Sunday, October 21, 2012

Philly Con Carne

As most of you know, last week I had the chance to fly out to Philadelphia for an all expenses paid trip to go interview with Comcast/NBCUniversal.  I was pretty excited, since I really have no experience with the eastern US, plus having an all expenses paid trip to anywhere is pretty awesome.  I did my best to take a bunch of pictures, so I will let those do the talking.  I did find it was really hard to really capture everything on camera.  Everything was so tall and so big that I could not fit hardly anything in one picture.  Anyway, here are the pictures:

This is the hotel I stayed at.  It was right smackdab in downtown Philadelphia.  My favorite parts about the hotel was that I got to choose between two beds to sleep in every night, they gave me a goodie bag when I got there (at 2am), and they had a nice 47" tv in my room.
This was the view from my hotel room window.  Since my flight got in during the middle of the night, I couldn't really see anything as I was getting driven to my hotel, so this was my first real glimpse of Philadelphia.

This is a nice little self-portrait of myself before I went out exploring that first morning.
I had a few hours before I had to be anywhere, so I walked out of my hotel and started walking down this street. 

That tall building on the left is the Comcast building, where I did all my interviews and had my fancy dinner the night before.  It's the tallest building in Philadelphia;  56 stories high!

I was slightly tempted to push every button in the elevator, then exit and take a different one.  I refrained, however, since I didn't think that would bode well for my chances of getting hired.

This is one of the main intersections (well, half of the intersection..about 3 or 4 different streets pass through it) that I walked past about a million times.  I believe that is the state capitol in the distance with the spire.

A closer look at the capitol building.  Lots of buildings in downtown had this really old look to it.  I'm sure there's some technical term for the style, but I'll stick with "really old look."

I've seen pictures of this Love statue thing or whatever you want to call it, but I actually had no idea it was in Philadelphia.  Mom informed me that Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love.  I looked it up and I guess that's what Philadelphia translates to in Greek.

This was my "work station" I set up in my hotel.  I was doing some last minute research on the company while Philip Rivers  gave me some good last minute advice before I went to my interview.  Although his advice may not have been the best, seeing as he had just given away a 24 point lead against the Broncos the night before.

So..I didn't have time to go all the way over to the really famous Philly cheese steak place that supposedly started the whole thing (it seems like every food establishment in Philadelphia claimed to have made the original Philly cheese steak), so I just bought one from a random place I found on the side of the road.  It was delicious.

NOMNOMNOMNOM (food eating sounds)

This was the front desk area when you enter the Comcast building.  That entire wall is a big gigantic screen that has funny video things playing throughout the day.  In this picture I think it's showing people pushing the the panels of the wall around or something.

All in all, the trip went really well.  I only had a few hours to go exploring, but I got to see a lot and have a really good taste of what Philadelphia is like.  Whenever I think of Philadelphia I think of the story of how Santa Claus came out during half time of an Eagles game, and the fans all threw snowballs at him.  After visiting Philadelphia, that story no longer surprises me at all (ironic, considering it is supposedly the city of brotherly love).  Everything is so fast paced and busy and the people would all get really mad really fast if someone wasn't paying attention.  I was mostly just wandering around observing everything, so from my standpoint I thought it was hilarious.

The interviews went well also.  I've developed really good relationships with a lot of recruiters there, so hopefully they fight for me to get a position.  Most of those people were the recruiters who came to BYU, so they weren't really involved with this round of interviews, but I'm hoping that will still help me out.  They flew 28 of us out there to try to fill 7 or 8 positions, so it's really competitive.  The other students were from college all the way from USC to Babson College (a college outside of Boston).  There were people from Ivy League colleges as well, so there were definitely a lot of very qualified people.  I should be hearing back in the next few days, so I'm hoping for the best!  In any case, I had a great trip and it was great experience.  I also have a couple other job interviews lined up this week, but it would be nice to get the job hunt over with this early on.  I will keep everyone posted!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

New York

I went to New York, toured around, and came back entirely on public transportation.  I took a bus from my house to the metro station.  Then metro to the big "Union Station" bus station.  Then a bus from Union Station to New York, and then a subway all around New York.

What was scary about the Union Station bus is I missed the one I wanted to take and just got on another that pulled up a few minutes later.  I asked the guy if it was going to New York, but he didn't speak much English, and he probably didn't understand it anyway.  Also, the bus was supposed to be $21, and he charged me $35.  So once I got on the bus and we started going, I was a little worried I may be going somewhere else.  But I ended up in New York.

I should have taken more pictures.  I arrived at about 10 PM on 34th Street.  I decided to walk up to the hotel on 56th Street.  I went all the way up 7th Avenue, which means I went straight through Times Square and the heart of New York.  Notice how many people are on the streets.  It was ALWAYS like this.

The next day we did a lot of walking around, checking things out, taking the subway around, and shopping.  This Macy's was crazy.  There was an entire floor just dedicated to women's shoes.
Later in the afternoon, I went to the TKTS booth in the middle of Times Square to see if I could score any discounted broadway tickets.
And I was able to get tickets to Phantom of the Opera for 50% off!  I really enjoyed the show.
Finally later that night I went to the last game of the season for the Yankees, against the Red Sox.  They killed them, with several home runs and at the bottom of the 7th they found out they had clinched the top seed in the American League playoffs.

The next day we went to Battery Park to check out the Statue of Liberty.  It was a foggy day, but still neat to see.
Given more time, I could have gone to see Staten Island.

Some other interesting things I was able to do was eat a New York pizza (not good, very greasy), and a New York Cheesecake (BEST cheesecake ever from Juniors in Times Square)

The Subway you can tell is very old.

Empire State Building on a foggy day so you couldn't even see the top.

And that is New York!