The State College Trip: 1

Memory is selective: we tend to remember the highs and lows, forgetting the rest. So revisiting favorites is often a bad idea, because it may spoil your good old memories.

But State College is different. It means a great deal to me. I spent five years of my best time there. As my starting point in US, it leaves a long lasting imprint. It defines my first impression of America. Here I met Susan, who forever changed my way of thinking, the perspective of a meaningful life, and my career path.


2016-10-19 05.21.38

The State College Trip: 1

Re: Textbook

You have a good eye!

Indeed, State College is so different from SoCal. Though a small town, it has every piece in good shape. The mountains have lush green; the lakes are clean and tranquil; the trees stand tall and erect. The colonial style buildings fit the surroundings well. When the first fall season came, I was stunned: I have never seen such rich and saturated colors in Beijing.

There are not a lot of stores, but each does its job properly. On N. Athoton St, I like Kimchi Korean Restaurant, Original Waffle Shop, and Champs Sports Grill (it boasts full rack babyback BBQ at 9 bucks, off the menu,  on Wed. after 9pm :)

When I first came to R., I was a bit depressed. On day one I was greeted with the heat wave of 105F (I heard Wuhan is hot too, but at least it has green!!!). The lush green I took for granted is now a Luxury. When I visited San Diego Zoo, its exotic plants made it more of a botany garden than of a zoo. The shock took its toll: my appetite was gone and I lost 30 pounds in the first three months. It took me quite a while to get over of that depression. I have long thought to go back to the east coast, until I moved out of R. :)

So what do you do in the current firm? Is it fun? Except summer interns, I have never worked in the corporate world. I am always curious how the life is like in business.

By the way, what’s your name?


Exactly. I like how you describe the small town. It reads like a lovely poem and reminds me the good old times. Kimchi Restaurant and Waffle shop are also my favorite. I had been to the Champs night special a few times too. It was a great place gathering with friends. How surprising and impressive you are still able to clearly remember those details! It’s been a long time for you.

The lush green and rich autumn color in Socal is truly a luxury. I don’t understand at all why so many people in other places are jealous about the weather in California. Actually the only place I like in R. is the downtown historical Mission Inn area. Very neat. Especially during winter holiday season, with all those sparkling and magical lights decoration. It is the best light show I have ever seen.

For my work, so far I enjoy it very much. I like the working atmosphere. Everyone is full of passion in what they do, which is important. I am also constantly challenged by projects, so there are always things to learn. The firm is backed by a bunch of investors. We seek to acquire and invest in small to medium size privately-held companies. My job is to conduct industry and company research to source on investment opportunities, as well as perform target company valuation (tons of Excel work), including basic leveraged buyout and cash flow analysis.

I would say corporate life is not as flexible as of in academia. There is no way people commute to work only 20 days per year :) Other than that, a little more fast paced and teamwork involved. But I never expect anything fancy in corporate life.

I have a beautiful name Smile and I really like it.


Re: Textbook