There is always something to be thankful for

If you are living in the United States and you love good food, great deals and long weekends then Thanksgiving weekend is a paradise for you. Thanksgiving Day began as a day where people took the opportunity of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and the Friday after Thanksgiving kickstarts the Christmas shopping season with promotional sales. This year, Thanksgiving Day is on November 28th, 2019 and Black Friday is on November 29th. This blog is to help you make the most out of the long weekend.

Travel

An important part of Thanksgiving is families coming together. Extended family members often travel long distances to share the day and Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones. RIT students usually travel to various cities in the US to visit family and friends. The good news is RIT students can save money in transportations like planes, trains and buses. I have listed a few options below;

  1. Student Universe – Flight search and booking
  2. STA Travel – Flight search and booking
  3. Amtrak – Train service
  4. Eurail – Train service
  5. Greyhound – 20% off

For those who are not visiting family (especially international students for whom visiting their home country is not feasible within 4 days), there are a few attractions nearby worth exploring like Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen State Park, Hamlin Beach Park, Sodus Point Beach and lastly the sunsets at the beautiful Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. You can also visit nearby cities that are on driving distance like Buffalo, Syracuse, Ithaca and Hornell.

Things to do in and around RIT

Food

How does a perfect roast turkey with a side of cheese grits and corn pudding sound to you?

Enjoy the traditional thanksgiving meal in and around RIT, my personal recommendations are as follows;

On-campus – Join The Commons and Gracies for a Thanksgiving feast .

Off-campus – Boston Market, Cracker Barrel

Events

Keep an eye on https://events.rit.edu/ for on campus events around thanksgiving.

Shopping

On Black Friday, major retailers open around midnight or earlier with exciting deals for the entire day and sometimes all through the long weekend. The black Friday sale is on a variety of commodities ranging from clothing, footwear, accessories to electronics. I have listed a few stores and outlets near RIT where you can find great deals and splurge a bit.

Stores – J. C. Penny, Macy’s, Best Buy (Electronics)

Malls – Marketplace Mall, Eastview Mall, The Mall at Greece Ridge

Outlets – Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, Waterloo Premium Outlets

Online websites like Amazon, Samsung, Best Buy also offer great deals.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Gap Year with Disney

Kexin “Coco” Wang, Visual Communication Design MFA

“My internship experience was definitely irreplaceable in a sense that it allowed me to explore my own strengths, passions, and preferences as I was getting prepared to enter the real-world creative industry. Without all these hands-on experiences, I would have no idea of which career path or direction I should take even with all the technical and design skills that I had.”

Long time no see MasterRIT blog followers! A year ago I posted an article about my design intern life in NYC, soon after that, I had another valuable opportunity to work with Disney in California as a digital art director intern and my magical gap year journey started all from there. So today I am going to briefly blog about my experience with Disney in the past year and tell you a bit about what I’ve learned and gained which really made a big difference in my life.

First I want to point out that taking an entire gap year from grad school was a big decision for me. My original goal was to finish grad education as soon as I could and locate a job after, but I also couldn’t just let the opportunity go when it was offered on my plate. Since I did not have any work experience prior to graduate study, I thought it would be nice to gain some relevant workplace skills, knowledge, insights and passion for a field that I was interested in. Once I made up my mind, things just became much clearer and I believed professional experience is just as important as excellent academic records.

I worked at Disney’s in-house agency, Yellow Shoes and my job was to help the digital team create digital content that promotes Disney Parks and Resorts. The overall experience was definitely like “living the dream” – my family and I, like most people, are huge fans of Disney and it truly felt like a dream that I got to work for the company when I grow up. I was also fascinated by Disney’s corporate culture and how each individual employee enjoys going to work every day and creates the ‘magic’ every day to bring joy to the others. Even though every single individual plays a small role but the joint effort together connects people around the world. And I was so honored to be able to become part of that joint effort and deliver happiness to the people who have love and trust in the brand.

During the internship, I have also come across unusual opportunities where I got to work on a variety of real-world projects and execute them as well. And these are all based on my team’s trust on me and my partner, and the trust that we placed on ourselves. One time we were asked to come up with an April Fool’s day video which also promotes Disney World. We ended up having the most ridiculous idea of combining the park snacks with the iconic Mickey ears. We faced many difficulties along the way and almost didn’t think it would ever happen. But what was less expected was that we won the creative’s approval at the last minute and got to start the production which eventually led to a big success on April Fool’s day. We couldn’t have made it happen without the team leaders’ support and trust and it’s so rewarding to see your own idea coming into life and win the hearts of your audience.

Another thing I want to share is that internship creates great connections for you. Making new friends and building connections helped me step out of my personal comfort zone during the internship, and eventually made me feel at ease and even somehow “at home”. I was very lucky to have a great team to work with and was able to get all the support and help when needed. And working with different departments and teams is also a great way to acquire new skills and knowledge that can help in the future. Even just by sharing life stories with coworkers allow me to learn the career/life paths they took to get where they are today. I believe these connections and teamwork skills can probably have a lifelong benefit.

My internship experience was definitely irreplaceable in a sense that it allowed me to explore my own strengths, passions, and preferences as I was getting prepared to enter the real-world creative industry. Without all these hands-on experiences, I would have no idea of which career path or direction I should take even with all the technical and design skills that I had. It made me realize that with my skills and abilities, I would have the most added value if I work for a creative marketing organization. I am greatly appreciated and thankful to RIT’s co-op program which allowed me to grow and shine in a unique way. And I truly wish that everyone who is hoping to get an internship in the future will be able to enjoy their co-op experience and try to get the most out of it. And keep in mind, even if it’s not so much a good experience, it still helps you figure out a path you would want to avoid in the future.

How to prep for snow like a pro!

Ruta Mangle, Telecommunications Engineering Technology MS

If you grew up in a place where winter meant wearing a light sweater, you may be a bit scared to have moved to a colder city like Rochester. Your first winter doesn’t have to be a total disaster, though. Take note of these tips in order to survive (and even enjoy!) the freezing temperatures.

 

First things first: Wear Appropriate Clothing

Note: Hold off on buying cold-weather gear until you get to your school city.

  • Layer up with several thin layers – base, middle and outer.
  • Hats, scarves and snow gloves (2 layered gloves).
  • Glasses/goggles as needed.
  • Boots and shoes with rubber or neoprene-composite soles and non-slip tread.
  • Wear two pairs of socks.

Walk Cautiously

  • Use cleared paths when walking around campus.
  • Walk with short, flat strides and keeping center of gravity between your feet.
  • Assume all wet/dark areas are slippery or icy.
  • Wipe shoes/boots before entering a building to keep the entrance dry.
  • Report slippery conditions to FMS by calling 475-2842 or e-mail fms@rit.edu.
  • Report accidents to RIT Public Safety.

Drive Safely and Maintain Your Vehicle

For those who drive to or keep a car on campus, being prepared for winter weather is essential.

  • Use the correct tires and keep them properly inflated.
  • Check belts, hoses, battery and fluids regularly.
  • Keep the fuel tank at least half-full.
  • Take your time in snowy/icy conditions.
  • Keep the proper distance between you and the vehicle in front of you (3 seconds).
  • Always use your seatbelt.
  • Take care when getting in and out of your vehicle – this is when most slips happen.

Things to keep handy in car (mandatory)

  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • De-icer wiper fluid
  • Water
  • Portable phone charger, and extra batteries

Things to keep handy in car (for times when you might get stuck in traffic)

  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Spare blanket.
  • Extra hats, coats and mittens.
  • Energy bars and snacks.

Other important tips

  • Plan for the weather the day before.
  • Plan on leaving early.
  • If you commute, only go when it’s safe.
  • Get food in advance.
  • Take care of your gloves and hat (it is very much likely that you would leave/drop them somewhere).
  • Protect important items and electronics in sealed plastic bins.

What to Do During a Snowstorm

  • Keep your thermostat as high as possible for as long as you have electricity.
  • Stay inside.
  • Limit travel to emergencies only.
  • Keep pipes from freezing by turning on every water faucet to a slow drip.
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.

While extreme weather can be very stressful to students living on campus, hopefully these tips will help you be prepared for the next hurricane or blizzard to come your way!

Don’t forget to ENJOY!

At RIT we embrace the snow and winter weather! Check out our Snow in 30 video to get a sense of what campus looks like during this season!