Friday, October 29, 2010

Goodbye Colby, Hello Milwaukee!

Perhaps the title of this post will be more appropriate when I actually move, but this is my way of telling you all that I GOT THE JOB!!!!!! You are now reading the blog of the future Career Services Coordinator at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design! This will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog because I'm pretty sure I managed to tell everyone on the planet already. However, I just wanted to document this joyous day since I have officially accepted the offer! After a couple long talks with my dad about budgets... and living expenses... and health insurance... and deductibles... and co-pays... and retirement plans...I finally learned enough to determine that it's possible for me to make this job work. Money will be t.i.g.h.t., that's no secret, but I am finally to the point where I see the benefits outweighing the costs. I am so nervous about everything, but it's also a very exciting time in my life! Lots of people have offered me advice about how/where to search for apartments, along with some other various tidbits about Milwaukee, so I feel very blessed to have such knowledgeable people in my life! :) Because my future boss is so accommodating, I don't have an exact start date. He knows that I need a little time to pull my life together and find a place to live. He said ideally I'd start sometime around Thanksgiving, and provided I get my act together in a reasonable amount of time, I don't think starting then will be too big of a problem. I still kind of want to pinch myself. It's one thing to talk about it, but it will be a whole different thing when I'm actually living in Milwaukee and working at my first big-girl job. Ahhh! Stay tuned, that's all I can say.

The Jane Bradley Pettit Building (where I will be working).
The back of the building. It's right along the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. Gorgeous!
(Photos courtesy of Footlights)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


A few weeks ago, my computer started showing multiple signs of imminent doom, meaning I knew immediately that our remaining time together would be short-lived. I have had my laptop for over 4 years, so I can't complain because it has done a fine job up until recently. Unfortunately for me, though, it has decided to pretty much die at the time in my life when my funds are as low as they've been in a long time! :-/ I can't access the majority of my documents and programs because my computer decided to work only on a temporary profile. Well, what good is a damn computer if you can't access any of your files?! I've been talking to mom and dad quite a bit about the need for a new computer, but I've been putting it off. Until today, that is. While many people hate Dell computers, I have had virtually no problems with mine, so I decided to remain a loyal customer and purchase another laptop from them. My biggest issue with my current laptop is that I ran out of free disk space, so my choice for the new computer was one with a MUCH bigger hard drive. After consulting with my brother about what he thought were necessary features for a computer, I decided to purchase the Dell Inspiron M501R. While the initial price of $749.99 seemed reasonable, by the time I finished customizing it with all the "necessary" features, the total came to almost $1100. Yikes! I still decided to do it, and I signed up for a payment plan with Dell so that my monthly payments are reasonable enough to justify the purchase. When you're my age and you're looking for jobs in the profession I went to school for, a personal computer is pretty much a must. I really didn't want to spend the money, but honestly, I'm just so excited to get it that I don't even care right now! :) For all you Mac lovers, I know, I know... Shame on me for getting another PC, but at this point in my life, a PC is just a trusty comfort that I know and love, and right now, I don't have the patience or energy to deal with the added stress of figuring out a Mac. A few things I'm really excited about include a 10-key and a webcam, two things my current laptop doesn't have. All in all, I'll just be excited to have a working computer again! Let the countdown to its arrival begin!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fifty Percent Odds.

As you know, I had my second interview on Thursday for the Career Services job at MIAD. I was really happy that their director agreed to meet me halfway that day because then I didn't have to leave at the crack of dawn. I left Colby a little after 10:00 with the knowledge that I'd be arriving early (as usual). Well, about halfway through my drive, I got a call from their director. Oh boy. Here he thought we were meeting at 11:00, so he was already there! Thank the good Lord it wasn't MY mistake, because that would have given him a terrible impression of me. He was very apologetic, which I actually found humorous because it really didn't affect me in any way. It actually worked in our favor because I arrived around 12:20, so we got started a little sooner than originally planned. As I suspected, it wasn't much of an interview at all. He pulled out a piece of paper with a bulleted list on it that highlighted the primary daily duties of the position (in the order they occur most frequently). He went in depth about each item and then allowed me to ask questions. Of course I had no shortage of things to ask. :) Anyway, while we ate lunch, we had a really nice conversation about a lot of non-work related stuff, so that was enjoyable too. He also talked about the characteristics he seeks in someone taking this position, and I feel like it described me pretty well! After talking with him, I am SO much more excited about the position. Not that I wasn't before, but obviously I had some reservations, so I am really happy that I met with him because it made me feel like the job would definitely be worth taking if I get the offer. Speaking of an offer, if everything goes through HR smoothly, I should know sometime this coming week if I'm getting the job or not. He told me that it's down to me and one other person, which is awesome, and then I had the revelation that my odds of not getting the job are just as good as my odds of getting it: 50%. Scary! Watch, it'd be just my luck that I'm finally jazzed about this position and then I won't get it. Wow, would that suck. I got a really good feeling from that day, so hopefully that's a good sign! Not gonna lie, just about everyone bone in my body is f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g out about this, but it's now or never! I don't really feel like spending the next how many months packaging bacon, I can tell ya that much. So anyway, after all this time, while everything is still uncertain, maybe this is finally the point in my life where things fall into place the way they're supposed to. We shall see. Just wish me luck, no matter what happens!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good News!

Hello all! Perhaps you're wondering why it's been awhile since I've given a job update. Well, I didn't have one to give, that's why. But... Now I do, so here it is! On Friday, I was contacted by MIAD and was offered a second interview (which I graciously accepted). When I was told that there would be second interviews, I'll be honest, I thought to myself, "What on earth could they possibly have left to ask me?!" The hour and a half I spent in the first interview answering questions made me feel like I had answered every possible question under the sun! Perhaps I was right, because based on the email I received, this second interview isn't nearly as "interview-like" as one would expect. Here's the rundown. I'm meeting with the director (who was part of the phone interview and the first interview), and he essentially just wants to give me more specifics of the day-to-day nature of the position. Then he just wants to get my thoughts on everything and see if I feel like it's a good fit and if I'm still interested. And get this, in the email requesting the interview, he said, "I am sensitive to how long your drive is from Colby, so I am more than willing to meet you halfway." Um, wait. What? Do people actually do that?! I guess so because we're meeting at a restaurant in Oshkosh on Thursday. He told me that it'll take about an hour and a half (meal included) and that I don't really need to prepare. As casual as it sounds, I'm still really nervous. There are aspects of the position that I don't have a ton of experience in, so I don't want that to work against me. This is where I've gotta sell myself, I guess! I do have to say, the fact that he's willing to drive 2 hours to meet me just to tell me all about what I'd be doing in the job makes me feel like I'm pretty damn close to securing it! I don't want to be presumptuous, though, so I'll do what I can and hope that everything works for the best! As always, I'll keep you posted! :)

Go Bucky!

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to go to the Badger homecoming game with three lovely ladies! I've been to several Badger games, primarily due to the fact that Erin went to school there. The ticket prices for this game were rather insane, probably for a couple reasons: 1) It was homecoming; and 2) It was against Minnesota, so people are willing to pay more money. Anyway, we spent the weekend in Erin's cousin's condo (a big thanks to him for letting us use it), and overall, we had a complete blast! Check out the photos!

Staying in and playing games on Friday night to prepare for an early start.

Badgers vs. Gophers (we won)
The four of us at the tailgate party!
At the game!

View from where we were sitting!

Some photos with the ladies! :)

In the street after the game!

The cheer about "Section O." I was laughing too hard to finish it.

The last photo before my camera died. It's probably a good thing that it died. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Pathetic.

The title says it all. I got a phone call bright and eary this morning from my papa asking (or should I say telling) me that I had to come into work at the shop today. Based on a conversation with him yesterday, I figured the call was coming. So, I begrudgingly got my butt up and headed down to the shop having no idea what the day would hold or how long I'd have to be there. I will take a moment here to mention the fact that I know I'm lucky. I don't have to work there every day, or much at all for that matter, so it's not like the end of the world when I have to go in. Plus, I should consider myself lucky to even have somewhere to work at all. Maybe it's just a pride thing, I don't know. It's just that I did this job for more years than I can count--during high school and beyond--so it's a little tough to stomach coming back to it after spending 6 years in school so I didn't have to do it anymore. The first half of the day consisted of running back and forth and back and forth to get the damn phone in between waiting on customers. I don't mind being on the phone with people, but I had a couple issues today: 1) It's been a long time since I've had to answer any and all meat-related questions, so I felt like a rookie; and 2) I talked to multiple people who had no clue what they were talking about, making it that much more difficult for my rustiness to wear off. Once the phone died down, we were buried in customer inquiries and endless amounts of summer sausage. Sounds like an ideal day, right?! But anyway, you get the drift about what kind of day it was. And this is why I feel pathetic: I worked from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (with a small break in there for lunch), and I feel 100% exhausted tonight! I guess I can give myself a little credit since 10 hours is a bit of a long day, plus that entire 10 hours minus the break was spent on my feet. So, there I feel like I'm justified. But folks, let's be real here. The majority of my days are spent dinking around NOT working, so it's a little hard to justify a bitch session after one long day of work. Eh, well. I'm allowed to feel how I feel, so while it is a little pathetic, I'm pooped, and I'm going to head to bed so that I can relive those good 'ol high school days of smelling like meat by doing it all again tomorrow!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interview = Done.

Hey, yo! Well, I survived my interview yesterday! I was up waaaay too late on Tuesday night (long story), so getting up yesterday was a bit of a struggle. I shuffled my way around the house getting ready, which, let me tell you, is a lot harder to do when your nerves are making you feel like you're going to burst! Once I was showered and dressed, I sat down and reviewed a bunch of potential interview questions, again trying to ignore my nerves. I finally left the house around 8:40. MapQuest told me that it would take me 3 hours and 47 minutes to get there. My Garmin told me that it would take 3 hours and 16 minutes. Hmm. The interview process started at 1:45, so either way, I knew I'd have some extra time. I get super nervous about not knowing where I'm going, so I like to allow myself a freakish amount of extra time to find my way around. Along the way, I got really hungry, so I stopped in some random town and had McDonald's french fries and a shake. Good, nutritious interview food, right?! ;) The drive went pretty smoothly until the last 15 minutes or so. While I'm not familiar with the layout of Milwaukee or what is considered downtown, I'm pretty sure I was in the heart of it. I was kind of stressed out, and all I kept thinking was, "If I move down here, my mom will NEVER come visit me because she won't be able to handle this!" I made it throught that part, but then I ran into some construction that my good 'ol trusty Garmin didn't like too much. I was literally going in circles on all these freaky little back-ish roads. At that moment, I was thanking the good Lord that I gave myself extra time. I finallllly got myself where I needed to be, and I had about an hour to spare. So, I did more interview prep and just did what I could to keep myself calm. For the first part of my interview, I got a tour of of the main campus building, and it was really cool. Since it's an art and design school, all the majors involve some sort of amazing creativity that I completely lack. It was pretty much visual overload, but it was awesome to see. The building itself has a lot of history, and I felt like I learned a lot as we walked the halls. The second part of my interview involved meeting with 4 professionals from different areas on campus. While it was only an hour and 15 minutes with them, it was quite intense. They all had their own set of questions to ask, so it was a little overwhelming, but I think I handled myself pretty well! They're finishing up interviews this week, and if necessary, they'll do second interviews next week. If they don't do second interviews, then my guess is I'll know next week or early the following week whether or not I'm packing up and heading to Milwaukee. Wow, saying that still freaks me out! I want the job, but it's freaky to think how fast my life could potentially change. I guess that's what it's all about, though. So anyway, I will keep you posted as always!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trust The Process.

If you've kept up with my blog, you'll remember awhile back that I posted some of my favorite "Quotables" cards (see here). One of my favorite sayings from those cards is, "Slow down. Calm Down. Don't Worry. Don't Hurry. Trust the Process." I literally repeat this phrase to myself at least once a day. And right now, it's proven to be more important than ever. For any of you who have actually been around me over the past, I don't know, week or so, you're probably painfully aware of the fact that I'm FREAKING out about this potential job in Milwaukee. Don't get me wrong, I am so dang excited about the possibility of getting this job that I could fall over and die, but there are several factors that have come into play to make me nervous. No surprise to anyone, finances are the biggest concern. I won't exactly be raking in the dough if I get this position, so I've had to do a lot of budgeting and thinking about if and how I can make it work if I get the job offer. This has involved sorting through every possible monthly expense including, but not limited to: rent (without knowing how much it'll be); student loans; cable and internet; electricity; cell phone bill; credit card bill (I am still haunted by the fact that I had to rely on my credit card when I wasn't working for a semester); car insurance; groceries; etc. As sad as it is, I've never really had to consider all these things before. I mean, I have, but I either had help from mom and dad or I had extra financial aid money to pull me through. It's scary to say the least, but the more I think about it, the more I know I have to take this job if I get an offer. I need the experience and I want to stay in the field. I didn't get a Master's degree with the intention of turning down opportunities that will give me the experiences I want and need, ya know? I can make it work, I just have to learn how to be extremely efficient with my money. Should be interesting! As for the interview, it's tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. I'm leaving Colby around 8:30-9 tomorrow morning and will spend about 4 hours in the car to get to MIAD. The interview itself only lasts 2 hours, and then it'll be 4 hours back here. I love how I can say that the interview is only 2 hours, like that's nothing. But, in comparison to past interviews, it seems simple enough! I'm feeling pretty good about it, so hopefully that's a good sign. No matter what, it's still another interview experience, and the more of those I can tackle, the better off I will be. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fest, Fest, Fest-y Fest!

As I mentioned in the last entry, I recently went to La Crosse for the grand 'ol Oktoberfest celebration. I've taken part in the festivities every year since I moved to La Crosse, so this was my 6th year in a row. I must confess, it was slightly difficult (or maybe odd is a better word) to attend the events now that I'm no longer a La Crosse resident. I missed not having my own bed to sleep in or being able to come and go as I pleased. However, I do have to say, it was still a great time! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Oktoberfest, it's essentially a week and a half dedicated to the celebration of German heritage. Why it starts in September is still a mystery to me, but I don't really care! The city is overtaken by brats, beer, parades, and partying. Good time, right?! I went to La Crosse with some girlfriends, and we all stayed in my friend Becca's apartment. Saturday's routine consisted of the following:

1) Get up at approximately 6:30 a.m. (hungover or not)
2) Pack up the goodies (goodies consisted of donuts, brats, chips, pickles, miscellaneous snacks, soda, various types of alcohol including beer, bloody mary's, get the picture)
3) Bundle up. It was cooooold.
4) Arrive to our parade spot at approximately 8 a.m.
5) Crack our first beers at approximately 8:05 a.m.
6) Play drinking games until the parade starts (at 10 a.m.)
7) Wait for the LONG parade to reach us at our spot (around 11 a.m.)
8) Dance to any and all polka music as the floats pass by.
9) Continue drinking.
10) Wait in line forever to use digusting port-a-potties.
11) Check the time and realize there's still 3 hours of parade left.
12) Take a seat for awhile to reenergize.
13) Continue drinking.
14) Shove down a brat to prevent early drunkenness.
15) Rejoice when the parade is actually over.
16) Stumble around to pack up and clean up.
17) Load the cars.
18) Walk to the bars.
19) Continue drinking the rest of the day.
20) Go to the Fest grounds (for those who were still awake).
21) Head back to the bars.
22) Pass out. I lasted the longest (1 a.m.)! :)

Okay, so that was a little more detailed than necessary, but that's literally how the day went. See some pictures below as evidence of the day. Thankfully, we got up early enough on Sunday to drive home before the exhaustion hit, but let me tell ya, I barely moved once I got home. Overall, I had a blast. Can't wait to go back for year number 7! :)

Colby girls at Fest!

Serious concentration (or confusion) during the card game.

Roomies reunited!!!

Some of us at Shooters!

Concentrated on drinking beer out of our shot class mugs! (Brothers Bar)
Taking a little siesta on the curb.
After everyone else wimped out, I met up with my fam at Top Shots!
(After this bar, I was done for the night!)