Archive for November 2006
I wanted to take this opportunity to briefly wrap up the month of November before I fly to Seattle for Thanksgiving. I have had a lot to do in the past month, but also made some great progress academically as well as in my various projects.
I got an email last week from MS announcing that final decision will be made in regard to benefits and compensation for next year’s interns. I was told to expect a formal offer mid-week. I also lined up an informational interview with Next IT, a local start-up company that develops artificial intelligence technologies for self-service applications. A great demo of their work is on Gonzaga University’s webpage (http://askspike.gonzaga.edu/). The AI application is an interactive “chat” that allows people to ask natural language questions and gives accurate answers.
I also finalized my majors and minors this past week and am happy to announce that I will now officially triple major in International Business, Finance, and Marketing. Besides that I will also graduate with a minor in International Studies: Asian Studies. I had previously considered making the move to a Finance concentration, but was finally able to do so last week. Gonzaga University offers a Portfolio Management class that stretches over three semesters. The junior standing students, for this limited class, are handpicked by the Dean of the Business School. Last week I learned that I was accepted to the class, which will enable me to earn additional finance credits over the next three. These additional credits will allow me to add a finance concentration, while still graduating in May 2008. I think that a background and study of finance is incredibly important and I am excited to be given the opportunity.
After this busy and exciting month I am looking forward to a relaxing long weekend in Seattle. I hope that all of you have a wonderful and relaxing holiday with your family and friends.
Tonight I helped organize an event here at Gonzaga University to promote the GAMP program. Kevin Pratt, the Director of GAMP, has built this amazing service offered to students at GU over the past years. GAMP stands for Gonzaga Alumni Mentoring Program. Over 2200 former graduates of the University are stored in a database available to students in the program. In a nutshell “students are matched with mentors who share similar career fields, geographic locations, or other interests. The primary goal of the program is to establish a relationship between the mentee and mentor that facilitates better career decision making and the development of a network that can result in increased job opportunities.” (Kevin Pratt, GAMP Director)
During my freshman and sophomore years at Gonzaga University I have attended many of the events offered by GAMP, which include monthly brown-bag luncheons with local business leaders, networking socials, and other speaker events. I currently have three GAMP mentors myself and find them a great resource for learning more about career development, networking, and interviewing skills. Actually one of my mentors at MS was indispensable in speaking on my behalf with recruiters and improving my interview skills before my MS interview.
Over the course of this school year I have made an effort to help Kevin promote the program around campus. I believe that my participation in GAMP and especially my speaking at GAMP informational events has a value to students because it is coming from one of their peers. My career is extremely important to me and I enjoy speaking to my peers about the importance of internship, networking, and career development. Tonight’s presentation was my fifth speaking engagement and over 75 students attended. Besides the perceived value of spreading the word about GAMP to other students these events have further improved my public speaking and presentation skills. (I actually have been using Office 2007 Beta 2 and students are always excited to see the new look asking questions about its final release.)
In addition to helping me with my presentation techniques my commitments to speak with fellow students have enabled me to crystallize my own planes for the future more clearly. I have been meeting with students following my presentations and they have been quizzing me on what I have done in the past 2 ½ years to get to where I am now. (Kevin jokes about me already being a mentor today.) I have actually started telling students about my three tiered approach to career development and success:
1) Passion 2) Drive and 3) Initiative.
It has been a great year so far and I am excited to be here. Besides helping out with the GAMP program, I have committed myself to an additional major concentration in Finance. I will now, once again, have to take overload credits to finish on time, but I believe that an understanding of Finance will be an invaluable skill. This additional major adds to my previously declared majors in International Business and Marketing, as well as my minor in International Studies: Asian Studies.
Starting a personal blog is quite something. I didn’t actually think I would do it, but recently decided it is about time. Let me briefly describe why I am actually starting to write my own blog. Over the course of the past two years at Gonzaga University I have met some amazing and great people. Especially during my two internships at Microsoft and Lufthansa my personal network of friends and colleagues expanded dramatically.
I recently discovered that it is extremely difficult to remain in candid contact with the many people I have met, while at the same time taking overload classes at Gonzaga. I contemplated the idea of creating a newsletter and emailing it to everybody once a month, but that didn’t appear to be all that great of an idea. So, why not a blog?! It fulfills the same criteria and it is easily published on the web.
I hope to regularly (which most likely means bi-monthly) post about what I have been up to at Gonzaga University, some thoughts about my past experiences at Microsoft and Lufthansa, and maybe an interesting article or two that I stumbled across recently.
Really, what I hope to achieve is to stay in contact with all the great people I have met and I sincerely hope that you will give my RSS feed a try: https://markusw.wordpress.com/feed/