Moving Day

6 08 2009

Well, actually yesterday was moving day. After all the preparations and packing, the moving company came bright and early yesterday morning to pick up my stuff. Two hours later, all my worldly possessions were loaded on the back of a truck, and I was left with a completely empty condo. It was a little strange, even without any of my things, the condo still felt like home. As I did a final walk through the condo to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, part of me still couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t be back there again. As much as it wasn’t my dream home, it was my home for the past 5 years and there were a lot of good memories made there. So now, I’m staying with my sister for a few days until I leave for Evanston on Saturday. I really can’t wait to get going. I’ve never been real good with goodbyes, and I feel like the past few weeks have been one extended goodbye – to my family, to my friends, to my job and coworkers – and I’m ready to get past the goodbye phase and get to the “meeting new friends and starting school” phase. That phase sounds like a lot more fun.

One bit of frustrating news from yesterday: the closing date on the sale of my condo has been delayed until probably next week. Originally the closing was supposed to be today (hence my moving out yesterday), but my buyers’ mortgage paperwork isn’t finalized yet so we can’t close. The mortgage has been approved, thankfully, so it’s not a huge issue, just a matter of the bank having all the paperwork in order. So since the close will happen after I leave town, I’m meeting my attorney this morning to sign all the closing paperwork (it still amazes me how much paperwork is involved with real estate transactions), then he’ll handle the closing on my behalf. If that is the biggest hiccup involved with this move, I will count myself a lucky man.


One week to go

1 08 2009

One week from today, I leave NJ and begin my trip to Evanston, arriving next Sunday (with my stuff hopefully a few days behind me).  I know I’ve said this before, but I really can’t believe how quickly the time is flying by.  For so long, going back to school was almost an abstract concept – something I’d do in the future, or next year, or this fall.  Now to have it so close, to be faced with the details of the move and of starting school – which class to choose (I chose Marketing), did I remember to set up electricity in my new apartment (yes, I did), etc. – it finally feels real.  Reminding me just how real it is, my sister and her husband are throwing me a going away BBQ today, with my immediate family and closest friends invited.  It’s strange, I know it’ll be a lot of fun but at the same time it’s also a little sad that this will be the last time I see some of them for a while.  I don’t really know why I’m having such a hard time with this.  After all, for most of the past 3 years I travelled a lot for work, and there were several times I didn’t see my friends for long stretches of time because of our schedules.  For some reason this feels different.  I don’t know, I really think I just need to get the move over with and for KWEST and school to start.  I think the downside of being unemployed with little to do other than get ready for the move is that it gives my mind way too much time to think about stuff like this.

Otherwise the preparations for the move are going very well.  I’m pretty much all packed other than things that I’m going to wait until the last minute to pack (clothes I’m taking with me, laptop, TV, etc.).  I’ve made a few trips to my mom’s house to bring some stuff I’m going to keep in storage there the next 2 years, and thrown out a lot of stuff that I realized I never used or needed anymore.  In that way moving is good, it really forces you to look at what you have and get rid of a bunch of stuff.  I’m all set with the moving company.  The only last second hitch to come up is with the condo sale.  Apparently the buyer’s mortgage hasn’t been finalized yet so we may need to push back the closing date a bit.  Shouldn’t be a huge issue (as long as they ultimately get a mortgage), I can always just sign the paperwork before I go and leave it with my attorney to deal with at the closing.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, if this deal falls apart now it’ll be a huge setback.

T minus 18 days

20 07 2009

I seriously cannot believe I’m already starting my 3rd week of unemployment.  Nor can I believe that I’ve only got another 18 days before making the big move to Evanston.  I’m starting to feel some stress over it too, between the condo sale, the actual move itself, leaving friends/family behind, school/recruiting, etc.  I think to some extent, while I was still working my mind was somewhat distracted by the routine of working – if not the work itself – but now that I don’t have work I have a lot more time to think about things, and probably overthink them too.  So it was pretty good timing for a long weekend down the shore.  One of my closest friends and I spent last Friday thru Sunday in Wildwood and Cape May, and it was great to just get away, relax, sit on the beach and not think about anything school or move related.  I really love being down the shore in general, but Wildwood has a special place in my heart.  Growing up, my family would head down to Wildwood for a week each summer, so it’s very comfortable and almost feels like a home away from home when I’m there.

Unfortunately, like all good things, the weekend came to an end and now I’m back and working on the move to-do list again.  The couple who are buying my condo are doing the home inspection later this morning, which hopefully will be the last major hurdle before closing.  I can’t say just how glad I’ll be once this is over and we’re all set for the closing.  Packing and cleaning out the condo is progessing slowly but surely.  I’ve picked my fall classes (I chose Marketing Management in addition to the 3 courses we have to take).  My application for health insurance (I chose not to use the Northwestern student plan) was approved and is effective Aug. 1.  Next up on the to-do list for this week: make an appointment to see my dentist for a cleaning/checkup before I leave, bring my car in for periodic maintenance before the 800 mile drive to Chi-town, and continue to clean/pack.  And of course, spend as much time with friends and family as I can.  As the move date gets closer, I’m realizing just how much I underestimated how hard it would be to leave them when I move.

Day 1 of unemployment

7 07 2009

For the first time since September 30, 2001, I woke up this morning and don’t have a job to go to.  I still don’t think it’s entirely sunk in yet – it just sorta feels like a weekend at this point.  Yesterday I felt strange all day.  Even though I had wrapped up all my work, I got to the office pretty early in the morning.  I went through my email and forwarded a bunch to my personal account so I’d have people’s contact info.  Then I basically spent the day visiting with people in the office, rehashing some of the good times we’d shared and saying my goodbyes.  After turning in my laptop, I went to HR for my exit interview.  It started out normal enough, talking about what my plans were for after I left, talking about any feedback I had on my company and how it could be better (I was pretty candid here and shared the good and bad points I had experienced), and handling the administrative paperwork.  Then it took a bit of a weird turn.  Apparently the HR guy is interested in the job I had, and started asking me about the job and what he should do if he’s interested in pursuing it.  In total, the interview lasted about 30 mins, and at the end he took my corporate AMEX and my building access cards.  I think it started to hit home as I walked through the turnstiles in the lobby, and realized that even if I wanted to I couldn’t get back in the office without having someone let me in.  I know it sounds like such a small thing, but for some reason it made it more real.

So what now?  Well, I can turn my attention to starting to get ready to move and to enjoying my last month in NJ with my friends and family.  My next few weekends are already booked up with family events and going down the shore with friends.  I’m sure these next few weeks will go by pretty quickly, and before I know it I’ll be packing up my car for the drive to Evanston.

Only five (working) days left

26 06 2009

It’s hard to believe it’s gotten to this point already.  As Orlando wrote in his recent post, there is a lot of waiting involved in MBA admissions. When I first got my admit call way back in early December, I thought it would be forever until I finally got to move to Evanston and start school. However, sitting here at the end of July, with only 5 more days of work until I resign, and a little over a month left until I move, it seems like the time has just flown by. And there is still a lot to do between now and then.

I officially gave my 2 weeks notice to my job this past Monday (they’ve known unofficially for almost 6 months now), and already the HR wheels are a-turnin’ to process the seeming mountain of paperwork involved in actually separating from my employment. This past Wednesday, my boss organized a little going away dinner for some of my closest friends and colleagues at work. It was a lot of fun, and everyone had a good time, but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad. I definitely plan to keep in touch with each of the people there, but at the same time won’t see them every day like I do now. This is also the only “real” job I’ve ever had – working at Nathan’s doesn’t count – so I think it feels a little weird as it sinks in that when I walk out of the office a week from Monday, for the first time in my adult life I won’t be an employee of this company anymore. I’m sure I’ll get used to it pretty quickly, but it’s making me feel a little weird right now.

On the preparations front I’m still burning through the to-do’s. I’ve mailed in my medical information sheet, sent in my MPNs to Discover to finalize student loans, and am just about to send in my health insurance forms. Looking at Kellogg’s official to-do list there’s not a whole lot left to do, although on my personal to-do list there’s still a ton of stuff to do. This weekend, I’m heading down the shore with a bunch of friends tomorrow, then may be off to New Orleans for work on Sunday (yes, they’re possibly sending me out of town my last week with the company). Normally, I’d be excited about an all-expense paid trip to the Big Easy, but given the circumstances I’d rather not go. I should find out in the next hour or so whether they need me to go. Either way, it should be a fun weekend.

3 weeks to go

12 06 2009

It’s hard to believe that I only have another 3 weeks at work.  As much as I’ve been looking forward to resigning and starting school, now that it’s getting close it’s also starting to feel a little weird.  The last time I was unemployed was September 2001 – the summer after I graduated college.  For the last 8 years, a large portion of the time I’ve been awake has been spent working.  It’s the only company I’ve ever had a real adult job at, so I’m sure it’ll be a little weird leaving the office for the last time, knowing that this part of my life and career is behind me.  Looking back, there were some definite highs and lows, as I think all jobs have, but overall I wouldn’t change anything.  I’ve learned a lot, worked with some really incredibly talented and fun people, and gotten to experience things I’d have never imagined.  I will definitely miss my colleagues – many of whom I now count as friends – and really hope to keep in touch in the future.

My school to-do list is getting shorter by the day.  I’ve finished all the pre-enrollment courses, submitted my 360 degree self-assessment and sent out requests for others to assess me, accepted financial aid and started the loan application process, figured out plans for my drive to Evanston and made hotel reservations for my mid-way overnight stop (yay Toledo!) and this weekend am going to my doctor to deal with the medical records.  I’ve been procrastinating a bit on this one.  The last few weekends have been so nice I could think of many better things to do than sit in a doctor’s waiting room.  One other bit of good news: I may be close to reaching a deal on selling my condo!  I say “may” because I haven’t actually received the offer yet, but my realtor tells me it should come today.  It’ll be real nice to have that monkey off my back.  KWEST trips were also announced and I got one of my top choices!  I’m very excited, and very much looking forward to it.  I’m sure the way time has been going by that before I know it I’ll be on the way to O’Hare with 20 new friends .


15 05 2009

Well, not really an anniversary, but it was almost exactly one year ago today that HBS released its application essays and I started seriously working on my applications.  On the one hand it’s hard to believe that another year has gone by so quickly, but on the other hand so much has happened in that time that it seems like a distant memory.  As I watch (virtually) this year’s crop of applicants beginning the process, I can’t help but feel relieved that that portion of my MBA is done with.  After two years of going through the emotional ups and downs of applications, and the endless waiting for decisions, I’ve finally (or just about finally) reached the payoff.

On the preparations front, activity is starting to pick up:

  • Our final financial aid award letters are due to be sent in the next few days, so I’ll have to nail down which lender(s) I’m going to use.  I think I’m going to stick with federal loans (Stafford and GradPLUS), since interest rates have nowhere to go but up and I’d rather lock in an interest rate now.  So there’s not much comparison shopping to do, just looking at who offers best deals on fees. 
  • Pre-enrollment courses are now up and running.  Is it weird that I’m actually excited by this?  I don’t know if that means I’m a nerd or just that bored with my job right now.  I breezed through the accounting course yesterday and started on the math class.  Not really any new material, but the math has been a helpful refresher on some material I hadn’t used since I was an undergrad. 
  • I’m making slow but steady progress on selling my condo in NJ.  There have probably been about 5 potential buyers that have come to look at the place, but none have turned into offers yet.  My realtor is having open houses each of the next two weeks so hopefully that generates more interest.  And hopefully that interest turns into actual offers.  There’s still plenty of time so I’m still generally relaxed about this.

Also on the to-do list: finalize my preferences for KWEST trips (registration is May 20th), find my vaccination history to send to the school, and deal with moving companies to start getting that organized.  Only about 2 and a half months left until I plan to move to Evanston.  There’s still a lot to do so I think this time is going to go by really quickly.