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As a senior theater major at the University of MInnesota, I've spent a lot of time around all three of our campuses. From being a part of two living learning communities--West Bank Arts House and American Indian Culture House--to having a jobs that took me between East Bank and St, Paul campuses, I've seen a lot of what the U of M has to offer. The different campuses that make up the University of Minnesota only add to it's diversity and opportunities, offering a variety of options for all students.

When I was a freshman, I lived in Middlebrook Hall and therefore my first encounter with the U of M was with the West Bank campus. All theater arts majors claim to live in the Rarig Center on the West Bank, the only building on campus that is solely dedicated to theater arts courses. Other majors that spend a lot of time on the West Bank are musical performance majors, dance and art majors, and business majors because the shining Carlson School of Management resides on one of the furthest edges of University of Minnesota.

Also, known as the "West Bank Arts Quarter," this side of campus is a quieter side with less people, but it's also a very interesting part of the U. The calm atmosphere makes it a great place to study or relax, but there is also almost always something to entertain. It's usually privy to occasional musical acts or performances in the amphitheater between Anderson and Ferguson Halls, letting everyone experience the many talented individuals that are a part of our Gopher family.

A short ways off campus there are a host of great restaurants, most boasting delicious ethnic foods, such as Afro Deli & Coffee. Afro Deli & Coffee has some of the most incredible dishes, a mixture of different African, Mediterranean, and American cuisine, with a great variety of meals that cater to a vegetarian's needs. Jewel of India also has a large slew of vegetarian options, along with being a haven of spicy cuisine. The closest Indian restaurant in proximity to the University, Jewel of India will fulfill even the most particular of Indian food cravings. The Red Sea restaurant has amazing Ethiopian food and a nice musical atmosphere. All of these restaurants allow you to order take-out, so on a nice day you can lounge outside on the West Bank while enjoying your amazing food.

The West Bank is a special part of the University. With a pleasant environment, lots of creativity, and delicious food, the West Bank Arts Quarter has a lot of offer every student who attends the University of Minnesota.

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Today I'd like to put the spotlight on a great opportunity for students who are interested in a career in advertising: the U of M's National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, Chariot. Chariot recently won first place at the NSAC District Competition on April 13th, which means the team will be representing the University of Minnesota at the national competition in Phoenix this year! Read on to learn more about NSAC and how you can get involved.

What is the National Student Advertising Competition?
Each year corporate sponsors give the same case study to NSAC teams around the nation. The case studies relate to the company's product or service and advertising situation. The corporate sponsors are often big name companies--past sponsors have included Coca Cola, JC Penney, State Farm, and Nissan. Within each school's team, students are then responsible for researching, developing, creating, and pitching an advertising campaign to a panel of judges at a district-level competition. 

District competitions are held each spring in 15 districts throughout the U.S. The winners of each district then get to move on to the national-level competition and pitch their advertising campaigns to judges and the executives of the sponsor company. We're wishing the best of luck to Chariot when they compete at Nationals in June. Way to represent the University of Minnesota!

Getting involved at the U of M
Joining a student group can be one of the best ways to make your college experience a great one. If you're interested in advertising, joining Chariot can help you make friends and connections with other advertising and marketing students, network with professionals, gain relevant advertising experience, and make a difference in the advertising strategies of real companies!

Chariot doesn't only limit its members to students majoring in advertising. The club currently has students interested in marketing and graphic design as well. If you think you'd be interested in joining Chariot, you should definitely check out their website at http://umnsac.com or email them at nsac@umn.edu.

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One of the aspects I appreciate most about the University of Minnesota is its focus on preparing students for "the real world"--life after college. For example, the Carlson School of Management emphasizes group projects because teamwork is crucial in the business world. Every class I've taken within Carlson has contained some sort of group project. The team presentations and papers professors assign in my classes have helped me develop a skill set of communication, leadership, and organizational skills. These skills, along with understanding how to work in a group dynamic, are all very applicable to future careers and are exactly what employers are looking for when hiring college graduates. I've already been able to leverage my experiences with these group projects by talking about them in internship interviews for companies like Target and Kohl's!

Another way that I've been able to prepare myself for my future career is through taking advantages of the vast career services offered at the U of M. Every different college within the U of M has their own career services office. Since I'm a business student enrolled in Carlson School of Management, I frequent the Undergraduate Business Career Center (UBCC). The UBCC offers awesome services like resume reviews, mock interviews, workshops, an online job and internship searching system, and more. The list is nearly endless! When I filled out my first job application that required a resume during my freshman year, at first I felt completely lost. I had no idea where to begin! However, I used the UBCC career coaches as a resource to help me put my first resume together and they were so helpful. I definitely wouldn't have had such a professional, well-written resume if it weren't for the UBCC's resume review services. (By the way, I got the job!)

In a nutshell, U of M sends students off into "the real world" with countless opportunities, knowledge, and skills. It's just another reason to be filled with Gopher pride.

Hello Future Gophers!

My name is Jennifer Wang and I'm excited to introduce myself as the new student blogger for Gopher Tales. I will be sharing my U of M experiences with you, as well as spotlights on classes, student organizations, and campus events. Let's start with introductions first!

I am a junior in the Carlson School of Management majoring in marketing and minoring in retail merchandising. I'm a Minnesota-native from Woodbury, MN. I stay involved on campus through peer tutoring at the MacNamara Academic Center, being an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi, and through my internship in the Office of Admissions. (You can learn more about me by checking out my blogger bio.)

AKPsi, as we call it, is a professional co-ed business fraternity. Joining a student organization has been the best decision I've made in college. By joining AKPsi, I've surrounded myself with a network of like-minded, motivated business students who I also call my best friends. Being a part of AKPsi has definitely given me a community within the University.

Off campus, I am heavily involved with Chinese dance. My dance studio is called CAAM (Chinese American Association of Minnesota) Chinese Dance Theater and is a twenty-year-old non-profit organization. I have been dancing at CAAM for sixteen years and my involvement has ranged from dancing, to teaching, to volunteering. 

I am absolutely in love with the University of Minnesota and am so happy that I chose this school. I'm excited to be able to represent the U of M through my blog. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

In a recent ranking by the Academic Ranking of World Universities,  the University of Minnesota placed 14th in the world in the field of Economics/Business. As a business student at the Carlson School of Management (CSOM) at the U of M, I was especially happy to hear that the school has moved up in the ranking this year.

Additionally, it is a very exciting time to be around the Carlson School of Management because next week is Business Week! Business Week is a one-week celebration focusing on Carlson students and the connection Carlson has to the business community. I am currently on the planning committee for the many events at occur throughout the week, and I am looking forward to all that Business Week has to offer!

The first event in Business Week is a case competition this Friday. A case competition involves teams of students who are put into a business situation and asked to present their proposed actions to a panel of judges. Then, on Saturday, there will be a 5K race to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis. SAFA (Student Accounting & Finance Association) is a student organization at the U of M and will be hosting the 5K.

Next Monday kicks off the rest of the week. Each morning and afternoon, there is a free breakfast and lunch in the Carlson atrium. Companies located throughout the Twin Cities, such as General Mills, Ernst and Young, Ecolab, and many others, sponsor these meals. This gives the recruiters from each company an opportunity to speak with the students who are candidates for future internships and positions within the company.

There are also evening events during the week; including the Price is Right (where tons of prizes will be given to lucky contestants!), an Etiquette Dinner, the Take it to the Bank Networking Event hosted by young alumni from The Gophers of the Last Decade (GOLD), and a Business Day Dinner. The Business Day Dinner is the culmination of Business Week and represents the collaboration between students, staff, faculty, and business professionals. To celebrate the accomplishments of the Carlson community, awards will be presented to outstanding students, faculty, and recruiters of the year. There is even a keynote speaker who connects this year's theme, "Find Your Fit," to her personal experiences and our daily lives.

To learn more about what Business Week is and about the events that will be held during the week, visit the Business Week website.

If you would like to visit the U of M and the Carlson School of Management, click here to schedule your visit today!

The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota announced its new dean recently. Sri Zaheer, a twenty-year veteran of the Carlson School, will be the second woman to hold this position. 

As a student at the Carlson School of Management, I can't wait to see her around Carlson and hear about her plans for the school! 

BusinessWeek.com has conducted a short interview with Zaheer; click here to read it now!


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