5.16.2012

Happy Mother's Day


Okay, so this post might be a bit late. We just moved and don’t have internet. But, I still felt that it was important that I post it.

This past Mother’s Day my thoughts were honestly on everything but mothers. Cait and I were moving all weekend and were both so stressed about getting out of our old apartment and getting settled into the new before we had to go back to work on Monday.

But, since it was that special day where we celebrate our mothers, I still made the obligatory call – and I’m so glad I did. Here’s why.

This past weekend, my parents were up visiting my grandma. She is currently in the advanced stages of dementia. (Honestly I have no idea how far along she is… but from what I’ve heard it’s pretty advanced.) She gets very confused and has difficultly in remembering who anybody is. Because of her condition, I rarely get the chance to call and check in. Who wants to call somebody who has no idea who they are?

Nobody. 

But, because my parents were there when I called, after I talked with my own mom they were able to put me on speaker phone and help my grandma navigate through the conversation. At the start of the conversation, it was obvious she really didn’t know who I was. But it really didn’t matter. The point was I got to tell my grandma how much I love her and have her tell me she loves me too. 

Cheesy? Maybe so. I don’t care. 

I don’t know if she was just repeating what I said or if she actually meant it – that’s not what matters to me. What matters was that I was able to remember all the great memories I have of this amazing women and the huge part she has played in my life.

I love you grandma (and mom!). Happy Mother’s Day.

4.04.2012

Our future is looking bright!

What a crazy week this has been! As most of you know, I am graduating in 15 days (woohoo!) and have been on the hunt for a job. Like most graduates these days, my options were pretty limited. Probably about a month or so ago, when I began to look heavily for post-graduation jobs, I got an email about a job opportunity in Provo as a PR/Marketing Assistant at a software company. The job description looked pretty good so I went to the info session on campus and met with the company's representatives. Of course they made the place sound great (they're paid to do that, right?). I submitted my application and a few days later I was invited to a company meet-and-greet with about 45 other applicants wanting various positions within the Marketing department. The meeting again reinforced to me what a great opportunity this could be and I left feeling very excited about the company.

About a week went by and I hadn't heard anything and was starting to get a bit disheartened. I decided to take matters into my own hands and I sent an email (this had been our primary form of communication, so I figured I would keep it consistent) to the HR Director as well as CC the President of the organization. I figured he gave me his business card, so it was fair game, right? Apparently they enjoyed my persistent attitude because the next day I received a call inviting me to come into their office for an interview.

I went into the interview fully prepared to impress them. I had done all the research I could on their company and even prepared a folder of relevant writing samples which showcased my skills of technology writing. During the course of the interview, I could tell it was going fairly well -- I was able to answer their questions intelligently and it really was more of a conversation than a simple question and answer session. They informed me that they had filled the PR/Marketing Assistant position but they were very interested in pursuing me as a Marketing Specialist candidate whose primary responsibility included blogging, SEO, and creating a ton of other web content. While this wasn't what I had in mind for my future down the road, I knew that this would be a great entry-level job so I said I was interested in being a contender for the position.

After a few days, they asked me back for a second interview with the CEO. This interview was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was very short and simply consisted of the man drilling me with questions. What are my weaknesses? What would my wife say my weaknesses are? What would my current employer say my weaknesses are? What is my ultimate career goal? Needless to say, I left the interview with absolutely no idea how well, or even how horribly, I had performed.

But, for some strange reason they still liked me. Within 24 hours they called me up and offered me a job with salary and benefits starting BEFORE graduation as a Marketing Specialist. I was shocked. They told me I could have the weekend to think it over and they would need a decision by Monday afternoon.

That weekend I wrestled with the decision. One minute I was very excited and totally on board with the position and my responsibilities. The next I was unsure and hesitant. I kept telling myself these feelings were normal and that every person goes through this. Well, in the end the unsure and hesitant feelings overruled. I couldn't help but think there was something better out there. As much as I was impressed by the company and would have loved to be apart of it, I knew deep down that I did not want to be a sole marketer. While I realized that PR and Marketing definitely overlapped -- the job description and title were marketing heavy and I didn't want that to brand me and interfere with my plans of working in Corporate Communications, my ultimate dream. To make a long story short... I turned down the offer.

After I made my decision and contacted the company's HR Director, I felt a huge sense of relief. I knew that I had to keep looking and something that played more to my skills would surface. I applied for other jobs strictly with PR and even lined up a few interview. I was feeling optimistic.

Two days after contacting the company, I received an email that said:

Alex,


I talked with [the Marketing Manager] in depth about openings in the Marketing Department. We have found a way to possibly split some responsibilities and create a PR Associate position this month. Would you be interested in a PR Associate position at the same compensation as the previous offer? We really think you would be a great fit here and we'd be happy to have you on the team!


Regards,


[HR Director]


I was shocked. I immediately called Cait who was at work and read her the email. She was very excited and told me to hang up and email them back with my extreme interest in the position. Obviously I did and the HR Director called me after about 20 minutes of sending the email and asked if I would like to come to the office the next day and discuss the position and the job description. 


I couldn't believe it.


When I went into the office the following day, I met with the Marketing Manager who told me that the company had decided to create a Corporate Communications team and was bringing in myself (if I accepted the position) and another PR specialist who has had years of corporate communications experience. I don't know if you understand how excited this made me. This has been my dream since I began the PR program at BYU. I have always wanted to work on the Corporate Communications team of a technology company. Needless to say, I accepted the position and thanked them repeatedly for considering me. 


I guess the conclusion to this incredibly long blog post is that I am so thankful that I listened to my gut and I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have found my dream job directly out of college. While it is in Provo, (and for all you HD people, it's directly across the street! I'm sure I'll be visiting lots!) I am so excited to jump into my career in less than two weeks and gain as much experience and knowledge as I can from those I will be working with.

I am truly blessed.

3.12.2012

Wanted: a truck that starts!

As most of you know, since I was 15 I've been the proud owner of a 1975 Ford Courier that I bought from my grandma for $5.


Now, you are probably thinking, "Five bucks? That's unreal!" However, you also should know that while the truck looked great, it needed a TON of work including a whole new front end (our mechanic said angels must have been watching over us in our 4 hour drive home from Richland, WA to Bend, OR because the front wheels almost fell off). So, after basically rebuilding the whole thing I had the coolest truck in town. I would frequently pull up to various locations in town and people would stop me and offer to buy the truck. I found it flattering and I would laugh it off and say, "I'll never sell this truck." I even drove it down to Utah in over 100 degree weather. Sure the drive took over 20 hours, (the truck only goes 60 mph) but I loved the thing.

Now, fast forward 7 years. I have now had this truck for all of my high school and college career. And every few months something breaks. It's an ongoing joke in the family that "we've fixed everything... What else could go wrong? I'll bet we have fixed everything, finally!"

WRONG

This morning started off as any normal Monday would. Cait left for work at 6:40 as usual and I stayed in bed until about 7:45. After getting ready, running some errands, and taking the dog out the truck refuses to start which made me late for work.

WONDERFUL

Basically, I'm tired of unreliable transportation and am in the market for a new vehicle. I have fallen out of love with the truck.

Also, if you happen to want an aesthetically pleasing truck and you live in Utah, you know who to call!

As a final note, I don't want to seem like I'm ungrateful for this vehicle. It has been a great benefit to me. However, now that I'm entering a new phase in life I think the time has come to say goodbye.

3.07.2012

Life back in Utah

Greetings, again!

For those of you who didn't know, Caitlin and I recently (December... is that recent?) moved back to Utah from D.C. so I could finish my last semester at BYU. Since I only have 3 classes this semester, and they conveniently are offered on Tuesdays and Thursday, we decided to live up in Salt Lake and escape the Provo bubble. We like living in Salt Lake - at least more than Provo - but are anxious to see where our careers take us. (Preferably outside of the state, at least within the next few years.)


This final semester has been flying by, which I can't say I'm ungrateful for. It's definitely bitter-sweet. I'm doing my capstone which has actually been really great. We're working with Corporate Wellness by Gold's Gym to develop a growth and expansion plan and have really been able to do some great things so far. I think in the end it will be a very successful and strategic PR plan for the client.

I'm also enrolled in a capstone Humanities class in order to complete my minor which I've found to be very interesting and inspiring. We are discussing the ancient technologies of orality and literacy and the implications they have on our current society and memories. It is really fascinating material that I've found to be particularly applicable with my major and career.

Since coming back from D.C., I've also been fortunate to be working in the marketing department of a mid-sized law firm in downtown SLC. It's been great to be able to continue using my skills I've been learning in school while still in the student role. I'm hoping it will give me a competitive edge as I enter the real job market within the next few months. (Fingers crossed!)

  I work in the building with the pyramid on top.
(Behind the red tower.)

Well, that's the gossip on my exciting life.

Oh, I forgot one major detail. Our apartment has cockroaches and our landlord has not been very helpful in treating them. So, needless to say we are looking for a new apartment in the Salt Lake area. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and they have to be dog friendly. For those who didn't know we recently got a new little addition to our family, Obi. Our pup is a half bichon half chihauhau mix (chi-chon). He is the most perfect dog on the face of the planet and we love him a bunch.


Oh, AND we got iPhones recently for Cait's birthday/graduation present. It is probably the best thing that has ever happened to us.