Plugging away...

Despite the lack of activity on The Boggs Blog, summertime is chugging along. Some things have ended up about like I expected:

- The online media start-up I'm working with is showing promise.
- I continue to try to plug myself into the local technology entrepreneurial scene.
- I'm not very productive working from home, but getting better.
- Our backyard gardens are awesome - more herbs and veggies than we can eat...
- Lots of good down time with Kelly, Tyler Dog, and friends.
- I started sweating around June 1 and haven't stopped since.

...while others haven't. Namely - getting laid off from an internship. Yes. I was laid off...from a 10 week part-time internship.

Of the many insights I've gathered - and will probably continue to gather - from the experience, these two are near the top of the list:

1.) Do your due diligence before accepting a job - no matter how short the contract.
2.) Be wary of joining companies that recently botched a $30MM acquisition.

I feel like I've done a pretty good job about keeping a positive attitude about the whole thing.  As the "I have an ulterior motive for buying your lunch..."conversation unfolded, I very quickly decided that I wasn't going to be a jerk or a whiner baby. I laughed openly about the situation, explained the irony, etc. that caused my laughter, asked some thoughtful, candid questions, and left on great terms with my supervisor - whom I actually really liked.

I certainly don't harbor any grudge toward the company - these things happen. Integrian is a good company with good people and exciting technologies - it's just facing a tough market in a tightening economy.

Plus, I'm pretty sure that I was one of many lay-offs company-wide. So there are other people with children, responsibilities, etc. (read: not part-time 10 week interns) that are probably in a pretty tight spot right now...

I've filled the spare time with more work on the other venture and accelerated efforts to find a new solution to a problem...or a latent problem to solve...or any company/idea that gets me beyond the first couple steps of consideration. It's slow going, but steady and strangely exciting.

On an unrelated note, my brother Evan comes home from 6 months of military training this weekend. I haven't seen him since Christmas, so I'm looking forward to the family time...and sucker-punching Evan while we wrestle in my parents' swimming pool...and then running away because he's a much larger/stronger man than I...

Back in the Saddle

Kelly and I returned from our trip this past weekend. Photos with C+ captions here.

The trip was fantastic in every way. We spent 3 days in Munich, 3 days in Vienna, and 6 days in Prague. In brief, the highlights include:

- Amazing beer and delicious meats with every meal for 2 straight weeks.

- Easy living in Munich, inspired in part by the naked people in the English Garden.

- A harrowing and gut-wrenching visit to the Dachau concentration camp.

- The view from atop the Schloss Schonbrunn gardens in Vienna.

- A day in Okur* outside of Prague with Lee and Emily. (Pronounced kinda like "O-korjsh" - there should be a little tick over the "r" that WP doesn't allow...)

- A ridiculous night of beer cheese, spare ribs, fried minnows, beer, potato rum, blistering Czech bluegrass, learning Czech slang, and teaching Lee's friend to say "fannypack". (Hate that we didn't take our camera. Highest of high international comedy...)

- The beautiful vistas in Prague at night.

As much as Kelly and I would like to still be in Prague, sleeping on Lee's communist era foldout couch, we're glad to be home and I'm ready to get to work.

I turned around some interesting work pretty quickly since my last post. I'm working 2 part-time gigs this summer. I started at Integrian this week. The company develops intelligent mobile video solutions for public safety and transit. I'll be working on product specs for a couple fascinating applications that originated from the company's R&D arm, Signal Innovations Group.

Next week, I'll start spending some time with a pre-launch online software/media start-up that has a great team and an interesting idea.

I had hopes of brute-forcing a software idea into existence over the summer, but cooled on both of the ideas I was carrying once I started thinking hard about them. So it goes...

All in all, I'm excited about the summer. I'll work a relatively normal schedule and Kelly will have a ton of time off. This should translate into lots of grilling out, lots of basketball, lots of time spent with my KFBS friends that are in town for the summer, and a bountiful harvest from my vegetable garden.

San Francisco

Kelly and I are in San Francisco for a business/pleasure trip.  We wandered around yesterday and have all day today and Saturday for fun.  Tomorrow, I have interviews with 2 high roller Internet software companies...and I'm nervous as hell.

We're staying with friends Alison and Fabian just a few blocks away from Haight St.  Their place is unbelievably nice and located in a great neighborhood.  Per Fabian, Craig Newmark (the "Craig" of Craigslist) lives in the area and frequents a nearby coffee shop.  Kelly and I are dropping by in a few minutes in hopes of a sighting...

Other than that, we have no plans for the day.

Career Fair

Kenan-Flagler hosted ~50 companies for the annual MBA Career Fair today. These things are always great for comedy. You just can't beat being within earshot of so many awkward conversations...

Lots of good companies showed up, but only a handful remotely aligned with my Internet/software career interests. As I had hoped, the shortage actually worked in my favor. I spent ~15 minutes with each of my 3 target companies and was able to deliver a pretty salient story regarding my interest in their internship programs. Here's hoping they noticed and return the interest.

For others, the Career Fair will be a full day spent talking to as many of the attending companies as possible, all of which are completely diverse. I felt strange bouncing from a conversation with a marketing consultancy to another with a media software company. I can only imagine having to change gears from J&J to Blackwater to XYZ real estate developer, all the while keeping a straight face as I express my interest in the company. Guess you gotta find your way somehow...

In Search of the Summer

I can't believe how quickly the summer disappeared. Just a week or two ago, it was 110 degrees outside, school had just gotten underway, and I was still buzzing from the post Italy and China afterglow.

A round of midterms and a few football games later, it's autumn. It is still warm outside, but "pleasant" warm instead of "gates of hell" warm. Instead of enjoying the novelty of being in school again, I'm knee-deep in the stay up late, wake up early, can't put it down drudgery of actually being a student.

(Not that said drudgery isn't both extremely manageable and enjoyable, by the way.)

Despite the significant task at hand and the impending doom of finals, everyone here - me included - already seems amazingly fixated on next summer. Nearly all of my classmates are eagerly running the company presentation gauntlet in search of the ideal summer internship. Everyone shows up in suits and spends their lunch and dinner time listening to whatever it is J&J, GE, Deloitte, McKinsey, Lehman Brothers, etc. have to say. Some are going to 2 and 3 of these presentations a day. (Insanity if you ask me.)

I haven't attended any of these presentations (and probably won't), but that doesn't mean that I'm not hiking my trek toward summer internship Shangri La. I've got a number of irons in the fire and, excluding a Kenan-Flagler sponsored VC fellowship program, all of them are individually driven and outside of KFBS' career services machine.

It is mildly frustrating that I don't have the institutional support of my classmates.  However, I must admit that I enjoy the underdog/individual effort aspect of my internship search, as well as the freedom from the company presentation grind. Plus, my internship search is a great primer for the job search that I'll start this time next year.

As much as possible/appropriate, I'll update The Boggs Blog with my search progress and lessons learned.