Monday, July 21, 2014

Thoughts About Washington DC

This post follows my last post: Thoughts About New York City. I went to New York and Washington DC last month, and I had amazing experience. I have been living in the west coast for the entire time I am in the US, so visiting the east coast was exciting.

1. A lot of Government, Historical and Education Places: There were places like Capitol Hill, White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Art Galleries and other Museums. All the main US government work here and all the regulation is happening there. There were a lot of famous people such as Martin Luther King Jr. Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson etc. were honored here. My favorite ones were the Art Galleries and Memorials. I wished could spend a day in the galleries looking at the paintings and memorials reading the quotes from the famous people if I can.



2. Free Admissions to the Sightseeing Places: I was happy that everything I posted above did not have to pay anything to see. They were gorgeous building with long history. I felt students live in Washington DC is so privileged because they have access to all those useful educational tools.

3. Get in Line Early to Get the Ticket Places: I was surprised that people have to arrive TWO HOURS before the . I arrived to Washington Monument for ticket at 6:40am, there were already this many people waiting in front of me. I waited with them for nearly two hours and the

4. Beautiful Night View: The night view of Washington DC was absolutely speechless. Usually the night view in other cities were lights of buildings and city lights, but Washington was the lights shining from the Memorial Center. What an unique night view!!

5. Every Sight Scenes are in the Walking Distance: I was glad that most sightseeing places were in the walking distance from the hotel I stayed. They were all closed together from block to block. Even the longest distance ones were only 2 miles away. We walked a lot when we were in DC.

All in all, visiting Washington DC is very feasible. Almost everywhere is free and walking distance, so no need pay for admission and transportation. I visited New York City before Washington DC; I already felt a lot of history in NYC, and I even saw more historical status in DC. West Coast is definitely very different from East Coast. I realized there were not a lot of culture in West Coast.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thoughts About New York City

It was SO MUCH fun visiting New York City again (I visited three years ago) This time I got to see more places than last time. I have a few thoughts about the city. Theses are based on my journals; I felt following facts represent New York City.

1. Musicals and Shows: There were endless great musicals and shows to watch. We had hard time deciding which to go see. I wished we could watch more. We chose "The Phantom of the Opera." It was AMAZING!! The music, actors, performance, stage etc. were very good. The hall was PACKED with people. I wish I could set closer to the stage, so I could see the actors' face clearly. May be next time, either spend more money or get in line for hours to buy the best deal tickets.

2. Historical Buildings/Places and Popular Sightseeing Spots: There were many meaningful and historical buildings and places in New York such as Empire State Building, Status of Liberty, Wall Street, Washington Square Park etc. I knew there were movies had been made and many famous people lived there. Most buildings have long history that worth study. While I was in New York, I experienced the developing culture of the US. There were also popular sightseeing spots as well such as Central Park. It was absolute beautiful. They are ALL must see in New York. We were running out of time visit them all. A trip in New York definitely require at least three days.


3. Horrible Traffic: Walking in New York City was the MOST stressful part of the trip due to crowd of people on the street. Even driving would make you go NUTS!! The cars moved slowly because there were ALWAYS people and traffic. Moreover it was easy to get lost. Furthermore, some nights, we were having trouble sleeping because the it was extremely noisy outside because of police cars and fire trucks. New York City is "the town, which never sleeps." We wonder how can people living in New York survive this traffic everyday.

4. Various Food Places: There were A LOT of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, etc. in New York. If you are a foodie like me, you will LOVE New York. Exploring those food places will never finish. Near Times Square, almost every block had numerous places and none of them seem to be bad. New York even has "China Town" and "Little Italy", so the food choice very diverse. The most famous food are New York Cheesecake and Pizza. Almost every bakery had cheesecake and there were MANY pizza places. You can always find a place to eat and it has food from all over the world.


5. Pricy: Despite that everything (Food, Lodging, Tours) were EXPENSIVE, there were HIGH taxes and tips to pay. On top of that, maids and tour guides were still asking for additional cash for their service. To be feasible in New York, take the public transit such as subway, sightseeing without a tour, eat only pizza, baked goods, and fast food, and willing to get in line for long time for the good deal show tickets.

Lastly, I'd like to say, the sightseeing in New York City is unending.... There are countless places to see, the shows to watch, restaurants to try, and buildings to visit and revisit.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Girl Talk 2 - Dating

First, Thank You Very Much EVERYONE!! I did not expect my last girl talk will turn out to be so well. I saw likes and shares on Facebook, which made me very happy. I hope to continue this series. It will be the first post of every month and each Girl Talk will start with a "confession".

Confession: Dating scares me. First, I did not know how flirt. Sometimes I do not even know I was flirting or someone was flirting with me. I also try not get into relationships nor go out on an "official date". I do go have meal, cup of coffee, and hang out with my guy friends occasionally, but I never called that a "date". Moreover, I am a shy person, so I never make the first move. I always let the guy do it. Furthermore, I am afraid of getting rejected, break-ups, etc., so I avoid dating. Lastly, I feel stressed out when I can not read a guy's mind or a guy misread my mind.

However, I had a dream for my perfect boyfriend back in my teenage years. Now, I realized how silly I was making the list and daydreaming. When I entered my 20s, I learned to face the reality. Fairy tale does not exist. I stopped believe in true love because life is not like fairly tale. Later I found out that believe in true love is different from believing in fairly tale. True love exist; however not like the fairy tale. Also dating is not complicated, it is about searching for the right fit. I do not have to be afraid. Plus good guys do exist. It took me a long time for me to understand dating is fun. 

I am not a dating expert nor very experienced in actual dating, I did learned several facts by talking to guys and watching people around me date. First, you have to know who you are looking for. The guy does not have to be the "ideal" guy you dream as an teenager, but you have to know what kind of "actual guy" you like. The reason I still have struggle dating is because I did not know who I am looking for. If you already have the idea of your interest, your dating life will be less ambiguous. Another fact is age does not matter. I have talked guys who are six years younger, six years older and same age as me. I did not feel anything weird among all. Age does not represent anything and understand that every guy is different. Try to date different kind of guys. Last but not the least, there should be mutual friends, have things in common, and similar goals. These are very important especially if you consider the long term relationship. Two people must share same interests and able to hang out with same types of group.  

Girls: I hope you liked this post and found helpful. Have fun dating!! Do not be scared, and be bold sometimes. Share your thoughts and experience about dating with me if you can.

PS. Right now, I feel I am dating this blog. I rather stay home and write blogs than go out on a date:)

Monday, June 30, 2014

What To Do During Unemployment?

This will be my last career related post for this June. This post follows my last two posts:Job Hunting Techniques and Interview Tips . I hope you all find them helpful. I know economy has been down for the past six years, but do not worry it will pick up. If you are struggling to land a job after graduation, you are not the only one. There are something you can while unemployed beside looking for a job. These were what I did when I was unemployed.

1. Volunteer: It is important to get some work experience. You could have good grades, but you still did not get a job; the reason might be you do not have enough work experience. Start build your work experience from volunteering. Once you are more experienced, the chances of getting hire would be higher. People you volunteer for might able provide some work opportunity for you in the future as well.

2. Redefine Yourself: If you could not find a job after graduation, do not blame yourself. May be it is not what you want to do. If you lose a job, instead of being mad, it is time to do some self analysis. May be this job was not your best fit, and/or you never actually liked the job. Try to come up with answers to those questions: "What you did wrong?" "What you good at?" It is time to look for a job that you like and do not make the same mistake from the last job.

3. Spend Time With Friends and Family: Before you became unemployed, you were busy at school and/or work. You probably not have enough time to be with your friends and family. Why do not you take unemployment as an advantage and spend some time with people around you.

4. Do Something You Did Not Have Time To Do Before: You can travel, paint, read a book, write a story/poet, knit a hat etc. You can even use your hobbie turn into a business. May be someday, your hobbie will become your job? You never know. Some entrepreneurs started be unemployed then became very rich (sorry for off topic).

5. Go Back to School: If you have the finance available, I recommend to go back to school. Education is necessary no matter how old you are. There are Post-Baccalaureate and Graduate programs. Ask academics advisers, see what your options are. By the time you have your Post-Baccalaureate and/or Master, the economy might be better and you are definitely better in the market.

Last but not at least, remember to be optimistic!! Did not find job? Lost a job? Well thing could be worse. What does not kill you makes you stronger!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Job Hunting Technique

June is a graduation month, and many college graduates will switch from being a student to a professional. It is a big transition. I decided to all career advice related posts for this month. Last week I wrote about Interview Tips check it out, if you have not do so.

1. Use Campus Resources: All Universities and Colleges have their own career related service on campus. The Career Center usually provide a lot of great Workshops, Career Fair information and job postings. People work there are friendly. I found my first job from Career Center Website posting, and first internship from a Campus Career Fair.

2. Connections: Do you know most jobs can be found because you know someone? It is important to know many people in the related career field. Build connections with recruiters, classmates, professors, relatives, friends, etc. You never know who will be give you work opportunity in the future. So far, I had two post grad jobs from personal connection. I feel blessed about it.  

3. Let Job Find You: Looking and applying for jobs are stressful; however, if you did well in school, involved in several extra activities, and had several good connections, you are more likely to get an offer and referral for a job that fit you. I know people who received several offers, and I have had people referral jobs to me as well.

4. Write a Good Resume and Cover Letter: I recommend students go to Writing Center AND Career Center to get started. Also have several different people look over them. Sometimes professionals will come to campus to help students. Take the advantage of it. I do not know how many times and how many people edited my resume. I am happy that all professors, career advisors, writing tutors, and real world professional were super helpful.

5. Don't Give Up and Stay Positive: Last but not least, looking for job with positive energy and never give up. If have the positive attitude and never get discharged, you are more likely to get a job.

Best of Luck!! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

15 Interview Tips

Economy is TOUGH now. Getting a job is extremely challenging. Now it is graduation season, and I know there are up coming graduates out there who are search for jobs and/or applying for jobs. Even though the financial market was not easy, I still managed to get jobs on campus and off campus for last several years from surviving the interview process. These are tips I learned over years from workshops and experiences. 

*These are only based on my interviewing experience, so I can't guarantee anything. 

1. Be Yourself/Confident: I understand that most people would have to pretend to be better than usual during the interviews; however, employers do not want to hire someone who is fake. They also would not like someone who is not confident to work for them, either, so just be yourself and be confident!!

2. Do the Research: It is important to do some homework before going to the interview. Depends on how well you know the company, the chance of getting the job is higher.

3. Precise Answer and Come up Stories: A lot of interview questions would have to come up with clear answers and good example stories. Prepare some successful accomplishments from previous work and classes. If you have awards or honors, you can talk about them as well. 

4. Be Polite: If you did not show respect to the interviewees and receptionists at the place, you probably not get hired.    

5. Let the Interviewee Finish the Sentence: During the interview, it is easy to rush into the answers, so make sure the wait until the interviewee finish the question. Pulse a few seconds before answering would not hurt either. Interviewees do not care the speed of the interviewer responed, they only consider quality of the answer. Think before answering shows the person is not impulsive and have the logic-thinking skill.

6. Do not Look Desperate: This was hard for me because there was a time I desperately need a job. I know it difficult to manage our stress, but try the best to hide it.

7. Always Smiling: Employers are looking for skilled workers AND the same time, they are looking for positive workers. Who does not want to work with positive and energetic people?  

8. Listen Carefully: Sometimes we could misunderstood the question. Do not answer it until you fully understood what the interviewee is asking.

9. Arrive Early: You can go to bathroom before the interview, and look through wall posting of the company. You can even brought up in the interview, and this shows you are detailed oriented person and really interested in working for them.

10. Follow up with Handwritten Thank You Card: Always do a follow up after the interview. This would help employer remember you the most. Handwritten Thank You Card is the best; however, if it is impossible, send a follow up e-mail at least.

11. Relax: I know interview process is very stressful; the work itself is stressful as well. The part of the interview process is to see how you can handle stress. If the interviewer could not survive manage stress, he/she probably could not take the This shows you are mature and able to manage stress.

12. Bring Pen, Notebook, Resume, and Water: I recommend to bring these stuff ONLY. Do not bring any extra stuff unless you are told to do so. Carrying a big backpack can make interview process even more stressful.

13. Good Eye Contact: The "key" to ace an interview is to make a good eye contact. If there are more than one interviewee, remember to look around the room and make eye contact with everyone as you answer the question.

14. Dress in Layers: The office can be hot and cold, and we never know. It is better to feel physically comfortable during the interview, so wear a shirt inside and blazer jacket on top of it.

15. Bring Questions: 99% of the interview would end in "Do you have questions for us?" This is a chance for you to know the firm better. The more questions you bring to the table, the higher possibility of getting hired.

I hope these were helpful and Good Luck to You!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Girl Talk - Be Confident!!

I am starting a new series here in my blog called "Girl Talk". In this blog, I shared a lot of life lessons and advices I heard mostly from people and readings. "Girl Talk" would be more personal and experience based. I try to have this on the first post of each month starting June. This month's topic is about "Confidence."

I have a confession to make: I was not a confident person as I grow up. I always felt shy to talk in the class and my communication skill was not good at all. I usually blaming myself for screw ups. After I failed many times, seriously, how can I be confident again? Glad that I am more confident today than I used to be, but every once a while I lose hope and confidence again. Every time this happens these are guild lines I try to follow.

I clear my mind first. I usually like to go exercise, play some piano, watch a movie, write a blog post, and/or bake something. Do whatever you like to do to clear up your mind whenever the confidence is gone. In order to be confident again, it is important to get refreshed. Then think find the cause that made me fail and practice to be make it perfect. Every time I lose confidence because I failed in something, I try not think it as the end of the world or I would never going to master it. Remember "practice makes perfect." All the achievements build my confidence. At the same time, think about what I am good at. I believe everyone is unique and special in their own way. I have strength and weakness. If I focused on my strength and learned to overcome my weakness, I would be a very confident person. Lastly, I'd like to surrounded by people who love me. I am glad that I have many friends who truly care for me. I also feel blessed with all encouragements I receive. The encouragement from people are so significant and special to me. After I did everything I can to regain my confidence, I usually feel ready to start over.

All in all, "confidence" is the key to success. We should be confident no matter what happens.
Hey, Girl, You Are Awesome.
"Confidence" is making a girl strong.
Good Luck!!
I hope you enjoyed this "Girl Talk."