Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interviews, International Conferences, Business Trips

That's basically what a young professional's (my) first week at work looks like, although only the last part was related to the job I've recently started. To take it from the top:

My second interview for the Poland Asia Research Center has appeared
online. It was a lot of fun to talk to Erika and I think the interview's better than the first one, or at least I hope so. After all, I would love to learn how to interestingly interview people and how to best portray them with my questions and their answers.

Wednesday saw my debut as a kind of a TV journalist. Kinda because
the movie we were shooting won't be aired. Kinda because there was a cameraman, there were important people and there was I asking questions. The before mentioned Poland Asia Research Center was a co-organizer of this year's Think Tank Dialogue: Eastern Europe Asia conference and hosted a number of world's specialists and academics on Asian-European relations. We met in one of Marriott's conference rooms for a very good welcome dinner with delicious mini salads (oh, I learnt a new word. The mini salads as I call them are in fact ..  damn' I already forgot! help anybody?). The thing I didn't like so much is that I was, with almost all certainty, the only person with such a small knowledge about world's (and especially Asia's) current politics and economy. Also, where did my Japanese go when it was finally about to get handy?

Last week on Monday I was out to a bank with my boss in the morning and I was thanking him again for letting me take a day off on Thursday. No problem, said he. In the afternoon the boss gets an email and seems kinda surprised.
- What time does your thing end on Thursday
Well, about 10 pm, I will be there the whole day. Why? 
- We have to go to travel fairs in Poznan.
2 minutes later I get an email saying 'We leave on the 12 pm train'.
And I think 'dang'.

On the one hand really excited about the fairs and my first business trip, on the other
totally depressed, as Thursday was the first day of the actual conference and because of the trip I could only be there for the first 3 morning hours. First off, I was about to miss a most interesting two day event. Second, and more importantly, there were people counting on my being there and doing the interviews, as previewed much earlier. Luckily, they managed to find a girl to fill in for me (an actual reporter, mind you) and I felt a bit better about having to stand them up.
The 3.5 hrs on the train was spent working - drafting letters and dealing with customers. A quick taxi ride to the hotel, check in and 10 mins later already running to the fairs. Leaving a suitcase in another taxi's trunk, a frantic search for the driver whose phone number couldn't be found anywhere, a quick decision to run to the train station, getting the suitcase back and entering the fairs. Walking around, meeting all those travel agents, resting eyes on all those travel magazines, seeing all those foreigners trying to seduce me into visiting their country and doing business with them - I was in the right place. A stronger notion of the same came on Friday, while I was discussing potential co-operation with an African DMC. He was showing me the map, explaining which coconut farm our clients would go to, which shacks they'd spend the night in and all I could think to myself was "this is it, that's what I need to be doing" and smiling like an awfully goofy person. 

Oh, and another thing - how come Poznań's night life is so much better than Warsaw's? Why is the capital so much behind?

.     .     .     .      .

Today the second week of my career has started. Hopefully I won't cause any drama or catastrophes, just as I managed to avoid them last week.

The first thing I did after work was to go to a local Cutural Center to find out whom to speak to about a photo exhibition, will call them tomorrow morning. Also, they have their own online radio. I wonder if they ever do any travel material? If not, then it's high time they did, wouldn't you agree?

The second thing was to find out about the possibility and conditions of renting a danceroom for my upcoming workshops. I went to the same place I recorded in a year and a half ago for an online SYTYCD contest, a fitness center/gym right across from my house. I asked for the rates, the lady asked me for the reason and after a couple of minutes "Wait, aren't you that girl..?" "Yes, I think I am" "Well, you're hired. If you ever want to start teaching, I want you here".
Unfortunatelly, the financial proposition she could make was veeery unattractive but still, that was nice! So, I've rented the room for the 5th of Nov and that's when my Sexy Dance workshops part 1 will take place. Anyone interested gimmie a shout!

The third thing I did was figure out how to easily find more Poland based Asians for my interviews. To think I hadn't thought of it before..

And now it's time to read a bit more of my beloved P.J. O'Rourke 
(man, this guy and his writing are something else!).

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