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Austin Scholars Logo

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Welcome to Kellogg!

Weekly Update No. 1

Posted by Kyle Burr

Hello Fellow Austins!

Whether you are winding down at work or are already traveling and/or relaxing, I hope that you all are thoroughly enjoying your summer so far. We are all super excited to have you joining us in August! The purpose of this blog is just to provide a little background on some of the second year Austins so that you get a sense of the kind of community you are joining.

So without further adieu... a little bit about me:

DISCLAIMER: Sarah Richards and Kyle Synder - STOP READING NOW! As future KWESTees on Amazing Race, I don't want to take anything more away from the "Big Reveal". 

Pre-Kellogg: I'll try and be brief. Born and raised in the great suburban oasis of Long Island, New York, about an hour outside New York City. Graduated from Penn in 2009, where I majored in International Relations and African Studies. Spent four years in public sector management consulting for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC where my clients included various Defense and Intelligence agencies (no, I've never met Edward Snowden). In April 2013, I quit and joined TechnoServe a global non-for-profit that provides pro-bono consulting services to small business, governments and other NGOs in developing countries. As a volunteer consultant, I lived and worked in Swaziland in southern Africa for eight months, where I worked primarily on efforts to add value to the country's domestic cotton industry. Just prior to Kellogg, I also worked for a social enterprise in rural Uganda called The Joseph Initiative, that sources crops from smallholder farmers and helps them gain access to finance and agricultural services to improve their yields.

Kellogg 1.0: Looking back on my first year, it amazes me how much I was able to accomplish in spite of all the things I wish I had been able to do, but wasn't able to. When not recruiting, attempting to study or taking advantage of every opportunity to wear a costume, I also served as Treasurer to the Net Impact Club, representative to the 10-person KWEST Executive Committee ("KWEST Exec, Best Exec"), and Ally Chair to the Gay & Lesbian Management Association (GLMA). Other highlights from this year:
  • Scrambling across four cities and three countries in KWEST Amazing Race
  • Finishing 2nd place with Reese's Spreads for the Annual Kellogg Marketing Competition (Marketplace TG is not to be missed!)
  • Watching President Obama Speak to an auditorium full of Kellogg students
  • Driving 19 hours from Chicago to Aspen for an unbelievable Ski Trip 2014 (also do not miss the signups for this!)
  • Diving into Lake Michigan in February for the Northwestern Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics of Illinois
  • Interviewing experts in China's burgeoning beer industry during Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) China/Korea over Spring Break
This Summer: Starting in a little over a week, I'll be interning with Kraft Foods as an Associate Brand Manager on the Philadelphia brand. I look forward to many an evening spent playing volleyball, bocce, Kan Jam, etc. on the beaches just blocks from my apartment, and many a weekend exploring Chicago's notorious street festivals, live concerts and outdoor watering holes. As per the disclaimer above, I'll be leading KWEST Amazing Race at the end of August, during which I'll be leading 20 of your classmates on a multi-country scavenger hunt across __________, ___________, ___________, and ___________.

Kellogg 2.0: In addition to serving as Co-Chair to the Austin Scholars program with Ken, I will also maintain my role as Treasurer to the Net Impact Club, serve as VP of Ally Relations to the GLMA, and lead an Interview Prep Group (IPG) for those pursuing internships in CPG marketing and brand management. I'm also stoked for Ski Trip 2015 to Park City! 

Favorite Austin Experience this Year: Listening to former Kraft CEO, Betsy Holden (now McKinsey Partner), and her husband (himself Founder and CEO of multiple companies) speak about balancing their professional lives as Corporate All-Stars with their personal goals and ambitions. It was a really inspirational dialogue right at the start of my Kellogg career.

Words of Wisdom:
  • Be open-minded and embrace new things. Kellogg is one of the few chances you have to really explore and push yourself to new limits in every imaginable way. Do it.
  • 'No' your limits. At the same time, we can't all do everything! It's okay to say, "no". Make sure you focus on activities that you will enjoy spending time on -- not just things you think will look good on a resume. Trust me, recruiters would rather see your passion as a Director for Brew n' Crew than see that you did marketing for the Kellogg Consulting Club. And the FOMO struggle is real! But temporary... Make sure to always do what makes you happy, not what you think makes other people happy.
  • Find a Mentor. Or two. There are plenty of second years out there that want to help, whether with career/recruiting advice, or just plain guidance on how to make it through your first year at Kellogg. It's part of the culture here. Throw some time on our calendars, and we're happy to sit down and chat. This is a critical step a successful first year!
In closing, I am really looking forward to getting to know each of you better next year. Congratulations again, and enjoy your time off before arriving here in Evanston!


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