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February 2011 Archives

To be or not to be a marketing/finance/accounting/operations/human resources/entrepreneurship major-- that is the question! Fear not, the process of choosing a major is much simpler than you might think, thanks to many benefits provided by Carlson! In fact, some might say it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Management 1001: This is our introductory management class that you'll take here as a freshman. The class is a GREAT overview of the business world. You'll get to explore current events in business, the different departments and facets of a business, and how they all work together to make a business (and our world) run. This is a very cool class that will help you know you're in the right school and general area of study and excite you about your next four years at Carlson. 

2. Future Fright Week:
The Undergraduate Business Career Center puts on a great week right around Halloween each year. Professors, students, and alumni come to speak to students about the various majors at Carlson. They'll talk about what the curriculum is like, why people study that major, what role it plays in business, and how they use their degree in their job today. It's a relaxing week-- free food is included-- and you'll learn that you have nothing to fear about your future.

3. Immersion Core: You'll hear us call this I-CORE for short. Immerson Core, or I-CORE, is a group of classes you'll take in the spring of your sophomore year comprised of marketing, finance, operations, and business strategy. So you think you want to be a finance major? Great! You get the chance to take a finance class, see what it's all about, and decide if it's really for you-- all before you have to officially declare a major! After I-CORE, most students feel they have enough experience to confidently declare a major and do so at the end of their sophomore year.

A few other things to note about majors:
  • Most students do not know what they are going to major in when they start school.
  • Yes, it is possible to double major. Many students do so.
  • You can have a major outside of the Carlson School. So your love of a foreign language or astrophysics? Go ahead and get another degree! 

I am a marketing major. I always knew I wanted to study something broad and creative, and marketing seemed like a natural fit. While no one was surprised when I declared my major in marketing, it was nice to have some experience in marketing classes before I made my final decision. I hope I've been able to shed a little light on how easy the process of declaring a major is. Happy decision making!



At the time of my college search, I felt completely overwhelmed by the process.  It seemed endlessly complicated and I was so stressed because of my full schedule that I wasn't able to enjoy the process as much as I could have.  So if you're in the middle of the college process now...take a deep breath and we'll go through it together.

The first question that you have to ask yourself is where in terms of location you want to be.  Some people really want to be far away from what they've known so far, others want a warmer climate or independence.  Whatever you want, make sure that you define it for yourself.  Ask yourself: if I had no monetary limits where in the country or world would I choose to be?  For me this was an easy question.  My family is and will always be at the center of my life so I wanted to be as close to them as possible.  So at this point in my search, I had about a three state radius in which I was willing to travel and luckily for me there were a few really great options in this area.

Next you have to ask yourself what kind of school environment you want to be in.  Even if you're not sure what you want to pursue, and I certainly wasn't (even up until my sophomore year of college), identify what kind of specifics in terms of the environment that you would be most comfortable in.  Do you want a public or a private school, a school where you know everyone or have the chance to meet someone new each day, or a school with a few majors or one that leaves a lot of things open for you to explore?  Again here, the key is to really think about what would make you most happy.  If you've identified business as an area of interest already, that's great because you've narrowed your options even further. 

Next comes the visiting, which is one of the most crucial parts of the experience.  You have to go see the campuses to find out what feels right.  This may seem a bit cheesy but you'll know what I'm talking about when you feel it.  What happens is that you'll start picturing yourself there and thinking about all the possibilities that are open to you.  You'll be receptive to the staff and students and think that you can't wait to get to become friends with them or meet that professor.  What it comes down to is this: pick the school you feel comfortable at.  At this point for me, I had the opportunity to visit all three of my choices and only one really felt right for me (I bet you can guess where I chose).

From there the application process can be daunting but remember this is about the next four years of your life and that college is a considerable investment in terms of both time and money so be careful.  Spend all the time you can on an application to a school you truly care about.  Have proofreaders for your essays and of course study for your ACTs or SATs because those scores do have a strong impact on the process.

Above all though, remember to relax and take a breath because it is a hard process and you will find yourself having difficulties.  But when you get into your perfect college with scholarships galore...it will be all worth it and then you can start on your new journey.
 
Best of luck!

Internships

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A good way to gain business experience while still in school is through internships, and there is no shortage of them at Carlson.  A big benefit of going to business school in a major city is that many of the companies hiring students for internships are a short bus ride away.  Because we're so close, many summer internships turn into part-time jobs during the school year and sometimes even full-time jobs after graduation! 

Carlson has great resources to help students find out about internships and give them the best chance to secure one as well.  There are two Career and Internship Fairs each year, one in the fall and one in the spring.  There is also a job and nternship posting website exclusively for Carlson students called The Edge, and there are internship postings throughout the year on that site.  It's really easy to upload your resume and apply for a position.

The Edge is run by the Undergraduate Business Career Center (UBCC), and they have so many resources for students.  You can meet with a peer career coach, another student who has been through the internship process and knows really well how it works.  You can also meet with a career counselor to get advice or just to talk about your internship and career options.  You can set up a mock-interview to practice before your real one, and have someone look over your resume or cover letter before sending it out. 

I have friends that have had internships at great companies like 3M, Best Buy, Target, General Mills, and Medtronic.  One of my good friends had an internship on the top floor of one of the tallest skyscrapers in Minneapolis, and she was nice enough to take me up there once - awesome view!  I've had a great internship the last couple of years in the admissions office on campus, and there are lots of great ways to gain experience even on campus.  With so many great resources, the path to get an internship has been made pretty easy, all you have to do is follow through with it!

One of the ways I've felt the most involved on campus is through my participation in student groups. My freshman year I became a student ambassador for the Carlson School. I got to meet a small group of 20 students, including upperclassman. Being an ambassador helps me feel connected to Carlson in many ways. I love representing Carlson at prospective student events. I get to meet cool students-- like you!-- and learn about their college selection process. I also got to plan my favorite Carlson event, the Chocolate Gala, for two years as an ambassador. It was a fun way to connect to my classmates at Carlson and feel involved as a student. There are some other fun duties of being an ambassador, including photo-shoots and filming video segments. I've also gotten to know many faculty members and administrators at Carlson, as I've had the opportunity to contribute at meetings and attend leadership retreats with them.

My sophomore year I got involved with the University Honors Student Association as the Social Co-Chair. Our group was small-- there were just about ten students on the board who I got to know very well. In addition to planning events for honors students, I got the chance to participate in fun "board bonding" events, like coffee dates and a dinner at Annie's Parlour (one of the favorite burger and shake joints on campus).

Building leadership skills is just one of the skills you learn being in a student group. You get the chance to lead in a "safe" environment (the mistakes you make don't lead to a loss of corporate dollars or company reputation). Beyond the leadership and resume skills, I've also been able to make really good friends. My Social Co-Chair and I got really close my sophomore year. Although we don't serve on the board together this year, we still find time to get together for lunch and the occasional movie. She's not in Carlson and she is a year older than me, so the odds we would have met if it hadn't been for the student group are slim. I'm happy I was able to meet her and have the great friendship we have now. I've also gotten the chance to grow as a leader. After a year on the University Honors Student Association board, I was elected president of the organization. I took on a much larger role with a lot of responsibility. I've gotten a lot of guidance and support from our faculty adviser, which makes the learning experience that much better.

I highly recommend you join in a student group (or two, or three!) of your choice on campus. Whether you're looking for something academically enriching, or just for fun (you can join clubs for ballroom dancing or martial arts to something related to your major or college) it's just so much fun to get involved!
I decided to do a video blog this time so click on the link below for information about my experiences in the Honors programs and with my academic advisor! 


:)