Do you ever think about what you were like four years ago?
On a normal basis, I can’t say I have either but after visiting my high school today and saying goodbye to a teacher who really impacted my life in the best way possible and will be retiring, I’m definitely thinking about my high school days.
I ate dinner with a friend (oh hey Neha) last night and we talked about what it was like four years ago. Who you were friends with…are you still friends with them today? I can’t say I am. Not with all of them at least. I’m friends with the ones that mattered. Not to say those I’m not close with anymore DON’T matter but instead, that the people I used to be friends with and I have both moved on for the better. It’s a mutual and a non-conflict thing that has happened. And I’m happy. I’m happy with my circle of friends as Neha and I discussed. And I realize that these friends will most likely the ones I keep forever. Which is both incredibly awesome and daunting at the same time. Looks like you fools are stuck with me! We’ll be attending each others weddings, visiting each other in different cities and reminding each other of that one hilarious time in Ann Arbor way back when. Isn’t that awesome and daunting? It’s a lot to think about but it’s also very true.
And just about growing up through college in general is something else I thought about. I remember being a pre-admit at Ross and asking to have lunch with my upperclassman Ross friend in the Winter Garden because it was soooooo cool there and to learn more about classes and how I should prepare myself. It’s a weird thought that now when I sit in the WG, it’s to just calmly do homework, whine about the MBAs or be the one telling the younger BBAs about what they should do to prepare themselves. Giving advice is just one of the normal things I find myself doing now. I find myself honest (maybe sometimes too honest) as well as sarcastic with a touch of reminding whoever asked for my help that it’ll be different for them. When is anything in life ever scripted the same? It just isn’t. My experience in BE300 will probably not be yours (who am I kidding, you’ll have just a horrible and miserable time as me). But in all seriousness, it’s always different. It just is.
Four years ago, the only thing I was worried about was if I would get a 5 on my AP Gov test. Yeah, I didn’t (but I still got credit!). Now I worry about my internship and next year and also full time jobs and the rest of the future. You become more forward-looking and FAST when you get into college. You’re forced to.
In four more years, I wonder what I’ll be saying about the last four.
I start working in exactly a week. A week from today I’ll be up at 7:00AM, waking up in the worst state ever (but it’s okay because I’ll proudly bleed maize and blue there).
This year is already different from last year. Last year I was counting down the days from 30 and my excitement level was on a different level. This year, I’m more calm yet nervous. It’s not to say that I’m not excited for P&G, because I am. Getting the opportunity to learn from the best of the best, the inventors of brand management and at a company like P&G? It just doesn’t get better than that.
But I’m calmer. Because I’m not doing cartwheels and back-flips. However, I have more nerves this time I think. Much more nervous than last year. Last year I was going into Digital. Had I ever been in control of a 1 million likes page on Facebook or a 100K follower twitter? No. But I knew how to tweet and facebook for a business already and digital was something I was fairly comfortable in. Sports was a world I knew, and I had an internship with the Athletic Department at Michigan that had taught me the basics of every sport that I didn’t follow (i.e. baseball at the time) and I already had event execution experience thanks to them. It was something I knew what I was doing and something I was extremely quick to learn on things I didn’t.
Last time I won the internship. Like won. A contest. Yes there was an interview but I won it. And after a month and a half straight of tireless and creative work on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. And how can you not be overly excited about something you won!? And that your friends were involved with?! Exactly my point.
This time, it’s brand management and I still “won” the internship, but not in such theatrics. I interviewed in rounds and got chosen as the only undergraduate Michigan intern for brand management. It was a win but this time, it was private, it wasn’t broadcasted and I was happy to have done it on my own. And for brand management, I haven’t had experience other than what marketing classes have taught me and the size and scope of P&G is not comparable to anything I’ve experienced before. It’ll be entirely new to me as it will to all the other interns, but the unknown has always gotten me jumpy.
But I was once told that being nervous is good…it means you care. And I absolutely care. I worked my butt off to get this internship, and I’ll work my butt off there.
I felt like I was naive going into Under Armour. In the weird corporate picture I had painted in my mind sort of way. It turned out to be completely different. Not in a bad or good way. It was just extremely different than what I thought it would be like. Under Armour was very different than I thought it would be as well. It was an incredible experience and I loved everyone I met there, I just wish I hadn’t had that painted picture in my mind at the beginning only to be proven otherwise.
This time, I think I’ll still be a bit naive, but I hope to lessen them by being cautious and approaching P&G with little expectation other than a great learning experience. I want them to paint a picture in my head instead of allowing me to have a pre-conceived idea of what it’s like there. Because really, you never know until you’re there.
There are many, many things I’ll try and do the same this time though.
One is to write things down. In a notebook. Kevin, if you’re reading this, I personally thank you for that one. Biggest thing I learned was how handy that notebook I was given was. Writing things down reminded me of not only what I had to do at the moment but gave me something to look at after I finished my time at Under Armour and sit back in surprise at how many things we did end up accomplishing. It was a really rewarding moment to do that!
Another is to keep making connections. The best part about last summer was the people. It was awesome to just grab lunch with people you admired or wanted to learn more about. Even cooler to get the opportunity to work cross-functionally and get to know them too. I want to do that this year at P&G and from what I’ve heard, I’ll get that chance so I’m excited to seize it.
And the last is to explore the city. I didn’t get as many chances as I wanted to to explore Baltimore mainly because I didn’t have many weekends there but for the weekends I did, it was fun going to the Inner Harbor with my roommates, going to O’s games with a crew, head to the aquarium to see the sharks and even making a trip to DC to see my friends. Cincinnati is one of those cities just like Baltimore. It’s definitely not a New York or Chicago. But this time, I get to be closer to home and in the Midwest. Everyone’s been telling me to get ice cream at Graeter’s and to go to a neighborhood in Kentucky and to see a Red’s game. Will do.
It’s good to be in the Midwest for the summer and I’m excited to see where this summer takes me. Can’t wait to experience it all, and learn from P&G while proving to them that they made a great decision to hire me.
See you in a week, Cincy!
Who knew that my biggest challenge would come after finals.
I’ve always been one for thank you notes. And it usually comes naturally as I sit down with a pen and a card. Everything I want to say usually makes it to the page. And after reading it over, I never feel unsatisfied.
For some reason that’s not happening right now.
What do you say to the person who’s retiring after 40+ years at your high school who happened to be your teacher? What exactly do you to the person who introduced you to your career path? What do you say to the person who pushed you and pushed you and pushed you to do better because he realized that’s exactly what you needed? What do you say to the person who made one of the biggest impacts in your life but is too humble to admit it?
Just “Thank you?” Seems unfair. Seems petty.
I’ve been trying to write a note… maybe a letter… for fifteen days. Fifteen. Okay okay…maybe exams got in the way for a bit of that. But still. It hasn’t ever ever taken me more than fifteen minutes to write a thank you note, forget days!
Actually thoroughly frustrated right now. Will update on progress.
This has to be perfect. 40+ years deserves perfection.
Edit - May 13
As of May 10th, I finished. And I’m happy with the end result. It took forever. But I’m happy and I think it is a worthy thank you. As much as I can write a thank you anyway.
Another year just blew past.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that this school year was over. My disinterest in the topics of the classes I was in (with one exception—shout-out to Dave Mayer and MO321 for a great, great class on Leadership that I highly suggest people take) was getting out of control and I don’t ever remember feeling so aggravated about school. So once 6:00PM hit yesterday and I ran out of my last exam of the year, I was actually jumping up and down. In the excitement that I was finally done with my junior year and that it was summer.
But as always, there’s a catch. With my junior year behind me, which means I’m a rising senior. Which means one year from now, I will be in graduation mode. Knowing me, I’ll be in tears every day knowing that I will no longer be a student at the University of Michigan. I think I’m ready and excited to see what the real world has to offer but the thought of leaving Ann Arbor is a depressing one. I can’t imagine what it’ll feel like but in a year, I’ll know.
Looking back on junior year, as much as I couldn’t stand many parts of second semester, it was the best yet at Michigan. And I learned a lot.
First semester classes were incredible and made me at peace with my career path as well as satisfied that other fields (i.e. finance) truly weren’t for me. Everything about marketing still resonated with me and it was a relief to know it was what I wanted. Couldn’t have asked for a better September through December.
I think getting the internship with Procter & Gamble was hands-down my biggest achievement of the year. I set P&G as my goal so far as first semester sophomore year and I worked my tail off to get it. I joke that P&G is the “Goldman” for marketing and brand management, and while that was the original reason I wanted them due to their incredible reputation, it came down to fit at the end. I just could see myself there when I was at their offices and really connected with the recruiters whereas other places, I just didn’t feel it. Gotta love the feeling of achievement. And relief. I’m really excited to see what P&G and Cincinnati have to offer me this summer. I know I’m going to be challenged and pushed to the limit but I welcome it. I’m so ready to make the most of it.
Something about becoming a mentor to friends and students younger than me is cool. And weird. I had to write a paper at the end of the semester for that MO 321 class and in it, I spoke about my mentors and what I gained from them. But I realized at the same time, I liked giving advice on things I was familiar with. Being a peer coach next year is going to be really exciting and I’m actually pumped to get to coach other kids. I was in their shoes a year or two ago which is crazy to think about. Going along with advice, I can’t believe I got the opportunity to speak to MBAs this year who came to me…for advice. Like…what?! They’re older than me and I complain about them but they genuinely wanted to hear what I had to say. Isn’t that absurd! From wanting to know more about Under Armour to figuring out how to use social media, I’ve had talks with MBAs about everything. The thing is…people genuinely want to connect and hear from other students, regardless of if they’re younger. So I was humbled and quieted my MBA complaints…a little bit anyway.
Moving on, I got to witness and be a part of an insane student government election. Absurdity is the best way to describe it. How fun it was at times to be a part of and how awful it was in other parts. I didn’t even run and I’m pretty sure my emotions were shot by the end of it. So I can’t even imagine what it must of felt like to actually be a candidate (whew! Props to you all!). But the process left me even more stubbornly proud of who I was friends with and who I supported. Honestly though, regardless of if you agree/disagree or don’t even care about the outcome, I think it’ll be an incredible year for CSG. So so soooo many ideas on the table from all sides that can be agreed on, and that can make an impact on campus. All of these kids, regardless of if I personally voted for them or not, are all so damn passionate about the University of Michigan and its students, and the rest of us would be foolish not to support that. I’m actually really excited to see what CSG does this year. if you’re reading this, you should be too. Keep an eye out. We’ll see.
Also, doing the social media part of the campaign was also a lot of fun, no lies there. But it was also one of my last stunts in digital/social media marketing. I believe I will have just one more to do for Ross Career Services, and I’ll be done. I’m really done with it and even kind of sick of it. I thoroughly enjoy it as a hobby and do it during elections was not only fun, but brought out my competitive side, which has always been to my favor with being more creative. Digital will always be in my heart and always be something I’m passionate about, but doing it as a job is both utterly time-consuming (you really have NO idea until you’ve had to go through it) and not something I can see myself doing as a career. So if you’re a looking for a Tweeter or a Facebooker…I’m your girl no more.
Being promoted as a head intern for the Marketing Department for Athletics is something I’m still learning to adapt to. It was an internal struggle I was faced with all year. It was something I had wanted so badly at the end of last school year and didn’t get. But I got offered it in January and obviously accepted. The time commitment this semester was so incredibly hard on me and I wasn’t happy for some time to be frank. But it’s never been my personality to go out on a low note and quit, and I don’t plan on doing that now. And it was partially my fault for so willingly accepting so much right off the bat, knowing that with school and group projects, I might be in a time crunch. But I didn’t leave. That and…let’s be real, I love these the intern crew and the entire Marketing Department to pieces so I’d never abandon them. Just trying to learn and get into a new groove of more responsibility, trying to be more formal, and managing others. It’s a work-in-progress, but something I’m ready to continue to be a part of and work at next year. And besides, we’re an intern fam.
Okay onto more of the stuff that’s exciting and less “deep” if you will. Michigan basketball and going to the Final Four…I don’t even know what else to say than that. I wrote a post about what it felt like earlier but it all just feels like a dream to me. I’ve told people that I have a lot of sports fans goals but the biggest ones are to: 1) go to all 4 tennis grand slams, 2) go to an Olympics, 3) see Michigan Football in a Rose Bowl and 4) see Michigan Basketball in a Final Four. Okay to be completely frank with you, I really thought I’d get the 2) and 3) done before I ever saw Michigan Basketball in a Final Four. But they completely surpassed anyone’s expectations, and to my delight, I got to see them in the NCAA 2nd and 3rd rounds in Auburn Hills, but also in the Final Four. I really will cherish being down there in ATL cheering on my Wolverines forever. Wow. Just wow…That will go down as the best experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of in college (so far).
And so it all ends in a year. There’s nothing to be said or done to make me not cry in a year or be filled with nostalgia. It’s just who I am. I’m so ready to be a big girl with a job. It’ll be tough, but I think I’m ready. It’s the idea of leaving Michigan that’s worrying for me. Not being a student and lounging in Ross every day. Not getting to scream with my friends in the Big House, and Crisler in the student section.
But wait…I still have a year. I always get so caught up with what will happen after graduation that I keep forgetting that I really do have one more year.
I plan to make a bucket list this summer for my last year in Ann Arbor. A mix of things I want to do again and of course things I haven’t done yet. There’s just so many things to still do and see here, and making a list will force me and remind me to go out and do it.
A year from now, I hope to be sitting here typing, mascara mixed with tears running down my face, sniffling and hicupping…with no regrets. With nothing I would rather do over. With only things I wish I could relive exactly the same. With more happy memories. With gained knowledge both in and out of the classroom. And with the happiness of knowing that I graduate from the best damn university in the whole world, the University of Michigan.
2013-2014…bring it on.
Read. Now. Show up and get rewarded. Simple as that.
I wasn’t planning on writing anything during finals week, but the seemingly absurd backlash at the Michigan athletic department yesterday was too much to dismiss. It was announced that student tickets for Michigan football games next year will be general admission as opposed to the reserved…
It shouldn’t be this difficult to write a thank you letter. But for some reason, I’m at a loss of words because this person has done too much to influence and inspire me for me just to write, “Thank you.”
We’ll see how this goes. Might be the hardest thing I’ll ever write but it must be the best.
All I remember is my jaw dropped before I scrambled to find my phone and called my mom.
“Mom? I’m going to Atlanta next weekend.”
It had taken me less than a minute after the final buzzer of the Elite Eight game between Florida and my Michigan Wolverines to make that decision and make that phone call.
If you had told me in January that I’d get to see Michigan Basketball make it to the Final Four before I’d get to see Michigan Football make it back to the Rose Bowl in my time at the University, I probably would have given you a weird look before laughing. It wasn’t that I thought it was impossible. It was just that I (and everyone else except for Dick Vitale apparently) thought it was incredibly improbable. Indiana, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Miami, Georgetown and even Ohio State and Michigan State just all looked too good for us to have a shot. Our seeding wasn’t what we had wanted and our performance in the Big Ten tournament didn’t help push away the doubts. And to put it even more pessimistically, while I’ve been here at Michigan, we’ve made it to the Round of 32 before losing to Duke in 2011 and embarrassingly lost to Ohio (no, like…actual Ohio…not the Buckeyes..) in a huge upset last year. That one STILL is painful.
Even while filling out brackets, my friends were pegging us to lose to SDSU. If not to SDSU, then to VCU. And if not to VCU, then definitely Kansas. I didn’t have the heart to have us losing to anyone so I put us winning the whole thing. Somewhat of a joke at the time, somewhat of a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” And I looked through my Facebook messages yesterday and saw that I had been joking with a friend on January 31 that if Michigan made it to Atlanta, I’d come with and stay with him.
But somehow…we made it. We made it to Atlanta. One game at a time we shocked everyone. The Kansas one being the most shocking and probably will go down as one of the most memorable games I’ve ever seen in all of Michigan Athletics. I had screamed and even cried after Trey hit that three, and for us to win it? Man, that seemed like that was enough at the time. But it was Florida after that and with the ease we beat them with, I felt like this team truly deserved to take it all. They deserved to be in that championship game and fight to bring the trophy home.
A couple friends and I trekked down to Atlanta, and didn’t complain once about the 11+ hour drive down. It was all part of this crazy experience, a once in a lifetime experience. I was on Cloud 9 and felt goosebumps every time I stepped into the Georgia Dome. I have never felt so nervous for someone other than myself in my entire life like I felt for our team. They deserved to be there. They earned the right to be there. And I felt so blessed that I got the chance to cheer them on.
I surprised myself by not crying when we lost the final game to a Louisville team that was just too good. Tears had almost come as we made the quiet walk back to where we were staying at Georgia Tech but they didn’t fall. I think it was because I was too proud of this team for making it that far. And I wasn’t about to cry sad tears because I knew that this basketball team, Team 96, had made my college experience that much more magical. They had refuted every doubt in my mind and made me feel a foolishness of ever not believing in them. I think every Michigan fan was humbled by this team. To never give up on them until the final buzzer sounded and to not count them out before it even started. I think they reassured us to believe, that they were going to turn this program around and to buckle up for a crazy ride.
Who can say that as a student they got to see their school make it to the Final Four and win to go to the Championship in person? The list of students that can say this isn’t a long one but I am on that list.
Thank you Michigan Basketball for giving me, hands-down, the best experience of my college career. I really can’t think of anything that will beat this last weekend as a student…but then again, I now know better than to count you out for 2014.