My Michigan Ross Bucket List Is Kind of Intense

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By Catherine Bernard, MM ‘16

I’m panicking, you guys. I just started the Master of Management program here at Ross, and I’m panicking.

It’s not from challenging coursework or test anxiety (though those do exist). Rather, it is the product of knowing I only have 10 months as a student at the Ross School of Business. The ways to get involved, the clubs to join, the social impact opportunities, the amazing campus... I can’t imagine how I will take advantage of all this university has to offer.

That said, I made a Bucket List, more or less, for experiences and activities I want to accomplish before my year at Ross is up. This is not a list for the faint of heart or those who enjoy sleeping in until Saturday afternoon. This is the real deal.

1. Meet and learn from a professor whose course I won’t have time to take during my master’s program: With so many brilliant professors at our disposal at the Ross School of Business, think of all the knowledge they have to offer! Not all learning has to take place in a classroom by your assigned professor, it can take place over coffee in the Winter Garden!

2. Join a Club: My personal plan is to join two clubs, a traditional club (like a Marketing or Social Media Club) and a social club. As far as choosing a social club, my aim is to see if I can broaden my horizons. The Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team, maybe? Sounds like a fun way to stay active and make new friends during the frigid winter months that Michigan seems to love blessing us with.

3. Network: So many people think that networking is just about connecting with alumni and recruiters, but you can go beyond that.

  • Recruiters: My personal goal is to be able to tell my family about a new job at Christmas dinner. That way, as I’m being hounded about my love life and if I’ve met Jim Harbaugh yet, I can swiftly change the subject to tell Grandma how great my future job is going to be! This doesn’t happen without networking: reaching out to recruiters, making contacts, and maybe even giving my elevator speech a few dozen times.
  • Alumni: The world is your oyster and alumni are the pearls of wisdom.
  • Fellow Classmates: One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was to simply “be interested in people.” Everyone has a story to tell and anyone can teach you something about yourself or the world. Your classmate could be that person! With Ross students coming from all around the world, the experiences they have had are immeasurable. Take interest in them, they could become your newest friend, end up giving the best man speech at your wedding, or even be the next CFO of Google and get you an awesome job as a Googler some day!

4. Learn about Stocks: By now, everyone in my generation has heard about how we are not going to see a dime of our social security and that we must make investments now to secure our future, but how?! Ross has amazing stock simulators in the lower level that can teach students how to become the next Warren Buffet...maybe. Although my dreams are more ambitious than my current bank account, I would like to increase my knowledge and learn how to roll the dice from time to time once I have enough money to invest.

5. Starbucks: Coffee is about as close to liquid gold as man can get, and I plan to shake up my Starbucks routine. This is two pronged:

One, I’m going to be bold and break my “basic” qualities and try a new drink every month. The possibilities are endless! And asking people their coffee recommendation can be a great conversation starter.

Second, I am going to go even bolder, and go without…kinda. I spend roughly $5-$10 at Starbucks per visit (a double chocolate chip frap with a chocolate croissant is my guilty pleasure), which can add up quickly. I’ll cut down on the money I could be spending on coffee, and work on those newfound investing skills.

6. Finding My Inner Ann Arborite: With just 10 months left in Ann Arbor while at Ross, I plan on soaking up all this beautiful town has to offer and revisit my favorite places from undergrad at Michigan.

  • UMMA: The University of Michigan Museum of Art is fabulous. It is a definite must-see, and I will be there frequently in case anyone would like to join me. From the Picasso paintings to ever-changing exhibitions, it has been one of my favorite places since my freshman year at U-M.
  • Kerrytown Market: For those who enjoy fresh food and fabulous baked goods, the Kerrytown Market is deliciously fulfilling for both your stomach and your soul. I love Saturday mornings at Kerrytown, when venders from all over Michigan come to share their delectable goods.
  • Take a Blue Bus: As a former undergraduate student at Michigan, I was never unfortunate enough to be forced to go to North. Nor do I have a need to go to now (shy of having a McDonald’s craving), but I’ve heard the sights are beautiful. So, this year I will take full advantage and sit by the North fountain and have a traditional Michigan snowball fight in Wave field.
  • Paint the Rock: How can you go through your Michigan experience and not get a little spray paint on you, am I right?!
  • Lastly, watch some U of M Footbaugh (pun intended) with 100,000 of your best friends. Let’s face it; Michigan and football are pretty much synonymous.

Now that my Bucket List is complete, I challenge you to make the most of your time at Ross as well. Maybe steal a few ideas off my bucket list and create your own.

Whether you’re an MM student who is only here for 10 months, an MBA student who has two years of Michigan magic, or are blessed enough to have 4 wonderful years as a BBA -- enjoy the experience, and do your best to experience it all. Go Blue!

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Catherine Bernard is a student in the Michigan Ross Master of Management class of 2016.