All-you-can-eat buffets are not only delicious, but make some of the best extended metaphors you’d ever imagine

Have you ever been to a Las Vegas buffet? One that includes omelets, prime rib, fruit cocktail, pizza, pasta, and all sorts of desserts you want to eat, but know you really shouldn’t? Or even a buffet like Sweet Tomatoes or Golden Corral?

A delicious, Las Vegas buffet

You’re over-whelmed, unsure of what you want to try, since you know your stomach can only take in so many calories in that sixty minute time block. By the end of brunch, you’re busting at the seams but proud of your great accomplishments. You’ve learned a lot about what foods you wouldn’t try again and taken mental notes about what are some go-to dishes you should have if you return. At the end of the day, you’ve gained a lot from your time there, although it was way too short, but know there is more to try.

This all-you-can-eat buffet is the best metaphor for a summer internship that I could’ve imagined (and trust me, I thought of many other very mediocre metaphors). In a corporate internship, like mine at PetSmart this summer, there is so much to learn, so many people to meet, so much to do, but in so little time. Just like a buffet, you realize you must allocate your time and energy wisely before the 2-3 months pass and you must return to school for your classroom learning.

Cliché Internship Photo

Although you may not like working in every aspect of the business you are exposed to, you take note of the jobs you may like one day and the jobs you’d like to stay as far away from as possible (whether at that company or elsewhere). By the end of the summer, you’ll feel like you just started and have way more to learn, but realize that it was a very impactful experience that’ll guide your future employment decisions.

My experience this summer at PetSmart HQ (or Store Support Group (SSG) as they call it) has been remarkable. I’ve learned a ton within my role as an intern in the Customer Engagement and Adoptions team within the Store Operations department, helping to better understand customer satisfaction within our in-store adoptions. Before leaving in August, I will have the opportunity to develop a strategy to improve adoption experiences in the future, presenting it to my team, other PetSmart SSG associates, and executives.

Yet, that is just the “day job” portion of my internship. Our HR liaisons have connected us to mentors who help guide our thinking on our project as well as have encouraged us to reach out to other associates to set up meet-and-greets with to learn more about what they do and see if it interests us as well. Meet-and-greets, coffee-chats, sitting in on other team meetings, and trying to learn as much as possible from associates and other interns (who, by the way, are super knowledgable, fantastic people, who I’ve really enjoyed getting to know personally and professionally) makes up the rest of the internship experience.

Just like the buffet, I haven’t been able to try every dish (aka see all of the different departments) but I’ve learned some of what I would like to do in the future as well as what I wouldn’t enjoy as much. At the end of these ten weeks, I’ll have gained so much and hope to have given PetSmart some great value too (just like a happy buffet guest gives the restaurant some great value as well). Well, here are some other photos to enjoy from my time at PetSmart as well:

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My Nametag

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The CEO tweeted about us

My attire for when I visited multiple stores

My attire for when I visited multiple stores

Puppies

Puppies

Follow Bennett on Twitter: @BennettDwosh

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Top 4 Benefits of My Dell Internship

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Every internship is different – some internships take place with large corporations while others may be with smaller, local companies. I am happy to say that my very first internship, of which I am just a little bit over halfway through, has been an exceptional experience. And now….

The Top 4 Benefits of My Dell Internship

 

1. The company culture is amazing.

I don’t know what I really expected when coming to Dell, but it was definitely not what I’ve discovered. I have always been under the impression that the corporate life is a simple formula: Cubicles + Suits + 40 Hours = Corporate Life. Actually, that may very well be the formula for some companies, but Dell is an exception to that rule.  Everybody  dresses business casual or less – meaning jeans and a polo for the most part. I definitely overpacked in the clothing department, but you can see what I generally wear from the intro pictures. Another awesome thing is the fact that Dell will generally allow people to work from home, to work hours that suit them, etc. The atmosphere is very relaxing and yet it manages to instigate in people the drive to succeed and achieve new heights every day.

2. Austin is a fantastic city to live in. 

Having grown up in Phoenix my entire life, I never really had the opportunity to explore other parts of the U.S. Living and experiencing different places is how you truly learn where you want to go with your life – and living in Austin for the past couple months has been great. The city is renowned for its music scene – which has exceeded expectations – and outdoor activities. I am glad to say that I’ve been able to experience both – through Blues on the Green, Austin’s largest free concert series, as well as through outdoor-sy things like kayaking, swimming at the lake, hiking, playing paintball, etc. I even got the chance to attend the “Keep Austin Weird” Festival (pictured below), which is a huge event celebrating the weirdness that Austin is known for.

 3. Dell is in a period of transformation. 

One of the neatest things about my internship is that Dell is currently going through the tranformation from being a public company to a private company. In doing so, the company is now able to better make decisions for itself in order to continue growing and being innovative. It’s actually the largest company to go from public to private! Coming in at this time is great because everybody is invigorated and excited to see what happens moving forward. This is definitely one of the biggest reasons I’m enjoying my internship so much.

4. There are over 200 interns and every single one is great.

One of the best parts about interning at a large company such as Dell is the fact that you get the chance to intern with a large group. Personally, I feel like this is a great opportunity to make a lot of connections, network, and to just meet new and interesting people who can become lifelong friends. I’m the type of person who doesn’t just have 1 friend group – I like to hang out with different groups of people and do different things. For instance, I’ve gotten the chance to see every single World Cup  game with a group of intense fans – other interns – either at an apartment or, in most cases, at a sports bar or restaurant. These people have definitely made this summer a more than worthwhile experience and one for the books.

I went 7-1 in paintball and only got shot once!

I had my very first Indian food at G’Raj Mahal Cafe – and it was the bomb.

Got to watch the U.S. vs Ghana game at the world famous Haymaker - courtesy of Dell!!!

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It’s been such an amazing experience this far and it’s only halfway through – I am so excited for the next 5 weeks. Thank you W. P. Carey for helping me get this opportunity and I look forward to my future in the business school.

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Student Spotlight – Trevor Jones

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Trevor Jones

Since this summer’s theme is internships, I thought it would be best to highlight one of the most successful young W. P. Carey students! Trevor Jones is currently going into his junior year at ASU and is studying Finance and Accounting, with a minor in Mathematics. Through his first 2 years of college, Trevor has continuously dedicated himself to succeeding both academically and professionally, while also staying involved in extracurriculars.

I’ll start off with how we met. Trevor is basically my best friend and one of the people that I look up to the most – plus, we have the same name. Pretty cool right? We call ourselves T Squared or .

I’m on the left and he’s on the right in all 3 pictures – Freshman and Sophomore year.

I met Trevor the first week of freshman year at Camp Carey, which is a camp for W. P. Carey freshman that takes place over a weekend and is a great opportunity to network and, most importantly, make friends. We sat on the bus together on the way to the camp and instantly clicked – that’s when we found out our names were the same. Here are some stats to show you how weird our meeting was:

  • We are both named Trevor.
  • We both played tennis in high school.
  • Our birthdays are exactly 4 days apart.
  • We are both studying business at ASU.
  • We lived on the exact same hall in Barrett, the Honors College.
  • We are both experts at table tennis.
  • And the list goes on!

Here is his story…

Trevor is a native of Arizona, and he attended high school at Notre Dame Prep, in Scottsdale, AZ.

As a freshman at ASU, Trevor got involved early on. In his first semester, Trevor served as the Coalition Coordinator for the Arizona Students’ Association, where he worked with and developed relationships with Arizona government officials to coordinate student events. During this time, he was also the Membership Coordinator for Best Buddies, where he helped promote inclusion and friendship between pairs.

In his second semester, Trevor became a member of the professional business Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. He also became an Advertising Executive for The State Press, ASU’s official newspaper. In this position, he worked with over 200 local and national businesses for advertising opportunities. He then managed to get his dream internship for the summer: as a Finance Intern for GE Capital. Since it was his first internship, Trevor had a lot to learn. In the 10 weeks he was there, Trevor studied and developed an understanding of the operations and practices of a multi-billion dollar franchise finance company.

As a sophomore, Trevor got accepted to the pretigious Investment Banking Industry Scholars Program, or IBIS. IBIS is a competitive program that only accepts individuals with a passion for investment banking and a knowledge of finance and accounting – when he applied, Trevor had taken only 1 accounting class and 0 finance classes. It was his experience with both The State Press as well as GE that helped him get accepted. This program has helped develop his professional skills as well as enhanced hi knowledge about financial accounting. In the second semester, he became a Finance Intern for Stonegate Financial Group, where he utilized his knowledge to help build a financial database.

To put our friendship in perspective, Trevor and I have both done/been the following:

  • Worked for The State Press
  • Mentors for the Barrett Mentoring Program
  • Alpha Kappa Psi
  • The Amazing Race – W. P. Carey Edition
  • Camp Carey Facilitators
  • Student Survey Workers for W. P. Carey

Currently, Trevor is interning with Store Capital as an Underwriting Intern – his third internship in only two years. With his constant desire to exceed expectations, Trevor serves as both a leader in the business school as well as a constant reminder that results can be achieved with hard work.

“As long as you’re willing to put in the effort, there is nothing you cannot achieve…no dream that you cannot see fulfilled.” – Trevor Jones

 

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Starting Your Internship Right

As I began my first internship a month ago, I really didn’t know what to expect. You hear stories from other people, you see movies like The Internship and wonder “Is that really what it’s like?” Well, I’m here to dispell all rumors for you.

In case you didn’t see my last post, I am currently interning with  in Austin, TX, this summer as an Undergraduate Intern Sr. Analyst. It sounds fancy, I know. As a Supply Chain Management major, my internship is in Operations, and I work at the Dell headquarters in the Americas Operations Cell. Specifically, I’m working on ways to track large orders in North and South America.

As far as starting your internship right, here’s 3 quick tips that will get you on the right track:
Introduce yourself to as many people in your office as you can 

One of the most important first steps at an internship is to let everybody know who you are. Whether there are only a couple people in the office, or there are 20 people in the office, just go around and introduce yourself (name, university, intern project). It makes a huge difference! The point of an internship is to get a job offer, and the more people that know and like you, the better chance you have to get your foot in the door.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

In fact, you want to be asking questions all the time. In an average internship, you will be given a project to work on throughout the course of the summer and you will then be asked to present the project to some executives at the end. You definitely want your project to be good, and of course, to make sense. The best way to do this is by asking questions whenever you’re confused about something. I’ve been keeping an Acronyms Glossary for all of the terms I hear, and I’m already well over 100! It also lets your manager and team know that you’re working hard and getting clarification on your project.

Get out and Have Fun! 

An internship isn’t just about working 40 hours a week for the summer – it’s about the internship experience. For 10-12 weeks, you get the opportunity to experience the life of a professional, a life that you aspire towards. You also get the chance to share this experience with other interns who are in the exact same situation as you are – I recommend applying for internships in other states. You get to live somewhere new for an entire summer, which means exploring a new city, meeting new people, and having the chance to live independently before heading back to school.

In my first month, I’ve already done a ton of fun things in Austin:

Visiting the Capitol

Swimming at Lake Travis with other interns – I’m on the far right! 

X Games in Austin – Free! 

Concerts in the Park

Kayaking at Zilker Park - It’s harder than it looks, I promise. 

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Millionaire Interview with Brian Greenberg – Successful Internet Entrepreneur

Brian Greenberg Millionaire Interview

Brian Greenberg

On Thursday, I had the amazing opportunity to interview a great friend and mentor of mine named Brian Greenberg. Let’s just say that he’s been in the internet marketing industry since it’s birth around 14 years ago, and he’s a very successful man with many incites to share with college students here at W.P. Carey.

Here’s the interview!

What’s your background – what you studied in college and what you do now?

I studied at University of Arizona, but both of my parents went to ASU. I studied business marketing and entrepreneurship. I really liked both schools, so there’s definitely no rivalry.

What did you learn from your marketing major?

I learned how to measure and track marketing efforts. The whole goal of marketing is to increase sales, but if you don’t know what’s increasing or decreasing sales, then your marketing efforts are pointless. My marketing major taught me the importance of tracking results and making decisions with the data you get from marketing campaigns.

What did you learn from your entrepreneurship major?

How to build business plans. And the major enabled me to investigate and experience each part of a business from finance to the marketing to the operations – which was very valuable.

I started my first company in 2003 called Wholesale Janitorial Supply, which was just 3 years out of college. Before that, I built sites for my father’s businesses, touchfreeconcepts.com and touchfreesolutions.com. Right out of college I took a lot of jobs working for an internet marketing company, and then used those skills to work with my dad’s companies where I did all the project management such as managing design, software development, marketing, and customer service. Those businesses used to be 7 figures. Now they do about 750k in revenue. The main reason for the drop was because we got less traffic from Google when they updated their algorithm in 2012. Many companies lost rankings and traffic from Google when this update hit. Google’s penguin algorithm update was launched in the spring of 2012.

Why did you chose to get involved with the internet?

I saw great future in the internet. It also happened organically. A manufacturer lived down the street and got my dad a distributorship so he could get wholesale prices. My dad handled the operations and negotiating with suppliers. Then Touch Free Concepts got set-up as a drop-ship company. A drop-ship company is a company that basically just fulfills orders and ships products for you so that you don’t have to fulfill your own orders in house. So in this example, another company would ship our products without us having to be involved in the process. We literally just send them the order forms and they ship the products to the customers which automates everything. Another company handles inventory and shipping. The people who they partnered with are drop-shippers. UPS shipped the products, but it was stocked by another company that had 30 warehouses.

How were your companies different than competitors?

We competed on price and set-up businesses so they had a low amount of fixed cost so we could compete with anyone on price. Plus, the usability of the website was better than competitors. And they focused on building up the customer and gaining trust by using testimonials and reviews for products. Visitbilty on the internet, such as being on the first page of Google for all the products they sold, was also important because we had better marketing – so we were #1 for all the top keywords you could imagine. That helped us dominate competitors with a weak online presence.

I also started SEO-Services.com in 2007 and sold that in 2012. We ranked #1 for “seo services” for 3 years which is one of the best, most competitive keywords on the internet. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the process of ranking websites higher in search engines like Google. The goal is that if your site ranks higher in search engines, you and your clients get more traffic and more sales. We topped out at 1M in revenue and had over 50 clients. We wanted more big clients instead of having hundreds of smaller clients. We spent over 50% of the budget on actually ranking clients rather than just taking someone’s money, which is what a lot of SEO companies do. We just did SEO marketing for our other businesses that we owned as well – like Touch Free Solutions, which is one reason they did so well online.

Did you have any big failures that we can learn from?

I started an e-commerce platform to compete with Shoppify and other big players, but lost 250k to a programmer that didn’t do his job as well as he should have. He basically didn’t program features as efficiently as possible, so a lot of time and money was wasted. And since I paid him hourly, I had to pay him to fix his own mistakes.

How did that happen?

There was no accountability. 3.5 years, that lasted. I had that guy, and he brought in other programmers but it got expensive and outdated because it took so long.

What are some of the biggest lessons you learned in business?

#1 thing about business is the scalability and automation and passive income. Rich Dad Poor Dad. To get on the right side of the chart, you need a business that other people can run for you.

Do something you enjoy doing. It might take a while to figure out what you really enjoy and what you don’t enjoy. If you’re going to put 10,000 hours into your career to become a master, make sure it’s something with a lot of growth potential.

What are the top 3 skills you’d recommend that W.P. Carey students acquire?

3 skills, hmm. 1 project management skills. 2 negotiating / persuasion (Getting to Yes – great book recommendation). 3 resourcefulness – the ability to get things done. You’re a good business owner if you can make great decisions quickly and get things done. People that can’t pull the trigger have the most difficult time getting started in their own company. This is simply risk taking. The ability to take risks is paramount to being successful in business, and it’s like a muscle. The more risk you take, the easier it is to take more risk.

How did you scale your companies so fast? Technology and automating everything as much as possible. If there’s something I can get done automatically with a computer, I’ll do it. Partnerships also help scale things. Strategic partnerships – so like having a contract with a company to do the shipping or get people to do customer service for me or sales like insurance. They are all contractors, so you can easily replace them and work with another contractor and maintain great accountability.

What’s more applicable advice you’d give to college students while they are in college?

Build your own website. Take a simple course on html code. Everything is going towards the internet and technology, so you need a basic understanding of technology and how things work. Otherwise, you will be left behind and less useful.

What you would major in at W.P. Carey if you had to graduate with any business degree?

Computer. (So CIS would be the best major?) YES! If you just major in marketing, you will just end up doing sales out of college, but most of marketing is internet based so you need to understand internet marketing since that’s the most powerful.

If you could only pick 2, what are the most important lessons you’ve learned in business?

Passive income. Don’t focus on the dollar, focus on serving people and provide value the money will come.

What are you doing today?

I run an online insurance brokerage called True Blue Life Insurance that I started in 2012. When I was just out of college, I worked for Metlife as a financial advisor. I earned my series 7 (securities brokerage license) as well. I got good at internet marketing, so couldn’t wait for the chance to start an online insurance agency. The pay-per-click ads for insurance are some of the highest in the internet. My mouth was watering at the money potential in the insurance market. The life insurance market is one of the most profitable. It took over 2 years to start ranking…but I was patient. My first website was called Compass Quote and after 3 years it was ranking on first page for keywords like “term life insurance” traffic worth 500k/mo. I started this site in 2005. Compass Quotes traffic got cut in ½ by Penguin, which is Google’s 2012 algorithm update. Lesson learned – when you become a master – you can get knocked down, but you have the skill and knowledge to get back up. Leaders are readers. I had the knowledge, so I got back up.

What are some books you’ve read recently?

I’m reading a lot of biographies and other great books. Here are the titles.

Steve Jobs Getting to Yes

In the Plex

Built to Sell

The E-Myth

The Power of Habit

Good to Great

Positioning

What industries would you dominate if you had to start over right now?

I would definitely get into online commerce. I’m an entrepreneur, so there’s nothing really specific. But I have that creative spark, so it would change from time to time. Steve Jobs said, “You come to the point when you realize that the people who build everything around you are no smarter than you”. So you can build whatever you want. I would go into e-commerce first. But don’t just do one thing. Have multiple streams of income. Start in multiple businesses…just do no more than two or three otherwise, you can’t focus, and you will probably burn out or fail. So test in multiple industries, and whatever interests you most, execute. Opens up the ability to be a consultant.

What is the future of technology?

The people who know the most are people like Larry Page and Ray Kurzweil. The point of singularity – computers will continue to assist our world. We will have a paperless world. Medical records. Photos. Contracts – everything will be online. Cloud-based technology. Television, cable, phone systems. Everything will be in the cloud.

 

Wow. That was a lot of high level knowledge. Take some notes on this and leave a comment if you thought this interview was helpful…and I’ll do more interviews. Connect with me on Google+.

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My Internship Pathway

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It’s always been an aspiration of mine to get a paid internship in college, in the career field of my choice: supply chain management. As a rising junior, however, the road to an internship in the business field can be long, weary, and full of obstacles. Since I’ve had an internship in my sights for a while, I prepared myself as best I could throughout my first two years of college…

 

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Building Professional Experience

The first thing that I did as a freshman at ASU is apply for on-campus jobs. Low and behold, I actually managed to land one! And thus began my career at The State Press, the student newspaper. I was not a writer however – I was actually in sales! I started out as a Student Advertising Executive for The State Press, where I worked for a year to sell advertising spots in the paper to over 300 local and national businesses. It turns out that I had a knack for sales, and after a year, I was promoted to Student Advertising Manager and got the chance to oversee the sales staff. This was not my only venture into the working world. At the same time, I became a Student Orientation Leader with ASU New Student Orientation, where I worked throughout the Spring and Summer of 2013. My job was to basically assist in running freshman orientations, which could anywhere from around 100 students to a few thousand. These two positions gave me the professional experience that I needed to at least land the interview. I also acted as a Student Survey Worker for W. P. Carey in Prescott for a weekend, as well as a Brand Ambassador for Amazon for a week. (These small positions add up!)

Involvement

I then made it a goal to get as involved as possible – my freshman year I joined the Barrett Honors College Council, Devils’ Advocates (school tour guides), the Barrett Mentoring Program, Network Scholars, the Billiards Club, and the Honors Marketing Advisory Board. The point of joining clubs and organizations isn’t just to put them on your resume – it’s to actually be involved, to network, and to make friends. This makes it all the more worth it when you’re asked about your involvement and you can confidently say that you were a heavily involved student in both academics as well as extracurricular activities. I continued this trend last year as a sophomore, staying involved in everything I was as a freshman and joining Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity, and the Supply Chain Management Association. To top it all off, I got the chance to study abroad during Summer 2013 in London, Dublin, & Edinburgh on scholarship.

The Internship Challenge

The great challenge came when actually looking and applying for my first internship. Despite being very involved, having a decent GPA, and having work experience…companies are looking for juniors entering their last summer of college. The reason for is is that internships are meant to entice people to go work for that company. It’s much easier to get somebody to work for your company if they are graduating only a year after and have to secure a job fast. For freshman and sophomores, it can be a challenge getting that internship. The point is to persevere. I applied to numerous internships and underwent several interviews until I finally got an offer. Who did I get it with? Dell - A Fortune 500 company ranked just outside the Fortune 50 (51) and on just outside the Gartner Top 10 (11) for Supply Chain Excellence. For a supply chain sophomore, it feels like a dream come true.

Now look at me! What a professional…


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Business Lessons I Learned from 4 Dentists

My dad is a dentist, so I’m always around dentists. It’s an interesting model. The average dentist makes 150k per year and is in school for 8+ years. But that never made sense to me. I’d rather own a practice and hire dentists to work for me. He always would ask me if I wanted to be a dentist, and I said no because I knew there was something else in me. After turning 17, I realized it was entrepreneurship. In running a digital marketing agency, I am constantly talking with dentists. Back in 2010, I went to a seminar on E-commerce, and my mind was blown at the opportunity and scalability of the internet. After that day, I knew that I wanted to be in the internet marketing industry for the rest of my life. Then, in 2012, I started Crawford and O’Brien with my partner who went to ASU back in 2011. We specialize in helping dentists get new patients through marketing channels that actually work and deliver serious results. Many of the dentists I talk with have valuable business lessons that I pick up on.

Here are a few lesson I’ve learned from 4 dentists I’ve recently talked with.

1. Expectations Are Everything Dr. John Han is a dentist in Reston, VA, which is a town right by D.C. I’ve learned that everything is about expectations. Think about it. If you expect your roommate to close the door behind them, and they don’t…then your expectations were shattered, which can lead to anger or some other type of emotion. So in business, set proper expectations so that everything goes smoothy. If you don’t get the relationship off to a great start, everything goes down hill from there.

2. Perception is Reality In business, if you’re customers think you’re awesome, and you’re really not (which should be rare) then you’re awesome. If they think you suck, but you’re really awesome, then you suck. Justin Bieber’s dentist in Woodland Hills is Dr. Bobby Irani. I laughed when I learned that Dr. Irani was Justin Beiber’s dentist because that just confirmed how wealthy of an area Dr. Irani was in. A lot of pop stars live in the Woodland Hills area. Anyway, it’s always paramount to create a brand that people perceive as being amazing. When it comes to a rich part of California, this is vital for Dr. Irani. He has to be perceived as a high end dentist with amazing quality products and personalized care. Otherwise, there’s no reason for rich people to go to him vs some other dentist.

3. Scalability is Everything Would you rather sell one amazing product every month at high profit per unit or 10,000 products per month at low profit per unit? I’d take higher volume and lower profit per unit every day of the week. Why? It’s more scalable because in order to achieve 10,000 sales per month, you have to have systems and processes that allow you to do that…and those systems don’t need to have your involvement. I recently was in talks with a dentist in Colorado Springs, and he just bought a new dental office. He definitely understands supply and demand. The demand for dentistry in Colorado Springs is higher than the average city by about 20% because the city is more affluent and wealthy than the average city.

4. Make People Feel Great When it comes to environment, I learned a lot from talking with Dr. Drakeford. She’s a female dentist, which is becoming more and more common as more women graduate dental school every year. But one thing that I liked about her office is that she has a very happy, comfortable environment in her office. Patients definitely like a great environment. Think about your favorite restaurants. What’s the environment like. Is it cozy and romantic? Or fast and loud?

Most of the business lessons I ever learn are from experience, which is why I try to get as much experience as possible. I recommend you do the same. That’s why internships are amazing. ASU definitely has a lot of opportunity when it comes to internships. I did an internship with a Silicon Valley tech startup company called ONcam. They created a video broadcasting system that a lot of the pop stars use to communicate with their fans. But I found that internship opportunity through the ASU career link. As you walk through the Dean’s patio, think about these ideas. Learn as much as you can during your time at the W.P. Carey School of Business. You want to be ahead of the game when you graduate.

Connect with me on Google+ or Facebook.

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David Choi Named Outstanding Graduating Senior

David ChoiThe results are in: Economics, supply chain, and math student David Choi has been named the Turken Family Outstanding Graduating Senior for spring 2014. David was chosen from finalists across the W. P. Carey School of Business, for his exemplary commitment to academic excellence, campus leadership, and civic responsibility.

When it comes to school, David has excelled in three challenging fields. His unique ability to distill and communicate complex information in an accessible way has engaged other students and driven more dynamic discussions in the classroom. David’s communication skills and academic diligence have helped him earn not only an excellent GPA, but the respect of faculty, staff, and fellow students.

David has made a positive impact on campus since day one of his freshman year. He became involved with and led in the W. P. Carey Business Ambassadors, and has consulted with organizations like Banner Baywood Medical Center and Intel as a part of the Consulting Scholars group. David has also taught help sessions for honors business statistics, and for the past three years has served as a Camp Carey facilitator.

Off campus, David has dedicated himself to bettering the community as a volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and United Blood Services, as well as building homes in Mexico and tutoring ESL students at Chandler Sunset Library. It’s clear that David Choi stands out in the b-school crowd, and will make an impressive addition to our family of alums.

Congratulations, David!

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avoiding high school senioritis: some tips for incoming freshmen

At this point, you seniors have a semester left of high school. This may seem like it is going to drag on forever, but believe me, it will be over much, MUCH sooner than you know it.

I know this season is difficult. There are so many excuses you can find to slack off during this last stretch of high school, but chances are, if you allow yourself to submit to those excuses, your last year will end up being slightly more stressful.

It’s difficult for me to offer specific advice, because the details of your college experiences will be very different.

However, here are some general things to keep in mind that will help you stay strong and push through to the very end:

1) Keep scholarship searching.
I know this isn’t necessarily fun, but it’s important to keep this in mind. It’s really never time to stop searching for scholarships. There are so many out there to apply for, and even though the process is time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, it is well worth the effort.

2) Get into the college mindset.
A great way to push through any sort of dry season in life is to focus on the road ahead of you. Keep your head up, and keep reminding yourself of the bright, new things ahead of you. Regardless of any stories, rumors, or jokes you’ve heard about stereotypical college life, get excited about the new chapter of your life that begins once you start college. Your college experience will be exactly what you make of it. If you stay persistent and driven, you will grow so much and achieve truly incredible things in college. As you press on through these last few months of high school, remind yourself of all the new, exciting things that are in store for you. Imagine all the wonderful people you’ll meet and things you’ll accomplish. There are so many new doors that will be opened for you at ASU, and it’s such an amazing thing to look forward to. In general, begin to immerse yourself in college life by getting an idea of how you could be spending your time once you get there. A very productive way to spend your free time would be to begin researching clubs and organizations. ASU has an almost overwhelming amount of involvement opportunities, so it is nearly impossible to find absolutely nothing that catches your interest. Going to their websites or making phone calls are the easiest ways to go about doing this, but another way to enhance your perspective on ways to get involved on campus is to make friends with current students and ask them about how they’ve gotten involved.

3) Build your skills.
Chances are, you have many different interests, talents, or hobbies already. Decide right now that you are going to start taking the time to explore new interests and build on some old ones. Take the time to do what excites you. Once you get to college, you will have plenty of opportunities to expand these hobbies even more. When you arrive on campus, keeping your interests in mind will help you quickly connect with certain clubs or organizations that strike your fancy. It might also help to do a bit of research on what ASU offers in terms of extra-curriculars, clubs, and other programs. For example, find a list of clubs that interest you and look at their social media pages to get a better idea of what they’re about and what involvement with them looks like. Or if you’re interested in Greek life, start researching ahead of time and thinking about that process (I am not involved in Greek life, so I really have no actual information about it, but there are many places you can look and people you can speak with to get a better idea of what it’s like). Another extremely important way you can build skills is by volunteering. Any type of volunteer experience in general is always a rewarding and worthwhile experience, but if you are able to volunteer in a way that incorporates your interests, you will find a more specialized reward. For example, if you are interested in art, find an art museum where you can volunteer, or a camp where you can help lead summer art courses for children. If you’re interested in business, volunteering at a non-profit will enhance your platform in the business world and also offer you a great way to network.

4) Talk to current college students.
Getting to know people who have pushed through the stresses of senior year and experienced the whole new world of college will be a great resource to you as you finish off the year. Find people who can speak positively about how hard work during senior year pays off, and ask them all you want about college life. Connecting with people who have been in your position recently will help ease your mind and help you feel more confident that you have the ability to finish this year well.

5) End with a bang.
I don’t know about you, but there’s something so satisfying about reaching the end of a long journey and knowing that you pressed on until the very end. It’s easy to want to slack off during this last year. You’re exhausted and ready to move on. However, your future self will thank you for working so hard until the very end. Fully engage yourself with the place where you are right now, and when it starts to feel overwhelming, remind yourself that the finish line is in sight.

Press on, friends!

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my 2014 new year’s resolution

Every year, I try to set and fulfill a New Year’s Resolution. For instance, my resolution for 2013 was to study abroad. I actually fulfilled that resolution and studied abroad in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh during the summer of 2013! You can read about my adventures while abroad here or in my personal blog.

I put a lot of effort into thinking about what I want my resolution to be. I incorporate my experiences during the previous year and figure out what I most want to change about myself.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is:

Contribute to the Greater Community Around Me

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