Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The End is Near

It seems that this is a common phrase that has been uttered with increasing frequency this semester.  Any variation of the phrase really, such as "Almost There", "Just a Few More Weeks" and "Last *fill in the blank* Ever!".  These are just simple ways for those of us who are graduating are staying motivated throughout the last few weeks of school.  Some seniors are still on the job search, trying to find a good fit for our first "real" job after graduation.  Others are looking at starting grad school or moving back home to figure out what they want to do.  I have been lucky enough to have settled down a job to start after graduation before the end of March. I've only had to continue my work at school and in my current job with as much enthusiasm as possible in order to keep being productive for a few weeks before I have to start in the "real" world.

The biggest piece of this puzzle seemed to be an apartment.  I spent several weeks on the apartment hunt, finding a place that would line up with my (probably unreasonable) list of expectations.  Downtown or Plaza area, reasonable rent, fitness center, nice management, safe area, washer and dryer preferred, etc and so forth.  I had found several properties that I liked but I kept going back to one apartment building in particular.  I didn't want to choose an apartment until my mom intended to be in town over Easter to apartment hunt with me.  So when a unit came available at this particular place, I impatiently waited the day I could go in to tour with my mom.  As soon as I saw the apartment, I knew that I wanted to live there, but I toured others to appease my mom and to be 100% sure.  A few hours later, over lunch, I called the property manager and told her that I wanted to come in and fill out the application.  She told me that she would save the spot for me and to just come in later that afternoon.  When I arrived to fill out paperwork, the apartment manager told me that three other people had toured and wanted to make an offer/ fill out an application, but since I called, she had told them it wasn't available to save it for me!  She also told me that she had shown the property 15 times over the past week, with no good fits, so it is obvious to me that it was meant to be for me to live there!  I will be able to move in the weekend of graduation, a time when I will also have lots of helpers in town for moving everything.

Overall, it seems that I have found a great fit for a job, an apartment, and I will be able to start my first year after graduation much better than is often expected for college graduates these days: debt free, with a well-paying job and living in my first-choice apartment! I can't wait to see what else will be in store!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Professional Visits

Last Tuesday was Helzberg School of Management's Leadership and Ethics Day.  This is the second year that the school has hosted this event, which welcomes leaders in the business community into classes to speak about their experiences in the business world.  Generally, these speakers talk about times that their ethics have been tested throughout their experience in business and how their leadership has developed over time.  Sometimes these speakers are alumni of Rockhurst whether from the Undergraduate, MBA or EMBA program.

Another speaker at Leadership & Ethics Day
Photo compliments of Rockhurst University.
This year, the first class that I attended with a speaker was my International Management class. We had Scott Marshall who worked for Ford for many years both in the United States and in the Czeck Republic and has even worked for a Swiss company in the United States. Throughout his time in these different positions, he talked about how he struggled to learn many lessons.  These lessons included everything from knowing a language to inspire trust all the way to how not to transport vehicles across country borders.

The second speaker in my classes that afternoon came to us by speakerphone from Baltimore, MD.  This man, Jeff Goering,  is the Chief Financial Officer for the Baltimore Ravens and is an alumni of Rockhurst.  His journey to become the CFO was quite varied and it was interesting to see how each step in his career, while it didn't always seem that way, would lead him toward his current job.  He spoke about ethical situations in which he had to make decisions on behalf of the stadium and how his education helped support his decision.

Each time speakers come in to speak on these type of issues, it gives the students the opportunity to hear how our liberal arts education will be applied following graduation.  These type of talks, while varied in exact story, can be inspiring for students to keep pushing through in order to finish out the year and continue to work toward the career of their dreams.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

A few of the Rockhurst volunteers
(courtesy of Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity) 
This Saturday, Delta Sigma Pi (the business fraternity) volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help them prepare their new ReStore building in Blue Springs.  Everyone in the fraternity is required to attend a service event, and this is the second time that we have been able to assist with this particular project.  Our chapter of DSP initially got connected to this project through one of our brothers, who is an employee of Habitat for Humanity, and we also got the UMKC chapter involved to have even more volunteers.  A local high school debate team also volunteered, so we were able to have a lot of hands on deck!

You can see me in the background of this one!
(courtesy of Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity) 
According to the website, RestoreKC describes themselves as "...your discount home improvement store! Donate your old items to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity Kansas City homes or shop us for great deals on furniture, building materials, lawn & garden or major appliances."  While talking to Mike, one of the managers at the site, he spoke to the importance of ReStore locations to allow people's monetary donations to the organization to go directly to their core efforts, that of building homes to people in need.  By funding daily operations such as salaries and utilities through the ReStore projects, they are able to supply their own income for the less "appealing" parts of the organization and depend on donor support for their core operations.
Smiling faces!
(courtesy of Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity) 

I really enjoyed getting a chance to help at the new ReStore location, and to be a part of the process.  We were completing projects from sweeping floors and cleaning windows to putting up door frames and bending metal.  Many of the guys mentioned that they enjoyed using power tools and getting dirty too!  It is always a unique opportunity to get to work with organizations around the community especially through volunteering.