Revisiting work

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This week and last, I went back to my old work place to say hi to come of my colleagues and grab dinner or drinks. It was so strange showing up and not being able to get in without someone letting me in, then hopping around from conversation to conversation while I was there, with no desk or seat that was mine.

It was great to see everyone I ran into and get caught up on some of the changes that had occurred. I was at once surprised at how little had changed yet how much had. It was so strange – the past six months I’ve been in an insane bubble away from much of the world and since I’d undergone intense changes, I sort of thought more would have happened at the company too. At the same time, some of the things that did transpire during that period were changes that could have meant major changes for what my role was.

How often and how frequently do you go back to visit your previous workplaces? I’ve found that I initially return every 6 months or so and it seems to taper off after 2 years, since by then many of the people I knew best move on and there becomes a weaker tie back to the company. I do have some good friendships that came of each place and I maintain loose ties with those friends as our paths find ways to crisscross in the future. In fact, one of my old colleagues who had left will now be moving to NorCal, not far from where I’ll be interning over the summer!

Funny how life works sometimes.

I hope that over the course of my career, I can maintain strong relationships with the people I worked with and maybe we can even work together again in another capacity. It’s always so nice to see them again and be able to get the group back together for some conversation. I don’t know when I can visit again, but I do hope it’s a few more times before life moves on and we disperse to more places.

Winter break

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Ah, inertia. Ever since Thanksgiving break, I’ve seen a noticeable decline in motivation in all my classmates. We sort of just didn’t want to get back into things after our first real break.

Now that we finally got through the rest of classes, finished up finals, and are on winter break, all I want to do is lounge around. I don’t want to check emails or read books as I thought I might have done. I don’t like watching TV, but for boredom’s sake I’d turn something on just to have it going in the background.

This is reminding me of the spring break I had once where I was one of the only people on campus and I basically watched a dance competition show nonstop. I completely messed up my sleep schedule that time, staying up until 7 or 8 am and sleeping through until 6 pm. At least this time I’m keeping somewhat normal hours, though I’ve lost all sense of what day it is.

I’ve only got two more weeks at home before leaving and I want to maximize my time doing nothing and hanging out with the cats. So that’s the plan.

My new iPhone 7 Plus

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This was the first time I can remember not ordering my new iPhone as soon as it came out. I was far too busy with school to pay much attention to it, plus I knew that I wanted to leave AT&T but I wasn’t sure for which carrier. A few weeks into it being released, I went to Sprint and T-Mobile stores to try to understand their options for plans and purchasing a phone. I still wasn’t decided at that point and I just wanted an unlocked phone, but those weren’t being sold yet so I went back to waiting.

Upon receiving the internship offer from my top choice of companies (more on that another time), I decided to check the Apple Store online to see what was available. At that point, unlocked phones were available, so I treated myself to one… to be delivered a month later, between Nov. 22-30.  -___-;

And so the wait began… until finally, I received my phone on the 22nd! I watched the updates as it shipped from China, made its way through Korea to Alaska, and took a break for the weekend. I thought it’d come straight down to California after that, but I shouldn’t have been surprised when it appeared in Louisville. Then it came over to California and eventually made its way onto a truck for delivery. It was so fresh from the factory when I got it that it still had a chemical smell. I immediately kept the box open to air it out so I could use the phone soon.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to purchase storage space on iCloud. I had not backed up my phone in months and I don’t want to risk losing anything. Plus, as the phone storage got larger, it started to become cumbersome for my computer to keep backups. So I opted for the 200 GB plan to ensure plenty of space for all my stuff. I then tried to back up my phone to iCloud so I could restore the backup for my new device, but it kept failing.

After many tries and nearly giving up, I finally went home where the internet speeds were a lot faster and completed the backup only to find that it was somehow incompatible with my new phone! At that point, it seemed like a sign to start my phone anew. So I downloaded only the key apps that I use and now my phone feels kind of empty. I’m using about half the space I was before, even with all my photos transferred over. I have nearly 100 GB to work with!!

With that, here are some pics of my brand new phone…

black iphone 7 plus box iphone 7 plus info sheets and apple stickers front of iphone 7 plus in black

back of iphone 7 plus in black

I got the 7 Plus for the dual camera, for that extra zoom capability!

iphone 7 plus headphones and charger in box

iphone 7 plus charging cable and headphone jack converter in box

So far I’m loving the much larger screen, though one-handed use is nearly impossible. That’s ok since I’m not a thumbs user. The home button that’s not a real button was weird when I first felt it in the store, but after having some sensitivity issues with my last phone, this actually feels great and is working well. I’ve tried my hand at 3D touch, but for the most part don’t remember to use it or some of the fancier response options that allow me to not have to jump between apps.

I’m enjoying some of the simpler updates, like how the screen turns on when I raise the phone, so I can check the time and recent notifications quickly. I also like being able to activate Siri without being plugged in and I hear that she recognizes my voice versus someone else who may try to use my phone.

Overall it’s less buggy than my phone was running before, which might partly be due to the newness and partly due to the fact that I didn’t restore it from that phone and carry over any legacy stuff. The battery life also works great, which I was having some trouble with on the last phone. It is rather slow to charge up though.

All in all, I’m always happy with a new phone and since getting it, we went out and got ourselves new phone plans too. I’m now on T-Mobile, which has decent service and is just as bad in the same areas as AT&T was (namely, parts of my apartment and the courtyard between buildings at school). I’m starting to consider whether I’ll move to an annual update with my phone at some point… 2 years is starting to feel long.

Prospurly September 2016 review

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So much for getting caught up, eh? I can’t even believe it’s been this long and I have all these boxes to review. Let’s get to it then!

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly september 2016 box open with products showing prospurly september 2016 info card with product details

Prospurly recipe cards – These are simple little cards with room for ingredients on the front and directions on the back. I never had the habit of making recipe cards, but I might take some of my all-time favorite family dishes and write them down (though Chinese people don’t exactly use measurements when cooking — at least not my mom!).

Triple XXX newspaper and Vanilla Sugar – Lol, the newspaper is so weird that I don’t get it. It’s talking all about beavers and their oppression. While I know it’s being cheeky, I don’t see the connection with vanilla… anyway, I’ve never seen vanilla sugar before but I think it’s quite cool. What a great way to add extra flavor and sweetener without going crazy on the sugar. I think a little bit of this will add a good amount of fragrance. I don’t quite know what to use it for since I rarely use sugar. I guess next time I bake!

Native Nectar Stress Relief Therapeutic Oil – This is definitely a soothing scent. I think the ylang ylang combined with lemon really gives it a unique earthy yet slightly tart aroma. I like applying it to my wrists and inhaling.

LB Love Organics LipLove Orange Cream lip balm – I like having these types of light lip balms around for when I want to prevent chapped lips but not add any color. This one has been in my bag for school so I can apply it throughout the day. It’s very mild and hardly smells.

LB Love Organics vanilla mint lip scrub – This smells just like a peppermint patty! Delicious. It’s gently cooling on the lips and a great little ritual to treat my lips. Afterwards, I don’t even need lip balm since the oils from this can act in lieu of one.

Body Brewed Whipped Shea Butter in Sweet Orange + Clary Sage – What a nice thick whipped butter with a special scent. It’s also light on the fragrance so it’s not overpowering. This little tub is perfect for bringing on a trip when I need to be able to lotion my body and don’t want to bring a large bottle of lotion.

Native Nectar Sleepy Time Salt Soak – I’ve only bathed once since starting school and I don’t really have the opportunity to, but I hope to more when I go back to VA for the holidays. I have a growing pile of bath products to use, so I might not get to this one for a little while but it looks super cool!

I’m happy with everything that came in this box and I look forward to trying each of the items. What do you think of this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Adobe Analytics Challenge 2016

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This weekend, I participated in the 15th Adobe Analytics Challenge. My team, DataInsights, was one of six finalists chosen to be flown out to Lehi, Utah (Adobe’s headquarters) and it was quite a ride! USC Marshall had two teams going and we all decided to extend our stay to enjoy Utah after the competition.

adobe analytics challenge XV homepage with six finalist teams

Check it out, we’re on the homepage!

This was my first case competition, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I must say that it would be hard to top. I mean, $50,000 worth of cash prizes, free trips to Utah, a fancy meal, all that swag, and a chance to check out Adobe’s headquarters? It was fabulous and I’m glad I was part of it. I hope to come back next year to support more Marshall teams that make it to the finals!!

view of snow covering salt lake city from airplane landing

I passed out during the plane ride and woke up to find snow covering the town.

view outside plane window when landing at salt lake city airport

Funny enough, as we got close to the airport, the snow was gone.

first glimpse at beautiful snowy mountains in utah

On our way to the hotel, we marveled at the mountains.

springhill suites lehi living room area

They got us suites, which was perfect for meeting in.

springhill suites lehi bedroom area

In the afternoon, we rested and cleaned up before dinner.

entrance to foundry grill at sundance

A shuttle bus drove us up to the Foundry Grill at Sundance.

meat and cheese appetizer at foundry grill sundance

When we arrived, Adobe staff and some appetizers awaited.

mac and cheese appetizer at foundry grill sundance

As we settled in, we chowed down on the appetizers before ordering.

adobe dinner menu at foundry grill

The menu for the night!

foundry grill squash soup

It seems most people got the squash soup.

foundry grill greens & grains

I opted for the salad.

foundry grill filet mignon

Filet mignon was probably very popular too.

foundry grill chicken breast

I wanted carrots, so I got the chicken.

foundry grill maple pecan bread pudding

One of the desserts was bread pudding.

foundry grill chocolate cake

The other option was chocolate cake with cherry flavors.

foundry grill wall art of metal tools

The decor in the place was very rustic.

walking to adobe headquarters building

The next day, we got to Adobe around 8 am.

moon over adobe headquarters building

The moon was still up!

adobe headquarters entrance with event signs

In the entrance, they had signs for the event.

adobe headquarters cafe eating area

Their open cafeteria area is so spacious and bright.

adobe analytics challenge setting up

As we got breakfast, they set up the stage, complete with mics and down screens.

free swag for finalists at adobe analytics challenge

What a wonderful surprise to find at our seats!! I love the swag.

prizes for audience attendees of adobe analytics challenge

The audience got to win all sorts of cool things!

adobe hallway view

This is where we paced doing last-minute practicing for our lines.

view of street from adobe headquarters

Looking out the hallway, there was still an awesome view.

teams of finalists in the holding area practicing

We were the second to last team to go, so most of these folks went before us.

adobe analytics challenge finalists on screen

After all the presentations, the judges had time to deliberate and then we got ready for the announcement.

view from stage of adobe analytics challenge

All teams got on stage for the prize announcements and this was our view. My team came in 4th.

gorgeous view of mountains from adobe headquarters

After the event, we got to have lunch at the cafe and check out this amazing view.

adobe headquarters indoor fire pit

Following lunch was a tour of random things like the indoor fire pit!

music room at adobe headquarters

They’ve got a music room and signed guitars from artists who have played there.

interactive art in stairwell at adobe headquarters

As you go up the stairs, you can grab a ball that you can drop down a tube at the top.

funky top chair in adobe headquarters game room

In the game room, you’ll find these fun spin top chairs! You can fall backwards to roll completely around.

adobe headquarters nunchuck chair and gong

Ah, the nunchuck chair… you should ask about that story if you visit.

pretending to sit in nunchuck chair at adobe headquarters

I didn’t want to sit on it but I wanted to pretend!

closeup of nunchuck design

The nunchucks had some cool dragon designs on them.

adobe headquarters spray paint art on wall

They commissioned a famous graffiti artist to do this. There’s a timelapse of it somewhere…

posing by entry of adobe headquarters

Before heading out, a final pose with Adobe!

neck pillow as coaster for pot

That night, we drove down to Moab and immediately had dinner. This was funny way of holding a pot.

homemade steak and asparagus dinner

One of the guys made us steak, asparagus, shrimp, and zucchini!

men of the household cooking

I love that the men took over the kitchen as the women hung out at the dining table. Thanks guys!

rustic western feel to bedroom

I got a sweet bedroom all to myself.

fancy shower with lights and steam room function

The master bathroom had this insane shower with tons of showerheads, color-changing lighting, and a steam room function. Not to mention a sauna next to it and a hot tub outside. We used them all!!

view from moab trails retreat cabin

The next morning, we saw our surroundings for the first time.

selfie with the truck from the movie cars

First order of business was lunch at a local cafe. Look what we found!

pond at eklecticafe in moab

The outdoor seating area included this pond.

hungry bird eating salad off plate

As we were leaving, the birds came to have some fun with the food.

line to get in to arches national park

Then it was off to Arches National Park!

beautiful red rocks in arches national park

Our first stop provided wonderful views.

snowy mountains against red rocks

Check out the snowy mountains in the background!

red rock formations at arches national park

Sometimes I feels like we’re in Arizona and other times the snow on the mountains feels like Colorado.

standing with arms outstretched with delicate arch in the background

When we find Delicate Arch, I put on my fancy dress.

standing with arms overhead with delicate arch in the background

Who did it best? Me?

standing with arms outstretched overhead with delicate arch in the background

Or him? 😉

jumping with delicate arch in background

I had to do a jumping shot too. Always.

making a manmade arch as person runs underneath

This human arch was great for running under.

planking across boulders to create manmade arch

Try planking it!

view of one of many arches

Every pit stop had something to look at.

crow staring waiting for food

Look at the glow from the canyon on its back as it eagerly awaited food.

crow sitting on dead tree branch

crow flying at arches national park

What an amazing place!

arches national park rocks against blue sky

The sun was setting as we reached our final destination – Devils Garden.

walking on trails at arches national park

It was quite chilly without the sunlight.

doing bridge pose with arch in background

With a change of wardrobe, I decided to imitate the arch for this one!

twirling in front of arch

I was instructed to twirl, so I did as best I could with no shoes on.

twirling with skirt poufing out and arch in background

It was a lot of fun as I got dizzy.

back view of dress at arches national park

My photographers were getting into their own and starting to instruct me on what to do for this final one.

tips of snowy mountains peeking between red rocks

Wow, check out the mountains behind the red rocks.

brown bunny eating grass at arches national park

Just before exiting, we saw this adorable bunny.

brown bunny posing for camera

It even posed for us for a bit before hopping off.

t-bone steak with mushrooms and onions

That night, the ladies enjoyed the hot tub and came in to find dinner ready.

eagle decoration carved in stone tile of bathroom

I just loved this random detail in the hall bath.

adobe headquarters in lehi utah

Our last day, I woke up ill and pretty much slept most of the day away. I caught a picture of Adobe as we passed by on the way to the airport.

free swag for adobe analytics challenge finalists

And finally, here’s a look at what came in the bag! I looove the custom branded S’Well bottle and wall charger.

Shock and awe

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24 hours ago, I went to bed stunned. I really did believe that America would vote Hillary Clinton into office. Perhaps I was too naive.

It’s been a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions in the ensuing hours. I’m pretty sure I went through all the stages of grief and then started all over again today. For a period, I also blocked out the memory and managed to forget. I’m still grappling with how exactly I feel and what I think. It’s pretty insane.

I know it’s not the end of the world, or even the country. But I do truly feel that we could be headed down a dark path. Based on what happened in the campaign, there’s a lot to worry about. Luckily the government has power spread out and things don’t generally move very fast. I’m hoping the more extreme ideas never come to fruition and I know we’ll be looking out for ways we can help ensure that’s the case.

At this point, I think it’s important to remain hopeful and to be strong with those who value humanity without labels that separate. There has been so much division and disagreement in the discourse. I can empathize that certain Americans have been unhappy. I do not pretend to understand their plight, but I would certainly be upset if I felt marginalized and ignored.

However, I wish that this election wasn’t the way for the disenfranchised to lash out. Will they really get what they want out of it? I’m doubtful… only time will tell. I personally could not ignore the consistent bullying and belittling. That is not the temperament and character of a president. I cannot respect a man like that.

I’ve seen a lot of people shocked, disappointed, upset, appalled, disgusted, and in disbelief. I am many of those things too, but at the same time, I have hope that the next couple of years will pan out in a more positive way than we expect in our fearful state. I know many will be working to secure a better future than we might foresee right now. I believe that’s what we’ll need.

For now, I’m taking a moment to mourn. There will be some tough roads ahead.

Prospurly August 2016 review

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Well, I seem perpetually two months behind on these reviews now… but with much of my recruiting behind me and things getting into a different rhythm, I hope to pay a little more attention to my blogging. We’ll see how well that works out. 🙂

Prospurly is just under $45 per box (with code for 10% off your subscription – use my referral links from this post) and comes with artisan foods, bath & body items, home products, and other sustainably crafted items. Boxes are sent monthly with no option to skip. They offer a referral program that earns you free boxes.

prospurly august 2016 box open with products showing prospurly august 2016 info card with product details

Botanical Love Notes – How adorable are these? They have chamomile, calendula, and lavender. I feel like framing these in one of those three-panel frames rather than actually writing in them and giving them away. I may choose to use them eventually, but I like them as art for the moment.

Foxes & Ferns organic bath tea in Relaxation (bonus item) – One of these came back in May and I haven’t used it yet since I haven’t had a chance to take a bath, but it sure makes for a nice aromatherapy sachet. I will have to make sure I try it out when I’m back home in Virginia this winter. It’ll be fabulous!

Healthforce Superfoods Spirulina Manna – They recommend 15-25 tablets a day?! Wow, it seems so strange to consume so much of this stuff. I’ll try throwing a few in my food or something since it has a pretty strong seaweed-like scent. I could certainly use a health boost after all this time eating poorly.

Foxes & Ferns Lavender Love beeswax candle – This is a super cute candle with lavender buds in the wax and the bottom half of the jar dipped in gold. It’s such a wonderful decoration on the shelf that I don’t want to burn it just yet.

Atlas Cedarwood + Jojoba Oil roll-on – This is meant to be used to calm and purify. The woodsy scent combined with a hint of citrus (or something refreshing) is a really cool calming fragrance. It’s very unique and definitely not something I’ve smelled before. When I close my eyes it sort of reminds me of pine…

Angel Face Botanicals Grace antioxidant facial toner – Ah, I love facial toners. This one sprays wonderfully to create a nice mist on my face. It’s soothing and I’m a fan of the use of white tea. It feels fantastic and I can easily see this becoming my new fav.

Seva Amazon rainforest body oil – The first thing I noticed with this was the Off the Mat Into the World logo — I worked with a woman who is involved with that group! Totally awesome. This is a jar with a pump head, which will be fun to use. It has a light oil and seed sort of scent to it and absorbs well into the skin. This is the perfect kind of thing to use in the drier months to keep skin soft.

gomacro macro bar in cashew caramel – This little bar is very soft and chewy, which I like. It has a hint of nuttiness but is generally just sweet in my mouth. I like the smaller size since I don’t typically enjoy bars, but this is one I feel I can finish. If I decide to try bars in the future, I’ll definitely keep this in mind.

This was another fun box with some items I’m very interested in and others that I’m venturing out of my comfort zone for. I think that’s great! What do you think of this month’s box?

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Good news and good fortune

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This was an awesome week. First and foremost, I got an internship offer!! This was a major win for me and I’m thrilled. I’ll share more details on recruiting and internships once everything settles in the coming weeks. I’ve now rewarded myself with a night meeting new friends, sleep, grocery shopping, lots of boba, a massage, Ethiopian food, and a long-awaited iPhone order (expected to arrive in a month). This is the good life.

cart with last set of honest tea for sale at costco

Score of the day.

Compounding that awesomeness are other wins:

  • I was selected for a workshop to develop my strengths, Gallup style. I’m told over 175 people applied! I’m curious how many were selected – 50 maybe?
  • I randomly came across Honest Tea at Costco and when I tried to find more, was told I was lucky because they sold like hotcakes and they had no idea how I even found any left. I claimed the very last one, which wasn’t even in their system anymore, lol.
  • Last-minute, I called up Massage Envy to book an appointment and got the next slot, with their most popular therapist nonetheless. He was amazed at how much pressure I could take (comfortably) and how flexible and loose I am in the shoulders and hips. Apparently only dancers and gymnasts are like that, yet I’m neither. He said I was one in a million and even thanked me after the massage because he had so much fun.
  • And I even got a fortune cookie that said “Your opportunities are many.” Indeed!

Now before I get too carried away, I do have homework and studying for a quiz that I’ve been putting off… So I guess I should buckle down and stop acting like I forgot all about school. I’m going on a hike tomorrow that I thought was 3.5 hours roundtrip but upon further research, that might only be the way up. I guess I can spare half a day for fun and to finally hike the Hollywood sign!!

The craziest week

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Every time I think things can’t get crazier, they do! I mean, this week has been insane for me, especially in contrast to my classmates.

It started off on equal footing, with tons of studying and procrastinating for our finals on Monday and Tuesday. Luckily, we got through them and I think I’m relatively unscathed (we’ll see how the grades pan out). I then practiced interviewing with multiple 2nd years, worked on a case competition, attended various info sessions and workshops, had an informational interview, did a phone screen, and prepped for a big interview tomorrow.

Just today alone I was on campus for a full 12 hours of work back to back. I didn’t even have time to eat, though strangely I wasn’t very hungry. I did manage to eat 4 cookies to tide me over until I got home around 10 tonight. My body doesn’t feel tired, but my brain is a bit numb. Meanwhile, many of my classmates have the entire day off since we don’t have class and they don’t have many (if any) meetings. What a stark difference in lifestyles right now. They’re at the beach and I’m in study rooms and classrooms.

Oh! And then today I got a delightful phone call letting me know that I was selected to be a co-director for the Marshall MBA Ambassadors program!! Yippee! So I also squeezed in a quick meeting with the co-directors who are passing on the baton, then sat with the program director in admissions who helps guide us, and finally had a touch-base call with my co-director, who is out in New Orleans for a conference. We had a kick-off dinner to plan for tomorrow, a welcome email to send to the rest of our ambassador team, and other deliverables that don’t need to be done just yet.

It has been a whirlwind of a week and it’s barely half over. Tomorrow I have more meetings, case competition stuff, my all-important interview, and the kick-off/welcome dinner. I’ll have some breathing room after 9 tomorrow night leading in to Friday morning, so I might go home. Then it’s another informational call, a meet and greet on-site with a potential employer, and a long drive out to Joshua Tree for a fun weekend camping and rock climbing.

Whew!

But then when I return Sunday I need to regroup with my case competition team to finalize what we will submit Monday morning. We also happen to start a new set of classes Monday, with our very first prospective student visitors already! #mbalife

First Friday Off

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What an insane weekend! It was the first time that we first year MBAs didn’t have class on Friday and boy did we take advantage of that.

Thursday afternoon it started off wonderfully lax as I sat in the courtyard chatting with classmates after class. I went home about three hours later and worked on my first cover letter for an internship application. Around 7:30, I went out to a bar that many of my classmates were at and socialized until nearly 10. At that point, I was ready to leave and eat dinner! Three of us went across the street to try to get food, but they had just closed the kitchen, so we walked over to a pizza place instead.

iphone temperature alert due to overheating

I accidentally left my phone in the sun for a bit and it overheated!

It was so nice to actually be able to go out and spend time getting to know classmates, some of whom I hardly ever see since they’re not in my cohort. The next day, I got to sleep in, which was fabulous. My roommate was going down to the pool, so I went along and brought my computer so I could edit my cover letter based on feedback from a mentor. In the afternoon, I went on campus to meet with a second year to get more tips on how to tweak my cover letter. To round things out, I asked one more mentor for insights and then I felt pretty ready.

By then, it was time to head off to Fusion BBQ, which was a mix of foods from black, Latino, and Asian cultures. We hung out at Echo Park chatting and eating for nearly 4 hours and I completely forgot to get a picture of the food spread. At 10 or so, we headed off to part two in K-Town, stopping by two places to meet up with others. I thought that I was going to head home as they left around midnight to go to the Line Hotel, but then we ran into more classmates outside and I decided to go along with them.

At the hotel, they got tables so we sat there as some people danced nearby. It was extremely hot, everyone was crowded in, and the floor was sticky. Felt like your typical nightclub. I was standing outside when they started to close the place down not long after 1:30 and they almost didn’t let us back in to get our valuables! I don’t think I’ll be going back there again, especially after the insane charge for the table.

I was giving a couple of people rides home, but at the first stop we decided to just go hang out in the apartment for a bit. The four of us went up and woke up the guy’s roommate, who hadn’t made it to the festivities. We hung out there chatting for over two hours before calling it a night. I was starting to crash and absolutely knackered from the evening I thought would end by midnight. At 5, I happily climbed into bed for a few hours’ sleep.

apex sign at leadership conferenceSaturday morning I had to get up at 10 to attend a professional event at the Sheraton (APEX Leadership Conference: Reinvent Redefine Rediscover). I walked over and made it there on time to meet a couple of cool people who help run APEX. The first session of the day was either Personal Branding or Global Networks. I went to the Personal Branding one, mostly because I was curious about hearing from a female speaker. I wish I had gone to the other one since much of what we talked about was exactly what I’ve been learning in business school, but I did meet two wonderful ladies, so I’m grateful for that.

leadership operating system slide by lisa gates of career oxygen

Learning about our Leadership Operating System.

After lunch, we broke up into other sessions and I chose the Negotiating one (there was one about Managing Up in the other room). It was a really great session run by Lisa Gates of She Negotiates and I felt like it helped me figure out my value proposition a bit better. I even got a chance to speak in front of the room and share a bit of my story! We then spoke with the person sitting next to us and as coincidence would have it, my partner turned out to be a rising YouTuber, Kevin Yee. You should check out his YouTube channel! He’s super chill and a great person, so I’m glad we sat next to each other. He even interviewed me briefly for his vlog. 🙂

I wasn’t as interested in the final sessions, plus I wanted to catch part of the tailgate, so I left around 3 to walk back to my apartment and drive down to campus. At the tailgate, I met some older alum who graduated over a decade ago. One was having a blast making crazy tower creations out of empty cups! I then hung out with a bunch of folks from the first and second year classes and as the tailgate ended, we made our way to one person’s apartment to watch the game. I was there until about 9. Since the Trojans were beating the Sun Devils by quite a bit, I didn’t stay for the end of the game. After so much being out, I was ready to go home and chill!

Key lessons from yesterday:

  • Talk to people you sit next to. You might just make some friends!
  • Skateboarding with a pencil skirt works just fine; cartwheeling with a pencil skirt does NOT work.

Now it’s time to get back down to business and write up my next cover letter, prepare notes for the marketing final, and study data for the quiz on Tuesday… #mbalife

building plastic cup tower at tailgate party

a different kind of "professional skateboarder"

I rolled in with what I call a “SoCal Professional” look.

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