Mittwoch, 25. Juli 2012

The final countdown...

"We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back
To earth, who can tell
I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground (leaving ground)
Will things ever be the same again
It's the final countdown..." - Europe - The Final Countdown

In 10 hours I'm off the ground from Vienna International Airport heading towards New York, where I will spend the upcoming 7 months of my life!
Having my mother and sister as company makes the first visit to the city that never sleeps more comfortable. Nevertheless I have to leave a lot of loved ones in Europe, some of them already pronounced interest in coming for a visit :)))
Now that I finally finished packing - the most important materialistic things are packed in 2 suitcases (who would have believed that, but well I had some great learnings from going to London for 6 months 2 years ago^^)

Mixed feelings accompany to bed now: excitement, curiousity, anticipation about the experiences ahead of me; gratitude for living this life; respect against the size and contrast of the city; sorrow for being seperated from family and friends for such a long time; uncertainity about what will await there & pride to take the chance to develop further in a professional and personal way!

Cu in NYC :) the next post you (hopefully enjoy) reading will be brought to you from NYC!!!

Sonntag, 22. Juli 2012

Learning is FUN @ SJM12 in Romania

Since Thursday morning I enjoy the last days before the big NY adventure in Mamaia, Romania with 120 Junior Entreprenuers :) - it is another very inspiring international conference happening from the JADE network! With 4 colleagues from the Junior Enterprise, we were travelling to this very promising conference on "Intrapreneurship"!
The first day started with very informative and interesting speeches from experts from the field - the official part of the first day was completed with a panel discussion on the topic!
Opening ceremony!

All participants enjoyed networking at the first night's beach party - but (almost) everyone kept in mind that we have had a packed program of workshops ahead the following days ;)

Incredible sunset on the way to dinner :)
Next morning started with a nice breakfast on the hotel's terasse
the beach :) (in front of the hotel!!!)
StuCons elaborating on intrapreneurship ;)

Taking a break from the workshops, to process the things heard and to get some clarity about the learnings - before clarity, there is confusion! ;)

 Awesome parties in Mamaia, Romania!

Each participant had to choose 3 workshops for Saturday - I was lucky to attend very inspiring ones, which not only were rich in content but also got me thinking!
Major learnings:
  1. If you want to change something, ask first 'What do I want (instead)' and not 'How can I change it' caus' this is the latter step in overcoming barriers to change
  2. Imagine your desired outcome in order to find the right way to get there (it will come, for sure!) - outcome states motivate people!
  3. Imagine the future to define the present!
  4. Be open for changing your ideas, to maybe achieve a better outcome and gain more support from others! Don't think of tools - think about your attitude!
  5. What drives people: Status, Access, Power & Stuff
  6. Rules have to be: Understandable, Memorable & Emotional
Added to my reading list:
  • "The art of non conformity"
  • The Pomodoro Principle
  • The Lean startup
Thanks to Luca Sartoni & Radu Seuche for making this Saturday a fun and inspiring learning experience!

Summer JADE Meeting 2012 was incredibly awesome - best preparation for my internship in NY ;)
Big thanks to JADE Romania, JADE, and all the organizers of this amazing conference! Cu @ SJM13 in Milan!

Samstag, 7. Juli 2012

Indulgence & Summer shape!

The long awaited summer holiday season has finally arrived :) 
Vacations on the beach, lake or elsewhere in the world have been (most of the time) booked well in advance and everyone is looking forward to get some time off from work, school, uni etc.
Best time to share special moments with your loved ones!
Many have been training and keeping a healthy diet to be in good shape for the hottest time of the year ... But what happens once you are on holiday? Think of the huge breakfast buffets, the nice 4-courses dinner, the delish cocktails, wine, beer a.s.o!!! - Will you forget about all resolutions and good intentions you deliberately followed for months, and for which your body was so grateful for?!??

Staying healthy and fit on the go can be a challenge, but with a little bit of planning it is completely doable and fun :)
  1. The by far easiest way to remain in the shape of arrival, is by using the in-house gym of the hotel (if they have one) Just 30-45 minutes a day are more than sufficient to keep yourself fit!
  2. Try to not change eating manners drastically to what you are used to at home - sure you want to enjoy yourself during the holiday, but everything with measure and goal ;)
  3. A holiday on the beach is best suited for getting your cardio through a long swim in the ocean or a run on the beach (best in the early morning, due to the heat & the crowds arriving forenoon^^)
  4. Think of the great feeling and the endorphines a workout, a run or a nice swim provided to your body and mind when you were training at home - why should it be any different in another place on the globe?!?!
It is important that you can also indulge in something - give yourself a treat! And ENJOY it to the fullest :))) like this delish frozen yoghurt here^^

Have a happy & healthy vacation and summer :)

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012

Greater than previously expected!

3 weeks to go and still no apartment found :(
Most of my time these days I spend checking all the different platforms & profiles, where people search for roommates and people, like me, who are seeking the perfect flat & roommates to stay with!

Here are my findings & learnings up till today:
I always knew that New York is expensive, but I was quite astonished by the differences in prices in this city - as I have mentioned in a previous post, my search is (still) limited to Manhattan apartments! Interestingly there are huge differences in prices: I found super-cheap flatshares in the very heart of Manhattan for 700$ and some in the north (Harlem) for 1000$-1400$! One thing which I learned from this: unfortunately the more expensive the flat, the more confident you can be that it is not a scam, which happens a lot in this city!!

My favorite platforms: Once you register on this website (and enter your personal preferences in location, roommate, flat etc.) you will be able to see every ad in full and contact the owners of the ad! Rarely ad owners put pics of the flat to their profile - so you have to contact them and give them your email address in order to proceed with the conversation. Through this website I do have the most interaction with New Yorkers, who look for a roommate - the best thing on this website is that people will also contact you to find out if you are interested in their ad! Another very good address is - a lot of listings and pics of flats already in the ad (which makes it very easy to see if it is worth contacting the owner or not)! The big BUT on this one is, the fact that you have to pay a fee to be able to contact someone... This website looks very professional and you don't need any premium membership to view all details about the flats (apartment information includes photographs, descriptions, reviews, apartment layouts). It seems to be a property agency - just discovered it^^ and submitted my request; now I am eagerly awaiting their proposals!

All in all I have to say that I have immagined the search to be much easier - unfortunately I have also come accross scams, but I guess that is something usual when searching for a flat in NY ;)

Some tips derived from my personal experience:
  1. insist on viewing the flat - it happened to me quite often that landlords start talking about deposit payments and contract details, before I have had the chance to ask them for a viewing (or they simply ignored this inquiry!) AND no one should ask for money, when arranging a viewing!!!
  2. be aware of the style of english - does it change drastically throughout the conversation???
  3. weird excuses (scam!?) - try to be sensible to the excuses your contacts give you for certain things (like: " Sorry, due to time issues I can't give you a skype tour of the flat, but a viewing would be ok!" *Häää* or "I would be online and ready for a skype call with you" I go online and think to mysef 'yay', and then the contact writes: "Oh sorry the microphone of my pc isn't working properly!" - What? It just broke?? 2 minutes before, I went online?? *Häää*) 

I will definitely keep on searching till the very end - 3 weeks to go!!! Bring it on NYC... Where are the real, nice, clean and fun people to share an apartment with ;)