Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Month To Go

At lunch today, a fellow intern said -"I'm ready to go back to school". No, she's not done with her project and I don't think she hates her work. And if I remember correctly, over the last week or so, I've seen the stray Facebook update from a couple of my Darden friends saying the same thing.  It got me thinking. Am I ready to go back to school? Like most things, I don't know.

I miss C'ville. I miss the energy and the familiarity. And a host of other things. But that is for another post. Next year, same time, maybe. 

At the same time, the summer has been an interesting experience so far. A self discovery of sorts. A perfect transition, as far as I can think of - from the no business, all coding software engineer to this mixed bag of technology trends, competitive analysis, consumer habits and the art of converting bullet points to fancy looking shapes which provide second order insights.

Getting to talk to heads of various divisions has been great. Product Management, Business Planning, Content & Services, Product Marketing. They mean more than just titles now. Also, the 'real world' aspect is becoming very clear. With everybody from the OEMs and the Carriers to the Content Generators and the App Developers trying to take a share of the same pie, so often, it's the framing, the positioning, the negotiations and the compromises which see a business proposal through. There is absolutely no dearth of innovation or crazy new ideas in this space. But not every idea is making a million dollars. Not every app is getting a million downloads. 

But enough of trying to sound intelligent and MBA student like. Dallas is like an oven now. And somehow, more than the temperature, it's just the brightness of the sun which fries my brains. There are no evenings. I mean when the sun sets at 9:00 PM, where do you squeeze in the evening?
More alone time has meant longer and more frequent emails to some of my friends. Then, apart from the Despicable Me's and the Inceptions, I've managed to watch an eclectic range of movies. The Visitor, Religulous, The Big LebowskiApocalypse Now (I also read Heart of Darkness after it which I thought was too wordy to enjoy or understand in one read).

Exploring good places to drink beer has been fun. And it's given me the opportunity to hang out with my friend from IIT. It's funny how having lead very different lives since our college days and pursuing very different careers, we still have so much to talk about. Some of it revolves round the very differences and trying to understand the other's perspective. Then there's recounting hostel days and people. A good part of it is about our current state of being - internship, bosses, decisions and  the changes ahead. And lastly, there's music and a bit of physics thrown in. I guess the alcohol helps a lot too. Particularly memorable was last weekend's chance visit to 'Bavarian Grill' - a family owned German restaurant in Plano. I had some of the most amazing tasting beer ever. So smooth. There was an old man playing the accordion close to us. Our waitress was super helpful in deciphering the German menu for us and suggesting beers based on what we liked. Even my 'not too hoppy, wheat, kinda light - yes, I like Blue Moon' was enough for her to suggest me a couple. Both of them were fantastic.

And lastly, I read this book. Loved it.

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