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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These connections I’ve made

Like I’ve said before, I’ve joined APICS at my school which is an Operations Management organization of sorts. We’re kind of new and kind of the remnants of what graduating seniors that didn’t care anymore left behind last year. Well, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to get involved, and in a big way. I volunteered myself as the Secretary and the club is small enough that there was no opposition.

So APICS has these events or gatherings of both professionals and students where we can network and see a presentation about operations in the actual real world. This past Tuesday I went to one. Although I had so much work to do and things to study for, I definitely did not regret spending 3 hours away from school and getting to know more about what I could be doing in the future. The speaker was from Campbell’s Soup and the talk was about talent management. I was completely appalled by the fact that I actually knew some of those terms they throw around like supply chain and SAP. I literally learned about all of this stuff in the past week in my Marketing and MIS classes. It’s so nice to see that what you’re learning has a real world application.

I learned a lot about what kind of skills I should work on in order to make myself appealing to employers. They emphasized an understanding in Marketing, reassuring me of my desire for a double major in Operations and Marketing. However, they did cause some qualms. The emphasis on technology made me consider an Management Information Systems minor and I know for sure that I have no room for that unless I drop my Math or Asian Studies minor. And while I could see myself dropping Asian Studies, I would not want to because I want to be able to use college as not only a time to learn about my future profession but I also want to use college as a way to study and learn all I want before I am trapped. I have an addiction to learning, I really do.

I had some nice conversations with people from Campbell’s and DuPont. It was kind of amazing to talk to Campbell’s (DuPont’s been around my whole life because I’m from Delaware). My image of the soup company is like some large corporation who makes the chicken noodle soup with the possibilities. But behind every product or brand is a real person. And I could be that person one day.

Speaking of networking I went to a career fair of sorts yesterday. I talked to a few companies like Macy’s, Chase, Frtito-Lay, Pepsico, Target, and Enterprise. A few of them have amazing opportunities and internships for what I’m interested in. A lot of them are looking for Juniors and Seniors though. As a Sophomore who is dying for some hands-on experience, life is rough. I also have to decide whether I want to try for this study abroad internship in Hong Kong which is unpaid and which I have to pay for or to find an internship at home for the summer. Before I was thinking that saving up for the study abroad after my Junior year would be better, but now I’m thinking, if I can get into the Hong Kong program as a Sophomore, when I’m a Junior and these companies finally want me, I’ll be more than ready.

Now, I know most the people who read my blog are looking for knitting posts and I promise they are coming. I just haven’t had much time to knit or take pictures of my WIP sweater but this weekend it’s happening. I’m almost done the first sleeve and once I finish it I’ll get some pictures.

On Networking and Double Majors

One of my goals for this year is to be an active member of various clubs and organizations at UD. Today was the first meeting of the Blue Hen Marketing Club and I knew I had to go to the first meeting otherwise I’d never end up going. I don’t know many business majors but I hope to meet others in the same field of study by being a more active member of marketing and Women in Business because I know one day this will pay off no matter how much I don’t feel like leaving my dorm room when I have butt-loads of homework.

The special speaker at the meeting was a UD alumnus who ended up working at Nickelodeon. Yeah, that TV network that almost everyone knows about. That sounds so awesome to me! Well surprise surprise, the way she ended up with her job was by going to a high school reunion and talking to an old acquaintance who also worked there. This just leads me to believe that no matter what you study or what skills you have, the only way to break into the business world is by having connections. It may not sound fair or ideal but that is the reality of our world. You could apply to a million positions but you are more likely to get a job by being referred by someone you know. This is why I am going to be extremely dedicated to going to networking functions this year – as long as it doesn’t conflict with marching band in the fall.

One of the co-presidents of the club is a Marketing and Operations Double Major and I talked to her after the meeting about my interest becoming a double major in the same subjects. After going to a few Intro to Marketing classes, I’ve realized that marketing is not all that I thought it was. There is so much more thought and depth into the marketing process and especially in today’s technological age with social media marketing (what I mainly did with my internship this summer) there is a lot of opportunity in adding marketing as a double major. And for someone as blog obsessed as me, I see so much potential in studying a little more marketing. And I could definitely see it benefiting me as I use my entrepreneurial spirit in trying to sell my knitting online. I’m going to talk to my advisor tomorrow to hopefully sort some of these things out because I’m not sure how it’s going to work with my Math and Asian Studies minors. The person I talked to said it was easy though.

The school year has just started and it feels like I have to plan out the rest of my life already!