Wherein I tell Bubs all....
In an effort for new material, I decided I wanted to join the interview circuit and asked Bubs over at The Compound to hit me with his best shot....and if you'd like to play, just follow the directions below.
1) As someone who reads travel lit like a freak consumes porn, I'm incredibly envious of your ex-pat lifestyle. How does an earnest midwesterner end up living and studying in the
Like most things in my life, my expat life is sheer fluke. Here is a step by step guide to how it’s done:
Step 1) Grow up in a small town. Develop an insatiable fascination with big cities, foreign lands, and anyplace without cornfields. This will give you a mindset that keeps you focused on the prize.
Step 2) Get a really useful major from a small liberal arts college…something like English or Art History. You’ll be well read and able to hold party conversation about the free-wheeling lifestyle of the German Expressionists, but will be virtually unemployable.
Step 3) This will force you into a slacker life of retail, but will give you lots of time to develop strong social skills and to throw parties for the disparate groups of people you know. You will learn to build rapport with strangers and to make small talk to even the dullest party guest.
Step 4) When this life starts to bore you, have drinks with a childhood friend who’s done well for himself. Let him seduce you into quitting your job and starting over in a place you’ve never been. If you’re lucky he’ll sell you on
Step 5) Now that you live in a new place and have no specific skills, doctor your resume and temp for awhile. You’ll learn to think on your feet. Finally end up working for a start-up company where you will get to do everything, including planning trips to major sporting events for customers. Your party planning and social skills will come in handy, and you will get to go to
Step 6) Stupidly fall out of love with
Step 7) Now that you’re unemployed and desperate, network your way to a new job planning meetings and conferences all over the world. It may mean doctoring your resume, but by now you are a well-travelled bullshit artist and can blag your way into pretty much anything. This job is the best kept secret going...you get to travel to interesting places, stay in fabulous hotels, eat in world-class restaurants and do really cool things. on someone else's dime. (NB...if I ever marry, I've decided that I want to go someplace like here on my honeymoon. More likely, I'll drag Tom and George there in a few years for our birthdays, but it's nice to know it's waiting.)
Step 8) Using your well-developed skills from steps 1 – 7, establish a reputation as an ambitious sort who does good work and can get along with pretty much anyone. Convince them you are a strategic thinker, a “change agent” and a person willing to try pretty much anything once. Make it known that you’re looking for a challenge.
Step 9) Out of the blue, your company will ask you to move to the
Step 10) Once you’re living abroad, convince them they need to keep you there. They will offer you a permanent job. You will counter offer, telling them they can have you for a year, but then you and your skills and ambitions are going to move back to the states and go to get an MBA. They will counter by offering to assist you with funding for school if you will stay a bit longer and go part-time here. This gives you a long-term expat life, an education from a noted international business school and confirms the unlimited possibilities for your life.
Step 11) Say yes.
2) What's with the clown fear? And the swans?
2) What's with the clown fear? And the swans?
When I was seven, a clown killed my puppy.
And actually, it’s not so much fear as it is disgust. I hate all things in masks. Masks are a handy way to avoid taking responsibility for your own behaviour. I hate Halloween and I hate costume parties and I even hate people who create figurative masks out of their everyday faces. I also hate moronic humour, magic, balloon animals, tiny cars and ponies. Considering all of this, clowns never really had a chance, did they? And I believe I’ve already posited that swans are the clowns of the bird world.
3) Why did you start blogging? I see you got started back in 2004, whereas most of the people I find myself reading got started within the past year or two.
My entries from November 2004 coincide with my move to the
For people who miss me, reading my blog is pretty much like having me over for cocktails and it helps them not miss me so much. It never occurred to me that strangers would ever read this site more than once.
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring MBA students? Like, say, for middle-aged burned out cops waiting to find out if they've been accepted into a 4-th tier program at a state university in the suburbs of Chicago, for instance?
DO IT!!! I love my MBA programme. It’s a lot of work, but it’s great fun and has completely changed my perspective.
Don’t worry about the school tier unless you want to be an exceptionally high-flier, in which case it pays to take time to get into the best programme you can. Otherwise just make sure that the people you eventually want to work for will appreciate the degree once you have it.
Find a programme with strong personal development courses…they’ll help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses and teach you to manage them, which will give you an advantage once you’re working. Go networking crazy, because it really is all about who you know. In fact, when you look at a school ask about the size and effectiveness of their alumni network. Buy a book on grammar. Buy one on properly citing references and writing bibliographies. Plan on not getting much sleep for a few years. Then dive in and get it over with.
By the way, have you thought about the modular programme at Cranfield?
5) What is your greatest pleasure?
Just one? Fool. You know me better than that.
I love lazy, convivial evenings with my family and friends. I love a mind-numbingly difficult Scrabble game. I love doing dorky crap with my nephews…they are delightful. I love a perfectly made slightly sweet
Want some questions of your own? Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!”
I will respond by e-mailing you five questions (if your email is not on your profile, email me your desire to be interviewed so I know your address). I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all.
You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.