NOTE: This post was supposed to go up like a month ago, but I’ve been having serious technical difficulties with my blogging software and did not have a chance to fix it all up until now. Update post coming soon, I hope. Here you go…
Hi, how are ya? I’m pretty well. Yeah, I know it’s been a while since you last heard from me, but it’s been a crazy year. I apologize for my absence and promise to remain actively social, at least until grad school…
A rather lengthy update follows the break.
My Last Undergrad Semester Ever
Ok, let me start out by saying: 6 classes = 0 social life. I spent most of my final undergrad semester studying for classes, working on projects, freelancing websites, occasionally attending yoga classes, and looking for that “real” post-college job.
My classes were pretty good for the most part, I learned a bit and was even able to extend Expressive Connections for a final project – the site now features OpenID login and Groups (as well as, On-site Messaging and Networks – contributed by my partner, AJ). Expressive Connections went on to take the Best of Show (Web) award in the 2007 DMAT Showcase in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at MSU.
Back in February, I launched my portfolio site – JulieMarie.net, as well as my current profession – freelance web development (primarily using Ruby On Rails). At the time, I didn’t plan on freelancing becoming my primary career – but as it turns out, on-site Rails jobs in Michigan are slim, competition is high, and I had less than one year of overall web related experience to work with.
Freelance jobs kept popping up and on-site jobs didn’t. I limited my search to the Southeastern Michigan area because grad school at U of M is also on the list of things to do in the near future. In all the chaos of classes and job searching though, there wasn’t really time to establish Michigan residency (saving me from the fortune of out-of-state tuition), write all the application essays, or take the GRE in time for the Fall application deadline which was in early May. Thus, grad school has been pushed back to the Winter term, application deadline – November 1.
So that brings us to the end of my last undergrad semester. I graduated with Honors and a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media (or TISM, as it’s more easily referred to) – with a specialization in Digital Media Arts and Technology, focusing on web development.
With only a week until my lease was up, no on-site job lined up, and therefore no real idea of where to live, I was about this |
—-| close to moving to Howell, MI (due to its central location), but instead went to Novi, MI to stay with Adam. While staying there, Adam’s roommate, Matt, got me outrageously addicted to “Battlestar Galactica.” I watched the Mini-Series and all three seasons within about a month and a half. Needless to say, October won’t come soon enough.
I also managed to get some work done in between BSG episodes – created a WordPress Theme (1st time working with PHP) and started work on what currently acts as a CMS designed as a learning aid. I’m fairly excited about the CMS, I was able to build it in Ruby on Rails for the client and I think it turned out really well. Plus if all goes well, it could grow into something pretty cool. Additionally, I took an at-home, part-time job working basically as a User Experience Engineer for a cluster of web hosting sites. The job wasn’t exactly what I was looking for – but it will definitely help out in preparation for grad school
Yep, I went again. Only for 2 weeks this time. As it so happened, all my talk and excitement about my 6 weeks in Europe last summer excited my mom enough to buy us each a spot on a tour through London, Paris, and Rome (plus Versailles, Assisi, and FLORENCE!). The trip was pretty crazy, a lot of fun, and 12 days to remember. There were nine of us from Chicago, and a group of about thirty from Puerto Rico, and our tour guide, who was from Spain. Ultimately, I think everyone picked up a fair bit of Spanish, a tad bit of French, and a sense of Italian which often came out as a Spanish variant. Click on the city names above to see some of my pictures.
Immediately after my return from Europe, it was time to move again. This time to Farmington Hills, MI – which is right next to Novi. I moved here because my cats, who were staying with a friend while I was in Novi, needed a home and because it’s in an area of high web development activity where I am likely to find some sort of work. Only problem is I don’t yet have internet there, so my freelance business is on hold. On the bright side, I now have time to finally pick up this Beginning PHP and MySQL 5 book.
So what’s next? Well…now that I’ve got my own place I can establish residency, take the GRE, and apply for grad school. If all goes well, I’ll be moving to Ann Arbor in January with my dearest friend and forever roommate, KT. Until then, I’ll continue my freelance work and the search for an on-site job of some kind – preferably working with Rails, of course.