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Jillian PicBlogalogadingdong

I’m an upperclassman in college. Like, what? When did this happen? How is this a real thing? Who approved this? Sometimes I think that I am going to wake up from a dream and realize that I am actually still a sophomore in high school with acne, a Beatles haircut, and a desire to talk to boys without having an asthma attack. I was a real catch, folks. Back on track though, I’ve grown and learned so much since my freshman year here at Baker on both a personal and professional level.

1)      I’ve learned that it is okay to not have your life completely planned out. It’s totally okay to change majors.  Almost everyone does and for those who don’t, congratulations because I am super indecisive so that’s quite the feat in my eyes.

2)     I’ve learned that you need to study and prepare. While winging it is a semi effective mean of getting through high school or an unexpected night out in Lawrence, it’s not going to bode well for you in college classes.

3)     I’ve learned to use my professors when I need help. They don’t hold your hand like your high school teachers did, but they do still want you to succeed. They want to help you plan out your four years here and make sure you can graduate on time and pass that test that you’ve been crying about because you don’t have any idea how to find the square root of 64. (Disclaimer, I do know the square root of 64. It’s 8. I think.)

4)     I’ve learned that you have to get out of your comfort zone. College is about meeting new people and through all the events that SAC, Greek Life, and the Res Halls put forth, there is no reason to stay in your dorm and be an antisocial cotton-headed-ninny-muggins.

5)     I’ve learned that being a theatre major is a lot harder than it seems. There is so much more to theatre than being a superstar onstage or pushing a button on the sound board. There are always plays to be read and analyzed, lines to memorize, sets to build, costumes to design, and much more. It is a constant challenge and while I sometimes want to pull my hair out, I cannot think of anything I would rather do. I love every minute of it.

6)     I’ve learned that 69 cent drinks (75 cents with tax) at the Kwik happen during the summer and finals week and should be taken full advantage of. Your bank account can thank me later.

            Now while I still have almost two years left at Baker and a whole lot more to learn, these first two years have been challenging and full of adventures in discovering who I am and who I am supposed to be.

There is a passing lane and not just on the street.  There is a passing lane on sidewalks, on bike paths, in corridors and especially on the escalator at the airport.

The most important place to keep the passing lane open is the airport. Because sometimes, through a series of unfortunate events, a perfectly responsible, law-abiding citizen with careful planning habits, can be late for her plane.

If there are two escalators moving in the same direction and you want to plant yourself on one step, take the escalator on the right and let the people who come flying like bats out of hell with arms, legs and bags akimbo, pass by on the escalator to the left.  If there is one escalator, stay to the right side and let them squeeze by you on the left.  (There should be escalator signs like those road signs in Canada that say: “Squeeze Right.”)  This means also moving your carry-on bags and other traveling companions to the right, too — on the stair above or below you.

If you need to get by some escalator squatters blocking the way, say “Please excuse me.” Have patience with parents traveling with small children.  They get enough mean looks from everyone else.

From the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com

I have read articles that in some restaurants, if you receive a white napkin, you may request a black napkin.  The thinking behind this is that most people in business are wearing dark suits — navy, charcoal gray or even black — and a white napkin is more likely to leave visible pieces of lint on a dark suit.

My reaction when I first read about this was: Really?  Are there people walking around in business coated with unsightly white napkin lint and unbeknownst to them, causing others to recoil in horror?  I think people plastered with cat hair and dog hair is a bigger issue.  And I get that.  Growing up, the dog we had was an American Eskimo, a white fluffy hunk o’ burning love that, as soon as you put on any navy colored clothing, would chase you around the house looking for affection.  My brother used to say we needed a blue dog.

If the restaurant has black napkins, great.  But please, please do not make a special request for a black napkin during a business meal, particularly in an interview.  You never want to appear high maintenance.

And if you have pets, keep them off the furniture and load up on lint brushes.

From the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com

Once in a while, we cover how to eat a slice of bread or a roll served at a meal.  Tear off a bite-sized piece, butter it, then eat it.  When you are ready for some more, tear off another bite-sized piece, butter it and eat it.

The question often comes up, “What about toast at a breakfast meeting? Do you tear off a bite-sized piece of your little toast triangle, butter it, jelly it, then eat it?”

As it turns out, there is a different approach to toast.  Cut the toast in half (if it is not already served that way) and butter each half, while keeping it on your bread plate.  Do not cradle it in the palm of your hand and butter it there.  Same with the application of jelly, jam, preserves, marmalade, nut spread or what have you — the toast stays on the bread plate.

The reasoning behind this is that toast is best enjoyed when the butter melts into it. Though we all know most toast served in a restaurant arrives to the table at the same temperature before it went into the toaster.

Hold the toast by the edge and bring it to your lips.  If any of the jelly slips onto your fingers, wipe your fingers on your napkin, not your tongue. And while on business, there is absolutely no dunking of toast in your coffee or tea.

From the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com

Jillian PicI would love to be able to tell all incoming freshmen that college is easy. That they will have the time of their lives figuring out exactly what they want to do and exactly how to do it quickly and efficiently in a four year window. I would also love to have an endless supply of Chipotle burritos to consume at any given moment that my hunger decides to strike. But, as the Rolling Stones once said, “You can’t always get what you want. You get what you need.”

Baker has taught me and continues to teach me every day that this road to getting a degree will not be an easy one. I am going to have to study more, socialize less, and make hard decisions. Do I want to have to go through four years of uncertainty and countless hours of studying to enter into another world of even more uncertainty combined with a make it or break it attitude without the backboard of Baker to get me back on track? Absolutely not. I need to though. I need to utilize these four years at Baker to my full advantage. I need to ask my teachers questions, consume this knowledge that I am paying for and so willingly seeking like a Chipotle burrito, and ask the career services department exactly what in the world I can do with my degree and how I can effectively get there. My theatre teacher in high school always said to us, “I didn’t say it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.” I’m starting to think she was onto something.

Blog PictureLast time we left each other I had a breaking story of an interview with USA Football out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Well folks that interview has come and gone and so has the job position! I did a phone interview with them and let me tell you it was quite the experience. When I first got word of the interview I was an extremely nervous because I had never done a phone interview before and was not sure what to expect. Things to remember, although they may not be able to see you, your voice still reflects the emotion that you happen to be showing and you have to remember to smile. I felt pretty good about the interview and they even said I was one of their top candidates at the time. The down side is that I got an email earlier this week that they had chosen someone else for the position. No Sweat!! It would have been cool to do an internship with them, but hey, nothing lost or against them for choosing someone else.

Right after I got the email to interview with USA Football, I also got another email from a company called C.H. Robinson! Man did I feel like I was on a roll, two requests for interviews by two different companies-sure enough my luck had changed! As of now I am still in talks with C.H. Robinson and in the running for an internship with their company for this summer… The opportunity to be considered by companies for an internship is such a great feeling! J  But just because I am in the running for that one does not mean I have shut down my other options or have stopped looking. I am still interviewing for positions and adding companies to my watch list.

Speaking of searching for other jobs, during this past week I had the opportunity to participate in the COSMC: Heart of America Interview Day that took place at Baker’s Overland Park campus. This interview day was quite the experience because it brought together students from all over our conference and everyone was interviewing with the same companies. There were 28 companies present and students had the opportunity to interview with up to ten. Some companies were offering only internships or full-time positions and some were offering both. The companies that I interviewed with were Cerner, Target, and PlattForm Advertising. All of my interviews went well and I look forward to seeing if anything comes of them.

Stay tuned to see where my interview journey path ends up taking me!

There are a plethora of articles out there advising us to write down things we are grateful for every day.

Here is an alternative: as long as we are going to be writing something down, we should write thank you notes to people we are grateful to.  Keep a box of fold-over notes on your desk.  Don’t overthink it.  Just knock it out and mail it.

You could simply text it, Tweet it or email it.  But the sentiment on a fold-over note lingers longer.

As it turns out, doing for others does something for you.

From the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com

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