Moving abroad is not easy. It challenges you in so many ways you’ve never been before. Every day was full uncertainty, loneliness, and unhappiness.
At least that’s how I felt.
As some of you know, I moved from Vancouver, a beautiful city I’ve called home for the last 12 years to halfway across the world, Bali. Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s gorgeous there. The beach, the daily sunshine, the people. All that is true. And, I was also moving back to the country where I was born and raised in. My parents couldn’t be happier.
I was happy to go on this exciting new endeavour too but little did I realize it’s not all fun and games.
On March 23, 2017, I was invited to speak to a group of students who are thinking of moving abroad to advance their career. I had a hard time thinking about what I should say. Do I sugarcoat everything, or tell the truth even if it might discourage them?
First and foremost, you have to know and embrace the fact that you will be uncomfortable for awhile. But have a goal in mind and set your mini milestones to get you through. Then,
- Be open minded and be willing to learn new things
- Observe, listen, speak their language. Not just the verbal language, but the implicit.
- Have allies – build trust, spend time to get to know them and they will let you into their world
- Find a club or association to be a part of
All these take time. There will be many lonely nights where you question yourself why you made the decision to move. When those nights come, remember what you’ve achieved. Zoom out, don’t get caught in the small details, but appreciate every little thing you’ve done.
Also, make sure you have a support system. I am lucky to have amazing friends who were always ready to cheer me on and some even came to visit!
During the panel session, one of the students asked what self development books or podcast do we recommend. My fellow speakers, Gordon Ching and Jared Lim, both have great recommendations. As for me, I let the students in to one of my coveted life secrets. YOLO. You Only Live Once. So go out there and experiment (but be safe please). I’m an experiential type of person, no book can really convince me to do this or that. I have to learn it myself, either the fun way or the hard way. The latter happens more.
Thank you AIESEC UBC and GradusOne for hosting this event and the kind invitation to let me share my story.
When was the last time you update your resume? Most people update it quickly before they start their job hunt, I know I did.
We had an opportunity to update our resume with Doug from the Career Management Centre at SFU. He gave us a bunch of great tips on how to make our resume to stand out more and it was a great timing for me too since I have not updated my resume for awhile. I sat there after the workshop to really clean up my resume and make the necessary adjustments. I have not sat down with Doug again to go through my ‘new and improved’ resume, but I am quite pleased with the content in there now.
Check out my new resume here. Please let me know what you think of it!
I feel like I’m losing the design touch on this particular version because I had to use Word, but I have seen some people use Word really well. So if you have some ideas of how I can improve it, please write to me.
Doug, thank you for the nudge. I needed it!
Another Saturday, another case competition! While I didn’t win this time around, it was still a great experience to learn about the case for Rumie Initiative and see the presentations from other groups.
Thank you Acumen Vancouver for organizing this case competition, judges for grilling us with great questions and being here with us on a rainy Saturday.
Here are some feedback and suggestions given by the judges:
– Address challenges, don’t leave them hanging
– Consider your audience
– Take a look at the judges background and try addressing them when answering
– Always have KPI and metrics
– Share how you would implement your suggestions (tactical)
– Make sure graphics are high quality (not pixelated) and no misspellings
– Captivate judges with storytelling
– Show numbers even if you have to draw assumptions, or take in the numbers from similar businesses
– What are the inputs, the output, the overall impact of your suggestion
– How would you fund your suggestion
– Risk analysis
– Start the presentation with the solution, spend less time on the background story, and show how you come up with the solution
Guy A: * as entering the skytrain * I’m fine dude, I dont need to sit, they’ve fixed my heart.
Guy B: I lost your number intentionally. My phone can only hold 250 numbers.
A: I always get to the skytrain at 8:30. You were late today. You came at 8:35.
B: Yeah I wanted to cuddle a bit longer.
A: Is your wife back to work now?
B: Yes, since Aug. She leaves earlier than me and comes home later though.
A: because she’s not sucking the taxpayers money like you
B: no, I just work more efficiently than her.
A: you think so? I think she is more efficient than you.
B: what makes you think that?
A: she’s Chinese. She’s a female.
* both exit *
And there I was, closing my eyes and cringing through their whole conversation.
There are so many things I want to do on a rainy Saturday. Stay in bed, binge watch, drink hot chocolate, do puzzles, make some arts and crafts, basically anything but go to school.
I did anyways, because it’s our first case competition ever. I was excited but terrified at the same time. It’s been 5 weeks since classes have started and I’ve got to know what my classmates are like. They’re a bunch of smart, thoughtful, analytical bunch. I’m the exact opposite.
But there I was today at school, right at 8:50am, with a case in my hand. It was on Netflix and the year was set to 2007. We put our biases and knowledge of where Netflix is today (2016) and read the case thoroughly. Then we discussed the points and the alternatives given. Once the counter hits 1 hour 20 minutes, I started the presentation design. It was a challenge to not be able to use internet, even to grab images. But everybody was given the same condition and it turned out to be a great exercise for me to be creative with just text and offline resources (and very limited time) given.
I was so nervous when we were practicing our parts. I did not know what to exactly say. I started writing a script but I tossed it away. I let the words flow and the next few hours went so quickly.
Our team thought out presentation went alright. We were proud of our team but felt we could’ve done better.
Turns out, the judges didn’t feel the same way. They nominated us to go to the finals. Us! Out of 15 groups that presented, we got chosen along with other 2 groups to do another presentation, and this time in front of the whole 9 judges and the 52 people in our cohort.
Yes, we won! I could hardly believe it. It wasn’t just the judges who congratulated us, but the whole class. They said the combination of our stage presence and analysis of the case was great. It’s one thing to win a competition, but another to be congratulated by your peers (and competitors of this particular case).
I have a slight regret for deciding to skip the local MBA games because I didn’t have my confidence in check. But I know, the people that are going, are the best of the best from our cohort and they’ll bring home the awards on our behalf.
Sometimes you don’t have to go far to enjoy the beauty of life, the company of friends, the best of food.
We wanted to go to Kelowna for Thanksgiving but alas, due to my school schedule, we couldn’t. So after looking around for places to stay near Vancouver, we ended up in Richmond but somehow it felt like we were somewhere else, perhaps Hong Kong or Taiwan.
Richmond is just a stone throw away from where we all live but we haven’t explored much of it yet, especially as a group.
Turned out, it was the perfect place to be for us. We ate and ate, played games, shared life frustrations, experimented with 360 camera, stayed up all night. Sometimes it really does not matter where you go, it’s the people that make the difference.
Places we went to:
- Claypot Hotpot: fancy three tier hot pot, steam, BBQ. It comes up to $30ish for each. All you can eat. Average quality of items.
- Excellent Tofu: we went for desserts at 9:30pm and got seats right away. Spent about $5 each.
- Jade Restaurant: we called an hour before coming in and they were able to reserve a table for us. Try the radish cake, it’s extra delicious here.
- Hou Lok: late night congee and other greasy snacks. Order $30 worth of stuff, get 1 free large congee.
My life is a movie. I’ve said it every now and then to myself because I couldn’t believe some of the things that happened. They’re too good to be true. If I was unknowingly watching a movie chronicling a life like mine, I would take it with a grain of salt.
But life is funny. One year you were closing a chapter of your life, the next that chapter reopened out of nowhere. What was already buried, suddenly came back to life (metaphorically). Things never changed deep down but it’s been easier to cover then staying in the hole, waiting.
But now there’s a twist. Fate or not, I don’t know, but it’s certainly not something I expected. Caught me by surprise and now it’s all I think about.
Potential theme song: https://youtu.be/SwAuVo_HAio
Accounting quiz is coming and I’m getting so nervous. I had no idea how to do depreciation, t journal, and all that jazz yet. I need the support of my crew but I am not too sure who could help yet.
– EP and I went to ETSY Craft Fair in North Van and picked up this beautiful illustration of Miya and magazine by Mint to Inspire!
– I don’t know how this guy does it but he did it, and with a smile at the end of the day. He stayed and sat for 4.5 hours while I studied Accounting in another room with a few other people.
– Since the professor allows us to bring 2 double-sided cheat sheet to the quiz, I decided to cram as much as I can to those two pages. Most people got theirs typed up but I find it beneficial to just write it out.
-Accounting quiz came and gone, it was fine. Just fine. I’m glad it’s over so now I can catch up on the reading and prepare for the next one.
– Nyak and Kap arrived to Vancouver
– 5k Inflatable Run with Danielle, Ken & Annie, and Eric. It was lots of fun, I just wish there was less running, more inflatable 😉 The girl running with t-rex costume on was the highlight of the whole run though.
– After a fun morning, I had to rush back to school and spend the rest of my Saturday (5 hours to be exact) working on economics assignment. It was a rather tense meeting but we got the assignment done nonetheless.
– On a side note, I’m really loving my Surface Pro 4. It’s been so useful, especially taking notes directly on slides and e-books.– Finally got to take photos on this bright and pink wall! I love how bright paint can change up the mood of an alley.
– Apparently PM Trudeau was in Vancouver that weekend