Spring Goals Update: February 2017

So, we’re about a month into the year.  How have I done so far on my goals for this semester?

Life Goals

  1. Be intentional about communicating with others, especially roommates.  Well, so far my roommates and I have had zero problems — mainly because none of us are ever around.  We pass each other like ships in the night and when we happen to be home at the same time we do our own thing.  Honestly, that’s how I like it.  In my experience being friends with your roommates just creates more problems than it’s worth.
  2. Get physically stronger.  I worked out a few times the very first week of school, but I underestimated how packed my weeks would  be.  I don’t have Friday classes, so all my classes are squeezed into Monday-Thursday, and Friday I have meetings and also try to knock out as much homework as possible.  So this is not going great.  However, a couple friends and I went to a beginner ballet class on Monday night, and we might try to continue, because it was fun and a great workout.
  3. Find ways to support causes I believe in.  Well, due to time constraints, I haven’t looked at this at all.  However, my capstone project for my Spanish degree has to do with immigration, and that’s something I care about, so that kind of counts.
  4. Read more non-white authors.  Because of the nature of my capstone project, I’ll be reading a lot of Latino authors.  Check out my Goodreads shelf to see what exactly I’ll be reading.  I may not be able to get to all of these for my project, but I do hope to read all of them eventually whether or not I use them.
  5. Food: continue cooking at least once a week; stick to ~$15 a month on coffee.  The boyfriend and I have cooked a ton, it feels like.  There have only been a couple nights so far where I’ve grabbed a single-serve microwave meal from the freezer.  Otherwise, we’ve made a couple simple ready-to-cook Asian meals, and I’ve home-cooked chicken fettucine Alfredo, Costa Rican-esque rice and beans, banana bread, Red Lobster bread (like the rolls, but in bread form), and simple spaghetti and meat sauce.  (See very professional iPhone photos below!)  It’s all simple food, but it’s always a victory to cook instead of warming something up, and then I have leftovers to eat for lunch.  As for coffee, I only spent $11.17 this month (not including creamer and coffee I keep at home, of course — those are grocery purchases).  Go me!

Education/Career Goals

  1. COB Ambassadors: Try to help project manage an event.  I think this is definitely going to be possible this semester.  We have a new organization president this semester, and during our first meeting she had us all fill out an anonymous survey about what is and isn’t working in the program.  From that, she specifically wants project managers who have never project managed before, which I haven’t.  Last semester, everyone who had done it before would immediately volunteer for the positions, but now more preference will be given to those who haven’t done it yet, so I should get a chance to.  Yay!
  2. Apply to ~5 jobs a month.  Well, I applied to several all at once last weekend, but I’m not really expecting any responses.  I decided to see what Career Services had to say about my resume before I apply to any more, so I’ll be giving that an overhaul.  I love and hate resumes, y’all.  They’re so beautiful and neat and organized, but it’s so hard to get them to where they really show off your relevant skills and interests.  I know I would be a good candidate for many jobs, but a lot of the things that make me a good worker are soft skills.  I really have to work to show how my class projects and previous work experience will translate into me being an asset for a company.

I have these goals written on my desk calendar, and I didn’t think I was doing quite as well as I am on them.  So this has been a bit of a mood boost and motivator all at once.  And that’s exactly what goal setting is supposed to do in the first place.  Here’s to February.

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What I’m Reading: November 2016 – Learning Outside the Classroom

My whole family has a legacy of loving education.  We like to learn stuff, and we all like to read.  My dad is a huge history buff, and as an ex-Marine, you can often find him devouring a book about World War II and other conflicts.  My sister, and brother to an extent, inherited this love of history.  My brother has done school projects on famous generals and war machinery.  His main interest, though, is building things, and he prefers to learn by watching YouTube.  My sister, on the other hand, reads everything — history books, theology, care and keeping of farm animals — you name a topic, she’s probably read something about it.  My mom prefers to read biographies and novels — we joke that “based on a true story” is her favorite genre.  I’m more similar to her in reading taste than anyone else, but I read more popular stuff than anyone in my house.

The only similarity we all have is that we all read to learn.  Even my brother, who doesn’t love reading, has done it.  It’s part of being in my family.  It’s in our DNA.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about learning outside the classroom.  I hope to go into the marketing industry, and I know that learning doesn’t end when classes do.  So here’s what I’ve been reading to try to stay on the up-and-up.

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Source

Hubspot’s Marketing and Sales Blogs

I started following these as a result of my Marketing and Public Relations class.  I’m genuinely interested in the Marketing blog, and often read (or at least skim) an article every day or so.  The Sales blog is not my favorite, but since so many jobs are described as sales and marketing, I figured it couldn’t hurt.  I kind of have to force myself to read the sales articles, though.

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From webinknow.com

WebInkNow

This is the blog of David Meerman Scott, a self-made marketing expert.  He’s the author of our textbook for Marketing and PR, which I’ve enjoyed so far.  He’s been studying the marketing aspects of the presidential election, and it’s been very interesting to read his take on the candidates’ marketing techniques.

 

Magazines

Inc., Fortune, and Entrepreneur are a few that I read articles from on a semi-regular basis.  Honestly, a lot of times I’ll read articles because they touch on something I’ve had to research for a class.  In a couple of my classes we had to take the day’s topic and find a news article that related to it, and these magazines were invaluable.  I also follow all three of these on Twitter, which is easier than visiting each site every day since I’m not a legit subscriber to any of them.

Companies

Since I’m searching for full-time jobs, I spend a good chunk of time researching the companies that are posting on the job boards.  I don’t want to waste my time applying to a company I don’t actually want to work for.  While I don’t do extensive research on every single company I put in an application for, I make sure I at least visit the website and have a pretty good understanding of their mission, customer value, and company culture.  I consider this learning because I’m finding out what companies like to emphasize about themselves, and I can compare this to what I’m learning in my classes about how this should be done.

Novels and NaNoWriMo

I follow a lot of bloggers who are also writers.  Some of them are published, and some of them aren’t.  But they all write as a passion, and that means every November, a lot of them start talking about their word count, their characters, and their plot lines.  I start seeing huge lists of writing tips and motivation on Twitter.  Things like Dory singing “Just keep writing!” fill up my social media feeds.  Every November, tons of people around the world worry and fret about whether they can write 50,000 words in one month.

That’s because November is NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month.  If you’ve never heard of it, you can read about it here.  (It’s not too late to join if you also want to participate!)

I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo (which is NaNoWriMo’s summer counterpart) the summer before I started college.  I did not make 50,000 words.  I think I wrote between 20k or 30k, which is still quite an accomplishment.  But I’m probably exaggerating.  And I haven’t participated since.

I’ve wanted to be a published author as long as I can remember.  Books and words are definitely my first love, and I used to write stories all the time.  My problem was finishing them.  So I thought NaNo would be perfect for me.  Just churn out the first draft, and the first step is done.  It seems a lot less daunting that way.

So why did I stop participating?  Well, for one, I started college.  It always seems like fall semesters are the busiest, and writing however-many words a day on top of homework and extracurriculars is just too much.  November is also when a lot of semester projects start being due, and those just take priority.

But the other reason is I’ve lost my interest in writing novels for now.  I still read them all the time, of course — I would go insane if I couldn’t read others’ stories.  I love novels with all my heart and will read them till the day I die.  But I just don’t know if I want to write one.

Obviously, I enjoy writing.  I have a blog, after all.  But lately my focus has shifted from novels to writing about other things.  My favorite posts to write are memoirs, and I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book-length one of my own someday.  I’ve though about extensively interviewing my parents and writing their story.  And, being in business school, I’m surrounded by marketing blogs and content creation ideas that center around the goal of appealing to the consumer by helping them with a problem.  I would love to have a job where I create blog posts and social media content for a company.

But novel writing is not my thing anymore.  I’m more invested in what is going on around me than I am in my own head.  I don’t get ideas for stories and characters anymore; I get ideas for blog posts and essays and research papers.  This is probably more a consequence of who I am around more than it is my ability to be creative, like I sometimes tell myself.  I think if I had been an English major I would still think like a novelist.  But I’m majoring in Marketing, and while I may someday be able to write a novel about that, right now my focus is on other things.

However, to all the WriMos out there furiously typing away, best of luck to you!  Even though I do not participate anymore, I highly respect those who do and cannot wait to read about all you are up to this November.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be reading your book one day.  And maybe, just maybe, in a year or five or ten, I’ll join you.

Fall 2016 Goals Update #2

Another month, another update.  Without further ado…

Goals for Employment

  1. Apply for entry-level jobs in marketing.  Still doing this!  The day I wrote this post, I actually had my first interview ever for a big-girl job.  I think it went pretty well, and I am excited about the possibilities with that company.  So we shall see!
  2. Utilize university resources.  Check — I went to a resume workshop, both to polish up my own resume and to give a COB Ambassador presence.  I think my resume looks quite a bit better than it did.  Also, we’re doing mock interviews in my Spanish class, so that will be awesome practice.

Goals for Extracurriculars

  1. Video Production Team: Work at least one game per sport.  I’ve worked a lot of soccer, a couple volleyball games, and am signed up for almost every basketball game we have in November.  It’ll be busy, but basketball is really fun, and the paycheck will definitely be nice.
  2. COB Ambassadors: Work one event a month.  This month I worked the Majors Fair on preview day, and the resume workshop also counted as an event.  Coming up next month the COB will be hosting its own career fair, so I’ll probably be involved with that somehow.
  3. COB Ambassadors: project manage one project before graduation.  Still working on this.

Goals for Daily Life

  1. Don’t add unnecessary stress.  This is surprisingly still going quite well.  I got really bad road rage driving to see my family a few weeks ago, but honestly that was warranted.  There’s just something about vehicles that make people do stupid things.  And I know I need to not let things bother me that I can’t change, but sometimes that’s just how it goes.
  2. Cut back on buying coffee.  *closes eyes*  It’s kinda weird how my list jumps straight from 1 to 3…oh well.
  3. Make time for friends.  The semester has gotten a bit busier than it had been, so I’ve slacked off on this.  But a few friends and I are planning a Netflix night next week, and another friend’s birthday is this month as well, so that should remedy that.
  4. Make time for myself.  Again, class work has started to creep into my free time, but I still find some time to read or watch a show or two.

And finally, the goal of goals:

  1. Enjoy senior year.  So far, so good.  I’m very tired of being school — I would much rather being doing something than sitting passively in class all day, but the end is near and I’m trying to remember to relish the time I have left at college.

This semester has gone by so fast.  Here we are at the end of October, and I feel like September just started.  My very last advisement is coming up, and graduation is starting to feel so close!  I’ve started a list of what I want to do and get involved in once I graduate.  Really moving out on my own is so exciting to think about.  Here’s to the rest of my second-to-last semester!  Next time I post a goals update, I’ll be studying for finals.

What I’m Reading September 2016

I randomly started receiving Fortune at the beginning of the summer, and I’m not really sure why, because I didn’t subscribe.  I think it may be a perk of the business honor society I was invited to join last spring.  Regardless of how it began, I’ve found I enjoy reading about the featured businesses, and it’s definitely good for getting my head in the game as I’m about to graduate.

 

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly

This is the textbook for the Marketing and PR class I’m taking, and I can already tell it’s something I would’ve picked up on my own.  First off, it’s written like a blog, so it’s easy and interesting to read.  Second, the ideas can be applied to all areas of life, not just to business websites.  The main point is that content rich websites invite the most customers to a business because that proves the company to be a reliable resource, and that makes so much sense to me.  This can be applied to personal blogs, small business plans, and even stuff like making friends.  If you can relate to whoever it is you want to interact with and be valuable to them, all sorts of natural partnerships follow.

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This is the second book I’ve downloaded from NetGalley for review.  I’m slowly making my way through it — so slowly, in fact, that I think I put it in my “what I’m reading” post for summer.  Once I get into it, it’s actually very interesting, but I’ll save my final verdict for the review, which I hope to post before the end of September!

 

 

81779I don’t know if I can actually count this since I haven’t started it yet.  But I have to read it for Euro Civ, so it’s here on the list.  I am not excited about this book.  I took a philosophy class for humanities credit sophomore year and hated it.  I understand the importance of philosophers, and I know that we owe a lot of how we view the world today to Greek philosophers like Plato.  But honestly, it’s horrible to study.  I think philosophy is better learned on one’s own; it’s something you can glean from life and develop even if you don’t realize it’s happening.  However, professors still think it’s relevant, apparently, so here I am.

I’m also reading blogs, of course — sometimes it’s the only pleasure reading I get to do during school, which is one of the reasons I love them so much.  Here are a few of my current favorites:

Cover photos from Goodreads, Fortune photo from Fortune.com