Thursday, February 13, 2014

Best thing I've read this week

 A list poem for working-class  girls trying to grow up and into themselves 
1. It is okay to leave anyone and anything and anyplace that makes you feel like shit.  It’s hard, but it’s okay.  And bump explaining anything to anyone, unless you want to.  Let them wonder.
 2. Know who you are.  Not just on some touchy-feely fuzzy pretty-on-the-inside tip, but knowing who you are racially, culturally, in relationship to your sexuality, gender and your class- is a source of your power.  You define that for you.   Don’t ever let anyone else tell you who you are.  This may change in time, as you grow and learn more.  That’s okay.  Manage any shame or guilt you may feel through acts of accountability.
 3.  Be accountable for what you do.  This means owning up to how you mess up, just as much as it means owning and defending the contested space you fill.  You will mess up, and only you can seek atonement for this.  You will need to defend yourself, and rarely will anyone do that work for you.  Acknowledging both your mistakes and your rights as equally important.
 4. They will call you crazy.  You are a woman.  There is no way of going through the world in the moment we live in and not get called crazy by someone, often someone you wish would see you as deeply sane.  You are not crazy.  The world is crazy.  If you are affected by this imbalanced, unjust world, it only proves that you are a sentient being with some sense of empathy.
 5. Empathy is built.  You need to learn to really listen.  This means listening without thinking about how it relates to you, or planning the next thing you are going to say.  This means seeing everyone, regardless of who they are, as a human being.  You cannot really be a human being unless you regard everyone as such, even your greatest nemeses and the gravest perpetrators.  All of our damage comes from somewhere.  Yours and everyone else’s.  Learn to listen to others.  Learn to listen to yourself.  Empathy cannot exist without really, deeply listening first.
 6. You are going to have moments of unbearable pain.  It takes time to learn how to heal yourself.  And healing sometimes still leaves scars.  Healing is sometimes incomplete.  Think of your scars as battle-wounds – evidence of how much wiser you are now- maps of where not to return.  Cherish these scars and honor them.  There will come times when they are the only reminder of where you have been, and how much you still need to grow.
 7. You are going to have moments of unbearable loneliness.  You need to learn how to love being with yourself, because ultimately, no one has the potential to love you like you can.  It is beautiful to love and be loved, but these are just hints as to how to regard yourself.  If you regard yourself highly, and learn to turn loneliness into soothing solitude, you will be capable of giving and receiving truly transformative love.
 8. Find something that makes you feel like the world makes sense, even if you can’t justify it intellectually to yourself or anyone else.  Personally, if I don’t rock a wall, get up, get laid, get down on a dancefloor, read a good book, write a poem, listen to a mind-blowing record or have a soul-shaking, satisfying conversation at least once a week, the world doesn’t make sense to me and I am unmoored.  If I don’t get these things for a month, I become a total, inconsolable, incomprehensible wreck.  This wreck can easily snowball into all kinds of self-destruction.  Find what works for you and be loyal to it as a loyalty to yourself.
 9. The world you live in is sick.  This sickness creeps into all of us, and in many it manifests as an inability to love oneself, let alone others.  Some of those afflicted with a parasitic strain of this illness will latch onto you as a host.  You may believe it is part of your nature to nurture and support endlessly.  These people will eat your love whole, and you with it, and leave you as a husk.  You can grow again from your husk, but it will be hard, and it takes time and the training of betrayal and heartbreak to learn to trust yourself enough to determine who is worthy of your trust.  Do not let anyone ride you.  Only walk with those who will walk side by side with you, as an equal.
 10. Do not mess with lovers that don’t prioritize your pleasure.  That can look like a lot of different things, and you’re probably still figuring it out.  Don’t put up with lovers that don’t give you room to explore, to express, and above all – if a lover is only focused on using you as a vessel to reach their plateau –be out.  This doesn’t mean to ignore your partner’s pleasure, but rather to see yours as of equal worth.
 11.  You are not responsible for the actions of those who hated themselves so much that they hurt you.
 12. Collectivism is a beautiful concept, and something worth constantly striving toward and building.  Collectivism has radically changed and challenged unjust structures and institutions.  But if you sacrifice your own survival for the benefit of the whole, you will find yourself wringing your hands and questioning the meaning of your life and doubting the worth of others in light of their unabashed self-interest.  Find a balance.
 13.  Do not carry broken people who are not in the process of rebuilding themselves.
 14. You are not your job.  Your job is simply a paycheck, and you are probably not compensated what you are worth and it is not your fault- you inherited a broken economic system, and you will not be the first generation to fight for your right to live.  But you need to fight for your right to live, in solidarity, with those around you who are also struggling.
 15.  Going to college is an accomplishment.  It does not, however, make you better than anyone else.  It doesn’t make you essentially more intelligent.  You never really make it “out” of the class you came from, and you never really make it “in” to the class you aspired to.
 16.  If you cannot translate what you have learned from whatever access you’ve had back to wherever you came from, then you have not gained anything- you have changed.  Assimilation is a choice.  Seek to be a translator.  Seek to share your access to those who you may have left behind.  Seek to disrupt the structures that taught those of us who gained more access that we are worth more than where we left, and less than what we found ourselves among.
17. Never take validation too deeply to heart.  This is especially true of those who came up entrenched in the age of social media.  The gaze of hegemony is always on us.  Find validation in the ratio between how positively you impact yourself and others versus how you mess up and hurt others.  You will hurt others.  Be accountable for this, when you need to be, and always be mindful of how often that happens in relation to those you help grow.  None of us can be saints, but we can be salient and sentient.
 18. Take your struggle to your community, and find community in those whose struggles intersect.  It is only within one another that we will make any sense of this destroyed world and it’s corrupt ideology that we’ve inherited.  Fight.  Fight.  Fight.
 19.  You are inherently valuable.  You have worth.  Ask no one for permission.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Anthem during recruiting season

Can't wait to finish recruiting so I can catch up on Season 3 of Girls!!!

Stuff that's keeping me alive right now:
(2) Honey Ginseng Green Tea via The Republic of Tea
(3) Mt. Hagan organic coffee
I am literally carrying around bottles of the above around everywhere
(4) Beyonce
(5) Google

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014

My hilarious joker bff posted this on his facebook to ring in the new year:

"Time to have expectation and reality aggressively at conflict with each other tonight. w00t w00t!!! 

Enjoy your totally average night out everyone!!!"

So entirely on point! I'm really not much for resolutions, cuz I just get shit done, but here are few of the things that made 2013 unique:

(1) I didn't travel internationally AT ALL! A first since...2001
(2) Moved to Charlottesville
(3) Moved back to the States
(4) Lived in LA for more than 2 months since 2006
(5) Started Grad School (life bucket lister)
(6) Got my heart mega broken by my long term (now ex) boyfriend
(7) Traveled to San Antonio for the first time (not very memorable but def a first)
(8) Met a ton of new people at school that i'm happy i can now call FRIEND!
(9) Finance became by favorite class

My bestie and I on new year's eve

Monday, December 30, 2013

A smattering of career related events in the past few months

Hello world

Thanks to all my readers who followed up with me and made sure I was still alive - although I'm slightly disfigured from 3 terms of cases and recruiting, i'm breathin' and kickin'.

Special C~O~N~G~R~A~T~S to all the round 1 admits - come to Darden! No buyers remorse here from this lil' lady and i'm pretty picky about everything. 

So I thought it would be fun to share a bit about how my recruiting process has been over the last 3 months to give you sense of what you can expect if you're anything like me and if you like to have some fun in life too.

Laura getting cash so we can zoom through the tolls.

At the end of November my friend Laura and I were invited to go to NYC for a women's MBA event at a bank. The weather was not in our favor that day and at little Charlottesville airport, my flight was canceled. The agents couldn't re-book me on another flight because all the transfer hubs where backed up and the earliest I could expect to arrive in NYC was the following morning. Our event was that evening so unfortunately my options didn't look very good.

I have this weird tendency where I feel compelled to make something that someone tells me is impossible...happen. So I rented a car and emailed the bank that I would be late because instead of flying up, I'd be driving. I got a huge GMC SUV, texted Laura to let her know I'd be late, then set off for NYC, which is about 7-8 hrs away from New York.

About 40 minutes into the drive, I get a phone call from Laura - she is stunned my flight got canceled and apparently her connection out of Dulles is delayed and she's going to miss the event. We complain about how we'll never fly out of CHO again and then I tell her i'm going to pick her up from Dulles and we'll drive to NYC together. We end up meeting somewhere near Vienna to save time and she gets in the car and off we go. We end up missing the entire event, but thankfully Scott, who was there to meet us waited and we got to see him for at least half an hour. Moral of the story: never take no for an answer! Even when no comes from airlines and weather.

Ashoka's DC headquarters
Since school started I've been volunteering at Ashoka DC, spearheading the launch of one of their new initiatives around activating the role of parents in raising social entrepreneurs. The idea is that individuals like Richard Branson and Bill Gates are not born -- they are influenced by their parents/guardians and had changemaking experiences in their lives that made empathy, leadership, responsibility, and a concern for the world deeply rooted in their value system. I've been working on average 10-15 hrs/week on this launch.

Facetiming with my Learning Teammate Jeremy over winter break to do interview prep
 Winter break has basically sucked in terms of "fun" - lots of interview prep and only interview prep. Even tho it's 80 degrees out in LA i haven't done any surfing..just staying indoors, maintaining my pastiness, and running through technical questions.

We had a dutch auction a few weeks ago where sections were pitted against each other in an effort to raise money for building a house as part of BGiA (building goodness in April) with Habitat for Humanity. My sectionmates and I all volunteered auction items ranging from (year's worth of ballroom dance lessons to special message delivery from our section all star, Kaz). I think we raised somewhere between $13-$15 just in our section alone.

me in San Antonio, Texas for NSHMBA
I attended a diversity job fair in San Antonio with some classmates and met some wonderful people (particularly a director at P&G whom I still keep in touch with). 

Lunch @ Apple with old co-workers
Darden @ Google
 Last week was our tech trek job week in the Valley and we got to hang out at Google, LinkedIn, eBay, among other awesome companies. My wonderful friend Nina got a group of us into Dropbox for a tour and then I went to NYC mid-week for week on wall st. Then came back to an empty apartment in SF for the rest of week and time to catch up with old coworkers from Cisco that are still my mentors today. Words of wisdom from these 2 wisecracks? Snag a solid guy now, before my "stock tanks." Yup. So mature.

Can't leave out a #cabselfie
 Like I mentioned, I was in NYC for a few days to attend week on wall street events. All about the hustle. 

 And now i'm finally home. I probably have typos but think of it as stream of consciousness luster and part of the art of describing my last few weeks in business school. It's all been a GIANT stream of consciousness!! Time to prep for interviews....I've been blessed this year with interviews so gotta make the most of all the opportunities presented! #PEACE

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Record Scratch. Round 2.

Ok guys. I apologize for the super vague introductory post that was here before. I'll be much more diligent in the future about capturing the Darden experience.

Let me introduce myself first. I was born in Shanghai, but grew up in Los Angeles (Los Feliz area) and went to college in Cambridge, MA. I studied East Asian Studies and Visual + Environmental Arts at Harvard and lived in Adams House (woo!). After graduating I worked as a business analyst on the emerging countries strategy group within Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley and then in entertainment product marketing at before I was on the founding team of Teach for Egypt (which is now defunct). I also love hyperlinks.

Here at Darden, I'm exploring tech, social enterprise, and social sector work through consulting, public finance, and entrepreneurship. I also work with Ashoka's Youth Venture to launch a new campaign for parents in addition to being on the business development team of a Philippine coffee collective called Kalsada. Life's good.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. The door is open.