Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Visiting Days

This Saturday through Monday is MSI Visiting Days at UMSI! It’s hard to believe that I was here in Ann Arbor just one year ago. Attending Visiting Days was the final push I needed to accept my admissions offer and I’m extremely grateful that I attended!

For those of you that are able to attend, here are a few points to give you a better idea of what to expect and how to make the most of your weekend here:

  • Take advantage of all the activities and participate as much as you can! It’s a busy weekend but everything scheduled is worthwhile and will really help you get a better understand of the program and community. Review the agenda to get a better idea of what your time will look like.

  • Spend some time before your visit thinking about why you want to attend graduate school and what you want to gain from the program. Be sure to write down any lingering questions you may have, especially those that would be better suited to in-person conversations.

  • Meet and talk to as many people as you can! The connections I made with other prospective students and current students last year at MSI Visiting Days are one of the big reasons I made the choice to attend UMSI. Everyone here is very friendly and open to talking about their experience here. The Facebook group and email are great but meeting people will give you a better feel for our community.

  • When I say you should meet and talk to people, I also mean faculty, staff, and alumni. You’ll have opportunities to interact with all three while here for Visiting Days. Take advantage of this opportunity! The Networking Fair on Monday will be another opportunity for you to meet potential future employers and get a feel for the types of careers that will be available to you as a UMSI student.

  • On the more logistical side, make sure to pack for a variety of temperatures and bring one nicer outfit if you plan to attend the Networking Fair. Right now the forecast is in the 40s and 50s which isn’t too bad but you will have to be outside a bit to travel between buildings and around Ann Arbor.

  • If you’ve already decided that UMSI is the right place for you then you may want to start looking for housing while you’re in Ann Arbor. Last year I looked at a few apartments and then signed a lease in April after I made my final decision. The housing market in Ann Arbor can be a little tricky since many students start looking for housing almost a year in advance. We’ll have a housing panel during Visiting Days and if you aren’t able to look then don’t worry! Most people end up finding something later in the spring or summer.

Another great resource is this post written by Joyce last year regarding MSI Visiting Days. We’re looking forward to seeing you on campus and meeting you in person!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alternative Spring Break 2015

Last week was spring break at the University of Michigan and many UMSI students participated in the annual Alternative Spring Break program. Students volunteered a week of their time to provide 2,900+ hours of service to organizations in Detroit, Jackson, Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. I was in Washington D.C. volunteering at the American Library Association Washington Office for Information Technology Policy. It was a fulfilling week of both learning and contributing to an organization and I was able to fit in plenty of sight seeing and good food!

Alternative Spring Break is a really unique part of the UMSI program and if you have any questions please head over to the Facebook group and ask! Current students are happy to talk about their experiences.

You can also read more about the organizations and projects here and see pictures and updates by following the #umsiasb15 or #umsiasb2015 hashtags on Twitter and Facebook.