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Seth Godin

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/10/roads-not-taken.html

I am a big fan of reading as much material about a field as I can. Seth Godin has one of the few blogs where I don’t just skim headlines but read every word and come back to again and again. Well worth my time – and yours, even if you’re aren’t in marketing.

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  1. Finding happiness in the little things is just as important as the big happy moments. ~ Social Cognition lecture
  2. Music can say things for you that you didn’t realize need to be said.
  3. Crying doesn’t really help anything and just leaves my eyes looking puffy.
  4. Everyone should have one person that reminds them that they are beautiful when necessary and sometimes when its not. I’m lucky because I have two. Thanks Nas and Raju.
  5. As hard as you try, friends are not family. It’s important to forget that most of the time. It’s also important to remember it every now and then.
  6. Erikson’s psychosocial conflict of identity comes Before the conflict of intimacy. Try to take life in the same order.
  7. Best friends, even a group of them with a myriad of personalities and ways of showing affection, are not an acceptable substitute for a boyfriend. And vice versa.
  8. Doing things for your happiness is just as important as doing them for others’ happiness.
  9. Adulthood is nothing of what you expect and everything of what you didn’t. But a lot of the time it feels just like adolescence.
  10. Daydreaming can be the thing that keeps you from the darkest corners of your mind. It can also be what is sending you there. Walk that thin line on the right side.
  11. “Love yourself. It’s easier for others to love you that way.” ~ Nasreen
  12. Some people come into your life for a season, some for a lifetime. Welcome them warmly when they arrive; let them go with fond memories when they want to leave. And whatever you do, don’t drown the plant.
  13. Knowing how to make friends is one of the most important skills you’ll ever learn. Knowing how to make new friends when you’ve already got some is another.
  14. Being emo can be fun for a little while, but it’s easy to make it a habit. Being happy and optimistic can be draining at first, but it’s easy to make into a habit too.
  15. Don’t fall in love with your best friend. If they don’t reciprocate the feelings, it’ll suck really badly and you won’t have someone appropriately close enough to you to bitch to about them so you’ll have to complain to all the wrong people or worse, keep it bottled up inside. Needless to say, it’s an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, especially your best friend.
  16. Don’t drink multiple shots in a row when you are near people that you are physically attracted to. Don’t drink near drunk people that are physically attracted to you either. Actually, don’t drink period. Everything but Rick’s is more fun while sober anyway.
  17. Never lie to yourself. Lie to others if you have to, but lying to yourself seriously impedes your ability to function rationally and independently.
  18. You usually find what you’re looking for only after you stop looking for it. This applies to everything from nail clippers to love.
  19. “Negative emotions serve no purpose excepting harming yourself or others.”~ Qur’an
  20. Don’t get upset because people don’t feel the same way about something or someone that you do. If they were exactly like you all the time, you’d hate it.
  21. Parents are people too. Forgetting that is tantamount to putting your friends on pedestals they have no desire to stand upon. Neither is good for anyone involved.
  22. People change. Circumstances change. Change is the only constant. What flows flawlessly today will come to a stuttering stop tomorrow. The cogs that screech and clatter tomorrow will once again mesh perfectly next week.
  23. You have to share your friends. With their work, families, and worst of all, other people.
  24. I know, right? I still haven’t gotten over that last one…
  25. People are self-centered, even the clingy ones. Recognizing this in yourself and others is necessary for developing good communication (and persuasion) skills.
  26. Psychology can explain pretty much everything, but life is a much better teacher than any professor.
  27. Things are rarely as scary or as easy as you imagined them.
  28. Find things that you enjoy doing by yourself. Find things that you enjoy doing with others. Make sure that when you start doing too much of one, you take the time to do the other.
  29. I am smarter than I usually think I am. Self-confidence isn’t the crime my father always told me it was.
  30. You have the answer to other people’s questions. They have the answer to yours. But there is a difference between knowing and feeling or doing.
  31. Everyone else seems to feel that I’ll end up doing great things. I should stop taking that sentiment as expectation and take it as support instead.
  32. Sometimes when your friends make fun of you, it’s because they love your idiosyncrasies. Sometimes it’s because they are bad friends. Learn to tell the difference.
  33. That one book, The Naked Roommate, is very appropriately titled.
  34. Take lots of pictures, because they are the most honest windows into your past after years have gone by and all that’s left are inside jokes you can’t remember the origin to.
  35. You are like a tree. Some friends are sticks that support you as you grow tall, others are vines that choke, and still others are off shoots that lead in directions you don’t necessarily want to grow in. Be careful, but make sure you prune every so often.
  36. Watching a scary movie is a great reason to cuddle up with someone.
  37. Give hugs freely and without prejudice. If done properly, they always make you feel better.
  38. “Thou shalt not be emo” is a great commandment. “Thou shalt not fabricate in the presence of parentals” is just a stupid idea.
  39. Every girl should own a salwar kameez and a slinky black dress, so she knows she can be beautiful whether she’s covered up or not.
  40. Don’t let one person become the center of your life. Especially not if that person is you.
  41. When all’s said and done, actions speak louder than words, but make sure you’ve kept your word all along anyway.
  42. Remind yourself often that you are not a damsel in distress, and there are no knights in shining armor, and you can defeat you own goddamn dragons.
  43. Every now and then you might be fortunate enough to come across a person who you can turn to and go “Blah. This is my life.” Savor that bond, cherish that chemistry. It doesn’t happen quite as often enough as you’d like.
  44. Find a field you love to learn about. Then find the job that lets you work in it but still earn good money. That way you don’t have to give up happiness in the spiritual or material world.
  45. Serendipity (and victory) favors the prepared.
  46. Meditation is the greatest medicine for the mind.
  47. Paid psych studies can fund all sorts of shenanigans.
  48. Big girls don’t cry, but women know that tears are just wordless ways of expressing yourself.
  49. Every week, try to have at least one meal with a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. The difference between their perception of you and your new reality is the best indicator of how much you’ve really grown.

And finally…

50. You learn more in the first semester of college than you have in the previous 18 years of your life. You learn more in the last semester of college than you did in the first one.

Doesn’t that just make you excited for the real world?

Hire Education

Hire Education is a blog for, about and by people getting ready for the transition from college to the working world. We track a group of college seniors on their hunt for meaningful work, or at least something to pay the bills. We seek advice from recruiting and career-services professionals. And we go around the Web and around the world to bring you stories about getting a foot in the door. Edited by Krishnan Anantharaman. Send comments to HireEducation@wsj.com.

 

My first post as a student blogger for the Wall Street Journal went up last week! You can see it (and all of my future posts) at http://blogs.wsj.com/hire-education/author/ssimhan/

Chaos comes knocking

Someone really ought to warn seniors before their final year of school actually starts. “Beware!” the sign should read, “You are about to enter a whirlwind of resumes and info sessions and ironing an office shirt ten minutes before your interview.”

But what has baffled me more than anything else is that serendipity plays just as big of a role as preparedness in this job hunt. The chance email request, the presentation I decided to go to at the last minute, the speaker for whom i had two or three good questions. These are the first dominoes in the chain reaction of how I’ve been getting my most promising interviews or opportunities. I would go on, but I plan to use this topic as a future post in my new position as a student blogger for the Wall Street Journal’s Hire Education blog – which happens to be the effect of one of these random events.

But most of all, this school year has been a cram session of life lessons for me. I’ve been learning more about myself and what I really enjoy as I go through interview after interview and meeting after meeting. I’ve gotten the chance to sort out my priorities and accept my own strengths and weaknesses. I have a much better idea of what makes me tick, what makes me pissed, and and what makes me happy.  Sometimes, I feel senior year has been the bursting out of a brand new butterfly after two years of cocooned, hidden growth. There is the overwhelming feeling of self-knowledge that tints everything I do, a better understanding of my motivations and reactions in a way I didn’t realize I was ever missing. I suppose that this what being a real adult feels like, but as my best friend loves to remind me, I felt the same way in my senior year of high school and the next stage of life – leaving academia for “the real world” – is probably going to be just as much of a changing cocoon as college was compared to high school.

So perhaps it’s a good thing I’ve found myself quite motivated to learn then.

What a week to be sick

The UM Career Fair was this week, and as any upperclassman knows, this basically means chaos ensued. Between researching potential employers, continuing to apply for jobs, attending info sessions, and scheduling next-day interviews, it can be hard to get homework done much less sleep. Unfortunately, my body chose this week to fall sick. But I trudged on regardless, doing my research on my favorite Fair participants and attending for about an hour and half.

The one company that made the greatest impact on me had to be Caterpillar. I fell in love with their Technical Marketing Program, an 11-week crash course, when I first heard about it a few weeks ago from Errol. I couldn’t make it to their Info Session on Tuesday night (mostly because I was in the middle of a 14-hour hibernation) but the representative I talked to, Kiara Williams, was actually a great help in answering questions and helping me understand the nuances of the program.

I don’t really have much else to update, but I do want to say that I was very impressed with the overall efficiency of the program. The only suggestion I would give is that recruiters should talk to two people at a time, especially in the longer lines (like the 1-hour line I waited in for DraftFCB). It would really help speed up the process for those of us who want to visit other companies as well.

Job Hunting Season

“I feel so informed after going to all these info sessions.” I tweeted this last night as a commentary on my life recently. I’m probably spending about as much time on the Career Center job boards and reading up on potential employers as I am doing homework or going to class! It’s a little strange because I feel as though I’m living a very segmented life. I’ve got homework in the morning, class in the afternoon, info sessions and reading up on career material in the evenings, meetings and finally a bit more homework before collapsing into bed. The sad but interesting part? I’m loving it! I’m finally getting to see all these different companies that I can actually see myself working for (as opposed to the med school campuses that were only a pipe dream). I started off 3 weeks ago saying “oh I want to go into marketing or maybe advertising” to having a much more focused idea on not only the kinds of projects I want to work on, but the industries that appeal to me (consumer-end products, sustainability obviously, and surprisingly enough, manufacturing).  I have actually had to revamp my sleep schedule to accomodate the change of pace; I now sleep from 1-8.30am every night or I simply don’t have the energy to get through the day!

Unfortunately I did the one thing I told myself I wouldn’t do: I picked up more activities. I’m now a dancer for the IASA Cultural Show (the largest student-run production in North America) as well as a barista at Bert’s Cafe (the university run coffee shop in the undergrad library). I have some crazy shifts, but once again, Google Calendar comes to the rescue.

I’ve also developed a potentially bad habit of working on material during lectures (like today when I worked on my developmental psych essay that’s due tomorrow). I try to only do work that pertains to that particular lecture, and it’s worked out surprisingly well because I end up engaging much more with what the professor is saying because I’m interactively adding it into my work. I’m not sure how it’ll work out around exam time, but as for now, I’ve gotten some pretty great insights and essay analysis out of it. If nothing else, I’m learning that even after a decade of school, I can still learn more about seemingly mastered concepts like essay writing. Learning truly does happen every day, doesn’t it?

GCal is blinking at me to go eat lunch (and yes, I have to schedule my meals or I forget them) so that’s all for now!

And so senior year begins…

Phew! I feel that I should probably be using this time to read some articles for class or just plain sleeping, but I’ve been dying to update the blog for a while. Some exciting news: I found a legit Advertising class at the Ross Business School taught by Professor Katherine Burson. Its technically called Intergrated Marketing Communications, but Katherine, as she’s asked us to call her, said her emphasis will be spread throughout the different arenas and highlight advertising. The first one and half hour lecture went by so quickly that I almost pouted when class ended. We have our first case study next week, which is exciting, and even more awesome is that an old student who took this class and graduated from Ross is coming back from his position in Google AdWords to talk to us later this month! We have multiple great speakers set up and I’m hoping to talk to some of them directly about career things. Out of my other four classes (all psych related), I feel I’m going to love “Spiritual Development” and “Social Cognition” the most. “Developmental Psych” will be meh since I essentially just finished taking it with Ann, and I’m very very apprehensive about “Behavior and the Environment.” I took the latter because I ‘m interested to see how I can potentially use it in my eventual plan of working in sustainability advertising but the mountains of articles we need to read for that class is daunting. Nevertheless, I’ll procrastinate a bit more now anyways…

The clubs and activities are picking up with astonishing speed. We had a UMURJ booth at the student org fair on campus (Festifall) today.  It was great to see so many kids interested in publishing research, and we got a lot of intelligent questions from juniors and seniors thinking about grad school as well as freshmen who hadn’t even started working in their first lab yet. I think one of those things that binds UM students together, other than our football team, is being part of the $1 billion that annually finds its way into UM labs and research opportunities. It’s quite astonishing really. I never really understood what people meant by “a research university” until I came here.

I’ve picked up a job at Bert’s Cafe, this sandwich/soup/soft drinks place in the undergrad library. It’s just two shifts, but it adequately covers my expenses and any money saved is that much closer to hefty investments in stocks, bonds and my future Roth IRA. My mom’s started showing me a bit more about investing the money I earn from tutoring and psych studies and I’m trying to figure out the best way to save up for my MBA so I don’t necessarily have to move back to Troy and live under my parents’ roof. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve come to realize just how much like my parents I am in college, but a 20-year-old college grad just doesn’t want to mentally transition back to high school again. I think my “go big or go home” mentality is really starting to sink in as mild panic sets in sometimes.

Two more awesome things happened today. My internship with Adelopod, which technically ended yesterday, has been extended indefinitely! Mike is very happy with the progress I’ve made on my various projects; and although I’ll obviously need to slow down to one project at a time with all the stuff going on this semester, I am glad I still get to work with him and all the cool stuff the company does. The other awesome thing is that I wrote to an editor at the Wall Street Journal, Krishnan Anantharaman, who is in charge of a blog written by multiple college seniors (Hire Education). He read parts of this blog and told me I was “a good writer with a good story.” I may or may not have jumped around my room in glee for a good 5 minutes when I read that. When I called my dad, he just chuckled and said, “I knew your writing thing would be put to good use one day.” And the frustrating part is that he actually has said that to me before. Dang it, why must parents always be right?

In other news, my sports marketing internship has also started off on good terms with a spectacular crushing of the UConn football team. I learned a few lessons: don’t be stuck with two boxes of commerative pins to hand out OR leave before the final seconds of any game, no matter what the score. Hopefully, my good luck will continue into a field pass for the MSU game I’m working next month.

Finally, on the legit career front, I’m going to be researching the companies coming to the fall career fair later this month and writing cover letters on Friday and Saturday. It’s something Errol told me to do when I visited him last week, and I’ve come to find that even if I have no idea what I’m doing, he usually has a brilliant suggestion or two. When I eventually get a job, he’s definitely going to be one of the first people to find out after all the help he’s provided this past year. Maybe my next post should be about how useful the career center is. And I have to write about a very thought-provoking informational interview I had with a family friend as well.

Laundry, required reading and sleep all beckon, so that’s all for now. Toodles!

Summer 2010 – Aug Update

So I’ve gone through half of my summer and I can honestly say that the only other time I’ve been this busy was last semester when I was on e-board for 4 clubs and taking 22 credits of class (note: UM recommends 15 and max full tuition at 18). But its been a great learning experience!

I’ve learned how much I thrive on multi-tasking if nothing else. If I get bored of one task, there’s always another. And I enjoy scouring the internet and some of my favorite tech blogs (Mashable, TechCrunch and Lifehacker) to find new and more efficient ways of doing what I need to get done. I like the feeling of streamlining a process, one recent example being how I discovered that the web-based service “ManageFlitter” allows me to manage the followers for all of the Twitter I’m responsible for: not one, not two, but four!The eco-charities project is going swimmingly as well now that I’ve discovered the best ways to find the student orgs I’m looking for (Hint: its astonishing how many schools have an office of sustainability)

Last week (I turned 20 on Thursday) I was off my game a little bit with all the social hullabaloo going on, but I’m learning pretty quickly how to better manage the work-life balance without the traditional deadlines of exams and papers. Ah, how quickly the benefits/wonders of a virtual internship can turn on you! Thankfully, I’m much more in control of my time again (aka no more surprise birthday parties/lunches/dinners/coffee dates) and I’ve been able to strategize how I should manage my workflow for the remainder of my internship.

Once I have the most efficient system for the Twitter account managing set up, I look forward to creating interactive content for the Adelopod outlets instead of just reaching out to followers. My boss Mike says that its called inbound marketing (having customers come to you for something they like/desire) instead of you reaching out and always having to inform them. By finding sustainability-minded individuals I’m creating that initial base by reaching out, but hopefully I’ll be able to come up with some cool stuff to contribute.

I’m grown quite fond of the eco-charities project even though I didn’t get to put as much time into it as I wanted last week, but I’ll be focusing on it again soon enough.  I’m hoping to be part of the next step where we more actively engage the student orgs by coming to them with ideas and requests directly from the charities. I’ve noticed I like the feeling of taking something from scratch to finish (to the point where I’ve probably annoyed Mike by re-doing the his spreadsheets so they’re more aesthetic but still functional) but this project really has become my baby and I’d like to see it take its first steps.

My class has been going quite well too. I seem to be the only one participating sometimes although this might have a strong correlation to the fact I am FB friends with my professor. I do think the department should rename the class though: sometimes I feel that developmental psychology should really be called “The Science of Parenting” instead. I’ve been trying to get my mom to read some of my textbook – especially the part on raising adolescent boys (like my 13-year-old brother).

Looking ahead to the fall, my sports marketing internship has made its initial rumblings of schedules. Forget ABCs, I live by CDEs (Calendars, Doodles and emails). I have a few MBA Student Ambassadors whom I contacted earlier that are coming back to Ann Arbor at the end of August. I’m hoping to meet with them and catch up with a few other contacts that I’ve met via my temple as well. Aside from the imminent deluge of info interview posts, expect a new series I’ve been prepping for: case studies! In the seconds of free time I have I’ve been looking for good (mostly marketing) case studies from reliable sources like HBR so that I could analyze and post my own interpretations of them. I’m hoping to make a post at least once a week if not more frequently, but we’ll see how that works out with everything else going on this fall.

Alright, my alarm tells me that my break’s over so its back to the races for me. Toodles!

Note: I realize that the voice of this note is probably MUCH less professional than it should be, but after reading countless other blogs, I find the ones I enjoy/learn from the most are the ones that sound like real people instead of rhetoric. And I aim to please!

Summer 2010

A few months ago I applied for a Business Development internship I found on UM’s Career Center Connector website, one of the many services that the Career Center provides (yes, sometimes I do feel like I’m a walking billboard, but they really are a wonderful resource that too few people take advantage of). Adelopod is a New York-based corporate social responsibility company started by Michigan alumni Michael Looney (LSA 2007). They focus on helping groups and coalitions create informational hubs based on interest/industry and area.

My main project is working with environmental charities (eco-charities) and helping them connect to the large numbers of environmentally aware students on college campuses across the nation. Since eco-clubs are the best way to get students involved, I’m in the process of creating a database of eco-clubs at various universities. Hopefully, by the end of my internship, I will have added 100-125 schools to the list. Another project I’m working on right now is helping Appalachian Voices with their social media effort for a concert they’re organizing called Music on the Mountaintop. I’m looking forward to the mix of my professional interests: business development, social media and marketing strategy. The fact I get to work on multiple projects, as well as having one that’s over-arching during my two months, really appeals to the multi-tasker in me. I definitely work best when I have more than one thing going on.

Which brings me to my other “project” of sorts for the summer. I’ll be taking Intro to Developmental Psych (a degree requirement) with Dr. Ann Phillips who was not only my Intro to Psych professor last year, but is now a very close friend. She is leaving the States for four years starting this fall, so I wanted to seize the opportunity to take another class with her before she left. However, due to financial reasons, I’ve decided to simply audit her class and take the class for credit in the fall semester as I originally planned. This way I hope to learn the material now in a slightly accelerated but ultimately more relaxes setting than in the fall when I will be taking 16 credits of coursework, leading 5 different clubs, doing a sports marketing internship and potentially even a part-time job. Granted, its probably not that big of a stretch to say that anything is more relaxing than my fall and winter terms, but I think taking advantage of the chance to learn from a friend who happens to be a professor could only help.

I’ve enjoyed the last 2-3 weeks of productivity and I hope that it only continues from here.

The Ross School of Business has a wonderful program called Cafe Chat where MBA Student Ambassadors are available for those interested in pursuing higher education in business administration to have essentially a one-on-one Q&A session.  This is how I met Ben Jo (MBA 2011) yesterday afternoon. I’d been scrolling through the website a couple weeks ago when I found the program and contacted Ben about meeting up. We got to talk about lots of things in our meeting yesterday, from non-traditional career paths to the main reasons that people pursue an MBA to what distinguishes Ross from other schools. I got to learn about the Multidisciplinary Action Program (MAP) where MBA students are given two months (March/April) to act as consultants in various fields. As someone who learns best when I’m learning hands-on, this particular feature of the Ross MBA really appeals to me (although I suppose my blatant favoritism towards my university contributes as well) . One of the many pieces of advice that Ben gave me is to continue doing informational interviewing with other schools whenever possible so I can keep learning what distinguishes each school. Considering that I don’t even know where I’ll be going after graduation, this is a great (and obvious) idea that I completely forgot to think about.  Thanks, Ben! I’ve also contacted some other Student Ambassadors and will be talking to them about their own areas of expertise later in August when the class of 2011 return from their summer internships. Hopefully, they will be as helpful as Ben.

Dear Mr. Gould,

Hope you’ve been well. It’s been a while since I talked with you and Mike Linsner about potentially shadowing your veteran agents in the field, so I thought I would check in again. Do you think I might be able to set up a time next week?

Thanks again for this opportunity. I really look forwarding to learning a lot from you and your team.

Sincerely,
Sandhya Simhan

248-410-6289 | ssimhan@umich.edu
University of Michigan, Class of 2011
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sandhyasimhan