Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Down to a Science

It is amazing how influential my one week as a volunteer at C2-MTL truly was. It led me to my current job and helped me to develop strong business contacts and friendships. In fact, I have kept in touch with many of the people I met there, including neuropsychologist Dr. Rex Jung. When he sent an email saying that he was featured on Nova Science NOW's "How Smart Can We Get?" I had no idea what a treat I was in for!

If you watch the program via the link above, you can find Dr. Jung from about the 25-minute point until 30 minutes in (Note that the entire show is 57 minutes long). It was great to learn more about his work, but it also gave me even more of a reason to be happy that I learned to juggle many years ago. Watch the video to find out why! Also, the program delves into the human ability to be a calendar calculator, a talent my own mother possesses.

Lastly, the show focused on anxiety and stress, especially during test-taking. The act of journaling before an exam or any stressful situation is something that every MBA student can easily adopt and the amazing result is that it can boost the final score by two grades, on average. Now that I am working in the stress reduction space, it is especially important for me to note all of these anxiety-reducing tactics.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving Thanks

I have now completed one and a half weeks (the half due to American Thanksgiving) at my new job as Operations Manager at bLife. I'm happy to report that I absolutely love my position and the employees are great to work with. There are many fun aspects to my role, including planning our business trips and team-building activities. I also feel so honored to be working in Silicon Beach, the heart of LA's startup community.

As I settle into my new apartment, I'm looking forward to the stage when I'll be hanging artwork and coordinating the final touches. In fact, my friend Shane Turner who is an artist in Montreal will be creating a painting for me, which he hinted at in a recent interview with 102.7 FM, LA's number one hit music station.

I have been keeping in touch with other friends in Montreal, too, especially members of my MBA cohort. As a matter of fact, the video above was created by a classmate from my MBA who launched a video editing business. You'll see clips of me peppered throughout the video! Canadian Business also released "The MBA programs that lead to the biggest pay raises" and HEC Montreal is highly ranked on the list. 

Obviously, I'm still following the news in Canada and was happy to see the Fast Company article "This is Canada, by Canadians, for Americans (and Everyone Else)." The consumer-generated video that bucks the Canadian stereotype was facilitated by Tourism Canada can be viewed below.

I've certainly had some interesting and exciting experiences since I've moved here. For example, I had my first celebrity sighting (John Slattery of Mad Men). Also, since my driver's license was from Quebec (and even though I originally passed my driving tests in New Jersey), I had to take both a written and behind-the-wheel driving test. I'm glad to say that I passed the tests the first time around.

In the spirit of this week's Thanksgiving holiday, I also wanted to say that I am grateful for my close friend Lior (a friend from McGill), who has been so amazing in inviting me to so many activities here in LA. I went to an album release party with her, as well as a Thanksgiving potluck. I'm also thankful for the sunny weather and all that I get to experience here in Los Angeles in my new life on the west coast.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Returning to my home country has proven to be more challenging than one might think, on an administrative level. Between shifting bank accounts to getting a new driver's license, I am considered a foreigner as far as most institutions are concerned. I have discovered that people in LA have generally been extremely welcoming, though, and they're excited to hear that I moved all the way from Montreal!

I have been spending these past few days procuring an apartment lease and then spending the remainder of my time establishing myself at my new place. Fortunately, I have also had some free time, which I've spent along the beach and with friends. In fact, I met up with a friend who is launching his startup next week and I reviewed his executive summary in preparation for the impending date. I was pleased that insight from my MBA provided me with a critical eye to review his document.

I also managed to attend the Drinking Liberally Election Night Watch Party, as well as the first-ever Daily Muse meet-up (see photos from the 10 city event here). As always, these events provided me with a great opportunity to meet new people and learn about my new neighborhood. Additionally, I got to see a familiar face today when one of my fellow MBA graduates stopped by on his way to San Francisco. I'm looking forward to welcoming more friends as they pass through LA!