Weekend in Columbus

Summers in Columbus? In my opinion they’re the best part of the year in the city. Campus is nearly empty and there’s plenty of free off-street parking, along with all kinds of events going on in town. This is my second time living in Columbus outside of the normal academic year and I’m getting the most out of it.

At Highlights we have a flexible summer Friday schedule, meaning that as long as I get my 40 hours in before noon on Friday I can head out early. This isn’t my first internship that has this policy and I definitely appreciate it. This past week, I decided to join my boyfriend for an afternoon in Goodale Park, which is right downtown. He’s a musician so he hauled his gear out to play in the nice weather and I read my book underneath a nearby tree. After a couple hours we walked two short blocks over to North Market and picked out some lunch, Thai red curry for me and tikka masala for him. No trip to North Market is complete without an ice cream cone from Jeni’s, too. After that, we walked back and visited the Pizzuti Collection that sits right next to the park. The Pizzuti Collection is a small section of the Columbus Museum of Art that displays pieces donated by the Pizzuti family. It’s a quick visit, free for students, and great for local, modern artists so I would definitely recommend it.

On Saturday I woke up early and went straight to the Clintonville Farmer’s Market. Clintonville is the neighborhood just north of the University District and they hold a farmer’s market on one of their blocks from April – November. I participate in a compost exchange, so I was there just to drop off my weekly food scraps and get a new collection bag. After that, I hopped on a bus to the Short North and got my hair done at Penzone. The salon is on the pricier side but has a great vibe and excellent stylists. When I was done I decided to walk the ten blocks back to apartment since it was another nice day. Not long after I got back, my mother arrived after driving up from Dayton and we went out to the local vintage shops to look around. There’s a collection of three vintage/antique stores all on one corner on North High (the Boomerang room is my favorite) that we go to a lot, along with Grandview Mercantile over in…you guessed it, Grandview. We ended the day with dinner at Aab India which is undoubtedly my favorite place for Indian food in the city.

Sunday was spent getting groceries and relaxing before the start of another busy week. I’m looking forward to all the other Columbus fun I’ll have this summer, including ComFest in just three short weeks. If you ever need suggestions on something fun to do in the city, I’m happy to give suggestions

My first week at Clever Ecommerce and in Madrid!

Hello all! I am incredibly excited to share my experience this summer with you all and hope that I can provide some entertainment, insight and advice. This is my first time blogging, but also not my last as my internship actually includes me writing on the company’s blog as well.

First, I’ll give a little background on me and then I will go into the details of my first week here.

My name is Dana Ward and this fall I will be entering my Junior Year at Ohio State! I am from Worthington, Ohio, which is a suburb only 20 minutes north of Ohio State’s campus (so I was raised a Buckeye of course). I am currently pursuing a dual degree in Business and Spanish, but when it comes to my specialization within Fisher, I’m still searching for the one that fits best for me!

This summer I’ll be working for a small start-up that is located in the heart of Madrid; actually it’s located right next to the Royal Palace of Madrid (the view from my work can be seen in the picture below)

The company is called Clever Ecommerce and it is a technology and software company focused on enabling small companies to advertise their ecommerces on Google Ads. They have developed an app that companies can use for free (although there are premium upgrades) to allow them to navigate the tricky, elaborate, and non-intuitive nature of Google Ads.

If you know me at all, you know that technology and I don’t exactly see eye to eye. I was the person in CSE that actually preferred doing the written tests because it’s easier for me to  memorize words than navigate anything computer based. My mom, who has experience in IT, is often at a loss for words at the new and creative, although unintentional ways that I find to crash my laptop.

However much technology and I don’t agree, I don’t exactly have to do any of the manual coding. Instead I am working for the marketing department, which is a field that I potentially have interest in for my specialization and want to try it out in the real world. Yet, in order to do the marketing for Clever Ecommerce, I need to know how Google Ads, SEO, the different types of online traffic, GDN, Google Analytics, etc function. Upon arriving on my first day and hearing all of this, I was a little nervous to say the least. However, the two ladies in the marketing department who are mine and the other intern from OSU’s supervisors assured us they would help us every step away. Therefore, this first week has been filled with learning the basics about Google Ads, Google Analytics, and inbound marketing.

I am excited to be learning all about these things that will benefit me so much in the future. Having these skills, and eventual certificates will set me apart from my peers and allow me to be a powerful asset to whatever company I end up working for.

Not only am I excited to learn more about marketing, I am ecstatic that I will get to improve upon my Spanish speaking skills. From the first day I touched down, I have been practicing my Spanish: whether it’s with the Cabify driver from the airport, the waiters and workers in Madrid, or my coworkers (who all speak English as well but are almost more excited to practice Spanish with me than I am). The opportunity to intern in Madrid was what drew me to the Fisher Global Internship Program because I knew my Spanish would improve immensely, which I can honestly say it has after just one week. I have even had a lot of people tell me that my Spanish is great, even though my accent is American (which I can live with)!

Some lessons I’ve learned in my first week working in a different country:

Spanish work-life is different than America’s: In America, everything is “time is money.” For Spanish people, quality always beats quantity, and they like to live their life, whether it’s at home or at work, at a leisurely place. This means it’s acceptable to walk into work a little later, take a longer lunch sometimes, and sit and chat when you need a break. However, they expect your work to be done with 100% effort. This means that even though I have more time than I might have tasks to do, I can always be improving my past work, or learning more-such as progressing in the online courses/certifications I need.

However different Spain and the U.S. are, everyone loves Steak and shake!

Working in an office can be hard: Never before have I had to work a typical office job from 9-5 (or in Spain it’s 10-5:30). Sitting down all day and staring at a computer can be hard and exhausting. This is why it’s important to stay positive, make the most out of your time, interact and have fun with your coworkers, and take breaks/walks if needed. Also, I started wearing my glasses to work instead of my contacts due to the blue-light protection (it really does make a difference).

Finally, working in another country is intimidating, but have fun! Even though I speak Spanish semi-fluently, I was still so nervous to walk in my first day. Just like any job, walking into work on the first day is intimidating- first impressions are important. However, my coworkers are friendly and are just like my coworkers back in Columbus. They like to chat, talk about Game of Thrones in our group chat, and have after work outings too. I plan on soaking up every second of the Spanish culture and learn a thing or too about Madrid while I’m here, on top of learning more about marketing.

Here my coworkers and I grabbed gelato at the end of our workbreak!

Like they say in Spain, Hasta Luego! Stay tuned to hear about my weekends traveling around Europe, what it’s like to work at a smaller company, and much more!!

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!!!!!


ohio state football GIF

ohio state dancing GIF by ESPN College Football

college basketball GIF by NCAA March Madness

My Weekend Trips in Cali (Part 1)

California is a huge state, so there’s so much to explore! If you consider yourself an outdoorsy person, there’s no lack of things to do in nature here. I’ve gone on a few weekend trips that I’d love to share. After a week in the office, I think getting outdoors is the best way to refuel and reenergize the mind and body. Hope you enjoy!

Big Basin Redwoods State Park + Castle Rock State Park

These state parks are about an hour south of San Jose, so it makes for the perfect day trip. The redwoods are a must see. Fun fact, the redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and can grow to be over 300 feet tall. With over 80 miles of trails, there’s no shortage of exploration. I got on the Sequoia trail, which was about 5 miles long, and took a slight detour to see a waterfall. I kept my eyes peeled for the infamous banana slug the entire time, but unfortunately did not successfully locate one. I did catch a few of the native stellar’s jays, which had a beautiful shimmering, almost holographic coloring.

Castle Rock State Park was my second destination on this trip. I found a great trail that climbed to sensational views of the basin below. I found a cliff to rest on at the top and to take all of the views in while in solitude.

Big Sur+Santa Cruz













Big Sur is another natural area of California. One of my roommates and I made the two hour trip south, driving on Route 1 most of the time. From seeing people driving this route in movies, blasting music and appreciating the coastal views of this scenic drive felt surreal. It felt like I was in my own movie! We stopped several times to take in the views along the way, and eventually made it to McWay Falls, where we took in the beauty, and hiked around down to the bluffs near the shoreline. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junky, so I had a blast free climbing different rock formations and getting close to the edge, watching the waves crash below me.


That night, we drove to Hollister, CA to spend the night in an AirBnB. Yes, contrary to popular beliefs, Hollister, CA is actually a place, not just a teen clothing store. It was surprisingly a small, quiet town, but our accommodation was outstanding. We stayed on a rescue farm in an ex-veterinarians office, where the exam rooms were converted to bedrooms (talk about an interesting place to stay the night). In the morning, the owner gave us a tour of the farm and their rescue animals, from horses to ostriches, they were so passionate about helping animals in need. If you’re ever in Hollister, or even California in general, I would highly recommend this experience! Check it out:


In the morning, we headed out to Santa Cruz, CA, where we spent time exploring the town. Two highlights were going to an ice cream shop that had roasted marshmallow topping for the ice cream, and going to the bookstore in the town, where I bought a book I’ve had on my reading list forever, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So far, I’d highly recommend it.



And that’s a wrap! Notice how this is only part 1, well part 2 will be out soon, and may or may not include Lake Tahoe, Half Moon Bay, and Wine Country.




Perks @ Work!

There are a plethora of “extras” I receive by interning with Cisco. Let’s talk about them!

The Goodies:

On my first day at orientation, all interns were gifted with an embroidered Cisco backpack. This backpack has been extremely useful this summer from carrying my laptop to going on hikes with it. We also received a speaker as well, which is great to have by the pool on weekends or in my room after work. I’ve already accumulated a few t shirts from participating in events, and look forward to adding more to my closet.


Team Meals: Usually a few times a week, I get free lunches or dinner. Sometimes it’s Chipotle catered in for the team for a training we’re having, or sometimes it’s a celebratory meal and drink at the local sports bar after my manager and coworkers have worked a long day. Whichever it is, it’s free, and I’ll certainly never turn that down! Pictured is during our first week, when my manager held a luncheon for the interns to get introduced to the rest of the Advanced Services team.

Intern Activities: Cisco has planned lots of events just for interns. From speaker series, to internal job fairs, to an intern outing at Dave and Buster’s, there’s no excuse to not feel completely at home in Cisco.

Snapchat Takeover: Speaking of Dave and Buster’s, I actually had the chance to take over Cisco’s Snapchat and record this outing. It was a great opportunity for me to use my passion for social media in a way that benefited Cisco as a whole. Plus, it was super fun! Stay up to date with interns this summer and add WeAreCisco on Snapchat by scanning the image below:

Getting Tired?: It’s ok, me too! Working can sometimes be exhausting, and that’s when I head to the first floor of my building to relax in the massage chairs. They are extremely comfy and make for the perfect brief “getaway” if I need a short rest.

Flexibility: Cisco prides itself on its work life balance and our technological capabilities to let anyone work from anywhere. This has been extremely convenient for me when I’ve had 7:00am conference calls, because I can just take it from my apartment. I’ve also taken advantage of this by working from Cisco’s Meraki Office (one of our subsidiaries) in San Francisco for the day to to be able to attend a conference in the city in the evening.

Perks at Work (literally): Cisco has a website with this exact name, that is solely dedicated to bringing deals and discounts to the employees. They have car rental discounts, hotel deals, and (my favorite) reduced price movie tickets. I’ve enjoyed watching the Star Wars movie “Solo”, Jurassic World, and Incredibles this summer.

Do you want to work at Cisco yet? Follow this link to see open positions: