Slow and steady week

I’m half way through week one and I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll be working on. Monday was a long day of orientation. Because I’ve only gone through orientation once before (directly after undergrad at Target), it is hard to determine whether this is how all orientations are, or just orientations that are catering towards first time full-time employees. Specifically, I don’t feel I needed to be told how to conduct myself in a meeting, but I’m also in the 1% of folks who have worked in the corporate atmosphere before. Everyone else is my program is an undergraduate intern and coming from a very different perspective. So I just went along with the program and tried to learn a few things. I paid special attention to what I’m able to disclose and what I’m not – that’s going to be difficult. I also learned what to do in the event of an earthquake… something I never had to think about in Minnesota!

A wrench was thrown into my week though, my supervisor is out of the country. He was pulled away last minute and therefore I only have a brief email of direction to go off of. The week has been a little boring because of that. I have taken advantage of all that the campus has to offer though. Monday I went to the free screening of Avengers Age of Ultron in 3D. It really pissed off the feminist in me. Seriously, the one female superhero had to fall in love and needed to be rescued? What the crap is that? Black Widow doesn’t need a man saving her, she is bad ass all on her own and wouldn’t even get kidnapped in the first place. Seriously. — End rant —

Yesterday I went to yoga, which is offered every Tuesday and Thursday. It was outside alongside the koi pond. It was even more beautiful than it sounds. The weather was perfect, which makes me concerned for a month or two from now when the weather will make me want to die. I probably will quit yoga at that point. Temporarily of course.

After work this evening there was a screening of Jaws. It was a part of the “movies you have not seen but should” series. This is perfect because I actually hadn’t seen it. And honestly, I couldn’t even really tell it was a movie from the 70’s. It really holds up really well. I enjoyed it and maybe will watch it again some day with my kids when I want to scare the crap out of them. I’m going to be such a good mom.

Oh the MBA Internship

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I’ve been thinking for the last three weeks about how to actually articulate my experience looking for an internship. Coming back from China I was freaking out a bit as most of my peers had already secured their summer jobs. I, however, had (and have) not. Even though I made it to a third round interview with one company, they stopped answering my emails and I was never formally rejected. I understood coming into recruiting season that this would be the case, though. Entertainment is famous for their just-in-time hiring, unlike consulting where companies know the exact number they need a year ahead of time. I knew what I was getting myself into and still I let the pressure get to me.

I thought that by going to a top business school this would be an easier process. For example, I applied to a Social Media MBA position with an tech/entertainment company. I was rejected within 2 hours of submitting my application. In my cover letter, I explicitly stated both my involvement with managing social media accounts for various organizations (Girls in Tech, Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Sloan Women in Management, etc.) and the Social Media Management class I’m taking. This, plus everything else on my resume, wasn’t enough to even get an interview.

The black box-ness is especially frustrating. I’ve submitted 40+ online internship applications, some with minor connections. I had one first round interview that I felt went pretty well, but I was rejected soon after. I requested feedback to, you know, improve my chances on the next position but, no dice.

Further complicating things is needing to decide between LA and NYC. I clearly fell in love with LA when I was there in January and have had that as my plan ever since. After spending time in China and having Joe go back to Minnesota for a week (stupid baseball), I remembered that I really like spending time with him and I’m just happier when I am around him. So, why move myself across the country from him for 3 months? Well, probably because this is maybe the last time I’ll get an opportunity to just uproot everything and try out my hand at an entertainment gig in LA without any worries. And really, even if I do get a little depressed being all alone in California, hopefully the sun will lighten the mood.

Right now I’m in the final stages with two different roles, one in NYC and one in LA. I haven’t received an offer from either yet so I don’t want to jinx it, but it would be a difficult decision to make if I were offered both. It is just such a roller-coaster of emotions – I get my hopes up and then they die and then I have to get excited about the next thing. I know it will all work out in the end but it is hard not knowing! I like to know things!

A memorial day

I’ve been in such a funk these last few days that I just can’t seem to break out of. I’m pretty sure the sun will never shine again in Minnesota, and that’s a pretty depressing place to be.

This past Friday, a girl I went to middle school with lost her daughter. Her beautiful 2 year old went missing while they were camping, and she was discovered in the water after what I can only imagine to be the most unbelievably painful 2 days. I didn’t know her that well when we went to school together. We had a few classes with each other; I always thought she was a very sweet girl. Sometimes, things like this hit me harder than others, and this one, because it feels so close to home, is ripping me apart. The pain I can only imagine that family is going through is just tragic.

On not even remotely the same scale, but still affecting my mood, is that today I just found out that my two most desired things are pretty much incompatible. Stanford housing doesn’t allow for pets of any kind. I’ve looked for apartments/rentals nearby, and nothing seems to accept pets. This means that I can’t even get a puppy right now if I want to have the ability to go to Stanford next year and that really sucks.

I’ve been thinking about a puppy more and more and even put in an application with the place I want to get him from. I had intended to get him before the winter because I know that he will help me be a happier person during the terrible winter months. And even though I haven’t met him yet, I know he would love California so much.

Joe is encouraging me to look into the policies at/near the other universities I am applying. That in itself feels disingenuous – I want Stanford and I know I can get in. I understand applying to other places as safeties… but this feels different.

As I was lying on the couch though, unable to motivate myself to do so much as even turn on the TV, I couldn’t imagine ever leaving this black hole to succeed in Business School. I allow myself to waste an entire weekend when I have work and writing and Girls in Tech things I could be working on – how on earth do I think I could fight my way through school again? This place I’m in is so dark it feels like I’ll never break out and I should probably just stop reaching for my goals now.

After my two hour nap and then direct migration to bed, Joe set up my light box to use in the morning. After the move to our condo, I hadn’t really found a suitable place for it and kept it packed away. I was also hopeful that my depression was just seasonal and now that it is “spring” I should fall out of it. But apparently I haven’t. So, I’m pretty thankful I have Joe to remind me that this place I am now may not be permanent.

just a bully

Trigger warning: depression and suicide

When I was in middle school, I was bullied. Others perceived me as being a lesbian and “weird”, both of which were at odds with the small-town-Minnesota community I was in. Multiple times I went to the counselor’s office and eventually spoke to the principal to make the mean kids stop. Each time, I was told to “avoid them” or “ignore them.” Whether or not they were ever spoken to, I’m not sure, but I do know the effects on my mental psyche were huge.

I went to a therapist to talk through some of the issues. I was pretty sure I was straight, but I thought maybe everyone at school was right. Did they see something I didn’t know? My mom telling me “it would be easier if you were a lesbian! Men suck,” didn’t help. But neither did being a 13 year old girl.

The worse part was feeling so alone. I was new to town and didn’t have friends I could confide in. Finding notes on the floor that talked about how “dirty and gross Katie is” told me that yes, in fact everyone was talking about me behind my back. I turned to the internet and friends I made in chat rooms or on neopets to relieve some of my pain, which may be the only thing that got me through it all. Neopets. I’m serious.

Every night I would cry, think I was worthless, and couldn’t imagine things ever getting better. This is when I became more and more depressed, beginning to fantasize about ending it. How could I envision life getting any better when it was so terrible? Wouldn’t taking a knife to my wrists or a handful of pills make things better?

One day, I eventually had enough and retaliated against someone that had been taunting me mercifully. I got into trouble and had to take an anti-bullying class. Because I, was the bully. Oh, the irony.

This was my rock bottom. My mom brought me to a doctor and I was placed on antidepressants. Yet, this only made me feel worse. Before the effects really kicked in, I just felt crazy and weird for needing them in the first place. The logic of their existence, and that clearly I was not the only person on them, was not enough to make me feel better.

And then eventually the school year was over. My mom let me change schools and I was able to move past that terrible point in my life. Sort of. But it is my own experiences with bullying and depression/suicidal thoughts that makes me so passionate about these issues in state law. State Sen. Scott Dibble has been a great proponent of anti-bullying measures, but as of yet, has not passed any laws.

According to MPR, the new legislation Dibble is working on for 2013 could change a lot of things. Until now, every law proposed has been more about the punishment of bullies. But the conversation should be shifted to the prevention. This is what is happening and I couldn’t be more supportive of it. Favoring local control (leaving it up to each school district to determine how to handle) assumes children and parents speak up at a high level. This alone means things are already out of control and the student has a supportive parent that does anything necessary. Why not one standard for all of Minnesota? A standard that protects students by better training teachers and administration how to handle it.