Sunday, June 30, 2013

California Coast Cruising

旅 (tabi) - A journey or trip

When the school semester ended back in early May, I still hadn't secured a summer internship. That was fine, given that most other schools still had several weeks of classes left and many internships didn't start until June, so I just kept applying for positions and trying to make something work out.


One can only spend so many hours a day looking for a job, so I had a lot of free time on my hands. I couldn't travel anywhere as I still needed to be around to network and interview and whatnot, so I spent most of my days laying out on the back deck reading. It was wonderfully relaxing, but at the same time never really felt like a vacation.

I finally managed to lock down an internship in mid June, much to my excitement. But there was still a part of me that felt like I needed to get out and go somewhere before starting my job. I didn't have much time to plan anything proper, so it needed to be short.

There are lots of places throughout northern california that would be cool to check out, most of which are just a few hours away. They're so accessible that it becomes an easy excuse not to go. You start thinking that you can go anytime, but end up not going at all. For me, driving down along Highway 1 was one of those things. A few hours of driving will get you a good ways down the coast, so I decided to just go for it and check it off my list.


I got myself a rental car for two days to make sure I'd have plenty of time, then headed straight for the coast. Before I knew it, I was in in Pacifica, ready to hug the California coast. The weather was beautiful, with nothing but blue skies above. I rolled down the windows and just drove. It was the first time I'd ever been behind the wheel without actually having somewhere I was trying to get to.


I took my sweet time, stopping to take pictures constantly. The idea that this was the edge of America was stuck in my head. That, as huge as this country may be, the ocean that sat to my side was the very limits of it. The landscape was gorgeous and it reminded me of how beautiful this country is. It made me remember other amazing places I've been, beautiful scenes I've seen. It was equal parts awe-inspiring and relaxing to see.


I made it as far south as Big Sur. I didn't actually do very much for the two days that I was on the road. Most of my time was spent either driving or taking pictures, though I would occasionally wander off the road a bit just to see what there was to see. But that was exactly what I needed: to just be off on my own. As much rest and relaxation I had got lounging about in Berkeley for the previous weeks, this trip left me truly refreshed.


These pictures are some of my favorites, but there are many more on my flickr account. I'm not sure that they do justice to what I saw, but hopefully it's a start.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

[ 25 /52 ]

Week Twenty-Five: Sun Sets on Summer Break
Week Twenty-Five

With my internship finally starting on Monday, I spent a couple of days this week taking a quick road trip down the California coast to cap off my summer break. This is from sunset in Carmel. I'll give more of a recap of the trip once I've finished working through the other pictures.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

[ 24 / 52 ]

Week Twenty-Four: Seeing Color
Week Twenty-Four

I wasn't feeling particularly inspired by anything this week and ended up taking this picture a day late. Part of the reason that I decided to do this project in the first place is that it forces you to find interesting pictures in your everyday life. It makes you think more about what is around you. As I've been going through it, I find that more and more of the pictures I' take come from noticing something small and seemingly insignificant that I would normally have just overlooked.

This one is of the leaves on the bamboo that grows along side my driveway. There's nothing terribly spectacular about the plants themselves, but one day I noticed how many different shades of green they become when the sun hits it from a certain angle. I walked past that bamboo every day for nearly a year but had never really noticed it until then. I really enjoy finding little details in the world like that. They make everything so much more interesting.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

[ 23 /52 ]

Week Twenty-Three: Dig Deep
Week Twenty-Three

On Monday, I was finally offered an internship. I thought about writing a long post on the challenges of changing both industry and function for MBA career switchers. About how much it sucks to constantly plead your case on the basis of nothing more than vaguely tangential experience and mental horsepower in interview after interview. Make no mistake, it is a bitch. But, at the end of the day, none of that really matters.

Truthfully, it just comes down to persistence and commitment. It took me exactly 140 days from my first interview to the day I finally received a formal offer letter. It was a difficult, demoralizing, and painful journey. There was a lot of disappointment along the way. I was fortunate to be surrounded by amazing friends and family to support me and cheer me on. I could have taken the easy way out and switched my focus along the way, but they helped me push on. I stuck to my guns, didn't give up and it all worked out in the end.

 I'll be joining SAP's Global Customer Strategy team for the summer to help them with their sales strategy. It will be work unlike anything I've ever done before. I am sure it is going to be an awesome experience.

Monday, June 3, 2013

[ 22 /52 ]

Week Twenty-Two: Side Street Secrets
Week Twenty-Two

I spent an afternoon doing a little exploring in Oakland this past week. The city doesn't have the greatest reputation, but it certainly looks like it's improving and already has some pretty cool spots. One of my favorites was Temescal Alley, a small side street lined with interesting little shops. This picture is of one that specialized in little succulents and smelled absolutely amazing. I'll definitely be back in the not so distant future.