Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dear Readers, particularly those I will meet in real life:

In the upcoming months I will be meeting some of my readers. It's an inevitability. Here are a few tips for when this meeting occurs, gleaned from previous awkwardness.

1) Do not start the conversation with something like "I read you like ice cream." Quoting personal facts about me that I mention on my blog is weird, unless you too are an ice cream fanatic. Then mention so.
2) Do mention that you read my blog in the early part of our conversation. It's weird when we've been talking for 30 minutes and THEN you mention you read my blog every week.
3) Do tell me how much you like my blog. Writers like flattery.
4) Do not mention that you read my blog and Business Week forums in the same sentence. Or even the same conversation. I will find that offensive.
5) Do come introduce yourself. I like hearing that people other than my old roommate read my blog. Although I do love that you read my blog Anna, I like that other people read it too. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More private sector/ non-profit differences

Working at an office, I often need to write things down. So I looked for a pen. There were no pens at my desk, and neither could I immediately find a supply closet. I wonder if this is a typical non-profit experience. I spoke to friends working for government agencies this summer who had interesting takes on the whole supply issues as well. In sum:

Private sector: Go to the supply closet and get a pen.
Government: Fill out a requisition form and wait six weeks to get a pen.
Non-profit: Pen? What pens? Bring your own pen and jealously guard it in case someone tries to commandeer said pen.

Working remotely

I have stumbled upon one the beauties and the tortures of the 21st century... working remotely. My 3 bosses for my internship all work remotely so when something came up with my family this week I was easily able to work remotely as well. The way high speed internet and free applications like Skpye and googledocs have enabled even non-profit employees to easily work from anywhere is amazing, and restricting. I have a blackberry, but have thus far refrained from attaching my MSB email to it. I'm sure if I move into the corporate world I will not be as lucky as to be able to choose to disconnect.

Next week I will be a participant and a panelist at the Forte Foundation annual conference in New York. It will be nice to see some of my MSB friends who are working in New York and catch up with some non-MSB friends in-between!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gas prices and travel in the U.S. of A... AND financial modeling text recs?

With gas prices seeming to set up camp at $4.00 a gallon recently, I considered how I would have made it to my friend's wedding if I had actually attempted to get there by public transportation. After about 20 minutes of fairly efficient searching through Amtrak and NJ transit I was given the following answer:

We are sorry, but there is no service available at the destination at the specified date/time.

That, unfortunately, is why most Americans rely on their cars to transport us from point A to point B. However, I didn't give up on my little examination of the current state of transportation affairs. The bride lives outside of Philadelphia, which IS accessible by train and bus. A single trip on Amtrak and the NJ transit trains from Washington, DC to Cherry Hill, NJ would cost me $45.25 at the cheapest. Looking at the buses, I can get from DC to Philly and back for approximately $50. Comparatively speaking, that's not bad, plus in my imaginary scenario I would carpool with someone for the rest of the way and not pay all the tolls. According to my sources (my brother who drives from Baltimore to Philly every weekend) that's about $17 each way.

In short I could save quite a bit of money by taking the bus, but it wouldn't actually get me to where I need to be and there's no public transportation I could utilize during the weekend. And then I wouldn't have the flexibility to drive around the NJ towns we were staying in to pick up such necessities as sparkling wine and fake eyelashes (SO not for me) when required.

I am facing a life of self-induced poverty and not enough alcohol during my second year with my current state of financial affairs. Therefore I am exploring some money-making endeavors. Those may or may not come to fruition in the upcoming weeks. If they do, I'll post about it. If they don't work out, I'll pretend it never happened. One thing I wanted anyways for the fall is a paid internship. As I am starting from ground zero experience wise, I knew I would have to go for anything and everything and see where it took me in the development world. I found this advertisement for a really cool summer position- financial analysis for a non-profit- so I am going to see if they need anyone during the school year.

In other randomness I now have a sketchy gym membership to go along with my sketchy cable. I won't go into too much details, but I'll just say cash may or may not have been involved. Given that the gym has non-sketchy cable TV I have been spending some quality time there since I joined last week. Bend it Like Beckham was on yesterday evening so I spent more time on the elliptical than originally planned. I love that movie. I'm also using Rosetta Stone to try to recover some of my Spanish this summer. These two activities are only keeping me busy to around 7:30 each night as my work, home and gym are in the same 5 blocks. So, in addition, I am going to try to do some work for my other internship and find a book to teach myself financial modeling this summer. Suggestions on texts are welcome and encouraged!

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm going to Brasil!

I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet. I found out a few weeks ago that I am going to Brazil for my 2nd year Global Experience! During the second year at Georgetown the entire second year class participates in the Global Integrative Experience at the end of the third module. The entire class bids for locations given 10 points. This year the options were Sao Paolo, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Dubai, UAE; Madrid, Spain and Prague, Czech Republic. Only one of the two Europe destinations was chosen. If I play my cards right, I can choose classes with final papers or presentations instead of exams for the third module and go to Brazil the week before the integrative. Then I will spend a week in Sao Paolo and the week after is spring break. The bf speak fairly fluent Portuguese which should make being a tourist a lot easier. I think I am going to have some sort of beef with every meal. Brazilian steak is supposed to be amazing. I can't wait to go to my first local churrascaria!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Notes to self

Notes to self.
Working for a non-profit that doesn't pay definitely provides no moral obligation to stay after 5 pm.
Only living two blocks from work doesn't preclude getting soaked during a summer rainstorm without an umbrella.
My apartment is a disaster. Must get it cleaned before birthday party on Friday night.
Crap, I turn 27 tomorrow.

I started with FINCA on Monday. The work is a bit more challenging than the research I was doing for MERC, but MERC has far superior technology. After working on a brand new mac for weeks I am now working on a really old, really slow PC laptop that I want to throw through a window, if I had one. Although I am technically in a windowless office, it's all glass and faces the windows of the office and I immediately in between cubicles so I actually get more sun than 2 people in cubicles closer to the window.

Yes dear readers, it's the little things.