Friday, February 29, 2008

Thoughts on Second Interview…

The second interview yesterday went very well and I believe that I will get an offer. The good thing is that the Bank is looking to hire 3 Consultants in that area so my chances improve significantly. This would be a great move for me in terms of moving my career along.

I had a great day yesterday starting out with the good interview and followed up with the last Black History Event for the month at the Bank. There was a ceremony where educational and career achievements for African American workers at the Bank were recognized and celebrated. I got recognized for getting my law degree and passing the bar exam.

At the event, I was able to network and talk to a lot of people including the CEO of the bank (I had to pinch myself) and several other member of the Executive team. It was such a tremendous opportunity and one of the reasons why I love working for my Bank in particular. Where I work, we are a large regional bank with a close feel that I don’t think you get at other larger international banks. This is just one of the many reasons why I want to stay there because I can see myself getting the opportunity to advance. It amazes me also how much more comfortable I am with networking and meeting people. Two years ago, I would have broken into a cold sweat and quickly walked from the room hoping nobody noticed.

I will keep you posted on how things turn out. When all goes well, I should be transitioning from my position by the end of March. Either way, I feel like things will be getting better for me and soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Second Interview…

I just got a call from HR and I made it to the second round of interviews for the position at the Bank. This is excellent and welcome news especially since it’s my hope that this job will open doors for me in the restructuring / bankruptcy area of the law in the future.

I will keep you posted on how things go but the position will earn me no less than $90k/ year which will be a significant boost in income from my current $55k salary.

On a side note, my current manager is making me give up my flex schedule now that law school is over. While I knew it was coming, it is and was my hope that I would land a different position before having to return to a full five day workweek. I have the 4-day schedule for another month so I am hoping to make my transition to the new position within that timeframe. Besides, we’ve been so busy that most weeks, I end up working 5 days anyway and working late.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I’m Back…

Sorry for the lack of posting. I’ve been really sick with a sinus infection and I am on vacation this week. A lot has happened recently. For one, the interview went well and I am waiting to see if I get a call back interview. The HR representative spoke with the hiring manager and he was impressed with my interview so my fingers are crossed that I will land in the second round.

I went to the doctor today because my throat has been sore for 8 days now despite the antibiotics. Of course since I was going to the doctor, I automatically started feeling better (why does that happen?). One thing that wasn’t better is that my chest was still very congested and I would get winded very easily so she prescribed a different inhaler for my asthma so that my chest can clear up. Hopefully, I will be in tip top shape by next week.

I got into a car accident this morning on the way to the doctor. I was on the expressway (Chicago’s famous Dan Ryan) and a car in front of me thought he could cut into the next lane but couldn’t. So, he played car hopscotch and jumped right back into my lane and when I slowed down, the guy behind me rear-ended my car. I had to wait for the state police but despite the large impact, the damage is minimal.

On Saturday, my car started making the worst grinding noise and I knew something was wrong with the brakes. I was right. On Monday, I took my car in and I needed new brakes. That was $280.00

So, my luck hasn’t been so good lately in the financial arena and I am financing everything with my credit card which will have to be repaid with my tax return. I am looking to file my taxes by the end of next week. With everything that has happened to me in the last few months, I am trying to keep a smile on my face, think optimistically and believe that good things to come are right around the corner.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Charitable Donation…

I made a $35 donation to SOS Children's Villages today as part of Wooly Woman’s challenge over at Clawing Our Way. I have a $500 charitable goal for the year and I also make a recurring monthly donation of $35 to World Vision.

If you can make a donation to SOS Children's Village, please do and let Wooly Woman know so she can add the donation to the final tally. Let's give from the heart and help others less forunate. Despite my debt load, I am truly blessed.

Sick Again…

I am sick once again. My throat is on fire and my head is hurting. Why am I at work??? This is the fourth time since Christmas and I am just plain tired. I called the Doc yesterday and she said that it is probably a sinus infection that won’t go away without medication. So, she called in a prescription for me and I’m on antibiotics. Great!

Interview Update…

My interview yesterday went well. The hang ups that the guy had were my lack of banker experience and minimal experience dealing with clients. So, I had to sell myself on my strong ability to interact with people and my strong negotiation skills. I think I did a good job but I have to say that I am a little frustrated with the idea of working for a company for 8 years and having them continue to tell me that I lack experience in one area or another. This is especially the case when the only way I can the experience is to get an opportunity to advance.

I will keep you posted on how it goes but I am off on vacation next week. While I am off, I will be applying all over the city for jobs in the area and just mass sending out info to firms.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Retirement Allocation…

For the last few months, I have been making contributions to my 401k but the balance has not moved from the $27k - $28k level. I am thinking about moving all the funds to the balanced fund which is a mix of 60% equities and 40% fixed income.

What do you think??? Here is my current allocation. I am 30-years old and the current balance is $28.6k.

Here is the performance for the last 12 months.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Applied For Another Position…

I applied for yet another position last week at the Bank. Not to worry, I am also sending out information to law firms. I am just trying to hit all of my bases to increase my chances of success.

The position at the Bank would provide me with some transferable legal skills so it is a positive move in the right direction. There is another possible position here at the bank that may materialize in the future. However, I would prefer the one I posted for because it at least involves a small legal angle.

I got a call from Human Resources last week to ask me a few questions. Overall, I believe that I am qualified for the position and I am eager to move my career along. I have an interview on Wednesday.

February 2008 Goals…

I know this post is late but here are my goals for February:

Move to all cash/debit system

  • I have a little cash so I am moving to an all cash/debt system as of today.

Apply for Law Jobs

  • My goal is to land a law position within the next few months. I want to get out my information to firms by the end of the month.

File Tax Return

  • I have yet to file my taxes. I am still receiving information. I just got more tax forms in the mail yesterday but I think I have everything now.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Don’t Forget to Vote…

January 2008 Recap…

Not much to report. January was not a good month. I put a portion of my student loans in forbearance until 2/2009. My private loans enter repayment in 4/2008 and I will be putting those into 6 months of forbearance.

My goal is to secure a law job within the next two months.

January’s credit check was good and clean. My credit scores are as follows:

Transunion: 738 (750 in December)
Experian: 777 (777 in December)
Equifax: 730 (733 in December)

I am not entirely sure why my credit score declined in January. It may be because Equifax was late in reporting two of my student loans. I am still pleased with my scores.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Review of January 2008 Goals…

It was a tough month for sure but here is how I did with my January 2008 Goals. This is the first time I set monthly goals but I actually liked the concept so I will continue in the future.

  1. Move to all cash/debit system

    Negative. What cash? Broke is the word of the month.

  2. Set up automatic payments for my student loans

    Done. Not only did I set up automatic payments for my student loans, but I also put the federal loans that entered repayment 1/1/08 into forbearance for 12 months since I did not get the legal job and my cash flow is strained.

  3. Get job offer to join the Legal Department

    Negative. I got turned down for the position but I did have someone who has decision making power ask me if I would be interested in another position. It’s non-legal but it would be a step up in pay along the lines of the legal position that I posted for. Although it is non-legal and not particularly the direction I want to go in, I can’t be picky at this point if the job is going to increase my salary from $55k to at least $85-$90k. I have to get out of this debt chokehold.

  4. Put $1,000 towards Emergency Fund

    That would also be a negative. Not only is my emergency fund depleted but I owe my parents $600 for the garage genie and my new windshield. My mom said there is no rush to pay them back. When I asked if I could pay them back with my tax return, she said sure. Thankfully, I have wonderful parents. They helped me out tremendously financially and also by making the phone calls to being there to get everything fixed and replaced.

  5. Pay off December/Christmas Damage: ~ $3,770

    Done. It was paid off with my bonus which was supposed go towards repayment of my cc/heloc.

It was a tough month for sure. No doubt.