From Zero to Hero

April 14th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

So this past weekend, I finally achieved a goal that I set for myself about a year and a half ago.  I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race in DC!  Completing the race in itself was a task to be proud of because not only had I never signed up for a race before but also I had never run further than 4 miles before I began training for this event in January. Let me also reveal here that I was not EVER an athlete in my life. I was a cheerleader and dancer (Jazz/Hip-hop) in high school and that really was the extend of my athleticism. The first time I actually belonged to a gym was when I had one easily available to me, while attending my undergrad University.

P4110285 (I am the one representing PSU on the right)

The most amazing part about the race was that I actually far surpassed what I really thought was physically capable for me. Based on my training and what I felt was a realistic goal for my experience, I decided all I wanted was to finish the race in under 2 hours. However, during the race I had this amazing adrenaline that kicked in and allowed me to run at a faster pace than I usually run (I did not even need to stop for walking breaks). All in all, I finished the race with a 1:39:18 time and a new outlook on my capabilities.

So…with all my training and my thoughts about accomplishing this goal that had become such an important part of my life for the past 4 months or so, I started contemplating another goal that I was near to reaching; my MBA. Right now it is literally a month away from when classes end for me as an MBA student and I find myself conflicted. I can not tell you how excited and happy I am, as I am on the verge of completing a major accomplishment in my professional life. Yet, at the same time I am sad that, much like at the end of college, this chapter in my life is almost complete and pretty soon what will be left are pictures and memories.

I could not be more happy with the network and community that I have built here at Smith. My network has expanded to now include all the Smith MBAs who are intelligent business leaders that I can rely on in the future to help me solve professional problems. One of the most surprising parts about the community that I have found here  is that Smith became to be a true source for dear friends that have helped me grow personally and professionally during my 4 semesters.

What I am most looking forward to is to be able to read about all the successes of my fellow Smith MBA Class of 2010 graduates in the Wall Street Journal in the years to follow. I know that we are all capable of great things and I just hope the business world is ready for us.

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Spring Break 2K10 – DC is the new Cancun

March 16th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

So as some of my classmates head to warmer locations for Spring Break, I find myself excited to enjoy my week off in the District of Columbia. Although laying on the beach and soaking in the rays while sipping on margaritas sounds like a great way to relax, so is spending my time editing my resume and working on my career search. However, the great part about my time off is that I have been fortunate enough to experience amazing DC weather in the 60s and even 70s some days! This means I was able to go running most of the week and keep up with my training for a 10 mile race I am so excited to be running in, in April. The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is a goal I set for myself when I first moved to DC about a year and a half ago and I can’t believe I am finally close to achieving this goal I set for myself. This will also be my first official race, as I never have been a real runner, let alone an athlete (unless we are counting cheerleading and dancing in high school).

Anyway, back to my life of leisure of being on spring break as a 20 something grad student. Once I re-enter the real working world, I do not think I will have opportunities like this to just sit in a coffee shop on a Monday next to my friend from B-school while we sip chai lattes and talk about life, love and business. So, I really am trying to cherish these moments as everyone tells me how much I will miss all the great memories I will make while in grad school. My time in business school is fleeting (I graduate in MAY!) and it really is a bit sad that this stressful, yet inspiring and thought provoking lifestyle of being a business school student will be over soon.

PS- For all the current and future women MBA’s out there, there is a great event you are invited to attend, but you must RSVP if you would like to join the Negotiations Seminar:

You are invited to join the NAWMBA Mid-Atlantic Professional Chapter for a special Negotiations Seminar at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, College Park, MD campus.  The seminar will provide tips and strategies empowering women to feel more comfortable negotiating in a variety of situations. Further details are provided below…

Attendance fee: REDUCED to $10 for all attendees
6:00 – 6:45 PM Networking Reception
6:45 – 8:00 PM Presentation by Dr. Joyce Russell (including Q&A)
RSVP: www.mbawomen.org/site/Calendar/ <http://www.mbawomen.org/site/Calendar/> <http://www.mbawomen.org/site/Calendar/> and select the Negotiations Seminar on the 24th of March
Questions: email midatlantic@mbawomen.org
Heavy hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be provided.

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Admitted Students Weekend

February 17th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I am sure I  have millions or billion of fans out there that read this blog, but if you are a student that had been accepted into the Smith MBA program for the class of 2012, you should come to admitted students weekend.

Use the information and link emailed to you for details about the event and click here for the registration page: http://events.embark.com/event/umaryland/asweekend/RegisterAndReserve.asp?FORMSTATE=1&EVID=75182

Picture of people below having fun and mingling at last years’ event…

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Snow-maggedon 2010

February 12th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

So, I am officially sick of the snow and coming from someone who loves to ski, I never thought I would get to this point. The great part is that I have been off from classes this week (and my Graduate Assistantship, since the university is closed) so it is a nice change. But I can’t do much as many places are closed and the metro and buses have not been working as scheduled this week. It is hard being stuck indoors most of the day when the best part about living in a great city like DC is getting to walk around, run errands, go to great coffee shops and enjoy late night jogs too!

But I really can’t complain about sitting on the couch most of the day under a warm blanket and being able to watch my guilty pleasures that have been hogging up my DVR for week. This is definitely the life I will miss when I have to grow up and get a real job that most likely would have made me work from home. Well, there definitely are some hard earned (but great) perks to being a graduate student.

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Insert Back to Class Cliche Quote Here

January 28th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Personally, I enjoy having “Back to School” from the beginning of Grease 2 being played in my head as I return to classes. This is a monumental beginning of a semester since it is my LAST semester as part of my MBA degree program. I really want to take the advice of some of class of 2009 by soaking it all in and not letting the last bit of grad school go by too fast. I am only taking 10 credits and mostly marketing related classes so that I can enjoy my classes as well as have enough time to make sure I am spending time with my fellow classmates.

Anyway, as syllabus is winding down I cant stop thinking about my great 5 week winter break. I enjoyed some time in DC, NY and then I went Park City, Utah for a week of skiing and fun with the family. I wish I was still out west skiing, but it is time to get back to reality and get back into the swing of school, my GA,  and looking for a full-time job. But for the time being, enjoy this small visual interruption from  my trip to Park City…

park city, UT

ski slopes

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Free at Last, Free at Last…

December 18th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

So Winter  Break is officially here for all the first and second years in the Smith MBA program and the excitement is in the air. Last night we had a Vodka and Latke event for the JMBAA and it was great to be able to celebrate with everyone before we all go to our respective hometowns or wherever for break.

Speaking of going hom for the holidays – if you want to meet me or another Smith Student, we are having coffee chats around the world over our winter break. check out the dates and RSVP information: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/mba/events/2010/coffeechats.aspx

Happy Holidays!

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Women & MBA Workshop = SUCCESS!

December 7th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Thanks to everyone who came out on a snowy Saturday to the Women & MBA Workshop, it was a great event. Special thanks to all the students and alumni who also volunteers their time to be there. My favorite feedback comments from the attendees’ surveys are  below:

“I came to this event to see if I would be a good fit with the Smith MBA program and vice versa. I leave today confident that this program is the right one for me!”

“Excellent information session, I liked how the school recognizes women who want an MBA. Excellent food.”

“This was a great introduction to Smith! I am looking forward to learning more and hopefully becoming part of the Smith community! Thank you!”

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It's Raining Women

November 30th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

women and diversity

First of all, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and you are feeling as full as I am. My family apparently does not believe in a low fat Thanksgiving, since my cousin cooks not one, not two, but yes folks THREE types of fried turkey. Needless to say, gorging myself on Thursday was totally delicious and worth it! (take that, snug pants)

This week I am gearing up for a really exciting event that I am helping to put together for prospective Women MBA students. On Saturday December 5th, 2009 at 9:30am, all female prospective full-time MBA students are welcome to attend the Robert H. Smith Women & the MBA Workshop. The event is sponsored by the Smith Association of Women MBAs, one of the great clubs we have here at Smith.  See below for my little marketing blurb about the event as well as the link to the page where you can sign up for the event:

As a professional woman, you work hard to achieve great success in a man’s business world. If you are considering taking your career to the next level, a Robert H. Smith School of Business MBA will take you there. We know that researching business school programs can be overwhelming with your busy life, so we have tailored a special event for you to understand how the Smith MBA program is suited to fit your needs.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Joyce Russell, a professor at the Smith MBA program, will be discussing the importance of Taking Charge of your Career: Negotiation Strategies for Women. Dr. Russell is a licensed Industrial and Organizational Psychologist and has over 20 years of experience consulting with both private and public sector organizations. Her expertise is primarily in the areas of leadership and management development, negotiation tactics, executive coaching, training, career development, and work teams.

Other exciting opportunities you will have at the workshop include:

•Listening and asking questions to a panel of women students and alumni about the myths of being in the business world, especially as a woman.

•Learning about the unique business education and community that are both offered through the Smith MBA program.

•Meeting and networking with other prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty and staff during breakfast and lunch as well as throughout the day.

Hope to see you all there!  http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/mba/events/2009/WomenMBA.aspx

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Be the Change You Want to See in the Business World

November 21st, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

NI 09

Last weekend I made the smart decision of attending this year’s Net Impact Conference appropriately labeled as the conference for Changemakers, Innovators and Problem Solvers. The conference was hosted by the Johnson School of Business at Cornell University and it was a two day event that was kicked off Friday (11/13/09). A pretty good indication of the quality of content and speakers that were going to be at the conference became evident when I found out that Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, would be the keynote speaker on Friday morning.

The Office of Career Services helped to provide a bus for all the 20 or so of us students that decided to go to the conference. The bus ride up set the mood for a great weekend as it there was a buzz of excitement on the bus as we watched a movie and shared in some boxed (only the best quality for us MBA students) wine and beer. We got to cold Ithaca, NY late on Thursday night but we still have enough energy to soak up the local culture by finding a nice bar close to our Super8 Motel (another indication that we are debt-filled students). Who could resist $4 cosmos at Felica’s Atomic Lounge.

Early rise and shine for us all as we headed to Cornell to see Mr. Immelt’s inspiring speech about what GE does for innovation in energy and how policy is going to change. Some of us (me and my friend who waited for me to get ready) missed the Smith bus shuttle to campus…but we still made it in time to see most of the speech! For breakout session number 1, I attended a panel of J&J employees about the Johnson & Johnson credo since the beginning of the company to be cognizant of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and providing products that keep the consumer and the environment healthy. I loved every minute of the panel because J&J is a company I have really admire for years now because of not only their portfolio of consumer and pharmaceutical products, but also because of their history as a company that is trying to satisfy consumer needs in a responsible way. There were many more interesting sessions that taught me many new things, especially since I am a novice in terms of my education in this arena. Actually, the main reason I wanted to go to the ’09 Net Impact Conference was to learn while immersing myself in the language of CSR and green products.

Friday night about 20 of us representing Smith went out to a Thai restaurant in Ithaca and those types of moments where we are all laughing over a few beers and some spicy Thai food really are my favorite parts about these conferences. It was a great weekend to get to know some of the first year kids (even though most are older than me) and create more fun and ridiculous memories with my fellow second years. Something I forgot to mention is that I ended up begin the only female second year so of course while it was a lot of fun; I was the target for many jokes throughout the weekend. Yet, please don’t have pity on me because I dish the jokes just as much as I can take them.

Well, now it is a week later and I find myself this weekend in Philly for a good friends wedding. See, the life of an MBA student can be just so busy sometimes and a shock when you realize how much more so than you remember in college. This is all an art that I am still learning to perfect of the balance between the real adult world and the bubble world and responsibilities of being a student.

NI Image

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East Meets West: Smith MBA Takes me From India to Cali

November 2nd, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Last week the international club sponsored Smith’s very own celebration of Dwali Night, which I learned last year is the festival of lights in India. It was, as expected, a great night where MBA full timers took the night to celebrate an Indian tradition with our fellow classmates who can teach us about their culture and holidays. With 30% international students within the full-time MBA program at Smith, there is always an opportunity to learn and experience someone else’s cultural background. There was great food (a bit spicy, though), dancing and even singing from some of the students who I never knew had beautiful voices. I had to leave a bit early to meet a friend who was visiting me in DC, but let me assure you it was no easy feat tearing myself away from the event because it truly was a great time.

Since a week ago I took a mental journey to India during Diwali Night, this week I physically ventured to West Coast of the USA to Anaheim, California. About 12 member of Smith Association of Women MBA’s traveled to the yearly conference for the National Association for Women MBA’s (NAWMBA)and I was more than happy to make the trip to this year’s conference location: Disneyland, CA. We all arrived Thursday night and enjoyed a welcome reception for all the student and professional NAWMBA attendees.  Friday night I really spent the majority of the day at the career fair and even made it to a speaker workshop session. Networking can be exhausting so my fellow classmates and I headed back to hotel for a quick nap and to get ready before the evening reception and twilight Disneyland park pass all provided by a corporate sponsor. Saturday some of us really tried to take advantage of the great weather and location by spending most of the day in the Disneyland Park. We really enjoyed ourselves and I think it was a great reward for all our hard work at the career fair and on our interviews.  I am sitting in the airport right now and cannot believe this great weekend full of networking, professional growth and lots of fun has come to an end. But I am really more than glad, both professionally and personally, I decided to make the trip out to the 2009 NAWMBA conference.

goofy

Business picture

disney girls

fun picture

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