Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cracking the Code

An interesting phenomenon that's been occurring lately is the growing number of women's tech events. I recently spoke to the organizers of the VCs & Angels: Women Tech Startup Investors Panel and Wonder Women Hacks, both of which are excellent ways for women in the LA tech community to meet and interact, so I am eager to promote them within my network. On that note, one of my favorite quotes that I've seen recently is from a very young female programming student who stated, "Girls should code because they are just as good as boys!"

As I peruse tech job postings, one of the things that I tend to notice is job title. A particular favorite of mine is "Evangelist," which you can find on Buzzfeed's "The Worst Startup Job Titles Ever."

This past week, I've had an opportunity to go to Hearst Castle, attend my friend's first photography exhibit, go to my third happy hour at the YouTube Space LA, and volunteer with Yogurtland for the Richstone Easter Bunny Breakfast (photos below). I am so fortunate to have spent time with the families involved with the Richstone Family Center, even to just bring some fun and cheer to the adorable children who are in challenging situations.

At Hearst Castle's Roman Pool
Outside Hearst Castle
From left to right: My friend Chris, my friend JC exhibiting his photography, and me
Volunteering with Yogurtland for the Richstone Easter Bunny Breakfast
Yogurtland team at Richstone

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Art of Business

I am so honored to receive such an overwhelming amount of support on my new business endeavor. Thank you to all of those who have sent lovely messages and congratulatory remarks!

It's also great to see that the SoCal tech scene has had some exciting news recently, with Oculus VR Inc. and Maker Studios cashing in on acquisitions by Facebook and Disney, respectively. Check out "Tech Merger Frenzy in L.A. Highlights New Set of Startups" for more information on our newest sources of tech pride.

This week, I was able to take some time away from the computer to see Fanfarlo at The Troubadour and walk through Venice to see one of my favorite buildings in LA:  El Bordello Alexandra. I am so inspired by the arts here!

Fanfarlo at The Troubadour
El Bordello Alexandra - I can't believe my friend lives here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Life Cleanse

It seems fitting that I am writing an update exactly four months to the day after my previous post. My life has gone through extreme changes over these past months and this update serves as my most honest and personal yet.

On November 26, 2013, just two days before Thanksgiving, I was laid off for the second time in the span of a year. I found myself heading into the notoriously difficult time of the holidays wondering what my course of action would be. Knowing that the time span from Thanksgiving through New Year's would be a difficult period to find a job, I used the time to prepare my resume and go on some local interviews.

What I discovered was that I needed to completely rethink my life course. So I embarked on a "life cleanse." I stuck to an extreme paleo diet, exercised intensively, created lists of requirements for my next opportunity, got LASIK surgery, swore off dating, and importantly focused on myself for the first time in a long time.

Over the past four months, I have had the opportunity to explore LA and travel to various places, including Arizona, Ft. Lauderdale, Catalina Island, the Bay Area, Vancouver, and other locations around California (photos below). I have also had the pleasure of spending time with visiting friends from all over the world, from Israel to New York City. Through my adventures and interactions, I learned one very important thing:  my extreme need to be social and constantly engaged. I am a textbook extrovert, as I gain energy from social interactions.

Thus, I have committed to a full-fledged job search, seeking local positions that enable me to use my excellent social skills in order to positively contribute to a company of my dreams. Interestingly, in my quest for the perfect job, I realized that the search itself stimulated me - it allowed me constant interactions with new people and new ways to uncover strategic connections. As I started teaching my tips and providing advice to my friends, I yearned to continue in this vein. It is for that reason that I have begun a freelance outreach business, providing clients (business owners, job seekers, people moving to a new city, etc.) with strategic ways to make connections and build relationships.

I have taken the big step of updating my LinkedIn profile, announcing the following to the world:

I am a dynamic, extroverted freelance Outreach Expert, providing my clients with advanced tips and skills in the following areas:
1. Event networking
2. Leveraging social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) to achieve business/professional and/or personal goals
3. Client acquisition
4. Raising awareness for your brand, business, or profile
5. Targeting and messaging
6. Building your professional career
7. Relationship-building and maintaining
8. Maximizing profit

My clients are typically individuals who are starting a new business, changing their careers, or moving to a new city, though I can certainly help anyone (such as investors looking for local startups, etc.). I am also available to speak on any of the aforementioned topics.

I have also created a Facebook page, and my website is in development. I am excited as I begin to blog about this endeavor!

30's party in downtown LA

Wine tasting with a friend in Healdsburg, Sonoma, and Napa

At a Lyft party with Lyft Co-Founder and President John Zimmer

Catalina Island

With my family in Florida

My friend from NYC visiting

Capturing floral beauty at Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island

Eating a nanaimo in Nanaimo

A Montreal roommate reunion in Vancouver

Monday, November 25, 2013

Music to My Ears

MBA students graduating next year will be disappointed to see "The Job Market for MBAs is About to Take a Hit." However, I am a firm believer that with intense networking efforts and realistic expectations, graduating MBA students will be able to find their way.

In fact, a young student at USC recently found me through my about.me page. I was very impressed with his enthusiasm and go-getter attitude, and was happy to meet with him to talk about our mutual interest in startups and networking. I was also pleased to provide social media advice to my Beachbody coach this week, and I'm eager to get updates from her to see how it all works out (no pun intended).

Mallary Hope and me

From left to right: Carrie Welling, me, Rebecca Haviland, and Chris Anderson

These past few days have been filled with a lot of fun activities! I went to two music shows (photos with musicians above), an office happy hour (picture below), and an LA Comedy Festival show. There is certainly never a shortage of things to do around here.

Single Grain (LA branch) happy hour

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Making Headlines

Last night, I finished a book called Tuesdays with Morrie that's a true story about a man who gets in touch with his favorite professor 16 years later. It inspired me to contact my favorite high school teacher, interestingly one week before my 10-year high school reunion. I was happy to hear that my senior year history teacher remembered me and that we might have the chance to see each other in a few months. Tuesdays with Morrie taught me so many incredible lessons, including valuing each day and positive relationships, and I am forever grateful to its author for reminding me to get in touch with my valued teacher.

It is never too late to learn life lessons, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship, which is why I am happy to share "From the Trenches: 23 Entrepreneurs Share Their Most Valuable Lessons Learned." In fact, one of the lessons comes from my Single Grain boss Sujan Patel. You can also see Hamet Watt, my previous boss from bLife, in this clip from FOX (below). In the news story, you'll also see my office building (ROC) and my friend Rob!


Lastly, I am excited to share that Montreal was listed as #9 on the list of best student cities, according to QS. People and places within my network are surely making headlines this week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Slam Dunk

Although I had never before been to a professional basketball game, in the past week, I attended two Lakers games. Fortunately, the Lakers won both days and beat the Pelicans and the Pistons, even winning attendees free tacos at both games. After chatting with my colleagues about the games and learning how interested they were in the NBA, I coordinated a company event for us to go to a January Clippers vs. Celtics game. We're all looking forward to our Single Grain LA branch event!

Lakers game at the Staples Center

When it comes to professional sports, though, I have developed a recent love for football. That's why I found Inc.'s article "The Warren Buffett Story That Inspired a Pro Football Team" particularly noteworthy.

In business-related matters, I was interested to see this list of the 50 most beautiful business schools in the world. Though I was surprised that HEC Montreal was not listed, I was happy to see that Russia's Moscow School of Management Skolkovo building was there. I was truly fascinated by the building when I visited it during my Campus Abroad program. Montreal did get credit, however, for being the 10th smartest city in North America in Fast Company. I'd say that's a slam dunk for my beloved Montreal!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Happiest Woman on Earth

Recently, I've seen a couple interesting articles in tech news. One such article in Wired was written by Chris Bosh, NBA player for the Miami Heat, and explained why you should learn to code. It was fascinating to learn that this professional basketball player was raised by tech-savvy parents and their influence led him to focus on computers. His article demonstrates that he is a great role model due to his skills in both athletics and technology.

Secondly, the Silicon Valley Business Journal noted that "more business grads ditch finance, opt for tech jobs." More MBA graduates are selecting tech positions, rather than finance, so that they can do something innovative and make an impact. I'm not surprised, considering that I would be grouped into this category.

Due to the importance of technology, and especially Google, all employees of Single Grain are now getting Google Analytics certification. I've been spending the majority of the day studying for this, so I can pass the test by our company's deadline. Wish me luck!

I am also happy to share that I finally went to Disneyland (photos below)! On Saturday, I went with three of my friends to the happiest place on Earth. It was a magical day and the perfect way to round out my one year anniversary in Los Angeles.

In front of the Christmas decorated castle

Awaiting the Halloween themed Haunted Mansion ride

With the Mad Hatter and Alice