Nope, I didn’t drop off the face of the earth. Just busy and still trying to get in the groove of a new routine. Creature of habit, you know? I used to have a little bit of time to post in the morning, and some quiet alone time at night, those were my usual blog times. Still trying to figure out where it fits in best now.
Not much new to report on the MBA front. Received my financial aid packet last week. I meant to fill it out this weekend, but that task fell through the cracks. The magnitude of the debt I’m about to incur is really starting to hit home, but I still feel confident that this is a worthwhile investment I’m making in myself.
The weather has been awesome here. Mother Nature is doing her best to avoid giving me reasons to miss San Diego. It’s been sunshine and near 70 degrees for the past week. Spent most of the past weekend outdoors. The Tulip Festival has been going on all month so there has been a lot to do around town. Saturday, I hit the Fly In at the regional airport with some friends, saw some really cool airplanes & acrobatics. Sunday, my friend and I took her baby out for a nice 2.5 mile walk at Washington Park in Anacortes. It was a perfect spring day and the Puget Sound views were awesome.
It’s still weird to be home. I come from a small town and I was one of the handful of people who left to go to college and didn’t immediately come back after graduation. Many people just stick around here, get married, and start pumping out the kids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just soooo not me. The weekend before last, my friend and I went to the street fair and ran into a classmate of ours and her 7 year old daughter. I looked at my friend and said “We’re not old enough to have kids that age, are we?” Yeah, actually, we are. Egad. It’s funny though, I kinda want to see some old faces, but at the same time I don’t. While I don’t totally care what they think, I still sorta do, and I care about what gets passed on down the grapevine. Running into somebody and giving them the 30 second spiel of why I’m home and what I’m planning to do, when most people here don’t know what an MBA is let alone what I’m going to do with it, lord knows what stories will be produced. I’m living at home (having moved back from San Diego), working for mom & dad, unmarried & no kids…I’m sure the grapevine will have me knocked up, strung out, and broke. And maybe a lesbian for icing on the cake!
My new gig working for the folks is going well. Hit the ground running, and although it’s not particularly challenging work and I spend a good portion of my day putting out various fires, I have started some interesting projects. Debt collection is anything but glamorous, but there are some interesting aspects to the business. I’ve been working on updating the website and creating a better keyword list for search engine optimization. I also did some client analysis that I was pretty proud of and my dad was really happy with it, so we’re putting our heads together to figure out how to incorporate it into our marketing efforts. And we’ve got another piece of analysis in the hopper since the first piece of analysis got us thinking about modifying our commission structure.
Handling client services is also flexing a professional muscle I haven’t used in a long time…sales. Sure, you learn and use some negotiation /influence type skills in the corporate world, but that’s completely different than working the phones or pounding the pavement, teaching people about your product/service and helping them see how it fills their needs. So far I’ve mainly been working with b2b warm leads, but I’ll be ready to start drumming up fresh leads once I’ve got some process improvements implemented and freed up some time.
I have renewed respect for my parents, and anybody else who runs a small business, particularly after working for a large corporation. There’s no HR department or IT department; my dad handles all of that. There’s no Accounting department or Legal department, with CPAs and attorneys on staff; my mom handles the majority of that in house and has professionals on retainer sign off on the end product. It’s pretty amazing what they do…and neither of them graduated from college.
My dad and I had a bizaro/Twilight Zone moment today. He called the company's collection software provider for a question and got misdirected to a guy he hasn't talked to in a long time. They start chatting and the guy mentions that his son is moving to Chicago in the fall. My dad gets curious and asks why. Turns out his son is also headed to the GSB this fall. What are the odds? How random is that?
It's a small, small world.