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.