Monday, November 3, 2008

and to make up for my absence..

Here's a third post today. I was a little busy last week with some minor projects to complete, homework to hand in, and a midterm to take. This week takes the cake though, with three midterms, one speech, and one group presentation. In college, you definitely learn how to deal with high stress/pressure environments and how to seemingly turn out an unholy amount of work in record time.

The purpose of this post however, isn't to yammer on about how busy I am, but to share with you guys the big event of last week. I went to Washington DC for another office interview, and have to say it has been my most enjoyable one thus far.

I'll try not to give away too many clues who the company was, but it was a very big company. As usual with office visits, you're treated to dinner the night before and meet a lot of the people in a casual setting. Since DC is a big hub of business action, my dinner actually coincided with several other companies' and the maitre d had her hands full directing people in six different directions. Dinner went well, and I really enjoyed my conversation with the person I sat next to. I pretty much just drilled him with questions all night -- in interviews, whether for officer positions, jobs, or college, definitely try to have some quality questions. They don't have to be super meaningful and ask about someone's definition of life, but really try to picture yourself going there and see if you have any possible conflicts with a particular system or anything like that.

The next day however, disaster struck. I checked out of the hotel and got on the shuttle (and met some people who'd interviewed with me at some other companies!). When we came to a big building, I got off with everyone else. As the elevator doors opened though, the name on the wall was definitely not the company I was interviewing with. ..oops. If this ever happens to you, don't panic. The receptionist was really nice and mentioned it happens often and quickly got the shuttle to turn around for me.

The rest of the day was standard presentations and interviews. Once again, the company had high ranking executives come speak to us. I met several partners, managing directors and managers -- companies definitely take the interview process very seriously. I really enjoyed my conversations at this company and was pleasantly challenged on some questions in my third interview. They stuffed us with more good food (for office visits, I'm thinking of recommending not eating at all beforehand. I barely ate anything before the company meals during the two days but still felt like my eyes were going to pop out afterwards. Mmm deliciousness.) and sent us off with some goodie bags.

While the visit was wonderful, getting there wasn't as enjoyable. Those of you considering going to smaller college towns, keep in mind the available transporation there. Charlottesville doesn't lack transportation, but what we have is kind of... rather... inconvenient. There's only one train to DC everyday, so that meant I had to get on a 7 am train for an event that began at 7 pm. (Good thing I chose the morning block for comm school classes, I'm used to getting up this early now. =D )

Whenever you travel anywhere for an interview, make sure you budget plenty, plenty of time. Delays are really common for trains, the kind that will go upward to three hours. =S As I was waiting to go back to Charlottesville, one of the trains going to Pennsylvania was delayed for at least three hours because it had hit a deer. Apparently the deer had caused enough damage that the train couldn't move. O_O Bizarre, I know.

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