Monday, June 20, 2011

Interview update

I've finally gotten the two interviews scheduled! The Chicago firm is at the end of June. They're making it a very condensed interview process because I already know the lead partner and another managing director in the practice.

In terms of the Seattle firm, I ended up having to take this online personality test of sorts. It basically gives you many screens to rank how you would describe yourself. Each screen had four adjectives or phrases and you'd rank 1-4 which were most apt to describe how you work.

I didn't really think I'd "fail" the test, given I have been consulting for four years. But basically they look for people who are going push and drive people to results instead of just being a people person. So when you're looking at a list of adjectives, you'd think that words like sociable or gets along with people are important. And they are. But they aren't as important as driving to a deadline or pushing to an end goal.

Other traits that I think are important for consultants are those who are calm in stressful situations because we often come into locations where not everyone wants us there. It's also important to be comfortable with ambiguity. If you want to know exactly how things are going to work, it just doesn't happen that way. You have to be comfortable working with the unknown, not having every single detail planned out. Then you just adjust as things happen.

Finally I think one of the most important traits for consultants is to be comfortable with change. Things change all the time. Not just in work a work setting, but in travel. Remember how a week and a half ago I ended up not going home? Well things like that happen. And you just have to deal with it. You can complain and bitch a bit, but deal with it.

Anyways, slight side track there. So yes, I "passed" the personality test. But unfortunately given my work and personal travel plans, as well as the those of the lead partner, we weren't able to get a date for me to fly out to Seattle until the end of July. One exact month after I interview with the Chicago firm. Boo. I had really wanted to get them close together. Oh well.

I was talking to my mom over the weekend about how I feel about these two firms. And really how I'm not really stressing over them. I really do think that whatever happens will be the right opportunity. I think back to being disappointed with not getting that offer from that firm in Atlanta last fall. And honestly these two firms are a better opportunity than that Atlanta firm. So even though it sucked a bit for me last fall, it was all meant to be.

The only really tough thing is going to be if I get both offers. I'd almost rather just get one so the decision making is done for me. Hard decisions are hard!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Crazy day

So I had a 11 am flight this morning from RDU back to O'hare. Emphasis on the word had. I get to RDU and shortly thereafter, they cancelled the flight. They initially said they couldn't get me on a flight until tomorrow, but then they were able to get me on a flight that left at 6 pm that would get me into Chicago at 7:30.

Except that I had already had a ticket booked to turn right back around and fly from Chicago back to Charlotte on Sunday. So what... I would have been in Chicago for 36 hours? I said forget it, and decided to cancel my return leg today and my initial leg on Sunday.

But this now left me at RDU with a rental car reservation to pick up from Charlotte's airport on Sunday. So I ended up changing that reservation to pick up today, but then had to rent a car from RDU to drive to Charlotte to pick up this car. Given that I was going to have this Charlotte car for two weeks, picking up from RDU and returning to Charlotte would have been crazy expensive because when you return it to a different location, they add a charge per mile.

Long story short, I got to RDU at 9 am today. I got a rental car at 11 am and drove the 2.5 hours to Charlotte. I picked up another car in Charlotte and drove back to Chapel Hill. I did stop on the way back to Chapel Hill at an outlet mall and did some de-stressing by buying some cute tops. Hey, I couldn't let today just be the day that I dealt with travel for 10 hours!

This now means that I am back in Chapel Hill this weekend, and next (as planned for Father's Day). And it means that I left Chicago on May 30 and will not return until June 24. Craziness.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The rental car game

A certain someone in New Mexico who shall remain unnamed told me to keep the blog posts coming. So I shall entertain!

Anyways, one of the little games I always play while traveling is "What rental car will I get this week"? I've had everything from sports cars that are super low to the ground to the point that I have issues getting in and out of the car... to Lincoln Navigators with wood paneling in the inside where I feel like I should be picking up my social security check and going to the 4:30 early bird special.

The Avis at Charlotte airport has been hooking me up lately, giving me much higher class cars than I am paying for. Last week I had a Mercury Mariner SUV which was a nice car. Not as nice as my Honda CRV at home, but nice nonetheless.

This week I have a hot red VW Jetta. I've never driven a VW before. I told a friend (who I already knew drives a VW) that I feel like I should be wearing birkenstocks, drinking a chai soy latte, and listening to NPR while driving around in the Pacific Northwest. I'm not sure why I have this notion of VW drivers.

Anyways, I'll have this Jetta for two weeks since I'm driving it to Chapel Hill and back this weekend!