Thursday, 29 May 2008

Interview with a Female Polyglot Lawyer

I had an interview today at Hecht & Norman, LLC. I interviewed with Hecht - the founding partner of the firm. She speaks 5 languages fluently and 3 semi-fluently. Needless to say, I felt like a nobody. Furthermore, I learned that every person employed by this law office speaks at least Spanish and English fluently. I felt a bit out of my league. But I walked in there like I owned the place (thank you, Amber) and showed them what I've got.

What I've got:
-A degree in International Relations with a minor in Philosophy (not bad for an immigration law office)
-Spanish language skills which I haven't used in 2 years (a good base, but not immediately accessible)
-A desire to be involved in law and help people
-A deep interest in immigration
-A desperate need to find a job I care about, which requires me to use my brain, and does not bore me to death
-Job experience that does not directly pertain to this position

What they've got:
-A job with a purpose in which I am very much interested
-Great on-the-job training - by the time they're done training me they said I would know as much as they do, meaning I can be a vital part of helping immigrants wade through the bureaucratic red tape that is our naturalization process
-Room for upward mobility and a supportive attitude toward further education
-A location that is close to home - I could bike to work!
-A cosmopolitan team of fun women - yes, I would be going from an all male workplace to an all female one

Needless to say, I feel very intimidated, but excited about the prospect of this job. My Spanish was very very rusty, and my interviewers recognized that (obviously). But I also fooled them into believing that I was their top candidate out of all their interviews and resumes thus far and they said I would fit the job very well. They perceived me to be intelligent, passionate and an enjoyable person who would fit in well with the team. This is all good news. I have them fooled! I wouldn't start until July, if they offer me the job. Hopefully I will find out within the next two to three weeks if I got the job or not. Things seem to be looking up in the job prospects part of my life.

I would be very challenged in the first few months (or years?) of the job, but it would be very rewarding both personally and professionally. It is right up my alley and would certainly get my language back up to par! The ladies all speak English and Spanish to each other, so I would pick it up again pretty quickly (I hope).

It's strange how my excitement and intimidation can live simultaneously inside of me. I'm scared of the job - whether or not I would be up to it, but I'm also excited about the challenge and actually growing rather than shriveling up in boredom. I mean, reading news and facebooking at work is fun and all, but there comes a time when I need outside challenges and stimulation.

I will keep you all posted.

In other news:
-I started reading Eat Pray Love yesterday. I'm loving it so far.
-I bought some amazing Cole Haan black patent leather Nike Air peep toe pumps this weekend. Amazingly comfortable, and hott!!
-Tim and I got to see Stomp at the Hult Center in Eugene last night and they were fantastic live.
-Julie, one of my very best friends, is coming to visit this weekend and I can hardly wait!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Where to go next...

I have never been thrilled about my current job, but recent on-the-job happenings have made me even less excited to go to work in the morning. Getting up at 6:00 in the morning to be to work by 7:00 requires a drive, a desire to do the work that awaits me. I have no such drive for this job. I seem to go through feast and famine times here. Sometimes I have lots to do - even some creative projects that require my intellect and my imagination. But most of the time I have very little (or nothing) to do. I just can't handle the boredom.

So, I am, yet again, on the hunt for a new job. Just this week I have applied for an Executive Assistant position at Options Counseling Services in downtown Eugene. This job would be close enough to home that I could ride my bike, and I think I would feel more fulfilled being part of a group whose purpose is to support people through their dark times and help them come out the other side stronger and more prepared to take on the world.

I've also applied for a bilingual Office Assistant position with Hecht & Norman Immigration Law. This would also be much closer to home, and is close to my heart - serving immigrants. I have an interview with them next Thursday, and will be receiving a call sometime this week from a woman who will test my Spanish skills. So, I've been brushing up on my Spanish while I'm bored at work this week. I've learned about heart transplants, car wrecks, sun screen, wine, being too full, and most importantly job interviews in Spanish. Hopefully this little refresher course will pay off. It has at least required me to use a part of my brain that has lain dormant for a couple of years. I was almost surprised to learn that I was assesed as an Upper Intermediate by the site. I guess I haven't lost it all.

Finally, I applied for an Administrative Assistant position with the biotechnology firm Invitrogen, a company I have actually interviewed with before.

We will see how all of this goes. I would be sad to leave Grenzebach right now, since I have been saving up my paid time off for summer activities and I would lose all of that if I left. But I really feel like I will be happier and more fulfilled in a job change. I have managed to stay in this position for nearly a year now. I'm ready to move on.... and I know Tim is ready for me to be less grumpy when I get home from work!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day! I owe you, Mom...

A little something that came through my e-mail box this week: (I added the last one, as it was something I always internally laughed at when my mom would use it.)

1. My mother taught me to APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE:
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me about RELIGION:
"You'd better pray that will come out of the carpet!"

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL:
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC:
"Because I said so, that's why!"

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC:
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT:
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY:
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS:
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM:
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA:
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER:
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY:
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE:
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION:
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY:
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION:
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING:
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE:
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP:
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR:
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT:
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS:
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS:
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE:
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

And finally, one of my own (just for you, mom!).
26. My mother taught me about ANATOMY:
"Stop standing there with your teeth in your mouth!"

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

One Year Down

I graduated from college a year ago today. I only remember the precise date because it was a cool one, 05/06/07, followed by a cool wedding date almost exactly two months later, 07/07/07. Digression aside, today's marking one year of post-baccalaureate life seems impossible. Have I really been out of school for that long?

This realization brings many questions to mind. In much the same way as Amber reflected upon her life since graduation, I ask myself what I have done with the last year. I suppose a lot has happened; I mean, I married the love of my life, moved to a new city, started (and kept) my first full-time, year-round job with benefits, made new friends, traveled to Georgia twice, learned to referee basketball, became a member of the Red Cross volunteer team, bought my first furniture, joined my first gym, started and maintained my first personal budget etc. It's been a VERY GOOD year!

But is my life heading in the direction I had hoped for it? Am I any closer to getting my Masters degree? Closer to working for an international aid agency? Closer to making a real difference in the world? Have I used my degree this year?

I suppose I consider this year a transitional waiting period in some ways. I'm not actually in a job that has anything to do with what I want to do with my life. But I'm gaining work experience and showing that I am dependable and skilled. I've got another couple of years to work while Tim finishes starts and finishes his Paramedic degree and then I'll go back for my Masters, so I guess I'm a year closer to starting my Masters. I guess I have used my degree this year in dealing with an international company and the challenges that come along with it. This is not how I had hoped and dreamed I would use my four years of university education, but it's a start. And after I get my Masters, four years from now, I will be a huge step closer to working for that international aid agency I hope to be a part of - thus making the type of difference in the world that I hope to make.

One year down, four years to go in my five-year plan.

In year number two, I will:
- Visit my cousin and her family in Seattle
- Grow my job skills and get at least one more raise and bonus
- Change jobs for one that offers more interaction with the public and more job responsibilities
- Go to Tim's family's summer vacation in North Idaho for the first time
- Use my wakeboard as much as possible
- Cook a new recipe once a week
- Visit Amber and Aaron in California at least once
- Get together with Julie at least once
- Go sky-diving for our first anniversary
- Float the Willamette River
- Stay fit
- Bike more
- Pay down my school debt - hopefully down to half its original amount by May 2009
- Plan a trip through Europe or a cruise through the Mediterranean for 2009
- Make new friends