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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Monday, 15 December 2003

Another year, another Christmas.  Here's my second Christmas letter which I sent to close friends. 
___________

Hi ya,

Can you believe another year has flown by already? Where does all this time go? Well okay

into history, but hey you know what I mean!

Again, firstly I must start with a round of apologises, mainly for missing many opportunities to meet up with some of you. Unfortunately, with one thing or another, this has been quite a mad year; but I believe I should be making more of an effort to meet up with you!! Sorry in any case . L . and hopefully I can make amends in the new year!!

Anyway, another Christmas is almost upon us, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to write another letter. Last year when I wrote my first "Christmas" letter, I was thinking it would be a one-off and a great way to communicate with past school, college and mates that I may not have spoken to since the year before (if not longer!!) – It now seems that it turned out to be a good idea and therefore I have decided to continue this notion; so that’s the reason behind this one. J

I hope you are keeping well and life is treating you fine; for me, it has been a bit of a topsy turvey year, having finally settled into my new "job" which I started in September. Things are now looking up and I am certainly looking forward to the challenges ahead.

For the first few months of 2003, things were a bit bleak, especially on the job-front. With the world as it was, jobs seemed hard to come by and so I had to settle into my role as a Mortgage Consultant, based locally in Haywards Heath, which I started a couple of months after finishing my Bachelors. I always meant this to be a short-term solution and thought that not only it would resolve the issue of work in the immediate term after university, but also would look good on my CV. I kept thinking that the "right" job will hopefully crop up somewhere along the line. To aid this process, I had been sending out loads of speculative letters/applications whilst working (well not at the same time as work – but you get my drift) and attempted to get onto one of the I.T. or Management graduate streams programmes (I still had a specific interest in these fields!!). I knew that most of these programmes were looking for the crème of the crème, but I thought I had a chance (not saying I was one of the crème of the crème, but also not saying that I wasn’t either!) During early and mid 2003, I had attended dozens of interviews, taking part in psychometric tests (those once dreaded numerical, verbal and diagrammatic reasons test are now my friends – especially since many companies actually provided the identical tests!! Hehe) and attended numerous assessment centres in my quest to get through the "challenge" and "join" the programme.

Having persevered through most of 2003, I received the news I was waiting for, I succeeded in getting onto the IT graduate programme for American Express (AMEX), with the added bonus that it was a joint IT and Master of Science programme – i.e. working part-time with AMEX and part-time at the University of Sussex working towards a MSc in Information Technology for E-Commerce – all paid for by AMEX. This can’t be bad and certainly made me very happy – so the moral of the story, perseverance does pay dividends – if it wasn’t for this, I most certainly wouldn’t have made it through!! At least the assessment centres gave me a great opportunity to visit several parts of the UK – all for free. At least, I have managed to get out of the other end of the "milk-round" process and survive the ordeal!

This was a very verbose explanation of my year’s happenings, but basically my number one priority was to get a job in the field of interest, i.e. I.T. – and I succeeded! I am now titled as a Graduate Project Specialist, which is pretty much a Project Management role. As detailed earlier, it is a part-time role, so I work 30 hours for AMEX and the rest of my time (they estimate about 20 hours work) for my MSc. As you can see they ask us to work quite a lot of hours, but I believe it is worth it. I am based on the University of Sussex campus full-time, as AMEX has hired an office block located at one of the university outbuildings– so this is pretty convenient. The AMEX work does involve a lot of meetings, conference calls, reports and the like, but hey that’s the role of management these days. J I won’t say it’s easy work, but I certainly was looking forward to the challenge of the role and I certainly believe it is a role that I see myself developing further years down the line (although things do change and anything is possible).

Anyway, enough about work life is treating me okay, still single, yep tough life hey? But things are fine, I can’t complain. I am alive, I am healthy, and am around my friends and family – what more can I guy ask for?

I will stop waffling on now, but I thought take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and hopefully an even better 2004!!!!

For those who live (pretty locally), I will hopefully be in contact some time early 2004 (promise!), to catch up for drinkies and any other social gathering that we can agree on J For the rest, feel free to give me a call, e-mail or even respond by writing a letter (seems to be a great way of sharing so much in one go!) – But it would be great to keep in contact with some/all of you.

Look forward to hear, speak or see ya soon (hopefully)!

Take care and best wishes,

Aaron
___________
Till the next year, have a great 2004!!

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