Back to School – One Last Time :)

So after an awesome twelve week internship and an awesome summer, it’s finally time to head back to THE best school one last time. I’ve definitely been busy these past few months; between the end of last semester, my study abroad trip, internship, and going back to school, I’ve only had two free weeks this whole summer! The past few weeks I’ve gone through a lot of transitions – leaving Detroit, moving back home to Akron for a week, and moving back to my apartment in Columbus. Unfortunately, because I was so stressed and worked so much the week before, I got super sick with a cold the week I was home. I normally get sick during or after finals week from being so run-down, so I wasn’t really surprised! The moral of the story here is to always give your body a break and let yourself relax so you can stay healthy and avoid getting sick like I did..   🙂

Like I had mentioned in an earlier post, working full-time has definitely helped me appreciate the college life. It’s really nice to be able to come home in between classes and get stuff done. However, I also feel at this point that I’m ready for my future career and future life. It’s a strange feeling going back to school after working full-time all summer and “adulting,” and it’s also hard to stay motivated in school when you’ve been doing it for so long! I’m trying not to let senioritis take over, though, and I’m definitely going to enjoy my very last year of undergrad (and continue to work hard in all of my classes!), especially because a few years from now I will eventually go back to grad school for my MBA! The thoughts of graduating college in eight months and only living in Columbus for one more year before moving away forever have me in my feels, but I take pleasure in knowing the best is yet to come. I would also like to point out that as an underclassman, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with everything going on and to feel like you have absolutely no idea what you want to do or what you want your life to be like when you are older. I PROMISE that everybody goes through this, and while it can be confusing when you are younger, by the time you get to your senior year, all of your hard work pays off and everything falls into place perfectly. Always follow your intuition, because if you do what you know in your heart is right, you will pretty much always be happy with the outcome.

Now that the only classes I have left are the classes in my specializations, it’s been really cool to be able to apply what I’ve learned during my internship and from working in the “real world.” Sometimes the professors even ask us to talk about our internship experiences in class! In turn, I definitely think that my internship has helped me gain a deeper understanding of the concepts that I’ve learned through Fisher by being able to apply them at work. I also feel like the knowledge from the International Business and Marketing classes I am currently taking will really help me in my full-time job after I graduate.

Speaking of full-time jobs, I am very happy to say that I have accepted a full-time offer with Quicken Loans as a mortgage banker in Cleveland upon graduation! I don’t exactly have a break from work for the next year though; part of my preparation to finally get on the sales floor as a banker includes taking state licensing courses and exams. Throughout this school year, as I finish my degree, I’ll ~kind of~ continue my internship by clocking in to work at home and spending anywhere from 10-15 hours a week doing the training and taking the licensing exam for different states. Quicken, as a company, is licensed in all 50 states, but each individual banker is licensed in different states (most bankers are not licensed in all 50). The company will decide which states I will obtain my license in depending on the company’s need. The average banker takes between 10-12 state licensing exams, so that is approximately how many I will take throughout my senior year to prepare for my full-time job. You cannot actually write a mortgage loan unless you are licensed at the federal level as well as in the state that the house you are writing the loan for is located in, so this is a crucial part of being a mortgage banker. With that being said, I am very excited for what my senior year and my future after college have in store for me!

I truly hope that over the course of these past few months you have all gotten something out of my blog posts and my own internship experience! If you have any questions or would like to keep in touch, don’t hesitate to connect with me on social media (Twitter & Instagram: @marieannagrace) and LinkedIn (Marie Klein). I love meeting new people and am always here to help so please feel free to reach out!

If there is one piece of advice that I could leave you with in terms of your future internship, college career, and professional career, it is this:

Image result for good things come to those who hustle

Good luck with your internship search, your remaining years of college, and all your future endeavors!! And lastly, GO BUCKS!!!!!

 

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ohio state dancing GIF by ESPN College Football

college basketball GIF by NCAA March Madness

Transitioning from Work to School

The summer is over. I was not ready for the storm of upper level accounting classes, but when I was preparing for my Financial 2 course, I realized how much I had learned both last year and in my internship. This transition is showing me that stepping away from something and then coming back to it, has given me a better grasp on what I know. In addition, seeing some practical application of basic accounting principles has helped me connect the dots and have a broader perspective on how accounting is and can be used, but the main things I have taken away from this experience have less to do with what I am learning and more to do with how I will continue to learn moving forward.

Here are the main things I took away from my internship:

  1. Constantly look for ways to innovate and improve the work you do.
  2. Keep asking questions and learning from the people ahead of you. They have so much wisdom to impart!
  3. Communication and collaboration are the keys to a successful project. People are the greatest asset.

Taking a break from college and getting a taste of working a full-time job has given me a fresh perspective. Overall I am sad to have left my internship, but I am excited to continue to grow in the little I currently know about accounting.

The beginning of the end & lessons learned along the way

It’s so hard to believe my internship has finally come to an end! These last few weeks were nothing short of overwhelming yet they were also probably the best weeks of my summer. Like I mentioned in my previous posts, the last four weeks of my internship were spent studying and preparing to take the SAFE exam, which, if you pass, means that you are a licensed mortgage loan originator at the federal level.

We spent most of our time in class reviewing different concepts and studying together in small groups. The difficult part about preparing to take the exam is that there is so much to know about mortgages, but you never know what to study specifically because the test is completely random. There is a bank of about 4,000 questions and your test randomly generates 125 questions from that bank, which means that everybody’s test is different. It’s hard to focus on specific material when your exam could ask you about literally anything! The exam itself is three hours long, and we were allowed to leave the room to take short breaks when needed, which was nice. We took the exam on the very last day of our internship. In the weeks leading up to the exam, I ended up working more than twelve hours a day studying. The week I took SAFE I worked like 60 hours! It was like finals week in college but much harder. I really wanted to pass the exam, though, so I was definitely willing to put the work in.

Throughout my internship, I had met so many amazing people and my last four weeks in the SAFE class were no different. Because all of the interns were in class together for four weeks, we got to know each other really well and bonded with each other. It’s amazing what happens when you spend twelve hours a day together! It definitely made leaving my internship hard, because we all go to different colleges in different states. We still use our group chat to communicate with each other though, so it’s not necessarily a goodbye, but a see you later. 🙂

I woke up the morning of my last day wondering how the summer had gone by so quickly! I also couldn’t believe that my exam day had finally come. All those hours spent studying were (hopefully) going to pay off! I was so anxious I felt like I was coming down with a cold, but I put that out of my mind so I could focus on the task at hand.  I had never been more nervous for a test in my life! It was definitely nice to have familiar faces in the room taking the exam at the same time; it made us all feel less alone. After the exam was over, we shared our results with one another and even got together as a class that night one last time to celebrate the end of our internship and the SAFE exam. I even went back to say goodbye to my boss and he had a surprise for me. He finally brought his Lamborghini to work and I got to see it in person! It was absolutely I N C R E D I B L E.

I left Detroit the next day feeling relieved that the exam was over but also feeling bitter sweet about leaving all of the friends I had made. Overall, I honestly felt like my internship could not have gone better and I am SO thankful to have gotten the opportunity to intern with such an amazing company. It was definitely a great way to spend my summer!

Oh, and I PASSED THE SAFE EXAM AND AM NOW A LICENSED MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR!!!!!

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frustrated ncaa football GIF by ESPN College Football

^^ Me when I found out I passed SAFE!!!!!

Coming Full Circle: Finishing up my Summer

I’ve ended my summer internship in a similar fashion to how I began: Rushing out of my room to the airport to begin my next adventure!

I successfully wrapped up my final week at Cisco! It’s been an incredible summer where I was able to develop professionally and personally as well, and I’m excited to say my internship has been extended into a remote position for the school year. During my final week, I finished up my current project in which I was creating a ‘playbook’ that outlined the offer creation process for newly hired product managers within Customer Experience.

It so happened to be that my manager was on PTO for my last week, so I navigated dealing with this lack management in a few ways. My manager and I defined what the expectations were, and I set goals. He connected me with another person on our team who would meet with me each day to discuss what I was working on and help me with my project. Since the ‘playbook’ was the only thing I had to finalize, I ended up having some free time during the work hours at my discretion. I’ve heard other students who have interned before comment that they had periods of inactivity, and this was the first time I faced this. For a few hours each day, I decided to take a course on SQL and Python. Although I’m not a computer programmer by any means, I had an interest in learning how to better utilize different programs in order to more effectively work cross functionally in my position, and this was the perfect way to do this. My advice to any student who feels bored in an internship is that you can always find something to do. Even if it’s not directly related to the company, learning a skill can help you be better for the company!

After finishing up on Friday, I packed my suitcases and flew back to Cleveland the next day. On Sunday, I packed some more of my bags and drove back down to Columbus for my Junior year. It’s been a whirl-wind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Thank you all for following my journey in California with Cisco Systems, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. (esker.12@osu.edu)

Cheers,

Alli

More than One Option

I had a unique opportunity this summer to work for the US government rather than a private company. As a student I did not know the types of jobs that were available in the public sector because public accounting firms and other corporations recruit so heavily at OSU.

I want more students to know about the opportunities to intern for various government agencies for three reasons:

1. It diversifies your experience and knowledge.

Government accounting looks different from normal accounting because you use proprietary and budgetary accounts. Learning this different system of accounting strengthens your overall knowledge of accounting because it forces you to question and affirm what know.

  1. You may discover something you are passionate about.

Government and non-profit accounting has entirely different goals than private sector, which is heavily profit driven. Government agencies also span a variety of interests and locations. Whether it’s the DoD, State Department or the FBI even, there’s a lot to explore and learn.

  1. There can be nobility in public service.

One the biggest takeaways I had from my internship is pride in servicing the US military and seeing my coworkers take pride in the work they do because of this. The vision for your  work has deep roots in the founding of the United States, and you may find satisfaction in contributing.

Overall, if you are interested in the public sector, I would recommend doing research to find an aspect of the government you are interested in. There are so many options out there.