Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

Well said by John Lennon. This thought struck me when I read the following,
“First I was dying to finish my high school and start college; And then I was dying to finish college and start working; Then I was dying to marry and have children; And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so I could go back to work. But then I was dying to retire. And now I am dying. And suddenly I realized I forgot to live.” and it continues, “To make money we lose our health and then to restore our health we lose money. We live as if we are never going to die and we die as if we never lived.”

How true. Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the people you meet, the beautiful scenery, the funny billboards, the flat tires and mechanical breakdowns along the way of a journey. We all gave our goals, whatever they may be. But most of our goals will be achieved many years from now. In the meantime, don’t wear blinders (like the ones horses use) and race through life.

- Don’t wait till you suffer a heart attack or stroke. Get yourself in shape today. Your body is the best thing you will ever own.
- Make friends and have fun wherever you go. You don’t really need a lot of money to have a good time. Relationships are as important as your career.
- Volunteer or make a charitable donation. You don’t have to be 60 to do either.
- Find out about God. You will not be able to search for Him lying on your death bed.

Who knows you might never reach your destination and the journey is all you might have.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

There is always something to do in Minneapolis.

Only in the twin cities you have the ...

City Lakes – Bike around or canoe on them in the summer, walk or ski on them in the winter.

Grand Rounds Byway - 50 miles of trail that wind through golf courses, industrial districts, parks, lakes, forests, creeks, rivers, and down town Minneapolis.

Minnehaha falls – Frozen in the winter, full flow in spring, green in summer and a riot of colors in the fall.

Stone Arch bridge – Stroll on, hang out below or enjoy the quiet of the trails nearby.

Como Conservatory – Experience a tropical forest in a Minnesotan winter.

Fort Snelling State Park – A little bit of wilderness inside the city.

The Mississippi - Bike along the Mississippi from Fridley to St. Paul and view dramatic vistas from bluff tops and river flats.

Pedal Pub – Don't drink and drive, but drink and ride and make merry on the streets of Minneapolis.

NBA – Watch the Wolves taken to the cleaners only for $5 on Wednesday nights.

MLB – Catch the Twins hit em ouf of the park at the amazing Target Field in downtown.

Foshay Tower - Watch the sun go down on Minneapolis from the top of what was once the tallest building in the Midwest.

St. Paul Cathedral and Capitol – Tour the house of God and government in the capital city.

Summit Brewery - Get a quick lesson in beer brewing and sip free samples of Minnesota's most famous local beer.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Admire prehistoric, ancient, medieval and modern art under one roof for free.

Sculpture garden - Pose with one of Minneapolis' most famous landmarks, the Spoonbridge and the Cherry.

The Guthrie – Watch Shakespeare come to life and then hang out in the balcony overlooking the Mississippi.

Coffman Union – Catch a free movie on weekend nights.

Columbia Golf Course – Zoom down the icy slopes on your sled in the winter.

Winter Carnival – See the parades and gawk at the amazing ice sculptures. Minnesotan winters can be fun.

Renaissance Festival – Go back in time to see some neat costumes and hear some 'Ye olde English'.

State Fair – Eat deep fried …... . Fill the blank with anything.

I am sure there are many other adventures besides these, to be had in the Twin Cities. I will miss Minneapolis.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The job hunt saga

There comes a time in every student’s life when he has to become a hunter even if he is vegetarian. I become a job hunter as I approached the end of my MS degree. As a hunter you can go after the prey or wait for it to come to you. The latter (campus placements) doesn’t really happen often in the US. The other option, go after jobs out there.

Everyone talks about how important networking is in the job hunt. I think I do quite well on Facebook with an average of five likes and two comments for every post. But alas, Facebook doesn’t give you a pay check unless of course you work for Facebook. There are many ways of networking. Ask all you friends and acquaintances if they know anyone working in your field. Talk to profs about their industry connections. Go to job fairs. Attend seminars, workshops, etc. I have shaken so many hands that I think my right wrist needs reconstructive surgery. And I have collected so many business cards that I think I can play poker with them.

As far as applying for jobs goes, a good error free resume is a must have. For interviews it is useful to have a FAQ sheet. Those standard questions like tell me about yourself, where do you see yourself five years from now etc. I had trouble thinking of answer for the weakness question? The only weakness I have is that I have no weaknesses. And don’t forget thank you notes after the interview.

Over the months I had many leads but nothing concrete. Maybe I needed some cement. I think the two main issues for me were visa sponsorship and security clearance. And the best things about job applications? The interviews! You get to boast about yourself (the selling yourself part) and someone is actually listening! And the on site interviews are cool for meeting some really wonderful people besides the all expenses paid aspect of them. As a grad student, spending nights in posh hotel suites is never an option.

But the wait can be long, the wait can be tedious, the wait can be frustrating. All you need is faith in God and yourself. Trust in God that He has a plan for you. Confidence in yourself that you are great and some company will discover your greatness. Pray, talk to your friends, write a diary, sing out aloud, play sport, anything that helps stay sane. And try to have fun as you wait. It is going to be alright.

So I retire from my job hunting career and settle into the retired life of working at an awesome company!

Pic courtesy:,