Tuesday, January 30, 2007

NYC pictures, pt. 2

Columbia University

Columbia University

Times Square

Hsin-mei (Dallas IARCS with me), Diana (L.A. office, roommate), and Whitney on subway

NYC pictures

Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. Sooo good. I shared it, though, and we still didn't finish it!

Wollman Rink in Central Park (Trump owns it)

Chrysler Building right down street (Lexington Ave.) from hotel

Kim (San Fran office), Olga (Orlando office), Whitney, and Marina (Silicon Valley office) on subway after dinner in Little Italy

NY update coming soon; Manic Monday

I know some of you are expecting updates about New York and my first real days of work. I promise that they're coming. In fact, the NY entry is ready, but it's on my work computer because that's what I had with me in New York, and my work computer takes forever to boot up. I don't really want to mess with that right now, especially since L&O: SVU is about to start. I'll get it off of that computer tomorrow at work and post it in the evening.

I guess I can start with an update on yesterday and today - my first real days on the job.

I start out on my first actual client engagement at the end of February, so for the next three weeks, they've staffed me with four different teams to start learning about internal audit. Yesterday (Monday), I was supposed to be at my first assignment at 8:30 am. It was down southwest of downtown, and you know how far northeast I live, so I left at 7:00 thinking I would be safe and allow myself enough time to get there. I mean, also, it was my first time really navigating that part of Dallas by car, and it was smack dab in the middle of rush hour. Anyway, I got there at 7:45, but that's allowing for about 10 minutes that I was lost. Mapquest gave me some unclear directions. So I get there, and when I get up to our floor, no one is there.

I pull out my phone to call my transitional coach, who got me staffed here, and realize I've got a voicemail. First, I never would have answered my phone while I was driving in that mess. Second, my phone is screwed up and sometimes calls go straight to voicemail, which is what happened here. So the voicemail says that everyone ended up having meetings that morning and I should go to the KPMG office until I hear from her again at noon with my afternoon assignment.

So I pull out my map and figure out how to get to the KPMG office. Pretty simple, actually. Then, I get there and have to figure out where I'm going to park. I'm only going to be there for about three hours, so I want to just park at a metered spot right across the street from the office, but I didn't have any change. There was a deli close by so I stopped in and got a few quarters to last me. I ended up just working on more of my training stuff at KPMG while waiting for information on the rest of my day.

My TC called me at noon and told me I would be out at a client in Las Colinas, so I Mapquest that. This time, Mapquest was pretty close, and I got there in 20 minutes. I was there all afternoon and left at about 6:20 (wow!). It took me an hour to get home!

--------- Aw, L&O's a rerun and I've seen it. :( ---------

Anyway, I'm hoping that's my only day like that because, I mean, waking up at 6, leaving at 7, and getting home after 7? Factor in the 8 hours of sleep that I would like (I'm learning to handle 7), and that leaves about 3 hours to eat, shower, and get ready for the next day! So different from college! Then, I could wake up at 7:30, throw on some clothes, go to class, come home, eat lunch, take a nap, go back to class, come home, and have about six hours before I had to go to sleep!

It's okay, though. I know that each client is going to differ in what they need, and I'll just have to learn to adjust to those needs. After all, flexibility is good, and I'm never going to be a "college" student in that same sense again, so I'd better get used to this.

Today was less hectic. I only had to go to my Las Colinas engagement, and I stayed pretty busy. Tomorrow, I think I'm actually going to start with some real work for the engagement, so I'm looking forward to that.

And the best part is that there is a Rosa's in Hurst about 20 minutes away, so I'm planning to take a trip over there on a lunch break this week or next!

So, that's what's been happening. It's crazy, but I think that's just because it's so different from what I'm used to. As I become more familiar with the driving situation over here and learn to prioritize and maximize my time in a work setting, I think things will settle down. My living arrangement is really nice. Even though it's a long drive, I've got family to come home to which clearly separates work from home and relaxes me. I know I'll have to move out eventually, but hopefully by then I'll have adjusted to it all a little more.

Oh, the good part about my commute (yes, there is one good thing) is that I get to listen to Kidd Kraddick for a whole hour! That commute is hard because I'm used to driving in Lubbock. I would complain about my 15 minute commute to work, which was far in Lubbock. That's nothing compared to this, but in Lubbock, I was always a little disappointed when I had to turn off the radio in the middle of a good segment. Now, I get plenty of listening time. I'm planning on getting one of those language learning courses, like Pimsleur, for Spanish or Italian, and using my afternoon commute to learn a new language. It'd be a shame to just let that hour go to waste without doing anything productive.

I think that's pretty much all I can think of to share right now. I'll try to get NY details up tomorrow, but I'll go ahead and post some NY pictures tonight.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Crazy week!

So.....work. Well, let's see. There were about 12 new hires in my training group, and there are three of us in IARCS, which is Internal Audit, Regulatory and Compliance Services. If you have no idea what that is, well, neither do I. I mean, I have a general description. Internal audit is like external audit except we audit internal controls, processes, technology, policies, and financial statements. The Regulatory and Compliance Services part means we consult on Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance for the companies. I'll have a better idea of what it is we do exactly in a couple of months, and I'll update as I learn more. But the thing is, these things aren't really covered in accounting classes. I'm the only accounting major in my group, so I'm probably a little more familiar with some of the concepts and frameworks we use, but we're all pretty much internal audit idiots right now. It should be interesting. I'm not worried or discouraged, though, because there are a lot of people in internal audit, and I'm sure they all entered without any idea what they'd be doing, too, and now they all seem to be just fine!

I know the weather's bad in Lubbock. We've had some weather here, too. So Monday was my first day, and the roads were REALLY icy. KPMG delayed opening until 10:00, but all of the new hires had no way of knowing that, so we showed up on time and ended up waiting for our stuff to start late. We met our transitional coaches and performance managers. Mine are both very nice...Richa and Jamele.

Tuesday, we went in and had our HR orientation. It was...not exciting. Then, we spent the rest of the day working on our online training. There are a ton of short "courses" we have to complete. They're long and boring, and they're all on the computer. After three straight days of doing that, my eyes are killing me.

Wednesday, the weather was bad again. Of course, most of the new hires still didn't have voicemail set up so we showed up at 8:00 only to learn that the office was delayed until 10:00. We got to work on our online training because we were all alone and had nothing else to do. Then, at 9:00 (after we'd all set up our voicemail), we got the message that the office was delayed until 12:00! So we used about an hour of our downtime to explore the area. We found the skywalks and tunnels that led to the food courts around the area. It's a pretty neat system!

Today, Hsin-mei (one of the other IARCS new hires) and I went out to Atmos Energy here in Dallas. That's were we are assigned for March through May. We met the team, had lunch, and continued working on our online training. We're out there again tomorrow, then we have the rest of January and February without anything scheduled, so we'll see where we end up for those weeks. Our performance managers are looking for somewhere to send us.

Sunday, we're all off to NYC for a week of advisory training with all of the US advisory new hires. I'm looking forward to that because I've never been to NYC in the winter! It's going to be so cold, but it will be partly sunny all week, so it should be nice. I LOVE New York!

Um, other details...I'm living way out in Sachse with my cousins. It's a long commute, but it's not too bad, and it's a good living arrangement. I drive about 20 minutes to the DART line then ride in for about 30 minutes. I get off about two minutes from the KPMG building. Of course, we're not in the building that often since we're always out at clients, so my commute will change a lot.

I think that's about all for this week. The weather's going to get bad again this weekend, but I'm pretty jealous that Lubbock's going to get a record snowfall. THAT'S where I want to be! That is, until Sunday when I'm off to NY!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Working Girl, Pt. I

Well, as of Monday I'm officially a working girl. I'm going to make this entry pretty short because I have to wake up REALLY early in the morning. I have to leave about 1h20 before I'm supposed to be at work. Back home, I could leave 10 minutes before I had to be at work! This will certainly take some getting used to, but I'm loving my living arrangement, so it's all worth it. Just in case anyone didn't know, I'm living with my cousin, his wife, and their 18-month-old little boy, Noah. He's quite the fun kid to be around. He does this thing where he leans forward on the couch and then slams his back into the back cushions. Last night, he decided to do it as I was leaning behind him to look at something Ryan was showing us, and the back of his head slammed into my nose. LOUD noise and quite painful at first, but it didn't hurt long and luckily it's not swollen or bruised enough to be noticeable.

Anyway, back to work. I drive about 20 minutes to the DART station in Garland, and then I ride the train (it's a 27 minute ride) and get off about two minutes from my office. The routine itself shouldn't be bad normally. It was yesterday and today because of this bizarre ice storm that hit. It was freezing! Anyway, the routine should be fine...it's just having to leave so early that is hard to handle!

Okay, I have to go to bed now so I can wake up on time in the morning. I actually overslept this morning. I did well yesterday, but I'm not sure what happened today. I may have mis-set my alarm or hit the "off" button instead of the "snooze" button, which I do often. Kyle (my cousin) is going to make sure I'm up tomorrow. It's a good thing I'm living with Kyle and Ryan (my surrogate father and mother)until I get used to this!

I'll post tomorrow night about my experiences so far at KPMG.