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What can your story be in the United States?

5 posts categorized "Kamile Gimbutaite"


I am still alive :P

Hola mi amores :) I am back :) I just wanted to give you a quick update how has the life been and share an awesome video that a friend of mine showed me. Unfortunately, it's in lithuanian, so sorry my estonian and latvian readers, I've nothing for you this time :( :D The link to the video is here: Paskaita „Karjera investicinėje bankininkystėje ir kitose finansų srityse" (it is supposed to open in a new window but for some reason it doesn't so pls open it in a new window by yourselves :) ) Ruta Laukien is a veteran of financial industry here in the US and this video is a great summary of exactly what we do here, how we do it, and how does this world work. I find it to be extremely useful when I remember myself few years ago having no idea of what does it mean to pursue one or another career path in the financials, what do the different roles include, what are the career options, etc etc. Hope it will be useful for you in your career considerations!

Otherwise, I am doing great and keep on enjoying my internship and life here in NYC. I am confident at work, I  enjoy my freetime very much and I love the people around me. What else could you ask for? :) I am also starting planning my return home which is both sad and exciting. Here below are a few pictures with some short stories of what I have been up to lately. 

Morning after the snowstorm Nemo in the beloved Bryant park


My temporary office during the constructions in the building and the gorgeous view which I unfortunately had to give away already :(



I am keeping the style! :D And sending everybody best wishes! :)



Sandy, work and music

I wanted to share more about the famous hurricane but at that time I was involved in some more interesting activities, like fighting pneumonia, goign thru a detoxication program or worrying about mounting stuff at work because of dayoffs. Now after the craziness passed, I don’t see much of a point coming back to it anymore. Especially after this awesome post of Terje with a touch of her amazing humor which i really recommend to read if you haven't done so yet, but I will add a few thoughts of my own as well. Of course it’s unbelievable how a natural disaster can paralyze such a centre of the world, and although some people said there was too much of hysteria around it, I think it was worth it. Not only because Sandy delivered what has been promised. But if the officials have said “Yeah there’s some storm coming, be careful”, then some people would take precautions, but there are too many idiots who would be doing their normal stuff and then become victims and only an additional burden to firefighters, lifesavers and hospitals, so I believe you really have to make it a huge deal (even a bit artificially) to reach out at least to half of those idiots. And still! I couldn’t stop making fun of some ridiculous things, such as people buying stuff like crazy for example in areas like Sunnyside (my neighborhood) which is obviously one of the safest places to be in such times. I mean yeah prepare but stay reasonable. Local supermarkets and groceries must have made some good money out of the blue… OK it was terrible in places, e.g. lower Manhattan didn’t have power (which means no electricity, no hot water, no internet – a ghost town!) for I don’t know how long, maybe like 10 days or so, not even talking about the coast and the destroyed areas in New Jersey where you had a house yesterday and today you don’t have it anymore. It’s really hard to believe this can happen in 21st century, in most advanced place in the world. I was only feeling hopeless and powerless because of trains not running. I don’t think the subway system is so vital anywhere else in the world as it is here. After all, you won’t go swim the river. And I have read a super long and strong interview with one of MTA executives, and he was basically saying that although this time the city dealt pretty well and took measures to avoid much larger damage, but in general the subway system can’t survive a storm like this every year. But, as we all know, the climate situation is not getting better, it’s getting worse year by year, and such disasters happen more and more often, so it’s striking when you think about the future. He was talking about half of Manhattan under water in 100 years and plans of enormous projects to build some kind of construction in the ocean to block the waters going up and stuff. Something huge and something only Americans can think to be realistic. On the other hand, the city was living in some funny state for a week, I don’t know how to explain. Seemed that there were no burning deadlines, no important meetings, nothing that would be necessary to do here and now anymore. Everything stopped and cancelled, even the stock exchange didn’t work for a day, but you take it as it is and it’s fine, totally understandable and unquestionable. Well maybe only the cancellation of the marathon has been a bit more controversial, but not without a reason. Well, seeing the mess with the buses, apparently there were some bosses that would say “Either come to work whichever way you like or don’t come at all ever again”, and I am not talking about hospitals or anything else important. In fact, I’ve read another very true article, which was kind of about me, saying that in such cases there are always people rushing to come back to work the next day after the storm (like for example me), but no matter that you don’t see any danger anymore, no matter that there is a (theoretical) chance to get on the bus, you should put down your ass for a while, wait until everything is up and running again and in the meanwhile free up the roads for ambulance cars and buses for doctors and livesavers to get to work, instead of pretending your small important-only-to-you business will go bust if you won’t be handling it for a few days. That was particularly a stone in the garden of the financial industry, but I couldn’t agree more. Personally I was also going a bit crazy because I had some stuff to do and I just didn’t want to stay nights there in order to catch up after everything comes back to normal. But I managed to stay reasonable and worked only 2 days that week :D Now I regret I didn’t use the time to go on a trip to Cali instead of checking the MTA website 10 times per day if they have launched another train already or not yet. Oh well, you live - you learn, next year I’ll know J Lastly, the nice thing was how sympathetic and unified the whole city got. I am not talking about taking your old parents from their seaside house to your safe place, but for example gyms all over the city offered those without power to come for showers, Bloomberg invited companies to temporarily relocate to their office and use terminals there, even MOMA PS1 invited for tea and coffee, but I guess this was more for bored hipsters having first world problem of not being able to get to their very serious jobs . There are still so many events going on, with volunteers going to destroyed areas to help people rebuild or fundraising concerts happening literally every night. I have also seen many ads on Craiglist during and right after the storm offering places to stay for some 30-70 bucks per night but I am not sure about the philanthropic purposes of it. Anyways, for me it was only an interesting experience. Too bad it’s was less exciting for millions of other people.

As I shortly mentioned work, I would only like to add that it has been absolutely motivating and rewarding for last couple of months. I’ve been working on many different and super interesting things, I’ve been challenged and I delivered, and I’ve learned so much. I am not super excited about this lame monthly stuff that I have to anyways do, so it’s been super driving to come in every morning and get something new to work on, some practical real live problems to solve, research or calculate not something hypothetical but something that makes sense and is actually used, etc. Of course I don’t necessarily always know how to do it, but what I’ve always been good at is getting the stuff done. So at times the Bloomberg helpdesk has to suffer, other times my colleagues have to digress from their stuff because Kamile has something with the deadline “the sooner the better” etc etc. Well, there’s some negative implications (as always:D), and my roommates from Lithuania could only confirm, that when it starts really driving, I can work like crazy. Thank god I can’t bring stuff home (actually I sometimes do, but I can’t connect to the servers so it’s quite limited), but it’s not a secret that I am a morning person. Of course I don’t reach those levels of craziness when I used to be 6.30 AM on a treadmill few years back in Vilnius, but I have to seriously force myself to sleep longer otherwise I start waking up earlier and earlier everyday only because I can’t wait to get to work and get the stuff moving. Normally there’s nothing bad about it, but on Fridays I am so burned out that I crawl home and can hardly force myself to go party. I’ve been also doing a few off-work but professional-educational things that I thought would be interesting to share. First of all, I’ve been learning some Spanish via I think it’s slower and less effective than courses, because it’s more of a game, but I am doing a little bit of it during the breaks to switch the focus to something else for a while. My level is still the same beginner, but I don’t think I can ever get fluent so I go more for remembering stuff than learning new. There are a few other languages in case you’re interested. I have also started a computational investment online course from Georgia Tech via, which I don’t think I’ll get a certificate for since I’ve been late with homework already, and also it’s basically a programming course for traders, but the beginning has been a good additional refreshment of finance and hedge fund stuff, so I am pretty hooked and we’ll se what happens. I have also signed for maybe like 10 other courses ranging from hardcore mathematical stuff to gamification or social psychology, but they will only start early next year. I have also signed for a brain training course from, where you do a survey at the beginning to specify what things do you want to improve, like memory, analytical thinking, etc, and then they tailor the training program for you, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it although I am receiving emails of quizzes and plan to do this during the breaks as well. Finally, I have signed at Codeacademy while I was still in Sweden but obviously never had free time to start, so once the finance course is over, I am gonna Write my first line of code, as they suggest in their emails, as well. Although when talking about programming, I’ve started learning VBA early in summer, but stopped in the middle, mainly because I didn’t have any task that I would need to use it so it just got boring and pointless. I thought I will learn it in case I ever gonna need it, but obviously doesn’t work like that. Now I have a project which I don’t have a clue how to do, I kind of suspect there has to be a way to do it simply with Excel formulas that I don’t know yet, so in case I find any Excel guru among my colleagues I might get some help, but otherwise I am pretty sure I will need to write a macro for that, so I might as well get back to VBA soon. Well and finally finally, I have the CFA books that guys before me left! :D I mean I am not gonna go for the certificate most probably ever (personaly I honestly don’t see much value since anyone can get it, I tend to value more any kind of PhD next to your name than CFA since that it something requiring real dedication, while CFA is like IELTS – you don’t need to be good in English to get a high score, you only need to learn to answer in a particular (right) way), but it’s also a good source when I just need to refresh some particular topic. Amazing thing is as I looked through the contents of all the books, there is not a single topic that I didn’t have during the university years, even at VU. Unfortunately when you have too much of a good time and interesting life during your studies – you have to go through the same stuff all over again... Thank god doesn’t apply to CFM at Lund :D. I mean the interesting life... 

Finally, I have to brag a bit that I have received a few requests for sharing some music so I wanna quickly go through a few interesting names that you might want to check as well. To start with, I have to admit you can easily get spoiled here in NYC because of the overwhelming amount of concerts and gigs happening, having a chance to listen to some of the well known bands such as the Killers, Coldplay, Muse, etc etc to name just a few, as well as many super interesting ones just starting their careers and mostly playing for free. So I am of course missing a lot of great music, but at the same time I am certainly not going anywhere to listen to anyone. At least not paying for that. There are few bands in the world that I would pay indefinite amount of money to hear, such as Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand (etc etc), but my bank account can rest calm since my concert trackers haven’t indicated their shows any time soon. But some of the more interesting ones, not necessarily based in NYC, but those that I have discovered here, would first of all be the hipsters from LA Poolside. I am too bad with styles, so I won’t be attempting to identify, but it’s just a wave of relaxing Californian mood. Our respected music experts committee has come to a consensus that you’re gonna hear about them a lot soon. My fave ones are Slow Down and Harvest Moon. I’ve also been to quite a few interesting shows during NYC music week. The CMJ event where Lady Gaga kicked off few years ago didn’t present anything of a particular interest, but during it we enjoyed this now on the wave DJ Goldroom (actually even twice that week). My fave remix of him is this one, but you might have already heard some of his own music as well: ANGELES and FIFTEENDuring the same week I’ve seen Capital Cities, most probably you’ve heard and liked, as I did as well, Safe and Sound, but the rest of their stuff is also superfun. I actually had so much fun that night that I even went to the guys to tell them that they are really awesome which I normally do never. While looking for events I’ve come across Neon Indian which I recommend to check out, although I haven’t been to a concert. My newest fave is Computer Magic, who also helped me to discover this awesome trio playing in the parks and subway stations Moon Hooch. It was a random Tuesday when we went to literally the darkest secret basement of Wburg with no interior and maybe 3 or 8 types of alcohol in the bar to listen to Computer Magic, but Moon Hooch started such a party that it was really painful decision to go home. Super energetic, and playing nearly all styles of music from what we called live dubstep to rock and anything in between using three instruments. Unfortunately looks less of a fun in Youtube than live :P I also love Penguin Prison which we will see in a few weeks during our looooong weekend in Boston where we will meet all the interns from all the countries placed all over the States and have an interesting cultural-educational-social program. I knew few of his songs from somewhere but I never knew the name of the singer. I can’t remember anyone else right now, but I hope that’s enough to enjoy for a few cold winter evenings. I purposely didn’t even mention the Nicolas Jaar party that I’ve been last weekend, but only because I don’t have the words to describe the awesomeness. Instead I am sending my fave goodnight of his label: Just Friends - Avalanche.


Good times is all we have time for!

This time I wanted to share more about some of the most hilarious events that I've been lately, since I am just telling everyone that I am really enjoying every minute and loving every corner of NYC but never really explain what I do.
So sometimes we just go to randomest bars and venues to simply hang out there. This mostly happens when we don't have tickets for any specific events. In general I couldn't care less WHERE to party and I am not trying specifically to go to as many or as famous clubs and bars as possible because of New York City. There are good places with good music, good atmosphere, good drinks and good crowd all over the world, NYC, Vilnius, London, Tokyo, etc etc, and there is no difference where to dance the whole night as long as the company is good. But it's still nice to accidentally have a blast at Union Pool or Bembe (our last night's DISCOVERY, no signs on the street, tiny place with dark interior and awesome soul party), hear from someone that it's very hard to get into the bar you've been last night because Scarlet Johansson (or whatever she's spelled) sometimes goes there, try authentic Caipirinhas at a brasilian place or just have fun in other millions of dark basements in some of the hype areas, watch people and have good conversations.. Other times we go to specific events, mostly concerts. I've been lucky enough to discover some interesting music, such as for example Russian band Tesla Boy ( This last weekend we've been to a concert of my long-time-beloved slovenian band Gramatik, but then there was another guy that I didn't know before but appeared to be a pretty awesome DJ called Kid Koala ( Once we've been to a concert of a swedish band Little Dragon which I also liked very much but although they say it's pretty well known in Baltics I shamefully didn't know it before. And so on. There are also events that happen continuously, with the most notable Warm up! festival every Saturday at a branch of MoMA in Queens or unbelievable Sunday afternoon (!) party  called Tiki disco in a garden of a very good pizzeria in Brooklyn. We go there to shake all the sh*t we eat on weekend nights and enjoy the chillout atmosphere before another workweek. We stay there until reasonable hours though (since it's still Sunday), but this is the place where I guess you can check the accuracy of the NYC jobless rate, since most of those people party really hard until the early hours of Monday :O


Warm up! at MoMA PS1



The line to get into Tiki Disco. Watching people is also not the least interesting thing to do in such places.


In summer there is still so much going on outdoors. Last weekend we went to check Afropunk festival (with Erykah Badu) somewhere far in the middle of Brooklyn. It was amazing since those festivals in Europe are kind of a big deal, they take months to organize, tickets are sold far in advance, people plan their weekends, take vacations etc etc, and here it just happens from time to time in a random park. We're going to one in the end of September to see Foo Fighters for example.. By outdoors I also mean after work chillouts on rooftops, picnics in parks, countless free concerts in Central park (like this "almost Beyonce" girl called Goapele ( or Backstreet Boys (!) last week :D) and similar. I also try to not only party, but go to other type of events, for example like some cultural stuff, as I call it :) We have just been last week to an incredible show of Cirque du Soleil. OK the audience was 70% touristic, but still doesn't reduce the awesomeness of the show. Makes you think where are the limits of abilities of humans, really. Another impressive experience was US Open game of Ricardas Berankis who is the best lithuanian tennis player. He lost, but that was a lovely evening. Apparently tennis is much more interesting to watch in the court than on TV, the game was tough and intense, the weather was awesome, atmosphere relaxing, most of the crowd (except those shouting Davai Rychka) were very nice people, etc etc. Made half of my last weekend.
But the most interesting thing I've seen lately was a party this last Saturday in a former Pfizer (that's one of world's largest pharma companies) R&D headquarters. It's a huge factory occupying the whole block in South Williamsburg ( The venue is awesome. Huge spaces, industrial elevators, pipes on the ceiling, like REAL factory. I wouldn't call it a party though, more like a contemporary art night out, with science inspired art acts, dancers, video games, etc etc. One of the most impressive things we have spend watching for at least half an hour was this motion detector camera, something a la Kinect, and the wall behind it where you see your moves in color and slow motion. Sorry for the bad quality, it's still my old "smart" phone. But looks more or less like this below.



Some people were really good at that, dancing Capoera or just randomly going crazy, while we could only entertain others with some Matrix style boxing moves :D And then you go to a chillout zone behind the wall, lay on couches and watch this hypnotizing screen. Unforgettable. There were also two rooms of music, but we didn't have a slightest idea of going just simply dancing when so many unbelievable things were happening around.

I have also recently visited a friend in Baltimore and we just went for a day trip to Washington DC. I knew what to expect and it totally met the expectations. Nice and clean touristic place. I guess you need to see it once in a lifetime (as all the places in the world) and put a check in your list, but nothing special. Great time, awesome getaway from the city life and a slight cultural-historical enrichment. I liked most not the Capitol, monuments or the White House, but the really impressive Botanical garden, the General Motors hall of the evolution of vehicles and capsule of the rocket (I hope that's the word) which guys stayed when they flew to the moon the first time.

THE Botanical garden. Strangely, I don't like zoos, sea worlds and similar stuff, but I am kind of a fan of botanical gardens. Didn't know there was one in Washington DC, so got very positively surprised.


I am sure I have still missed something impressive, because I am already mixing events, weekends, "what we did when", etc etc. On the other hand, I like to take it easy on workdays and preserve energy, as I call it. Go to gym or jog in the park while it's still warm. Read something, listen to new music. Look for the new apartment. Check how are friends living and reply to messages. Do groceries, polish nails, etc etc. But in general I am enjoying my freetime very very much. Of course, the more you do, the more you want to do. We already have tickets for some concerts in October and November, a huge list of places just to go eat or have a drink after work, also plan to buy tickets for a very interesting show called Fuerza Bruta, which is supposedly gonna be THE experience again ( I also wanna go to see a Broadway musical, American football game and start using my MoMA membership card for some lovely evenings among the greatest pieces of art in the world. But all this can wait for the autumn. Next weekend I am gonna have a Saltibarsciai which is a traditional Lithuanian summer food (cold beetroot soup) dinner at my lovely place which I recently fell in love very strongly after I started looking for a new place, since in short most of the places in NYC are just expensive holes. Anyways, it's not about accommodation this time :) There's also Dumbo arts festival about to start very soon in one of my favorite chillout places overall in the whole NYC - park between Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

I promise a better picture, this one is again from my phone.


Finally, I have met so many awesome people! First of all it's so good that we have a great company of interns here, so we hang out together a lot and have bestest times. I learn a lot from those people, I get energy, inspiration, ideas and ways to do things so I love this company very much already. 

I wish everyone to enjoy life as much as I do right now.


New York New York

Yayyy I finally have a minute after three weeks of constant rush to sit and put down all the first (and already second) impressions of the Big Apple. I can already tell that this is going to be a long post although I would like to write about one thing at a time, like work, social life, travelling, shopping, etc etc, but this time it's just going to be a flow of thoughts about everything, so you better grab a cup of tea and let's go! :)

So the first days NYC just fell on me with all of its grandeur, speed, 8 million people, noise and of course charm. I felt like in a rally with the weirdest and unbelievable confusion everytime I go up from the subway on the street and need half a minute to locate myself and figure out which direction is east and west, uptown and downtown. It's good that americans are very practical people so the strictness of the blocks in Manhattan really helps :) I've been couple of times here already as a tourist, but when you're a tourist, you're allowed to behave like a tourist: walk in undefined directions, look at the map, ask people... Now I want to pretent a little to be a New Yorker, so I deliberately don't even carry a map with me which of course makes it more challenging, but this is just the way I wanna do it.. Looking back I feel that the first weeks were just a huge chaos, when I used to buy random stuff, eat random stuff, end up in random places, etc etc, which was interesting, but I got a bit tired of that. Now I already started filtering the places I like, events where I want to go and so on. 

The normal after work hour on the street :)

Social life was also a bit messy so far, but at the same time exciting. It's so good that so many BAFF interns are here as well, so we spend quite a lot time together, share the news, experiences and advices. I've read an article about social contact in NYC saying that it's very hard and you have to literally ask your friends to invite you to events, introduce you to your friends and so on, otherwise nobody in this 8 million crown would pay attention to you. And I can already say that it's kind of true, because although people for example at work are all nice and friendly, but they always rush to their companies or families, accidental contact in the street happens extremely rarely, and in general most of the people that you meet during the parties or getogethers of your friends - you're not gonna see ever again, so it's all very superficial with the legendary conversation "Hi how are you! - Hi how are you!":) The article suggests that everyone should deliberately and actively seek for contacts and friendships so I already started by signing in the gym and going always at the same time, so that I can meet the same people and get in touch. 

So far we've been spending our scarce free time quite interestingly and diversely everytime trying new things. Picnicing goes well in Central park or Roosevelt Island. After work it's extremely relaxing (and charming) in the park between Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges (or in hipster bars in Williamsburg). Mountain hiking an hour ago away from the city refreshes your mind well, while night at the beach gives wonderful laughs and conversations. And the July4th fireworks are very well seen from the Jersey side. I know sounds like we're just escaping the city all the time. Well, in the summer it's kind of true. The air is polluted and humid, as if it wouldn't be enough that it's 30 degrees celcius everyday, and spending the whole week running in crowded streets of fighting in subway makes you unconsciously look for getaways. Oh I think I forgot to mention that I work in a scyscraper just a block away from the blinking Times Square, so in addition to rushing corporate people there's always tons of tourists with their heads and cameras directed up to the tops of the buildings... That's a colorful crowd :) Coming back to free time activities, there's so many things going on every day that it's literally impossible without cloning yourself to be everywhere! Bryant park, just in front of my office, is probably one of the liveliest places in Manhattan, since all kinds of events are just never ending there! You can try Tai chi and Yoga before work, spanish classes during lunch, ping pong and chess all the time, also poetry, fencing or just sitting and reading a book... On top of that, there are jazz concerts almost every day after work, while on Mondays they show old movies in a big screen gathering such a huge crowd that you feel like in a music festival. And this is only one tiny spot in the city! I am not even talking about the concerts of all the bands I could have ever thought of seeing live, and of course countless bars and clubs... You can't really pick your favorites, because there's so many of them that even if I went out every night, a year wouldn't be enough to visit all and even have favorites... But as I said, slowly but surely filtering is in the process...:) The most exciting thing is that we will have the opportunity to see the seasons changing because each brings different activities and experiences. For example, we deliberately leave all the museums, theaters and other indoor activities for the cold season and now enjoy time outside. But we already started planning our first trip which is most probably gonna be Boston next weekend yayy!

Busy bankers go hiking!

From the professional side, it has been interesting and challenging. I am particularly excited to have a chance to explore a totally new area - hedge funds. I just got a master's degree in corporate finance, so I am kind of from the same universe, but since I had literallly not even a single class about investing, I can say I am still from the different planet :) My internship is with Lloyds which is a brittish bank and I am working in an Investment Advisory Group helping the VP in portfolio and hedge fund analysis and selection. It has actually been just a few days since I started feeling a bit more confident about what I do, because at the beggining I honestly had no idea what's going on there. But this is precisely what I call "moving out of your comfort zone" which is an extremely healthy activity from time to time :) In adition, my boss went on vacation just few days after I arrived, so I am still taking my luxurious time to learn everything before he comes back and starts throwing at me all the tasks. What I also appreciate very much at Lloyds AIG is that in fact you don't learn all these hedge fund specificities in any university, it only comes by doing, so knowing our employees that normally want us to be recent graduates with 5 years of experience, I find this internship extremely useful not only to broadening my educational background, but actually providing me with priceless real world experience which you wouldn't otherwise get before actually applying for the (entry level) position, but still leaving you the status of an intern, which means you are allowed not to know things or even make mistakes. I am now for example writing monthly commentaries on macro events, reactions of the markets and the influence to different asset classes, hedge fund strategies and positions of our portfolios, which makes me refresh my interdiscipline knowledge and relate different areas of finance together. Besides, the most interesting thing I do is the meetings with different hedge fund managers where they present their investment philosofies and strategies, portfolio composition, opinions and expectations towards markets, etc etc. It's not only a part of due diligence of selecting managers, but also a huge flow of knowledge to me, not even mentioning the impressive experience of going every week to JP Morgan's headquarters and meeting all those mysterious Wall Street people :) 

Concrete jungle views from the office window

I have worked in many companies in US already with the student programs, so there was nothing very surprising here regarding working environment. Even when I was super confused at the beginning there was no stress or tension in the office, people seem to understand very well that new things take time, everybody were helpful and in general I like the atmosphere in workplaces here, where boss is not only the mean person asking you to redo things 10 times or requiring something impossible from you, but also a friend which you can always enjoy a good conversation or a glass of wine afterwards. 

So, to summarize, it has been very exciting time so far, with my head exploding while trying to perceive everything else that's coming during the next year!


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