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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APICS MADness

And by MAD I mean Mid-Atlantic District.

This past weekend me and four other students from the University of Delaware road-tripped it up to Pittsburgh, PA to compete in the APICS Mid-Atlantic Case Competition. It was my first time going and being thrown into what appeared to be an already well-oiled machine of team members. The experience was stress-inducing and mentally exhaustive, but I definitely learning something new about what it means to work in supply chain and under pressure.

For those of you unfamiliar with what a case competition is, a case competition entails reading about a company, finding a problem in how they work, and finding and presenting a solution to their problem. Just like the real business world, we were challenged with working in a team, meeting a deadline, writing and presenting a plan, and persuading others that our solution would work.

Going into it, I knew I had big shoes to fill, as our school’s team had previously won at this level and gone on to place internationally. Unfortunately, we did not score well enough with the judges this time, but I nonetheless took away from the experience.

I realized that I actually know more about supply chain and logistics than I thought I did. Reading the paper I recognized all sorts of buzzwords and considered all the factors that went into making an important business decision. I found out the importance of questioning the ideas of your colleagues for feasibility. Just because someone is older or more experienced than you does not necessarily mean that their ideas are the best. Teamwork is a collaborative effort. I learned how important it is to leverage each team member’s unique strengths and how great diversity is on a team. And lastly, I confirmed my need to work on my presentation skills. It is such a critical skill to have and I have definitely gotten way better at it over the years, from not ever wanting to speak in front of people to willingly volunteering my opinion in less formal settings, but when I’m faced with a huge audience and immense pressure, my brain just dies and something goes wrong.

So next year when I return to the competition, I will have all of this in mind. I’m looking forward to becoming more involved in solving real world problems as I move along in my college career.

And in writing this up I’m procrastinating all the work I got behind in this weekend and all the work I need to get ahead in for the upcoming few weeks. Oh, and that start up competition I entered a month ago unfortunately did not make the next round but I’m in the middle of exploring a couple of different options to move that project along. Happy Thursday!