I apologize in advance if this post is a little all over the place, but that is an accurate reflection of how I’m feeling right now.

It’s starting to hit me that I’ll be on my way to China in less than a week. My upcoming departure has encouraged me to spend more time with everyone before I leave, so thanks to everyone who has made an effort to fit me in their schedule! I am SO excited to begin this adventure, but I’m also sad to be leaving my friends, family, and especially my puppy for so long. I may or may not have googled if your dog can forget about you after a month…

The past month has been way busier than normal, even excluding China preparations. For example, my sweet puppy had her spay surgery which required extra care during her recovery period.


She hated her cone, but she looked so cute in it.

We picked up the pace on wedding planning, so I hopefully won’t have to think about it too much while I’m gone. Andrew still has a to-do list though 😉 One of our activities was our catering tasting, which was so much fun!


I was probably unnecessarily excited about this reserved parking spot.

In my work life, my Project Manager announced she was leaving IBM. She was a great manager and we had also become good friends, so I am very sad to see her leave. I will be taking over a lot of her responsibilities when I return from China, which is both exciting and scary. We had a team event today to play bubble ball (soccer while wearing large bubbles) to celebrate everyone’s hard work and say goodbye to her. Here’s a fun video of me getting taken out by one of my co-workers:


I also was finally given more information about my CSC assignment! I will be working with 2 other IBMers to help an incubator in Chengdu standardize and optimize their operating strategy. For those of you who don’t know (because I certainly didn’t), incubators help start-up companies develop by providing services like office space and training. The one we are working with is specifically focused on college students. I definitely have a lot to learn, but I’m hoping I can accomplish a lot on my 13-hour flight! We had a conference call with our client organization last week to introduce ourselves. If you thought normal conference calls were difficult, try doing one with a translator!

startup image

There are still a lot of unknowns. For example, we won’t finalize our Statement of Work (SOW) until our kick-off meetings with our client during our first week in China. This means that we aren’t totally clear what our expected deliverables are for our assignment. I also don’t know things like where I will be working every day, what my expected working hours will be, and what our weekend activities will include. But I guess that’s all part of the adventure!


Following @instachengdu has kept me excited for my trip by posting cool pictures like this.

The thing I’ve been putting off the most is packing – eek! I can’t even comprehend how to pack a suitcase for over a month, so I’ve done what any reasonable person would do and haven’t. even. started. I’m sure I’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed once I do, so on that note, maybe I’ll go start some laundry…

My next post will probably be once I land in China. I can’t wait to share my first impressions!

4 Replies to “Just a Little Overwhelmed”

  1. Caitlin, good luck on your new adventure!!! It’s hard to believe the little girl that use to come to my house swimming has grown up and become a beautiful young lady and world traveler.

    Enjoy your adventure and stay safe.


  2. I will miss you too Caitlin!! I know you will do a fabulous job on your CSC assignment and at work when you get back. I’m only a phone call away 🙂

  3. I miss you too Caitlin! I know you will have a fabulous time on your adventure in China and be great at your new job responsibilities. I’m always just a phone call or email away 🙂

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