Sunday, March 30, 2008

I jinxed it

Just so all you people out there who are enjoying spring can know, it snowed here last night and it's still snowing! On March 30th! Luckily the snow this morning is pretty wet so it has melted most of the snow from last night, but still, it's snowing! I thought I was home free for a while. I guess I jinxed the weather when I wrote a post about the great spring weather. One funny thing that came of this, was this couple opened their door this morning to go to church and I heard him say, "What in the world?!" Apparently they hadn't look out their window yet.

I am very jealous of those who live in warmer climates. My sister Jill went to the beach this weekend and had a bonfire at night and Ja's brother Greg sent us a picture of the cherry blossom's in D.C. This gives me hope of living in a warmer place one day.

Now I'll stop complaining and tell you our events of the weekend. Ja went to Denver for a Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) conference. BAP is a fraternity that the accounting students are in here at B.Y.U. He went on an all expense paid trip to Denver. He had a lot of fun with his friends. They gave a presentation while they were there and Ja said it went well. They talked about the future of BAP and what needs to be done to make sure the fraternity is still successful. They got to explore down town Denver a little bit and Ja said it was a very cool city. He even brought be back a postcard.

Fortunately/Unfortunately, my parents were up in Deer Valley this weekend so I could go up there while Ja was gone. It was unfortunate that Ja couldn't be there, but I was glad I didn't have to stay home alone. I went up friday night and had dinner at our friend's house. Every year a group of people from my home ward comes up and goes skiing in Deer Valley. Friday is when the kids from Provo come up to visit their parents. It was really fun to be with everyone. Everyone there was either a leader of mine, or my friends parents so I know everyone pretty well. It's so fun because they have all known each other for so long so there are so many jokes and stories shared. The experience made me want to settle down somewhere and stay there for awhile so we can have great friends and take trips together. Then it also made me sad because we have friends like that right now but we are all going our separate ways soon. But, if there is one thing I've learned from Dorothy, it's that we don't have to lose contact with old friends. She has friends all over the place! So whether or not you like it friends, you'll be getting our Christmas cards for years to come!

It's a Miracle!

I got a response in my e-mail today from PwC that welcomed me to the firm. That was one of the most comforting e-mails that I have ever received. It's amazing to think how far Laura and I have come in the past couple of years. It wasn't too long ago that I was completely confused as to what I was to do. As of a year ago, I had no major, no interest in any major (considering that the one I wanted to do I couldn't) and no idea what I was going to do for a living let alone for the next few years. Then, by some miracle, I got accepted into the accounting program. Since that time I have met wonderful friends in the accounting program, created relationships with professors and members of accounting firms and honor societies, and learned a great deal about the business world. I have also had opportunities to meet with accounting firms, and that is what this blog post is about.
A few months ago accounting firms were interviewing for summer internships. Laura and I have always wanted to move back to the Los Angeles area, so I was always planning on doing an internship there. Then one day, my brother Greg suggested that we try to get an internship in the D.C. area because that is where he had moved to and I guess he figured that having an accountant close by would be helpful. So, Laura and I talked about it for a while and we decided that we may as well give it a shot; after all, if we didn't like the area we could always go back to L.A. So, I applied to Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Deloitte didn't have any openings in the area, so they were out of the question. I interviewed with Grant Thornton, E&Y, and PwC on campus and met some really nice partners from each firm. It was quite the stressful process considering that it all happened during exam week. A couple of weeks later I got e-mails and phone calls from E&Y and PwC offering me a flyback interview (Grant Thornton declined) and I figured that I would give it a shot even though I was really nervous. I had even considered not doing an internship because I was so scared to go to the east coast. It's not that it is such a scary place, it is just that Laura and I have never lived over there and Laura had never even been over there before going to Jacob's baptism. So, I accepted the invitation and prepared for round two of interviews.
The flyback to visit with PwC went very smoothly. The flight was great, I got to stay at the Ritz Carlton and have dinner at Maggianos. The recruiter was fantastic and the people that I met were great. Everything could not have gone smoother, and that scared me a little bit. For me, nothing goes that well, and I had never considered working for a company like PwC (a multi-billion dollar company working with multi-billion dollar companies) because I had always planned on being a magician or a school teacher or something. The whole experience was incredible and I knew that I wanted to work for a firm like PwC. The interviews themselves went very well and I had a very good feeling about the whole experience. One down, one to go.
A couple of weeks later I flew back to D.C. (Laura came along with me using dad's delta points) to interview with E&Y and again, stayed at the Ritz Carlton and ate at a great restaurant. Unfortunately one partner could not be at the dinner table because he was ill, and the other partner at the table came very late. This evening turned out to be a little difficult to get a good picture of what Ernst and Young was like. The next day a few more people were sick and it affected the interview process in a negative way. I only get this chance to see the McLean office and I have to make a decision off of what I encounter, and so far this hadn't been a totally positive experience. By the end of the day things had gotten better, but overall I had been more impressed with the office of PwC over E&Y. Now it was time to make a decision.
When I came home I was really confused as to what I should do. I loved my visit with PwC, but I knew that my visit with E&Y was probably a fluke and that I could be just as happy there. As I began sharing my experience with people, Greg suggested that I talk with the recruiters and professors and professionals. So, I talked to my financial teacher, professor Budd, and she gave me some great life advice- when she chose a firm, it was the firm her husband was comfortable with. I then talked to recruiters and Phillip from Greg's ward in Virginia who happens to work for PwC. Everyone had great advice and really helped in the decision making process, but when I talked with Phillip, he really washed away any fears that Laura and I had. In the end, it came down to where did I fit? I decided that I fit in the office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and have felt good about that decision ever since I made it.
Laura and I are now preparing to go to Washington D.C. and for the first time live on the east coast. We are excited for all of the new experiences, good and bad, that we will have over there and we have now come to the conclusion that we could live over there if that were the right thing to do. We have gone from feeling excited to feeling scared to now feeling relieved that everything has worked out and that we feel okay about the entire decision of working for the firm I will be working for in the location that I will be working in. We have seen the blessings of heaven poured out and thank Heavenly Father for preparing both of us to come to this crossroads and get through successfully. I know that this is a usual path for many graduates and seems routine for any individual going through the accounting program at BYU; however, it was anything but routine for Laura and me. This truly has been a miracle in our eyes and we truly feel very blessed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter!

I just thought I would wish everyone a Happy Easter this Sunday! We hope you all have wonderful family dinners together!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

There's something in the air

The weather was so great today! It really felt like spring and I loved it. In the mail today I got my Kraft food magazine and the opening page has a letter from the editor. I really liked what she shared.
"When someone coined the phrase, "there's something in the air," they must've been talking about spring. Spring air smells so good to me. It's crisp and it signals that something new is ahead."
This is especially true for us this year because everything ahead of us is new. We are going somewhere new this summer, getting a new job, and moving to a new location. We can't wait. Bring it on spring!

You know what comes after spring? Summer! I love summer, I life for summer. I love being outside, having the warm air blowing on your skin, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, jumping into a cool pool, playing outside with friends, going on fun trips. It's all so great! So summer, can you hurry and come please?! I'm getting tired of being locked up inside!

Ernst & Young

For Ja's birthday we were able to go to D.C. again because Ja had a interview with E&Y. At first he didn't like the firm but at the end of the interview he liked them more and more. If anything, it was good for Ja to go so he can make a better decision between E&Y and PwC. That's the next big decision we have to make. They are both good firms, it's so hard to decide! We'll let you know when we decide.

We went to dinner at a restaurant in Alexandria called Fish Market for Ja's birthday. The food was really good and so was the town! We really liked the city and we are considering moving there when we move to D.C. after Ja graduates. The ambiance of the city is so charming because all the buildings are so old looking but have newer shops and restaurants in them. The downtown street has trees lined with white lights which was so cute. They even have people dressed up and diving tours like this!

The rest of the trip was filled with Ja running around with Brigham and Luc, and a few monuments. Those nephews sure wear him out, but they all love it. The first thing Brigham said to Ja when we got there (besides asking for his surprise) was, "Uncle Ja we can do Jedi training today can't we?" We took some pictures so I'll post them later.

It was a really fun weekend and we were said to leave because the weather was perfect!

Iwo Jima

Here is another post of our latest D.C. trip. We visited the Iwo Jima Memorial. Once again, it's huge.It is 78 feet tall. It cost $850,000 to build, which was all donated by former Marine Corps and families. No public funds were used to pay for it. The thing weighs 20 tons! It was molded off site so when they moved it to the location they used a truck convoy. Surrounding the memorial is a field of grass where they hold concerts in the summer. Next to Iwo Jima is the bell tower that the Netherlands gave us. It's huge too. On selected days someone plays the bells in the summer. We are hoping to be able to hear it this summer.

This is the front of the memorial.

Here is Brigham and Luc enjoying the day with Uncle Ja.

Here is Ja's favorite shot to take. The memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.

I do think one thing is funny on the memorial. Going all around the top are the battles, wars, and other events that the Marine Corps helped with. I know Virginia is a Southern state, but for the Civil War it says "War Between the States." I thought they would have been over that in 1954.

Air Force Mermorial

On our last trip to D.C. we were able to see a few more memorials. We went to the Air Force Memorial, which is much cooler in person than it appears from a distance. The 3 pilars represent the smoke that comes out of the jet planes while they are flying. Like everything else around there, it is huge as you can tell by the little people in the picture.

Ja and little Harry Potter are standing next to three air force soliders, which are also very big. Nothing is life size around there.

In case you ever go to this memorial, you aren't allowed to walk on the grass, fyi.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

D.C. here we come!

I wanted to post the new information we received on monday. Ja was accepted for an internship at PwC this summer! We are so excited. He still has another interview with E&Y next weekend, but at least we can for sure go to D.C. this summer. We are excited that we can finally start planning the rest of our lives, and our fun drive across the country. Congrats Ja!