Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I am embarassed that I looked at the blog and my last post was December 1st. Time has flown by. Finals came and went and I am still alive. While the ICA took a year or two off of my life, we did a great job and I am glad that it is behind us. I took it to the house (Arlington, TX) for Christmas break, but am now back in the glorious Madison weather.

Didn't realize how much I missed warm weather until I wore shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas day. Naturally, there is snow on the ground here and more snow is expected...awesome. However, the weather here has not been undoable. Just put some layers on, get waterproof boots, and earmuffs and you can do it.

I am spending the time off catching up on TV. There is a whole bunch of E True Hollywood Stories that I have not seen, which is disappointing. So far I have enjoyed the Full House story the most, but have high hopes for the ones on Punky Brewster and Angelina Jolie. You can't begin to appreciate life until you see how screwed up some people get.

I did fly to San Diego to see the Poinsettia Bowl, pitting my beloved TCU Horned Frogs against perennial cindarella Boise State. Thankfully, we found some offense at the end of the second quarter and our defense gathered their legs and shut down a potent offense. It was amazing to run into friends from college in a place like San Diego. If it was Fort Worth or Dallas maybe, but not California. What I enjoyed most was seeing the "hot chicks" get fat. I don't care who you are, but that is still fun. Unfortunately, they were probably saying the same thing about me, but I choose to ignore it.

I thought about heading to Florida for the Wisconsin bowl game, but thankfully I did not because it was embarassing. Really thought that the Badgers had a shot, but Florida State ran all over them. Hopefully we find a QB and maybe some speed or next year will be just as bad.

We leave for Turkey in a couple of days so that is what I am thinking about right now. My mom is concerned with the unrest in the Gaza strip as she feels it could spill over into other countries. However, there has never been rest in Gaza so I don't see how what happened two days ago is any different, but I will keep my eyes peeled. I will post more about Turkey prior to and during the trip.

My plan over the next day or two is to catch up with some pictures of the end of the semester. Hope everybody had a merry Christmas and is looking forward to 2009.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Entering the Home Stretch

I hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving. I had the opportunity to head back to Atlanta and enjoy a little bit of warm weather. I played golf and wore shorts Friday, which were both big deals considering the current weather in Madison. But with Thanksgiving come and gone, the final hurdles of first semester approach. Over the next 15 days, I have two major projects due and three finals. Couple that with a recruiting trip to St. Louis, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, my fiancee's birthday, and the Brand Center Christmas Party and I have a pretty busy schedule.

With that said, first semester has been incredible. It is amazing to look back to August and see how far I have come. I moved to Madison three days before orientation and didn't know a soul. My knowledge of corporate finance consisted of a couple of training sessions at my last job. Accounting was something my sister did and Excel was a tool I used for fantasy football drafts. Now, I can explain the time value of money to my grandmother and understand the pros and cons of offering dividends. Accounting is still something my sister does, but at least I can talk to her about it. And Excel, well that is still a work in progress.

Looking forward, two major milestones still lay ahead. First, the Brand Center is headed to Turkey for our international trip. We leave January 4th and return the 14th. More to come in future blogs about the trip. Second, internship interviews, which is the biggest deal for any first year. We came to school to get a good job and this is step one. We have had a number of mock interview sessions with "friends of the program" (Side note, this sounds like some college football recruiting scandal waiting to happen, if they want to slip me money or give me a car I am game) and still have a mock interview session with Brand Center alums. Come the end of January, the lights come on and it is time to play the game. All of the dinners, the happy hours, the emails, and the applied learnings with prospective companies pay off. I have no doubt that we will be prepared. I interviewed with a company a couple of weeks ago and was amazed about how well I had been prepared. The other interviewees from other schools were nervous and didn't know what to expect. Most hadn't even take a marketing class yet. I had already taken two with two more slated for the spring. The Center definitely gives us an advantage and that is going to pay off with multiple offers for everybody.

I will jump off of the soap box now, but felt that this was important to convey. I guess I am in a reflective mood with only 15 days left and Christmas quickly approaching. Looking back, I don't think I could have made a better decision than coming here. If there is something you want me to address, please shoot me an email or write a note to the blog.

Have a great evening.