Archive for October, 2009

A Thing Like That


I’m temped to start this post off with an excuse about why I haven’t written. But I won’t.

P4 is done, and it’s just a little bit heart-breaking. I started the term off thinking I couldn’t wait to be done with this summer camp nonsense. But then I dug out my mini skirt, tied my hair up in pig tails and got back into the spirit with the back-to-school party at Fleuri.

The rest of the term was kind of a blur. If I recall correctly, there was fabulous babaganoush and belly dancing and shisha. There were some crappy dress-up parties with a shit DJ at Villecerf. There was many a late night involving Mad Men and a few too many random Tuesdays at Houston’s where around 11PM talk would turn to driving to Paris – just because. But then we never did because I was usually wearing ugly shoes. That, and I’m pretty lame. There was the most wonderfully delicious dinner in Barbizon with the most awkward company. There was a brand project involving pants. There was an incredible harvest of chestnuts that I hauled home by the dozen like I did as a kid. And an REP team that still hasn’t started the project. And a PIM class I could have done without; the psych 101 bullshit presented in a confrontational manner was a waste of time given the years I spent exploring all my highly-endearing dysfunctions with a therapist. There were many a daytrip to Paris, and last minute incredible audible involving Munich (roasted chesnuts, a glockenspiel, and way too much beer and serious boob envy) and a trip beyond the iron curtain, where each turn around a corner stirred up some distant memory of my childhood in the mother country.

For most of September, the only time I saw my friends was when I was being asked to proof-read obsequious cover letters to Bain and McKinsey. Some of these friends are finally re-emerging dinged and dejected, with some harsh words about their uber-smooth interviewers and with an exciting task ahead: thinking about what amazing, inspiring thing they will do instead of consulting.

Saying no to consulting was a character-building thing. I might even say I’m proud that I stayed away. Actually, I almost slipped. With three hours to go before the McKinsey deadline, I decided to throw my hat into the game. In 20 minutes, I banged out a pretty convincing cover letter containing the proper level of idolizing platitudes, displaying a smug self-awareness, and claims for a deep love of ‘impact’. Another 20 minutes after that, I decided that I didn’t need any more rejection in my life, deleted the letter and jumped into bed with a book – AJ Jacob’s “Know It All” in which he hilariously recounts the year he spent reading the Encyclopaedia Brittanica from A to Z.

I supposed I’d be freaking out more right now, if I didn’t have a job. Instead, I’m semi-employed. I took on the project with a clean energy company that I mentioned in a prior post – which is keeping me insanely busy, highly inspired and more or less solvent until the end of February, at which point I’m hoping this small startup decides that I’m indispensible and extends my contract. The coolest thing about the work I’ve been doing is realizing how directly I’ve been able to apply the learnings of Industry Competitive Analysis, Brand Management and Strategy. I guess I’ve learned something in the last few months, after all. Speaking of… I should probably get back to doing some customer segmentation work.


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