To what lies ahead

It’s July, I’m in full swing in my internship, and I’m diving head first into fall recruiting preparation already. Before I know it, I’ll be on my way to my first class of my last year of college and that is terrifying. And while that may be the case, I have been learning and absorbing so much about business, professional development, and simply building meaningful relationships with people. These are things that I definitely take back with me to school and into my future career.

So far in this internship experience, I’ve received a lot of exposure of not only supply chain but other functional areas in its periphery. I am getting to work on a couple projects for an integrated business manager which is a position I’m starting to think would fit me if I were to continue my career in industry. I’ve also met a lot of leaders with very good insight on how to plan for and succeed in whatever career path I choose. One of my favorite tips that I’ve heard is having a balance between processes and positive relationships to facilitate sustainable success. I 100% believe that both qualities are necessary in any job function.

I have noticed that a lot of people assume that I do not know where I want my career to head yet, which is a reasonable expectation for a college student. But I’m no normal college student. One director that I had a conversation with gave me the advice to have a 10 year plan, to make small career move objectives that will help me get to where I want to be in 10 years. Little did he know that I already had a 5 year plan put in place since last year! If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I know exactly where I want to be by age 25, starting my own nonprofit organization that provides entreprenuership education and consulting services to minority/women small business owners

And to get there, I’ve modified my smaller objectives a bit since the goal dawned on me. I feel like I’m juggling a million things right now, and despite my pushback on the model minority stereotype, I am doing all that it takes to get all the experience I need to fulfill my goal. My first priority is to secure a post-graduate job in a consulting firm. While it would be amazing to get an offer from an MBB firm, I’m grounded in reality. This is like college applications all over and getting into on of these firms straight out of college is tougher than getting into an Ivy League school. I’m currently studying up on the interview process and it’s a bit overwhelming. But if anyone out there is looking for a partner to practice case interviews with I’m your girl. I’m also attempting to build my network, which is hard for an introvert. I just need to keep in mind that the more attempts I make the better I will get and the more likely I can sustain the relationship.

I’m filling the cracks of my spare time with some experience in the Asian American and nonprofit spaces. I will soon be a one third of a social media management team for an Asian American nonprofit media website. (I will reveal it when this becomes more concrete!) I am also hoping to be able to get my feet wet in a research project about diversity in business with a professor/mentor at school, and I am going to go full force with one more year in our Asian Student Association as a student leader and hopeful organizer.

And on top of all that I have my personal life too. It’s not really something I talk about on my blog, but now it’s getting to the point where I am close to thinking about my future and what this means in terms of maintaining relationships with friends and family. I don’t want to be the person that puts her job first, but that’s precisely who I am. But I think what makes it different for me is that I know what I’m doing it for. It’s not the money or prestige. I just want to be able to help those in need with my strengths. And in the end, I want to be a founder and owner, in control of my own life and happiness. To what lies ahead…

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A changing vision

I’m having second thoughts, not on what I want to do but how I’m going to get there. If you follow my blog and my life closely, and know my inner most contemplative thoughts, wishes, and dreams (which I doubt because I rarely tell anyone everything) you would know that last year I attended ECAASU, which helped me to realize that I wanted to start a women and minority empowering nonprofit after I graduate, I entered a start up competition with this concept last month (I find out if I make the pitch level tomorrow), and that I currently have an amazing internship in supply chain lined up for me this summer.

But even with all of these plans and future opportunities to develop myself and learn, I am faced with doubts and insecurities. My passion for social justice work and proactivity for career advancement are constantly at heads with each other. I am a walking contradiction, a student in the business school surrounded by people who want to make money who wishes that the exploitation that accompanies capitalism did not exist. An activist who is just awakening to the idea that real change can only been made outside of our existing structures yet continues to fall back into the security and comfort of these structures. Change outside of the structure is so idealistic and it’s impossible to live outside of it, so I have come to terms that as long as I am conscious of how my future organization does its work I can help make a difference.

Then comes the doubts that I am not prepared enough now and won’t be right after I graduate to do the work I want to do. The reason why I want to help small businesses is because I am business-oriented myself. And the reason why I want to start my own organization is because I want to have a personal impact on people’s lives. One aspect of the nonprofit organization I want to found is consulting, but at this point in time, I have no idea what that entails. If I were to start in the next few years, I don’t want to outsource that work. I want to do it myself.

I need and want the experience in consulting before I graduate college but with one and a half years to go I’ve already committed myself to a supply chain internship for the summer. It was one of the first and few internships I applied to in the fall. I got an interview and I was shocked to receive an offer so soon. I didn’t have time to reflect on the direction I want to go or look for any other opportunities. The opportunity was rare and amazing and the time pressure was great. I will definitely learn something from it and I am really looking forward to working with such a great company, but there is this little part of me that wishes I had a chance to explore my options, learn a little more about my field, and what I could do with it.

Currently, I’ve made it my mission to begin working towards obtaining an entry-level position in consulting upon graduating. I don’t know how hard it will be without a consulting internship, but I think I have a fair shot at some firms. However, the really famous firms that I want to aim for probably aren’t looking for candidates like me. I only get more apprehensive when I see that their recent hires are from Ivy Leagues.

But with this plan in place I’m hoping to gain some experience in consulting, 2 or 3 years, and still be able to start working on my own nonprofit by the time I am 25. The end goal is the same but the means are a little different.

I think I’m done rambling. Good night world. I’m up early tomorrow heading to Pittsburgh for a case competition!