Hoops

The process of finding a job is very strange. I’m not sure if any company is “straight-forward” in this anymore. One job I recently applied for required two 1,000 word essays, along with a resume and generic application. Thankfully I like to write, and I’m also hopeful that the essays weeded out a few people who weren’t really interested in the position. One friend of mine actually confessed she didn’t apply when she saw that requirement.

Turns out, I made it to the next phase in that application process. Instead of it being a live interview though, whether via Skype or in person, it was a recorded video interview. Specifically, the HR representatives pre-recorded the interview questions and then I had 2 minutes to respond for each. At first, I was excited about the process. I was able to do it on my terms, where and when I wanted, with only a deadline to guide me. I spoke to people who have gone through similar interviews and got some insights, which was really helpful.

But then there is the strategy of the interview, which is where my nerves kicked in. In 6 total minutes (3 questions with 2 minutes each), what is more important: conveying the best answers or showing one’s true self and personality? Obviously it is a combination of the two and probably some other components, but I felt like a lot of my experiences were shared with the essays. I tried to view the video interview as an opportunity to show that I can present myself well and be an engaging speaker. I’ll let you know soon if that was the correct approach.

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Yay recruiting

Before I get into it, please let me acknowledge what a great privilege it is to be graduating with my MBA from one of the top 5 institutions in the world. In the grand scheme of things, I’m highly employable and don’t need to worry about employment in the long term. I’m extremely fortunate to be where I am.

That being said, business school has been hard work and the perfect job has not been just handed to me at the end of it. Recruiting is a trying process that is emotionally stressful and very deflating. I often leave a rejection feeling “unemployable…” but I do have a tendency to be dramatic.

During the last week in October I had 7 interviews and received rejections from all. The level of competition for these roles is crazy. The first rejection came for a rotational program that I was extremely excited about and thought I was perfect for. I didn’t have quite as many years of experience as they were looking for, but I felt I had a compelling story for why that was okay. I got the rejection letter without the opportunity to interview.

One job that I did interview for was one I was a little less excited about, but sometimes the best opportunities come out of those circumstances. I made it through four interviews before getting the rejection. This situation was more frustrating because even after all those interviews, they were unable to provide specific feedback. I thought the interviews went very well so it is hard to determine what I can do better next time.

I made it to a third interview for probably what I would describe as my favorite job. At some point in the process there must have been a communication error though because halfway through the interview, my interviewer realized I wasn’t graduating until the spring and they needed someone to fill the role immediately. This was frustrating because it was just a timing issue; I’m hopeful a similar role will become available closer to graduation though.

A lot of my current frustration is my own fault too. Many of my peers have offers already in the bag. The entertainment industry is just different though. Hires are made just in time and its probably crazy for me to think I’m close to closing the deal. So, it’s probably just time for me to take a deep breath, enjoy the holidays, and resume the effort in the new year. Easier said than done, but I’m going to try.

I’m going to be a producer!

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I went to a conference my first weekend here in LA. It was a Film in California conference and while some of it focused on tax credits specifically for filming in California, there was a lot of useful information.

The best part of the day was a panel I attended that had producers from True Blood, Ugly Betty and Mad Men, and a Vice President of Physical Production from Paramount. After hearing more about their day-to-day roles and the impact they have on the content, I decided that it is the job for me. But production isn’t the easiest part to get into, especially for math nerds without any film background. So, for the past 2 weeks I’ve been reaching out to tons of people and meeting with various production assistants and anyone else that will meet with me. The more I hear about it, the more I’m sure it’s what I want to do.

I’m even trying to line up something part-time during the school year. If I could find a local news station that needed part-time production assistance, I could feasibly do that in the morning before any of my classes. I technically could also wait until I’m done with school, but I’m impatient as fuck and want to be able to get a better job once I’m actually done. I also want to be sure it’s what I really want.

Right now, my gut is telling me I don’t want to be doing heavy strategy work. That’s pretty much the focus of my internship and I don’t know if it is the content or the work-load, but I’m not completely stimulated. Which will make for a long summer.

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.

Things turned around!

It’s really too bad that I am so often rewarded for my ranting; it only encourages me. The day after my post about my internship frustrations, I received two internship offers for the summer. More specifically, I received an offer from a TV Network in NYC and they wanted a response within 1 business day so I applied pressure on the other company I had been speaking with to also make a decision. The pressure worked and they came to me with an offer the same day.

I went into the weekend with so much worry about the decision ahead of me. Both options were fantastic. In NYC I would be working on distribution analytics, something I’m incredibly interested in and passionate about. In LA, my job would be to manage a brand/franchise for the summer, something I have less experience in, but knew would be a great learning opportunity.

In truth, I knew my decision right away. My gut told me the LA position was the one I should take. Yet, I spent hours try to convince myself my gut was wrong, and then why it was right. I also had a lot of concern about turning a company down. I was so extremely interested in both roles though, and unfortunately I cannot be on both coasts at once. After two nights of very little sleep, I made the phone calls early Monday morning. There was that awkward time where I had declined with the East Coast but couldn’t yet reach the West Coast and was sorta concerned it would all turn to flames so I just went to workout.

But it is official! I passed the background check, reserved an airbnb room near the campus and bought my plane ticket. Wowza.

Unemployment rocks

This whole being “unemployed” thing is fantastic. Yesterday was technically my first day off. My last day was Friday, but the weekend still felt like any other weekend. Monday morning though, when Joe woke up and went to work and I got to sleep in… that’s when the feeling kicked in.

I tried to start the morning off with coffee, reading a book in my sun chair. However, I ran out of the nummy-good-mocha coffee I’d been using in my Keurig and once I realized it had milk in it, I cut myself off. But it turns out milk is really good and I can’t do without and I’ll have to find some alternative. For the day it was Caribou for me.

I didn’t get a high top. Which is disappointing but I made do. I got myself a soy-mocha, sat down, and began to write. It was the first time I had legitimately revisited my book in quite a few months. I started from the beginning, revising and adding more as it felt right. I had a lot of notes from when Joe reviewed it, calling out elements that needing more context or further depth. I probably only added 250 words, but it was nice to sit down with my coffee, no internet, a beautiful sun, to just write.

After that, I headed over to do my first workout in training for the triathlon. It was painful. The swim started out really nicely, but after just 6 laps I was dead. I couldn’t get my stroke rhythm going and it dawned on me that I didn’t have my nose plugger. I made do with what I had, completed my 15 laps, and only swallowed one mouthful of water. Next time it will be better.

Next it was time for a shopping run. Joe and I haven’t been shopping for food in a while because who needs to when you can subsist on Buffalo Wild Wings. After my invigorating swim though I wanted something that would nourish the soul, not set it on fire. While at Target, I quickly remembered to pick up more contacts and went to the optical center only to be turned down. My prescription was too old. My sadness was met with “we can get you in right now!” when I didn’t even realize they did that stuff there. I should have, but I just never thought of it. I zipped in quickly for the eye exam, and put in my order for contacts while still using my employee discount – high five.

After having goulash, aka: funeral hot-dish for lunch, I went for a run. I should have given myself more time for my stomach to settle but I’m new here. After lasting nearly a solid mile, my body had enough and walked the rest of the three miles. Except I ended up going about 3.4 miles, and maybe ran a total of 1. It’s kind of fun to think about where I will be in a few weeks though, this is the probably the worst I’ll do.

After some stretching, I began session 1 of Python on code academy. I was surprised both by how easy it was and how quickly I got through it. Knowing Matlab, Mathematica, R, etc., really makes it easy to pick up something new. I’m excited to learn more.

No “perfect day” would be complete without donuts, so I made a stop by Glam Doll on the way to drop off my bike for a tune up. The “Scream Queen” (chocolate cake donut with chocolate frosting and candied bacon) was all I needed to spike my energy for my last yMac meeting for life. (That may be a little extreme, but who knows!). I got a nice goodbye, enjoyed seeing some friends, and got home just in time for some Harry Potter before falling asleep. Perfection is the only word that describes my Monday.

Any then this happened #loveMKA met-gala-2014-mary-kate-olsen-ashley-olsen-red-carpet__oPt

An update on too much

I know its been forever since I’ve written. Things have been so hectic, and in lieu of giving the most thrown together recap, I’ll try to pull some semblance of a story together… starting with present day…

Today was a mopey-ass day. It started out really good but then I got a call from the doctor stating I have to go in for another colposcopy, aka, the worst procedure ever. [Aside: The doctor lady told me to take ibuprofen beforehand and I asked her if I could take a few shots of vodka but she didn’t know.] I was supposed to start my triathlon training today but after that news and the endless rain and continued apartment stresses [see below], I just wanted to stay at home for the night. So, I ended up writing out some thank you notes as it is my last week(!!!) at work. Which in itself feels really weird. I woke up on Monday and was like “holy cow, this is my last ‘Monday morning!’ for at least the next year.”

Joe got a job. This is a good thing. But they want him to start ASAP and while in Boston this past weekend we realized that the housing market there is a joke. Especially in “off season”, aka, not when students are vacating the area. To start things off, we found one place we loved but then by the time we got back to the realtor’s office it was gone. Then we spent three days viewing endless apartments and walkups and other random vans-down-by-the-river, until we realized that not only is there nothing available in the timeframe we need it to be, there is also nothing available within the price range we set for ourselves.

We finally got something squared away through an outgoing Sloan student so we left Boston happy. All good and awesome right? Well, no, because it turns out it isn’t as clear cut as that and we don’t know when we’ll be able to move or if we will be moving in. Which, in some ways is okay because we still don’t have our place rented out, but in other ways sucks because Joe will still have to be out there and I’m a lame face who doesn’t want to be alone.

So basically I have no idea what the next three months of my life will look like. Which I suppose is fine, because a lot of things are good and falling into place too. I’m trying out a new business development role within Girls in Tech Global. I’m super excited to continue with the organization and about my growing responsibilities (or, at least shifting). I also connected with the Macalester Alumni in Boston group – so at least if I am there this summer I will not be alonezies.

And finally, if you support my writing and fun projects, please back my donut book because you guys, it’s gunna be really good. Plus, I’m already going to be traveling to a lot of places anyway and I need good reasons to photograph (and eat!) good donuts.

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I have no excuse for why I haven’t written in so long. Unless you count my overpowering desire to come home and sit my ass in front of the TV every night after work. I know I’m the only person that does this, and that makes me feel even more terrible. How do I know I’m the only one, you ask? Because of the hundreds of condos I can see into right now, only two have their TVs playing, that’s how.

But then I just feel like crap for wasting my life away on TV. And then I feel bad and don’t have the drive to do anything else but watch more TV. Joe coerced me to go on a bike ride yesterday, and it was actually a decent amount of fun. I’ve been having a lot of fun lately – I love the new place, I’ve been going to Lynx games and Twins games and been doing fun Girls in Tech stuff. So, why do I feel like an utter failure? Good question.

When I’m not making forward progress, I feel like I am going backwards. I know it isn’t money that is going to make me happy either. I’ve already got my dream condo in downtown Minneapolis – will having the penthouse make me any happier than I am today? Well, I gosh darn hope something does because all I feel like doing is moping. Not mopping – I haven’t cleaned much lately. But moping, yes, like, woe is me.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the irony in this post. See it, and hate it, and need nothing other than to be writing it out and telling the world. Because somehow that makes me feel accountable or something. Like, damn girl, check yo’ self. And still, something is missing and I cannot put my finger on it.

P.S. I was just adding “creeping” to my tags because, let’s face it, me sitting on my balcony and watching others’ watch TV is creepy. But… it had never been used before. How I earth have I not tagged that before?

One day at a time

Yesterday was a pretty terrible day.. I think part of it was getting back home at midnight the night before, and therefore not getting my normal 9 hours of sleep. I think it was also influenced by the fact that I weighed myself in the morning and came in a full 8lbs heavier than I had on Friday. But, it was a graduation weekend which is really like Christmas which means I have a semi-excuse.

I was also pretty overwhelmed at work. The project manager on one of my major projects was out all last week, which meant I got about 100 follow up emails within the first 3 hours of her being back. Glad she’s back, hate email overload. It makes my head explode.

When I got off work I really just wanted to have a drink. But, the one ounce of sanity left in my depressed brain made me go home and work out instead. It’s almost like I am maturing and thats silly. But then after I worked out I had a cocktail while I watch Joe put together our new balcony set. So, in reality, I’m not that grown up.

Today was better. Maybe just because I told myself it couldn’t get any worse than yesterday. Maybe because I had tons of coffee. Maybe because I went out last night and didn’t get good sleep for the second night in a row and was too loopy to be crabby. Who knows really.

One day at a time though, one day at a time.

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.