J and I arrived in DC Thursday night. The next morning, I had a second in-person interview with the environmental nonprofit in downtown DC. Due to nerves and my usual insomnia, I had trouble sleeping Thursday evening, and then I was up early again Friday morning. There was some kind of train delay on the metro, but it was waay early. So we had breakfast with the in-laws. Every time I go back to Maryland, I have a tough time adjusting to the pace there. During breakfast, I was internally stressing out wanting to get to the interview site so I could cram some more info and mentally prepare, but I told myself to try and maintain some perspective. There was plenty of time, and really, was breakfast with the in-laws too much to ask? No. Seriously, I needed to calm the fuck down.
And anyway, by the time breakfast was done, the trains were back to running on schedule. So John dropped me off at the metro station, and I arrived at the office building still way early. Of course, every time I have an interview, I go crazy with having to use the bathroom like every 30 minutes! That said, I didn’t want to check in at the receptionist desk just yet, so I went out in search of a public restroom. I ended up going across the street and intersection to the National Postal Museum, one of many public museums in DC with free admission. So yeah, entry is free but you gotta go through security and everything just to get to the restroom! Yes, it’s overkill but hey, I was desperate. Regardless, I got to see the insides of a cool, old building…
The interview itself went ok. The manager appeared in a dress, and she was all tatted up– like above the chest, on the fingers, arms, legs, etc.! I guess I wasn’t THAT surprised considering I had researched her profile beforehand and known she was from LA, if that says anything. Plus, she used to work in the music industry. Anyway, she said she was glad I didn’t wear a suit. Well yeah, I’m from California!!
So all the stuff I had prepped for the interview? She asked nothing related to any of it. No org history; nothing about the technical platforms they were using; nothing about current products and technologies out on the market. She just wanted to hear about my project management experience. By the end of the meeting, it was pretty clear that she was worried that I didn’t have experience drafting formal project work plans and having to document EVERYthing. And I get it: none of my other roles ever really demanded explicit documentation… it sounds like this org relies super heavily on documentation– partly for measuring and gauging results but also for major CYA internally. She said she would feel better if I had a PMP certification… And then on top of that, the largest project I’ve handled is only a small fraction of the size and magnitude this role calls for…. So, I left there kinda questioning whether things would proceed.
After the interview, I headed over to the Verizon Center to meet my parents and a prospective property manager for their condo in DC. The agent seemed responsive and savvy, so I’m hoping this arrangement will work out. I just asked for some references and there are a few things I want to negotiate in the contract. Otherwise, that’s good to go.
After that meeting, my parents and I drove to see my grandparents. They appeared well. Grandma has slowed down quite a bit: she looks rather sleepy and tired, but grandpa is still very sharp, especially for a 90+ year old. We went to a local Chinese restaurant and ordered a few of my fav dishes: Taiwanese rice noodles and Beijing duck. So yummy!!
The drive home took forever due to the holiday traffic, but I received a pleasant surprise email from the nonprofit… I’m invited to a third in-person interview with the IT director on Tuesday, the day after we fly back home. Yay! So, to recap the process, I applied at the end of June, and since then, I’ve done the phone screen, an interview with the CTO, an interview with the line manger, and now I have this upcoming interview with the IT director. I guess that’s a good thing, right?
Overall, the trip back East went well. My dad actually planned some outdoor activities for us, which is different. He was asking me what we like to do, and I said, no museums but outdoor activities in nature. The next day, we went for a short, half-mile hike to Cunningham Falls State Park. It was hot and muggy (not to mention mid-day, because I slept my sorry ass in), but my parents were really good sports about it. Really accommodating, and I appreciated their gesture. After the hike, we re-hydrated on drinks and watermelon and then headed off to Emmitsburg…along the drive, I was reminded of all the churches and religious institutions all over MD. Mount St. Mary’s University plus the National Shrine of Elizabeth Seton… pretty places to visit and sight see, but religion always freaks me out a little.
So now we’re on the plane. Bubs got wifi, so I prepped a few more job apps and caught up on my usual social media sites. I’m really pooped. I hope I’ll still be able to bring my A game for the interview tomorrow.