Having spent an amazing 5 months in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the feeling of leaving was bittersweet. Bittersweet because of how much I wished I could stay and because of how excited I was to return home. My time in Brazil was a learning one, as I soaked up a new language, culture, history, and method of business. I also learned the difference of living in a developing country versus a developed one, and at times, that learning curve was steep. The experience was amazing, the people I met, incredible, and the memories I made, unforgettable.
However, after those five months to say I was majorly homesick was an understatement. We landed in the US airport, running around chattering excitedly in English to whoever we could get to listen, singing off-pitch patriotic tunes through the lines at customs. We marveled at the free waters, coffee refills, and grade-A plumbing. In the plane to Minneapolis, we stared out the window to the flat expanses of snow, so different from the lush mountainous territory we had seen twenty-four hours earlier. Meeting my mom again for the first time was an experience I can't even describe, full of tears and a lot of squealing. Returning back had me seeing everything with fresh eyes,enjoying many things I had taken for granted before Brazil. The sheer splendor of a Target Superstore had me gawking with awe, exclaiming over and over that, "It's just so BIG."
As amazing as it was to absorb the amenities of the developed world again, that excitement paled in comparison to seeing my friends. I stayed overnight for a week at the University of Minnesota, chatting with my housemates, distracting friends from finals, sharing pictures and memories, and doing my best to catch up on lost months of face time. I am not sure if I have ever felt so happy or so complete. I had completed the greatest adventure of my life thus far, and still had this amazing community of friends to return to. The homesickness I felt in Brazil wasn't about my physical home, but rather, the people I had left behind. The community that surrounds me here at the Carlson School is so unique and tightly bound that returning back was one of the best feelings. Because every Carlson student studies abroad, everyone understands my experience or is eagerly awaiting their own adventure.
This week marks the beginning of my last semester of junior year. As I run across friends in classes they eagerly ask me about my fall semester and make jokes about how quickly my tan has faded (rude). I am so very grateful for the opportunity I had, and similarly grateful that I get to come back to such a great school. As much as I currently miss Brazil, I know that this is my home, and this is where I am happy to be.
Are you tired of telling friends, professors, and recruiters that you're undecided? Are you trying to nail down your graduation plan but have no idea what you want to study? Do you find yourself wondering what exactly someone in consulting does on a day-to-day basis or what a non-profit co-major can do for you?
If any of these circumstances apply to you, Future Fright Week is where you should be! During Future Fright Week, a variety of majors/career paths put on information sessions throughout the week with panels of both department faculty members and business professionals. College is a time for exploration and discovery, and sifting through the innumerable career paths, jobs, and opportunities that are within your reach is exciting, but can be exhausting. The good news is that the sessions of Future Fright Week can help you streamline your search, provide more information about the great career possibilities that are available to you after graduation, and tell you what kinds of classes you would take to achieve your graduation goals.
Last year when I was a freshman, I attended more than a couple Future Fright Week info sessions and realized I didn't know nearly as much about the majors and minors available at Carlson as I thought I did. Department heads and professors explained how their respective majors fit into a graduation plan, and discussed the different electives that were offered. Hearing from recent graduates about their transition from college to a full-time job was also extremely enlightening. They told the group a lot about what their day-to-day tasks were like and gave great advice about what parts of their undergraduate education have proven to be most useful in their everyday work (many said they'd wished they would have taken more Accounting classes!). Getting the opportunity to ask questions of seasoned professionals who had been in the workforce for a while was very interesting, too. Listening to people's perspectives on all of the different jobs that they have had at different companies was very helpful, and helped me realize that the first job you get out of college is just the first step on a lifelong journey.
Some of the most interesting information besides the job insight was learning about the work-life balances that professionals had and what they were involved in outside of their careers. Career choices are not only driven by what you can do and what you like to do, but also they type and amount of work you can handle. Tradeoffs are important to factor into your career path decision, because you may want to consider the fact that you might not be able eat dinner at home every night if you're a consultant traveling Monday through Thursday every week. The professionals in the sessions that I attended encouraged the whole group to evaluate what mattered most to them in life and incorporate those attitudes into their college career plans. This was something I hadn't thought much in detail about before, and was incredibly thought provoking.
Future Fright Week is just one of the awesome events that Carlson and the Undergraduate Business Career Center put on for undergraduate students, and is a great representation of the excellence that is the career services within our school. Having a career center specifically for undergraduate students is a huge asset for Carlson students, and the resources and contacts available during Fright Week are always accessible! Career coaches in the UBCC can sit down with students to discuss career options and connect them with alumni and companies in the industries that they're interested in. Also just as accessible are the professionals from the Minneapolis area. Being able to have recruiters and employers within fifteen minutes away is incredibly cool, not only for events like Future Fright Week, but also for follow-up informational interviews and building relationships with companies.
I learned a great deal about the opportunities that are available after graduation from Future Fright Week, and also learned a great deal about the kinds of resources and amazing people that are here to help all of us at Carlson. Check it out and you won't regret it! Ski-U-Mah!
We all have seen the movies about college and how perfect they make it work. The residence halls look like hotels, the campus is spotless, you meet your best friends instantly the moment you move in, and you get the perfect grades.
I would have to say the University of Minnesota has the potential to fulfill and meet all of these things. Not all of the residence halls may be hotel quality, but I would have to say we do have some very nice facilities. We were fortunate enough to build a brand new residence hall right on University Avenue in the heart of campus. These dorms I would say definitely have hotel qualities. People cannot stop talking about the dining services and all the options they have. I am planning on trying it or getting a meal plan again myself. Personally, I think one of the best things about the residence halls and living on campus is the community you are able to build. I am still extremely close with my three other roommates, as you can see in the picture below, and the people I met in my residence hall still. I know so many of my friends are close with theirs as well.
Another benefit of living in the residence halls or just on campus in general is how easy it is to get to downtown Minneapolis or to anything that is going on around campus. There are so many things to explore. We have anything from sporting events to comedy shows in Coffman Memorial Union. There are endless possibilities of things for students to do on campus.
You may be worried that there are too many distractions now that I have talked about everything that is available to students to do outside of class, but let me tell you how awesome some of the libraries are and the resources that the University makes available to you. We have a total of 5 libraries on campus along with countless study lounges in campus housing. The University also provides endless writing, reading, and academic guidance assistance. I know I meet with my adviser at least 2 to 3 times a semester. Carlson also has the benefit of having an Undergraduate Business Career Center with amazing Career Coaches. They can help you with anything from job searching to your major.
There are so many great things about living on campus that I don't know how or why you wouldn't! It's a great experience and everyone should take advantage of it.
- BA 3000 (Career Skills): this class is required for every Carlson student, and is generally taken in the fall of sophomore year. It ensures that no Carlson student graduates without knowing how write a resume, cover letter, tackle the recruiting process, conduct oneself professionally, and more.
- Resume Review: Recruiters from various companies sit down with students one-on-one and improve their resumes. This provides a no-pressure environment to gain insight from recruiters.
- Career Fair Prep Workshop: This workshop, as well as other workshops that occur around the time of the career fair, are geared specifically to address students' concerns, whether it be talking with recruiters or tips with interviewing.
- Mock Marathon: Much like the Resume Review, the Mock Marathon provides students with an opportunity to sit down with recruiters in a no-pressure situation and engage in a mock interview in order to improve interviewing skills.
- Undergraduate Business Career Center (UBCC): The Undergraduate Business Career Center exists solely to aid Carlson students in achieving their career aspirations. Through various experiences (some of which have already been listed) such as walk-in career coach hours, the UBCC is here to meet your needs. It is located across from Starbucks in Hanson.
- Meet with you Carlson Advisor: Your advisor at Carlson is invaluable to not only your recruiting process, but to your overall college journey. No professional can cater to your unique issues like she/he can. I can't thank my advisor enough for the support that I have received, in areas from coursework to study abroad to major declaration, and much more.
Coming to college can be a big adjustment. Consider the fact that you don't know where to buy your morning Starbucks, that you no longer see the friends you have been in class with for 13 years, and that you are likely living in a 12' x 12' room with a complete stranger. For a lot of new Carlson students, it can also be a bit scary to mentally "erase" all the amazing activities and awards on the resumes that got them into to college. Coming to college can feel like starting all over again! The good news is that this seemingly distressing time is actually one of those life-changing periods in your life that can shape who you will be for the next four years and beyond.
College campuses are literally a network of amazing students, staff, and faculty with interests as varied as yours. The University Student Union and Activities website (http://sua.umn.edu/groups/) boasts hundreds of student groups ranging from the Active Energy Club to the Zoology Club. The Carlson community also offers student groups focused on various areas of business and coordinated through a college-wide Business Board.
I remember attending the activities fair during Welcome Week and being completely overwhelmed by the quantity of organizations and the variety of their missions. By chance, I spoke with representatives from Women in Business, the organization for which I am now President. As it turns out, engagement with student organizations is really simple. Putting your name on an email list, speaking with one of the officers at recruiting events, or perusing the SUA website to find organizations that fit what you are looking for are some of the easy, and effective ways to get involved on campus.
Many students also forget the amazing opportunities to get involved outside of student organizations. As I mentioned, the University offers access to some of the best minds in the world. Our professors study topics like the eradication of food deserts through local organic food movements, the evolution of wind power, and the history of rock and roll. As a land-grant university, these professors are continually doing research in their fields (yes- even in business!) and are looking for students to help. Working as an Honors Research Assistant or serving as a class TA can expose you to the cutting edge learning happening right here at the University of Minnesota.
Don't think of getting involved on campus as a task or worry that you need to replace that debate team captain line on your resume. Instead, let your interests drive your engagement and find the organizations, research, and volunteer opportunities that fit you! As most college grads will attest to- learning in the classroom is only part of the college experience. The experiences gained outside the lecture halls are often the ones that stick with you (even after that spring final exam)!
Whether you are a native Minnesotan who is relatively familiar with the U, an out-of-state student who is trying to adjust to college life away from home, or an international student who is relocated and is trying to adapt to American culture, adjusting your lifestyle to a college of such massive size with approximately 50,000 people can be rather overwhelming and challenging. I am no exception. As an out-of-state student from Louisville, KY with Korean heritage who does not have any kind of ties to Minnesota whatsoever, moving to an unfamiliar place with all strangers was very intimidating at first. In my personal experience, throughout the freshmen orientation, the welcome week, and even first few weeks of my beginning semester, I was overwhelmed by constant realization that I am in a new environment with new people, like a little fish in the ocean or a little gopher in the forest. Although these feelings and emotions haunted me for quite a while, I am very confident to say that not once did I ever feel "lost."
If there is one of many things that I truly appreciate the U for, it would be the fact that the U is trying their very best to make everyone feel at home. Friendly orientation leaders and personalized tours, amiable welcome week leaders and eye-opening programs that spanned for 5 days--all of these things definitely helped me to get established and nest into University of Minnesota, my new home. I would give a great deal of credit to those who served as ambassadors and leaders during those times for their benevolent and helpful services that made me feel at home. It indeed is a great honor to follow their footsteps and help YOU! adapt to new home.
What are your passions? What do you enjoy doing? University of Minnesota also offers hundreds of different student organizations/clubs and hosts many various events and fairs throughout the year--it would be literally impossible for you to not find a club of your interests. Finding student organizations of your interests and getting involved on campus are great ways to stay busy and make new friends, let alone all the valuable experiences you get out of them. As an avid music lover, I am a member of University of Minnesota Steel Pan Ensemble, playing drums. To build a necessary business network, develop my epistemic enrichment, and learn more about my major, I attend ClubMIS (Management Information Systems) meetings every other week. Also, I am an officer/MC of Korea's Island Dokdo, a cultural club that promotes diversity and spreads cultural awareness on campus.Making a big place small is easy at the U. No matter where you come from or what your interests are, University of Minnesota provides lots of opportunities for you to be involved and will more than adequately accommodate you.