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
Image result for Never Say Never

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
Image result for christina aguilera reflection

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
Image result for The Climb

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
Image result for when you believe

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
Image result for firework katy perry

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
Image result for you raise me up josh groban

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
Image result for Through the rain

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
Image result for kelly clarkson stronger

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
Image result for Fix You Coldplay

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!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

28 Blessings

Happy Birthday to Me!! Thank you very much for the birthday wishes from friends and family ALL OVER THE WORLD!! I am truly blessed.

After 28 years of living, one of the important things I learned is counting blessings... I understand that life is not easy, and plans usually would not go the way we wanted. Despite the fact that we might face many downtime and sadness, life is still filled with blessings. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THAT. 

(Me and my mom in Hawaii last summer. We found love everywhere.)

Here are 28 gratefulness in my life. I hope more to come......

1. I am healthy
2. I know three languages
3. I have friends all over the world
4. I able to play piano
5. I have a job
6. I am highly educated
7. I am good with numbers
8. I love music
9. I am outgoing
10. I have sets of short term goals
11. I enjoy food A LOT
12. I like to travel
13. I can swim
14. I am an analytical person
15. I motivate myself to go to gym often
16. I am not too short nor too tall
17. I successfully lost some of my excess fat 
18. I have a great smile and enthusiasm 
19. I do not drink or smoke
20. I have a nice heart
21. I love hugs 
22. I look younger than my chronological age
23. I am not picky and open to everything
24. I have a blog
25. I like to learn new skills and take challenges 
26. I sleep well and barely anything can keep me awake
27. I enjoy writing and reading
28. I can bake and cook

Whenever I feel unsatisfied with my life or going through a tough time, I will pull up this list. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

What is Chinese/Lunar New Year Means to Me

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Since I am Chinese-American, I am happy to say I get celebrate New Year TWICE!! Chinese new year comes later than American new year because America follows roman calendar (365 days a year) and China follows lunar calendar (30-day-month, 360 days a year). 

(Taken at Last Chinese New Year. The Chinese International/Exchange Students from my school and I made dumplings together. Dumpling is one of the traditional must-have for Chinese New Year.

I left China when I was seven years old, so last time I spend Chinese New Year in China was 1996. Unfortunately, I don't remember much of it. After I have been spending Chinese New Year in Japan and the US.  I have been told that Chinese New Year is fun and festive. People gather together and cook and eat. It is a lot like Thanksgiving in America. There are fireworks, parade, entertainments, etc. People usually get a long break from work and school. Even though I don't get a break from school or work, I still have a fantastic time celebrating it with my family and Chinese people live in other countries. I am glad that China is a popular country and a lot of foreigners acknowledge the Chinese New Year, so Chinese people who live in other countries could get enough celebration even they are not in China. There are many places with Chinatown and Chinese restaurant, where the Chinese new year is heavily celebrated.

Although I feel I still have fun and get enough of Chinese New Year celebration,  I hope someday, I will get to spend Chinese New Year in China to experience the real celebration. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Beat Bullies

Statistic Facts from Bullies from
"Bullied victims are 7 to 9 percent more likely to consider suicide according to a study by YaleUniversity."
"Studies in Britain have found half of the suicides among youth related to bullying."
"According to a study by ABC News over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied."

I have been experiencing being bullied since pre-school, and I can still feel the pain after 20 years. I know I need to move on from my dark past, but if you have experience being bullied as a child, you will understand it is very hard to forget about it. Being bullied continued through elementary school to high school (even graduate school). Sometimes I cried myself to death, there were even days that I did not want to go to school because of the bullies. My behavior was strange sometimes and I developed low self-esteem.

I thought it will get better after high school as we grow older and become more mature. However, after experiencing bully again in graduate school and one of my previous workplace, I learned bullies would never going to disappear no matter how old we get. 

Bully exists everywhere. No matter which country and what kind of community it is, there will be bullies. I grew up in three different countries, there were bullies in school from all of them. Moreover, It is not just in the schools, the bully can exist in a workplace, neighborhood, community, etc. 

Furthermore, NOTHING can stop those bullies despite the fact that there are advocates who would like to have the word out to stop them. They might be able to reduce bullies but cannot eliminate them because most of the bullies are not aware of they are wrong. The only thing we can do is to avoid being involved with bullies and protect ourselves from them

Remember that, NO ONE can save you from bullies besides YOU, not your parents, teachers, friends, nor boyfriend/girlfriend. The best revenge is to ignore them and be strong with improving yourself. The purpose of the bullies is that they want to see you cry and being sad. Do NOT let them get their way. After being bullied for long, I decided instead of being depressed, I worked hard to raise my grades and landing my dream job and exercise a lot to be strong. Now, I have more friends, happier, smarter, and stronger; I would not let anyone bully me, anymore.  

Lastly, bullies it is not your problem, so do not blame yourself. They are the one with problems. 
"You are awesome. Bullies are NOT."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dealing with Anxiety

Confession: I have anxiety. 
Definition of Anxiety: mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.
(Me at Age 4)
There are a lot of worries and fears in my life, which has interfered my daily life. I worry about the future would not go the way like I planned, and I can fear that I cannot handle the failure and unfortunate from the unplanned incidents. Those anxieties lead me to less sleep, binge eating/lost appetite, being anti-social, etc.   

Feeling of anxiety started when I was a junior in high school. I was confused what I wanted to do and struggled with academics. I worried about I can never find the career I love, and scared that I would not be successful. I thought anxiety could get better once I go to college; however, I anxiety IS STILL with me TODAY. (after graduating college and graduate school and start working)

Later, I realized anxiety will continue to exist throughout the lifetime no matter how old I get because there are always something to worry and fear. Life is filled with cycles of challenges. One is solved and another one comes, and sometimes additional difficulties appear before resolving the first one. 

Then, I learned to overcome my anxiety by talking to my future self. When I was in school, I worry about whether I will pass the classes and able to graduate. Now in my professional life, I feel doing school is the easiest thing ever. Work is harder than study. I do not know why I was scared back then

Currently, I am having anxiety about my career path, finance, life partner, etc; however, I am confident that my future self will say "do not know why I was scared. These are the easiest things ever!!"

Here are some of my favorite quotes when I treat my anxiety. 

"Problems are only temporary."
"Life is filled with surprises."
"Live in the present. You can not change the past, and you never know the future. There is no need to not letting go of the past and worrying about the future."

Let's Beat Anxiety and Hope for the Happiness. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Reflecting 2016 and 2017 Goals

Wow!! I can't believe 2016 is over fast like any years. A year will go faster as we age, which was mathematically proven. 
Reflecting 2016
I finished graduated school and my student life is officially over.  I moved back to Southern Oregon to start my career. The change was significant. Working for clients (who paid me for the work) is more challenging than working for professors (who I pay). The demand and expectation were a lot. I don't have time to hang out with friends or make friends like I used to be, but I also became party harder (because I work harder.)

There were many ups and downs, this year. Due to my privacy, I would state those in the  I am extremely blessed with all the happiness and proud of myself for being able to go through the sadness. 

Goals for 2017
I would not make any specific new years resolution. I am like most people, I can not keep my new year's resolution. I l realized looking back, even though I did not make all the resolutions and goals come true in the end, I still made progress and improvement. I am proud of myself. So, this year I only tell myself to become better than 2016

grew up the most this from these life shifts and incidents. I learned "every step we take is an achievement" and "what does not kill you will make you stronger." 

Happy New Year. Be Happy!! Let's hope 2017 will bring us more joy. 

P.S. I will keep my blog post consistent for 2017