November 30, 2014

End of Semester Plans

I'm back at Saint Mike's after a week home for Thanksgiving break. I now have two weeks of class & one week of finals before I'm home for an entire month!

As a warning, I won't be blogging much in the next few weeks. I have a pretty packed schedule & a number of assignments to complete before I can head home. Here's a taste of my hectic couple of weeks - this week alone I have a 10-page paper, several big homework assignments, an exam, and then the LSATs on Saturday. Add into that my daily schedule of classes plus mentoring on Monday, tutoring throughout the week, and various meetings.

I understand their pain - these tests are stressful!

Coming up for winter break I have fun Christmas festivities & I'm planning lots of time to visit with friends. I also need to finish up my grad school application essays & re-take the GMAT exam to boost my score. I'm planning to have all my work done by Christmas so I can spend the rest of my winter break reading, catching up on tv, & sleeping in!

Feel free to email with any questions!

Thanksgiving & Being Thankful

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving break - we had an entire week off this year & I spent almost all of it at home, relaxing & visiting with my family. I also got to see some friends from home & I toured a few grad schools in Boston.

Apologies for my bad cropping job - just love this picture!

I just thought I'd reflect on what I'm thankful for this year. Although it's been a busy & difficult semester - there are a lot of things for which I'm grateful!

Family & Friends
Seriously, this one almost goes without saying. I've had a crazy stressful semester, with lots of schoolwork but also a lot to do in applying to grad school. I'm always so pleasant when I'm stressed - sometimes I get moody. My family & my friends have been awesome. They've really supported me all semester, kept me motivated & focused, & also helped me relax & have fun when the stress was too much. Besides all that, my parents, my brother, & my housemates are some of my best friends & I don't know what I'd do without them.

Saint Mike's
A few times this semester I've felt like I've been ready to graduate. Then I remember all that I'll be leaving behind come May & I can't imagine ever being ready for that! I've loved Saint Mike's since the day I toured & I'm so lucky to be here. I've really been able to find myself & discover my passions while at Saint Mike's. Plus, my professors are incredible. Supportive, smart, funny, caring, & truly interested in how I'm doing.

Study Abroad
My semester abroad last spring was incredible. Honestly, I still can't believe it all happened. I got to live in Dublin, Ireland, study at Trinity College Dublin, & travel across Europe for 5 months. I met some awesome people & saw incredible sights. I've learned so much about the world & I have so much more confidence now that I know I can survive in a place where I do not speak the language (particularly in Italy, Spain, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, & Poland). It was really a once in a lifetime experience.

Feel free to email with any questions!

Motivation to Finish the Semester

This semester has been a hard one for me - I've been busy with schoolwork but I've also been pretty stressed because I've been working on grad school applications all semester. Sometimes it's pretty hard to stay motivated because, let's be honest, 99% of the time I'd rather be in bed watching Gilmore Girls with my roommates than studying.

I find motivation in a bunch of things - my friends & family support me, my professors help me stay focused, my calculus tutor works though roadblocks with me. But I also love finding motivation in other things - especially on the internet & through Tumblr.

These are some of my favorite pictures & quotes-

Speaker at UVM

A few weeks ago I attended an event at UVM with my roommate (& fellow blogger) Lauren.

Lauren learned from a professor that author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was speaking at UVM in October. It turns out that she was actually supposed to have held this event last spring - when Lauren and I were both studying abroad.We were lucky &, for whatever reason, that event was rescheduled for this fall.

Lauren & I - excited before the event!

Chimamanda is an author, but I first learned about her when I heard her TED Talk titled 'We should all be feminists.' This talk is really powerful & if you haven't seen it, I suggest you check it out.

Most people are familiar with Chimamanda because part of her TED Talk is excerpted in Beyonce's song 'Flawless.'

Lauren & I were so excited to attend this event. Lauren also loves Chimamanda - she's watched several of her speeches, including one titled 'The danger of a single story.' Besides the fact that Chimamanda is an amazing speaker & author, we really dig her confidence & her powerful voice.

The event at UVM was amazing. Chimamanda spoke for a bit & read a passage from her book 'Half of a Yellow Sun.' Then she answered questions from the audience for the rest of the night.

The event was fun for so many reasons - we love Chimamanda & her work, the event was free, & everyone else there was so excited, which made the event really high energy.

Please email with any questions!

November 29, 2014

November 9th Open House

On November 9th we had our second and final open house of the semester.

Every fall we have several open houses for prospective students interested in applying to or attending Saint Mike's. The day starts with a hello from our Vice President of Enrollment. Next students split up & get to hear from professors in the major in which they're interested. Students end the day with a tour, lunch, & a visit to a club fair.

Mike the Knight welcoming prospective students

Open houses are a lot of fun because they're so high energy. I love talking to prospective students & families. It's a lot of fun to share my love of Saint Mike's & to hear from students that are really excited about the school. Families who attend open houses do so because they're already excited about the school, so they can't wait to hear about you experience at Saint Mike's.

Our open house was a success - all across campus were tours & groups of prospective families exploring campus.

Feel free to email with any questions!

First Snow!

It's a little early for snow - usually I'm still hoping for snowfall in December so we can have a white Christmas. However, we were lucky enough to have a few light snowfalls already this year!

Our first snow in Vermont wasn't especially exciting. There was just a bit of a dusting - enough to stick but not enough to really count as snow.

Last week, we had our second snow! And since then, we've had even more. With the snow finally sticking, campus looks beautiful. It's also exciting because the snow is getting me excited for winter & for Christmas.

Got questions? Email me!

Career Symposium

A few weeks ago Saint Mike's held its Sixth Annual Career Symposium. The Career Symposium is an awesome event where alumni return to SMC to talk with students about their work & to give students a chance to network within specific career fields.

Saint Mike's alumni are the best - seriously. Saint Mike's has an awesome community & it continues on with alumni. I've set up informational interviews with alumni in the past & they were so excited to chat & to help me. Alumni were just as excited to talk with students at the Career Symposium.

At the Career Symposium, students first heard from a keynote speaker, then attended round table discussions to hear advice for the working world. Next we split off to hear from industry-specific panels. I attended the government panel & the sales & marketing panel. Afterwards there was a mocktail reception & some prizes were raffled off.

Overall, the Career Symposium was great! I've attended for several years & I always love hearing from alumni. This year, I also got to meet my alumni mentor & I met two alums that really helped me to secure an internship two years ago.

Please email with any questions!

October 19, 2014

Montreal Pilgrimage

Last weekend I went on a pilgrimage to Montreal. The pilgrimage was put on by campus ministry & was led by one of my professors - Professor Patterson.

Two of my housemates - Merrill & Cait - decided to attend too. Honestly, a huge part of why I attended is because Professor Patterson is an awesome professor. I'm in his American Catholicism class right now & it's so interesting. Plus he's funny & makes the class fun & engaging. I knew that the this trip would be interesting if Professor Patterson  was going to lead it.

Cait, me, & Merrill

We left for the pilgrimage on Friday afternoon & drove up to Saint Anne's Shrine - a retreat center run by the Edmundites, the sect priests who run Saint Mike's. The retreat area was beautiful - set right on the water with beautiful buildings & sleeping cabins.

Lakeside at Saint Anne's Shrine

Friday night we had dinner then had a few talks about what a pilgrimage is and what we could expect to see. We broke off for the night and had free time to chat & get to know the other students on the trip.

Cute shrub statue in Montreal

Saturday morning we got up early & set off for Montreal. We crossed over to Canada & then we spent the day looking at different churches throughout the city. We had some free time for lunch before meeting up again. We finished with a mass at Saint Patrick's Church, had dinner, and drove back to Saint Anne's Shrine for the night.

Saint Joseph's Oratory

Notre Dame de Bon Secours

Sunday was busy too. We had some more free time but then we had to pack up. We attended mass at the shrine & then got to join the Harvest Dinner. Essentially they were serving an entire Thanksgiving meal for lunch - it was delicious! Afterwards we drove back to Saint Mike's.

Outside Notre Dame

Inside Notre Dame

The weekend was really wonderful & it was interesting to learn more about Saints that we had heard of in class. Professor Patterson made sure the trip was fun & it was overall a great weekend.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Vermont Business Roundtable - Executive Leadership Series

A few weeks ago I got an email from my advisor. She asked if I had heard of the women's leadership conference being held in South Burlington.

I was so interested without even knowing exactly what this was about. Since I'm interested in working in politics and am particularly interested in fighting for women's rights (aka equal pay, more women in leadership positions, etc.) I thought this leadership conference sounded awesome.

My advisor invited me & a few other students to attend the conference with her. We met up at Starbucks that morning, went to the conference, & ended up having lunch together afterwards.

Our far away seats during 
Jennifer Siebel Newsom's keynote

The event was put on by the Vermont Business Roundtable & featured a breakfast, keynote speaker, & a panel discussion for students. While we skipped the breakfast - we couldn't exactly afford the $1,200 per table - we got to attend the keynote & the panel. And it was awesome!

The speakers included, among others, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the filmmaker who created Miss Representation, and Madeleine Kunin, the first & only female governor of Vermont.

Quick video about Governor Kunin

The day was awesome - hearing from these women was exciting & inspiring. They've really done so much in their careers & are working to encourage & support other women so that they successful.

It was also great to visit with my advisor & with some other students & friends outside of class. My professor knows about my career goals & knows that I am interested in politics. She reached out to me about this event because she understood that it would really interest me & I am so grateful!

Trailer for the movie 'Miss Representation'

If you're interested in learning more about the Vermont Business Roundtable or about the Executive Leadership Series event that I attended, please check out this article by the VBR.

There are so many awesome events in Burlington & I'm going to more in the coming weeks! This Thursday our school is having our annual Fall concert & Foster the People are coming! Then next week I'm going to hear author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speak at UVM and I'm going to an Eric Hutchinson concert at Higher Ground. I've got a busy few weeks ahead of me!

Email me with any questions!

Looking Ahead to Post-Grad Life

Every time I introduce myself as a tour guide I say the same thing - "My name is Alex Brenock and I'm from Medway, Mass. At Saint Mike's I am, sadly, a senior and I am a business major."

I am, sadly, a senior. Seriously, sometimes it's seriously upsetting!

In May, after graduating, I am going to be so sad to leave my friends, professors, and so many other SMC staff members. But I'm also pretty excited to take a big jump forward in my life & to really get started in my career path.

I've been spending a lot of time at 
Klein, where career development is located

Right now I plan to go to graduate school & then to work in politics and eventually run for office. The end goal is to become a U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts. I know, I've got some big plans. This semester I'm busy applying to graduate school. I'm looking to go to school in Boston or in D.C. & I am interested in a joint JD & MBA program. In four years I'll earn both my law degree & my masters in business.

That means that this semester has been crazy busy for me! A few weeks ago I took the LSATs and I'll be taking the GMATs next month. Besides that, I have applications, essays, and letters of recommendation to compile! I'm hoping to be done with the entire process by the end of November.

So what else have I been doing to plan for my future? Well recently I've been working to figure out how to pay for grad school. I entered a scholarship contest a few weeks ago that's put on by Dr. Pepper. I've gotten enough votes to make it to the next round, & now I need more votes in order to possibly win!

Please shoot over to the Dr. Pepper contest page, where you can see my profile & check out a video, coming soon. On the bottom left of the screen, just click vote! Really, every vote helps me in this competition & every bit of money I can get for grad school helps too!

Please email me questions!

October 18, 2014

October 4 - Admissions Open House

Saturday, October 4 was our first open house!

Every fall we have two admissions open houses, during which prospective students can tour Saint Mike's, meet our mascot Mike the Knight, and hear from the President of the college, the VP of enrollment, and a whole bunch of admissions counselors.

The campus store decked out for open house
"Welcome to the #SMCVT family!"

I love, love, love open houses because there is so much excitement & energy! So many prospective students attend & almost all of our tour guides are out giving tours. The day gives prospective students a great feel for the college - they can hear from clubs at our activities fair, eat lunch, hear from professors, & feel the awesome the Saint Mike's community.

Since I'm one of the coordinators for Founders Society - the group on campus that organizes tour guides & bloggers & rallies students for phone-a-thons & for alumni appreciation week - I had to be at the open house at 8:45am. It was early for a Saturday!

Founders coordinators - Bizzy, Brian, me, & Erin

When I arrived I helped Mike the Knight get set up, snapped a picture with my other coordinators, & started greeting prospective students & parents.

My apologies for the awkward camera
movement - my computer wouldn't let me edit!

I got to listen in to some welcome remarks, including one of my senior friends, and listened to the Acabellas, the female acapella group on campus. Next I attended the business & accounting panel to listen & share. Two of my very favorite professors - Professor Doyon & Professor Popovich - were there to present about the curriculum for business & accounting students.

Professor Doyon was my accounting professor & literally made the class easy to understand & even fun! Professor Popovich is my advisor & I am currently in one of her classes. We're learning about how to use excel for business purposes & let me just say - I never knew how little I knew about excel. Next Friday I'll actually be going to dinner at Professor Popovich's house with some other students & I can't wait!

A rainy open house - but campus was still gorgeous!

After the panel was done, most prospective students went on tours. I went to the activities fair to visit friends & I had some lunch. Finally, I went home!

Open houses are exhausting - they're early, busy, & long days! But they're one of my favorite parts of being a tour guide & Founders coordinator. They really allow us to share our love of Saint Mike's, which is the whole reason why we're involved!

If you're interested in attending the next open house on November 9th, register here! And if you have any questions, please email me!

September 22, 2014

Founders Society Coordinators Take On NEACAC

This weekend all four Founders Society coordinators had the chance to join admissions counselors Mike Stefanowicz & Matt Seklecki at the Students in Admissions Forum held by the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (also known as NEACAC).

As a coordinator for Founders Society, I got to attend the Forum!

Founders Society as Saint Mike's is essentially a program run by & for student ambassadors. It's the group that allows students to get involved in promoting Saint Mike's to prospective students & families. Founders Society is broken into four sections - tour guiding, blogging, alumni, and special events. The group has four student leaders:

-The Online Media & Communications Coordinator in charge of the blog program - my position!
-The Tour Guide Coordinator in charge of hiring and organizing tour guides
-The Open House & Yield Events Coordinator in charge of accepted student days, & overnights
-The Alumni Relations Coordinator - in charge of involving alumni in admissions events

As student leaders essentially working in admissions, the four coordinators (myself, Erin, Brian, & Bizzy) got to attend the NEACAC Forum. Basically we got to take a super fun road trip on Saturday night to Massachusetts where we stayed the night and attended the NEACAC Forum on Sunday at Holy Cross. It was SO FUN!

Quick pre-road trip selfie!

Brian, Erin, me, Bizzy & Mike

Starting our drive through beautiful Vermont

Stop in Manchester, NH for a delicious dinner!

The mac & cheese pizza was a hit!

Made it to Holy Cross!

SMC, keeping it classy

Our post-presentation picture

Driving home, McDonald's in hand

Sunday we got to attend panels & hear from admissions counselors & students from around New England. Brian, Erin, Bizzy & I even presented! We talked about how Saint Mike's has a unique admissions set up, with students staying involved through their time at school as bloggers or tour guides & continuing to stay involved after graduating. We called our talk "Full Circle Community."

It was also awesome to spend time with Matt, Mike, Erin, Brian, & Bizzy. While I've known them all for a few years now, it's been really fun to get to know them more this semester while working with them all!

Don't be afraid to email with any questions!

September 20, 2014

Fall at Saint Mike's

One of my favorite parts of going to school in Vermont is the changing of the leaves!

Fall is my favorite season & luckily, the fall weather is starting to move in! It's changed form hot, 90-degree sunny days to slightly chilly days with leaves starting to fall. I love it! I can't wait for it to be cold enough to wear sweaters & boots!

This (very busy) week I've taken some photos of autumn at Saint Mike's. Leaves haven't completely changed yet, but they're certainly starting to turn!

Taken from my favorite study spot!

Sunset from North campus!

Gorgeous leaves falling in the 100's townhouses.

Changing tree by Bergeron!

Sunset from campus.

Academic quad!

Even the ivy is changing!

In a few weeks I'll be going on an evening hike with the wilderness club & I can't wait. I'm also excited to do some hiking with friends after the leaves start to change a bit more!

Email with any questions!

September 14, 2014

Starting Senior Year at Saint Mike's

I can't believe that it's already the third week of school! We've just started back but I can already tell that this whole year is going to fly by.

I am beyond excited for senior year and, though I've been busy with grad school applications, I know that the year is going to be so much fun. It's been so nice seeing my friends after being abroad last semester.

It's also been incredible seeing my favorite Saint Mike's staff & professors. Rosemary & Abid in Alliot, Dragan the shuttle driver, Professor Popovich, my advisor, Tara, my old work-study boss and secretary to President Neuhauser, Professor Letovsky, the business department-head, and Professors Landry, Doyon, Teucher, Nelson. It's been so great to be back on campus.

My roommates!

First day of school shenanigans

My housemates are also awesome & I'm so excited to be living with them.I live with fellow bloggers Merrill & Lauren & with my friend Cait. We've all been friends for a few years now & Cait, Lauren, & I all lived together last year.

I love my housemates because they're awesome friends, easy to live with, and we're all super goofy. I love that we're all really involved at Saint Mike's, but we do all different things. Cait is Vice President of the Student Association, our student government on campus, & she's also a tour guide & a coordinator through MOVE, our community service group. Lauren does a lot of media stuff through her MJD (media studies, jorunalism, & digital arts) major & is involved as a tour guide & blogger. Merrill volunteers through MOVE as a mentor & is a blogger & tour guide. I'm in charge of the blog program this year as online media & communications coordinator & I'm a tour guide & a mentor through MOVE. Also, all four of us studied abroad last semester & both Merrill & Lauren have internships on top of their school work. My friends are really the coolest.

We live in the 200's townhouses, which are located farthest away from the academic buildings on campus, sort of by the suites. It's still just a ten minute walk to class, and it's nice & secluded in the 200's. There's less hustle & bustle so it's a good separation between school & home. I stole some pictures from Lauren of our house:

We posted a hashtag for our townhouse on our door so our friends will use it

Our downstairs!

Our cozy living room!

Me, cooking in the kitchen!

Upstairs we all have single rooms and a nice big bathroom. Honestly, our house couldn't be cozier, I totally love it.

Until next time, email with any questions!