Six years after graduation, I get a job

Last Wednesday, nearly six years after graduating from Rice, I signed the paperwork for my very first full-time employee position. It’s been a good run, with a solid mix of grad school, self-employment, unemployment, and contracting positions, but with the economy going to hell in a handbasket, I feel like now is a good time to be gainfully employed.

I’m now the Analytics and Search Manager at Tableau Software, where I’ve been working as a full-time contractor for a while now. My work focuses mainly on driving lead generation through the website – testing and optimizing the website experience, as well as increasing traffic through search engine optimization. I’m excited about a few of the projects I have on the horizon, though it’s frustrating that I can’t be as open about my work as I was when I was just working for myself.

In other news, though, I’m thrilled to have great health insurance again, for the first time since leaving graduate school, which means that it’s time to start looking around for a Brazilian jiu jitsu gym again…

29. March 2009 by Niels
Categories: Personal | 1 comment

Baconfest and neuroplasticity

1. Baconfest 2009 was spectacular and bacon ice cream is delicious. God bless the Vita-Mix.

2. Reading an interesting book on neuroplasticity. Craig points out this means I may be able to cure my own faceblindness. More on this soon…

28. February 2009 by Niels
Categories: Personal | 1 comment

Catching up

With my new full-time job (which I’m loving, by the way) it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with this blog. I plan to make more of an effort, though I do feel somewhat stifled by a need to present a more “professional” image. Though the devil’s advocate in me might point out that’s it’s too late for that.

I’ve been trying to use this blog mostly as a journal for myself, something to look back on in thirty years and remember what my life was like now. To that end, here are some things from the past few weeks that I want to remember:

  • Sledding down Queen Anne Hill
  • Giving an random runway model a 4am tour of Seattle
  • Changing my first flat tire
  • Trying online dating (hilarity ensues)
  • First solo potluck
  • Validation of edible googly eyes
  • Trying and failing to sleep through dogs barking

Like I said, just notes to myself. Sorry, I’ll try to make the next post more interesting…

17. January 2009 by Niels
Categories: Personal | 3 comments

Seattle’s winter wonderland

Despite nearly getting stuck in Seattle for Christmas, I’ve decided that I love the heavy snow. With Safeway, PCC, and my office within walking distance of my house, I really don’t need to drive anywhere. Apparently others in my neighborhood felt the same way, because after the recent snowfall, the streets in Queen Anne were empty of cars but full of people. There were people walking up and down the streets, filling the bars – all of a sudden I lived in a walking city!

There were snowboarders riding down my street, snowmobiles and cross country skiers zipping around my neighborhood, and the south side of Queen Anne hill was full of sledders. It seems like everyone in Seattle turns into Macgyver on snow days. I saw people sledding on cardboard, rubbermaid lids, recycle bins, trash can lids, and even tables. I’m actually a little sad that I’m now in Maryland, missing the tail end of it all.

24. December 2008 by Niels
Categories: Personal | 6 comments

I like Seattle in the winter

The snow was just beginning to fall when I drove my roommate to the airport at 4:30 am. When I woke back up for the second time, there was a good two or three inches on the ground and Seattle had shut down.

I tried the “working from home” thing, realized I couldn’t live without dual monitors, and headed out the door to walk to work. It took less than a minute for me to discover the layer of ice underneath the snow, resulting in me sliding a good 200 feet down my hill. (Mostly on my feet, but not entirely.)

The situation hadn’t changed much by the time I left work, so I ended up walking to the top of Queen Anne hill to meet a friend for happy hour. The roads were still covered with ice and empty of cars. But people were out anyway – walking their dogs, carousing at pubs, or just wandering around the frozen winterscape. All of a sudden, I lived in the middle of a walking city. It was fantastic.

I also took this opportunity to sled down Queen Anne hill, one of the longest, steepest hills in Seattle – now closed to traffic for the night. We tried cardboard boxes from Trader Joe’s to start, but found that the trashcan lids from Kerry Park made much better sleds. Hot cocoa followed and I’m now typing away in front of a roaring fire. A good day, overall.

19. December 2008 by Niels
Categories: Personal | 7 comments

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