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February 2010 Archives


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What a week! I just wrapped up my first round of midterms for I-Core (Carlson's Immersion Core that most students take in the spring of their sophomore year). I-Core is comprised of four classes--marketing, finance, operations management, and strategic management. The goal of the curriculum is to integrate these four strong business principles across all disciplines. I-Core is intensive in both individual work and team projects.

What I love most about I-Core is how easily you can see the importance that different areas of business have in running a successful business plan. We have the opportunity to do a lot of hands-on applications to reinforce this. For example, in marketing, we are applying the principles we learn in class to a series of papers on Amazon's Kindle. The paper is not just limited to marketing concepts. It includes details about the financing of Kindle, its production, and the strategy behind the product. My favorite I-Core project is an intensive, semester-long case study of an industry comparison of Barnes and Noble and Amazon for my strategic management class.

Another great thing about I-Core is that it gives students the chance to explore different areas of business before declaring a major. By the time students are expected to declare a major, they have already taken classes in management, marketing, finance, accounting, and operations management. I was fairly certain I was going to be a marketing major before starting I-Core, and the enjoyment I have gotten out of my marketing class has strongly confirmed my interests.

Academics aside, I-Core has also given me the chance to meet lots of new students. Being with the same group of students for all four classes allows not only for easy scheduling for class projects, but also for the opportunity to get to know your classmates well. The in-class activities and group projects have led to after-class lunches and between-class trips to Starbucks with new friends. To me, this is just the beginning to lasting friendships that are one of the great things about college!


Now that I am a senior and a more experienced college student, I know that the passing of Valentine's Day signals that midterm exams are right around the corner and stand as the final hurdle before spring break!  With that being said, I'd like to take a moment to impart some exam experience on prospective college students. 

College exams are, for the most part, a lot different than high school exams.  They cover more material and require students to apply the material at a higher level than what is required on most high school exams.  In most cases, they also take place under a strict time limit.  Ultimately this means that they require more studying and greater preparation!  I have already begun studying for a midterm exam a week and a half from today.  I don't study for an extended period of time, nor do I study every day, but beginning preparation in advance allows me to really become familiar with the material by the time the test comes around and also prevents me from pulling an all night cram session the night before. 

I don't mean to portray college exams as an insurmountable task.  As with anything, putting in the effort to study and learn the material generally results in a good exam score. 

When I finish my midterms this year, I am off to South Beach for a week's getaway for spring break.  This is the first year that I am going on a spring break trip and am very excited for some fun and sun!   I will be sure to provide updates on the outcomes of my midterms and my trip!

Wintertime as a Gopher

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Maybe it's because I'm a January baby, but I absolutely love winter in Minnesota. The snow is just gorgeous, and gives campus an whole different feel from the greens and oranges of spring and fall. Yes, the walk to class is a bit brisker, but the campus connectors are nice and toasty!

Despite the frigid air, U of M students do not hibernate during the winter months! There is plenty to do during the winter both on and off campus. Many students stay warm inside by watching movies at Coffman as part of the Gophers After Dark program. This weekend is showing a personal favorite of mine--the second Twilight movie! Several student organizations also host social events during the winter. The Carlson Ambassadors are hosting our annual Chocolate Indulgence this Friday, which I am so excited for! Additionally, the basketball and hockey teams are in the midst of their competitive conference seasons, and many students seize the opportunity to cheer on the Gophers at Mariucci and the barn. Some of my friends and I have season tickets for men's hockey, and I am a big Tubby Smith fan. Needless to say I've been wearing a lot of maroon and gold this winter!!

A favorite off-campus winter attraction is Rice Park in St. Paul where many students enjoy ice skating, as well as the beautiful ice sculptures and lights. Local ski hills also become a popular destination. Of course, the many local cafes and coffee shops on and around campus are full of students enjoying the warm atmosphere and taking time to catch up with friends or get ahead on homework.  Speaking of enjoying a warm atmosphere and homework, I believe there is a latte in Hanson Hall's Starbucks with my name on it!