...and go solo.
So, it's about time I update here. A proper update, not the lists I've been condensing my thoughts to the past quarter. I've been riding a fairly positive wave the last few months--things seem to be coming together.
Joining Twitter may have helped, somewhat. Some of the first people I added were my friends Eric
, as well as one of my favorite internet people (in terms of what he's done for collaborative projects), Ze Frank. I also added a few Rose profs, but the important parts of the people I added were two of those first three.
I still hadn't gotten any offers from companies I had applied to for internships this summer. I think it's because while I'm a good candidate, I'm not the best candidate for the positions I'm applying for. Since at least March, I've had a plan B floating in the back of my head. At times, it seemed like it might just be better (and possibly more fun) to go with it, I wanted to hold out for an actual internship on the off chance it was meant to be by waiting until May to line plan B up.
Even with a couple positively received applications (and follow-ups) near the end of April, I didn't hear anything back. I started setting things in motion. My friend (although I use the term loosely with him lately--there's a growing divide between us) SD's mom has been clearing out their stuff-filled home in preparation for a move to Michigan at some point in the future. I had helped them appraise some books online over spring break (since SD's mom caught wind of my mom getting ~$300 for some of her nursing textbooks and somehow translated this as getting close to full price for all her non-textbooks) and sent her a message on Facebook offering to continue to do this as well as sell some of the nicer condition books on eBay for them. After she agreed (and how could you not when offered someone willing to help with this) I decided to get a couple other things set up as well.
Nick had contacted me with a possible work opportunity during Winter quarter, but things fell through and nothing came of it. I knew he was still interested in having me work for him, so I sent him a quick tweet seeing if I could be of service this summer. I got a positive response, as well as some questions. After sending answers by email (there are some things 140 characters are too few for), we set up a date to talk on the phone about further possibilities. After discussing it and reaching an agreement, I had a definite summer job (and with two weeks of the quarter left). That was a satisfying feeling--when someone asked what my summer plans were, I had an answer this time. I was thrilled.
I didn't stop there, though, like I did last year with Mental Floss (I should've followed up on a couple part-time positions I applied for before getting the MF e-mail). I was going to apply for a position with io9 last year, but at the time I was in PLC and didn't have the time to develop 3 writing samples. This year, when the call rolled around, I had a portfolio to choose from, which made things easier. The position is unpaid this year (and may have been last year--I'm not entirely sure), which was a little disappointing, but I didn't care at this point--I already had a paying gig, and this could be a way to stretch my more creative side. I made the shortlist of candidates with my application (which, like last year's MF app, included something about awful movie The Apple--maybe that's my good luck charm?) and even got interviewed by phone a weekend ago by a Scotsman (really, the British spelling of Graeme and the last name of McMillan in the emails asking for a good time to call should have been a giveaway of a possible accent). I haven't heard back yet (and I expect I will--after an initial mixup where I was sent a "sorry" and "congrats" email at the same time, it seems the candidate pool is small enough to email everyone), but I feel positively about how things went. Whichever way things go, I'll be happy--I at least made an impression with my application.
update (5/31/09 9:46 pm): heard back, didn't get the position, but made an impression and may still get a recommendation for my resume out of all this. Woo!
I still haven't mentioned where Ze Frank
fits in with all this. Well, to be honest, he didn't, initially. Twitter was a convenient way of contacting Nick, but it was how I got an opportunity to work with Ze Frank. Last summer he did something called Color Wars
(that looked like a lot of fun), so when he sent out the call for designers/coders/brainstormers, I responded (expressing a preference more for design/brainstorming than programming for the purposes of Color Wars 09). To my surprise, I got a response a couple days later promising a link. I'm now helping to brainstorm activities for this year's edition. We'll see what else comes of this.
It's looking to be an exciting summer. Building my own internship is looking to be more fun than if I had gotten one of the many I applied for. I'll talk more about Puzzlehunt (and the 6 foot trophy) and other stuff another night. I need to get some sleep for now.