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My last post was about my moving fiasco of showing up to my apartment on Labour Day Monday with the wrong set of keys. I was also upset about the misconception of the apartment being on the third floor when it was actually on street level and had asked my leasing agent for other options. I ended up going two more days without a place to live (and without my leasing agent returning my emails and phone calls), however, I am happy to announce that I did move into a new place that is on the twelfth floor of a newer building. If you are considering a move to San Francisco, you are welcome to contact me to hear about all of the issues that I have been having with my property management group, as I would not recommend them to anyone. (Unfortunately, I'm stuck with them for the next nine months.)
Other than my problems with my property management group, it has proven to be rather difficult moving to the United States as a Canadian without a Social Security Number. To set up my cell phone, cable, internet and electricity, I had to go into the offices of T-Mobile, Comcast and PG&E to prove my identity and put down deposits. This was rather time consuming but once I was at each office, the service was fantastic.
Not having a vehicle has been a difficult adjustment, much more difficult than it was moving to London or Macau. I'm hoping that I will soon adjust to using the public transit system here, however, in the meantime, Uber has become my best friend! In fact, if you sign up for Uber and use the code "ashleyj1370", you will receive a free ride (up to $20) and I will get a free ride too!
I am still getting used to all of the homeless people around my building (one morning I counted over 30 on one block), however, for the most part, they are harmless and mind their own business. The area I live in used to be really bad but the city is trying to reform it and there are many luxury high rise apartment buildings being built. There are business men and woman, as well as families with children walking in and out and we have 24/7 security at the front desk which is comforting.
In the end, I regret not coming down prior to moving to physically tour apartments and assess neighbourhoods. If you have a move planned in the future, I would highly recommend doing this if you are able to.
I was supposed to move into my apartment in San Francisco yesterday, however, the day did not go as planned. As it was Labor Day Monday, I was required to pick up my keys from a doorman at another building in San Francisco and when I arrived at my building, the keys did not work.
The area that I chose ended up being beautiful, however, the interior of the building did not look anything close to the photos posted online. I was given keys that did not work for my unit and although the people that I talked to on the property's 24-hr emergency line were very kind, they were not able to reach anyone who could help me with the problem on the holiday Monday. Fortunately enough, I had to option to return to Vacaville to sort out the problem.
I emailed my leasing manager shortly after returning to Vacaville and after talking more today, he seems to be willing to help me make some changes to my lease agreement. Right now, I'm still waiting to see how this will all turn out but I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. Plus, no move to another country really goes exactly as planned, does it? I'll keep you all posted to let you know how I make out!
For now, enjoy a photo of the view that I saw on our trip into the city! San Francisco is truly a spectacular place!!
(This photo is not mine, it was posted on Trip Advisor and linked to credit its original owner.)
Peter and I arrived in California last week and have been visiting family in Vacaville, CA for the past few days. The weather has been gorgeous and we were lucky enough to sneak in a quick morning trip to Napa Valley to stock up on some wine for the new apartment!
Two years ago, we did a Napa Valley wine tour and two of the wineries we visited had a lasting impression on us. As we were limited for time on this trip, we chose to revisit those locations.
Franciscan Estates, located in St. Helena, CA, was very inviting. We arrived shortly after they opened and I signed up for their wine club, saving myself 30% off my entire purchase! They also make quarterly deliveries of wine and I'm already excited about my first shipment! My favourite wine there is the Fountain Court white but we stalked up on some Cabs as well.
We also visited V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena and though it was a favourite of ours before, our experience was different this time around. It was Labor Day weekend and the winery was holding an appreciation BBQ and we found that there were too many people to be able to enjoy the tasting experience. We will definitely revisit this winery in the future though as our first time was so memorable and we are still interested in touring the beautiful grounds.
Going to San Francisco for school is different than my past school adventures, as this time, I am actually considering it a move. I am purging through my closet and donating over half of my clothes to the Women's Shelter. Along with the dreadful task of packing, there are a lot of other things on the "Moving To-Do" list.
The first thing I had to do was confirm my space at the school back in February with a confirmation deposit. I then had to compile all of the financial documents indicating I have the means to live in the United States for the duration of the school year. I had to prove that I had the funds for tuition, accommodations, health insurance and other living expenses in the form of bank statements (or official loan documents for those who obtained loans). Once these forms were filled out and sent to the school, I received my I-20 in the mail and simply paid a SEVIS fee online. (Canadians don't need a student visa to study in the U.S. As we travel across the border, we must provide the above mentioned financial documents, our I-20 form and the receipt of our SEVIS fee payment, with a valid passport of course!) For those of you with Nexus, once I had my I-20 form, I went down to my local Nexus enrolment centre and they took a photocopy of it and changed my primary purpose of travel to the student status. It was super easy!
The government documentation was actually the easy part, as my list of other things to do is constantly growing. Some examples of what I have/will continue to be up to before my move are cancelling and arranging cable, internet and cell phone service, setting up an American bank account and applying for credit, ensuring I have up to date immunizations and preparing my resume for the school's Fast Track career program. Now, that isn't my complete list but you get the idea. California is only a three hour flight away but it is in another country so everything changes!
Have you done the move from Canada to the United States before? Am I missing any critical steps? The big move is near!!
San Francisco has the most expensive housing market in the United States so finding the perfect place to call home seemed like quite the challenging task. I am elated to say that I finally signed a lease on a place this week and I just hope I love it as much in person as I did online!
I had been researching options since April, however, most places didn't list September vacancies until mid July. I concentrated my search on a list of property management companies that Hult gives students, simply because these companies are used to working with international students who do not have a US social security number, bank account or credit history.
Deciding on a neighbourhood to live in was tough without actually being able to visit the place and see what was around. Ultimately, I fell in love with a beautiful place in SOMA, however, considering that it was unfurnished and a 25 minute transit ride to school, I decided on a place that was simply more convenient. If I am fortunate enough to get a job in San Francisco after graduation, I will definitely revisit this option!
Hult International Business School is located at the bottom of Telegraph Hill, across the street from Levi's Plaza on the Embarcadero and I ended up finding a studio apartment on Telegraph Hill that is a 5 minute walk to school (albeit I will have to go up and down Filbert Steps every day to do so, hello daily workout!).
The Hult Welcome Team were very helpful in posting available units on a Facebook group and answering any questions that students had about moving to San Francisco and I couldn't have signed with a place unseen if it weren't for them! Stay tuned for pictures and updates once I get all settled in next month!
In my last post, I announced that I was moving to San Francisco to pursue a Master in International Marketing degree at Hult International Business School. When I have mentioned this to friends, family, or even new acquaintances, I have been asked "Don't they have business schools in Canada?" Yes, of course Canada has some excellent business schools and a few years back I did consider taking a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta, however, Hult presented me a compelling offer that I couldn't resist... I apologize in advance for what will be a very long post, however, there are some of you who have asked the question and others who may stumble across this post in the future, trying to decide if they want to attend Hult as well.
Last fall, I was actively trying to get a substitute teaching job and begin my teaching career, however, I was hitting a huge barrier. I then decided to research other career paths and began applying for some other opportunities. I interviewed to be a Sales Representative for a beer company, a Recruiter for a university and even a Cost Control Analyst for a pipeline company. All of these positions were just jobs though. Jobs that I knew I could excel at and make money at, yes, but not jobs that I would truly enjoy making a career out of. It was at this point in time that I received a brochure in the mail from Hult. (I had researched the school a few years ago but the timing just wasn't quite right back then.) The timing couldn't have been more perfect this time around!
Hult's brochure was flashy, eye-catching and intriguing. I was browsing through it on the couch one cold October day, dreaming of one day moving to one of the cities in which they have campuses (San Francisco, Boston, New York, London, Shanghai, Dubai). I finally allowed myself to look at the cost of tuition and I remember saying to my fiancé, "There goes that dream!" He asked me how much and much to my surprise, when I told him, he didn't flinch. He told me to look into the school and start an application and that we would see what happened.
Without much thought at all, I started working on the online application and days later, I was contacted through email by one of the school's recruiters. She informed me that she graduated from the Marketing program at Hult the year prior and that if I had any questions or concerns, I could call or email her at any time. She ended up helping me through my application by the early application deadline so that I could qualify for the largest scholarship amount. Looking back on it, this was the defining moment when I knew I wanted to attend Hult. The personal interaction with someone at the school was something I've never experienced before in my university career and it changed everything! Two weeks after submitting my application, I had a phone interview with the Regional Director of the school and she was a blast to chat with as well! The interview felt more like a conversation with a friend than anything to be nervous about. I received my acceptance letter and scholarship offer soon afterwards and that was about all there was to it.
I didn't consider any other schools at this time. For me, it was study at Hult or try to get a full time job elsewhere. I love that the school offers a one year masters program that isn't an MBA. At this point, I have very little experience in the marketing industry and I am not ready for an MBA program. I also love how the school has rotations available and that for the Marketing program, I have the option to rotate to Boston and/or London during my year at the school. The international aspect of the program is huge for me, as I am an avid traveller and hope to one day land a job in a global market. I would love to work internationally and I think this school offers great support in that path. The school also offers tremendous career support in general, as I have already been in contact with the career services team to revamp my resume and make it so that when I start school in the fall, I am already set to start my career hunt at the same time. Every time I have interacted with someone at Hult, I have left the conversation reassured that I made the right decision to attend the school. I am very excited for my year ahead!
I hope I have answered the question of "Why Hult" and if you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
It has been months since I have updated my blog and a LOT has changed in my life since then. Most significantly, I have decided to move to San Francisco, California in order to pursue my Master in International Marketing degree at Hult International Business School. The decision to move there was easy, as I have always dreamt of being a "California Girl". To me, San Francisco is like the New York City of the West and I couldn't be more excited about my move!
Although I got accepted to Hult in February, I didn't actually get a chance to visit the school until April. They flew me down for the Campus Premier and I had the opportunity to see the campus, take part in a master class and get to know many of my future classmates while salsa dancing at a cigar bar. I have never felt so sure of any decision that I've made in my life as I was then and there about my decision to attend Hult in the fall!
Stay tuned for further updates about my big move!
I recently met one of my friends downtown for a lunch date at the Holt Renfrew Café. If you've been following along, you know that I like to get dressed up when I head downtown! The weather was nice so I put on some tights and threw on an old dress from H&M! I then styled it up with my Céline bag and Louboutin boots! Love a good hi-low outfit and black and white with a pop of red never fails!
The other day, I was having a lazy day lounging in bed and binge watching Friends when my brother texted me, needing a ride to his truck. He told me he was waiting outside for me and needed me to get there as soon as possible. I had less than five minutes to get up, get dressed, brush my teeth, put my hair in a messy bun and get out the door. That morning, I had been lusting on a pair of jeans that 7fam posted on Instagram and I thought that I had some similar ones buried deep down in my closet so I pulled them out to wear. I quickly found that they were four sizes too big (HOW?!) but I rolled the top over and decided to style them as boyfriend jeans because after all, I was in a rush. I pulled on a white T-shirt, a leather jacket and some Christian Louboutin boots for good measure and then headed out. When I got home, I decided to take a photo and post it on Instagram and to my surprise, it was one of my most liked "outfits of the day". Here is the magical outfit that I clearly must repeat in the future!
Ashley is a twenty-something Canadian blogger, currently living in San Francisco, California and studying International Marketing.