Oberlin Blogs

Butterfly Effect

December 28, 2020

Tim Martin ’22

I cannot yet sum up the butterfly effect the pandemic has had on my life. Removing me from campus in the middle of my college years allowed me to connect with my family members at an age where most people are building a life independent of their immediate family. It was really a blessing staying with my parents and getting to see my brother every day for an extended period of time. Another result of me going home is that I was afforded the opportunity to train for football in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, which is the place that is the pinnacle for football training. Every day I woke up and trained in one hundred plus degree weather as I competed against former NFL players and current division 1 athletes. This allowed me to build my confidence as an athlete as I saw that I can compete with anyone, and I cannot wait for my next opportunity to partake in organized athletics once the pandemic is under control.

Another thing I know for certain that was affected by the pandemic was my resume-building opportunities. Summer opportunities that once existed for me disappeared as the pandemic raged on. It was frustrating watching opportunity after opportunity disappear as I know how crucial it is to have a strong sophomore year internship. For those who went through similar things, don't feel discouraged. Continue to develop yourself professionally and look for a winter or spring internship. Another great option would be to join a research team. I know it has gotten a lot harder to resume-build during a pandemic, but I encourage you to keep pushing forward, as having a strong resume is crucial for getting a job upon graduation.

As summer dragged on I looked to fill my free time with my creativity. I taught myself Photoshop, started to design clothes, and built out a Shopify store. Soon enough my partner and I had our own fashion business and we would launch Instagram ad campaigns to bring awareness to our company. Around the same time this business developed, I partook in a mock finance interview and I felt very unprepared when talking to the interviewer. Previously I had relied on my wit to guide myself through interviews, but after speaking with the mock interviewer, I realized that if I wanted to get the roles I'm looking to obtain, then I would have to prepare and develop strong answers for potential interview questions. Luckily, shortly after this failed interview, I was blessed with the opportunity to be mentored by a family friend who pushed me to develop my professional skills. Soon I will write a blog that breaks down all of the interview skills I learned over the past four months.

Moving into the fall, I decided to take part in the junior practicum. Oberlin was able to bring in transcendent leaders across various fields to talk to us throughout the practicum and give us advice on how we can help when it comes to different social issues. Having conversations with my fellow students on ways we can take action and develop change for these social issues was extremely gratifying for me, and I felt Oberlin was able to create an exceptional learning environment. One thing I have always appreciated about Oberlin is how understanding they are. In this case, Oberlin understood that juniors, like myself, had their summer internships eliminated due to the pandemic. Therefore, Oberlin stepped in and ensured that any student that took part in the Junior Practicum would be guaranteed an internship in the fall once the practicum ended. Excitedly I learned that my fall internship would be with Sony Music. Over the past four months, I have gotten the opportunity to work on the album rollouts of some of the top artists in the music industry and be mentored by executives that have provided me with an extreme amount of information. I appreciate Oberlin so much for creating this opportunity for me, and this is just another example of the butterfly effect the pandemic has had on my life.

Moving forward, I look to secure a summer internship in the financial industry. One way I have continued to develop my knowledge in finance is through my involvement in the Oberlin College Investment Club. If you are not yet a part of this club and you are interested in finance, I really encourage you to join. One month ago we had the opportunity to take part in a Training the Street webinar, which took a deep dive into the intricacies of financial statements, as well as ways to evaluate a company. I felt this webinar was a great way for me to continue to develop my financial evaluation skills which are crucial for my career after college. 

Looking ahead, I am excited for the spring semester to start so that I can see my friends for the first time in almost a year and I cannot wait to continue writing new blogs for you guys and keep you updated on what's going on in my life! Make sure you comment below saying one positive thing that you are excited about moving forward! 

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