The Ross Difference: The Thrill of Back To School: A September Week in My Life
September is an exhilarating time here at the Ross School of Business: Classes are picking up, club and internship recruiting is in full swing, and students are enjoying game day weekends.
This story originally was posted on Poets&Quants.
While my days have some consistency, like going to class and taking time to focus on health and wellness through daily runs, each day is filled with something new. In this snapshot of a week in my life, I’ll focus on stand out moments throughout the week.
Michigan Ross makes it very manageable to take on part-time jobs as a student. For me, I am a barista at a local coffee shop, where I spend a portion of my Mondays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. After working this day, I was excited to attend my professional business fraternity’s first information session for interested members, where we highlighted the professional and social aspects of our club. The event ended with networking, where I got the chance to speak with incredible first- and second-year students who come from diverse backgrounds and bring new, unique perspectives! From conversations around favorite restaurants in Ann Arbor to business interests, these events enable students to learn more about business fraternities and if this is a community where they want to be a part. For me, I have found some of my best friends through this club.
Tuesdays are one of my busiest class days here at Ross. I have three classes from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. While this can be pretty tiring, I love to grab coffee in between classes. Lucky for me, the Ross School of Business Building has a Starbucks inside! My favorite course is Strategy 390: Corporate Strategy, a senior-level class that focuses on decisions companies make and the impact of them. Today, we had a guest speaker who spoke about her role in the non-profit space and how her company strives to improve the educational space. Her inspiring story enabled me to think deeply about my future career goals and the importance of finding a role that goes beyond profit and makes an impact in a community and the world.
However, the highlight of my day was attending a dinner at Sava’s (a popular restaurant on campus), where I joined colleagues from my internship at Kraft Heinz this past summer to discuss the potential of going back full-time after graduation. I am so fortunate for this opportunity and beyond excited to go back to a CPG company that continuously strives to develop new, innovative products and marketing campaigns.
Ross provides the preparation to have incredible career opportunities and I am so incredibly grateful for that. For me, one of the biggest tools I utilized to find career opportunities is our alumni network. When looking into internships, I got the chance to connect with multiple Michigan alums who provided me support and guidance for interviews. An individual that made a huge impact in my career decisions was an alumni from my professional business fraternity who worked at Kraft Heinz; she took the time to have coffee chats with me to better prepare me for the interview process at the company. Michigan has incredible alumni at companies across the world, with each one being passionate and willing to support fellow Wolverines who are undergoing recruiting.
After another barista shift, I spent the afternoon working with my team for a group project in Strategy 390 class. For this class, the project is focused on identifying an industry and looking into the top competitors within that industry. By the end of the semester, our goal is to determine the strongest competitor and convince shareholders why they should invest in that specific company. Since it is pretty early in the course, this meeting was spent determining an industry to focus on that we are also excited to research. So far, we’ve narrowed it down to the plant-based dairy industry and the food delivery service space. Ross courses have a big emphasis on collaboration, which has enabled me to gain experience working with different people and grow as a leader. By working with people ranging from athletes, to international students, to individuals with different career interests from my own, I have diversified my perspective and feel more comfortable working with people who are vasty different from myself.
Later that day, I attended a resume workshop for my consulting club, where I supported underclassmen in enhancing their resumes. At Ross, classes and clubs teach you how to format a resume using ACR: Action, Context, Result. I got to teach one first-year student how to use that format, enabling him to demonstrate what he did for a club and the tangible results his work produced. I absolutely love giving advice and helping students who are going through the same experiences as I did. Giving back to other students is something I have enjoyed immensely here at Michigan. I ended my night by watching a movie with my roommates. Coming home after a long day to spend time with my friends is something I value a lot.
Like Tuesdays, Thursdays are also filled with classes. As I’m pursuing a marketing concentration, never did I think I would enjoy my Finance 300: Financial Management class. Yet, I have an awesome professor, Jon Carmel, who keeps me engaged and has even taught us lots of useful information to better understand the stock market. By cracking jokes and providing real-world examples, he makes this class fun and relevant.
After classes, I was excited to end my afternoon with a shift for my BBA ambassador role. As a student ambassador, I support prospective Ross students and provide insight into the student life experience. Today, I hosted a drop-in session, where high school students have the opportunity to meet with me to ask questions. Common questions I love to answer include the ability to balance classes with clubs or dual degrees, to how the business classes help you find your career path and why I chose to Go Blue. I love my role as an ambassador because of the amazing Ambassadors I get to interact with. Of course, it’s an extra bonus that I get paid! Michigan has tons of job opportunities that are incredibly manageable to do even with a busy schedule. Opportunities range from advising first-year students to being a course assistant for your favorite professor.
For dinner, I headed over to my sorority to enjoy quesadillas with my friends. I was able to join a sorority my second semester of first year. Being a part of this community has enabled me to develop additional friendships and have a support network beyond the business school. Now, I live in a house near campus with five of my sorority sisters.
One of the best parts for many Ross students is that there tends to be no class on Fridays! This allows me to spend the day focusing on other involvements and getting homework done. As part of my BBA ambassador role, I also give tours of the business school and host informational panels for families. During my tours, I love to highlight Robertson Auditorium, where speaker series and conferences are hosted each year. One of my personal favorites is a speaker event where the founders of Boom Chicka Pop told their inspiring founders’ story. Another popular favorite is the Michigan Fashion Media Summit that brings in outstanding Michigan alumni from companies like Conde Nast and Louis Vuitton to speak on relevant fashion and media topics.
After that shift, I headed over to a meeting for the Michigan Ross Global Initiatives Office, where I am a peer advisor. After spending last semester abroad in Helsinki, Finland (learn more about my experiences and others here!), I have been able to now come back and work closely with the office to develop materials for incoming and outgoing exchange students. Currently, another advisor and I are working on a health and safety presentation to better prepare students who will be traveling overseas for the winter semester. I ended my day with going to Hillel, a campus organization that supports Jewish college students through events and activities, for Shabbat dinner. As a Jewish student, I love that there is a community here for me and of course, the best part is being able to enjoy a free meal.
It’s game day!! Saturdays here in the fall are the best. Students roam campus in maize and blue, filled with excitement and school pride. After a busy week, game days are a time for students take a break from work and take time to be with friends. For me, I started my day early at 7 a.m., when I got ready and fueled up on pancakes with my housemates. We then headed off to a few tailgates and ended up at the game, where the Michigan Football team played the University of Connecticut.
The best part of football games is being surrounded by thousands of students, all chanting the fight song together when we score a touchdown. As someone who is not a football expert, I also look forward to the half-time performance. For today’s game, the Michigan Musical Theatre department performed alongside the Marching Band to student favorites like Mr. Brightside! After a long day, I headed home to nap for a few hours, followed by a delicious dinner with my friend and her parents at Mani Osteria. Mani Osteria is a great Italian restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor and the perfect place to go when parents are in town.
For me, Sundays are a day to get work done before the week picks up, but also a time to enjoy my weekend. I began my day at one of my go-to spots near campus: Argus Farm Stop. Argus is a local café and market (started by a Ross alum) that sells local produce, snacks, and coffee. My friend and I grabbed some coffee before going on a morning walk to catch up. The afternoon was spent doing homework outside and enjoying the warm weather in Michigan while I can.
While any college student spends their weeks at class, doing homework, and enjoying campus, I believe Michigan Ross stands out for its student involvement and community. From joining clubs, to taking on leadership roles and taking the time to build relationships, I have found that Ross does a great job of enabling students to succeed and grow academically, while also encouraging opportunities to partake in unique initiatives outside of the classroom and build long-lasting friendships.
I hope my week gave you an insider’s look at how I can do that. I am so grateful to be a Wolverine at the Ross School of Business and thrive in this bustling, exciting environment!