How Sports Broadcasting Should Work

I was watching the French Open this morning on the Tennis Channel when the live coverage suddenly ended and I was told to switch over to NBC to catch the end of the Djokovic match. Now I understand the two companies must have had some agreement on how to split the coverage at Roland Garros, but it seemed arbitrary and unnatural, not to mention annoying

So this got me thinking: wouldn’t sports broadcasting be better without exclusivity? For starters we won’t have to switch channels in the middle of a match. More importantly, we can actually have real competition over quality of commentary, production values, and most of all price. If you like Marv Albert and Steve Kerr’s commentary over Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen you can watch the game on TNT instead of ESPN because they will both have it. Broadcasters will no longer be able to extort money from cable and satellite providers (I’m looking at you ESPN) because there will be multiple sources for the same content. Overall I think it would encourage more choices and a better end product for users.

Of course, it would be equally silly to have five or six different camera crews all physically competing for the best camera angles and positions. That’s why the actual camera work needs to be decoupled from the broadcasters. At most major sports venues, the camera locations are pretty much set; some of them are even built into the arena or stadium itself. These cameras are always on and there’s little innovation or variety that can come out of how this raw footage is captured. What leagues can then do is license this feed out to broadcasters to overlay with their own graphics, commentary, etc. They can decide which camera to cut to for each play and when to go to commercial. I haven’t crunched any numbers, but financially it may not hurt the leagues that much. Sure they lose out on their current lucrative TV contracts but they could make that up by working out smaller licensing deals with multiple networks. It doesn’t even have to be a network- they could potentially choose to democratize it and provide the feed to anyone who’s willing to pay. That way amateurs can compete with the big boys to provide the best viewing experience.

The only real losers in this scenario would be the incumbents who will have to work for their audience instead of relying on their exclusive contract.  They will most likely see their margins shrink as they will have less bargaining power over cable and satellite companies. However for a network that is weak in sports and wants to air more NFL or NBA games, this could be an attractive way to break in. I understand this is a very idealistic proposition and the status quo benefits a lot of stakeholders. But like anything in sports, there’s always next year, right?

Time to Clean House

As a die hard Orlando Magic, it pains me to say that it’s over. We had a great run in the second half of the 2000s, culminating in the franchise’s second trip to the Finals. The team had the best center in the NBA and was fun to watch, but in light of recent events, I don’t think the team can go anywhere with its current leadership and roster. I was slightly hopeful after Dwight announced he would stay for next season, but now I am convinced the Magic need to clean house, starting with GM Otis Smith. Smith has made one stupid move after another and I feel the need to list all his blunders:

  • Signing Rashard Lewis to a ridiculous contract– I don’t necessarily disagree with the Lewis signing itself. In fact, I think he was a key reason why the team was able to make it to the Finals in ’09 because no one could figure out how to stop Dwight without leaving Rashard Lewis wide open for corner 3’s. However, he was ridiculously overpaid, so much so that even now he’s the second highest paid player in the NBA behind Kobe.
  • Blowing up the Finals Team The ’09 Finals were closer than the final series score. The Magic were one missed Courtney Lee layup from being tied 1-1 going back to Orlando. It’s also important to remember that All-Star PG Jameer Nelson was rushed back from injury and ineffective that series. The team was young and had an exciting offense as well as one of the top defenses in the league. The right move would have been to tinker with a few minor FA signings, trades, or draft picks.
  • Trading for Vince Carter- The rationale for acquiring Vince Carter was the Magic needed a wing scorer who could create his own shot. Unfortunately VC was already past that stage of his career and provided only slightly better offense but worse defense than Courtney Lee and much worse play-making than Hedo. It turns out the best player to come out of that deal was not VC, but Ryan Anderson, a cap space throw-in by the Nets.
  • Letting perimeter defenders go– In the seasons since reaching the Finals, Smith traded away Courtney Lee and Mickael Pietrus and let Matt Barnes walk. These were all tough perimeter defenders that helped take pressure off Dwight Howard and could knock down open 3’s on the other end. No wonder the defense has gotten worse.
  • Not re-signing Turkoglu because he was asking for too much, then trading for him 2 years later– The rationale behind letting Hedo go after the Finals run was because he was old and asking for too much. So Otis Smith decides to trade for him 2 years later under the same size contract? It makes no sense at all. If the trade had just been Jason Richardson for VC I would’ve have been okay with it, but giving Marcin Gortat and Pietrus up for Turkoglu? He is still a serviceable player but nowhere near the clutch play-maker he was during the Finals run. Also, Smith did nothing to fill the void at backup center since that trade
  • Trading for Gilbert Arenas- Rashard Lewis’s contract was bad, but two wrongs don’t make a right. At least Lewis could make shots and still caused some matchup problems. Arenas on the other hand was out of shape, had just been suspended, and even during his prime was nothing more than a poor man’s AI (ball hog who put up big numbers because he took so many shots). Last fall he was amnestied after the lockout.
  • Signing Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson– These are both examples of FA money wasted on players who don’t fit with the team’s style of play and don’t really do anything well. Duhon plays okay defense but can’t shoot and doesn’t initiate the offense well. Quentin Richardson (Otis Smith seems to think if 1 Richardson is good, 2 must be better) only has good career numbers because he played with Steve Nash in Phoenix. He hasn’t done anything since.
  • Trading Brandon Bass for Glen Davis– Otis Smith must have been fooled by the playoffs a few years ago when Big Baby lit up the Magic in place of an injured KG. Davis is undersized, out of shape and in general a poor fit for the team. He’s not as good of a shooter as Bass and has a worse contract.

With so many bad moves, it’s no surprise that the Magic have regressed every season since going to the Finals. Smith has failed to build a good team around Dwight, instead panicking like the Cavs did and making shortsighted moves for questionable or washed up veterans. In the process he has put the Magic payroll in a quagmire with lots of bad contracts and few tradeable assets. If anyone deserves blame for the Magic’s problems, it should be Smith.

Sadly, I have to say both Stan and Dwight have to go as well. After announcing that Dwight wanted him fired, Stan Van Gundy will never have the full respect and authority over his players he needs to lead the team. At the same time, no coach will want to come into a situation with the team’s superstar questioning his coach like that. The team needs to trade Dwight for draft picks, expiring contracts, and/or a few up and coming players. It needs to continue to shed contracts and get some good lottery picks. It will be painful, much like the post-T-mac years, but it’s something that needs to be done. I stuck with the Magic when we lost 19 straight games, I will remain loyal during this rebuilding phase as well.

Yeah, RIM is dead

When I started working this past fall, I was given the option of several smartphones to use for work, ranging from Blackberry and iPhone to Android, Windows Phone, even Palm. At the time, I had just gotten my Incredible 2 so I was hoping to take the opportunity to try a different phone out. After some debate, I decided to go with the Blackberry Bold 9650 from Verizon. My reasoning at the time was I already had a fun, touch screen phone with the Incredible, so I just needed something that could make calls and do email for work. Blackberry is known for its email, security, and keyboard. Plus a lot of people around the office had one of these so it seemed like a good idea.

While I haven’t been disappointed by the Bold, it also hasn’t exactly impressed me. The email client is fine but that’s about as much it has going for it. I used to think that a keyboard would be important for emailing, but I’ve gotten used to typing on a touchscreen (the buttons on the 9650 are a little small too). A lot of people raved about Blackberry Messenger, but I’ve never found a use for it. What really brings the phone down though is the software. Blackberry OS just feels too much like a feature phone OS from the mid 2000s. The web browser is horrible and the app ecosystem is weak. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but even for work, apps can be important. Deloitte has a couple of proprietary apps that are either exclusive to or better on the iPhone.

I know newer iterations of the Bold have a touchscreen and a better keyboard, but unless they drastically improve the OS and app environment, I will probably get an iPhone next time I’m eligible for an upgrade (just to get some variety). I finally believe that RIM is dead now. Even if the new OS is as good as iOS and Android, it will already be too late and it surely won’t be enough to attract new customers. The only viable strategy I see for RIM (other than selling itself) is to focus on being the smartphone for the poor. RIM has had some success in developing countries and lower income consumers. If it can get its price point down and offer some of the functionality users want (messaging, Facebook, Twitter) RIM can become a niche player. The days of RIM being the corporate king though is over.

(Not So) Recent Tech Roundup

It’s been a long time since I’ve done this, but I finally got around to posting here again. A lot of tech announcements have come out during the last few months and instead of doing the in depth analysis of one or two news stories, I thought I would do a rapid fire quick reaction to each item and go back to them in the future if I think they warrant more discussion:

Spotify– I’ve been a vocal fan of this service before it came to the U.S. since I got to try it out in the UK. However, I’m still a little hesitant to pay for the premium streaming service. I admit streaming is very nice, but think about this: if you ever stop paying the subscription for any reason (cash is tight or Spotify goes out of business, which is entirely possible) you’re left with nothing. Yes buying a lot of music can be expensive too, but most people aren’t starting from scratch. You already have a decent mp3 library and maybe even some CDs still lying around. Also, unlike video, music is something that has a lot of replay value. Therefore you’re not constantly seeking new songs to listen to. Finally, Spotify’s library still has a lot of holes, and I’m not just talking about obscure indy music. Coldplay did not release their latest album on Spotify because they didn’t like the financial terms. So you still have to buy some music anyway. For now I’m using Google Music, which lets you upload your music and stream it on any laptop or Android device. It gives me the convenience of streaming while maintaining ownership of my music without a monthly fee.

Apple Education announcement– Many people know that I have always been critical of Apple and I was skeptical after hearing this announcement. Will it be successful for Apple bottom line? Sure it’s Apple. But will it really improve and revolutionize education as they claim? Not necessarily, especially since a large part of the problem in this country is the gap between wealthy and poor school districts. I did some quick back of the envelope type calculations and it’s hard to see how this will save school districts any money.

Let’s assume a typical K-12 textbook cost $150 and the school district can use it for 5 years before it is outdated or worn out. Let’s say a student takes 5 classes each year. Therefore, the annual cost per student under this traditional model is $150.

Now let’s see what happens if a school district decides to supply iPads to its students. We will assume that each student will get their own device and each student will have to pay for a copy of the e-textbook every year. I’m also going to be generous here and assume the iPads will be subsidized, either by the government or Apple, to a very low $300 for the 16G Wifi model  and the price ceiling on e-textbooks will remain at $15. In this scenario, we get an annual cost per student of $135.

This is a slight saving of $15 per student annually which could really add up for large school districts. However, we left out a few things from this quick exercise and made very optimistic assumptions about others. First off, there’s no guarantee educational iPads will be subsidized at all, much less by $200. Nor will e-textbook prices remain at a low $15. If these sales start significantly cannibalizing print sales, I can’t see the publishing companies just standing by idly. In addition, we’re assuming that an iPad will last 5 years. Aside from usual wear and tear (which you know will happen when you’re dealing with kids), tablet technology is progressing rapidly. If Apple continues its release cycle of at least one a year for iPads, the current iPad 2 will long be obsolete by 2017. And let’s not forget that not all schools have Wifi and schools will still need money for traditional computers. I don’t care how good the iPad becomes, there’s no way you’re writing an essay on it. Financially, it’s hard to see this model working in its present state.

Changes to Google search– A lot of hoopla was made over Google’s privacy policy change, but I think people should be more upset about Google’s efforts to make search social and individualized. To me, a big part of Google search’s appeal was that it was agnostic. It didn’t matter who was doing the search, you would all get the same results because its what Google’s algorithms objectively believed were the most relevant. If Google has its way though, everyone would in theory have different search results even if they looked up the same term. This is fine for a social network like Facebook, but for a search engine it just seems wrong. If not done properly, it could seriously erode the value of Google. Imagine how detrimental it would be if I used Google to look up a certain product, explore vacation destinations, or research a political candidate and I only got one side of the story. Philosophically, it represents a greater danger of “socializing” everything. In my opinion, part of the beauty of the Internet is to explore new information and ideas outside your worldview. For example, you can spend hours using the random article feature on Wikipedia to learn all sorts of random facts about anything and everything. By filtering the Internet based only on what you already know and like, you’re creating something that may be comfortable but closed minded.

Facebook IPO– Yes, everyone’s asking two questions: Will Facebook’s IPO soar like Google’s and should I get in on it? From an outsider’s perspective, I would say “yes” and “maybe.” I’m sure Facebook will pop like most IPOs, but there’s almost chance you will get in on it if you’re an average investor. Most of these shares will be going to employees and large institutional investors and by the time you get your hands on them, you will already be paying the post-pop price. Long term, I don’t think Facebook will fizzle like Linkedin, Zynga, and Groupon. It’s too big and demand is too high to run out of momentum. I don’t think we’re going to see run away growth a la Google’s early years either, at least not yet. Remember, Facebook did a lot of its growing as a private company and is already really saturated in its existing markets. However, I think they have two trump cards that can give them a long term boost. First, Facebook currently does not serve ads on its mobile site and apps. As mobile becomes ever more important though, I have no doubt they will monetize it eventually and see a financial windfall from it. Second, Facebook has yet to crack China and several other Asian markets. While American tech companies have had a mixed record in China, it would be one of the few ways for Facebook to significantly grow its user base. For Facebook shareholders, it will all be about timing and patience. Wait for the initial buzz to subside to buy in and then hold for one of these major events to happen.

Jeremy Lin– Not a tech story at all, but couldn’t resist. First off, I like this kid and I hope he succeeds. He’s smart and plays his heart out. Despite beating the Lakers though, I still think he’s overhyped and unlikely to be the Knick’s savior by any means. Let’s not forget that he’s putting these numbers up on a Knicks team with their top 2 scorers out. They’re desperate for any positive signs in an otherwise disappointing season, and he plays for D’antoni whose offense is really friendly for quick PGs who can shoot and make good decisions with the ball. We don’t know if he’ll still be effective once Carmelo and Stoudamire return, we don’t know if he can sustain this kind of effort over a full season, much less multiple season and probably most importantly he’s had a lot of turnovers, sometimes as many as his assists. I still think he can be an effective backup because of his smarts and handles. I can see him having a solid NBA career an energetic spark off the bench like J.J. Barea or Leandro Barbosa, but I wouldn’t bet on much more than that.

Incredible 2 Review

Well, after reading about and even critiquing smartphones for the past few years, I finally got one of my own, the Droid Incredible 2 by HTC on Verizon. I’ve played around with it for a few weeks now so I feel like I can give a fair assessment of the device. I admit the name is a bit pretentious, but bottom line you’re getting great value for the price you’re paying. If only they were a little more modest and called it the Droid Really Really Good.

For various philosophical and financial reasons, I do not own any Apple devices and I wasn’t going to start with an iPhone 4. Android may not be as neat and clean as iOS, but it’s better for people who want to tinker with their phones and customize it for their own needs. It has great integration with Google services like Gmail and Voice and in many ways the Incredible 2 is better than the iPhone 4 both in terms of hardware (better camera) and software (iOS5 just got notifications).

If you’re going with Android on Verizon, you have a lot of choices. The Incredible 2 certainly isn’t the most flashy option. It doesn’t have 4G LTE like the Droid Charge or Thunderbolt. It doesn’t have a dual core processor like the Droid X2. However, what you do get is reliable performance in a lean, mean package. Unlike the 4G phones, the Incredible’s battery life is solid and won’t die after a few hours. I can get through a day of regular use (some phone/texting, 1-2 hours of music/podcasting, some web, social networking, and Youtube) without recharging. Unlike the X2, it won’t look (too) ridiculous in your pocket because the screen is only 4″ but that’s all you really need. If you really want to do heavy duty reading/watching, get a tablet. I wanted a phone that could make calls, browse the web, play music and casual games. The Incredible 2 does it beautifully without breaking the bank ($199.99 with contract right now).

That being said, there are some downsides. The biggest problem is Verizon. They’ve loaded it up with free trials and their crappy VCast apps. It’s like buying a PC back in 2000, except you can’t delete these. There’s also the issue of media management. Whatever criticisms I may have of the iPhone, its media management system via iTunes is the best out there. On Android, I’ve tried several options from the default HTC music player to DoubleTwist to Google Music (Yes I got a Beta invite! Look for a post about it!). All of these have their strengths and weaknesses but none of them work as well as iTunes on iPhone. Maybe as Google Music gets better Android will have something comparable. Lastly, I upgraded from a keyboard phone and the touchscreen typing initially took some getting used to. I’m okay with the onscreen keyboard now and Android does give you other options like voice input if you hate typing, but I still miss blazing across a full QWERTY keyboard sometimes.

Finally, I have to address the 3G v. 4G debate a little more. My choice ultimately came down to the Incredible 2 and the Droid Charge. The two phones have very similar specs. The big difference is one is 4G and one is not. We’re currently in a stage of development where there isn’t a clear cut better choice between the two. Let me be clear: LTE can be very fast and it certainly is the future. Also, Verizon’s 3G and 4G data plans cost the same so if you live in a 4G area it can be a pretty good deal. However, LTE is still a very new technology. A lot of these new phones are very expensive ($300 for the Charge) but have terrible battery life. In 2 years everything will be 4G, but right now it’s a tossup. Many places still do not have 4G coverage and the places that do may suffer outages. It really depends on where you live and how you use your phone.

So to recap, I’m really happy with the Incredible 2. It isn’t state of the art but the technology behind it is proven. You’re getting great bang for your buck. I would argue it’s the best 3G Android phone on Verizon, and perhaps even better than the iPhone 4. Don’t take my word for it though. Go read other reviews and go to your local store to play around with one.

A Defense of Business Majors

I read a recent piece from The New York Times today questioning the rigorousness of undergraduate business degrees. Basically, the article presented evidence that business classes are soft, students don’t learn as much as those of other majors, and a traditional liberal arts education holds greater value. I also saw another article raising some of the same questions about MBA degrees. You can obviously see my interest in this debate. As a business major concentrating in finance, I feel like it is my duty to defend my degree’s honor and provide a rebuttal to these arguments.

For the past four years, I have been a student at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, which BusinessWeek recently ranked #9 in the country. The majority of my experience has been overwhelmingly positive and I have nothing but the utmost respect for my professors and fellow classmates. Yes, there were some really easy classes along the way, but I think you will find those in any major. For the most part, my professors have challenged me with the course material but they also made it relevant by tying it to current and real life events. I went from knowing nothing about business to being able to invest my own money and speak intelligently about the markets and the financial crisis. And yes, our coursework involves a lot of in class discussions and group work, but I think the point of all this is to prepare students for life in the workforce. Many of my Arts & Sciences friends tell me they wish they had more opportunities for group work in their classes. The ability to work effectively with others is a valuable and highly underrated skill in almost any career. The students that I have had to work with have been absolutely professional and accountable. I have rarely had issues with inequitable distributions of work.

I do think there are two broader issues that both the Times and Poets and Quants articles failed to address. First, it ignored the economics of higher education. College is really expensive. For all majors. Unfortunately, not all majors are created equal in terms of employability. Therefore it is not unreasonable for a student and his family to choose a major at least partly because it is perceived to have a better chance of maximizing his future income. I wonder sometimes how a teacher or social worker (both of whom I admire greatly) will ever pay off his or her student loans from a 4 year private institution on their modest salaries. This is a problem that has potentially serious economic and social consequences. I am starting to agree with Peter Thiel that there is a higher education bubble. (Note that I say the decision is based on perceived future income. As the article noted, the average starting salary of business majors is higher, but the gap narrows as time goes on. However, perception is just as important as reality when you’re a college freshmen and all you’re going to see is the six figure Wall Street salaries and bonuses, even though few students will actually get those jobs).

The second issue has to do with MBAs. I do not have an MBA so I cannot claim to be an expert on the subject. I have spoken with older folks both with and without MBAs about the issue. As a Business Analyst at Deloitte, I am also obligated to get an MBA at some point if I want to stay with the company after a few years. From what I understand, the MBA is as much about the degree itself as it is about having it on your resume. A plain Bachelor’s degree is no longer special; you need an advanced degree to differentiate yourself. For better or worse, having an MBA will help you get a raise, earn a promotion, and in general open up more career opportunities. Therefore some students may be motivated to pursue an MBA not for the learning but simply for the degree. With that kind of attitude, it’s no wonder the academic environment at even the top MBA programs has broken down. The devaluation of the Bachelor’s degree and the sustainability of getting more advanced degrees is another serious question that merits more discussion.

I will concede a few points to the writer of the Times article. Business majors are notoriously bad at writing; even we know it. I have been fortunate enough to be an above average writer since elementary school and I have consciously tried to hone that skill in college by writing for the campus newspaper and my blog. BC also has a significant liberal arts core requirement which forces all students to take at least a few classes that require written papers. Still, the writing skills of many business students are woefully underdeveloped. I wouldn’t blame business schools entirely for this failure though; some of the fault has to be placed on the K-12 education system. In my opinion, a high school graduate should be able to construct a coherent essay. Yet despite all the standardized testing from No Child Left Behind, students are coming out of high school without this and other basic skills.

The article also made a point to distinguish between the top undergraduate business programs and lower tier ones. I am grateful to be attending a top notch institution such as BC and perhaps my experience has been more similar to that of the University of Virginia than some of the other schools criticized in the article. Many of my peers are heading to Wall Street, Big Four accounting firms, consultancies, or big name corporations. As the article pointed out, students from lower tier business schools are going into regional banks, insurance companies, or governments. These two groups have different needs and these differences should be reflected in their respective curricula. While I think all students should get the best education possible, the contrast does allude to the need for the right type of education.

Finally, rhetoric tradition requires me to make one completely self deprecating statement to feign modesty and exonerate myself from any shortcomings in my arguments. I have thus far defended the value of an undergraduate business education, in particular my own at BC. In fact I think non-business students should be encouraged to take a few business classes in their four years of college because a lot of concepts are important not just as a job seeker, but as a citizen. At the same time, if I had one academic regret in college, it’s that I never got a chance to double major in a field that either improved my quantitative skills, computer programming ability, or scientific knowledge. I think these skills are complementary and, to borrow one of business school’s favorite words, synergistic with any business education. It is especially for important for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be on the cutting edge of technology and understand what’s going on. Thus I do think it is important to encourage business students to take plenty of non-business courses.

I’ve ranted on long enough. What do you think? Are undergraduate business and MBA degrees becoming a joke? Or is it part of a larger problem with education? Please comment!

Job Search Advice

Anyone who’s talked to me in the past 3 months or so knows that my preoccupation this semester was finding a job. It was an arduous process and very nerve racking at times, but I came out with a job I like and I’m looking forward to enjoying myself next semester. Given the amount of time I spent though, I thought I would share my thoughts and tips about finding a job with anyone who’s interested.

I would start off by saying to go into your search with a plan. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life or have a dream employer per se, but have a general idea of what industries and positions you’re interested in, and what criteria (geography, pay, hours, work-life balance) are important to you. Given the state of the job market right now, I would cast a wide net but also be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too many prospective employers. You still want to be able to do a good job on each resume and interview so that you’re not applying to places just for the sake of applying. In my case I probably applied to too many as I ended up having to pass up interviews because they conflicted with other ones. I recommend approaching it like applying to college where you have a couple of dream jobs, a couple of good jobs that you have a reasonable chance of getting, and a few jobs that you may not be crazy about but have a pretty good chance of landing.

In terms of the actual interview, the best advice is also the most clichéd advice: relax and be yourself. It’s hard with all the pressure and high stakes, but you really think and do better when you’re relaxed and employers will notice. Ironically some of my best interviews were probably ones where I didn’t particularly care for the job or when I was more stressed about a different interview. That being said, you still need to practice and do your due diligence on the employer. Try to talk to past or current employees about the interview process and corporate culture. Read the job description and the company’s corporate website carefully. Be aware of any headlines involving the company or industry. You want to show you did your homework.

As for yourself, know your resume cold. You should be able to summarize the highlights in about a minute without any trouble. In general, practice behavioral questions about your skills, weaknesses, leadership abilities, and past experiences. There’s no guarantee which questions you’ll get so I would have several broad stories about jobs, activities, and accomplishments prepared and then spin those according to the question you get asked, focusing on different aspects depending on the situation. One question you will always be asked is why you want the job. Have a good but honest response ready. Interviewers can see through a completely BS answer.

One of the most dreaded parts of the interview is when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them. This is really tricky because you want to show interest and knowledge about the company but you don’t want to ask questions for the sake of asking questions. I typically start off with something easy like asking the interviewer why they chose their current career or how they got to their position. If there was something during our conversation that I wanted the interviewer to clarify or that I genuinely had an interest in, I would ask about that. Same holds true for any headlines or upcoming developments in the firm’s industry. Finally, I make sure I ask about the corporate culture to show that I’m serious about the company and the job. Also be sure to remember to ask for a business card or email address at the end. Follow-ups are pretty important. At worst, it gives you some closure about the interview. At best, you might see your interviewer again and he or she can give you some tips on next steps.

I will conclude by saying that looking for a job sucks. It’s like taking an extra class, except the class has a test every day and your grade has more real life implications that any other class. Regardless of preparation, you will have bad interviews where you’re having a bad day or you just don’t have any chemistry with your interviewer. Don’t let this get you down and whatever you do don’t let the job search take over your life and overwhelm you. You still want to leave some time for friends, family, relaxation, and doing things you like.

Best of luck to everyone out there who’s still in the hunt!