Latest Posts

Why Summer Should Be Your Busiest Time of the Year

As Summer keeps getting closer, I can’t help but think about what I want to fill my time with. Having not locked down plans for the Summer, I am thinking about where I’d like to work as well as how I would like to grow as an individual. This will be the one time each year where we don’t have commitments to school, organizations, homework, etc. But it is just so easy to waste the summer away on this or that.

With so much time, we should make the most of it in order to continue learning, growing, and experiencing.

I would like to encourage you to maintain your planner over the summer filled with to-do items, dinners with old friends, and weekend trips.

Here are my 4 ideas to help fill your planner.

  1. Hold yourself accountable to reading 1 self-development book and 1 fun read per month.
  2. Every other week, have lunch with an old friend from college or high school that you wish you stayed connected with.
  3. Find a unique workout class to attend once per week. Try yoga, kickboxing, spin, or trap fit, or barre.
  4. Plan 2 weekend trips over the summer to have some much-need R & R.

This is your time. Plan out how you’d like to spend your summer, and hold yourself accountable! 3 months can go by very fast, so don’t let the precious time slip away!

 

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

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Starting Over

It is official. I have “started over” a total of 3 times now. I really don’t mind it. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. I am looking forward to the move down to Orlando.

From the first time I moved into college, I realized that being put in a totally new situation allows me the opportunity to discover my true self. Who am I without my mother’s advice? What clothes do I buy without my best friend’s input? What activities do I enjoy outside of what my friends always want to do?

Since that initial move out of the house, I “started over” in London and Dallas. And I am about to move to Orlando. Each time, I was challenged to make new friends, find new favorite stores, discover new coffee shops, and keep myself busy! Now, I can look back and find the consistencies throughout my moves: I love being around people, I can always keep myself busy through photography and discovering new music, I laugh when I get caught in embarrassing situations, and I am nothing without Apple Maps.

By removing myself from the noise in different situations, I can discover who I am without being dependent on anything else. 

In London, I learned about my love for cultural diversity. This is something that I greatly missed when I lived in Dallas and at school. During my first year of college, I began to love Ben Rector’s music. After I moved away from Milledgeville, his music still stuck with me! Even without the traveling lifestyle that I had London and in Dallas, I still find myself looking at airfares on a daily basis.

So when you if you have the opportunity to move towns, or travel somewhere new, look at that opportunity as a way to finally meet yourself. From the inside out. 

While people in our lives help invent us, only true friends will be with us after new and unique life changes.

 

Keep moving fourward,

Ash

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#TravelHack: TPG_Alerts

One of my favorite mindless time-killers is searching for new travel destinations. I just love planning and imaging myself somewhere new. How much is it to go to Valencia in May? What about Tokyo in June? What kind of tree houses can I stay at in Puerto Rico?

Of course, one of the worst parts of planning is finding good prices. Enter: The Points Guy. The Points Guy started out as a one-man blog about ways to travel the world while maxamizing the points you get from your adventures and minimize the cost of traveling. Today, it is one of the most renowned travel blogs about anything from the best travel credit cards, the coolest hotel rooms, travel news, and, of course, airlines and hotels.

My favorite aspect of their business is the Twitter account @TPG_Alerts. The entire purpose of this account is to Tweet insanely good deals that are published by a travel sites.

US to China for $447 round trip. 

US to Barcelona from $376 round trip. 

Chicago to Florida from $90 round trip. 

US to Iceland from $200 round trip. 

The best part? These are real sales. These are not ultra-low-cost airlines that will charge you more at the airport.  These are all-in real life prices that you can get. Here is the catch, sometimes these deals are good for a week, sometimes they’re only good for an hour. Want to reveal your spontaneous side? Book a deal from @TPG_Alerts– you won’t regret it!

So, turn your notifications on and see where life will take you!

 

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

TPG_Alerts Twitter Account

Hello World!

While I have been writing on this blog sporadically for years, I have finally decided to invest my full energy in it. I don’t know where Fourward Path will lead me, but I hope that it will bring value to both of us.

I believe the past 5 yeas of my life have been uniquely mine; I have learned life-lessons early on about personal development and professional growth through my travels, internships, and experiences. So, I will try to pour as much of myself into this blog as possible.

Also on Fourward Path, you will find content about resumes, interviews, and job searches. Please use all the information that I have on here! After interviewing and applying to dozens of jobs and internships, I know this information can be vital to landing interviews and jobs. If you have any questions, differing opinions, or ideas, please reach out to me! This process calls for continual learning that should not be done alone.

If any of you are familiar with Simon Sinek’s “Start With WHY”, you will discover that Fourward Path’s WHY is to show my readers that they are more valuable than they believe and are always capable of more. I want this blog to become a resource for self-development, discovery, and growth.

Everybody has a very unique set of experiences that make them valuable in unique ways.

If we uncover why these perspectives make us valuable and learn how to communicate this value to others, we can accomplish our greatest goals.

This May, I will begin another journey as a Professional Intern for Disney Parks and Resorts. If anyone is interested, I have already posted about my interview process here. I am so excited to work for another company famous for their innovative ideas and strong company culture.

You will definitely see future posts from Orlando! 

I do not plan on sharing each article on Facebook, so if you would like to follow the blog, please subscribe to it or follow me on Twitter. Also, if you believe in this blog’s mission and like the articles that I have already posted, please share them, pin, and Tweet them. If anyone has any questions, comments, or ideas, please do not hesitate to email me at fourwardpath@gmail.com.

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

Headed to Orlando!

I am so excited to announce that I have officially accepted a 6-month internship position with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts! As of now, (I think) I will be performing quantitive and qualitative research for their strategic planning.

I wanted to write a quick post about my interview experience.

Lets start from the beginning

I have been applying to Disney internships for a while now. Over the past 2 years, I have probably applied to over 30 positions. 2 years ago, I even got to the second round of interviews for a consumer insight position last Spring. No dice.

This time around, I applied for maybe 8 different positions in marketing and analytics. After this round of applications, I got (what seemed like) an automated email asking me to choose a time for a screening interview with the recruiter. I chose the earliest available time slot (recency effect here!). I think I was mostly asked basic questions such as: What is your greatest weakness, etc. Since the interview was back in January, I am not sure about the interview questions. But I do remember thinking that the interview went really well. About 3 weeks later, I got the rejection email.

BUT: Shortly after the rejection email, I got another (what seemed like) automated email telling me to apply for another position! This position was definitely something more obscure (which is why I didn’t apply for it in the first place), but I was still qualified and it definitely spiked my interest. After I applied, the same recruiter reached out to tell me she enjoyed our initial conversation for the first position. However, she said, the hiring manager decided to interview a different set of candidates. She sent me this position (ha! it wasn’t automated!) because she thought I would still be a good fit somewhere at WDW.

From there, I interviewed one more time and performed a case study. The interview consisted of many different questions like:

  •  Describe a time you were put in a difficult situation at work and describe how you handled the situation.
  • Describe a work environment that you would not enjoy working in. For this question, I can see how many people would either answer “A team environment because I prefer working alone” or “In an environment where I get to work with a team because I enjoy working with others.” I did not want to rule myself out of either of those working environments, so I answered with a truthful response where I do not get ruled out in either situation. I said, “I do enjoy woking in a team where I can bounce ideas off of people. I can also work alone with very good intuition in what direction a project should go without having to ask. However, I would not flourish in an environment where I am working on a team with people that prefer working alone.”
  • Which Disney character would you be and why? I said Goofy because he always has a positive attitude and is taller than most (like me!).

About a week after that interview, I was scheduled to perform a 2 hour case study. I had no idea what to expect going into the process, so I did not prepare at all (except for getting some scratch paper and a fully charged laptop). The case study was not difficult and I think they were measuring my intuition and creativity. It kind of felt like a “take-home assignment” for an Intro to Management class.

I know any interview process can be very stressful, but it should be a breeze if you truly know about the company, if you are qualified for the position, and if you can deliver your best self. If you have made it to the interview process, you are qualified. They wouldn’t interview you if you weren’t. The recruiter wants to find the best fit for the position.

Be on the lookout for some future posts from The Happiest Place on Earth!

 

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

Headed to Orlando

 

Book Spotlight: “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

As I just finished the book “Outliers”, I would suggest Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most influential writers in the 21st century. While reading “Outliers”, I discovered a cult of other people who have read the book. Upon finishing the book, I understand why it has such a following.

In some respects, it has completely changed the way I think.

Gladwell did very intensive research to study the “outliers” in our society. He studies individuals, groups of people, and entire cultures, that are unique from the rest of us. Each study conducted in this book uncovered a causal relationship between 2 seemingly un-related topics. For example, he estimated the number of hours it takes to become a pro at technical-related fields. Another example, he found the prime birthday for Canadian hockey players.

To compare this writing to Simon Sinek, Gladwell writes more about his data and research. Sinek gives anecdotal and real-life examples to demonstrate a theory about leadership. In helping prove different theories, Gladwell uses multiple historic lessons to prove an underlying hypothesis. Unlike Simon Sinek’s writings, “Outliers” does not necessarily have a “take away” or lesson that you can apply to your daily life. Instead, he challenges the status quo.

By understanding why the world has “outliers”, we can foster environments where more people have chances at chasing their dreams.

We can develop better ways to empathize with other cultures. We can even look at ourselves and reflect on barriers that might have been built around us from a young age.

I would definitely recommend this read to others looking to gain a better understanding of the world around us.

 

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

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Be Bold & Be Bold Now

As school continues to fly by, I think about what else I have learned that can be translated onto Fourward Path. Some of my most powerful experiences have been through networking and taking advantage of events that my school offers. Yes, you have a project due tomorrow. Yes, you need to finish Stranger Things. Yes, you would rather keep your t-shirt on.

However, staying hidden from the school and the experiences that the school can provide will allow your college career to pass you by. 

I have attended countless seminars, networking events, dinners, etc. where I have had the opportunity to meet the exact person I want to be when I grow up.

Stay After & Shake Hands

Going to the event only gets you half way. Actually getting face time with other attendees and speakers is the real purpose of going to networking events. It’ll be awkward at first, but you will learn how to manage awkward situations and get better and better.

Ask Questions

This is something that I am still learning how to master. I don’t want to embarrass myself by asking a question that has already been answered, some of the other students are only here for extra credit, yadi-yadi-yada. This is the moment where you can stand out, sound intelligent, and expand your knowledge. Making yourself vulnerable with the profit of self-growth is the entire point of college!! Take advantage of these opportunities to make them your classroom.

As college students, we are provided the unique opportunity to test our networking skills while adults understand that we are only students.

 

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

 

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Author Spotlight: Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is one of the authors that makes me think that our world is continually improving. He looks at humanity with contagious optimism. I wanted to write a quick post about why this author is undoubtably one of my favorite humans on earth.

First of all, he has a habit of capturing 5-minutes of fame over and over again. You might have seen his “Millennials in the Workplace” video that went viral on Facebook OR one of this two TED Talks (each with millions of views). You might have also heard of one of his 2 NY Times Best-Sellers: Leaders Eat Last or Start With Why.

While his life’s purpose is to

“inspire others to do what inspire them,”

he has become the go-to writer for corporate leadership and brand loyalty. His books are filled with very easy-to-read examples about leadership and his videos are captivating. He has made a huge impact on my career and entire self. I would also say he is a big inspiration behind Fourward Path. So if you need some inspiration to follow your heart, find him here.

 

Keep moving Fourward,

Ash

 

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My Favorite Things

I am not a big journal-er. I get busy, make up an excuse, and a month goes by before I think about journaling again. But when I started my study abroad trip in 2015, I knew I wanted to journal. So I bought an adorable journal from TJ Maxx, wrote in it on the plane ride to Europe, and didn’t write in it again… That’s how the story goes.

So when I came across another cute journal, I promised myself that if I bought it, I would have to change my approach. So instead of trying to write out my soul each night, I ~sometimes~ write a sentence summarizing my favorite thing that happened during that day. To give the entry context, I add in the date as well as my location of the event.

Looking back, I am still able to remember funny and sentimental events throughout the past year or so. My Favorite Things has provided me an easy way to reflect on each day and remember what keeps me grounded. Hint: most of my entries are about laughing with my roommates, a family dinner, or walk outside. Its interesting that, looking back, I mostly remember the big things, but this journal calls the “little things” to memory.

 

Keep Moving Fourward,

Ash

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Airline Prices: Beating the System

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Airlines price discriminate. Thats not new news. Business flyers are probably willing to spend more on a ticket than a college student looking to go on a weekend trip. So, most airlines have the ability to change their prices based on when you are purchasing the ticket, what browser you use, etc.

My first tip is to search using Internet Explorer. My second tip is to use the Google Flights. This software finds the cheapest flights that an airline is willing to sell on that given day. You can search based on day you want to fly and based on destination. My favorite part of the software is the ability to scroll on the map to compare prices for different cities (inspiring some serious Wanderlust).
 
Keep Moving Fourward,
Ash

*Southwest Airlines’s flights are not available on Google flights, so to find the cheapest ticket, you may need to have 2 browsers open to check Google Flights and Southwest at the same time 😉

 

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