More Good Times

Trip Start Dec 31, 2008
Trip End Mar 27, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, March 13, 2009

Well, it's been yet another great, though relatively uneventful week here in Sydney.  The week began with with a bang at the previously described Mardi Gras debacle.  Ryan's friends from Michigan took off to head back to Michigan on Sunday and things have very much returned back to normal. The weather in Sydney this time of year is really great- it rarely rains, its always in the high 70's or low 80's and the sun is almost always out.  It's very much like late August/early September in Chicago right now, with really comfortable evenings and little, if any, humidity. 

Not a whole lot happened early in the week.  I've been getting in some nice long runs around Centennial Park.  It's about a mile to run to the park entrance, then there's a roughly 3-mile loop around the park, and then a mile back, so five miles all in, with a few large hills in there to boot.  I've been doing that 3 or 4 times per week, so I'm getting into pretty decent shape.  I'm missing playing basketball, though.  At school, I usually play 2 or 3 times per week, but for insurance reasons, and due to my uncanny ability to suffer costly injuries when I play basketball, I haven't been able to play here at all.  It also doesn't help that I would have gotten to play against Chicago GSB at the United Center prior to a Chicago Bulls game if I hadn't come overseas.  Additionally, my section intramural team, the Poets, won a back-to-back championship this week, and I had to miss that as well. 

Another event I just missed at Kellogg was the Charity Auction Ball, which is a black-tie affair held annually where students donate items to be auctioned off via a silent acution, and is generally a fantastic time.  Then, 10 or so items (usually the "best" items donated for the event) are auctioned off via a live auction.  All kinds of things are donated, varying from the use of a professor's French Chateau or Aspen lodge, to a poker night with professors, to spots in fantasy baseball leagues, or, as my roommate Brian donated with two of our buddies, "Shanghai Massages". I donated (along with 19 of my best friends) a "Cubs Crawl", which consists of a pre-party at my apartment, then a trolley ride to a Cubs game (where as a bonus, they are playing the to-be 2009 World Series champion Reds), where we have 30 tickets together.  It was one of the events chosen for the live auction.  Nine of our female friends and one guy were the winners with a winning bid of $1,060, so I'm glad we were able to raise a nice sum for several charities. 

Even with these missed events, I clearly don't regret coming over here- it's been a fantastic experience.  Not a whole lot else happened this week.  A new bar with twenty high-end beers on tap from all over the globe just opened up down the street, and its my new favorite place to hang out here in Sydney.  It's a place where I can go and just sit down at the bar and have a beer, something I've found kind of difficult to find around here.  An American guy that graduated from Texas two years ago and who is headed to Washington U for med school next year is a bartender there, so he's someone to chat with when I'm in there.  He also happens to work at my school doing research, so I've seen him around quite a bit. 

One other notable thing I did this week was I met with my old company, Jones Lang LaSalle on Thursday.  The head of my old group in Chicago, the Capital Markets Group, put me in touch with the head of the group here in Australia and so I went down to their office in downtown to talk about the Australian market, the macro-economy and jobs at JLL.  While I'd prefer to be in Chicago after graduation, I'm willing to live just about anywhere where English is spoken, and I love Sydney, so I'm pretty interested in possibly interviewing here since their economy is in better shape than the U.S. one right now.  It would also bolster my resume to get some international work experience, which had I not gone to business school, I was planning on spending a year in London with JLL through their exchange program to get that experience.  The guy I met with was a really great, sharp guy and he was extremely willing to help me out.  We spoke for about 45 minutes or so.  Unfortunately, he doesn't have anything available right now but said if he hears of any openings within the firm or with clients, he'll keep me in mind.  There simply aren't any transactions occuring in the large commercial real estate arena because no one can get financing and the sellers and buyers are nowhere close to each other on pricing.  When no transactions are occurring, there are no job openings in Capital Markets, nor in acquisitions or dispositions, which is really what I'd like to be doing. 

Alright, this entry was a little longer than anticipated.  The only other items of interest that I did this week were going out.  Wednesday night is $2 steak night at a bar in Coogee Beach, so about 15 of us from school went down there, and what was supposed to just be a few drinks and dinner turned into me not getting home until midnight.  :Last night was our friends John and Lori's birthday party, so a bunch of us went out for that till the wee hours of the evening.  Well, that's all I've got.  The countdown has begun until I leave- only two weeks left.
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