Twenty Days Left Of My Twenties

This should be a major symbolic post, that goes on for over one thousand words but based on my recent lack of activity (less than an entry per a month in real time) I very much doubt I will be able to perform to that level. (I believe my natural peak in terms of blog output was sometime over the summer of 2006). Instead I will do my best to try and capture in a few paragraphs the journey of the last ten years.

In 2001, I was in my second year at University in the city of Leicester, living in a shared house off Narborough Road. The main hub of student existence for DMU students in the East Midlands city. The internet connection was un-metered dial up using Freeserve. I shared the cost with my house mate, final year law student Shahid, who had the room downstairs (the converted front room). We were however the poor relations to my house mate Sippy who had NTL TV and cable broadband. Life overall was good, studies were going well. I had a part time weekend job at Jacksons Stores about a minute walk from the house. The campus was about a ten minute walk from our house and I remember those cold mornings having to get up early to get over there for lectures. It is a real shame that I did not have a blog at this moment in time (I did however have an on-line presence with my personal website but it was not updated regularly and had actually fallen into a state of semi-neglect). This changed in early 2002, when I focused on securing a placement for my year out in industry. I set up a new professional website on my DMU Computer Science account (c00at) with help of my house mate Sippy. This website has evolved over time and I now host my professional website over at Andrew Tegala dot Net

In my hunt for an internship, I took on the responsibility myself and wrote directly to all the big players. I used my University Placement Service sparingly but in the end it was two positions I applied through them that turned into interviews. All of my personal applications resulted in rejections. Blue chip rejections that my future final year house mate, Nav would comment on, many years later, on one of his now long abandoned blogs. My first interview was with the National Grid in Winnersh. I had to prepare a presentation, which if I am honest did not go very well. After the two person interview, I met up with two of the current interns and was given a very brief walk around the office. I did not endure myself to them very well, refusing an offer of a drink and then perhaps over stepping the mark by asking how other candidates had performed. I left the interview, knowing in my mind I would not be called back for the second stage of the process.

It was then I had another interview actually on campus for the placement I would eventually obtain. It felt strange dressing up in a suit and walking to campus from Cambridge Street and then going up to some random floor in the James Went building (long since demolished and replaced). However I did not want to take this placement. Although the job itself was fine, it was the commuting distance (to Bedford) which every day would be a strain! Over one hundred miles a day and six hundred a week. Over the course of a year I would clock up over twenty four thousand miles plus spend over two hours commuting every day. My Placement Office were not very helpful, if I failed to take the position I had been offered, they would refuse to help me with any further applications. While this seemed like a relevantly empty threat (eighty percent of my applications had been completed using my own initiative) it was getting late into the process. I was unlikely to find another placement. With some bitterness I accepted the role and continued with the studies of my second year.

My placement year was probably the biggest moment of my life up to that point in time. It was a test, a coming of age for me in the sense of a fresh new start. A great of events took place during my placement year, most of which I do not wish to go into but the most significant resulted in me starting this blog. Yes, believe it or not nine years have passed since I started putting all my thoughts and feelings onto the inter-web. It has been one incredible journey and I never thought I would still be posting all these years later. Now thanks to WordPress I have categorised all my Birthday entries, so you can read them in their very own category. Here’s to many more birthdays to come, all the way up to the next milestone, the big four-zero! I wonder how much my life will have changed in the next decade!

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