Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Yesterday began week 3 of my internship, and I could not be happier to be a part of this program! 
I would love to tell you a little more in detail about what I’m doing this summer:
Dardis Communications is a professional training company. Executive-level professionals pay $6000 to receive their training in soft skills like public speaking, business writing, and client interaction. For my internship, I had the opportunity to receive that same training for free through the Dardis Academy. I think that’s pretty darn awesome.
After spending 5 days in Chicago for training, I am now in the midst of spending 9 weeks running my own business as a professional clothier. This is a way for me to apply the skills I’ve learned and grow my professional network.
As a professional clothier, I make calls and send emails to prospects, meet with clients, advise professionals on how to look their best, take measurements, and place orders online through Dardis Clothiers. 
(If you wanted more information about the internship or wanted to learn more about our products, feel free to visit dardisacademy.com or dardisclothiers.com)
It’s been such a wonderful experience to be running my own business, and a successful one so far too! And I know that my education and experiences at SLU have a lot to do with how prepared I was for this venture, as well as the fact that I was accepted into the program.
I hope your summer is going as well as mine is so far, and please don’t hesitate to message me with any questions you have about life at SLU!
Be entrepreneurial. Be successful. Be a Billiken.
- Nat

Yesterday began week 3 of my internship, and I could not be happier to be a part of this program! 

I would love to tell you a little more in detail about what I’m doing this summer:

Dardis Communications is a professional training company. Executive-level professionals pay $6000 to receive their training in soft skills like public speaking, business writing, and client interaction. For my internship, I had the opportunity to receive that same training for free through the Dardis Academy. I think that’s pretty darn awesome.

After spending 5 days in Chicago for training, I am now in the midst of spending 9 weeks running my own business as a professional clothier. This is a way for me to apply the skills I’ve learned and grow my professional network.

As a professional clothier, I make calls and send emails to prospects, meet with clients, advise professionals on how to look their best, take measurements, and place orders online through Dardis Clothiers. 

(If you wanted more information about the internship or wanted to learn more about our products, feel free to visit dardisacademy.com or dardisclothiers.com)

It’s been such a wonderful experience to be running my own business, and a successful one so far too! And I know that my education and experiences at SLU have a lot to do with how prepared I was for this venture, as well as the fact that I was accepted into the program.

I hope your summer is going as well as mine is so far, and please don’t hesitate to message me with any questions you have about life at SLU!

Be entrepreneurial. Be successful. Be a Billiken.

- Nat

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Summer!

I apologize that it’s been so long since I updated you all; my life as a Billiken has been extremely busy lately!

Since we last talked, XQuizit went to Skokie IL (near Chicago) for Prelude Midwest, an urban dance competition. We may not have placed, but we competed with some of the nation’s best dance crews and held our own. It was definitely a weekend full of team bonding as well, and it was amazing to see the different styles and talents of other dance teams in the Midwest!

My dance life didn’t slow down after the competition, though, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. XQuizit had their showcase, titled #XQuizit, two weekends ago. I had the opportunity to choreograph a solo and a duet as well as a group routine for the show, and the audience seemed to enjoy it all! It was amazing to have one last big performance with my dance family and show off all the hard work we put in over the year.

More exciting news: I’m actually writing this blog from a hotel room in Chicagoland. I was recruited by Dardis, Inc. to be a part of their Academy this summer, and after I go through training this week I will be doing a 9 week long internship! I’m so thankful that one of my professors was flexible enough to allow me to take my final early so that I could grasp this opportunity. :)

I’ll be sure to upload videos from Showcase as soon as I get home (Mother Dearest recorded everything on her phone), so be on the lookout for those!

Until then, wish me luck, and I hope you have an awesome summer!

Billiken Love,

Nat

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Parades and Shamrocks and Sushi, Oh My!

Hi again! I apologize that it’s been such a hiatus since my last update; it has been a very busy last few weeks with midterms and traveling back to my hometown of Cincinnati for Spring Break. So here we go - I have quite a bit to tell you!

As you may know, St. Louis is home of one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations, second only to New Orleans. Last year I had a service site at the same time, but I’m so glad I got to see the parade with my dance family for the first time this year!

It was a high-energy sea of purple green and gold, and thanks to a teammate holding me up, I was able to catch 19 strands of beads - which I don’t think is too shabby for someone with next to zero hand-eye coordination!

Butterflies are some of my favorite animals, so I was particularly excited to see this part of the parade. I wonder where she found those wings, because I’m sensing a Halloween costume idea already!

After the Mardi Gras parade that Saturday morning, it was time to buckle down and prepare for midterms week. Luckily for me, I only had one on Thursday and two on Friday, so I had plenty of time to study as much as I needed. And the hard work was worth it, because it earned me some fun-filled time back in Cincinnati during Spring Break!

About 45 minutes north of Cincinnati there’s a “flea market” called Traders World, which I would often visit with my family as a child. We hadn’t been there in years, so my dad and I decided to spend the afternoon there. I had nearly forgotten how huge the place is - there are over 10 full-size repurposed barns full of merchant’s booths, and some choose to set up outside too! They had also definitely remodeled since I had been there last, and I borderline fell in love with the life-sized animal statues at the entrance.

While I loved revisiting my childhood over break, I was also excited to try some new things too! My little brother has been trying to convince me to eat sushi for the last year, but I’ve never been much of a seafood fan and  I honestly fear eating raw fish (a trait I may have gotten from my mother). I discovered over break, however, that sushi also comes in the deep fried variety. It turns out I might have a new favorite food, and I’ve also made my little brother proud!

Even though Zinzinnati Cincinnati is well-known for its Oktoberfest celebration, there’s a pretty awesome St. Patrick’s Day celebration here too! I went to Fountain Square downtown with Sean and his family to celebrate his mom’s birthday. There we were, surrounded by various shades of green - including neon green wigs. The celebration included a face painting booth, bagpipe players, Irish dancing lessons, a meat pie booth, and of course, green beer. Only the adults partook in the last one :)

After a  5-hour car ride back to SLU, I settled back in to my apartment before getting Starbucks with my dad the next morning and eagerly accepting his offer to drive me to my first class. I love my hometown of Cincinnati, but I know  that I have found another home in St. Louis.

It was good to be home, but it’s good to be back. And I think it’s pretty awesome that I get to leave one home to go to another. 

Be at home. Be a Billiken.

- Nat

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I was going to check my mailbox yesterday when I found these uplifting sticky notes posted all over the walls. My initial thought: How awesome is that!? It completely made my day.

After talking to some friends, I found out that Active Minds, a mental health advocacy group at SLU, posted them all around campus as a sign of support and awareness during Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

After learning this, my next thought was: That’s really awesome. Where can I sign up?

- Nat

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Last weekend was an awesome one here at SLU! On Friday, I went to the Vagina Monologues, which is a series of monologues put on by Una, the feminist student organization at SLU. I went with some of my XQ teammates, since a fellow “XQtie” performed two of the monologues (she was amazing!). The monologues were hilarious, empowering, and extremely blunt and informative about the various issues that women face. What’s even better is that the proceeds from the ticket sales benefitted the Karen House and the V-Day Movement

I got to spend even more time with my dance family on Saturday, when we had our team potluck. Some of the guys (pictured above) made the best BBQ chicken wings I’ve ever had, and I made a chocolate cake. I had to go with the Funfetti icing! 

Also, I have good news! I recently found out that I was voted in as the Internal Relations Chair of XQuizit for next year, and I will also be the Social Media Chair for Music Honors Society. I’m so excited to take on more leadership roles in the student groups that I love so much!

I hope everything has been going as well for you as it has for me!

- Nat

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!

I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day weekend - I know I did! It also happened to be Sean’s birthday weekend, so he came to visit and my roommates and I showed him around some of our favorite parts of St. Louis.

We started our Saturday afternoon by taking the shuttle to the St. Louis Galleria. The shuttle is free, and also drops students off at places like Wal-Mart, Schnuck’s, and Target so that we can get our grocery shopping done even if we don’t have a car on campus. Trust me, this comes in seriously handy.

After exploring some of the over 100 stores at the Galleria, we decided it was time to go to the Delmar Loop - a street filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

We treated him to a classic St. Louis eatery, Fitz’s, where you can watch their soda being bottled in the restaurant while you wait for your table.

(My apologies for the poor phone photography of the neon sign)

We all loved the fried pickle chips we had as an appetizer, and I borderline devoured the “Sunny BLT” I had. The sandwich was made of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, cheese, and a fried egg, and it was so good.

I think my favorite part, though, had to be Sean’s birthday sundae. A mug of Fitz’s root beer, 4 scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and coffee flavors), whipped cream, and a cherry on top - YUM!

As you can probably guess, Sean needed all of our help with finishing that, and we were happy to oblige.

After Fitz’s, we somehow managed to still have enough room in our bellies to head down the Loop to St. Louis Bubble Tea, which is one of my favorites! Not only are their drinks and food delicious, but there’s this awesome mural on the wall. I could probably stare at it all day.

Part of what I love about being at SLU is being so close to everything St. Louis has to offer - and my weekend was only a fraction of it!

Be a St. Louisan. Be a Billiken.

- Nat

Thursday, February 13, 2014
The XQ love was strong this past weekend!
We had a great time taking a road trip to Mizzou to collaborate with their dance team, OFish, at a workshop they hosted at their rec center. OFish dancers taught the beginner and intermediate classes, and XQ’s president Harold taught the advanced class. All the dances were a lot of fun! We all then had a delicious dinner at Houlihan’s (can you say mac n’ cheese with BACON?), and danced the night away together! Between the food and the dancing, there was bound to be quite a bit of bonding too. There’s nothing like getting closer with your dance family!
It was so great to have the opportunity to learn choreography from dancers whose style is different than XQ’s and spend some time with our “extended dance family”, and I can’t wait for our next collaboration!
- Nat

The XQ love was strong this past weekend!

We had a great time taking a road trip to Mizzou to collaborate with their dance team, OFish, at a workshop they hosted at their rec center. OFish dancers taught the beginner and intermediate classes, and XQ’s president Harold taught the advanced class. All the dances were a lot of fun! We all then had a delicious dinner at Houlihan’s (can you say mac n’ cheese with BACON?), and danced the night away together! Between the food and the dancing, there was bound to be quite a bit of bonding too. There’s nothing like getting closer with your dance family!

It was so great to have the opportunity to learn choreography from dancers whose style is different than XQ’s and spend some time with our “extended dance family”, and I can’t wait for our next collaboration!

- Nat

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sorry I’m a bit late posting these, but here are some more pictures from XQ’s performance at the AAA showcase last weekend. It was an awesome time; I got to perform with my dance family and the audience seemed to enjoy our set!

We also performed at the Chinese Student & Scholar Association’s Spring Festival event this weekend (unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to take pictures there), which went wonderfully! We had the honor of closing the show, and the team felt incredibly welcomed and loved by the event’s hosts. It was the perfect way to celebrate Chinese New Year! We followed up the performance with some team bonding, so the evening rocked all around. 

I hope your weekend went as well as mine did!
- Nat

Saturday, January 25, 2014
I’m so lucky to be at a school where all cultures are celebrated! Tonight XQ is performing at the Asian American Association’s Winter Showcase, and all the performers so far have been fabulous - now we’re watching this awesome drum group!

I’m so lucky to be at a school where all cultures are celebrated! Tonight XQ is performing at the Asian American Association’s Winter Showcase, and all the performers so far have been fabulous - now we’re watching this awesome drum group!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

There are lots of things that I love about living on campus at SLU, but the sunset views I have from my 9th floor Marchetti apartment balcony have to be some of my favorites!
- Natalie