From Internship to Senior Year

Transitioning back to school was easy for me, but I was extremely busy. I had to cut my internship a couple days short in order to be back for work at Ohio State helping the Early Arrival Program for incoming freshman. On my last day, Wednesday, August 16th, we had our final presentations in our intern project groups. We presented to over 60 people and then had lunch. Afterwards, we took pictures as a group and said our goodbyes.

Finance Interns in North Carolina
My Intern Project Group After Final Presentations

I drove back to the house I was staying in and finished packing and loading my things into my car with the help of my mom and her friend who flew in two nights before. We didn’t get back to Columbus until 11:30 PM that night, and I had to be at work at 8 AM the next morning. I worked the next few days and had one day of break before school started again. I was so busy during the past 3 weeks that I didn’t even have a chance to sit down and watch TV or Netflix. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I felt that I was able to catch up on school work, unpacking, and seeing friends. Thankfully I should not have that tight of a turn around again.

I had a great summer working for Cisco. About halfway through my internship I decided that if I were to receive a full-time offer, I would want it to be at the headquarter office in San Jose, California. I expressed this to my program manager in our weekly check-ins and told her the reasons why I felt this way. Last week I received a call with my offer to work with Cisco and I accepted! I am looking forward to starting my career in Silicon Valley and living in California, which is somewhere I never thought I would end up because it is so far away.

 

Looking back I had some great experiences this summer. I want to share a few funny stories, things I found cool at Cisco, and tips for your internship. I hope you have enjoyed reading!

-On my first day with my finance team I wore a cute new shirt I had bought. Upon getting out of my car, my roommate pointed out that the tag was still on the shirt. This tag was not any tag, it was a thick cardboard tag with a string attaching it to my shirt. We weren’t able to rip it off or get it off with my keys. I went into the break room in the office and couldn’t find any scissors. Then, I went to my desk where my manager introduced me to a guy on the team and I asked them if they knew where scissors were, to which they shook their heads. I explained my tag situation and the guy I just met said he had a pocket knife. So he sawed the tag of, to which I said “nice to meet you”.  Maybe it was embarrassing, but it was funny to us.

-Our office has automatic desks that go up and down to adjust to your height or if you want to stand and work. Our laptops are our computers and we take them home with us every day. We also don’t have assigned desks, though most people sit at the same desks every day. Free coffee and iced coffee became a great perk to have on the long work days when I needed a boost of energy.

-Having a roommate that has to go to work at the same time as you is great. One day my phone was constantly dying for no reason and it decided to die overnight leaving me without an alarm. My roommate knocked on my door five minutes before we were supposed to leave to check if I was up. Without her, who knows when I would have woken up that morning.

-During a Durham Bulls baseball game that all of Cisco finance was invited to, we got souvenir mason jars with our drinks. The game was so hot that we went to find shade, but I realized I forgot my mason jar. I went back to grab it and when I came up the stairs some first years in the rotational program asked what I was doing. I put my cup up to show them while saying I forgot my cup, but as I did that the last bits of my drink splashed out onto my face and shirt. We all laughed so hard, and it started an hour long conversation in which I got to know the first years better.  *If you are underage, never drink alcohol at a company event.

-Keep a running track of what you do and who you talk to during your internship, even down to the small things you think don’t mean anything. This will come in handy if you have an exit interview or an interview with another company. It also helps when you update your resume.

-Cisco has many creativity rooms that are filled with things from a golf putting room, to a TV room, to massage chairs. I definitely wish I took advantage of these more, but I was busy working!

Golf Room
Cabana Room
Lounge in the Cabana Room
Game Room

Desk Must Haves, Tips & More!

I’m 20 years old, have no kids, and yet my roommates all call me “Mom.” Seriously, sometimes I answer better to Mom than my own name. One of those reasons is that I’m always the one to have a random Band-Aid or tissue in my purse. So why should my desk at work be any different? Check out my list below of the top 12 things to keep at your desk. Most of these can be found in mini versions in the travel section of Target or Meijer! And don’t forget to decorate your desk a little too, you may only be there for a few months but you won’t feel as temporary with a desk that feels like your own!

  1. Sweater: When the AC is on full blast the marketing department turns into the tundra. Bring a neutral color cardigan/sweater/jacket to work and always keep it at your desk for those extra chilly days!
  2. Cough drops & tissues: To avoid death glares from your coworkers when you are sick or have allergies, always have cough drops, tissues & hands sanitizer with you. Slide5
  3. Ibuprofen: This isn’t middle school anymore and you can’t go to the nurse’s office for your headache. You also probably shouldn’t go home unless you are actually sick. Keep some medicine in your desk just in case.

    More than once other interns have asked our GroupMe for help. It always feels great to be able to help them out!
    More than once other interns have asked our GroupMe for help. It always feels great to be able to help them out!
  4. Lotion: Lots of lotion. I’m obsessed with lotion. That’s all.
  5. Gum/Listerine strips/mints/toothbrush: You should have at least one of the mentioned in easy reach so when you decide to get the garlic potatoes for lunch everyone at your 1:00 meeting isn’t backing away from the conference table.

    Here is the little travel kit that I keep in a drawer at my desk with all my necessities!
    Here is the little travel kit that I keep in a drawer at my desk with all my necessities!
  6. Lint roller: If you have a pet or lint just seems to like you, make sure you keep a lint roller handy to keep you from looking like a mess. You can buy mini ones in the travel section of Target!
  7. Band-Aids: My shoe obsession has its consequences and besides eating my paycheck, sometimes it means blisters. Keep a few Band-Aids in your desk for the heels you know are a bad idea but look so cute with your outfit. Beauty over pain, right?
  8. Water bottle/travel mug: Don’t kill the environment with your 3 Styrofoam cups a day. Also, these have lids so you won’t spill. Or is it just me who still can’t be trusted with a cup without a lid?
  9. Plant: I don’t have a window near me and also am not great at keeping things alive so I opted for a bamboo stalk! Just pick something green to brighten up your desk!

    Slide1
    Check out my bamboo stalk in the corner! I think its probably only grown about 1/2′ in the past 2 months. Am I doing something wrong?!
  10. Pictures: So you can remember that one of the reasons you are working is to afford fun things with all your friends and family.
  11. Deodorant: I won’t go into detail but a few weeks ago I unpacked 18 boxes of super heavy promotional items, so….
  12. Food: This last item shouldn’t need an explanation, but I’ll give it one anyway. I love food. Food passes time and is delicious. Food makes me happy. Good enough?

    Slide3
    Not going to lie, this is one of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had.

 

Share in the comments section what other “must haves” are at your desk!

 

* Fact: No matter your position, there is no greater feeling than clearing a printer jam that no one else can figure out.

**Tip of the day: Introduce yourself! Even if you still don’t know the name of the person who sits at the desk next to you, it’s not too late! You never know when you will meet someone who is from your hometown, college or who is just plain awesome!

***Embarrassing (long) moment:

As I’ve said before, I mail out shoe samples to editors of magazines. The mail is normally picked up from our building at 3:30 and taken to our mailroom to be labeled and shipped out. However, I had a last minute shipment that needed to be overnighted and I missed the pick up. So I called the mailroom and they said I could still drop it off, I said I would be there in 5 minutes.

After standing in the empty mailroom for 10 minutes, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t actually in the mailroom. Sadly, most people had left work since it was pretty late on a Friday. I finally found someone who told me that the mailroom was in the Distribution Center (building next to mine).

This is the DC!
This is the DC!

So I walked into the DC aimlessly for a good 5 minutes until I found a security guard. He told me to go outside and click the buzzer to the mailroom doors. So naturally I walked around the corner of the building, looked for another 10 minutes for the buzzer and came back in to tell the security guard that no button existed. Long story short, the security guard then escorts me to the mailroom and there definitely is a buzzer. Apparently I’m just oblivious.

The man who works in the mailroom that I called, now 30 minutes ago, saw me coming and told me he figured I was lost! Whelp, at least I’ll never do that again

Intern Education

DSW is amazing in that they make sure that a finance intern doesn’t only see finance or a marketing intern doesn’t only get exposure to marketing. About once a week there is an hour-long meeting with a different department within the corporation.

Last week I was able to sit in on an ABG meeting. ABG stands for Affiliated Business Group, which is the department where DSW develops partnerships between businesses. For example, DSW partners with Steinmart and Gordmans to provide access to hundreds of brands of shoes. DSW has a deep understanding of the product, what the customers want and how to get it there; therefore ABG creates low risk, high reward solutions.

This week the interns took a trip to the Polaris DSW store (there are 3 in the Columbus area including Polaris, Easton and Dublin-Sawmill) where we walked through the store before it opened with the MOD (manager on duty). Although I have worked in a DSW store, most the interns had not, so it was a great opportunity to see where the action really happens. I’ve quickly realized the more connected the head quarters is to their stores, the better the company does as whole.

dsw
The Polaris DSW location where my intern group took a tour of the behind the scenes action!

At OSU I am majoring in marketing with a minor in communications, although who knows where I will end up in 10, 20 or 30 years? That’s why I love this aspect of my internship. I’ve heard other students mention that they just make copies or get coffee, but I’m always either working on something in my department or getting exposure to other aspects of the company. I am looking forward to learning about HR, Merchandising, Store Operations, getting a tour of the DC (distribution center) and more.

Fun Fact:

DSW is moving internationally! They now operate in Puerto Rico and have a partnership with Town Shoes of Canada. Hopefully more to come!

Tip of the day:

When interviewing with a company most people remember to ask what they will be doing for the company but don’t forget to ask how the company will help you grow.

Embarrassing moment:

Want something even more embarrassing? I was walking from one end of the building to the other when I dropped (and broke) my new water bottle. Not that embarrassing you say? …I was right outside the CEO’s office and water was EVERYWHERE. Luckily an employee stopped and offered to warn people of the lake I had created while I ran and got paper towels.

Lesson? Clutch your water bottle like your life depends on it.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 7.17.50 PM
See that caution sign? Yep…that was because of me. Oops!

Tip Tuesday: What to Wear

Written by Career Coach, Cat Hyland

This post goes out to all the ladies struggling with their business wardrobes these days…I mean seriously—what in the world is business casual?

What-Do-I-Wear

It seems that men have it pretty easy when it comes to business dress standards. For them, business professional means a suit and business casual means a button down and nice pants.

For women, there seem to be many more options and often times the lines can feel much more blurred between business casual and business professional. If you’re someone who feels anxious over these blurred lines, read on…

Here are a few tips (from the perspective of a fourth year Fisher student) to help you along when you are trying to decide what to wear.

  1. If you are asked to dress business professional for an event, a pant suit is great. However, I personally don’t really like the way pant suits fit me, so I tend to lean toward “skirt suits” (suits with a pencil skirt instead of pants) or business style dresses with a blazer. This makes me feel more comfortable and confident while still feeling professional.
  1. If you are asked to dress business casual, feel it out. You can tell when an organization is more on the traditionally business professional side. In these situations, I would lean toward dressing more business professional just to be safe. This might mean a business style skirt and blouse or dress pants and a blouse (a blazer isn’t necessary, but never hurts). However, many organizations these days are becoming more casual in their dress standards. In these situations, it is safe to be a bit more casual. This might mean nice dark pants (not necessarily the pants from your suit, just make sure they are nice fabric and not jeans) and a nice blouse or sweater.
  1. If you are attending a networking event with multiple companies, lean toward dressing more professional. Obviously these companies will differ in the dress that they expect to see, but no one will ever be disappointed if you are “over-dressed” for a networking event.
  1. Whether you’re expected to dress business professional or business casual, conservative is always good. Tight & short are words that typically don’t go well with business attire for women. If you’re wearing a dress or nice shirt that does not cover your shoulders entirely, be sure to have a sweater or a blazer to go along with it. Length of dresses and skirts should be appropriate.
  1. It never hurts to ask what is appropriate! Here is a personal example… During my internship this summer, we were expected to dress business casual. Having the information that I learned throughout my time at Fisher, I assumed that this meant I still needed to wear closed-toe shoes with my outfits. However, it was the middle of summer and I noticed that some people throughout the office wore open-toed shoes. I was dying to wear some of my cute sandals or open-toed heels with some of my business casual dresses and skirts, but didn’t want to make any assumptions that it was appropriate. Instead, I simply asked the intern coordinator what kind of shoes would be appropriate and she confirmed that cute, classy, strappy sandals, or cute open-toed heels were indeed acceptable. This made things much easier and I never had to second guess whether or not I was making a mistake.

Hopefully, this post helps clear things up a bit (especially for underclassmen who are just starting to experience situations where they are expected to dress business casual or professional). Stay tuned for my next post with some suggestions about where to shop for business casual and business professional attire!

Tip Tuesday: 5 Reasons to Use FCDC

Written by Margie Bogenschutz, Senior Director of Undergraduate Career Management and Recruitment

You probably want to know what FCDC is, before learning about why you should use it! Fisher Career Data Central is a platform for collecting data from students about their job and internship offers, plans for graduate school and more. AND – it provides YOU with a lot of good information to use for your own job/internship search. Here are 5 reasons to use FCDC:

1) You can find average salary data on former Fisher students in your major – see what students in your major averaged in the past year, or 3 years or 5 years. Using last year’s class salary data could be helpful for you to determine realistic expectations about competitive salaries for your own job search.

2) You can find average internship salary data for your major from previous Fisher students.

3) You can learn what the top companies are that hired Fisher students in your major over the last several years. This can be helpful for targeting companies that have a rich history of hiring students in your major.

4) You can get geographic information about both job and internship offers from previous Fisher classes – learn where most Fisher students landed with their jobs and internships.

5) You can report your own internship and/or job – or other post-graduation plans – and help future Fisher students!

To learn more about FCDC and how to use it, go to:

http://fisher.osu.edu/offices/career-management/fisher-career-data-central/