briansjournal1

uncensored, unfiltered, thoughts

Month: June, 2013

Quick Update

Got my new chair from Ikea today. For anyone who is wondering, it’s called the Ikea Markus. While it’s not the top of the line $1500 dollar  German chair, it will suffice (at least my initial opinions tells me it will). I am getting closer to finishing the computer. Just need a new GFX card (7950) so I can get dual monitors set up and and a nice sound card. Everything after that will be accessories such as fans, keyboard/mouse,  printer, etc.

I hope to get my website up by next month so I will start working on that ASAP! I will be keeping a list of updates of my build on there. Again, I hope to see you guys all there when it’s created. It will be a hangout corner where you can talk about whatever you want, have discussions, and share your artwork. I don’t plan to compete with huge websites like Deviantart or anything but a website of a few regulars would make for a great time!

Anyway, as for employment updates, I’ve been applying to more places to finally be able to quit Home Depot. I’ve also looked at some of KPMG’s material for personal branding. It goes over how to take everything about yourself such as your values, skills, knowledge, interests, and goals,  and put it all into one complete package you can use as your brand, just like a business brand. You can then present that to an employer. Part of that is keeping track of your accomplishments whenever you do something so you can better relay that information to employers. This is why, like I’ve said in a previous post, I’m going to keep a accomplishment journal with a list of stories/surrounding context so I’ll have concrete examples to make answering those behavioral questions a breeze.

As for getting those accomplishments, I’m going to try to keep my time busy with all sorts of school activities and events. I want to get into tutoring, join/start a book club, be part of honors groups, do Student Senate again (great experience), and just generally get involved in everything my future school(s) have to offer.

By the way, if any of you have any suggestions for how to score more accomplishments that are relevant to the business world, I’m all ears! Getting into the Big 4 is one of my major goals! Public accounting may not turn out to be my cup of tea but it would give me invaluable experience dealing with difficult and stressful situations.

PS: My school has invited me for a second (limited time) offer to participate in the Commonwealth Honors Program which involves research into areas of our majors, a culminating project, and a honors class. It really helps distinguish you as a student in a community college. I’m thinking about doing it but it does involve a ton of work! On average, you’ll spend 20+ hours studying per project and you need to do four by a specific deadline. Therefore, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it with all the stuff I have going on.

Thoughts about Employment

When applying for a job, think of yourself as a marketing brochure

I forget where I heard this quote from but it couldn’t better explain how to get a job. I actually got a call back from Bank of America for a teller position that they had. The recruiter called me today for my phone interview and I think I did great but unfortunately, due to my availability, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to continue with their hiring process and nag the job.

As I was going over some accounting stuff today and studying for it (finally!), I realized that wages are the biggest expense that a company incurs. Thinking from it their perspective, a new employee really is a loss to a company for a year. This greatly gets compounded when they lack certain experience. So, really, a job search shouldn’t be about what the business can do for you, it should be about what YOU can do for the company. How can you improve their business? What have you done for prior businesses to help them improve that you can transfer over to this business (this is where related job experience comes in)? Putting down great volunteer accomplishments or unrelated job accomplishments is great but it doesn’t help the recruiter or person interviewing you get a clear picture of what you would do for that particular business. For example, if you really went out of your way to help a customer at a retail job, that’s great. But how does that experience relate to XYZ corp. that specializes in sales? Remember, your past accomplishments and experience should directly relate to the job you’re applying for. This is why having related job experience can make it easier for you to tailor those experiences to the field you’re applying to.

Putting myself in this mindset really helps me focus and understand what a CV and resume is about. It should make the employer want to buy you just like a customer would want to buy a product off a shelf. Have you ever read the box that the product you bought came in? It lists all it’s features and how they benefit you (save money on this energy efficient hard drive. Locate the fastest routes to help you save money on gas for your trips.) Well, you have to make the company feel like they’re not going to be taking as big a loss when they hire you as opposed to another candidate (because all businesses experience a loss when they first hire a candidate as they get accustomed to the job).

The big problem for me is this: I haven’t worked many jobs. My very first job was at the age of 18 at Walmart. I hated every second of it and got fired shortly after getting it (2.5 months in). I now work at Home Depot and have a work study position at my school assisting students with our eLearning system (I love the work-study job). I’m just starting to get worried as time flies by and I haven’t got related jobs in my field (accounting/finance). This also brings me to my next point: Is four years of school really long enough to learn all you need to really be a good candidate for a job? Like right now, I’m trying to refresh myself on Excel which I had learned about two years ago. I could study all summer and still not be very good at this which really makes me question if students nowadays really have enough time to practice and hone their skills before they can go into their fields. How can we be  incredible candidates in our respective fields if we don’t have the time to properly learn the skills we need to do our jobs? Maybe the problem really lies in the fact in that we forget about a lot of what we learn in school. We take a class in college, we understand the material for a while and then we never use it again. We don’t have an opportunity to teach it to someone else, we don’t practice it or keep studying it, and we don’t make use of it in our daily lives and therefore when the time comes that we could have used this information or knowing that information makes the difference between making you a good or excellent candidate for a job; then it’s too late.

I guess this post is more about figuring out this work world thing and my way as a student in the business world. I hope I’ll be good at this stuff. I want to come back to school after my masters (with my own saved up money) and get a second associates in computer networking. I would really like to learn about that stuff and possibly pick up a side gig.

Internship Interview and accomplishments journal

I’m sitting here in my JC Penny suit typing this but I’m happy and disappointed at the same time. I had my interview today for an accounting internship I’m planning on doing for a drug rehab/mental health facility that’s local to my community. The interview was very casual with questions like “tell me about yourself” and “what do you know about us?” Despite being casual, my responses were not very mind-blowing. I couldn’t stop talking about myself when I was asked and when it came time to ask them questions or to answer the question of what I knew about them, I didn’t have much to say! I didn’t prepare enough for the interview nor did I do enough research before hand (if you can call reading a snippet off their website 30 mins. before the interview research). I can’t believe I would walk into a job interview like that! I feel like an idiot.

Despite all that, I realized something: If I don’t get this internship, it’s not because they’re a bunch of jerks or that I’m not qualified, it’s that I just need to use this as an opportunity to better myself and my interview skills. Thinking back on it, I didn’t really do that bad. My qualifications weren’t outstanding but I think I made a good impact. Hopefully I get this thing!

In the meantime, I’ll keep studying and practicing the skills I’m trying to improve on.

Here’s a list of skills I’m currently working on:

-Having patience
-Communicating and listening (need better soft skills!)
-Excel/Quickbooks
-Algebra/Calculus
-Review of accounting principles
-Computer networking/Linux/command line

PS: I’ve had this idea for an accomplishment journal. It would be an online journal either in WordPress or Evernote where I would make a list of accomplishments to date that I’ve done and stories and background information on how I achieved them. I would update it as soon as I achieved something at work/school so that I could always remember that moment.  That way, when I get into the real big interview, with really hard questions like “what’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?” or “how did you persuade your team on an idea that they disagreed on” I could pull a story out of my back pocket without making anything up.

Back from a long vacation

I don’t mean for the title of this post to be misleading – I didn’t really go on vacation, I just haven’t been posting in my journal for a while.

Updates:

Well, I finally am starting work on this new computer I’m building and it’s freaking sweet. It’s so fast right now and I’m going to keep pushing it for as long as I make money! Some guys have their cars, I have my technology :p

I’m also thinking about starting a new website where people can just join and chat about whatever they want and share their computer pics and other pictures. I’ll be using it a sort of personal portfolio of sorts so I can share some signatures and beats I’ve made in the past and will continue to make in the future.

Finally, the last update of all and the most gruesome: While my girlfriend was away on her study tour in England, she contacted this guy and flirted with him sexually. She says its because she didn’t feel like I wanted to be in the relationship anymore and that I’d be better off – without formally calling it off. So basically, this dude ends up asking to fuck her and she’s OK with it and then finally she says to ‘get him off her back’ she sends him pictures of her tits.
Sorry for the bluntness and matter of fact stating of this stuff, but I write about it because it hurts. She says it’s because I gave her doubts and I did – I wanted to have sex with other girls and took steps in that direction. Had some of these girls not changed their minds at the last second I could have very easily crossed that line. So, she had right to think that I didn’t want to be in the relationship, despite whatever I said. Actions always speak louder than words.

We’re working things out now and I put that behind me but I have a feeling that I’m going to keep getting reminded of some Oxford asshole having access to those pictures anytime he wants and him possibly being better than me.

On that note, the new limited edition Picachu Nintendo 3DSXL looks freaking sweet and expensive! I definitely will be getting one for Pokemon X and Y in October.

Look forward to the new website folks! I hope to have some of you on it and joining in on some interesting discussions. 😀