Sunday, April 26, 2009

Internship... check! (Gerrit) (Archive)

At the beginning of January, I began the search for an internship. As an International Business and Spanish major, I am required to hold an Internationally focused internship before I can graduate.

In order to help get a jump start ahead of my classmates, I attended a career fair on campus, but due to the slow economy, not many of the companies represented there were even hiring interns. I signed up for "Corporate Boot Camp" (a program offered by the International Business program to help it's students be prepared for things like resume writing and interviewing) and started talking with my Academic Advisor about the connections that Mississippi State had with the corporate world.

My advisor started sending me emails with job listings, and I would respond with my resume. I waited for just over 2 months before hearing back from anyone...

Two and a half weeks ago I hear back from a company called Garan Manufacturing (they're most known for their children's clothing line "Garanimals") and they set up an interview. I was very excited to interview with them because they have an operations center here in Starkville. That would mean I would save serious money by not having to find a place to stay in another city.

The interview went really really well. I was thrilled when they told me the position would entail frequent video conferencing with their manufacturing facilities in Honduras and El Salvador, and possibly a visit to one of those facilities on the company jet (they did tell me they don't usually do this, but since my spanish abilities are very good, they might consider it).

Two days after the Garan interview I got a call from Citi bank's Latin America branch. That interview was via phone and I have honestly never had a better connection with an interviewer. They were very very impressed with my computer skills and my language skills, and I just seemed to share a lot of personality traits and likes in common. We started talking about what books I like and he even started recommending books to me! The guy told me that there would be a follow-up interview in a couple of days.

Unfortunately the Citi internship is in Ft. Lauderdale... a full 11.5 hour drive from Erin.... and it lasts for 6 months which would mean I'd have to delay graduation, and that would pose a problem with the wedding date of August 7, 2010 that Erin and I are planning for.
Citi called me back several days later to directly offer me a job... they didn't even do a follow up interview. I asked them how flexible the position was, as far as position and length of time go, and they told me that it was not flexible... so in the interest of Erin and our wedding, I turned down the job. It was very difficult to do because I had no idea what other positions would present themselves. Garan had been supposed to let me know already and I had been unable to get in touch with them to affirm what I assumed would be a no. I thought my advisor would see turning down the prestigious Citi internship imprudent as I had nothing else lined up.

Then, last Wednesday, Garan called me.

I got really nervous when I saw the unkown number show up on my phone with a starkville area code. It was Kristen, my contact from Garan, and she was calling me to offer me a job.

I was ecstatic! I told them that I'd call them back the next day to let them know, but I was completely thrilled! I called Erin to let her know and she was very very excited for me too! The internship will begin in January. The position I had applied for was initially for the fall, but they had hired a friend of mine for the fall who is graduating in December for that position, but had liked me enough they wanted to go ahead and hire me.

I cannot wait to start! I'll keep yall posted as I know more!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Weekend in Starkville (Erin) (Archive)

This past weekend I traveled to Starkville to visit Gerrit! I don't go over to Mississippi as much as Gerrit travels to Auburn because we have a lot of friends we regularly hang out with in Auburn. So it is a nice treat to take a trip to see Gerrit, especially since I get to go to my favorite restaurants!

Friday night we went to Mugshots, a bar and grill with delicious hamburgers and sandwiches. The thing that makes their food so great is their bread--it is buttery and sweet! After eating we went to his friend Amanda's Labrats comedy show. It is an improv comedy group (kind of like Whose Line is it Anyway?) and the show was HILARIOUS. We laughed for a full three hours and fully enjoyed it.

Saturday was a nice relaxing day. We got some homework done, went to eat lunch at Chick-fil-a, and browsed around the bookstore. In the evening we went to the spring football game, which to me didn't matter all that much but to Gerrit it did. As much as I love football (particularly Auburn), spring games are so uneventful because no one cares who wins.

After the game we went to my other favorite restaurant--Stromboli's. This is a little Italian place with delicious pizza that has crust more like sweet dough. It is also very small and often extremely crowded. It is a very popular place to eat, but they only have about eight tables inside! After Stromboli's we went to get ice cream at Bop's, which actually isn't ice cream but delicious frozen custard.

We had a great weekend of relaxation and laughter and great food!

Now if only the end of the semester would get here...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend (Gerrit) (Archive)

Sorry for not posting in awhile... I know that you (our most dedicated and loyal followers) anxiously await any updates and Erin and I are working to make sure that we keep you posted more frequently. As you can imagine, school is busy right now and free time for both of us is pretty much non-existent.

Anyway... I digress...

This past weekend was Easter, and Erin and I both went home for some time with family. I had Good Friday off of school and work, so I went home on Thursday, but Erin had to wait until Friday afternoon to join me.

On Friday afternoon I was at the tire shop getting some new tires on my car watching some SERIOUS weather come in, thinking the whole time about poor Erin (whom I knew was driving out in the middle of it). Quarter sized hail was raining down on South East Huntsville, and I was really worried about her being on the road. Later, looking back on it, Erin probably hit the best possible gap in the storm because she never ran into any tornadoes or hail, which is more than most of North Alabama can say for Friday.

After borrowing my dad's car to head to Erin's side of town after the storm had passed, Erin and I went out to eat dinner with her mom and dad at a sushi restaurant that her family frequents. We had a nice time and enjoyed the charge given us by her parents to go pick up a few things from the grocery story afterward (bribed by the option to pick out a dessert while we were there). We found some delicious ice cream sandwiches with a healthy portion of vanilla inside of two chocolate chip cookies. I don't even remember the other things we picked up because my mind was on those the whole time. :)

After coming back to her house, Erin and I spent some time watching the special features on the dvd for "Marley and Me". Her mom was working on a project for her masters program on her computer that involved some video editing, so I ended up spending some time working with her to get the project just right. It turned into a late night because I had some difficulty. Being a perfectionist and very novice video editor is a bad combination...

Saturday morning brought clearer skies, and Erin headed over to my house to spend the day with my family. We mostly just relaxed in the morning and then went out to grab some lunch. While we were out to lunch, her mom called needing some additional help on the video. It ended up being perfect because going out there allowed Erin to have a chance to work on some homework that I'd been keeping her from during the morning :)

Later that evening, after having dinner back at my house, we watched "Slumdog Millionaire" with my parents. It was a very intense movie, but one that Erin and I heartily recommend. It tells the story of a poor boy from the slums of Mumbai, India, who endures all sorts of tribulations, but goes against all odds to win the Indian version of "Who wants to be a Millionaire". It was very touching... and an overall wonderful movie.

Sunday morning we went to church with my family and then afterward went to lunch with her extended family.

Then, our weekend ended (as they frequently do) with us following each other down to Birmingham before our ways home diverge...

It really was a nice weekend. We enjoyed the time we got to spend with each other and with our families. Now we're looking forward to this weekend when Erin is coming to visit me at MSU. :-)