March 17th, 2011 by Laura Rojas under Uncategorized. No Comments.
So, when you are a full time MBA student you get back all these nice perks like Spring Break and days off to ‘rest’ from studying!
I really think I deserve this break! Last week was crazy at the Admissions Office where I work… putting together the Admitted Students Weekend was no easy task…. But I am glad everything came
out very well and I think we left a good impression on those prospective2013 Smithers!
So yeah, now it’s just the fair thing to do, a well deserved Spring Break trip with my school friends to Las Vegas and a nice celebration tonight for St Patrick’s Day! I just feel like I need to do all these American things before my destiny might take me somewhere else, who knows where! I still haven’t figured out what I’m doing after graduation!
But right now, that’s secondary…. I just can’t wait to be in Vegas (1st time for me) and have fun with my friends… I will be posting pics later! So long…..
November 29th, 2010 by Laura Rojas under Uncategorized. No Comments.
Last week it was Thanksgiving break, it was nice, especially because I had my mom visiting me from Colombia. It was a relaxing week, I didn’t do too much! For the actual Thanksgiving Day I met with Colombian friends and had a banquet of Colombian food… not too much of turkey but it was a fun party.
So, I have found out that at least in this part of the US, Thanksgiving it’s a huge deal, it’s a BIG HOLIDAY! Back in my country the main holiday of the year it’s Christmas, and although here Christmas it’s of course an important date, I think sometimes that the Turkey beats Santa!
What’s even more interesting it’s the reason why I think this is! And even if this sounds “Nerdy” or sooo cliché, it has been the MBA experience what has allowed me to learn all this: It is due to Diversity!! One of those big pillars of any desired MBA program. So, back in Colombia pretty much everyone is Catholic, my friends, my family, my colleagues, etc. which means, we all celebrate Christmas and the same holidays and religious days. However in this area of the US and indeed in this MBA program there is so much diversity that for the first time in my life I have met lots of people who don’t celebrate Christmas, actually on Christmas day (Dec 25th) it is a very common plan to go to the movies and eat Chinese in this part of the country ?!?!?!? (Things I’ve learnt through my 1.5 years in this country).
Ok, 2nd important discovery of the Turkey Holiday: People here go insaneeee about shopping!!! Black Friday it’s nothing like you imagine until you go and see it yourself. Although I would NEVER go at 4 am to a mall like many people does – my sleep it’s one of my most sacred things – anytime of the day or even the weekend will be crazy enough to experience what a Black Friday is about. I went on Friday to a mall and on Saturday to a factory outlet and I had to struggle to find parking both times! Every single store was packed and people were all over! Even people in their pajamas that were there since very early in the morning…
I am sure these are things you can only experience in the US, but it was a very cool experience, I really enjoyed it. I eat a lot, I shopped, I rested, I hung out with my mom and started to feel the winter was here again, all in just one week!
It is getting so cold now, that the truth be told: I can only wait to be going home for my break and escape from these freezing temperatures!
Till’ next time~~!~~!
Me and my friends having our Colombian style Thanksgiving party!
October 29th, 2010 by Laura Rojas under Uncategorized. No Comments.
Last couple of weeks were a little crazy!!! For those of you who don’t know what NSHMBA is: National Society of Hispanic MBAs… They host a big, important conference and career fair every year, this time it was in Chicago and that’s where I was last week.
The way it works: you sign up previously for the conference and then you can start looking at the companies going there to hire. This year it was something like 250 different companies and they usually go to hire interns and full time MBAs; if not, they will be receiving resumes and talking to you. So, you can apply to the jobs previously and if they think you are a good candidate they will call you to make an appointment for an interview while at the conference. Also, you can go there and if there’s a company you are really interested in and you don’t have an interview pre arranged, pitch them and eventually they will invite you to interview that same day or the next one!! Crazy… even more if you consider that over 1,000 MBAs from all over, with all types of backgrounds will be there doing the same thing you are doing! My advice and what worked very well for me this year, is to start preparing yourself as soon as possible, apply to jobs in advance and make good applications, that way at least you can secure some interviews before arriving! I was able to interview with three different companies, two of them I had already arranged before getting there…. So I feel it was a successful trip for me, even more if you also consider these are companies that don’t recruit at Smith, so hadn’t I gone to the conference , most likely I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to interview with them!
This all sounds nice and cool: Chicago + bunches of MBAs + interviewing with very big, important companies! However, I want to emphasize on the amount of work and preparation there was behind all this… To have a good chance with any of these companies you need to work hard, prepare your resumes, do career workshops, practice your “elevator pitch”, do mock interviews, prepare cover letters for each application, and the list of things to do previous your trip goes on and on…. Plus, if you are invited to a specific interview you need to prepare to talk to THAT specific company and for THAT specific position….
Well, you have no idea what it was like those previous days to my trip to Chicago! I was going a little bit crazy preparing the best I could for the two interviews I had been invited to! It was one of those times when your ability to prioritize was crucial: I had work, I had finals, I had deliverables for school, plus all the career stuff…. I had to prioritize; otherwise I wouldn’t have made it. Prioritizing didn’t mean leaving anything aside though, it meant assigning amounts of time to everything according to the relevance it all had, and I have to say, at this point the career and doing a good job in my interviews was on the top of my list!
But…. Don’t get freaked out by all this stress… It was also a LOT OF FUN!!! I don’t know if you’ve been to Chicago but it is a beautiful, fun place to go, especially with your school friends 🙂 …. We did lots of sightseeing, took many pictures, eat lots of deep dish Chicago style pizza and went out at nights! Every hard effort has a fun reward when you are an MBA, lol, or at least I like to think so…. I like to think that after all the effort put in the previous weeks, some fun had to come along… (There you go a couple of pictures of what the fun was like!)
Well, that’s all for today. So long readers, and I will keep my fingers crossed that something good comes out of the interviews; hopefully I will be invited to a second round somewhere… who knows! I’ll keep you posted anyhow…
September 26th, 2010 by Laura Rojas under Uncategorized. No Comments.
It’s already been one month since we started classes again and I officially became a 2nd year student at Smith.
After having spent my summer interning for Continental Airlines in Houston without a break from school and work, I am back here without really feeling that I got to “rest” or disconnect from having a productive life (school, work, school). But that’s good; my internship was good and gave me a valuable experience for the next important step: looking for a full time job.
It is very different being a 2nd year student: different but still busy! Work load for classes diminishes and because of that I have more time off, but there are many other responsibilities that are new to me and that take much of my time. Running and leading the Hispanic MBA Association it’s been crazy! Some of our main events take place in these first couple of weeks and to organize them I have been working on teams long before coming back to Maryland, doing weekly conference calls from Houston….
As a 2nd year I have felt a “weird” pressure that I didn’t when I was starting the MBA one year ago and that is, finding a full time job. As a 1st year I was so overwhelmed with school and with all the work load I had that I left the “career” aspect on a side, it wasn’t really a priority for me at the time. Only by the end of the first semester I started to do the whole job search for an internship and the results were good: I got the internship I wanted! However, this year and not because anyone asked me to, I started working on my resume, cover letters, applications, etc, from day 1…. I think that these 2 years past by way faster than you can imagine and that’s what stresses me about having to find a job, time is not enough…. Besides this entire economic situation not getting better, doesn’t help! Watching CNN daily is probably not the best strategy!!!
I am an international student, and in my particular case, I would love to go back to my country after the MBA, we’ll see where the options are the best, here or in Colombia.
So, if you are a prospective student for an MBA and you have heard that the hardest part is being a first year and after making it through it you’ll be over with the hardest, well, I would say out of my personal experience yes and no at the same time… I think it’s more that your priorities and responsibilities change. Probably you will even have more free time but you will be taking care of other things that you didn’t worry about in the year before!
But I love being an MBA student and being a 2nd year…. I am just taking elective classes, not core anymore, this means I am taking the classes that I really like and that are about my specific field + I am running the HMBAA as I mentioned before and I have to find a job!!! But there’s still a lot more to come…
So long bloggers!