[photopress:selling_peaches.jpg,full,alignright]Thanks to both Ardell and Joel, I’ve been tapped to list five things you may not know about me… Not sure where to start, I decided to focus today’s theme on some fun jobs (but I won’t go so far as to take you back to the days of selling fruit on the streets of LA! LOL):
1) At 16 years old, I spent the summer working as an ice cream scooper at a Haagen Dazs shop in Paris. At the time (early 90s), Haagen Dazs was all the rage in Europe, so it felt like I was in the center of the universe. Needless to say, I learned a lot working around a bunch of older (early 20s!) Parisian models for a summer, although my French never got very good because all the girls wanted to learn to speak “American” as oppose to their school-taught “English”. One of the highlights (that I can discuss in a real estate blog) was blasting Nirvana on the shops speakers (loud!) after-hours while closing the shop down. At the time, Nirvana’s Nevermind album had not yet been released in Europe (at least everyone around acted like it had not!), so having a copy turned out to be a HUGE hit.
2) The next career arc came during my UC Santa Cruz years when I was studying Environmental Studies… At 19, I drove to Alaska to work for consumer interesting group, AKPirg, in order campaign for “Campaign Finance Reform”. (I find it more than mildly amusing that 10 years later, their lead issue is still campaign finance reform.) While raising money and making a big fuss about all things political and environmental, I was getting paid to travel around the state and made many national park stops! Grizzlies in Denali, hiking under glaciers in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and that long, long, long Alaskan highway are all unforgettable experiences… I guess I wasn’t so bad at raising money for causes, because later in the summer I was asked to work for the USPirg office in Chapel Hill and was given the hilarious opportunity to canvass Jesse Helms in an effort to get him to join the Sierra Club! I guess I don’t have Bono’s magnetism, because despite a good 15 minute conversation, I couldn’t get him to join up for even the basic membership! 🙁
3) At 22, while studying Engineering at UC Berkeley, I decided to spend a summer working as a student-researcher for the Pavement Research Center. Believe it or not, this was a fascinating job that brought me up and down (and up and down) the state taking samples from test pavements in order to see the effects of some experimental pavement mixtures under different conditions. The pavement job was really good to me (financially), so I was able to stash some cash away for the school year and still take my girlfriend, Anna, on a cross-country trip via drive-away cars for the last few weeks before school started.
Our first assignment was to drive a car to Charlotte, NC (from Berkeley, CA) and we took I-40 almost all the way. Some of our stops including an evening in Las Vegas, a day on Lake Mead, hiking around the Grand Canyon, wondering in Santa Fe, eating huge steaks in Oklahoma City, dancing (and more dancing) at Elvis Week in Memphis, visiting the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham, and shopping in Atlanta. For the return trip, we took the northern route (roughly I-80) with stops along the backroads of West Virginia (just in time to watch Bill Clinton give his famous mea culpa speech at our hotel room), a county fair in Kentucky, a Second City performance in Chicago, the Iowa State Fair, an evening in Boulder, CO, a hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park, and a hike on the Great Salt Lake. The kicker is that we did all of this in just a little over two weeks!
4) After graduating from Berkeley, I spent the first seven years of my professional career as a planner/engineer for a transportation consulting firm. This was interesting work in that I got to spend a lot of time working with local government officials to improve their transportation, and in particular their transit, systems. I worked all over the west coast for clients like BART, SF MUNI, SCAG, MAG, Portland’s Metro, and King County Metro, Sound Transit, WSDOT and the City of Seattle and became somewhat of an expert in travel demand modeling and GIS. Despite lots of good opportunities ahead (transportation in every American city will get worse before it gets better!), I knew it was time to look for new opportunities when Rain City Guide started to take off…
5) About eight months ago, I jumped off the engineering bridge and went to work for Move. One of the things I’ve learned is that while the technology (or secret sauce) behind large websites can be complex, it is the business development and marketing opportunities that most interest me. Hence, about a month ago, I switched out of our product development team and into our marketing team (although things are never that simple… :)). Probably the best news (at least for me) is that this switch means I’ll be able to come out of my dark cave and blog a bit more during the next year!
No perpetuation of memes from me! 🙂