Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Senior Seminar Madness.

I can't even believe it's Thanksgiving break next week. Where did the time go? As I'm closing in on the end of the fall semester of my senior year, I'm reflecting a lot on what I want to do once I graduate (STOP, STOP IT RIGHT NOW). I plan on getting my resume worked on through career services here on campus next semester and looking into graphic design, advertising, or digital media jobs around the Vermont, New York City, and Boston areas. I'm excited to begin my future career, but as you can imagine I'm also feeling nervous that the time is coming so close and that I'll be leaving Saint Mike's the May. Oh man.

Let's drop that thought for a second. On a related note, I've been working on my proposal for my MJD senior seminar for my book I plan to publish next semester for my senior project with my partner Tara Keady. We are exploring the perceptions of gender and sexuality on a global scale. As you can imagine, it's been very work-intensive with such a broad topic as we try to narrow it down to what we want to cover within it. We've been going to LGBTQ events, interviewing members of the LGBTQ community as well as those who study it and put on events for the LGBTQ community. It's been such a rewarding experience so far, and I can't wait to see what next semester brings as we put it all together slowly but surely.

This is Johnny Chag, who works at the Vermont Pride Center in Burlington

This is Jesse Thomas, who has transitioned from a female to a male. His story is incredible.

This is a drag queen from the First Friday event we went to at Higher Ground for the LGBTQ community. They happen the first friday of every month!
I'm so thrilled that this research and the final product that comes with it will be a part of my life forever. Being a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I feel very attached to this topic, and it's been truly amazing to learn more about it and find myself connecting with it in ways I never thought imaginable. I think that's been the most rewarding part of college - finding the things that I'm most passionate about and learning about them as much as I can.

I hope you've all found your passion in life as well. If you haven't yet, don't worry - it comes when you least expect it.

That's it from me for now, I hope you all enjoy your break and eat your weight in turkey. Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let's Talk Business.

Alright, so it's been a while since I've posted, but senior year is a much different animal than the rest of my college experience thus far and I'm learning to adjust to not have time to do anything as I go along. Yet, here I am, finally posting, thank god! It's been a long and stressful past two weeks, but all the work I've been putting in is finally starting to pay off, as I can now say I'm officially done with the project for my first senior seminar!

This semester, I'm taking both my MJD senior seminar and my Business Administration senior seminar at the same time (I know what you're going to say - I'm crazy. I know, but I didn't have another choice with the way my schedule worked out), but I just finished preparing my mock business plan for my Business Administrations senior seminar and handed it in yesterday. and now I'm breathing a bit easier!

Here's a screenshot of the cover page - it ended up being over 70 pages long!
So when you're a Business Administration major at Saint Mike's, once you learn about the vast and in-depth worlds of finance, advertising, marketing, management, and a bunch of other business-related topics, you enter your final class to tie it all together - Business Strategy. This class offers an in-depth examination into various different business case scenarios of actual businesses, analyzes strategies to improve upon these businesses' strategies, and to top it all off, you get to make your very own mock business plan based on an idea that's totally your own! This mock business plan has to have everything under the sun, from sample advertisements to more financial statements than you ever knew existed. It's a TON of work, there's no hiding that, but the final product is well worth the stress!

For my groups' business plan, we created a business that will refurbish and sell donated skateboards, bicycles, scooters, and 100% recycled clothing while also donating a portion of our profits to Vermont outdoor movements, organizations, and charities to promote being environmentally friendly and echo our business' values. As hard as it all was to put together on time and as accurately as possible, it was such a rewarding experience! Oh, and did I mention that a few groups from each semester this class is offered get picked to participate in a business competition in the spring for a chance to win $5,000?

Needless to say, with that motivation on top of the motivation to get a good grade, I put my all into this and I'm so proud of how it turned out! My group makes our presentation to the class on it next week and I'm really nervous I'm going to mess something up, but I'm hoping my professor will like it and it has enough potential to get into the competition!

For those of you who are interested in the business program here at Saint Mike's or are in it already, just know that this kind of class is fairly unique to Saint Mike's. Not only is it very rigorous and in-depth, but it also offers you the chance to create a final project that not a lot of other business graduates from other schools can claim that they've done. I'm definitely going to tout this business plan on my resume for future employers, so if you're looking for a business program that's both challenging and sets you apart from the average college student, I would definitely recommend looking into the one here at Saint Mike's!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Adventures!

Hey y'all, happy Saturday!

Having Friday off this week has given me much more time to buckle down and get some work done, but it's also allowed more time to relax and have fun with friends! I'm often so busy this semester (being it's senior year and I'm in 2 senior seminars right now...yikes) that I hardly have as much time to hang out with friends or go out as I used to, but I've still managed to break from the stress every once in a while and have some fun. 

Fall is debatably my favorite season (it's a battle between fall and summer, I just can't decide), but this fall has been especially strange up here in Vermont because it's continued to stay pretty warm throughout October. The other night I was walking around campus in just a tank and shorts and it must've been close to 70 degrees! It was insane, but hey, I'm not complaining.

On a somewhat different yet also related note, here are some pictures of fun fall times I've had so far this semester:

I love drives home in the fall. Look at how beautiful my driveway becomes!

Minecraft paid a little visit to SMC the other day!

Fellow blogger Kathryn Miyahira becomes a soldier!
In short, what's been the most stressful time of my life has had really nice moments of hilarity and relaxation sprinkled in-between to keep me sane. As long as I have great people and even better (preferably warm) weather to live off of, I'll always be happy. That's the great thing about Saint Michael's - sure, you're stressed out sometimes, that's just college, but you're also surrounded by great people that want to see you happy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Military Life - Senior Year Edition.

So, this past weekend was drill for both my roommate Jesse and I. For those of you who may not know what drill is, it's an essential part of being in the National Guard or Reserve in the military where you go to your assigned based one weekend per month and do the job you were hired to do. For me, that is Client Systems, which is a fancy way of saying IT Technician basically. Jesse is a Navy Hospital Corpsman, so he works down in medical in his shop helping patients who need shots, blood work, and the like.

This is the first semester both of us have gone to drill at the same time while being officially done with all training required to wear the uniform and do the job. Jesse was gone to boot camp and his training school all last semester and some of the summer, while I did my training the year before around the same time frame. We've noticed that even though he's Navy and I'm Air Force, our schedules for drills have matched up oddly enough!

Jesse and I being goofballs after drill this past Sunday - 'Merica!
One of the reasons Saint Michael's College is such a great school is because of all of the support they offer for military members. Katherine Orthman, the woman in charge of coordinating students with the Veterans' Affairs Office for the school, has done everything from submitting paperwork for my GI Bill to selecting my classes for me when I was away training, and I couldn't be more thankful. Aside from that, the Air National Guard and Army National Guard both offer the Buxton Scholarship each semester, which can pay for the cost of up to 16 credits! I've been fortunate enough to receive it for the past two semesters, and I'll find out soon if I got it for next semester as well.

If you have any questions about how Saint Mike's works with the military, feel free to ask me! Im also going to be attending a military ball next month, so stay tuned for a post about that!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wait...Senior Year?

Woah, that happened quickly.

Over the past couple days, I've been thinking about how weird it is to finally be a senior in college. In a way, it's the moment I've been waiting for since starting my career here at Saint Michael's, but it's also the strangest, most anxiety-causing part of my life currently. What happens after this? What do I do once I graduate? Do I stay in Vermont? Do I leave? What about all my friends? What about getting a job?

Obviously I'm a chronic over-thinker, and being a senior is not helping at all. Yet, even with the anxiety of senior year and graduating, I've found a balance of good things.

Of course, being 21 does have its perks, but I don't really care all that much about alcohol. Being able to go out with friends to bars and to have a drink on the weekends to relax is nice, but there's something else about being a senior that's even better - appreciation.

Since transitioning into senior year and realizing the "real world" is coming so soon, I've found myself appreciating so many things around me much more that I used to take for granted all the time. For example, I've picked up riding my roommate's bicycle nearly every day since school started and appreciating the beautiful Saint Michael's campus and the breathtaking foliage that comes with a Vermont autumn season. I've been making plans with friends more often. I've been more attentive than ever in class. I've been trying to soak up every little bit of college life that I can because I know it's my last year, and I couldn't be more grateful for it.

I get to walk this path to my townhouse every day - just the fact that I live in a townhouse is pretty awesome.

Kathryn, Paul, Jesse and I walking to Alliot for dinner. I'm definitely soaking up my time with these goons.

A gorgeous view of one of the academic buildings covered in autumn leaves.
Every day feels so surreal, and they all seem to go just as quickly as they come. Hard to believe I'm already on my fifth week of my senior year when it feels like I was just a freshman yesterday. While I may be sad to be leaving Saint Michael's soon, I'm also excited to take all the things I've learned, experiences I've had, memories with the people I've met, and the growth I've experienced within myself and use it somewhere out in the big world. Sometimes I still think of myself as a kid, but I suppose every 21-year-old college senior feels that way from time to time. The truth is that I'm more grown up than I think, and a world of change is coming very quickly.

In short, please enjoy your college years. Reach out to people. Get off campus sometimes. Put yourself out there. Make new friends. Be risky. Go on trips. Study abroad somewhere. Explore your options and find what you love. Don't let the stress weigh you down and be happy.

All I know is that college is a short four years, and you don't want to think back after graduation and wish you'd done it all differently.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Reflection Time.

Happy Friday everyone! I bet you all have some big plans for the weekend. I can't wait to hang out with friends and enjoy a few days off myself.

In the mean time, I made time to visit my parents this past Tuesday and it was really great. Since I only live about 30 minutes from campus in northern Vermont, I suppose I could go home more often, but I just love being on campus so much and I've been so busy this year already that I don't have time to go often.

When I got there, my mom had dinner ready and all my pets were so happy to see me! It was such a good feeling, and it also gave me some time to just get away from school and homework and think about other things.

My boy Duncan was happy to see me. Can't believe he's 10 this year!

Baby Suri lounging on the table. She makes anything her bed.
I'm always thankful to be home, especially when I get opportunities to talk to my mom about life post-college (I know, it's a scary thought). I told her I was thinking about vamping up my resume and looking for jobs in graphic design or advertising in places like New York City, Boston, or California. I picture myself being somewhere where there's a lot of people, and I know that I would enjoy doing those jobs for just about any company.

Fortunately, Saint Mike's has a Career Development Office where I can go to make my resume just right! As weird as it is to be graduating this year, I'm also excited to get out in the world and see what opportunities come up for me. I'll probably start applying for jobs next semester!

All in all, senior year has definitely been interesting so far, and I'm trying to enjoy every last moment of college I have left, but it's always wise to look ahead and prepare for the future too. I hope you all have been thinking about the future from time to time when you have breaks from your busy lives as well. It comes faster than you think!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Enjoying the View.

Happy Tuesday!

So I realized today that I've been taking a lot of pictures of Saint Michael's campus over the last couple of weeks since I've been back, and that inspired me to write a post about it and share them with you all. The campus is a truly gorgeous place, and I feel like I often take it for granted and don't really take the time to stop and appreciate it enough. Saint Michael's being located in Vermont definitely has its perks, especially when it comes to scenery. Since I've lived in Vermont my whole life, I just can't get enough of those trees!

Anyway, here's a few shots I've taken over the two weeks I've been back. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

I took this the first day I was back on campus - gotta love Bergeron!

A few nights ago, we had a full moon and I couldn't resist snapping a picture. I took this using my Nikon D3200 with a really large f-stop and a really fast shutter speed in order to capture the detail without it being drown out in light.

This is one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken. I took this just last night when I went for a walk with my friend Liz. It shows the streetlight shining through the new stone arch in the Word Garden. It's massive and quite a beaut!

I took this picture today while walking back from the gym today across the 3's Field. I love the big puffy clouds we get here in Vermont!
Have you seen any amazing sights around campus and snapped pictures of them? If so, please comment on this and let me know so I can see too! Photography is one of my passions and I'm always trying to get better at it, and Saint Michael's campus is the perfect palette to expand and build upon my abilities as a photographer and an artist.

Well, it's off to the amazing world of finance again for me - hope you enjoyed these shots as much as I did! Until next time, stay fresh people of SMC, and remember to take a break from the hectic-ness of life now and then and enjoy the beautiful world around you!