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May 2011 Archives

Asha Sharma, an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota' s Carlson School of Management, has made the most out of her college career. Not only has she completed seven internships, traveled abroad, and participated in Carlson Consulting Enterprise, she has also created her own successful business! Along with her partner and fellow Carlson student, Matt Norris, she opened The A-List--a nonprofit teen center with a mission of entrepreneurship, education, and personal growth.

"The A-list is a social entrepreneurship venture in which teens produce 30 percent of the revenue to support the organization," says Sharma. "It's a unique business model where we provide employment in our snack and apparel business units, and offer education and personal growth opportunities such as daily tutoring sessions, insights on post-secondary education, interaction with business mentors, and fun events like dances and hip hop classes."

Hopefully, this organization will grow and reach out to many communities in need. An opportunity such as The A-list could benefit students in their search toward a career in business, which is a passion that Sharma can relate to. Now, with The A-List, she has accomplished her dream of starting her own business!

"Through combining preparation, drive, and the education provided by the Carlson School, I believe that my peers and I are just as competitive as students from the Ivy League, and consulting, banking, and tech jobs can be ours for the taking if we want them," she says. Sharma's post-college plans include continuing her success with The A-List, but in addition, she will be working full-time in a prestegious position with Microsoft. Sharma received this job after competing with 15 Harvard students for an internship at the company, and proceeding to do so well that Microsoft offered her a permanent spot on their team.

The skills Sharma gained at the Carlson School of Management have helped her gain the competitive edge she had today. Sharma is a great example of the amazing students we have here at the University of Minnesota! After reading the Carlson School News article highlighting Sharma's success, I see her as an inspiration to all students. Watch the video below for more information on how Sharma has "made her own luck."


I remember feeling nervous when I graduated from the College of Education and Human Devlopment in 2008. It was a rough time on college graduates across the counrty in finding employment. Thankfully, with the help of my academic advisor and the University of Minnesota Career Services Centers, I was able to have the guidence to succeed in finding my first professional job after college and was able to begin to establish my career path in Minneapolis, MN.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities features ten specialized career services centers--one for each of the seven freshman admitting colleges as well as for our graduate and professional programs. Most people think of career services as a place to look for job and volunteer opportunities, but the career services centers at the U of M have a lot more to offer. Whether you're selecting your major or preparing for a job interview, the specialized career counselors can help you explore which career field is right for you, gain professional experience during school, and secure a job after graduation.  Counselors also offer assistance in professional development by holding resume building workshops, mock interviews, and helping students seek teaching and research opportunities.

The best part about our career services centers is that they are available to all U of M alumni for future support and guidance in their career. Whether you are an incoming freshman, or a recent graduate, the career services center is there to ensure that you're hard work and dedication during school is applied to the next step in your life, a fulfilling career!

Now that warm and beautiful summer days have arrived on campus, students who have decided to stay on or near campus for the summer are excited to enjoy the great outdoors. Because of this, many students at the University of Minnesota choose to join Intramural Sports Leagues through our Department of Recreational Sports. Intramural Leagues provide opportunities for individuals, partners and team competitions in a wide variety of sports. Participants may create their own teams or join individually. If you're an incoming freshman, you may want to consider joining a team or forming your own with the people who will live around you next fall. It's a great way to get to know other students and get involved on campus!

Summer registration just began for outdoor soccer and softball, and registration for fall sports will open later in the year. There are many options for fall intramural sports, including flag football, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, and volleyball. I have never joined an intramural team, but I have heard how much fun it can be from all the people I know who have joined. A group of my friends formed a softball team this past spring, and they were undefeated throughout the entire season!

I highly encourage joining an intramural team, but if you are looking for a different way to stay fit on campus, University Recreational Center offers much more. Its specialized sports leagues include the University Athletic Hockey League and the Golf League. In addition, the Recreational Center is a premiere venue for Court Sports such as handball and racquetball. These courts are always being used, whether its by competitive player or beginners. Group Fitness classes are another popular activity at the Recreational Center. If you purchase a FitPass, you can take part in an entire semesters' worth of dance, strength, spin, yoga or any other of the many classes that are offered.  

Construction on the expansion of the Recreational Center has already begun, and will be completed in fall 2013. The exciting additions will include an elevated track, a cycling studio, an expanded fitness center, a center for outdoor adventure, and much more. 

Now that you have some information on how to stay fit and have fun at the University of Minnesota, it's time to go out and play. I hope you enjoy your summer days!

When summer arrives in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the cities come alive with festivals and celebrations of arts, culture, and community.

Each June and July, the city of St.Paul features many neighborhood and cultural festivals. Rondo Days is an annual weekend festival held in mid-July that commemorates the Rondo neighborhood, an African-American community that was split in two by the construction of Interstate 94 in the mid 1960s.  Another cultural event, the Dragon Festival, brings two days of colorful, traditional dances and music that showcases the performance arts of Asia. The festival also features the popular Dragon Boat races in which 20 local teams race large dragon-shaped boats across Lake Phalen. 

In addition to these celebrations of the life and culture in the Twin Cities, our own campus features many summer events such as the Movies and Music concert series held outdoors at Coffman Plaza. To stay updated on all the events taking place on campus, students can check out the Events Calendar which is continuously updated by our Student Unions & Activities. These events are just another reason I love living in the Twin Cities!

Whether it's a five minute bike ride to your class or a five minute bus ride to your internship, transportation options are abundant and easy at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

While most classes are within walkable distance of each other, the free Campus Connector bus system connects the West Bank, East Bank and St. Paul campus to make traveling from class to class easy and convenient. Travelling on a three mile stretch for public transportation, emergency vehicles and bicycles, the bus connects students from the West Bank to the St. Paul campus within about 30 minutes. The Campus Circulators, including the East Bank Circulator and the St. Paul Circulator, each cover their respective campuses - getting students to any part of campus they need.

For those who bring a bike to campus, bike lockers are offered at various locations on each campus. For just $84 a year students can store their bicylces away from the elements in a sheltered locker. If you'd rather rent a bicylce, the new Nice Ride program offers students a quick and easy way to pick up and drop off bikes across the Twin Cities.

One of the great benefits of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is its location. Living and learning in the heart of a large metropolitan area gives students have great ways of getting connected to the Twin Cities community through jobs and internships, volunteer opportunities and recreational activities. To help students get around the Twin Cities, the University offers U-Passes, discounted bus passes through the Metro Transit. For just $97 a semester students can ride any Metro Transit bus or light rail as many times as they like! The city-wide bus system gets passengers nearly everywhere in the metropolitan area. The Hiawatha Line light rail travels from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America, with stops at both terminals of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

A new and exciting development to the Metro Transit system is the addition of the Central Corridor light rail. The new light rail line will run through the heart of campus and connect downtown Minneapolis with downtown St. Paul. Construction began just a few weeks ago, you can check out details about the project at the Central Corridor Web site.

The month of May brings great changes to the University of Minnesota. Students have finished their classes, taken their finals and our Class of 2011 has officially graduated and moved on to new and exciting opportunities. This summer also brings new change at the U of M. President Robert Bruininks will be retiring from his post and returning to what he's always enjoyed most; teaching. Eric Kaler, who earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1982, will succeed President Bruininks as the 16th president of the U of M. Next year will be a very exciting time to be a Golden Gopher!

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2011 Annual Alumni Association Celebration. The program kicked off with a reception at the Carlson School of Management. Alumni old and young gathered on the West Bank to mingle, reminisce, and celebrate the University of Minnesota.

The main event of the evening was the Alumni Program, which reflects on and celebrates the previous year. The program was was held in Ted Mann Concert Hall, a facility that hosts an array of campus events throughout the year, including our School of Music's student concerts. During the program, U of M Alumni Association representatives presented highlights and videos of the University's research and mentorship programs. Current student groups, such as the 7 Days a capella ensemble, showcased their talents between presentations. However, the highlight of the evening, by far, was President Bruininks' address to commemorate his nine years in office.


Hearing some of the accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni was inspiring. Students that graduate from the U of M are part of a strong alumni community that consists of over 375,000 people; people who serve in all industries from government to entertainment and everything in between. Alumni of the U of M have founded over 19,000 companies that employ over 1.1 million people. I'm proud to be a Golden Gopher, and I hope that someday you will be too!

May is an exciting time for many high school seniors, because it's almost time to graduate! I remember how I felt last year when I was leaving my high school for the University of Minnesota. It's hard to believe that it was only one summer ago! I was sad to leave my friends and the school that I knew so well, but I knew that I was moving on to bigger and better things. Based on my experiences, I want to share with you some tips for this summer to help you prepare for the transition from high school.

Take lots of pictures!
In the time that I've been in Minneapolis, I haven't visited home often. The time that passes between visits varies for every college student, but I'm glad I've been able to stay in contact with my friends and family at home. The summer before leaving for college, we made a lot of great memories together that were captured in the photos hung all over my room for my new friends to see. Have fun this summer and create those memories yourself!

Create a budget
College is a big financial commitment. Aside from tuition, you will have to be far more responsible with your money than ever before. Trust me, it's really easy to spend money on things you don't really need. Create a budget before you even get to school, and stick to it! Also, take advantage of the many discounted or free events on campus to enjoy. Our Student Unions & Activities website has a special Deals & Discounts page so you can stick to your budget and still have fun!

Get a summer job
If you don't already have one, get a summer job and save all the money you earn rather than spend it. It will definitely come in handy in the future. Also, start thinking about becoming a student employee at the U of M. Most on-campus jobs work around the schedule of the student, because school always comes first. You can start searching for jobs as early as this summer, on the Student Employment Programs website. This is where I found my job, and I love it!

Visit campus
If you're about to become a freshman in college, you are probably scheduling your freshman orientation for this summer. I encourage you to embrace this experience and get to know your campus. Spending time on your campus in the summer really makes it a lot easier to navigate when you're here in the fall. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has three campuses across Minneapolis and St. Paul, and there's a lot to explore.

Get to know your roommate
Later this summer when you find out who your roommate is, try to connect with him or her early. You can do this through Facebook, texting, or even visiting each other. I have friends who got to know their roommate very well before living with him or her, so they were able to feel more comfortable on move-in day.

Make a call to your future school
Contact your financial aid office and your admissions counselor to make sure you have everything in place. Don't forget to send in your final high school transcript, and make copies of any financial aid awards you receive. This type of organization is the key to the logistics of a smooth transition.

I'm sure there is much more advice to give, but the best way to learn is through experiencing the exciting college transition for yourself. I really loved high school, but I love college as well! The difference between the two is huge, but I have found the best within both experiences, and I know you will too. I can't wait to start my second year at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities!

University of Minnesota students, including myself, are finally finished with the school year and more than ready to begin summer! After experiencing my very first "Finals Week" last semester, I had learned how to better manage my time and motivate myself to study and was able to tackle my spring finals more effectively. This semester, the reward for finishing my final exams is much sweeter, because now I can enjoy three months of summer vacation.

My schedule for my final exams was a challenge, but one I was able to handle. For one of my classes, I had a take-home exam where I needed to write three essays in one week. It was difficult, but it was nice to be able to use my notes and other materials. At first I was worried about my first day of Finals Week since I had two of my most difficult exams on the same day, but I managed to do well on both of them! The professors of both classes, gave us study guides and provided extra office hours to help us prepare. Although I had two big tests on the same day, I know that other students originally had up to three exams in one day. Luckily, the University of Minnesota is very accommodating in rescheduling those exams to help students with their finals week workload.

My last final exam was for my astronomy class, which was on the last day of finals week--Saturday. Although I didn't enjoy having to wake up early on a weekend morning, it was nice to have the entire week to study.

Since there are no classes during Finals Week, I even had some extra time to spare. The University Recreation Center offers free finals week group fitness classes, and I was able to take a "Cardio-Kickboxing" class, as well as a yoga class. It was a great stress-reliever! I'm really glad that the Recreation Center offered these awesome programs for everyone on campus to experience.

Now that the beautiful Minnesota summer weather has arrived, I can't wait to have fun on my vacation from school! I will be sure to keep you updated on all the exciting things that are happening in Minneapolis over the summer. If you'd like to experience campus for yourself this summer, be sure to schedule a visit, or check out one of our Summer Sneak Preview events!

Whether you're craving a slice of mac & cheese pizza at Mesa Pizza, or snacking and studying at the Purple Onion Cafe, you can find your perfect restaurant only a brief walk from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.

Dinkytown, the neighborhood just north of the part of the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus, is always alive and bustling with students and faculty. The neighborhood features all the amenities a person could need: you can get a hair cut, grab some great food, take in a concert at the Varsity Theater, and even salsa dance at Loring Pasta Bar on Friday and Saturday nights.

Chilly Billy's, a recent addition to the Dinkytown landscape, is a great place to cool down during the summer. Located on 15th Avenue north of Folwell hall on the ground floor of the new Sydney Hall, Chilly Billy's offers self-seve frozen yogurt with great toppings. Last week, some members of the U of M Office of Admissions stopped in to enjoy a frozen treat and celebrate the beginning of summer.


Thumbnail image for Chilly Billy's.JPGSo, the next time you are on campus don't forget to check out Dinkytown as well!

The West Bank Arts Quarter at the University of Minnesota is home to our Music, Theatre, Dance and Art departments. The University of Minnesota is the only campus in the nation to have all of its art disciplines in one centralized location. The West Bank Arts Quarter brings  our artistically and academically talented students across disciplines to share their talent and inspiration.

Each year, the West Bank Arts Quarter offers our students an on-campus source of entertainment with musicals, plays, operas, ensembles, symphonies, dance performances, and art exhibits. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of viewing some of the works that our studio art students produced at the Regis Center for Art. Among the artistic displays were the paintings of one of our former Office of Admissions interns, Daisy Giles! Daisy, along with six other graduating seniors, displayed her paintings during the Spring 2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition. 

Take a look at some of her pieces below:

Self Portrait.jpg

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Thumbnail image for Studio Art Exhibit 004.jpgYou can see more of Daisy's artwork on Facebook

Summer is an exciting time of year at the University of Minnesota! Warm and sunny days have arrived, students have finished their final exams, and our recent graduates have moved on to pursue new opportunities in their careers.

During the upcoming summer months, the University of Minnesota will begin to welcome incoming freshmen onto campus for Freshmen Orientation, and incoming College of Biological Sciences students will attend Nature of Life, a unique first year program designed especially for CBS students.

We are so proud of the students who will be joining the College of Biological Sciences this upcoming fall semester. In fact, the local NBC-affiliate KARE 11 recently highlighted an incoming CBS freshman in their recurring "Academic All-Stars" segment. This clip showcases just one of the many wonderful students who will be joining our Class of 2015 next year.

If you're interested in learning more about the College of Biological Sciences, you may want to consider visiting campus this summer, or attending our Summer Sneak Preview on June 24! 

University of Minnesota researchers, famous for their work in mapping Antarctica, have begun to literally expand their work to the ends of the Earth. Paul Morin, a staff member in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, along with a team of undergraduate and graduate students from the U of M, have recently begun include the Arctic in their research and mapping. Paul Morin leads the Polar Geospatial Center, which provides information and project opportunites for other geology and geophysics researchers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding this project with $4 million throughout five years of creating imagery of the Arctic terrain.

Certain parts of the Arctic being mapped have never even been visited before. The collected information will allow scientists to study the polar animals, glacier movement, and even find remote loctions for landing military aircrafts. The team has also created a partnership with Google to keep Google Earth and Google Maps up-to-date.

The ten University of Minnesota students who are participating in this project are experiencing an opportunity of a lifetime. They are able to view the breathtaking land of the Arctic, which is unseen and undervalued by most people. Pictured below is one of the teams' researchers on the rugged terrain. Examples of the maps that they produce can be viewed at the Polar Geospacial Center's website. Click here to check one out!

Students in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) are united in their common drive to make a difference in the lives of others. CEHD students and faculty have many amazing opportunities to make a difference through research, engagement and outreach in their career field.

CEHD's magazine, Connect, is a great resource for our students, faculty and alumni to stay up-to-date on highlights of the research, accomplishments and current news generated by our CEHD community. Every season (spring, summer, fall, winter), the college magazine centers its articles around a common theme. The Spring 2011 issue focuses on global stability through education. The issue features articles that showcase the impact our students can make globally through opportunities such as our learning abroad programs. This issue not only talks about the global impacts that our students, faculty and alumni have made on other people, but also features current student experiences from our unique First Year Experience program.

If you are a person that knows you want to make an impact on other people's lives, I would suggest reading Connect and see how people like yourself can make a big difference!

With so much to do, it's no wonder why National Geographic named Minneapolis as one of the best cities for a summer vacation destination.

If you are interested in the arts, you can select from a plethora of theatres and museums to visit. In fact, Minneapolis holds the nation's second-highest theatre seat per capita. Enjoy a play or musical at the Guthrie Theatre, watch your favorite musician at the Orpheum or First Avenue, take in some fine art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, or enjoy the summer air by heading to the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center.

Minneapolis also boasts a beautiful Chain of Lakes, including Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles--some of my favorite destinations to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months. Locals are often found enjoying the lakes by swimming, playing volleyball, throwing a Frisbee, walking, picnicking, or fishing. The lakes are easily accessible by bicycle or bus from campus. 

Whether you are planning on lounging on the Annie's Parlour patio in Dinkytown or taking in an outdoor concert and movie on the Coffman Plaza, campus is also a great place to enjoy a summer evening.

The warm weather months are a great time to experience Minneapolis/St.Paul...so if you're planning to come to campus for a visit, make sure to take some time to check out other local attractions as well!

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