscillations, I finally opened my eyes and my screaming sharply turned into deafening laughter. I felt so happy and shocked that I had taken the jump and grateful that I had been surrounded by a team of supportive people, cheering me on as I did so.

As I reflect on the underlying meaning of this activity and the implications it has for me as I navigate grad school, my career, and the rest of my life, I am reminded of a speech that Steve Harvey gave on an episode of Family Feud.

In his speech, Harvey states that the one thing every successful person has done at some point is jump. He goes on to say, “You cannot just exist in this life. You have got to try to live. If you are waking up thinking there has got to be more to your life than there is, man believe that there is. But to get to that life, you’re gonna have to jump.” Harvey then goes on to say that it is our gifts, our unique skills and talents, that act as a parachute to break the fall once we take the jump.

Now that I’ve physically taken the jump, throughout the next phase of my life, starting with my time here at Fisher, I want to take the jump academically, professionally, and socially. I want to get even more comfortable with being uncomfortable; for I now know that it is only when I am outside of my comfort zone that I am able to soar higher than I’ve ever imagined, utilize my gifts to their fullest potential, and truly understand what it means to be successful.

So here’s to taking a step away from the mundane and leaping into the exciting, frightening, and unknown reality that lies ahead of me. I think I can get into the swing of that! 😉

Wait, it’s week WHAT??

Apparently this quarter is going a lot faster than I had realized because it’s already week 3!  So let me start off by saying, welcome back 2nd year MLHRs, welcome 1st year MLHRs and a welcome in advance to all the prospective students that will hopefully be coming here next fall.

I won’t bore you with the details about my summer internship, but if you are really interested you can read all about it here at the My Fisher Internship Blog I wrote for this summer.

I’ll be brief and just say it was an incredible time and that OCLC truly is a great place to work for.  So much so that I am staying on until the end of this year.

I’m looking forward to a new slate of professors, a new set of classes and challenges and also to be more active with student organizations here at Fisher such as the Graduate Human Resources Association.  I’ll also be putting a lot of focus on the group that I am Graduate VP of : Out In Business, a group promoting social equality for all people but with a focus on the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered community and its allies.

It’s going to be a challenge balancing my home life, a love life, work and school.  But we’re MLHR!  We’re tough.

More to come soon, but welcome and welcome back everyone!  It’s good to be home (Gerlach Hall).

 

Gerlach Hall AKA Home

It has only just begun

Hello my fellow Buckeyes (and prospective ones too)!

It is an exciting time for us 1st year MLHR students. Over the summer, I was anxiously awaiting what this new chapter of my life would bring. And I have to admit – I was nervous! On the first day of orientation, I had no idea what to expect and had the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. As my first blog, I felt it was fitting to give you all a little insight on what I loved most about MLHR orientation and how I got those butterflies away. So, here goes nothing!

Opportunity

The opportunities and resources here at Fisher are endless. From the organizations, internship options, and networking, I know I will have no problem keeping myself busy the next 2 years. One of my favorite things from orientation was the panel of 2nd year MLHR students who came to give advice, answer questions, and tell about their experience so far at Fisher. I was very involved in organizations in undergrad and cannot wait to join GHRA (Graduate Human Resources Association)!

Diversity

I am always up for meeting new people and I was eager to see where all my classmates would be from come this fall. The first night of orientation, our advisers put together a fun quiz to help us become more acquainted with one another. The quiz consisted of 4 facts and we were to guess which one was false. After guessing the false fact, each student represented in the ‘true facts’ confirmed which one was theirs. I was astounded by all of the different backgrounds of my classmates! I have lived in Ohio my entire life. Although I have met many people from different backgrounds over the years, I have never been in a setting such as this. The class of 2013 come from all over the world and possess an array of personalities. Getting to know one another over the next 2 years will not only be exciting, but will surely enhance our social development and prepare us as successful HR professionals. Just think, how boring would it be if we all had everything in common with one another?

Tour of Ohio Stadium

View from the press box - Do you feel the greatness?

I am, and always have been, I huge fan of Ohio State football. Although all my life it has been Cleveland sports and Notre Dame in my household, I found my way to the greatness! So, as you can already tell I was very excited to learn my classmates and I would be getting a tour of Ohio Stadium.

Even though I ‘claim’ to be a huge fan of the Buckeyes and have been to many games, I did not know much about the history of Ohio Stadium. My classmates and I were given a complete tour (inside and out) and told all of the stories of how this stadium came to be one of the most eccentric in the country (I would love to share, but some of you may be getting this tour next fall!) After the tour was over, I had even a more clear understanding as to why Ohio State Football is a secular religion here in Columbus.

I look forward to the next 2 years at Fisher. Here’s to a new beginning!

A few of us at Ohio Stadium - I need to improve my 'I'! 🙂

Meeting and Exceeding Expectations

In keeping with the “end of the first year” theme from 2 weeks ago (stay tuned for another bonus blog this week, since it has been 2 weeks since my last blog), I decided to reflect on a comment I received today. I opened my email from the weekend  and in one them was the comment (directed at me), “I expected more from you.” Of course, I’m not going to go on and say who said it or even the situation surrounding the comment because it really doesn’t matter. The fact is, that comment really stung. After the inevitable hurt feelings that come after a comment like that, I started to think about expectations. Specifically, I started to remember the ones I set for myself coming into this program and how in the grand scheme of things, this little comment doesn’t have any bearing on my life as a whole at Fisher.

My expectations for myself in terms of this program were to obviously, do well academically and after that I just wanted to make some new friends, maybe 3 or 4 that could become really good friends and maybe take on more leadership-type roles,and of course, find an internship. These expectations weren’t particularly lofty in terms of specificity, but this list was a challenge none-the-less, especially at the beginning of a completely new experience.

Because of Fisher, the MLHR program, and the new friends that I’ve meet along the way, I have met and exceeded those expectations. Here’s what I actually have accomplished in one year, thanks to the three groups listed at the beginning of this paragraph:

1. Went from Co-Social Chair to Social Chair for MLHR. This really “kills 2 birds with 1 stone” because I have been able to make new friends because of this and take more a leadership role as well.

2. Found an internship via FisherConnect. After editing my resume, thanks to the Office of Career Management and FisherConnect, I was able to land and internship with the State of Ohio (Department of Natural Resources), which is one of the best internships I could ask for.

3. Made friends with students from across the globe. I’ve been able to get to know students from China and Turkey and have had the pleasure of learning about their culture and sharing some of mine with them (i.e. “Chinese Thanksgiving”). I definitely think that when the program is over, Skype will be in our future, so we can stay in touch, no matter where we are.

4. Learned so much about HR and realized that HR and the program here at Fisher is the perfect fit for me. I knew I wasn’t totally sold on Strategic Communication when I graduated as a career (although I am still a total PR and advertising nerd), so finally finding a specialty that I am passionate about is such a blessing. It doesn’t hurt that my class is full of great people to work with and see 3+ nights a week.

5. Been able to keep up a little bit with Communications through this blog. It’s been nice to still feel like I’m tied to “Comm-world” by maintaining a blog.

6. Ran my first 5k. As I said in the Fisher 5k blog, this wouldn’t have been possible without the support from classmates who were volunteers and fellow runners who were so encouraging every step of the way. I doubt I would have done a 5k if it weren’t for some of classmates in MLHR and everyone who organized the Fisher 5k.

7. Went down zip line. This FOR SURE would not have happened without the help and encouragement of the classmates that were in my team. It may not seem like a big deal to some reading this, but for me, it is a big deal. I put my faith in people who were telling me it was OK to slide myself off of the ledge and being able to put my faith into other people saying it was OK is a HUGE accomplishment for me.

These are only some of the highlights from this past year, and for me, just these alone are proof that I have met and exceeded expectations that I set for myself starting out as a first year graduate student. I would encourage everyone starting in any of the graduate programs at Fisher to think about what expectations you have for yourself starting in the program and after one year look back at how much you have accomplished. It really puts things into perspective if  you’re having a bad day or if you feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on at the end of the year. So, when you come to Fisher, get ready make your list of expectations and be ready to meet and exceed every single of one them.

Summit Vision 2011

On Friday, May 6, 2011, more than 25+ 1st and 2nd MLHRs headed out to Summit Vision in Westerville, OH.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Summit Vision, Inc., check out their website.  For me, I think the best thing about Summit Vision is the unique way each of us (individually and as a group) can learn about essential skills such as trust, leadership, communication and decision-marking through outdoor team building activities.

The first activity I got to do was the “zip line”.  This was my very first time ever doing a high rope activity.  I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous climbing 55 ft. into the air – I don’t think it was so much the climb as it was that the entire platform shook as I climbed a rung higher on the ladder.  Through all of that, I conquered my fear and successfully  made it down the zip line!  My takeaways from this activity were: (1) it’s fun doing things you’ve never done before and (2) you definitely learn a lot about yourself by taking risks and/or overcoming your fear to accomplish a goal.

The 2nd activity I really enjoyed was – you guessed it – the step off swing.  Again, this was another high rope activity that required you to climb only 30 ft to a platform where you get harnessed into another rope.  The only nuance to this activity was the fact that I had to actually make myself step off (NOT jump!) to the side of the platform and then swing back and forth about 6-8 times.  For me, that was a tough decision.  I was definitely more scared this time because I felt like I actually had to choose to step off rather just letting the zip line do its thing.  So since I was scared and shaking the first time I stepped off, I asked my instructor, Paige, if I could go back up a 2nd time.  I knew deep down I needed to overcome that fear so I decided to face it head-on.  And, as you can see below by the wonderful videography by the one and only Rob Chabot, how my 2nd step-off jump turned out.

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All in all, the Summit Vision was a great individual and team-building experience for not only me, but the rest of  the MLHR graduate students.  I think each and every one of us enjoyed getting out of our comfort zones as well as getting another opportunity to get to know each other in a different way.

A special thank you to Lisa C. (fellow 2012 MLHR grad student) for taking the pictures you are about to see below.  Thank you, Lisa!

First Year Reflections and Summit Vision

When I first started graduate school, I thought it would be a lot like undergrad, where you met a few people that you liked in classes, were maybe in a few groups together, but at the end of the day, we would all go home and hang out with our friends from either back home or from undergrad. Of course, I couldn’t be more wrong. This year has been quite the opposite, in fact. I know I’ve made friends for life in this program.

At the beginning of our first year, our class was required to participate in team-building exercises at one of the fitness facilities on campus led by a group from Summit Vision. They told us that in the spring, we would go to Summit Vision after having spent a year together to do more of these types of activities. I thought, at the time, that a year wouldn’t make too much difference in how we were towards each other. But, what a difference a year really does make.

When we first got to Summit Vision we were divided into teams, then each team did their own activities with one of the leaders from Summit Vision. Our first event was the zip-line, which put me right into anxiety mode. I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with the zip-line because we were told that we needed to stay in our “growth zone” and not put ourselves in our “panic zone.” As soon as the lady told us our first activity was the zip-line my mind went right to the boarder of “panic zone” and “growth zone.” However, we got suited up in our harnesses and thank goodness the guys volunteered to go first. It really helped to see them go first. Not to be left out or be a baby, I decided to at least climb up the thing and see how bad the height was before making any final decisions on whether or not to do the zip-line. Once I got up there, I watched 2 people go ahead. They didn’t die, so I thought it might be ok. Emily and I were the last to go, and probably the most scared, but we both were able to encourage each other to move forward. Sure enough, we both counted down from 3 and off we went, down the zip-line. It was actually pretty fun, quite honestly. I enjoyed it and I might even zip-line in the future.

It was after this activity that I really started to realize how much we all had changed over the past year. We really had developed friendships, that I didn’t even know existed. It sounds silly, but I always thought a friend was someone who went to the bars with you on Friday night and someone who was there for you when you needed to cry.I didn’t realize until Friday during these activities that friends don’t always have to come like that (meaning they don’t always have to be your best friends who you over-share everything with). Friends can be the people who just encourage you to scoot your behind off of a platform to go on the zip-line. Friends can be there to calm you down after you’ve been scared about doing the zip-line.Everyone in my group were all of those things and more.

Our next activity was the “Commitment Bridge” or as I called it, “Marriage/Dating Counseling 101.” This was one where you had to get on the ropes and balance each other as the two ropes got further and further apart. This, again, got me thinking about how I’d developed a friendship with everyone in my group. Emily and I had to lean on each other and trust that the other one could help with balance. You also had to trust that the people who were standing in front of you or behind you were going to catch you if you fell. Having, a few trust issues myself, this was one that was difficult for me, mentally. Yet, the important thing was that I had friends there to help me. A few people were there to grab me when I fell and Emily proved that she really could help me balance on the rope and vice versa.

This trip really helped me to fully understand how great the people in our first year class are and how I really have developed friendships with most people in our class. I may not be out at the bars with everyone in the class on a Friday night  nor has everyone in the class seen me cry; however, I have learned to lean on my classmates for support, and I’ve learned to be support for classmates. We’ve learned about each others strengths and weaknesses through group projects and we’ve seen how everybody holds up after a 2-day long case competition. The activities at Summit Vision really helped to cement those friendships and helped those of us who hadn’t before this, realize that they actually had developed.

Over the past year, we’ve laughed, cried, had anxiety, stressed, studied, shared stories of significant others mis-behaving, shared stories about work, discussed job searches, and most importantly, gone to Varsity Club on most Thursdays together. I think I can say with confidence that I can call everyone in the 1st year MLHR class a friend. Classes come and go, but the relationships that have been built with our classmates will hopefully last a lifetime. Here’s to an awesome first year with everyone and hopefully, here’s to a speedy/challenging 2nd year. Cheers!

Lisa and Rebecca
Emily and Rebecca - getting ready to zip-line

PS- Thanks for letting me use these pictures, Lisa 🙂

Photos courtesy of Lisa Carpinone