Reflections and Expectations: Win-Win

IMG_4344What a month it has been and the timing could not have been better.

This edition marks the second year of the Reflections and Expectations series. I’m amazed I was able to maintain this series for as long as I did, looking back at life events of all levels of significance every month since May 2013.

On this two-year anniversary of the series, I’m proud to celebrate this milestone in a big way for reasons you’ll find out shortly.

With that said, let’s look back at the month that was and look ahead to the month of May.

April

Birthday / Easter weekend


I turned 26 on April 4th, which fell on the same weekend as Easter Sunday on April 5th.

That weekend was largely uneventful in and of itself as I was busy finishing up an assignment for my graduate school class. On that Saturday, I simply settled for an early dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant of mine in San Jose.

While the weekend itself was rather dull, I did receive a somewhat belated birthday gift this year…

A new job

Nice to have my own workspace, name plate and desk somewhere again. It's been a while.

A photo posted by Simon Oh (@simon.oh) on


On April 6th, only two days after my birthday, I learned I was hired as the new marketing coordinator at Mark Thomas & Company (MTCo), a civil engineering firm in San Jose, Calif. My first official day on the job was April 14th.

Talk about the best kind of birthday gift ever and perfect timing as well!

This marks an official end to what had been the longest and most difficult job search of my career. It took nearly 3.5 years and 12 interviews involving roles in transportation and marketing / public relations before I got this job. Although I have held other jobs since, this means I finally have the opportunity to work in this field once again and in an expanded role along with contributing something valuable in the best way I know how.

All of this still seems surreal to me, even as I’m nearly one month in. I’m very grateful that MTCo decided to give me the chance to advance in this profession, once and for all.

#StandUp4Transportation

#BayArea comes together to #StandUp4Transportation #SU4T

A photo posted by Simon Oh (@simon.oh) on


On April 9th, major cities across the country held rallies like this to urge Congress to pass a reauthorization of the federal transportation bill. This is all in hopes that the federal government will continue to invest in our nation’s infrastructure including transit here in the Bay Area.

I joined a local rally held at San Jose State University, hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and elected leaders in the Bay Area. I showed my support for more investment to transit by writing on the window of a bus wrap — the first time I ever wrote on the surface of a bus! — and tagged along with some folks I know at VTA on a bus ride to San Francisco’s Transbay Temporary Terminal for a similar event in The City.

It is pretty evident that my passion for transportation falls on professional and personal levels. On a professional level, I get to work with others to find out ways to keep people moving further into the 21st century through a public communication prism. On a personal level, I grew up with transit and I continue taking transit wherever I go. It all means a lot to me as my life and career is now essentially centered around transportation. I can only see myself going nowhere but up from here.

May

  • Graduate school – My sixth and current class in the MSTM program at San Jose State University finishes up the week before Memorial Day. After that, I’ll have the summer off before the program resumes for the fall semester in early August. I still have four classes and one year remaining in the program.
  • Memorial Day weekend – Hoping to spend that time in San Diego again. If not, probably a day trip to Santa Cruz is in order since I have never visited that part of the region before.
  • New job – From this point forward, I don’t plan on sharing much about my work in this space unless it is somehow warranted. That way, I can better focus on developing and succeeding in my new role, especially after spending nearly 3.5 years searching for this exact kind of opportunity.

Certainly one hell of a month. How did the month of April play out for you? What are you looking forward to as summer approaches? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.

On This Sunday: This Week in Dachshunds, Part II

Aside from corgis, beagles and border terriers, I’m a big fan of dachshunds. Here’s another roundup of wiener dog-related videos I’ve stumbled across this week. Have a wonderful week, America!


What happens when Tucker sees a squirrel… #dogsofinstagram #dachshundvideo #weeniedog

A video posted by Lauren Rose Lox (@laurenrosepr) on


On This Sunday: Back into the swing of things

Nice to have my own workspace, name plate and desk somewhere again. It's been a while.

A photo posted by Simon Oh (@simon.oh) on


It’s been quite a week for me as I officially reentered the two professional fields I have long tried to get back into — transportation and marketing / public affairs.

My first day as a marketing coordinator with the San Jose-based civil engineering firm Mark Thomas & Co. was on Tuesday. While there, I took the time to meet my new coworkers and settle in to my very own workspace. Later in the day, I sat down with my supervisor to go over what my new responsibilities are. It primarily consists of responding to request for proposals (RFP) from public agencies throughout California by writing proposals, all in hopes of the company winning contracts to work on various infrastructure projects.

At the end of my first day on Tuesday, I went up to Sacramento as part of my first-ever business travel in my professional life. I spent that Wednesday and Thursday meeting and working with the staff at the company’s office in the capital city to become better acquainted with my new role as well as to meet the other marketing staff based out of that office.

I feel blessed to be working alongside such talented and seasoned professionals. Now, my focus shifts from constantly looking for where I will be working next to developing and succeeding in my new role for years to come.

Have a wonderful week, America!