Friday, February 26, 2010

A Snow Day In New York-Schools Are Closed: Yippee!

When I was growing up a snow day like today was a treat.  School was closed and after we dug out as many cars as we could for $5.00 a car (hey, it was a long time ago) we'd take our Flexible Flyer sleds to the "Green Jungle" where there was a pretty steep hill and you had to both navigate the trees on the way down and then stop, by dragging your feet, before crashing into the big boulder at the end of the run.  We also used to have great snowball fights in ths Safeway (supermarket) parking lot where the plow guys (on orders from my father who managed that shopping center) would pile the snow really high in a certain corner of the lot for us.  We would build what we thought of as forts and then teamed up for battle.  Years later I vividly remember my sons and I walking through the woods behind our house in Short Hills, NJ to the Municipal Par-3 golf course and creating one of the last great sledding runs which we enjoyed on these plastic things that went really good.  In the mid-90's my wife and I decided on the spur of the moment to take the train into Manhattan and have dinner at a place we loved down in the Village.  It was a big snow and the cab we took from the train station could not navigate the streets.  We got out and walked.  It was a beautiful night and very romantic.  It was more than just the external beauty; it was the joy of the spontaneity.

Last week I mentioned that I had seen what looked like 1 million square feet of industrial space vacant on the NJ Turnpike.  An old industry friend, Doug Haynes of Alexander Summer Company in New Jersey wrote to correct me:  It's more like 12 million square feet, depending on what section of the highway you're talking about.  Last year at Exit 8A alone it was more than 1 million square feet!

Recently I've had the opportunity to see a number of resumes of people in the masters programs of some of the top business schools in the country..  I was a little surprised to see that many included "Interests" or "Additional Information" sections at the end.  I was never coached to include these type of things as there is a risk that you'll turn someone off.  Here are some examples:

  • Interests:  fishing (inshore, offshore and fly) and guitar
  • Climbing high points
  • In the process of visiting every U.S. state with my wife
  • Interests include golf (maintain 8 handicap) and international travel (visited 35 countries)
  • Other interests include running, fitness instruction, constructing puzzles and volunteering with at-risk youth
  • Visited historic and modern architectural landmarks throughout Europe
  • Accomplished competitive sailboat racer
  • Interests:  Architecture and Design; International Travel; Football; Skiing: Golf; BBQ Grilling
  • Interests include new urbanism
  • Motorcycle enthusiast, enjoy golfing and working with youth
  • Enjoy Boston Red Sox, Notre Dame football, cooking Italian and personal investing
  • Enjoy skiing, reading historical fiction, exploring local restaurants
  • Interests include pickup basketball, documentary film, architecture, reading, travel and boxing
  • Active trader in equity and derivatives markets
  • Over five years performing salsa dance in Mexico, Spain and US
  • Interests include free-market economics, coaching/mentoring, collegiate athletics, weight training, nutrition and my three year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever.
  • Active top secret security clearance with full scope polygraph
  • Interests : running, basketball, volleyball, golf, general aviation, flamenco guitar, economic theory
  • Interests:  Long-distance running, traveling, tennis, Trojan football and snowboarding
  • Reader, avid golfer and novice fly-fisherman, also enjoys dog training and learning the culinary arts
  • Interests:  Teaching my nephew basketball, mentoring, cooking, boxing, playing poker, studying Hinduism and learning Hindi (my fiancee is Hindu)
  • Interests:  Electric violin, acoustic guitar, tennis, golf, basketball, cartography, orhestral music, wildlife conservation
First of all:  I have no doubt that each and every one of these is sincere and true.  What I'm not sure about is why these folks have felt that they should include these kind of things in their resume. Or is this just another case of a sense of transparency of full disclosure or diversity?  A casual acquaintance from some time back told me that when he went to interview for an IT job with a major corporation the person interviewing him saw that he used to be a professional musician.  When the interviewer found out that the blues band this guy played organ in was a well known national act (whom he particularly liked) it didn't hurt him in the interview process, not one bit.  But I have not, in all the jobs I've had, once had my 'Interests' play any role in the process of being offered a job.  These resumes that I pulled these bullet items from suggest that some schools are coaching their students to use "interests" as a way of engaging a potential employer.  What do you think?  Is this a good thing?  Is it helpful?  Does it make a difference, either way?

Final item:  Headlines from RCA's Month in Review report published yesterday:  More Positive Signals, But a Bumpy Ride Ahead:  Strong sales and price gains mix with sluggishness




On the road....

March 4-7:  Montreal
March 16:  New York for the IPD USA Index Launch
March 23-25:  Boston for PREA's Spring Conference
April 1:  Albany, New York
April 11-14:  Dallas to attend the UBS Investor Conference
April 16-21:  Tuscany
April 21-23:  Venice for the annual INREV Conference
April 26-20:  London
May 13-15:  North Palm Beach, FL for the annual Homer Hoyt Institute/Hoyt Fellows conference




Photo:  West 88th Street, Manhattan @ 7:15am today.




These are my views and not that of my employer.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, your comment on interests was interesting (another word maybe, ha, ha) because you are very relationship oriented. Look at your writing from 2 years ago. You have always been interesting and active business wise...but lately the wisdom and perspective is pouring out. From reading your stuff, I know your interests. My advice to the job-seekers....
Fill the resume tactfully with the interests as that edge becomes the hook to get you hired, the difference between people at firms that have brilliantly trained people...I want the "characters" to mind my account, teach my children, fix my car...yeah, get it done, but do it with some personality and style. I want to hire people with a balance for our firm and I want to work with memorable customers and suppliers.

On the Road with Steve Felix said...

thanks for the comment. i got a lot of direct emails on this subject, a real distinct split on views. i'll publish some of the comments next week. p.s. i hardly ever check the the comments section so if you ever want to write directly my email address is: steve@simplicate.com
thanks.

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