Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updates on the Post-Grad Options

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about some of the different options I'm pursuing for post-graduation life.  After a few changes in status, I figured I'd write a little update.  Although I would be so incredibly excited to receive official offers from any of my current options, choosing just one is going to be really tough!

Eight months after I began my application, I received a nomination for Peace Corps service departing in June 2013.  Translation: after learning all about my life, health, and aspirations, my recruiter still likes me enough to recommend that I receive an official offer.  Now I'm knee deep in legal and medical documents (I thought I had already told them everything there was to know....) and will eventually speak to a placement officer and *hopefully* be awarded a two-year volunteer job abroad.  

As for my hopeless longing to return to Spain, today I interviewed (via skype) to be a classroom language and culture assistant in Spanish Catholic schools.  The interview was only about ten minutes, which seems to be the norm, and went really smoothly.  My interviewer talked to me about my experience with kids and about the position specifics- how many hours were available, locations, pay, etc.  I'll be receiving the magic email with a "YES" or "No...." on March 16.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  

But what about jobs in the good ole US of A?  Keeping in mind my insatiable wanderlust, I only applied to my two dream companies, which are quite a reach.  Even though I feel like I have a competitive résumé, with no connections to either organization I was afraid I would receive the standard form rejection.  But oh, contraire!  I'm being "further considered" for the position I applied for, and will need to turn in writing samples later this week to see if I make it to the next round.  Yippee!    

My mind has turned into a constant battleground in support/challenge of the options available at this point.  If only the decision were easy....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oh, Tuscany- Part Four.

The last day of our Tuscan adventure we planned on touring wineries near Greve in the Chianti region. If you're planning on visiting Italian wineries, you absolutely must make reservations ahead of time.  Not only will this give you a solid plan for your time, it will also ensure that you're absolutely positive which wineries are open and receiving visitors at that time.  I am a meticulous trip planner yet made the mistake of assuming most places would be open and willing to accept call-ahead timing.  

Click through to read about my wine tasting experience at the unique Castello di Verrazzano!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oh, Tuscany- Part Three.

When exploring a larger region (like Chianti) you can either pick up and move each night as you go along, or you can pick a "home base" and go from there, which is what we chose to do.  Greve is a little town nestled in the Chianti wine region.  Although I'm sure things change during wine season, it was overall very quiet during our time there.  The town square has a few rows of cute shops and an incredible restaurant, but don't expect to find anything open later than 8 or so at night.  

Click through to read more about this sweet Italian wine region!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oh, Tuscany- Part Two.

We had no plans to go to Pisa, and then all of the sudden, late one evening, there we were.  I'm a pretty compulsive planner when it comes to traveling, but on this trip we focused on being flexible and open to wherever the Italian wind wanted to take us.  So, when we were hopelessly lost trying to find our hostel in Florence one evening, of course the logical thing to do was to get back in the car, forgo Florence altogether, and go in hunt of the famed Tower of Pisa.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Oh, Tuscany- Part One.

If you want to really see Tuscany, rent a car and give yourself time, a loose itinerary, and plenty of crackers to absorb the delicious regional wines.  We only had a few days in Tuscany, but I'm pretty sure I could have entertained myself for weeks in rustic towns and centuries-old cities of central Italy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spring Break 2013

I've never been able to take a Spring Break trip, and while I've always been fine with staying behind to earn a little extra cash, this year I was dying to finally take a trip.  My friends and I began planning during finals week- the worst time ever, I know- and thanks to an early graduation present from my dad (Thanks, Dad!!) we just put down our first payment for our trip to Cancun, Mexico! 

I've never been to Mexico before, and although we'll be sticking around the resort, I cannot wait to explore the beautiful beaches and everything else this gorgeous tropical place has to offer.  If you've been to Cancun, I'd love to hear from you!  Any do's or don'ts?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting Crafty

Between internships and extra-curricular work, social media has become my thing.  I've spent an embarrassing amount of time scouring the web for the newest strategies and social media news and I've even gotten to write media for some pretty cool organizations.  When it comes to html though, I'm lost.  Hopelessly lost.  Although, given the pretty simple blog design, I'm sure you're not surprised.  

Not one to accept defeat though, I'm working on it.  Today, in celebration of lack of homework and the delicious chocolate chip cheesecake in my fridge, I learned how to make a blog button.  Lo and behold, here they are!  



To be honest, I'm not really sure how the button swapping thing goes.  So, if you'd like to swap with me, just let me know! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

T-120 Days and Counting

Graduation.  It's in 120 days and for as much as I've prepared through internships, tough classes, and extra-curricular experience, I feel nowhere near ready.  Knowing that I'm definitely not the only one a little nervous about the looming May date is a little comforting, but it's still rough.

Although I definitely have my Type B tendencies, my long term career/life plans had always been very, very Type A.  First I would do X, which would lead me to Y, and then I would end up at Z.  Very simple.  Very scripted. Very... boring.  

As I'm finally approaching graduation, the kick-starter that you simply can't stop, I feel like I'm nearing a fork in the road with about a million different options.  For the first time in quite a few years, I'm honestly not sure which way I'm going to choose come May 11... 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Travelers' Reunion

This past week has been fabulous.  If you've read some of my previous posts, you can probably tell that I had the time of my life while studying abroad in Spain.  I credit most of those crazy, fun, and heartwarming adventures to a small group of girls that I hope will remain lifelong friends.  After returning to the States in December of 2011, we quickly planned a 4th of July reunion in Washington D.C., and this past week we were at it again in the lovely Springfield, Missouri.  

Although we had a blast going to a crepery, winery, montage of shops, and even to see the world's largest fork (yes, you read that right), I honestly think we could have been in the middle of nowhere and still enjoyed the simple pleasures of soaking up each others' company.  

Our next reunion is tentatively scheduled for Arizona just after our graduation this May, and there are some big, big plans in the works for after that.  Although I don't want to jinx anything too soon, I'm really excited about what is to come.