Interesting... I have never been in Austin before, so maybe I shouldn't over-react. But something tells me being Austin is not really what I had in mind. A friend of mine got Boston...

I completely agree with the city description!!
You Are Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick


Dream a little Dream

Lately, I have not had good sleeps. Keep having dreams that I vaguely remember. Judge for yourself:

Feedback finally: a very simple dream. It seemed to lapse a long time but I bet it didn't. I received, in the mail, a letter that detailed my interview with a certain consulting firm, the same firm that gave me one of the weirdest consulting case interviews I had. Anyway, in the dream, I'm reading the feedback form in disbelief. Cursing at every turn. I was furious that I was graded poorly in virtually all aspects of the interview. Then I woke up.

Ski trip: now this one clearly stemmed from my Wisconsin debacle. An old friend of mine (welcome to my blog, 阿仔) and I were heading to the ski slopes. The mountain was so big that we had to park our car a couple of miles from the slopes and then make our way there. Apparently, the only form of transportation was the supermarket trolleys. So my friend hopped on and I pushed, and then we switched spots when I got tired. Then there was a downward slope, my friend accidentally let go, and down I went. Then I woke up.

I sweat, I'm not even making this up!


You can take away the cable box, but you can't touch my soul

RCN: oh yes... about two weeks ago, you made me wait at home for three hours without showing up. And you did it to me again last week. That's SIX freaking hours I allocated to waiting for your technicians to show up. On top of that time, I'm probably still paying $5 a day to keep your overrated service. I waited on your lines for 30 minutes before you were finally able to "call the technician" and the technician miraculously "just finished a job and is heading to your apartment right now," even though he's already an hour late.

Well, here's my revenge: you can take the cable box away, but I am keeping the phone line just so you keep the connection box with me. I have reconnected the cables (sans the box) and still have basic cable and phone service. My internet I share with my neighbor.

So I'm paying $6 total for the phone line. A far cry from the $150 you tried to charge me, EH!? And I still have ESPN. You will not take that away from me.

Shrimp Tempura!

Here's the truth: Chicago has very good white food and black food. Yellow and brown food? I'm sorry, it's really awful. AWFUL, DAMN IT!

As part of a celebration for the birthday of our very own 2R, I recommended Coast Sushi... I can't remember the original reason. Anyway, I was very disappointed. So disappointed that I tried to leave a comment on Chicago Citysearch... only that it was too much trouble to sign up to leave comments. So instead, I will leave them here:

Service: The restaurant manager has an atitude problem. We made a reservation for seven and showed up with nine. After asking to add seats or add a small table to the side, the manager refused and explained that the table and the single server cannot handle the extra people. Company policy. Okay, that's fine, dear... but DON'T ROLL YOUR EYES and just TURN AROUND when I was speaking with you about alternatives! Man, I was asking if two of us could be seated nearby and the manager just TURNED AWAY.

Food: All I have to tell you is the Shirmp Tempura. We ordered it as an appetizer. When it arrived, I swear I thought those were onion rings. Same batter, same color... but it's the tempura. Shrimp tempura looking like onion rings. Great.

I can't wait for some real yellow and brown food when I visit Boston!


Ski Trip!

Oh yes... almost a year since I last skied in the icy Northeast, I finally get to pack my skis and head to the slopes. Here's what transpired:

6:00 Snooze
6:09 Snooze
6:18 Call my friend who needs a morning call. Snooze.
6:20 I'm up. It's so cold in the apartment that I put on my ski gear before brushing my teeth.
6:30 Out the door
6:45 Pick up my friend
7:00 Arrive at next stop to make the requisite wait for other friends and hope they woke up in time.
7:30 Alright, off we go.
8:14 Lost, of course. We took the wrong turn and come across the first McD in America. A worthy mistake to make.
9:30 Arrive at ski slopes
9:45 On to the lift
9:46:00 Off the lift! Ready to ski!
9:46:17 Oh shit, I'm at the bottom of the slope already!

Well, you know, I should have expected this. This is the freaking Midwest. I must have made about 20 runs until I was bored. Then I had lunch, accompanied a friend to teach him how to ski, which I found way more interesting than spending 17 seconds coming down the slope, and then went back to Chicago around 3:00 pm. Uh... and to think that I would have a great time at 6:00 am!!!???



Holy crap. My ass is frozen. Imagine that (crap and ass and all) being true.

It's ZERO degrees (Fahrenheit!) out there! Without windchill! This calls for drastic action: keep sleeping and pretend the cold isn't there. It worked until 11:38am this morning.

Anyway, I'm done complaining now. Will cook lunch and then head out to school to be a student. PRS (post-recruiting syndrome) was in full effect that last week or so. Not much motivation to do anything beyond what is expected. That quickly changed on Thursday when I was tagged to organize a mini Spring Break trip. Friday I went to buy a pair of hiking boots (mine were permanently damaged in Tibet last summer - LAST SUMMER!), two books, and some other miscellaneous items. Good times. Now I must deal with the consequences - no doing work for one whole day is detrimental to your health. Let's see... I have four cases to prepare for next week. Then I need to start preparing for finals since I'm heading to SF for a reunion with the Wing Squad.


Mental Associations

This is a simple story: I received a package slip in my mailbox today after lunch.

First thought: it's an offer letter! Action: immediately head to the mail room to find out about the details of the offer. Hmmm... it's not a letter. It's a box.

Observation: address says gourmet cookies. First thought: must be my long due Valentines Day present! Action: inspect box. No Hong Kong address. Second thought: maybe it's a secret Valentine? Action: guilt trip myself.

Turns out it's a present from one of the recruiters, trying to entice me to sign the offer sheet. Oh. All that hype for nothing! It is, however, a good indication on how nervous I have become to any little thing in life. Time to relax.


Grand Canton!

Grand Canton, baby! Ironically, I might be planning a trip there this Spring Break. Maybe visit Death Valley as well. Right now, I have PRS (Post-Recruiting Syndrome) and I'm looking for things to do and keeping myself motivated. I have onviously found organizing a Spring Break trip rather motivating. That and actually doing some school work so my 12K is worth the ticket price. Posted by Picasa


Top 10!

Top ten highlights (or lowlights) from recruiting:

10. "Are you ready for some good news?" Hell yes! My first offer was delivered by a partner; I was much more relieved afterwards.
9. "Are we all set?" I asked my seventh interviewer in a day (last of three companies for 2nd rounds). He responded: "What do you mean?" Awkward silence.
8. "Sorry we didn't close list you." Really? You're sorry? Should I thank you for calling?
7. "You did really well on your case interview." Uh... does that mean I have a second round? No!? But I thoguht I did really well in my case interview!?
6. Speaking broken Tagalog (Philippines language) to a recruiter, who did not understand it, leading to an awkward 10 second silence.
5. From Semi-haves to Haves - getting the call from my first choice.
4. Silent Dings - the act of not calling you after an interview. Meanwhile, second rounds are going on and you still hope that the phone rings.
3. "Helllllooooo...!" I picked up the phone with my boyfriend voice. The caller ID was "Unknown" which usually meant it's my girlfriend. Uh... it's a recruitor calling.
2. "Proceed with caution because we do not have enough data." My recommending at the end of the case interview that went nowhere.
1. "Grand Canton." I spelled "Grand Canyon" as "Grand Canton" - luckily, since I put Everest and Fuji in front of Grand Canyon, all the interviewers must have thought Grand Canton as some exotic hiking destination that they didn't know about.

You have a feel-good/horror story!? Post it here by commenting!


Hello, recruiter

To skip or not to skip; that is the question. Well, the professor is away right now during break: good chance, skip. I pack my stuff, get my coat, hurry to the aisle, walk down. The door is in sight. I just have to turn the corner. BAM! The professor walks in and I almost ran over him. Maybe he didn't see my face... smooth, Lam, very smooth. Oh well. I don't care, I just finished your midterm. Skip.

You know, I've always wanted to recount some of the horror school/interview stories in my blog (here's some irony for you: Blogger's spell check doesn't recognize 'blog'! Oh, and 'Blogger' too apparently!). Then again, since I did put my website on my resume and on my signature on every email, there were certain things I probably shouldn't be talking about. Afterall, the recruiters do control parts of my future.

Anyway, to hell with it.

Thursday: I'm really glad that I'm taking only three classes this semester. By luck, I also didn't bid enough points for a very popular Investments class; instead, I'm stuck with a Competitive Strategy class, which I am studying for a midterm on this faithful Thursday. To make the long story short, I focused on the wrong material and became a bullshit artist three-quarters into the exam. Good times. I do miss undergraduate sometimes, when bullshit worked like a charm.

Skipped class to go to a sell party hosted by a consulting firm in downtown, set at a bowling alley. Let's see, between beer, tequila shots, and bowling one of my worse games in life, I did feel pretty good. The people were definitely hard core. Don't know if they work hard, but they certainly play hard! Met a really really old acquaintence from Boston; he will be joining the consulting firm full time. Anyway, here's the highlight of the night:

It's 11:00 and time to go home. So I grab my stuff, say goodbye to the people I've met, and head to the shuttle bus. It started to snow outside, and it was very slippery. Or maybe it was very tequila. Either way, I somehow made it back onto the bus. Phew... long night, I thought, and looked down to avoid eye contact. WAIT A MINUTE: THESE ARE BOWLING SHOES. And of course going back into the party, making a fool out of myself, finding my original pair of shoes, and contemplating on whether I should take the bowling shoes with me as well. Everybody was on the floor when they saw me coming back. "Here's proof that you are one of us," says one. I think that's a good sign.

Friday: 8 to 11, you said you will be here, RCN. I'm skipping on a sell party just to wait for you. No show. I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. I mean, I just carved out 3 hours of a very important day to sit at home and wait for someone to come. And you don't even show up!

Dinner at RIVA. Overrated. The Filet Mignon Tuna Steak was good, but far from greatness. The dessert, shall I say, was very disappointing. Assorted pastries!? What are we? Europeans?

9:45 - wow, I think I just fainted. I got an offer from another consulting job. I have options now! Good times.


Hey man, good luck

Yesterday (Friday) I went through three second round interviews. Truth be told, I've come to expect anything in the second rounds. There were some very serious interviews, then some very goofy ones. Anyway, on the way back home after a grueling day, I smiled at some of my funny thoughts on the recruiting gang (god - whomever that may be for you - bless you all):

Surface: "How's recruiting treating you?"
Reality 1: I had the same first round yesterday... no call for me, I hope the same for you
Reality 2: Same as 1, but... no call for me, this guy/gal probably has one, damn it
Reality 3: Same as 1, but... I got a call for a second round, who's my competition?
Reality 4: I know you have tons of offer, and you're still interviewing for my job!

Surface: "Who are you here for?" (while at career service)
Reality: Okay, I need to remember that I am a team player, like small firm culture, etc etc...

Surface: "How was your interview?"
Reality: Please tell me everything I need to know before I go in

Surface: "How did it go?"
Reality: I don't care. Pleaes leave. It was a courtesy question. Leave. now.

Surface: "That was horrible, absolutely horrible"
Reality: I have a chance

Surface: "It went okay"
Reality: It was BAD

Surface: "I don't know, man, I don't know"
Reality: No way I'm telling you about the interview.

Surface: "I had a good time with the interviewer"
Reality: I have no idea what they think of me

Surface: "I think it went well"
Reality: I failed to impress

Surface: "Yeah, I think I did well, but you never know about these things"
Reality: I nailed it

Surface: "I nailed it"
Reality: I nailed it; if I don't get a call back, I will burn them down

Surface: "Hey, I got an interview to run to, see you!"
Reality: Damn right, do you have interviews?

Surface: "good luck, man"
Reality: good luck to you, better luck to me

Skipped a Beat

About five minutes ago, my heart skipped a beat. While working on some company research, my computer suddenly shut down. I swear that split second felt like a minute. I looked at the screen in disbelief and pressed the power button. Nada. I closed the screen. Opened. Power button. Nada. My heart screamed OH MY GOD.

Long story made short, the computer is working now after much "pressing around."

But man was I scared shitless.


Random Points

I'm probably leading a Random Walk trip to Galapagos...

Look, second round interviews are not offers...

I now know what my great^22 grandfather looks like...

Really, I do. I have his picture even...

Case interviews can be fun sometimes...

Class!? What Class??


Wing squad has officially ended its run...