Senior Year

New Opportunities

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Being in the MBA program at Saint Martin’s, we are given the opportunity to connect with many different people one campus along with alumni and businesses in the area.

When I was a junior in college a new professor came to campus, and little did I know she would be one of my favorites and biggest influences in my program. Dr. Wendy Fraser.

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Dr. Wendy Fraser & I at 2016 Spring Graduation

This spirited, smiley and driven woman inspired many students at Saint Martin’s to rediscover within themselves why they chose business as their career seeking path. Her excitement for the industry was infectious and only reassured my feelings towards my undergraduate degree in business.

Senior year came along and Dr. Fraser decided to put her focuses on something she was truly passionate about, which was Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. Although she was dearly missed, she was exemplifying everything she had taught us in her classes, find your niche, find what you love, stick with it and you’ll find your happiness.

Now, more than halfway through my MBA program getting ready to graduate this spring, Dr. Fraser has gracefully come back into my educational life, giving me a my classmates in Dr. Conants’ MBA 631 Operations class the opportunity to group together and earn our Green Belt Certifications.Six Sigma (2)

For those of your who do not know, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt is an international recognized program that operates under the supervision of a Six Sigma Black Belt (Dr. Fraser) to analyze and solve quality problems within a business and also involved themselves with the quality improvement projects.

With that said, I have committed to Dr. Fraser and Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program. My group is required to pick a business, school department or event to work with, identify quality problems and create a presentation on our findings and provide the business, department or event with those findings along with suggested improvements that we believe would improve the operational quality of the business.

I am so excited for this opportunity to expand my knowledge and apply what I learned in my program to real life situational business problems. I am so grateful for the new opportunities and doors that will be opened through this program and the assistance of Dr. Fraser and Saint Martin’s School of Business and Graduate Studies.

Oh the places you’ll will go…

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Wow has time flown by… So many things have changed lately and quite frankly I have never been more excited for my future and all it holds.

For those of you who do not know, I have recently made the decision the put my MBA aspirations on hold. Instead of committing to another year of school I have courageously decided to enter the working world. I know, shocking right? Personally, I thought I was set on my decision to stay and extra year and get my MBA, but as I am learning more and more about myself and who I want to be in this world I am finding that transitioning right into an MBA program isn’t the right fit for me at the moment.

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W. Golf Team dressed to impress at the 2016 GNAC Championship dinner (Left to right: Sarah Salvatori, Celia Beyke, Lisa Zelasko, Jen Liedes & Grace Dyer).

Although I am making the decision to leave Saint Martin’s behind after graduation, I will always remember the moments of clarity and perseverance it has faced me with. From the first day I arrived on the campus at Saint Martin’s, moving into my dorm, meeting amazing friends, faculty and staff, the experience has ultimately transformed me into the individual I am today. Even though, my path has been altered, changes have ensued, and dreams have been challenged, I can still happily say that I would not be where I am today without all the amazing opportunities Saint Martin’s University has provided me.

Through all the ups and downs, deciding a major, changing my major, changing my major again… my experiences as a college student at Saint Martin’s will be ones that I will carry with me through the rest of my life.

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Senior W. Golfer’s after completing final rounds as collegiate athletes (there were tears) (left to right: Sarah Salvatori, Grace Dyer and Jen Liedes)

This past week I concluded my collegiate golf career. What a bittersweet and emotional experience that was. Golf has been an important pillar in my life for nearly 15 years, and now thinking about a lifestyle that does not involve competitive Golf has me feeling all kinds of different emotions. Through the sport, I have made life-long friends who all contributed to my transformation from a young and not-so-wise college freshman, to what I now like to look at myself as a confident, smart, enthusiastic young woman who is ready for what the world has in store for her.

One of the most important lessons that golf and getting a college education has taught me is that you aren’t always going to prepared for the experiences life throws your way. Life is an ever-changing battle and no matter how prepared you think you are, life will always surprise you. Growing up, I found myself frustrated with the things in life that were simply out of my control. I used to lose sleep over how people could sit back and just roll with the punches.

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Throwback to freshman year with roommate, Grace Dyer. Day 1 Saints.

As I got older, experienced life and rediscovered myself and what is truly important to me, I have found that embracing those unexpected moments rather than fighting them make life so much more enjoyable. Although many will question my decision to put my MBA aspirations on hold, saying “Oh, you’ll never go back” I rebuttal those statements and doubts by saying, sure, maybe I won’t go back to school after I graduate with my Bachelors. But, I am confident that if the time is right for me, I will and that is good enough for me. That’s not to say that it isn’t the right decision for one of my peers. Everyone is different, and I have found peace and great joy with my decision.

Best of luck to all of you fellow and future Saints of Saint Martin’s University. Let your passions drive you towards your successes, life-long friendships, and everlasting memories. It has been my greatest privilege to have been able to serve the University in so many ways over my four years. I will miss all the amazing faculty, staff and friends who have helped me along the way. The road was long, stressful and challenging but I would never trade those experiences for anything.  Thank you for all of the amazing opportunities, love and support, SMU! I will miss you!

Love Always, Sarah Salvatori ❤

 

MBA, I’m coming for you!

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This 2015-2016 school year is racing by. With the first semester almost over and finals just around the corner the force is strong in this one to start thinking about what comes next. (corny Star Wars joke)

One would think the most traditional option after graduation would be to get a job. Getting a job right out of college is a great option, but there are always other avenues that you can explore. One of those avenues is enrolling in a graduate studies program (masters). Most graduate studies programs have great opportunities for students who would like to further their education.

Saint Martin’s undergraduate business program and MBA program have a great relationship and make the transition into MBA life seamless. Although I have yet to take an official MBA level course the business program has provided me with plenty of insightful information about the MBA program.

Although I will still continue to look for jobs, I have also made the decision to enroll in 3 MBA courses in the spring semester. Some of you may be wondering, “Wait, how is she taking MBA classes while she is still an undergrad?”. Great question! The answer is that the Business department runs a great program from undergrad to masters. If you are an undergrad student who is in within senior standing you are eligible to take a maximum of 3 masters classes while still enrolled in the undergrad program. Isn’t that cool? Well it gets better! If you are an ordinary student looking to enroll in an MBA program but maybe did not get your bachelors in business you would be required to take a total of 17 courses to obtain a masters degree. But, if you decide the MBA program is something you want to do and you will be graduating from SMU with a BA in Business Administration 5 of those 17 classes will already be accounted for. The first 5 courses in the MBA program are introductory classes that have already been covered for those who will graduate from SMU with BA in Business. Which leaves only 12 courses left to complete a masters degree. Pretty cool, huh?

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Currently students have the option to take a maximum of 3 masters level courses while still in the undergraduate program. Once you have officially graduated and are only enrolled in the MBA program I believe you have the ability to take up to 3 classes a term. I am still working out all of the kinks myself and it is all still a work in progress.

With that being said, I hope to have the ability to take at least 3 MBA courses per term in hopes of getting my MBA by December of next year or even sooner! I would be the first person in my family to get a Masters degree and I think that would be a pretty monumental thing and make my family very proud.

If you are as interested in this masters track program as I was when I first heard of it be sure to contact the School of Business at Saint Martin’s. If you are wondering about student-aid the Graduate Studies Office also offers opportunities for students to apply for Graduate Assistant-ships, which is also something that I myself am looking into. If you are a student who is interested in enrolling in the Masters program but not until after graduation here are some of the application deadlines you should be aware of:

  • Fall session 1 (Aug. – Oct.) — apply by July 1
  • Fall session 2 (Oct. – Dec.) — apply by September 1
  • Spring session 1 (Jan. – Mar.) — apply by December 15
  • Spring session 2 (Mar. – May) — apply by February 1
  • Summer session (May – July) — apply by May 1

I wish everyone the best of luck with the remainder of their semester, good luck with finals and Happy Holidays!

Sarah

 

Back to your roots

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Now that things have began to settle down in my life it has really given me a chance to go back and think about everything I am about and my whole reasons behind being involved with so many different activities and groups on campus. I love to help and serve others. I find so much joy in life in the simplicity of putting a smile on someone else’s face. I like knowing that what I am doing with my life is going to help someone else in the future. Lucky for me, Service is one of the four core values at Saint Martin’s.

It did not occur to me that I had even began to lose sight of my focus on service. But truthfully I have been so busy and I can now honestly say that I did lose sight of my passion for service among all the craziness that life was throwing my way. Now that school has settled down, fall Golf season is over, and Gala prep is finished I have been able to take a breather and reflect on how service is important in my life whether I like it or not. First lets address the elephant in the room: Service is extremely hard to do when you are extremely busy. Personally, I know how hard it is to stay committed to serving others when you have a million other things that need to be taken care of in your own life before you can even bcki - habitat - group - paintingegin to think about taking care of the needs of someone else. I know there are some people out there that make the act of service look flawless and stress free and it can be. But when you are a college senior trying to graduate, apply to grad school, play a college sport and be a member of multiple clubs on campus. It. Gets. Hard. Does that mean you should never engage in service activities while in college? Absolutely not!

I can honestly say, that despite all the craziness, everything I do and am currently doing in my life are helping to shape me into a pretty well rounded person. For those of you who have kept up with the evolution of my blogs you may have seen me mention Circle K International. If you have not, Circle K is a service organization that exists at many different universities across the globe. This is a group that allows students to come together and serve others while bettering their communities, universities and themselves. Circle K is for everyone and anyone who has a passion to serve and help those who are in need of it. Saint Martin’s has an amazing group of students that belong to our Circle K Club. Most students are also involved with athletics and many other clubs on campus. Circle K is always looking for new members who are ready and willing to serve their community.

Our most recent and more large scale service project was a Habitat for Humanity building day. As a group we spent the day painting trim and exterior walls of a home. Habitat for Humanity is a cki - habitat - groupglobally recognized organization that partners with communities and families to make home ownership possible for everyone. Habitat adopts a family who is in need of a permanent roof over their head and who has fiscal capabilities to pay for a extremely reasonable mortgage but just may not have the money to make the initial purchase a home themselves.

Being a member of Circle K has opened my eyes and given me a whole new definition of service. Service comes in all different shapes and sizes and I am thankful that I have found a group of people on campus who share in my passion to help and serve others.

I’m feelin’ 22?

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I’m feelin’ 22!!!

Wow, this semester is really flying by. First school started, we just finished midterms and I recently celebrated my 22 birthday. So crazy! I still feel like that bright-eyed 18 year old that first moved into the dorms for the first time in 2012.

SMU Women's Golf wins home golf tournament!
SMU Women’s Golf wins home golf tournament!

Some really great things have happened this semester thus far. Now that we are well on our way to the end of the semester which also means that all things on campus are in full swing. Golf is also in full swing, and the fall season is almost over. I just need to take a minute to brag about my awesome golf team! So far this semester we have had some great performances and great finishes. At our first tournament in Canby, Oregon we were the only Division II school at the tournament and our competition in its entirety were from large Division I programs. Despite our place finish, as a team we performed awesome! We had some great scores that were paired together for some great team totals and we have only improved from there. Our second tournament of the season was our home tournament at Olympia Country and Golf Club. We had another great performance from the team and were able to capture the first place trophy for the second year in a row! Next up, we took the road and headed up to Bellingham, WA for Western Washington’s home invitational. Western is always known for their outstanding excellence in athletics and typically crushed us in past tournaments. With our team continuing to practice and work hard together we were able to place second at the tournament beating Western Washington on their own turf and finish just behind a nationally ranked team! I am so proud of this amazing group of women! Next stop is our annual Hawaii tournament and I couldn’t be more excited to see what my team and I can accomplish together!

Along with golf, Circle K has also hit the ground running offering several different opportunities for community service for our Circle K members. Our first service project of the year began with a highway clean-up. Unfortunatelyhighway clean up I was unable to attend this service project but I heard that the group that went had a lot of fun. As a group Circle K also did local park clean-ups around the city of Lacey where we worked together to pick-up trash, pull weeds, and spread bark in order to give the golf tournamentlocal parks a revamping makeover. Another great thing I love about Circle K is that we work really hard to make sure that all club members feel supported and appreciated. One of the ways that the club does this is by doing their best to attend all club members other extracurricular events such as athletic competitions, concerts, performances, ceremonies, and any other activity a fellow Circle K member might have happening. For example, at my home golf tournament, members of Circle K came out and supported teammate Sally Fletcher and I. When they came to the tournament they were also equipped with beautiful support signs for both Sally and I! It was by far the coolest thing to have my peers there to support me and my team and the fact that we won made the whole experience even better! It’s an amazing thing to see people you care about support you in what you do.

Gala countdown

Now that my fall golf season is winding down my involvement in all my other clubs and jobs will be going up. One event that is right around the corner and one that I am super excited to be involved in and it is the 2015 SMU Gala! This is an event to celebrate students and their desires for achieving higher education and engagement from a strong community. Like I had mentioned before in a previous blog, this event brings in a lot of big names from the community who come to donate to academic funds all while enjoying a spectacular culinary experience. As a member of Social Squad I have the opportunity to attend the event covering all the news and happenings on social media. In excitement for the Gala and all that it entails I just had to send out a countdown tweet. I walked down to the Marcus Pavilion and found the University’s cardboard cutout of The Chew and took a picture with my arms around my favorite member, Clinton Kelly and posted a tweet. In this tweet I expressed my excitement to meet the group but most importantly meet one of my all-time fashion idols. I naturally had to tag Clinton Kelly’s twitter account in my tweet and off it went. Little did I know that Clinton himself would graciously go out of his way to respond to my fan-girl tweet! I could not believe it! I am so excited to meet him and the rest of the members of The Chew in as little as 15 days. I am so thankful for this opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot wait to see what this night has in store!

Now that this semester is nearly over some of you might be wondering what is next for me or even what is coming up next for you? Especially if you are in your senior year, stress may be running high. I know I am experiencing high stress levels just around one simple question, “what now?”. Personally I have found myself juggling several ideas about my future. Do I want to stay in Washington and find a job, or would I rather move back to Oregon and find a job there? Or would I rather want to tough it out one more year and stay at Saint Martin’s to get my Masters in Business Administration? At the moment, I have no idea what is going to happen, but one can’t help but think about it. One way I am keeping my stress low is by staying in contact with Ann Adams in the SMU Career Center. She is always so willing to take a look at my resume whenever I need to add something new. She is always planning and hosting events for studnets to get their future jumpstarted with Business and Career fairs for all majors. With the idea in mind that all student deserve a bright future she has started the Saints Have A Plan campaign that is a run through the Career Center for all students. She provides anyone who wants it with a checklist of things you can do as a student each year of school to prepare you for a career or continuing on in high education. Working with Ann in my last several months at Saint Martin’s will be crucial but I am so thankful to have so many people on the Saint Martin’s campus who are looking out for our futures.

The best is yet to come!

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“Last” first day of school with one of my best friends, Madison Hibbard.

Well, my senior year has official started. I have just completed my last “first” week of school and honestly the feeling is bittersweet. Where did all the time go? I still feel as though I have just moved into the dorms my freshman year and now I’m living off campus and a senior college! My parents really weren’t kidding when they said “enjoy it because it’ll all be over before you have time to blink”.

But, I don’t know why I am getting emotional about the year when I have only had about a week and a half of school. I’m pathetic, lol. Instead of being sad about my last “first” day of school I should be happy that I still have an entire year (9 months) left until I graduate. I still have so many events and adventures that need to happen before I can even think about my college years coming to an end. For example, this is my first year on SMU’s social squad and I am so excited to see what different obstacles and opportunities I am confronted with. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing group of people and I am especially excited to experience all the wonders of the 2015 Gala. For those who do not know much about the SMU Gala, it is a Black Tie event that happens to be one of the largest funding opportunities we are so fortunate to have for our university. For the past several years we have been blessed with celebrity chefs too come demonstrate and cook a meal for our sponsors, alumni and anyone else who wishes to purchase a ticket. This year we have four celebrity chefs! Members of The Chew will be coming to Saint Martin’s to host the 2015 Gala. The Gala is clearly the largest event I will encounter, but I am so excited to explore all of the other duties of an official social squad member.the_chew_cover_craig_sjodin_600x480

I have so many other exciting things to look forward as well. I have my final golf season of my college career split into two seasons (both fall and spring) and I couldn’t be more excited to share my final year with my amazing teammates, traveling all over playing beautiful golf courses and making memories.

I also have to remember the amazing internship I was given the opportunity to have with the Saint Martin’s Athletic Department. I have been working for the athletic department since my freshman year working to promote games and student involvement. This year I am so blessed to have been able to turn that opportunity into an internship and work alongside SMU’s student information director and have a front row seat to what it really takes to run and promote and athletic program through community outreach and involvement, advertising, sponsorship and boosters. I am so thankful for this experience.

And of course how could I forget my two favorite clubs on campus SAAC (student athlete advisory committee) and Circle K. I am excited to use my internship with the athletic department and a boost to the events and fundraisers we have planned for the 2015-2016 school year in SAAC. I hope to be able to gain a better understand for what it really takes to get a group of students motivated to do good things for their student body along with the community in which they serve.

2015 Circle K members celebration the 100th birthday of Kiwanis in Indianapolis, Indiana.
2015 Circle K members celebrates the 100th birthday of Kiwanis in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Like SAAC, I hope to bring my knowledge for fundraising and upbeat spirit to my fellow Circle K members. I know that this year we have made it a goal to up our number of members. We want all students to be aware of the different opportunities there are when being a member of Circle K. Circle K International (CKI) is a service organization that is formed at the college level to help communities through service projects. Our Circle K Club is sponsored and works closely with North Thurston Kiwanis to direct our focuses towards our community and how we can work together to serve it. The values of Circle K are very much in line with the Benedictine values of Saint Martin’s, Faith, Reason, Community and Service.

This will be my fourth year serving on SAAC and what a great group it is to be a part of. I have met so many great people, attended so many successful events and in turn have gained so much experience when it comes to how to better our university and athletic program. I love watching student-athletes coming together to support their communities and organizations like Make-A-Wish and Boys and Girls Club. Being able to support and donate our time to these organizations have been such an honor and life changing experience. I hope to work closely with our Boys and Girls club contact this year and work to better SMU Athletics involvement in the program. I also hope to spread awareness and ignite a bigger flame in our involvement in Make-A-Wish. I would love for our program to grant a wish to a child who’s dream is to be a part of a college team.

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2013-2014 Women’s Golf team.

Long story short, even though my years at Saint Martin’s are coming to an end there are still so many things that I want to accomplish and see happen with all the programs I am involved with before I graduate this spring. So this year through my blogs I hope to share all my experiences with you, and help you all to become more involved in the Saint Martin’s community or whichever community at whatever school you may be attending in the present or future. Involvement with the university at which you attend is something I feel is very important and plays a roll in making life on a college campus more rewarding and enjoyable. So join me! Start thinking about, or keep your ears and eyes open for different clubs on campus. Even though I talk about how important I think community involvement is, I also think that it is so important that no matter what you are doing or involved in, to always stay true to yourself. Maybe you are unsure of what kind of person you want to solidify yourself as, but in all fairness, we never stop growing within ourselves. For me, golf has always been a part of who I am and I have worked hard for many years just to be where I am today. Why would anyone want to throw all of their hard work away? I sure wouldn’t! I only have one senior year, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that I don’t waste the opportunities I have set up for myself over the years. I am so excited to see where this year takes me and I am most importantly excited to see how SMU helps me grow and mature into a real adult. I know I will be transformed this year and I know I will be faced with hardship, but I will not let that stop me from becoming the best possible version of myself that I can be.