What Next?
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Jun 03 2006 Kelly Norton

Now that the thesis is finished, “how is the thesis going?” has given way to a new question: “what next?” Personally, I wasn't planning anything except a little Guinness and maybe some trips to the local skatepark with Trey. But alas, I guess it is true what they say. I am almost a grown man, so I have to start thinking responsibly. I guess I should try something I haven't tried before. Maybe I'll get a real job.

What next? Why do I always feel like I'm answering this question far too often? It was only two years ago that I last answered it, and here it is again. And at some point, is this a question that gets easier to answer? Probably not.

That IBM logo that Paul Rand designedIn the short term, though, I have things worked out. The kind folks over at IBM, here in Cambridge, have promised to shelter me for the duration of the summer. So starting Monday, I'll be big and blue for at least a couple of months. As it has been described to me, I will be working on visualizations and applications to give a face to all the semantic web and RDF infrastructure this group has amassed. Personally, I'm just hoping to pick up some t-shirts with that classic Paul Rand logo on it.

In the long run, I'm still working on it. Stephanie and I are interested in leaving Massachusetts, so I've been mostly focusing on more distant opportunities. But as I've told others, we would consider staying in Cambridge if something outrageously cool were to emerge. The primary candidates at the moment are bigger companies. Having never worked full-time for a company with more than 30 employees, I figured I might try broadening my experience. Plus, a few big companies seem to at least maintain the appearance of having overcome the scourge of needless bureaucracy. I'm flying to NY in a little over a week to talk to one of those big companies that thinks it's as cool as a small company. Maybe they are, we'll see. Of course, they're flying me to New York to interview for a position in Atlanta so I'm already a little skeptical.

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