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It's Up To You

Being proactive in the Smith School

By Rasshmi Shankar
On October 6, 2009


After a year of college I've learned some valuable life lessons… there are such things as stupid questions; professors are actually "real people," and most importantly if you want something enough, you can have it.  I'm sure we can all agree on the first one; when you're in a lecture hall of four hundred of the best and brightest Maryland has to offer, someone is bound to ask a question that has either just been answered or ask one right before class is about to end, resulting in the professor insisting that the rest of us (yes, even those of us running all the way across campus) stay until the mile long answer has been given.  Now with the second one, I'm sure some of you probably think it's another one of my jokes that no one understands, but I'm here to shock you.  Professors are actually real people, and here is how I know: I went to office hours to get clarification on a point in class and walked in to see my professor on Facebook. She was actually "Facebook-stalking" someone's pictures, and after we get talking about my question we somehow ended up discussing a new Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song about New York before I left…professors know about "real" things.  Mind boggling, right?
      The third lesson on my list is that if you want something enough, you can have it. I came upon this realization after spending my freshman year in a frenzy of the usual activities most of us succumb to when we get here: partying, partying and some more partying. Oh, all right, I did study a tiny bit and attended most of my classes on a regular basis.  However, I did not get involved with the business school. The two times I walked into Van Munching were for advising, and after being daunted by the prestigious halls where everyone else seemed so confident and together, I ran back out. Each time I ran out or walked by the building I used to think to myself, wouldn't it be nice if I actually knew what was going on in there or could be the one wearing a business suit and looking very important?  While I thought about these things, I never really did too much about them. I guess I just figured that the angels were coming down soon to show me the light. After waiting an entire year, no one showed me the light. Then, somewhere at the end of my freshman year, I felt an urgent need to fill the void and get involved with my school, so I made a vow that this year would be different; and I would belong within the hallows of Van Munching.
   I started visiting the Smith website more often, and when I received the notices about the first look fairs I actually went and signed my name on a few things I was interested in. I can now say that I've been to a few of the meetings and events for the groups that I had signed up for. I went to a career fair, which is something I was glad to gain familiarity with early on, before crunch time my junior and senior years when I need to impress recruiters. I've met some amazing people and also become more interested in business as a whole. Enthused by becoming more involved, I registered myself on HireSmith, where many wonderful events are listed.   Now HireSmith has become a staple when I log into my computer. Watch out Facebook! HireSmith is one of the many tools afforded to students through the business school which lists everything from events within Smith to available jobs suited to your specific interests. You can keep track of interviews, networking opportunities are listed and you can keep updating a current profile for employers.  If that's not enough, there are documents uploaded to it stating the proper etiquette and expectations for various events and much, much more. If you are waiting for your angels to come down and guide you, take it from me; HireSmith is as close as you're going to get to that.  I guess at the end of this article, I just want to be corny and help everyone realize that there are so many opportunities afforded to us by the business school; but now that we are adults, we lose out if we don't make an effort to take advantage of them.  So get up and get moving (hopefully towards Van Munching).

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