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:

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

 

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

Adventures in the Motor City

Welcome back everyone! With only a few weeks left in my internship now, I have had plenty of time to explore the Motor City, otherwise known as Detroit, on the weekends. I got some really great recommendations from my co-workers, and we were able to check some stuff off of our Detroit bucket lists! Here are some of my ~favorite~ adventures:

One of the first things I did on the weekend was go to a Tigers’ game! They were playing the Indians, so I had to go support my hometown team. A couple of interns who were also from Cleveland went to watch our team win! I actually worked for Akron’s minor league baseball team (the Rubber Ducks) for a little bit in high school and I’ve always liked going to baseball games. Up until that point, I had only been to an Indians’ game at home at Progressive Field, so I was really excited to get to experience a game in another city. Like I mentioned in my previous post, all of the Quicken interns were lucky enough to get free(!!) tickets to another Tigers’ game as well as getting paid(!!) to go to the game. So, during my time here I went to not one, but two Tigers’ games and I regret nothing 😉

One weekend my parents were here and we decided to go to Canada for the day! A lot of people don’t realize that Detroit and Windsor are only separated by the Detroit River, and that crossing the border can take as little as 20 minutes. We made sure to bring our passports as we drove through the tunnel under the river and came out in Canada! We went to a cute restaurant on the water for lunch and we had a beautiful view of the river and the Detroit skyline on the other side. My mom and I had never been to Windsor before (we had only been to Canada once, when we went to Niagara Falls), so we enjoyed trying something new and exploring a new city. That trip also meant that I visited my second country in one summer, which as an International Business major, I can’t ask for anything better!

My roommate and I went to the Eastern Market one Saturday morning and had fun walking around and trying food samples. The Eastern Market is a huge farmers’ market and every weekend brings different products to buy, such as food, flowers, and artwork. It is actually the largest historic public market district in the United States, and it was cool to see how big it was and how much it had to offer.

A few interns and I decided to go to dinner and see the Incredibles 2 movie right after it came out. We were looking at movie theaters nearby, and decided on one conveniently located on 8 Mile. If you’ve ever seen the movie 8 Mile with Eminem, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The media has done a really good job of portraying Detroit in a negative light. My dad comes to Detroit sometimes for work, and he has actually driven across all of 8 Mile. I talked to him about it and he said that we would be just fine going there. We went to dinner and saw Incredibles 2 and we were surprised at how different the real 8 Mile was compared to the way it was portrayed in the movie. I guess you just can’t trust everything you read on the internet!

We also went to Belle Isle that same weekend. Belle Isle is a cute little island park in the middle of the Detroit River. It is not a part of Canada, as the U.S. border encompasses the whole island. One of my friends had a pass, so we were able to get onto the island for free! We went to the conservatory and the aquarium that they had. We also stopped and walked along the beach, taking in the view of both Windsor and Detroit’s skylines. After we left, we went to River Days, which is a festival that takes place in Detroit along the river and has fun activities to do on land and in the water. Back home, we have county fairs each year, and we always like to go and look at the animals, eat food, and play games. This event reminded me of our county fairs, minus the animals! Quicken had given us free tickets to River Days and we were very lucky to experience another fun event because of the great company that we work for.

Another great attraction that Detroit has to offer is the Henry Ford museum! It has a ton of historical stuff and has other attractions attached to it, like Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. I’ve never been a big history/museum person, but my dad said that this was one of his favorite things in Detroit and he always makes sure to bring his coworkers here when they get the chance. We somehow got through the whole museum in a few hours, and I was really glad that we went.

I did go home every few weekends, as Detroit is only a three-hour drive from my house. It was nice to go back home and spend time with family and friends during select weekends; we even went boating on Lake Erie which is always a highlight of my summer! These last few weeks are going to be busier than ever – we still have a few events left and they’re going to be super fun. The mortgage banking interns are having a “closing dinner” this week and I’m excited to get to spend time with everybody one last time before we all go back to school. We also have our final event, which *might* be a Met Gala-themed dinner that *may or may not* be taking place at the Detroit Institute of Art! I’m very excited to get all dressed up and feel like a celeb for a night.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned to hear more about my final days here in Detroit and how I transition back into college life in just a few short weeks 🙂

Living Our Best Lives

YAY! We have officially survived half of our internships. I am now in my eighth week, so I’m about two-thirds of the way finished. These past two months I have definitely learned a lot and can now share what a day in the life of a Quicken intern is like!

A DAY IN THE LIFE

To start off, as a Mortgage Banking intern, my day-to-day life probably differs from other interns’ work days that aren’t in mortgage banking; this is just to give you an idea of my work life! During my 12-week internship, I spent eight weeks on the floor shadowing mortgage bankers and learning about financial sales. The goal of the mortgage banking internship is to eventually become a full-time mortgage banker after graduation. I will say that although I have been working since my sophomore year of high school and have held a variety of jobs (I’ve worked at a restaurant, coached gymnastics, been an instructor at cheer camps, and worked in retail!) it was a very different experience for me to work in such a male-dominated industry like mortgage banking. I was also not prepared to see and hear about clients’ financial information. In order to take out a mortgage, you have to give your full credit report, income amount, and how much money is in your savings and other assets. It takes some getting used to, but I feel right at home now. Unfortunately, the mortgage banking interns aren’t legally allowed to call clients because we aren’t licensed. To be licensed to speak to a client, you have to be licensed at the federal level (more on that below!) as well as in the state that the client is looking to buy a home in. Some of the projects that I work on include texting and emailing clients, updating production boards, and auditing calls. When we’re not working on smaller projects, we listen in on calls to learn more about the industry and how to sell a mortgage. Some days I come in earlier and work later than others; we’re lucky to get overtime so I try to work as much as I can! I normally get in around 8:30, break for lunch around noon, and leave between 5-6. On some days we also attend presentations specifically for the interns and listen to speakers, mostly about sales. Quicken has a ton of fun intern events during the workday and after work, including free (!!!) tickets to a Tigers game, yoga on the rooftop, and social events at places like Punch Bowl Social! Most of them are not mandatory but are a fun way to network with other interns and within Quicken. We even took a day off of work to have Dan Gilbert, the founder and chairman of Quicken, speak to us about the company and its values. However, this was what my average day looked like only during the first eight weeks of the internship. For the last four weeks of my internship, I am taking the SAFE class and the SAFE exam at the end of the class, with the hopes of becoming a licensed mortgage banker.

I’m assuming you don’t know anything about mortgages (I know I didn’t!), as most people don’t until they actually have a mortgage themselves. The SAFE exam is an industry-regulated exam that every mortgage banker has to take to become a mortgage banker. As mortgage banking interns, we are very lucky to have the chance to take this exam through Quicken, and upon passing, to become a licensed mortgage banker. For these last four weeks of my internship, I am taking the SAFE class and taking the SAFE exam at the very end of my internship to hopefully pass and become licensed at the federal level! The class itself feels like a high school class because it’s from 8:30-5:30 every day, but it’s really just a semester-long college class crammed into three and a half weeks. The SAFE class consists of homework, reading, and studying, and we have trainers who teach us the material through PowerPoints and other fun activities, like Kahoot! quizzes. We also have independent study time to work on whatever we need to during class. We have quizzes and tests each week as well to ensure that we are staying on top of the material and will be ready to pass the SAFE exam at the end of the class. We are also required by law to complete a 20-hour week in class with a trainer, where we learn absolutely everything we need to know about mortgages. It is a very challenging class, and for those three and a half weeks, you have to really work hard if you want to pass. But, like everything else in life, nothing worth having comes easy. If you put the work in now, you will definitely reap the benefits later!

BALANCING WORK + YOUR (SOCIAL) LIFE

This topic is something that I think a lot of people struggle with; I know I do! Although it’s very tempting to come home from work and go straight to bed (and sometimes your body just needs to take a nap), now that we are adults we have responsibilities. As a perfectionist, it has always been hard for me to let go of work and school even once I’m not at work or in class anymore. It always helps to take a deep breath and to let go of everything work-related until you go back to work the next day. As exhausted as I am when I get home, I always make a to-do list in my head of what I have to do before bed. It normally consists of eating dinner, working out, showering, and doing anything “fun” if I have time (i.e. Netflix and/or social media). It’s important to make the most of the time you have after work, because believe me 8am comes around very quickly! It’s also important to enjoy the small amount of time that you have to yourself at night and take time to relax. There really is no key to balancing your work life and personal life, and nobody is perfect, but the easiest way to balance your life in a healthy way is to prioritize. I always try to do the most important things first and then if there’s time for the not-so-important things I do those last. It’s not ideal, especially because I try to be in bed by 11 so I can get up the next day at 7. But being in a time crunch after work has actually helped me because I don’t have time to procrastinate and I end up being more productive! At the same time, be sure to schedule time to go out and do fun things. There’s nothing wrong with being a workaholic, but especially when it comes to summer internships, you’re still in college and you should still be having fun, especially on the weekends! It will probably be hard at first, but over time you will get the hang of it.

Well, that’s it for now! I’ll be back sometime soon with more updates on how to “Live Your Best Life” 😉

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How to find + be successful in an internship.

Hello again! Marie here. It’s hard to believe that I’m already five weeks into my internship, but this summer has been flying by! Working full time has kept me super busy, but I’ve been trying to focus on managing my work-life balance (more on that later 😉 ). With my own internship already about a third of the way over, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of the things that I’ve learned about finding an internship, and also being successful in one. Here it goes:

FINDING AN INTERNSHIP

So it’s no secret that finding a needle in a haystack might be easier than finding an internship. Just kidding, but internships and even full-time positions are not that easy to get. Over the past few years of searching I have learned a few things about finding one, specifically networking and interviewing. One of the first things to focus on is taking advantage of all of the resources Fisher has to offer. In order to be eligible to interview with certain companies that recruit out of Fisher, you have to pass the QUIC modules and interview, and become QUIC certified. The QUIC modules are located on Carmen and are a series of quizzes that you have to pass. Once you pass the modules, you then sign up for an in-person interview through Office of Career Management. The interview is essentially just a practice interview where a career consultant asks typical interview questions and grades you on how well you did. Don’t worry if you don’t pass the first time; you can do the interview again if you don’t! The process is not very time consuming, but make sure to sign up for an interview in advance. BUSMHR2292, a core class, requires you to complete the QUIC modules any way, so why not complete the QUIC program?  The sooner the better. I got QUIC certified during the first semester of my freshman year, and while you don’t necessarily have to do it that far in advance, I was very happy that I didn’t have to worry about scheduling an interview during the fall, which is a busy time when everybody is trying to schedule their interview.

Another great resource that Fisher offers is Handshake (previously known as FisherConnect). This is one of the main resources that I’ve used to find internships and apply for interviews. The cool thing is that it customizes which internships come up in your search, depending on what majors the company is looking for, minimum GPA required, grade level, etc. so you don’t waste time applying for an internship that you’re not eligible for. Once you have narrowed it down, you can then submit your resume for an interview, or sometimes just sign up for one. Getting denied an interview hurts, but there are always other options; you just have to stay positive and keep trying! Make sure to check Handshake often, because companies post new openings every single day and you don’t want to miss out!

A very popular resource is Fisher’s Fall and Spring Career Fairs. Hundreds of companies come to the career fair to recruit Fisher students for internships and full-time positions, normally within the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Even if you’re a freshman, it can be good to go and network with companies. Make sure to dress in business professional (full suit and nice shoes) and bring plenty of copies of your resume! I like to bring at least twenty copies with me. Office of Career Management has career coaches that would be happy to help you revise your resume and LinkedIn profile, as well as give you advice on how to do well at the career fair and get the internship you really want. Approaching companies at the career fair can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time doing it, but you just have to take a deep breath and be yourself. The recruiters are there to help and they appreciate you taking the time to talk to them and show an interest in their company! I normally say hi and shake their hand, introduce myself, tell them my grade in school and my major, and of course that I’m looking for a summer internship. After a brief conversation, they will normally take my resume and give me a paper with their information on it explaining how to apply (some companies even have cool goodie bags that they give out). And that’s it! Just think of it as a normal conversation and you will do amazing and have that internship in no time.

Statistics show that the majority of job and internships are obtained through connections. While career fairs are really great for networking and meeting people, you don’t necessarily need to know someone to get an internship. While connections can certainly help, you can definitely do it on your own. I got my internship without already knowing anybody within the company, so I guess I’m living proof that you can do it all on your own! Unfortunately, you will probably hear “no” before you hear “yes.” Everybody gets rejected at some point, and I promise if you forget about all the times you’ve heard “no,” you will eventually hear “yes.” One of my friends counted each rejection email she got and she was rejected almost 120 times before she finally got her internship offer! If she would’ve given up after the first few times she heard “no” she never would’ve gotten her internship. So just be true to yourself and what you are looking for and you will find success.

BEING SUCCESSFUL IN AN INTERNSHIP

Before I get to talking about being successful in an internship, I think it’s just as important to talk about being successful in an interview! I cannot stress enough how critical it is to do research on the company beforehand. You don’t have to know absolutely everything about the company (the interview is also meant for asking questions) but you need to be aware of what the company and your potential position are about. If you go into an interview without preparing beforehand it becomes obvious that you didn’t do your research and you end up looking bad (and you will also probably not get the job). It’s very important to dress business professional and bring copies of your resume, as well as a notecard with questions for the interviewer. Bringing questions to every interview is important because it lets the interviewer know that you are really interested in the company as well as the position you are interviewing for, and it gives you a chance to get the answers you need. During the interview, don’t hesitate to open up and be yourself. Now is not the time to be shy, so highlight some key points on your resume and tell them how great you are! Part of having a successful interview is “selling” yourself to the interviewer and telling them why you would be the perfect fit for that role and a great addition to their company. As every sorority woman knows, selling yourself during an interview is exactly like selling your sorority to a PNM (Potential New Member) during recruitment! Even if you aren’t involved in Greek life, knowing how to present yourself well is always important. After you finish asking your questions at the end, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time, ask for their contact information and how they want you to follow up, and tell them you look forward to hearing from them. A lot of college students don’t know how to properly close an interview, so if you give them a strong close they will definitely be impressed. And, of course, don’t forget to send the interviewer a thank you note! Doing all of these things doesn’t necessarily guarantee you an offer, but you will definitely have a good chance of getting one.

Once you have the internship, being successful in it is easy! If you do your best and try your hardest then you’ve done everything you can. The whole point of an internship is for you to learn and contribute back to your company. Try to learn as much as you can and just enjoy the experience! Internships only last so long anyway. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or speak up when you have a great idea. If you have an idea that you think the CEO would appreciate, then tell him/her! You would be surprised at how many great ideas interns have that companies actually take into consideration! Sit in on meetings, talk to as many people as you can, network, make connections with other interns. And don’t be afraid to shadow another position that you’re interested in; internships are supposed to help you decide if this is something you want to do full-time after you graduate. Even if you don’t receive an offer for a full-time position, the company you interned for can always give you a great recommendation when you are applying for other full-time jobs. While internships are meant to be a fun way to gain invaluable experience, I promise that working full-time will give you a whole new appreciation for the college life (although you definitely won’t miss the homework and studying)! Try not to take it for granted before you graduate, because you’ll probably miss all the free time you had to yourself in college once you do.

Well, that’s all for now! I’ll be back soon for updates. 🙂

 

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^^when you finally get that internship offer!!