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January 29, 2000
Since the Last Time

I realized that it has been more than a week since I updated my diary and that’s not because I haven’t wanted to. As usual I have been very busy (the spring semester is always this way) and I have a lot of things to write about. My last entry was on the nineteenth so I will have to look at my planner since then to see exactly what has taken place in the past week and a half.

Let’s see, the first big event I see on my calendar is the Alpha Chi Omega Woodser that took place on Saturday, January 22. A woodser is a sorority or fraternity date function where you go somewhere like a horse ranch (that is where we went) and have a bonfire, hayrides, and other activities of that nature. I guess there’s not too much to tell about that. Stu and I had a good time. It was very cold that night, as it had been for a couple of nights previously, but the fire was so warm that it wasn’t a problem. In fact the fire was hot enough that we had to stay a good distance away from it when it was first lit. Making s’mores wasn’t very easy when you couldn’t get close enough to the fire to stick the marshmallows into it.

Last week was the week of the spring career and internship fair at the University of Florida and I was busy because of that. People, like Stuart, who are lucky enough to already have an internship lined up for this summer didn’t have to worry about this big event, but I am one of those who did. On Tuesday night AIAA hosted a seminar with the recruiters from Boeing who came to tell us how they (and other recruiters) select students for jobs. It was a great presentation and I learned a lot. After taking about two pages of notes I went home that night and rewrote my entire resume from scratch. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do but it was definitely the smartest thing I could have done. I also learned how to meet a recruiter at the internship fair and how to act during an interview. Those skills came in handy in the next three days.

I went to the internship fair on Wednesday with Danny between classes (I had a two-hour break between aerodynamics and circuits). By the time I left I had only talked to recruiters from three companies – partially because the lines at the booths were so long – but those were Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt-Whitney. The representative from Boeing, the one who had given the seminar the night before, was happy to see that my resume was exactly as he told us to make it and that I answered his questions easily. He gave me an interview time for Friday afternoon immediately. I was surprised because I had listened to him talk with at least six other students and he hadn’t done that for any of them. I felt great after that. Danny got an interview too – he was in line right behind me. The recruiter at Lockheed Martin told me that I needed to send my resume to different subsidiaries where I was interested in getting a job. I talked with him for at least ten minutes, but I couldn’t tell if he was interested in my qualifications or if he just liked to hear himself talk. I am going to take his advice and send my resume to LM Astronautics in Denver and to the Missiles and Space division. We’ll see what happens there. The last company I visited was Pratt-Whitney and I hardly spent any time there at all. I know one of the recruiters through Emmy so he just took my resume and told me that the interviews were going to be in March. I have had two interviews with him before so he knows my qualifications and interests. So the internship hunt is going well. I should have more information to report when I hear back from Boeing next moth. Let’s hope it will be good news!

Panhellenic Spring Rush took place on last Thursday night, but being of the 1997 pledge class I was exempt from attending. Sometime I love being an old sister in this house. Even if they had wanted me to rush I had a good excuse, I was going to be in Orlando for a meeting of the professional AIAA chapter. I was going because someone was going to give a presentation about manned Mars missions and that is something I am extremely interested in. Unfortunately I had to drive and none of the directions we had were very accurate so we got lost a few times before we made it to the restaurant where the meeting was being held. The presentation was excellent and it made me very excited about the prospect of sending people to Mars sometime in the next two decades or so. The speaker (I can’t remember his name) said that people who are around twenty years old are the prime candidates for these missions and of course that made me even more determined to reach that goal. I have a long way to go before that is a possibility, but I have faith that I can do it.

My Boeing interview took place at 1 PM last Friday. It was raining that day and I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before since we got back from Orlando around midnight. I was only a little nervous but I was proud that I wasn’t shaking in my boots (or heels, as the case may be). Since I had come directly from class I hadn’t had time to practice answering questions like we had been told to do during the “Meet the Recruiter” presentation a couple of days earlier. When I think back on it the interview went pretty well except for two of the questions. I didn’t have a good answer for “what do you think is your greatest accomplishment?” and I didn’t have an answer for the “what was your greatest disappointment?” one at all! I am only twenty-one years old from crying out loud! I haven’t had enough time for any of that yet. I am sure there are those who have great answers for both of those questions, but I had led a pretty sheltered life so far and nothing exceptionally wonderful or tragic has happened. Give me a few more years and I will be able to give you an answer that’s better. Besides those two questions everything else went great. I was able to incorporate activities from high school as well as Alpha Chi into the conversation with my stories from classes and studying. I think I made a good impression, but we’ll see what Boeing thinks sometime next month.

This morning I went to breakfast with Stu, Robyn, and their family. We left at 8 AM and drove south on I-75 to Wildwood to meet them there. We ate at Shoney’s and that meal was just delicious. I feel very blessed to have the Hoelle family want to spend time with me as well as their own kids. Maybe I should work out a similar arrangement with my family some weekend. I need to look on that map and see if there is somewhere between here and Tallahassee suitable for such a meeting. I also need to be doing some homework so I won't be as stressed this week as I was last week. Too bad my calendar is already full for the next few days. I’ll tell you more about that later.