Leaving on a Jet Plane

Posted on September 16, 2014

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Kittelson’s Corner is back and on the move! Ben is trying to find a job in North Carolina and is taking a long trip out to the area to network and job search. See what he’s been up to and follow along.

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Today has been a whirlwind of a day. Really it’s been a whirlwind of a summer but this week has been particularly jam-packed and exciting. I’m currently sitting in the Portland International Airport at gate E2 awaiting my flight to the Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me go back to the beginning.

IMG_1642I got engaged at the beginning of the summer to my college sweetheart and all around awesome person, Marie Olsen. My beautiful and brilliant fiancé got into graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – home of the Tar Heels. So she’s been out in North Carolina most of the summer getting settled in, adjusting to the humidity, and starting school while I finished up my own Masters degree at Portland State.

As I wrote in my last Kittelson’s Corner, I have been working at the City of Gresham (OR) this summer on a capstone project to complete my MPA. The project involved researching and evaluating different smart phone apps and online services to improve citizen engagement and customer service. It was a great experience to work at Gresham, I learned a ton and have improved my professional skills. I created a big report, along with many communications materials and presentations investigating the different apps available to the city. My time at Gresham ended yesterday but as a part of my project three new services are being implemented all to help serve citizens better.

IMG_1941Earlier today was the final step in my MPA journey, every Portland State student has to give one last presentation to summarize what they did for their capstone and what they learned in the process. My presentation was during the first time block this morning at 11:00 am. I knocked the presentation out of the ballpark, mostly because I was wearing my new suit. I think any person wearing a suit sounds at least twice as more knowledgable. After my presentation (and a celebratory stop at Blue Star Donuts) I had to pack for my trip to North Carolina and have one last home cooked meal from my mom.

Now lets get to this trip, I’m heading out to the northern Carolina to do some serious job hunting and networking. My goal is to find a job out in the Research Triangle area. I’ve got informational interviews scheduled, events to attend, and even an honest to goodness job interview while I’m out there. I’ll be updating you all each week as I get to know professionals in the area and learn more about finding a job in a brand new town. If you have any contacts that I should meet with for coffee or a North Carolina IPA (I hope they have those there) please email me at ben@sarahhellems.wpengine.com.


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