“So much of life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness” – Sidney Poitier

I have had a hodgepodge of ideas running through my head for this blog entry and could not decide on just one... so I am choosing them all! It may be a little scattered; it may be a little haphazard; but hopefully it will also be a good read. With a lot going on these past few weeks, I have hardly had the time to sit down and actually write – on a non-academia level that is. Even so, there is much to be said, but per usual, I will try to keep it concise. To do that, I am trying a little different approach... here we go!

Final Exams

We are right in the midst of finals week and so far exams have been challenging. I am glad for this as it reiterates the value that UIC Liautaud has to offer. It is difficult to decipher how professors will administer finals though. Personally, preparing for them takes an entirely different disposition. Cumulative finals test your knowledge of all course topics and force students to really look back on everything learned. It helps me to constantly recall notes from previous lectures and utilize all resources whenever I sit down to study. When it comes to course application papers or semester ending compositions, taking advantage of the campus writing centers can be very beneficial. But no matter how you prepare, do so with diligence. Best of luck!

Academic Open House

I know this was previously blogged about, but I have to say what a great event this was! I had my Spring 2011 schedule set prior to attending, but after hearing presenters and gathering further course information, plans changed. My interest lies in entrepreneurship, and with a number of new offerings within this field, I knew holding off on a core course until summer (or fall) was necessary. Anyhow, the important point to take away here is how beneficial the Academic Open House was... and will continue to be! Each department gave a quick pitch and afterwards there was time for Q&A. This event is a must for students who are looking for more detailed course information and have specific questions for those teaching the courses.

Hot Chocolate 5k

This was another great event with a HUGE turnout. I believe there were over 25,000 total participants running both the 5K and 15K. The weather forced most to wear a few extra layers prior to starting the race, but once it began the adrenaline and thought of hot chocolate warmed us! I opted for the 5K this year and did very well – no PR, but I did finish in the top 15 (you can check out the results on their website: www.hotchocolate15k.com). Unfortunately, with winter right around the corner, this will probably be my last running event of the year. I am also in the process of putting a team together for the 2011 Chicago Marathon! I am somewhat hesitant to run one (I’m more of a sprinter), but am confident I will do well and look forward to the challenge.

Thanksgiving and Christmas

I went back to Minnesota for the first time since starting grad school. It was a fast trip full of activities... Visiting friends, multiple Thanksgiving dinners with the family, and my nephew’s birthday party! All the festivities, plus studying for finals, made for a very quick and busy break. Now Christmas is right around the corner and it looks like another engaging holiday is in the works. But before I can sit back and enjoy some time off, I need to start my Christmas shopping!

Last topic I want to touch on before wrapping up is that of giving. Over Thanksgiving, The MBA Association worked with some very charitable organizations. We supported the GiftCard Collection (www.giftcardgiver.com) and The Sunshine Christmas Store (www.sunshinegospel.org/christmas.html).  Feel free to check these out or contribute to your favorite charitable organization.  Either way, remember every contribution, big or small, counts!