Friday, October 21, 2011

Midterms Complete!

My first midterms are officially over, and I am proud to say that I aced them! My Lab Exam for business was definitely my hardest, but camping out in the computer lab last Friday night with my friends to study really paid off- we all did well on the exam. Something that was a challenge for me was the fact that the exam was a race for time. I am normally a slow test-taker, and there was absolutely no time to waste on this exam. But, I overcame that challenge and finished the entire thing. I’m excited to say that I am on the right track to get into the Kelley School of Business.

As the year goes on, I am becoming more acclimated to my work environment. I am not only working but having fun as well. I work with amazing people! When I worked at the career fair this fall with the rest of my co-workers, they encouraged me to not only do my job, but also to go introduce myself to employers to get my foot in the door. This really paid off because one of the companies, C.H. Robinson, selected me for one of their on-campus interviews! I was very surprised, because most companies gear towards juniors and seniors, and I am only a freshman. The position I am interested in is a Transportation Sales Representative, as a summer internship. This internship would allow me to work in Chicago this upcoming summer, and experience firsthand what it is like to work in the field of sales for a huge company. I would enjoy this so much, because it would allow me to determine possibly if that is the direction I want to take within the Kelley School of Business, or if maybe sales is not for me.

After preparing by doing mock interviews with some of my co-workers, I interviewed with the company yesterday, and I feel pretty confident about it. I will find out within three weeks if I was selected for the position or not. In the meantime, I am taking a short trip to New York City, so I will check back in two weeks! (:

Posted by Rachel


This week at my internship, I shadowed a group therapy session called Seeking Safety. Seeking Safety is a program designed to help people cope and seek safety from trauma and substance abuse issues. It focuses on building healthy relationships, thinking/coping strategies, and habits. I had been excited to observe this group—however, the experience I had was way beyond my expectations.

This week’s sessions focused on creating meaning by examining both harmful and healthy thinking strategies. We discussed seven common negative thinking mentalities or rationalizations. The ones that stuck with me the most were the escape, the good old days, and dangerous permissions. The escape is the idea that escaping is essential because feelings are too difficult to handle. This escape could be the use of substances, gambling, or even food. The good old days is remembering the high points/good stuff, and ignoring the low points/bad stuff. This could be an abusive relationship, or the use of a particular substance. Dangerous Permissions is rationalizing that you have permission to engage in self-destructive behavior, because of your situation or trauma.

Analyzing these thinking patterns in Seeking Safety made me conscious of how negative thinking impacts my own life. In particular, the dangerous permissions mentality. Although I don’t use substances as a way of coping with my frustrations, I do often use retail therapy or unhealthy eating patterns to cope with a difficult day. I rationalize that I deserve this: “This week has been so frustrating, I can buy myself new clothes” or “That test was really hard; a venti hot chocolate from Starbucks will make me feel better.” Both of these coping strategies only bring me down; they serve merely as an escape or distraction. They also have a negative impact on my physical health as well as my economic stand point. And, neither of them bring me any closer to actually feeling better or dealing with stress. The feeling of relief is only temporary.

I think the first step of changing these negative mentalities is becoming aware of them. It’s easy to become addicted to negative thinking; but, I do believe that by consciously choosing our attitude and thought patterns, we can break these addictions. Positivity has power within it; power to not only change your affect and mental health, but also to influence the lives of others.

Attending Seeking Safety was definitely a win-win-win situation. Not only did I get a better understanding of the day to day activities of the community corrections counseling side, but I also felt (cognitively) inspired for the rest of the week. Seeking Safety also sparked my interest in researching a future career in counseling or social work. My goal this weekend: explore graduate school options in rehabilitation psychology!

Posted by Anne

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Midterm Time

As I am progressing through my freshman year, I am learning something new each day. Midterms are approaching, so studying is consuming a lot of my time. School is moving quickly and I am adapting to college life very well.

I am on track to be admitted into the Kelley School of Business, and I am very excited about that. I have successfully completed my first Business Lecture Exam, and I am preparing for a Lab Exam Saturday. It is imperative that I do well, because getting into Kelley depends upon it! I am developing an increasing interest in business day-by-day, so I am willing to do whatever it takes to get into business school!

Calculus is continually challenging yet manageable. Creating a study group was a great idea because we do homework together every week and have fun at the same time. Study groups are a great way for me to solidify my knowledge by repeating it to others, and also to receive advice on what I don’t know. I am absolutely surviving my “hard” math class, and persistently working towards a good grade.

I am becoming better at Informatics as well. Information technology has many different aspects, and I am learning many new things. Programming is an art that takes practice, and it is interesting to do something I have never before had experience with. Learning computer code and other new subjects has been interesting as well, as I was not expecting to learn this in my class. I believe I will definitely have an advantage in the working world if I continue in my study of Informatics, because IT is important to almost all businesses nowadays.

I will check back after I have taken my midterm exams! This is a busy time of the year, but at the same time I absolutely love IU! I don’t know if I could be happier at another school, and I can’t believe I’ve already been here 7 weeks. Time is flying, and although I do a lot of studying, I am also finding time for fun. See you soon with more about my freshman year! (:

Posted by Rachel

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting to Know the Data

This last week at my internship, I was given the opportunity to work more closely with data collection for our grants. The biannual report deadline is coming soon, so it is crunch time for getting all of our data compiled and analyzed. CRI’s re-entry grant collects data from 148 different clients, throughout Southern Indiana. The interviews we administer take on a holistic approach, and examine several different factors.

My project this week was to determine if each of our clients lived in an urban or a rural community. To determine this, all I had to do was type their home address into the USDA’s online Rural Eligibility generator. This generator maps the home location, and determines if the location fits any of the USDA’s three definitions of a rural community. After I found if the location was urban or rural, I entered it into our computer statistical program (SPSS). The results were extremely interesting to me: 31.7% of clients live in a rural location, and 68.3% live in a metropolitan location.

As I have mentioned before, sociological reasons for crime fascinate me. This data got the gears in my head turning. What exactly about a rural location decreases criminal activity? Does it have to do with less access to criminal opportunities? Socioeconomic status? Limited mobility? Or is it merely to do with population density?

Posted by Anne