Career Fair Daze

I look forward to career fairs like I look forward to running–something I’m no hand shakingnot too particularly excited about, yet I know I need to go anyways.  And typically, in the end, I’m glad I went through with it.  What made this year even more awkward was the “swine flu rule” aka no shaking hands.  I would present my professional self, yet awkwardly clutch my portfolio while the company rep awkwardly clutched their business packets.  Thank goodnessProctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson reps. were there with hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer “swag” to give out to anyone interested in getting involved in the health care product industry.  Speaking of swag, I was disappointed.  I did my professional spiel with the few companies I needed to talk to and then I was ready to go on the prowl, mainly because my roommate wanted me to grab whatever Apple decided to bring to their table.  However, other than the typical water bottle and ball point pens, there wasn’t anything too interesting out there…for example, I came home with a rubber coaster. nuf said.
With companies still hiring and my resume finally back up to par (who knew one summer and a grad school change could alter it so much?!) I need to get back into the cycle of finding a career.  This was me at exactly the same time last year; however, I was a lot more carefree due to the grad school idea taking up most brain space.  I’m used to the intern approach at taking whatever you can get, yet a real-life-adult-career feels like it should be different.  But with the economy, is it any different?  I guess I’ll see throughout the next few months.
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Grad School Lesson #2 – Domestication

With 450 swine flu cases reported on campus, I decided to take my mind of the “scary” epidemic and think about the good old days of cooking, sewing, and cleaning.

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OK…so that was a mild joke, I DO actually wear that dress with pearls and heals; however, I typically vacuum in a t-shirt, or rather, don’t really vacuum at all.  But in all seriousness, relating this back to grad school–it’s amazing how much psyche changes from senior year of college to being “old” and “that kid that graduated last May.”  Let’s compare:

Food:

Undergrad – ate whatever I could scrounge, typically at a club meeting where it was free, or triscuts/cheese/pasta

Grad – still scrounging for free food, but when I’m not doing that I’m homecooking mushroom bison burgers, bruschetta, steak tips, eggplant parm, or some other concoction with my roommate.

Purchases:

Undergrad – if you want something, you spontaneously buy it

Grad – you research and then search for the best prices EVERYWHERE, or in my case–you want a really pretty laptop case but they cost $50, so you sew one for $15

Weekends:

Undergrad – go intensely searching for the place to see and be seen.  Chenny, Lauren, and I walked around collegetown last Saturday night and it was the most amazing view being from the other “graduate side” of things.  I was asked 4 times by random strangers “what’s happening tonight?”, and I never knew. But at least in the end, I looked like someone who would know…I guess?

Grad – you know you’re too good to hang out with those “ruffian” undergrads; therefore, you plan a classy wine & cheese party in your flat or go to a classy bar instead, and when you want cheap food & drink, you just go to the ones provided to you by your school.  In my case, “TGIF” (Tell Grad’s It’s Friday) serves great $1 beer and no undergrads are allowed, they do all the work for you! none of the ruffians to be around.

So am I different now?  I don’t feel very different, but I can’t help thinking that even the seniors in college look young to me and don’t even get started on the freshman!  I do like this sense of cooking awesome homemade food; however, I’m still able to go plow out solid mechanics and finite element equations when the time calls for it.  And that doesn’t seem very domestic, just rather nerdy.