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January 2013 Archives

Real talk. Minnesota, like any other Midwestern state, receives its full range of seasons--the greenery of spring, the splendor of warm summer days on the lake, the explosion of autumn leaves, and yes, the expected freezing temperatures and piling snow of winter. For the unprepared student, winter in Minnesota can be a shocking and chilly experience, but for those of us that come prepared it's an opportunity to turn the bleak cold into a winter wonderland. 

How to prepare: Layers! Hats, mittens, waterproof boots, scarves, long thick coat! Don't feel weird if you feel as wrapped up as the Abdominal Snowman--we're all in the same boat! 

Here's me rocking the winter wear! Look at how WARM I look! 

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Honestly, there's no denying that Minnesota gets cold and snowy in the winter, and many students bundle up and survive the winter just fine. But, we're not trying to survive--we want to thrive! And that depends entirely on your attitude and how you choose to look at the winter. Winter provides a great opportunity to bond with those in your dorm--with the blizzard blowing outside, you're not going anywhere, grab some board games or a movie! It helps keep you focused on your schoolwork--not getting distracted by the desire to run around outside. And even more, winter is FUN. Minnesota has championed it as our official season, celebrating it with such events as the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the Red Bull Crashed Ice Event, the Holidazzle Parade and more. In addition, every day has the potential to celebrate with a wide variety of winter activities such as dorm-wide snowball fights, sledding, ice skating, skiing (cross country and downhill), ice fishing and many more! I've lived my entire life in the Minnesota winter tundra, and have successfully survived/thrived 20 years by going out and DOING things! 

So embrace the winter for all that it offers and let your sunny positive attitude keep you warm for the months to come! 
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LeaderShape!

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So I want to let you guys know about another opportunity offered to Carlson students here at the U. It's the awesomest thing--LeaderShape. During January of last year, I attended the LeaderShape Institute, hosted by Carlson and the College of Science and Engineering. All I knew is that it was a 6-day program and that for some (pretty good, apparently) reason, every person I asked that had attended the year before said it was amazing. Not much more than that, though. Hm.
But hey, why not? So I left my home in Milwaukee a week before our winter break ended, packed up some clothes and snacks and was on my way. I got on the bus to camp Iduhapi. But I apparently chose the one with all of the Science and Engineering students, not Carlson. Oops. I imagined that as my first faux-pas of many that would be coming over the next 6 days.  Thankfully, I ended up being very wrong. 
Leadershape is a program that pushes people. It's open, and faux-pas are not really possible. For the last 6 years, the Carlson School and the College of Science and Engineering have teamed up to provide this program to 30 of their students every year, and this combination of students is great, especially with the collaboration and idea-sharing Leadershape is all about. The atmosphere created by the Leadershape program is one of a safe environment. Students can share all of the ideas, values, and passions they believe in. The different viewpoints brought by the students of different U of M colleges and backgrounds make for a rich environment of discussion and debate. These aren't the kind of discussions you find every day.
 I feel like I grew more in those 6 days than I've done in a semester, and I often think fondly about the lessons I learned and conversations I had. Even though it wasn't always easy, I got insight into ways of thinking I had never thought about before, inspiration to do something meaningful, and a connection to so many wonderful people, both here in Carlson and across the river at the College of Science and Engineering. 

If you want to look into it more, here is the link to Leadershape's Facebook page:

At the very least, they have great quotes and stories of people's Leadershape experiences!

I hope you check it out, and get excited that you could have such great experiences here at Carlson and the University of Minnesota! :)

Back in the States

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After spending 4.5 months studying abroad in Lyon, France, I am back! America, home sweet home. My time in France was amazing. I went to several countries, visited 21 cities, and met very interesting people from all over the world. I had so many adventures and experiences I do not even know where to begin. I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, a town-wide wine release in Beaujolais, France, nightclubs in Berlin, swam in the Mediterranean in Barcelona, Spain and saw a "Big Sean" concert in Paris. I crammed much fun into one semester, and a few sentences do not do my experience justice.

The school I studied at was excellent. I took some excellent business classes, such as international finance and European economics; I also got to meet student from across the globe. I was in a program composed of international students and was able to learn from and make friends with some very intelligent and fascinating people. Through interacting with people from all over the world, I learned to embrace other cultures and to carry an open mind. When I was offered a chance to eat escargot (snails), I took it - and they were delicious!

My time in Europe was memorable, to say the least. It provided me with new opportunities and allowed me to gain an understanding of life - and business - outside of our borders. When you come to Carlson, study abroad for an entire semester. Leave the states behind for a while and learn what it means to live like the French or Chinese. Just GO and do not think twice about it.