Monday, October 21, 2013

Scholarship Brunch

Last weekend I was invited to a brunch for a scholarship that I won. It was held at the University Club, and the food was wonderful! I had apricot juice to drink, and the fancy buffet had all types of breakfast and lunch foods, including caviar! It was really nice getting to know the donor's nephew and the other scholarship winners. I really appreciated that the donor's nephew flew all the way from California just to attend this event and meet the recipients of the award. About twenty people won my specific scholarship, but only five of them came to the brunch. I think that the ones who did not attend really missed out on a great experience and some fabulous food! Someone was there from the College of Engineering to take pictures, so if I come across one, I will be sure to share it.

So how did I win this scholarship? Scholarship applications for the College of Engineering become available in November and are due at the end of February. All you have to do is fill out a one-page application and staple your resume to it. My favorite part was that there was no essay! I was notified in the summer that I won the scholarship, and then I wrote a thank you letter to the donor. That was some easy money! Incoming freshmen are automatically considered for engineering scholarships, so they do not even need to fill out a scholarship application. I will definitely fill out another application for next year and hopefully earn more scholarship money!

I also just found my testimonial from my Study Abroad trip on the MSU website, and the link is below. I had to write a little blurb about my experience for one of the scholarships I won through the Office of Study Abroad. You can also read what other study abroad participants wrote about their experiences if that interests you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Career Gallery

Now that Pre-gallery, Career Gallery, and interviews are over, I can breathe a sigh of relief! I have not been contacted by any companies, but I did get one interview for a co-op after attending Career Gallery. It took place in the Spartan Stadium on Thursday, so I had a view of the football field while I was being interviewed. I was hoping to get more interviews, but there is still Engineers Week in February to get more interviews and hopefully a job!

I was way more prepared this year than I was last year. After attending the career events last year, I knew what to expect at each of the events this year. Now I have an interview to add to my own personal experiences. Going to SWE and AIChE meetings last year and this year really helped me learn about some companies and what they were looking for in an employee. I asked better questions, but I could probably improve the way I relate my experience to the job opening.

Overall, I had a positive experience because I was more comfortable talking with representatives and I got a ton of free stuff! Pictured below is my haul of free stuff:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Preparing for the big week ahead

This week is probably one of the busiest weeks of the semester. A lot of classes give their first round of exams around this time. I just finished taking my first organic chemistry exam. Not only is there a lot going on academically, but there is also a lot of career-related activities going on this week. I would really like to get an internship this summer, so I am going to attend all of the events and try to get the most out of them.

Tomorrow is the Engineering Pre-Gallery Internship/Co-op Day. Students can talk to many of the companies that will be at the Career Gallery the following day, mainly about co-op and internship experiences rather than full time positions. It will be held in the courtyard of the Engineering Building this year, which is a convenient place to stop between classes.

The Career Gallery is a two-day event in the Breslin Center. The first day is for science and technology, and the second day is for business, so I will only be attending on Wednesday. The Breslin Center is filled with employers that are recruiting for internships, co-ops, and full-time. In the days following the Gallery, companies contact students that they are interested in for interviews.

Some advice I would give to students:
  • It's never too early to start thinking about careers. I learn about different careers, companies, and opportunities at AIChE and SWE meetings on a regular basis.
  • Take advantage of all the resources that MSU and the College of Engineering have to offer. The Center offers resume critiques, mock interviews, and so much more, just stop by! I went to a resume writing session and a resume critique just in the past month.
  • Make sure you have the proper attire for the Career Gallery and possible interviews. I went suit shopping with my mom this summer so that I would be ready once school started again in the fall. 
  • Register for the Career Gallery ahead of time. Then, you do not have to wait in long lines to print out a pass at the door. 
  • Attend the Career Pre-Gallery and Gallery, even if you are a freshman. Many employers are looking for more experienced students, but I know quite a few that were offered internships and co-ops their freshman year. I went last year just for the experience, even though I was not in the market for an internship or co-op. There are so many companies and opportunities that it could be overwhelming, now I have a better idea of what to expect this year.
Looking for jobs can be stressful, but at least there are a lot of resources available to aid me in my search. I'll let you know how everything went. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer Study Abroad

So you may be wondering what I did this summer. I spent a month in Europe as a participant of the Music, Art, and Language in Bregenz, Austria, Program. I lived with an Austrian host family and spent the week days taking classes taught by MSU faculty. I took an IAH class focused on opera and an Arts and Letters class that focused on Austrian and German art. The program was offered through the College of Arts and Letters, and both of the classes I took satisfied my IAH requirements through the use of Honors substitutions (as a member of the Honors College). We visited Vienna, Austria, and Munich, Germany, on the weekends as a part of the program. Some required class activities were going to art museums, three operas, and the concentration camp Dachau. We attended the world premiere of an opera and saw an opera set on a floating lake stage!

 Standing by the floating lake stage in Bregenz, Austria, where we saw Mozart's The Magic Flute performed

We even had a free weekend during the trip where we could travel wherever we wanted. I went with a group of four other students to Salzburg, Austria, and Venice, Italy. I really wanted to go to Salzburg because that was where most of "The Sound of Music" was filmed. I got to see the gazebo from the song "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and many city sites from the songs "Do-Re-Mi" and "I Have Confidence." It was just awesome standing on the stairs where Julie Andrews stood, which is pictured below:

One thing I found funny was that most Austrians have not seen "The Sound of Music," and when most Americans think of Austria, that is the first thing that comes to mind. None of my host family's friends had seen it, so they made sing the title song twice for them! After living in Austria with a family, I now see Austria as more than the set of one of my favorite musicals.

 At a lookout point at the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art with a view of the old part of the city

There are also some awesome engineering study abroad programs. Check them out here:
The best way to learn about studying abroad as a student is by going to the Study Abroad Fair in the Breslin Center at the end of September. I'm so glad I went because that was how I learned about the program in which I participated. If you want more information about studying abroad through MSU, make sure to check out their website: It is definitely possible to study abroad as an engineering major, and the experience is life-changing!

 Sitting at the Gloriette at Schloss Schoenbrunn with Schloss Schoenbrunn and the whole city of Vienna, Austria, in the background

Monday, September 9, 2013

Return to Campus

I'm back! I have returned to campus to start my second year at Michigan State University and continue studying engineering. I had such a great freshman year, and I did so many amazing things! Learning how to fence, joining a sorority, working in a research lab, and singing at Carnegie Hall, just to name a few. On this blog, I will elaborate on some things that I have done on campus and how my perspective has changed with the passing year. I just wanted to say that all opinions expressed in this blog are my own personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The End is Nearing!

Sorry I have not posted for a while. I have been so busy this semester. I guess I will fill you in with what I have been doing for the past month.

The first full week of March was Spring Break. I did not do anything exciting over that week, but I did the following weekend. Over St. Patrick's Day weekend, I went to New York City with my church choir, St. John Collegiate Ensemble. I sing at church every Sunday with Collegiate Ensemble and we put on a concert once a semester. We were invited to sing the Faure Requiem at Carnegie Hall conducted by MSU's own Dr. Rayl.

We had rehearsal for a few hours each day, but we had time to do some fun activities as well. I went to Times Square, Central Park, the New York Public Library, Chinatown, and Little Italy to name a few places. One night we went to see Disney's Newsies on Broadway, which had excellent singing and dancing. I would recommend the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Newsies to anyone. I also saw an overwelming amount of famous art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Here is a picture of me with Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night at MoMA:

Women's Glee Club also sang at a festival in Big Rapids two weekends ago. Seeing other college women's groups like ours perform was a great learning experience. Getting to know some of the glee club girls outside of class was also a lot of fun. We also had a Glee Club lock in in the Music Practice building on Friday so that we could spend more time together outside of class.
I am really glad that I am also involved with other groups in the East Lansing area that are not related to engineering. There are so many different student groups and organizations that are open to all majors. There are also so many churches and religious groups near campus if you want to be involved with that as well. Sparticipation, the huge extracurricular activity fair at the beginning of the year, has representatives from so many different student groups that are open to all students.
Since the end of the year is nearing, a lot of student groups held elections for their E-boards for next year. I was elected the Sophomore Representative of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) for next year. Serving on the E-board of a club is a great way to get involved and gain leadership experience. I know that leadership experience is very important to a lot of companies who hire co-ops, interns, and full-time engineers.

Three weeks from today, I will be taking my last final of the semester! I can't even believe it! This semester has been crazy busy for me, but the time has really gone by! Michigan State is feeling more and more like my home every day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Today I took my second exam in Differential Equations, and I got an A!!!! My first exam score was awful, so I knew that I needed to change my study habits in order to bring my grade back up where it belongs. One of the main reasons that my exam score increased so much was the Math Learning Center (MLC) here on campus.

Differential Equations meets four times a week: three times for lecture and once for recitation. In recitation, we are allowed to work on our homework sets while a TA answers questions. During the last ten minutes of the 50-minute period, we take a short quiz. I spend my recitation doing my homework with the guy who sits next to me because he generally has helpful tips and tricks for doing the problems. Every time I would ask him where he learned how to do a problem a certain way, he would say that he learned how at the Math Learning Center. Because the MLC helped him so much with his homework, I decided that I should go.

Last week I went with a friend to the MLC in Wells Hall, which is right across the street from the Engineering Building and next to the International Center. The Wells Hall location is the main MLC location, but each campus neighborhood has a smaller MLC location with limited hours. If you want more information about MLC locations and hours, go to the following website:

There were plenty of math TAs who could help me individually with my homework. Because the exam problems are almost exactly like the homework, it really helped having a TA teach me how to do a difficult problem at my own pace. Discussing the problems with the other students was also helpful. The tables were arranged by calculus level, so I was surrounded by people taking the same class as me. Best of all, the MLC is free so I was able to do better in math without having to hire an expensive tutor!

Last semester, I did not visit the MLC, but I did attend the review sessions held by the MLC. The evening before each exam, a TA did some review problems on the board. The sessions lasted 2 hours (from abuout 7-9pm) and took place in one of the lecture halls right by the Starbucks in Wells Hall.
I am glad that MSU has the resources available to help me become a better student and do better in my classes. I plan on continuing to take atdvantage of those resources by visiting the Math Learning Center regularly for the rest of the semester.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fajitas!!! ... I mean AIChE

Tuesday night I went to a meeting for the MSU chapter of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers). About twice a month, AIChE would gather and invite representatives from different companies to give presentations. Many of the representatives are MSU engineering alumni who talk in depth about what they do at their jobs, give specific information about their company, and answer any questions that people may have. There are similar groups for other engineering majors to network and learn about jobs in their fields. Most of the time, the companies also give us food!!! GM provided Noodles & Co at the SWE meeting on Wednesday, and Bemis provided the fajita bar from Moe's Southwest Grill that you see in the picture below:

At this meeting, two representatives from Bemis presented. Bemis makes a lot of materials used to package everyday items. Both of the representatives were engineers that worked on optimizing and producing a special type of film for meat packaging. They elaborated on the processes of producing the different types of film and how they adjusted the films to fit their customers' needs.
I like going to AIChE because I get to learn about different companies and what kinds of jobs chemical engineers do there. Going to these meetings helps me decide what companies I might want to intern with or work for. Even if I do not find the presentation suitable for me, the experience is still valuble because it helps be determine what kinds of jobs I do not want to do. After going to this meeting, I now know that I do not want to engineer films and materials for packaging food, and I was able to figure this out while eating a tasty fajita!