Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Hope and Plan

Happy New Year!! I know it is two weeks late. A lot of people like to make "New Year's Resolutions" for "Self-Improvements." I am no different. In the past, I tried to make my new year's resolution and "not" sound like resolutions, and as "simple" and as "specific" as possible, so they will be "easier" and have the "guidance" to achieve them. 2012 (Better Time Management), 2013 (Lifestyle Shifts), 2014 (Wish List), 2015 (Be Happy and Productive), 2016 (Thoughts and Goals), and 2017 (Daily Progress Improvement) 

This year, I am still trying to make this year's resolutions not sound like resolution, simple, and specific so I will be more likely to achieve them. I have TWO MAJOR GOALS, this year, but I decided to not share on the blog like past years, sorry! If I reached them, I would share them at the end of the year. If I did achieve both of my goals (even just one), 2018 would be my year; remember resolution quality over quantity!

The theme for 2018 is "Hope" and "Plan."

Hope I have been practicing gratitude for years; however, I realized as older we get, life will get tougher and tougher. I might be able to survive this situation, but cannot next. The best way to practice being "hopeful" and not being hard on me. There will be "hope" for better future and self-enrichment and take a breath here and there. 

Plan I often cannot make all the resolutions come due to "lack of time." Well "not having enough time" is NOT an excuse.  My parents once said "Everybody only has 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, how come there are successful people and unsuccessful people? Successful people did not have more time than unsuccessful people. The difference is that the what successful people are doing and thinking during the 24 hours versus unsuccessful people." Staring 2018, I plan my day properly and use time efficiently.

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-Become a morning person: brain functions best in the morning and less distraction, so perfect time to get the most difficult and necessary tasks out the way. 
-Listen to TedTalks/Inspirational Speeches While Doing Chores: what a great way to use time efficiently. 
-Release Stress by Clearing/Organizing and Exercising: every time I have negative thoughts, read, do some chores, and/or go for a run. Say "no, no," to be negative. 
-When I feel tired, stop and take a rest: there is no way to keep working while I am not productive. I am wasting my work time AND sleep time. 

Dear My Readers: 

I hope in every 24 hours you have each day, you are doing the right thing and thinking the right stuff. The 365-day would go smoothly according to your plan!

Have a great 2018!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

2017 Review

2017 went by like a wind. I "thought" 2017 had nothing special, and I did not accomplish anything. Well, thanks to Facebook, it reminded me the following highlights of 2017. 

1. Passing Credential Exams: 
I earned three credentials this year: CAPM (Certified Associated with Project Management), Investment Foundation Certificate, and CSSGB(Certified Six Sigma Green Belt). I have a list of credentials I plan to obtain after MBA, now three down, and I plan to get at least one more in 2018. Not having a summer break in 2017 was worth it because of these certificates. 

2. Participating in Races
When I was a senior in college, I found my interest in running. When I first started running because I had to lose weight, I hated it. However, I suddenly fell in love with it because it helped me clear my mind and release my stress. Ever since then I enjoy being a runner. I hesitated to run with other people at first because I don't want to get the pressure of competing, but later I realized, I don't have to compete to participate in a race. I was so surprised that I won the first place in my age division (25-29) in one of the cross country 5K, this year. I plan to run longer and more challenging races in 2018. 

3. Reuniting with High School Classmates
High School Reunion was a big highlight, this year. Catching up with classmates and getting to know them over again after 10 years was amazing. Since I already wrote a post, I am not going to mention a lot in here. Please click the link if you are interested.  

4. Donating Blood

Donating blood was scary at first, but I am proud of myself to overcame the fear and saved other people's lives. Since I wrote a post, I am not I already wrote a post, I am not going to mention a lot in here. Please click the link if you are interested in learning the statistics, benefits, and process of donating blood.

5. Participating in Toastmaster
I was a member of Toastmaster from October 2016 to October 2017. I gave at least ten speeches this year. Due to the difficulty of balancing studying for credentials, work, and other personal commitments with Toastmaster, I had to pause my participation; however, I do plan to start back again.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Blood Donation Process

I donated my blood for the first time in June. I have been volunteering at Red Cross since high school, but never done it myself. I was super scared. I had fear with needles and blood itself. With many years of hesitation I finally decided to do it because researched about facts and statistics and found out the benefits and neediness of blood donation. I am going to share statistical facts, benefits, and process of the blood donation.    
Statisfacts - significant difference between supply and demand of blood is significant. 
  • Every 2 seconds, someone in this world need blood
  • Blood cannot be manufactured, which means there is no substitute. The only way for people to receive blood is donors. 
  • Only 3% of qualified donors actually donate blood
  •  Risks such as feel light headed or pass out, but this barely happened like 4 in a 1000. Remember that the amount of blood they are taking is less than 10% of your blood
  • One pint of blood donation can save up to three lives
       Benfits Donating blood does not only save other people’s lives, but also have health benefit to donorsIf you donate....
  • Reduce the risks of heart and liver disease and cancer because when you donating blood, you are donating extra iron. Your liver would not be overwhelmed with extra irons. 
  • Free chance of physical check up
  • Help with weight loss, I lost a pound afterward
       Process - pretty simple. 
  • Before - make an appointment on the American Red Cross Website, you can enter your zip code and the website will list the locations and available times. Make sure to avoid alocohol and fried food (unhealthy food) and eat iron rich meals (healthy) for a few days before donating blood. 
  • During - I recommend you complete Rapid Pass before you donate because it will save a lot of time. Rapid Pass will ask health and medical related questions. When you walk in, they will take your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and iron level. If your numbers fell within the acceptable range, you are ready to donate! The moment the needle goes in, it might hurt a little; however, you won't feel anything afterward. The drawing process takes around 4 to 10 minutes. I recommend drink A LOT of water donating, so the your blood will come out faster and you don't have to be sitting there for a long time. 
  • After - make sure drink water and eat well for the next days. Red cross will provide some snacks afterward as well. Congratulations, you just saved somebody's life!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Exam Experience and Passing Strategy

I passed Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) in June!! This was one of my biggest accomplished in 2017 and one of my list of credentials to get after MBA. My hard work paid off. I look forward to advancing my career and better future. 

What is Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)? It is a professional who is well versed in the core to advanced elements of Lean Six Sigma Methodology, who leads improvement projects and/ or serves as a team member as a part of more complex improvement projects.


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1. Do NOT underestimate that it is an "open-book" exam: I failed on my first try because I underestimated the difficulty of the exam, so I did not manage my time well (2) and practice enough (4). Even though it is an "open-book" exam, it is important to study as a "closed-book" exam. We can only look up at the numbers of the equations and tables, but we don't have time to actually read and understand the material during the exam. 

2. Manage Your Time During the Exam: The exam is four and half hours, and there are 110 problems to solve (only 100 are graded). I try to solve 30 questions per hour, which is two minutes per question. If you are spending more than two minutes per question and still cannot figure out, move on. I flagged ones I did not know and saved last half hour to go back and solve flagged questions. Some statistical questions would take more than 2 minutes, so it is better to answer as many nonstatistical questions under 2 minutes as possible. 

3. List Out all the Acronyms: Many acronyms associated with the materials, such as DMAIC, DFSS, SIPOC, DOE, etc. We could not (we don't have to) memorize all. I recommend creating a cheat sheet with all the acronyms. 

4. Use the Appendix on the Back: Appendix was my life saver!! Just find a keyword from the question and look up the appendix then it will lead to the right page with the correct answer. I was able to find the right answer to almost every question. 

5. Practice, Practice, and PRACTICE!! Once again do not discourage, if you study, you CAN pass. I recommend taking 3-4 practice tests (until you reach 80%-90%), and keep practice your weak part. 

Good Luck to Everybody who is planning to take the test in the future. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

10-Year High School Reunion Recap

8/05/2017 was my 10-Year High School Reunion. It was hard to believe it had been 10 years since high school graduation!! Although I kept in touch with a few people over the years, I did not see most of them for 10 years. I was very excited for the reunion!! 

I was nervous about starting a conversation with my former classmates because we have not contacted for many years. However, they were very friendly, and all remembered me and greeted me with warm hugs. When we started talking, I felt like we were never apart. The weird part was that last time we were together, we were just teenagers now we are drinking and/or married (possibly parents)!! 

I was able to recognize most of the people. Only a few times I had to ask "Did you to our school or are you a guest?" I am sorry for those of you whom I didn't recognize. I thought it would be awkward to talk to someone who I barely talked in high school; however, we still bonded because we found same interest in hobbies and career goals. 

The reunion went by TOO quickly. I was able to talk to most of the people. Talking with them again was getting to know them all over again!! Coming to the reunion was not only fulfill my curiosity for what my classmates were doing but also give me a second chance to actually connect with my classmates. I could not speak English well back in high school because I had only been to America for a few years. I am glad that we had a deeper conversation this time!!

Here are some photos representing high school.

At the high school graduation (seriously 10 years ago?)

My yearbook photos and event tickets!! What good old days. Well, I do look better today!!

I loved the Planners!! I am a big planner person. I rely on google calendar every day. I probably spend more time planning tasks than doing my tasks!

After the reunion, I started to miss them already. Let's keep in touch!! I don't want to wait another 10 years to see each other again. 

I was sad that some people could not make it, well I wish you the best, and I hope our paths will cross together somewhere on this earth someday. 

Here is to another good 10 years!! Where were will be by then? Now we have people coming with husband/wife, next time we will have people coming with children!! 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Post Grad Unemployment? How to handle it.

April through June are graduation season. Commencements are wonderful because they honor all the achievement and celebrate an "end of an era." If the graduates did not have a job offer after graduation, there would be a bitter part of the celebration. 

Dear Graduates Who are Unemployed/ Underemployed: 

You can choose to sad or happy about the situation. I started this blog when I was unemployed after college graduation back in 2011. I am going to share my experiences and advice I received over the years. I hope this post will be helpful.  

(Graduation from High School: 2007, College: 2011, and Graduate School: 2016)

First, do not feel frustrated or miserable if you are did not end up with a "good job" after graduation. Understand that you worked hard on getting the degree/certificate and BE PROUD of yourself for finishing it. Be patient about job hunting because finding the "right fit" takes time. I know that you might have loans and other commitment, but don't rush into whatever job that is available there. You rather start work later with the job you actually love than work soon with the job you would end up hating. 

While you are unemployed/ underemployed, there are plenty of stuff you can do other than being stressed out. I am sure there are things you have been putting off due to school and other commitments. Here are the activities I did while I was unemployed. 

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Develop your passion
  • Study something that is not taught in the university
  • Travel the world
  • Start business/ learn to be a freelancer

I also have some job hunting tips, and hopefully, this would speed up with landing the right fit job.  

  • Reconnect with your friends, old classmates, professors, and coworkers and extended family: maybe they can do referral job. You need to "know someone" to actually get a job these days. 
  • Polish resume: I asked many writing tutors to edit my resume to look perfect. Having a good resume would stand out among other applicants.
  • Consult with counselors: do not forget to reach out career advisors, and they would love to give you more advice.  
  • Find out your true self: I listed what I like and good at while searching for my career path. This helped me market myself better in networking and interviews. 
Remember, in the end, it does not matter whether you have a job offer or not at the time of the graduation. Post Graduation is only one moment in lifeYou never know where you at and what kind job you will in 5, 10, and 20 years and even 30 years. People change jobs and careers all the time.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Top 10 Motivational Songs I Like

I admit that I have down time in my life such as personal issues, could not land my dream job, things did not go like I planned, and/or being treated badly at school or work. We all have those moments. What has been always being there here and kept me moving forward? It is MUSIC!! I conducted the rankings of my favorite motivational songs. These songs are attached to my heart!! The links are in the title. I hope you will listen and get inspired!! 

10. Never Say Never - Justin Bieber
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Never Say Never came out in 2011 when I graduated college. At that time job market was slim, so I received a lot of rejection letters. However, I will never say never about landing my dream job because "whenever you knock me down, I will not stay on the ground!!"

9. Born This Way - Lady Gaga
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Born This Way reminded me of being bullied in school regarding my poor language skills and negative body image. This song boosted my confidence because "you are beautiful in your way because god makes no mistake. You are on the right track because you are born this way."

8. Reflection - Christina Aguilera
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I listen to reflection every time I lost my way. This song is from the movie "Mulan." I am like her. I don't want to be the person other want me to be. I hope they will see and accept my true self. "Must there a secret me I force to hide. I won't pretend that I am someone else for all time. When will my reflection who I am inside?"

7. The Climb - Miley Cyrus
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I listen to "The Climb" when I am achieving a long and tough goal. I often doubt whether I will get there or not and I might give up in the middle. This song would keep me going no matter how fast and how it will take me to get there because "there always going to be another mountain, there will be some battle, and sometimes I have to lose."

6. When You Believe - Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey
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If going through something, which I cannot control or the probability of success is low, I often listen to "When You Believe." It gave me hope because "there can be miracles when you believe, through hope is frail.It's hard to kill." I like to believe in miracles. 

5. Firework - Katy Perry
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I listen to this song before interviews and presentations. Although I don't like interviews and presentations and I am not good at speaking, this song give me the confidence. I feel I am the firework and let the interviewees/audience see my worth (as I shoot across the sky). 

4. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban
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This song encourages me to take challenges and help me to go beyond what I can. I am a risk taker, but I my fear often get in the way. Whenever I feel afraid, I image a sin and think "I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise up to more than I can be." I love Josh Groban's opera voice because it warms my heart

3. Through the Rain - Mariah Carey
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Every time I go through a rough time, I image like this song's lyrics "caught in the rain and nowhere to run." I believe that "I can make through the rain and I can stand up once again, on my own because I am strong enough to make it. If I live one more day, I am going to make through the rain."  I LOVE Mariah's voice. It gave me POWER!!

2. Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
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Every time I hear discouragement or something devastating happen to me, I often become a negative person and think it is the end of the world. I listen to Stronger to maintain positive because "what does kill you makes you stronger". Instead of being killed by those discouragement and devastating events, I will become a fighter to win the battle. 

1. Fix You - Cold Play
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Fix You is such a therapeutic song. It starts with 
"When you try your best, but you don't succeed. When you get what you want, but not what you need. When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep. Stuck in reverse. When the tear stream down your face, when you lose something you can not replace, when love someone, but it goes to waste. Could be worse?" 
I am sure we ALL HAD at least one of those moments. This song came out when I was in high school (most weird time). I lost track how many times this song saved my life for the past ten years. 

"People Haven't Always Been There for Me, But Music Always Has" - Taylor Swift

You are NEVER ALONE when you have music!!