Hello everybody. I haven't written in so long! I was moved to a new project within the university relations department and never got the time or chance to start it back up. I've missed it and now I am back for my final entry ever. I've always wanted to write a final entry, leave on the right note if you will.

I am set to graduate with the class of 2013 in a couple of weeks. I cannot believe time has flown by so fast. As I look back on all of my blog posts from my freshmen year, I have grown tremendously as a person. It was such an important and valuable experience for me.

Thirteen years ago, I moved to the United States from South Korea. My family and I pursued a better life and education, with a big dream and goal of attending a university here in America. I can't believe that I will be completing that dream soon. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to learn and experience higher education.

During my years here, our university has grown tremendously. I think some students often take this for granted. We have a university here that truly cares about the quality of education and its students, which is refreshing and something we should value greatly. I am always proud about that part of our university.

Having said that, my time here at the University of Massachusetts Lowell means more than words on a resume. I have learned to become a better human being and prepared myself to make a difference out in the real world. I've always said that what differentiates UMass Lowell from other schools is our students. Our students are commonly referred to as “working class,” something that I deeply understood after my interaction with the student body through all these years. We all should be proud for contributing a little bit toward our education and achieving academic success at the same time. It’s not easy and I applaud all of you for it.

I also wanna take the time here to thank all of the UMass Lowell students, faculty, and staff that I have interacted and worked with for the last four years. They were some of the most unique, knowledgeable, and inspiring people that I have ever met.

Elaine Keough took this clueless freshmen student four years ago under her wing to work on a blogging project. I want to thank you, Elaine, for the opportunity. I really enjoyed my time writing the blogs. I also want to thank Julia Gavin, Michael Pueschel, and Amy Eddy for implementing the HawkTalk project. I learned a lot about the campus through this project and you guys were nothing but kind and generous to me.

This is it. Thank you to anyone who has read any of my blogs in the last four years (you can still read all of it in my archives hehe). I hope you enjoyed at least some of it! You can still keep up with me through commencement with UMass Lowell's Twitter and Facebook feed (watch for the hashtag #HawkTalk). Lastly, be proud of your school! You all may not realize it now, but we are part of something special, trust me. Enjoy your summer and good luck in all of your future endeavors!
 
For the last time,
 
Andy Hwang




Take a Look Around

|
I always get lunch at Subway on South Campus every Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's become a routine for me as I have some time between classes on South. Before this semester, I rarely went into the McGauvran, let alone Subway. It's been a new experience for me if you will.

Students are often playing on the Xbox/PS3 console setups in the area, which I think is excellent. I am an avid gamer. I haven't got around to actually using the consoles yet, but it's only a matter of time. It's been there for a while so I need to get on it. I should also mention the new SIC (Student Information Center). You can purchase your senior shirts there or just ask for general information about anything. It's in a very convenient and visible location, another positive.

While those things are always there, sometimes there are events that you need to keep an eye out for. Today, Microsoft had a showcase of their newest products. They had their tablet and laptop set up for people to play around with. After lunch, I tried both products out of curiosity. They had me take a survey afterwards, but it was very short. On top of that, the people were very nice. I asked them a couple of questions. It was a good way to test out the newest technology without having to go out of my way to an electronics store.

There are so many events outside of McGauvran, right out on the lawn area as well. Something is always going on. In some ways, that makes South a bit more exciting than North. For people who have classes in both campuses, I think you can relate easily. I like being on South for the atmosphere and a good change of scenery.

Having said all that, my main message to you guys is to simply take a look around on campus. Even if it might seem like a boring Tuesday afternoon, you can always participate in something, because something is always going on, small or big. Your campus isn't all that bad at all.

I hope to see you all reading my next blog! I will be returning to my vintage self where I rant about a specific topic. It should be fun.

-Andy

Jack Kerouac Week

|
Hey guys. Hope you are all doing well. I haven't been myself lately but I'm hoping that changes sooner than later. We are almost 2 full months into the semester! Crazy, just crazy.

Last week, I was asked to sell t-shirts on South Campus, at an event that I wasn't really all that sure about. I didn't know what to expect nor what the event was about. I knew that last week was Jack Kerouac literary festival week, but I wasn't exactly planning to partake in all the activities. So when I was asked to sell shirts, I agreed, not only because I wanted to help out, but out of curiosity as well.

Needless to say, I saw the most interesting thing I've ever witnessed in my life. A poet named Anne Waldman performed her pieces in the most exciting way I've ever seen someone recite a poem. Her son's background music accompanied her descriptive and expressive poems. Let me reiterate - I have never ever seen anything like it. I'm not going to lie and say I loved it, but I know I was glad I was there to see such an experience.

Her performance lasted about an hour. She mixed in her wit and comedy along with her reading which made it much more interesting. By also being there, I got to learn more about the other events that were going on in celebration of Jack Kerouac. I saw some enthusiastic students there as well. The reason I liked the experience so much was because it was completely new to me. It's always good to try or see new things.

That's it for me today. I hope to write more as the week progresses. Life's a bit hectic, but come on now, whose life isn't, right?

Til next time,

Andy
Hey guys. It's been a bit, but I am back with another blog. Hope you all have been doing well. A month has gone by in the semester and it's extremely hard to believe. It seems like it took forever, but then it seemed so quick. I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense but that's how I'm feeling about it. Very hard to describe.

Without giving too much away, I want to tell you guys that we are working toward a fun project that hopefully will be a great help to all the students on campus. I think it's fantastic that there will be another fun, resourceful way to get information out to the students and hopefully it will become a reality. My blogging probably will be nothing compared to the project!

My internship has been going well. Things are a bit slow right now, but going into work has been a great feeling. I feel like I take it for granted that I'm there, so I'm constantly reminding myself of how much an honor it is for me to be there. It is something I want to do and certainly something that will be valuable to my career. I know hard work will turn into something good

I am hearing that the Chancellor's Forum is toward the end of October so make some room for it if you can. I mentioned this last year, but I really enjoyed it last time I went. Students had a lot to ask and input, and the Chancellor did his best in answering everything. I learned things about the school I haven't noticed or heard of before, so it was a valuable experience. Even if it seems a little iffy, maybe a waste of time, trust me, it really isn't!

The only bad thing about the internship is getting up early (and the train ride costs). So I am going to go to sleep early so I can do just that. Yes, I have work tomorrow on Columbus Day. It's not much of a holiday out in the professional world haha.

Hope to see you reading my blog later,

-Andy

College Life is Hectic

|
Hello everyone. Welcome to all the freshmen and welcome back to all the others! Classes have begun and I am hoping you all had a good summer. I think I did a relatively good job updating you guys about my summer and how it had gone. It's time to focus on school work now, however, and I've been trying to shift myself into "school mode," but it's easier said than done.

I did start my internship with the Boston Bruins and it's been pretty good. The travel for me is a bit long and the cost of the trains nowadays are very expensive as well. I have to pay for rent and such on top of that, so it's going to be a challenge. But like I've said before, I want this badly and I can't make excuses. Even if I can't enjoy some things for the next 4 months, I will give my all to this internship. The atmosphere itself is quite amazing and sometimes I can't believe I am actually there as an intern. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has been very kind and professional. It is an excellent organization with a great set of core values and professionalism. I'm pinching myself as I write this.

I'm sure all of your lives have been hectic as well! The freshmen class really seem to enjoy the campus so that is an encouraging sign. I know that the school is improving everyday and I can guarantee that it's a much better place than it was when I came 3 years ago. That is not a knock on the school, it's rather a compliment. You can see the changes that the school has made over the years and I think it's really for the students more than anyone else. 

Last blog, I posted a link to the article featuring UMass Lowell and Chancellor Meehan. I hope you all got a nice read out of it. It outlines his outlook about the school and his continuing effort to make it better. It might sound like I'm putting the school on a pedestal, so I apologize for that. I just know that changes have been made, many of which took account of student concerns, and I want to write about it. :)

Having said that, I would like to extend my help to anyone, especially freshmen, that need help with anything. I don't have a lot of time (thanks to the internship) but I am always reachable by email at andyhwang05@yahoo.com. I like helping others out obviously, just because I want to be nice!

I will update you guys more as the semester goes on but I've been trying to sort through a lot of things during this first couple of weeks. As soon as I settle down, you can expect more from me. 

Til next time,

-Andy

Go for it - Part 2

|
If you haven't read the first part, go ahead and read it right here. I shall continue!

Let me start off by saying that yes, I secured the internship with the Boston Bruins! Needless to express, I am extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity. As I was writing that previous blog, I had already received a phone call from the Bruins telling me that things were looking good. It was a huge confidence booster and made me more optimistic. Things just fell into place the way I wanted it to. I realized later that this internship was a tough get and I panned out. People congratulated me and told me that I should be happy and proud. The only word I can think of and really relate to is "thankful."

So I had a week or two to sit back and really think about what is ahead of me. I know for a fact that many students are or have been at where I am at currently. I only have a year of college left and the real world is right before my eyes. It's been a confusing and ambitious thought process, and to be honest, I still think about it every night. Allow me to elaborate a bit.

Inevitably, the biggest thing facing the class of 2013 is the job market. I am sure that the previous grads also had trouble with the market, but the market isn't all that strong and competition is all around the country. Massachusetts is a pretty competitive state when it comes to securing jobs. Because of these reasons, I cannot help but to think and question myself. Did I do enough and am I good enough to obtain a job? Even if it's a year away, it seems like it's getting closer day by day. Too close almost.

I think being concerned about the future is enough, but tie that in with all the little stresses of life, you are guaranteed to get a little crazy. Maybe some students don't over-think like I do (I am jealous), so it may be hard to relate. When I'm by myself, I think about too many things and over analyze things a bit too much. I know other students that go through the same process and we all should realize that it's not the healthiest thing for our lives.

Now here is my attempt to ridiculously tie my internship into all of those things. As I have mentioned, I did not expect anything when I sent in my application for the internship. I took the challenge head on if you will, and did not fear the result. I've had the same approach with a lot of things throughout my life and it mostly turned out for the better. Instead of worrying so much about the little things, I made a decision and took it in stride. I have lost my way a little bit in the last couple of weeks with so much thinking, but I'm trying to remind myself how I even got here in the first place. I encourage all of you to do the same if you are going through a similar time as I am.

Next blog, I would love to discuss the article on the Globe Magazine about UMass Lowell with Marty Meehan, our chancellor. It was a good read and you can find that here.

Til next time,

-Andy

Go for it

|
Hey guys. Hope all of you are doing well. Almost a month until we go back to the regular grind of classes! Get ready for another great year! It will be my last.

So in a previous blog I mentioned that I got to talk to the Boston Bruins Director of Marketing. As I mentioned, he inspired and gave me excellent advice on my future career. One of the things he mentioned is the importance of an internship. He told me that most people in his field have done some sort of an internship and it was critical in the hiring process. But he also mentioned that it's not just about getting that internship, it's leaving a mark and letting them remember you with your hard work and dedication.

With the upcoming semester and my financial situation, I didn't think it was entirely possible that I could commit full-time to the internship. The travel costs were very expensive (I'd have to take the train), classes were crammed together, and things just didn't fall into place. It didn't make a whole lot of sense.

I thought about it for a long time after our meeting. I pictured every possible scenario but it didn't make sense, especially financially. I needed to pay rent and living expenses throughout the year. The travel cost alone was going to be a hefty amount every month for the duration of the internship.

But something suddenly hit me. It was like getting hit with something on the head, sort of a wake up call. Everything I've thought about so far was an excuse. If I really wanted this, then I'd be going after it without fear. My conservative attitude was holding me back. I couldn't sit there and say "I could have." Without fear, I grabbed my laptop and prepared my resume and cover letter. Thing is, I mentioned my situation and clarified my available commitment in the cover letter. I mailed it without having big expectations.

Needless to say, I was surprised when I got a call to arrange an interview. I arranged for the interview the next day (I'm guessing they were short on time), and went in there having prepared as much as I could. I just wanted to show them the person I was, rather than a person I'm trying to be at an interview, if that makes any sense.

Unfortunately, I thought I bombed the interview. I stuttered on a few questions, stumbled upon a couple words, and didn't think they were too impressed. That train ride home was not a fun one because I thought to myself too much. Yes, too much.

I'm still awaiting the results of the interview but hopefully it will be good news. Nothing is confirmed yet but I do have a good feeling about it. That sort of contradicts what I just said in the previous paragraph doesn't it? I'll explain in my next blog. I don't want to jinx things if you know what I mean.

Hope you check out my next blog!

-Andy
Summer time usually means a lot of time to yourself. The more time you have alone, the more you think to yourself about random things. One thought leads to another, and the next thing you know you are having a serious thought about your future and career. That's what happened to me one night in this really hot summer. Facing graduation, I really haven't thought much about my career. I looked forward to the concept of graduating and getting out of school permanently so much that I did not deeply think about what I can achieve with my concentration in marketing/international business. Everyone wants to make a difference in the world and I'm no exception.

As I had these thoughts, the only thing that kept popping back into my mind was how I always wanted to work for the Boston Bruins. My passion for hockey was always there as some of you might already know, but working for a world class organization and showing them what I have to offer was an amazing thought as well.

Being the curious cat I am, I started to dig out some information about the marketing department of the Boston Bruins. I literally looked into everything, from internships to LinkedIn profiles. That's when I found the Boston Bruins director of marketing, as he was on LinkedIn. His list of experiences and accomplishments really was inspiring and I was hoping someone like him could give me a few words of advice to a confused soon-to-be senior in college.

As his LinkedIn account was protected from messages, I searched for his name to find any possible more information for contact, and I luckily found his Twitter account. To my big surprise, he actually tweeted me back. We exchanged a few tweets, and I eventually received an email address where I could express my thoughts more clearly and more than 140 characters at a time.

After a few emails, I was invited to the TD Garden Executive Offices to have a 1-on-1 chat as he told me that it would be more beneficial to have a face to face talk. I was delighted and humbled to have been offered such an opportunity. Needless to say, I accepted and I was on my way to Boston.

Chris, the director of marketing for the Boston Bruins, showed me around the TD Garden when I got there. He showed me around places I have never seen before, including the locker rooms, suites, and the Garden floor (a picture below). It was an amazing tour and experience.

We sat down in a suite when the tour was done and I asked him some of the questions that were lingering inside my head. He was so great with answering all the questions with honesty and passion. It really seemed like he enjoyed having me there. I was humbled by his experiences and hard work. I realized I was still have a lot of work to do in order to be a successful and hard-working employee for a world class organization.

He gave me a lot of good advice and I remember walking out of the Garden with a big smile on my face. This wasn't about getting a job, nor anything with employment. It was just a college student looking for a professional for some guidance. The professional was nice enough to give his time for me and I won't forget that for the rest of my life.

My point is, for a kid like me, who works and don't have the luxury to find an internship to suit my life, it was an amazing experience. I strongly believe that internships are important and I need to get to it at some point before the school year is over, but I know where my limits are. By even doing something like this, I have still gained a bit of knowledge and dug into the head of a professional for guidance.

The most important thing to remember though, is that you have the power and ability to create an experience like this yourself. I did get a little bit lucky in my experience, but that shouldn't stop anyone from pursuing their own experience. If there is something out there and you are curious about it, don't be afraid to shoot an email or two.

You just never know what might happen. 

177414_3483903216596_1069591746_o.jpg

Thinking Ahead

|
Hey guys, hope you all have been well. It's been REALLY hot lately so try to stay cool as well. I cannot stand the heat at all.

It's July 9th already and we're about 8 weeks away from school starting up again. It is going to be my last year and I'm really excited about it. It's also probably the reason why I have been thinking so much about the upcoming year as well. It's good to think about the future sometimes, but overdoing it can really stress you out. I've been really stressed out thinking about everything I can think of.

One thing I have done already was contact the tutoring department for a potential opportunity to tutor. Tutoring is something I always wanted to do and hopefully I will get a chance to work there, especially with the debacle with my work study next year. The school did not award it to me for whatever reason and I'm trying to get it back. Hopefully that goes well too.

The other thing, which is probably the hardest and the most stressful part of them all, is actually planning a budget for the upcoming school year. I'll be renting an apartment for a year with my friends, so I have to make sure I have enough money every month to pay rent. I think I am on the right track, however. If you have extra cash, even $10 or $20, just put it aside as an emergency budget and you will thank me later.

That's it for today. Good news is, I know my next two blog topics are going to be. So hopefully you will visit real soon, as I will have some interesting topics to discuss!

-Andy

Orientation: Be Yourself

|
I have of course enjoyed my time at UMass Lowell and plan to continue doing so, but everyone has regrets. My biggest regret dates back to before my freshmen year started. Just like the title says, my biggest regret originates from orientation. Allow me to elaborate.

I remember the weeks leading up to orientation, I was extremely excited. It was the first time I was going to be able to get a good look at the university, get an idea of what it's all about. I'm sure every other student that was attending was thinking the same thing.

When I got there, I enjoyed my time and participated in everything that was offered. It was a really good time. Wait a minute, now you're probably thinking, "then why do you regret it?"

The real big thing I regret is not being myself, being conservative. Though some activities might be a bit embarrassing (I'm not kidding haha), I highly encourage you try to participate and speak up frequently. This is your first chance to show yourself to a whole new group of people. High school is behind you now. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that for a variety of reasons and I regret that. I could have made many more friends if I was a little bit more active and engaging.

So don't make the same mistake I did incoming freshmen! I see you all having fun at orientation, I help set up for the writing placement testing. Enjoy orientation and make sure making new friends is on top of your priority list at orientation. I hope you all have a good time.

Til next time,

Andy

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed