From the category archives:

Career Paths

Carlyn

Dallas Days

by Carlyn on April 15, 2014

in Academics,Career Paths

Every spring, the fashion merchandising department alternates between taking trips to New York City and Dallas. I had the absolute time of my life on the NYC trip last year, so couldn’t wait for the Dallas one this year. It was a short, but sweet trip that lasted three days. This study tour landed during a very busy time of year, but the amount of information I learned, beautiful weather, and peer bonding throughout the experience definitely made it worth it. There were 10 students and two faculty members that attended (all ladies!).

The first day there, we visited the Dallas Market Center, which is where hundreds of showrooms are located. Many retail buyers come here from all across the world to purchase merchandise for their store. As a class, we were able to tour the building and meet with some showroom representatives for great Q and A sessions. In the evening, we spent time browsing the stores at the Dallas Galleria, then all ate together at an amazing Mexican restaurant.

Day two started out with a tour of the Mary Kay manufacturing plant. This was neat to see. I learned so much about their products and all the good the company does, making me a Mary Kay supporter now. Following that, we went to Mary Kay headquarters, in which professionals on the marketing side presented to us. There was a museum there too. The afternoon consisted of a visit to a company that works with pattern making and product development. Day two ended with more shopping in the West Village area, full of unique boutiques. Dinner that night consisted of one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. My cousin lives near Dallas, so I had the opportunity to reunite with her that night.

Day three was the busiest, with no riding-in-taxis down time in between meetings. The entire day, referred to as “Career Day,” was spent at the Dallas Market Center again. This time, we listened to an inspiring motivational speaker and attended three educational sessions that were presented by a variety of professionals in the industry that traveled to be there. In addition, my trend board project was on display. To end the day, design students showcased their outstanding work in a fashion show. After that, it was already time to head back to the airport.

Everyone I encountered throughout the Dallas trip was extremely nice. They get the reputation of Southern hospitality for a reason. In a short amount of time, I saw a lot of new things. Trips like these are so beneficial to learning more about the fashion industry and what my niche is. It’s always helpful to travel and see what parts of the country I like best too. Last, but not least, I am grateful that I got to spend quality time with the other girls within my major. We created college memories that will be treasured forever.

At the Dallas airport with the class, as we depart back to St. Louis

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I knew going into the week after spring break that it was going to be the “Face the To-Do List I was Supposed to Tackle During Spring Break Week” week. Does that make sense? However I write it though, the week was, in a word, rough. And I loved it for that. Because weeks that make me feel super busy also make me feel super accomplished when I come out of them alive and in one piece. So yes, Physics Test Number Three, which I took the Wednesday night after break, was maddening and challenging (in other words…I genuinely enjoyed it, but my grade won’t) and I probably failed it. But like I texted my dad right after I took it, “I’ve just come to expect really hard exams now. They don’t really even phase me anymore.” (And neither does scoring less than a…50%…on said hard exams.). To which he responded, “I think you’re ready for Rolla :-) !” (Yes, he did type the smiley face because he claims he can’t get Emojis.)

Wait. Wuuuuut?

Oh yeah, did I mention that the moment I walked through the door to my house for my break, I kid you not, dad told me exactly how he felt about me pursuing chemistry? That I shouldn’t do it? That it’s not the best decision? That I need to do something else? (I’m so glad we decided to have this talk, wuuut, seven weeks before I graduate?)

I was angry with him. I cried about it. Dad and his stupid engineering mind-set* (*See definition at the end of post.)! Why did he have to be so disgustingly practical about everything? Why did he spend every moment of his spare time on his iPad, researching careers and salaries in chemistry to build his argument as to why I shouldn’t get a PhD or even a second undergraduate degree in it? Oh yeah, I was pretty mad all break. And then that Friday I went to UMSL and met with the chair of the chemistry department about completing my second degree there. And then I understood where dad was coming from this whole time. And, as of that Friday, I’ve had a nervous pit in my stomach, wondering how I’m going to make this decision in the amount of time I have to make it.

To get a good job in chemistry, I would do my second undergraduate degree (two years) before launching myself into a PhD program (five years). That’s seven more years of school total. Kids, to put things in perspective, that’s like high school and college combined practically. I love, love, love school and learning and studying (otherwise I wouldn’t do it so obsessively), but that’s a lot, even for me! And as dad so bluntly put it the moment I threw my backpack down when I got home that day,

“Then what?”

His idea: Take two and a half years or so to get my second undergrad degree in engineering at Rolla.

My take on his idea: Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Chemistry. It seems like a natural fit for me…Right?

Hm. Maybe so. Next week dad and I are going to spend some quality time together as we make the trek down to Rolla to check out their program. Like he texted me yesterday, “I think you’re going to like what you hear.”

Hmmmmm…excited and nervous to see where this new road takes me…!

-Carly

En·gi·neer·ing mind-set: Noun: A very real personality trait that one knows best/everything about everything, simply because he or she holds a degree of some sort in the field of engineering, or is currently pursuing a degree in the field.

Example:

• Lately I’ve been especially obnoxious and smarty-pants-ish. I think I’ve inherited dad’s engineering mind-set. (FACT.)

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This week I had the opportunity to meet with a private practitioner speech therapist. She talked with me about all the different places she has worked as a speech-language pathologist, and even let me observe a therapy session! I was super stoked because this was the first time I got to watch a therapy session up close rather than through a computer screen like they make us do at Fontbonne. I realized that I have definitely learned a lot about speech and language in my two semesters at Fontbonne. I picked up on voice and language errors and was confident in using speech therapy jargon with the therapist.

I definitely feel more confident in my choice of major now, and the experience has helped me reflect again on why I want to be a speech-language pathologist. I believe communication is very important — after all, how can society succeed without communication? How can people fall in love if they never speak with one another? How do friendships form without talking about experiences, likes, dislikes, etc?

Not to mention that studying how the voice works is amazing! It’s crazy how intricate the voice is, and there is a lot more science to it than one would think. I think my background in singing makes me particularly interested in studying the voice. So if any of you out there love to sing and think that the only way you can turn that into a career is by being a popstar…think again! You can be a speech therapist and incorporate singing into your therapy! It definitely helps some people and can be a lot of fun :)

Whatever major you are going into, be sure you look into what career that could lead you to. And always be sure you have good reason for why you want that to be your career. College can be kind of scary because you have sooo many decisions to make, but it can also be exciting for that very same reason!

Until next time,

Joanna :)

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Until SPRING BREAK. Not just any spring break. My LAST spring break of college. Say what?! I feel like I graduated from PSHS not too long ago. Though, college has its downs I am really wishing that my last year of college goes slower. The real world is a scary place. I am worried about being ready. I have had a good life so far, thanks to my family and friends. I just hope I am ready for the next part of my life. Which won’t be in Illinois anymore. Scary. Im heading to the West Coast where there will be more opportunities with the industry I want to get into. Chicago will always have a place in my heart, there is just nothing that the state of Illinois can offer me anymore. To me it was a perfect place for a child to grow up in.

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