Ahh, Christmas has passed now it's time to sit by the fire, relax, and prepare for the new year, right?... Well almost... If you know me I'm not that big into relaxing, in the traditional sense, but I am extremely excited to write my annual year in review letter!

As some of you may have read last year, I've been extremely fortunate to have some truly amazing opportunities. That same theme has stuck with me again this year! Like last year I've just survived finals, put a bow on the Christmas season, and undoubtedly am coming down with a little flu bug. Seems fitting, it's an annual thing. But enough about all of that it's time to look back and thank the amazing people and experiences I've been able to have over the past 12 months. 

Wow time flies...

Let's start with the usual, school. Oh, lovely school. (No, but for real I actually love NDSU and can't believe I'll be graduating in May!) I had the amazing opportunity this spring to assist with the selection of the new NDSU College of Business Dean. What a whirlwind and extreme adventure that was. From meeting amazing candidates to really understanding what the College of Business needs and who can take it there. Thankfully that wrapped up in the Spring and this Summer the College was excited to welcome the new Dean, Dr. Beaulier, from Arizona State University, with open arms! It's been a pleasure getting to know him more and learn about his visions for the future. (long after I'll be gone) Needless to say, NDSU College of Business is lucky to have him at the helm.

As for my studies, I dove deep into the international business classes lately from International Retailing to Global Marketing, each one having it's on flair on aspects. I look forward to my upcoming semester with advertising competitions and capstone material, which will really test many different skills.

The Easter bunny brought a welcomed addition to the family named Tinley. Tinley is a hybrid puppy that is chalk full of energy and has given everybody a run for their money, especially my grandma. 

As some of you may have read, I had the amazing opportunity to work and live out in San Francisco this summer. I worked with a company that I know you will be hearing more about in the near future, called Beekeeper. The company is a leader in its space and truly pushing the limits of what it can do every day. That was one of the many reasons I was extremely excited to be offered their Marketing Internship role for the summer. The company is co-headquartered in San Francisco and Zurich, Switzerland and has an ever growing team in both locations! While the North America team is small, they are mighty. It has been a pleasure to work with them and the Zurich team to strategize around nearly all initiatives. I was lucky enough that they have allowed me to stay on throughout my fall semester and even recently brought me back out to SF to review the year and prepare for what's ahead! I could go on for quite awhile about all of my different experiences in San Francisco, but that's not the point of this letter. If you are interested, check out what I've already written about HERE, I promise it's good!

Overall this year has brought me to amazing locations, introduced me to truly marvelous friends, allowed me to explore an entirely different environment, challenged and pushed me to an entirely different level, and so much more. SO to 2016, I say, "THANK YOU!"

You've been a challenge that has allowed me to learn in so many ways. (And allowed me to eat so much great food!)

I want to thank every single person that I have been able to spend time with this year. Thank you for your time and friendship, it really means the world to me. I look forward to pushing forward into 2017 and sharing another 12 great months with each and every one of you! I'm excited to share with you what 2017 will bring later this week.( Don't think I'm holding you in suspense, I'm not, I'm still forming my thoughts on what 2017 will look like, but I'll have them wrapped up and ready by Friday! But for now, thank you for taking the time to read this, thank you for spending your time and moments with me over this past year, and thank you for letting me be a part of it in 2017! 

One thing I know 2017 will hold more of, is writing. (Yes I'm cringing while I type this, but it'll be good for me, just like green beans.) If you want to follow along as I share what 2017 will bring, and all of the crazy things I will write about sign-up HERE. I promise at the very least it will be comical! 

- Austin

PS: I'm sure there are spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in this letter, but mistakes are inevitable and it's how I learn. Thanks for reading!