rants & raves of a job

Almost two years ago my life changed; I met Patrick! (Dramatic entrance, I know.) I met Pat through a friend, and I knew we were going to hit it off. After a few months gap in our friendship, due to him being at grad school–he made his way back to DC. Needless to say, I was beyond tickled! Pat got a job a IBM and was joining the real world as a consultant. Now, I couldn’t be more happy for him–what an awesome job opportunity post education, but the one thing that get’s get down is his lack of availability, but that’s not going to deter me from being his friend, heck that makes our friendship stronger! Once you read this post, you will understand exactly what I mean. So, here’s to Pat and his #LifeOfAConsultant, him writing this blog, and well just to our friendship!  Sit, back, relax and enjoy the blog!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

#LifeOfAConsultant

guest blog presented by: Patrick Kotary
You can find Pat on Twitter: @Kotary; insta: patrickkotary, make sure you follow him!

In March 2013 after three colleges, two degrees, and one small bank account, I started my professional career with IBM Global Business Services. After just 7 months though I can honestly say this job is never what I had expected my first big grown up job to be growing. Until the ripe age of six I wanted to work at the mall so I could eat lunch at Sicilian Delight everyday – a pizza place at Sangertown Square Mall; my immature palate thought it was the best food ever, but I digress. Needless to say my aspirations only went up from there. I had the classic dreams – teacher, astronaut, news anchor, race car driver, the next Ward Cleaver, and POTUS were just a few (the last two are still on my list). Until about a year ago I never considered being a consultant for one of the world’s largest technology companies.

My friend Lizzie told me IBM was recruiting for consultants at our school, Clarkson University. I hadn’t given that career choice much thought, but after her persuasion and hearing that if you were hired you were sent to Orlando for a few days to celebrate, I said let’s do it! So I gave it a shot and was hired! I was one of the few extremely fortunate people who were recruited and hired during my last semester of graduate school. While I watched others hunt for jobs, I spent my last two months before the real world soaking in rays by the Gulf, baking, and watching the Barefoot Contessa. As Ina would say, “how easy is that?” All that time though I kept thinking, “I don’t know really what I’m going to be doing come March.” You see, consultants bounce from project to project in different roles – one day you could be on a project as technical resource and the next you could be running financial reports on another. You’re in a constant state of motion, meeting new challenges regularly – something I love doing. Whenever I was asked what I was going to do at IBM I would say, “I’ll be consulting. Companies hire us to come in and solve problems for them.” Now is that broad or what?

Despite that uncertainty I started my first day as a consultant on March 4th, 2013. I had a busy first two weeks in training – one in Herndon, VA and one in Baltimore, MD. Week three was when things got most interesting because I was staffed; I started my first project assignment as the Project Management Assistant at a company in Spokane, Washington. 2,080 aeronautical miles from my home in Northern VA. For about 7 months I travelled back and forth between the Washingtons – out on Mondays and home on Fridays. That’s about 5,000 miles a week (there isn’t a direct flight) – about 135,000 miles total. Like everything this unique lifestyle has its pros and cons.

The Pros:

Status.

Hi, my name is Patrick and I’m addicted to travel status. I am a Delta Platinum Medallion, a Hilton Diamond Member, United Elite Silver, and Starbucks Gold for many years to come. Status is a beautiful thing. First class is the only way to fly.

Seeing new sights.

Instead of going back to NOVA every weekend, I sometimes took alternate weekend travel. New Orleans, Los Angeles, upstate New York, and Florida to name a few.

Try new things.

As previously mentioned I like new challenges, so knowing that week to week my job changes is very exciting.

Foodie’s heaven.

Being in new cities is a dream for foodies like me. In 7 months of working I can count on one hand the times I’ve eaten at a chain restaurant. I love trying new foods.

 

The Cons:

Tired.

I was constantly changing time zones and had some difficulty putting my body on a hybrid system. Thanks to Kendal Ann et al though, I was able to stay on PST time on the weekends back east #DCNightlife

Travel numbness.

Air travel has lost its glamour for me. There was a time when I loved flying and thought it was the best experience ever. I now feel like I’m getting on a big dirty bus with smelly people. Also, hotels no longer stand for vacation. All I can think now is, “How many people have slept (and done other things) in this bed before me?”

Long workdays.

Because of travel, my office time is limited. To make up for this, I spend about 11 hours a day M-T at the office. Lunch is usually at my desk.

Relationships – lack thereof.

This job is not great for relationships. Even though I am extremely handsome and debonair, many don’t want to be with someone if he’s only around 3 of 7 days. I can respect that. I’d rather someone NOT like that than ENJOY having me gone all week.

The #LifeOfAConsultant continues. In a few hours I’m boarding a plane home to Dulles from my new project city… San Francisco, California. It’s an exciting life I lead working for IBM and I love it. I’m young, single, and free, so why not? For now, I’m not the next Ward Cleaver and I’m fine with that.

I urge you all to get out and see what this beautiful country and world has to offer.

exploration & discovery

amount of a full life

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Matt asked me to write a guest blog about traveling. I couldn’t be happier to do so, because traveling is thrilling. The chance to travel, I will always jump at. I carry my passport and have the essentials on me at all times. If an opportunity rises where I could leave the country this moment, or get in a car and go—I would do it. I don’t want anything holding me back. If an adventure is involved, count me in.

With a huge international trip on my horizon and at my fingertips—this is a huge challenge for me to write about. The cursor is blinking at me, taunting me because nothing can keep me sane much longer. I need to get on that plane and I need to go. My production levels are plummeting, and I am sure that is evident to everyone, I digress.

Traveling, it’s one of the most thrilling things we have the opportunity to do as humans. Exploring and going on adventures are an incredible part of our lives. Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.  Traveling makes you challenge yourself, and it pushes you to your limits. It gets you out of your comfort zone, and gives you perspective. Whether you are traveling for education, long lasting relationships, to see the sites, learn a language and/or taste food you’ve never dreamed of, you will have a new experience along the way.

The travel bug has always been with me. Ever since I was a kid I loved exploration and adventure, I would stay out late, read books and ask millions of questions. I was thirsty. Nothing seemed to help quench my thirst. I wanted more. I knew the only thing that could truly quench my thirst was discovery. I needed to discover things; it didn’t matter if it was a new cuisine, new people, architecture, or stories.

I love being submersed in a new culture. Being in a new place is totally different than seeing it in pictures, or learning about it. Just like you can read about ­­­___(fill in the blank here)__, or talk to people about it—it is far from the same as the experience. Once you experience it, it has a personal meaning and it changes you. It changes who you are. When you are hiking on The Great Smoky Mountains, dipping your toes in the Adriatic Sea, or standing in the Sistine Chapel, you are filled with wonder. You are filled with awe. The moment is absolutely captivating and it’s unexplainable. The moment gives you perspective on your place in the world. Sure, you feel infinitesimally small, yet at the very same time, you are an irreplaceable part of something so much greater than your ego (which is hard for me to grasp).

My friends, traveling isn’t always fun or easy, but it’s worth it. We spend 12 hours lost in the Louvre, countless dives at the Great Barrier Reef, and the view from the top of the Empire State Building is breathtaking—these are the moments that lost luggage, an overbooked hostel, a lost car reservation and a delayed flight are totally worth it. We travel because we need to, because the distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same (and it always will be). But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.

I leave you with this, go at least once a year to a place you have never been before.