Tag Archives: Life in California

New Year, New Career?

direction-255294_1920

NEW YEAR, NEW CAREER?

To say life has been a rollercoaster lately would be a total understatement.  These last couple months have been very challenging, and I needed to take a break from writing for a bit, even though I claim it is a kind of therapy for me.  But, as we all know, life happens, and we do have to prioritize certain things.

I usually start to slow down during the winter months for a bit, not being able to be as active as during spring or summer. Piled on top of this was my career situation.  I did start an internship in August, which I unfortunately had to terminate in November.  I had such a great time at Tricoast Worldwide, and it really wasn’t easy to leave.  I learned so much and had wonderful coworkers who made work feel like fun.  I loved the family environment so much more than working for big corporations like I did before.

But, as another saying tells, if one door closes, another one opens, which I did not see at first.  As not many of you might know, I do work as an independent contractor for an app that provides dog walking, boarding, and sitting.  I started doing this job on the side when I was still at Tricoast, but it became my full-time position once I quit.  I am a huge dog lover and have to confess that I was actually a little excited, yet also scared, to take on this career shift.

I personally rather am with animals than sitting at a desk all day, staring at a computer screen.  I also wasn’t ready to start writing applications for PR jobs again, after it took so much effort to eventually land an unpaid position- yeah, no thanks.  I told myself to take it easy over the holidays, and once New Year’s hit, I would feel refreshed and ready to give applying another go.

But you know what? It didn’t happen like that.  Yes, I did take it easy over the holidays and got some much needed rest.  But I wasn’t feeling refreshed and ready to write applications.  All I wanted was to work with dogs.  I know that probably sounds ridiculous to many people, especially in expensive California.

But I am happy.  I am truly happy to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job to me.  It never feels like work for me, and every day is different.  This, I believe, is what your dream job has to feel like.  And, since I have put a couple of these in this post already, here is another smart saying by Mark Twain that sums it up perfectly: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I do am aware that I will not be able to perform this job forever.  At the end of each day, I can always feel every muscle in my legs from being on my feet all day.  Also, there are no benefits, and I have to work rain or shine in order to make ends meet. But I see this position as my ground base.

I would love to be able to combine my degree in communications with working with animals at some point.  But I am not stressing out about it at the moment.  I rather enjoy what I do, be able to save up some fundamentals, and then start taking the next step of the career ladder. And also find the time to write more again.

Image: pixabay.com
———————————————————————————————–————
Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

———————————————————————————————–———–

My Internship with CBS – Part Two

 

hands-1445472_1920

My Internship with CBS – Part Two

I hope everyone had a great, relaxing, fun-filled Labor Day, not worrying about having to be at the office at 9 a.m. and fighting through rush hour.  Speaking of heavy traffic and labor, beginning of this year, I made my first big steps toward a future in the entertainment business.

Even though I had been affiliated with the Newport Beach Film Festival and got a glimpse into the film industry, the doors that were about to open for me in January had a major impact on which route I wanted to approach.  But before that, I had some hurdles to tackle.

The first one was the phone interview I talked about last week.  I was nervous, but I managed to stay calm and professional, and I somehow must have left a good impression because I was invited to an actual in-house interview during that same phone call.

Saying that I was excited about this opportunity is a clear understatement.  I swore myself that this is my chance to lay the building blocks towards a great career, and I didn’t want to jinx anything.  I took the preparation for the upcoming interview to a whole other level.  Don’t get me wrong, I do prepare for every interview properly, but I definitely took it up a notch for this one.

I started studying the backgrounds of the company that same night, thinking about every possible question they could ask me.  I practiced my answers to any potential questions while taking a shower, while watching TV, or while driving.  I also laid out my outfit a day in advance, figuring out that I had to run to the store to get a more appropriate blazer.  I also had to buy a watch to cover my wrist tattoo and got my nails done.

In addition to all this, I rented a car for the day of the interview, just to make sure I would definitely make it without having to worry about my personal, older vehicle to break down.  Oh boy, that interview preparation probably cost me more than what I got paid the first week of actually working at the company.

When the big day arrived, I made sure to leave the house two-and-a-half hours in advance just to avoid crazy LA traffic.  Of course, I arrived way too early, but thankfully The Grove was located right next to the interview site, so I spent some time there.  30 minutes before my appointment, I started driving around the studio  a couple times, being amazed with how complex the lot actually was.  All I kept thinking was: I have to go in there in 25 minutes.  Me, the German girl with the funny accent was about to step into the grand halls of fabulous TV making.  Yeah, I was intimidated.

Reminding me to keep it together, I followed the instructions I was given by my future supervisor and parked the car in the lot after I passed the guard at the gate, who took my information.  I confidently stepped out of the car, making my way toward the grand entrance, where another guard greeted me and asked for my information, before I was guided upstairs to actually meet with my future supervisors who were conducting the interview.

On the third floor, I was friendly greeted by one of the women, leading me to the office of the Vice President of Communications.  I instantly felt welcomed by the two women, and when they started asking me questions, I was most of the time able to hide my nervousness.  After the interview was done, I was being told that I would be notified during the next couple of weeks. I felt beyond relieved stepping out of the building.  I took a deep breath before I had to make my way to join in the fun of driving in LA traffic.

Ten minutes into my drive back, my phone started ringing, displaying a number with an LA area code.  I pulled over onto the nearest available parking lot, when I saw that the person who called had left me a voice mail.  Instantly, I dialed my voice mail, and I couldn’t believe what I just heard.  It was the HR lady from CBS, letting me know that I got the job.

I don’t even know how to describe the emotions I felt in that moment, but I was freaking happy, to say the least.  I actually managed to land a paid internship with one of the most successful television networks in the USA.  And they wanted me, the humble German girl with the funny accent.   At that time, I had no idea how this internship was about to challenge me.  But more about that next time…

My Internship with CBS – Part One

clapper-board-152088_1280

My Internship with CBS – Part One

I have always been a fan of television and movies since I was a little girl.  Watching Saturday morning cartoons while my parents were preparing breakfast belonged to my childhood ritual.  Throughout my teenage years, I went to the movies with friends almost every weekend.  During the week, I kept up with my go-to soap operas before ending the day.  Back then it didn’t really occur to me to pursue a career in entertainment, it was more leisure for me after a long day of school, homework, and activities.

That changed though when I was about to transfer from Community College to California State University, Fullerton a couple years ago.  One of the assignments in my English Writing course required us students to write a compare and contrast essay, in which we were supposed to compare two potential transfer universities with each other.  I decided to look more into the Cal State schools in my surrounding neighborhoods and wrote about Long Beach and Fullerton.

Back then, I was still a Business Administration major and, therefore, looked into the specific programs this major had to offer.  One thing that caught my attention was the fact that Fullerton offered the concentration Entertainment and Tourism. Since I experienced the business studies so far as pretty dry, I had the impression that this concentration could put a fun twist on the profession.  But during the following semester I realized that this area was not supposed to be my path, and I changed my major to Communications with a concentration in Public Relations.

For a little while, I put the thought of working in entertainment to rest, solemnly focusing on getting good grades.  But my time to shine finally came during my last semester.  The last course I needed to be able to graduate was the Internship course.  Not exactly knowing which particular field of PR I desired to approach, I applied to several positions in different fields such as nonprofit, entertainment, tourism and fashion.  After applying for more than a month with not much success, I just prayed to get something just to be able to fulfill my graduation requirements.

Finally, in early December, I received a call from my school for an event planning internship with one of the university’s professors who was looking for a German-speaking intern. The informational interview went really well, and I was just happy to have an outlook for something.  The professor told me she would get back to me the next couple days after conducting additional interviews.

That same night, I received an email from CBS, which I had applied to a while ago and totally forgotten about it.  The email stated that I had been chosen for a phone interview.  Needless to say, I was majorly excited about the possible opportunity to land a position with one of the most successful networks in the United States.

The phone interview was scheduled for Thursday.  On Wednesday, I received an email from the lady that I interviewed with the day before, telling me that I got the job offer.  But in that moment, I didn’t want to settle with that just so that I had something.  I wanted to see if I could get my foot into the entertainment door, so I told her that I wouldn’t be able to commit until the end of the following week.  She understood, but made it clear that she wanted me on board.

The next day, I was a nervous wreck, highly anticipating the phone call from CBS.  At 11:30 in the morning, my phone rang, and I told myself to keep it together.  And I did.  In fact, after a short conversation during which I had to answer a couple of questions about my PR experiences and why I want to work in publicity, I was being invited to an actual in-house interview.  I was beyond enthusiastic, being one step closer to a possible internship with a renowned company.  But that is a story I will continue to tell next time…

Images: pixabay.com
———————————————————————————————–————
Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

———————————————————————————————–———–

.

Life Is Not Always All Sunshine

FullSizeRender (6)

Life Is Not Always All Sunshine

Even though I’m so in love with living in California, there was a time when my life wasn’t all sunshine and beaches.  It happened in early 2014.  I came home after a four week trip from Europe.  I am usually excited to come back after a vacation, but that time was different.  I still don’t understand why, but I fell into a deep hole; a very deep hole.

I realized it a couple days after I had arrived.  I wasn’t eager to see anyone or meet friends.  I didn’t feel like going out or being active.  I didn’t work out at all.  All I wanted to do was lie in bed and be left alone.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone- in person, on the phone, or via Skype.  I tried to keep up a straight face when I was around my roommate.  I didn’t want to become a burden to anyone.

The only thing that gave me a little bit of joy during that time was my roommate’s dog, who I loved to death.  She was allowed to stay in my room with me anytime, and I liked to take her on strolls.  At least I got some fresh air.

During this time, I started studying at California State University, Fullerton.  While I was excited at the beginning of the semester, I soon started to see school as a burden.  I managed to show up to my classes and do the required homework.  But I didn’t want to get involved with people.  I basically showed up shortly before class started, so I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and left right after.  I didn’t care about getting involved in school clubs and organizations.

Then, end of February 2014, I had four girlfriends from Germany coming to visit me.  I hoped that their visit would help me to get out of my funk.  And for a short while, it did.  Thanks to short trips to Las Vegas and San Francisco, I got a little bit distracted.  But once my girls left to travel back to Europe my deep hole welcomed me again with open arms.

I was deeply missing my friends in Europe, who have known me for many years, while I was still building up friendships in the U.S.  I was also still working on moving on from my relationship with the American guy who I met in Germany.  Those were just some of the things that took a toll on me.  So I continued with the “lifestyle” I started practicing the previous weeks- staying in my room the majority of time.

In late March, I had a trip planned to visit my best friend in Dallas.  I was staying out there over Spring Break, helping my friend and her husband with the move into their new house.  At least, I could be helpful.  I had a really good week in Dallas.  We had some much needed girl time, and she introduced me to the guy who finally helped me getting over my ex.  Even though it was just flirting and he was living in Texas while I was in California, it showed me that there were other guys out there I actually found attractive.

But once I headed back to Orange County- well, you kind of guessed it: same thing happened, no motivation, no thrive.  I was getting really worried and wanted to figure out a way to get out of it.  Then, I realized, that one of my good girlfriends from High School, who lives in England, went through such a stage in her life as well.  She had actually been diagnosed with depression.  I didn’t want to think that I was depressive, but I wanted to get her advice anyways.  We talked a long time via Skype.  It was really, really helpful.

The next day, I decided to do something for myself.  I went to get my hair as well as my nails done.  And, as silly that might sound, it helped.  I felt better about myself.  Shortly after, I decided to join a meetup group, just to meet some more like minded people who were interested in more than just drinking and going out to the bars.  Little did I know by that time that through this group I gained some really great new friends, who I am still hanging out with at least once week.

I was still very cautious of my feelings, but my life definitely improved for the better.  I think I was mostly relieved that I didn’t need any professional help to get out of this.  I swore myself to never get back into this stage, and to enjoy life to the fullest from that point on.  And so I did.

Image: © Anne-Kathrin Schulte
———————————————————————————————–————
Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

———————————————————————————————–———–

.

Writing Is My Therapy

pen-543858_1920

Writing Is My Therapy

“You are kind of old to study!” “When can I expect more grandchildren?” “You are not the youngest anymore; it won’t be easy to find a job.” “Wait, you are relaxing and not writing applications?” “You won’t find a job with all your tattoos, and now you want more?” “You are working out too much; I don’t want you to get too skinny.”  These are just a few examples of what I get to hear from friends and family who think they know how I should live my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I am open to constructive criticism and well-meant advice, but I also do believe that I know best how I want to live MY life.

Yes, I do have tattoos, and I am not ashamed of every single one.  I understand that some jobs require you to cover them up, and I was pretty successful doing so during my previous internships with renowned companies.  I know that I can’t be too picky at the beginning of my career. But further down my path, I want to work somewhere where I am accepted for what I bring to the table, not if I have ink on my skin or not.

Speaking of jobs, my dream profession definitely includes traveling.  Lots of it, to be exact.  Something my family is not too thrilled about.  But let me explain something: I am not into the cookie-cutter life.  I do not desire to own a house one day, I’d rather be moving around the world.  I do not intend to have children; I want to be flexible to go wherever the wind takes me without worrying if this lifestyle is appropriate for my kids.

I do not want to be stuck in an office 12 hours a day and not be able to enjoy life.  I do believe that it takes a lot of someone’s shoulder when you earn a $100+K a year, but if you never get to enjoy it because you are continuously working, than that is not worth it. Of course, we all know that the California lifestyle is pretty expensive, and I am not saying that I wouldn’t want to earn a substantial amount of money to be able to afford my life here.

But to me, it is all about balance.  I truly do believe that we all need days off to recover, or that we all deserve a relaxing vacation for all the hard work we are providing to pay the bills. I do work hard: I nanny for two families while writing this column.  I also am a social media volunteer for an animal sanctuary, and I also draft countless applications.  So if I decide to relax one day instead of writing an application, than I do so.

I apologize that this post has such a negative undertone this week.  But writing is therapy for me, and maybe one or more of you have experienced the same issue and can relate.  We all should be able to live our life how it works best for us.  I do not tell you to not have kids, so please don’t tell me that I am missing out on life if I don’t plan on having any.

I do not tell you to go to the gym more often, so please don’t tell me I overdo it with exercise.  And first and foremost, do not ever tell anyone they are too old to change their life by going back to school or planning a new career.  We only have this one life to live, and it is never too late to change something for the better if you are willing to do so.

Image: pixabay.com
———————————————————————————————–————
Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

———————————————————————————————–———–

.