Thursday, March 31, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time....  as a kid when you heard that phrase you KNEW that you were about to hear a great and exciting story. What makes a great and exciting story today? I'm not exactly sure, but I remember reading books ( or even watching movies ) and afterward I had take to a loooong pause just to wrap my head around how good it was.  I don't consider myself to be a great storyteller because I'm too excited to tell the ending lol. I'll rush through the main parts just to get to the ending.

Anyway, the reason why I'm thinking about the art of great story telling is because its almost essays season. If you guys didn't know, in May most schools release the essay topics on their application for the upcoming year. Meaning by May I need to have some ideas on how i'm going to tell my Academy Award winning story ( see the cornyness, I can't help it lol). 
Applications essays are like trying to tell an excellent story in 500 words or less. With B-schools being so competitive, I need to master how to touch someone through a story. Telling a good story is not only useful for writing essays but also useful when trying to motivate people. I'm sure at some point in my career I will need to motivate someone, so the earlier I can master this skill the better.

Thanks to the queen of blogs, Mads Mom, I stay looking at blogs :) .  While looking at a blog, I stumbled upon this book Tell to Win. I'm still reading the book( I'm only 3 chapters in) but it really good so far.  It talks about the importance of a stories and what a good story is composed of. So from time to time you can expect an update from me about interesting things I gathered from the book. Below are somethings from the first few chapters that seemed helpful.

How to build a story:
  • Get your listeners attention with an unexpected challenge or questions
  • Give your listeners an emotional experience by narrating the struggle to overcome that challenge or to find the answer to the opening question
  • Galvanize your listeners response with an eye opening resolution that calls them to action

     "A story w/o structure leaves your purposed unfilled" . Make sure you tell a purposeful story!

Whats your story and can you deliver it in a notable way? My story to come .... one day

- Ms. HR

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Current Student Interview: Fuqua School of Business @ Duke University

This weekend I spent a few moments talking to a current first year student at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. The student is a first year concentrating in Health Care Management and Marketing.  Previous to business school, he was a Pharmacist.

First, we started off playing phone tag all last week.  So Sunday afternoon, groggy from my afternoon coma nap, I decided to text him first.

I first texted “Hi XXXXX” and accidently pressed send before I could write the whole text.  So I scrambled to write out a full paragraph text that kinda made sense in order to redeem myself.  He immediately called me back, before I could set up my laptop, notebook and pen for our conversation.  Sooo I may have missed a few notes here and there….but the main points are below:
  • Compared to other business schools he was interested in (other top schools), the students were more authentic and have dynamic personalities
  • The courses are extremely fast paced due to the way Duke schedules their classes.  Duke is split into 6-week courses with 2 -week breaks in between.  Although it is really demanding, it does allow for students to take more courses.
  • He told this story about how his classmates all helped each other for an interview for a job that they were all competing for; it was really inspiring
  • At the same interview, he competed against other MBA students from top (Wharton, HBS, Columbia) schools

He was on the way to a birthday celebration…so I missed some key questions like “What is life like in Durham?”,  “How is student life?” etc etc.  But we both said that we would stay in touch and that he can connect me to people who are interested in social enterprise.

In a nutshell, Fuqua sounds like it’s great for the person who is looking for a fast paced curriculum and collaborative environment. Also as a sidebar, I’ll probably be visiting Duke in a few weeks with Ms. HR, So we will both be giving our own spin on the program.  The verdict is still out for if it is a good fit for me…more to come on that.

Has anyone else visited/researched Fuqua?  Have any thoughts?

Want to know more about Duke?
Check out:
-Motown

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When I grow up I want to be...?


…an employee of an innovated, technologically savvy, major name band, kick a** company. Is that too much to ask? A part of the whole MBA/b-school process is to research where you want to work once you get your degree. I have been doing just that. I’ve been looking at companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Nike, Cisco, Adobe…places I would not mind working at all, trying to figure out how I can market myself to get into one of these or something similar, and an MBA is pretty much my next step. I am one of those students who wants to go to b-school because they are switching careers,  and I’m doing a complete 180. I studied sociology in undergrad, because I thought I was going to go to law school, obviously that went out the window. Currently I’m in art school, trying to get my graphic design on, I probably should have studied that in undergrad, but hey I didn’t know back then. Now that I’m doing the graphic design thing I need my MBA to help push me to the next level for these companies, I am just not sure what my concentration should be!! Should I do marketing, e-commerce, general administration?!? So many options. By researching these companies and plenty more, I hope to figure out which concentration would be the best fit for what I’m looking to do. For example, Apple has certain jobs for those with an MBA working with the graphic design department. :ding ding ding: Sounds right up my alley. Now if I could just figure out how to get that job I will be on my way. Any suggestions?!?! Leave it in the comments!
-mads mom

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Whatever Happened to 2+2?


I wanted my first post to be about why I want to do HR but after spending 2 hours and 15 minutes reviewing only the quant part of my practice GMAT exam I would like to talk about this test. For all those folks out there who have done well on one of these standardized tests what was your secret?!?! After reading so many blogs about how people broke the 700 barrier on the GMAT by just in depth review of practice exams, I decided I was going to spend more time reviewing problems. So today I went thru each and every problem on the quant part of my practice exam. Each question got put into one of the following 5 categories -“ yay, calc error, faster solving method, review daily, wrong but I understand my mistake”. Here is the meaning of each:

Yay: I got the problem right, my explanation is similar/faster than the one given and it took me less than 2 min to solve
Calc error: You guessed it! I made a dumb calculation
Faster solving method: I took too long on this problem and I need to find a faster or better way to solve it.
Review daily: FAILED! Nowhere near the answer. I need to review it daily until the concept and/or process becomes second nature.
Wrong but I understand my mistake: I got it wrong but I see where I went wrong.

My plan is to review all problems that do not fall under “yay” and keep on reviewing them until they become a "yay". Lets hope this method works! What do yall think? Well break time is over :/ I still have my verbal section to review before I call it a night.


-Ms.HR

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Introductions


Ms. HR - University of Michigan graduate ,Michigander and soon be to executive of HR. Haha you will soon learn that I will be the corny one out of the bunch. I have no problem owning up to that! Anyways it all started at the great University of Michigan where I've made some of the best friendships while studying electrical engineering. After umich.edu I then went to work in corporate America, where I'm currently working for one of the BEST companies. Its been fun being an engineer these last 3 years but I know its time to move on and find my dream job (in HR). I'm looking forward to sharing my journey! Hope you enjoy the ride.


Motown - You can probably guess where I'm from..Motown aka Detroit, MI! Anyways, So I met these 2 at the great school that is University of Michigan, where I also studied engineering.  After that I joined a large company in  a rotational program and afterwards landed a job as a safety and environmental specialist (yes, thats a far cry from being an engineer..) within the same company.  It's been a great in the real world but I'm ready to go back to school to eventually work for a non-profit or for the government to help out Detroit which is my true passion.  I still don't know how I'm going to get there....but I'll get there...soon.

mads mom - First off I'm a mom, (hence the name) to an energetic little girl and my little dog too. I too went to U of M, where I started in engineering but I moved around a lot and end up in Sociology. After graduation I started working for the family business, but now it's time for me to figure out what I want to do. I have a love for sports, photography, and I am a straight up geek! Currently I am in art school and photography school, working, being a mom, you name it...pretty much multi-tasking my way thru life. Its on to the next one as I attempt to combine art, technology, and business in my own career....some how. Art...check...tech...check...business...here I come.

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