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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One Year Anniversary

Another one of my blog articles was recently posted on QS Top MBA! This one, entitled "Five reasons to get an MBA," lists why I decided to pursue b-school.

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I attended Katy Perry's We Can Survive concert, with 100% of proceeds going to the Young Survival Coalition. The show had an amazing lineup with Tegan & Sara, Sara Bareilles, Ellie Goulding, Kacey Musgraves, Bonnie McKee, and of course Katy Perry. It was an incredible show at the Hollywood Bowl and I was lucky enough to have 10th row seats! The best part was the encore, when all of the aforementioned women came onstage to perform Katy Perry's "Roar" (photo below).


The celebratory confetti above is fitting today, as I celebrate my one year anniversary of living in Los Angeles. Exactly one year ago today I arrived at LAX with three suitcases in hand, a friend to pick me up at the airport, and a big smile on my face. I'm happy to share my learnings from the past year and debunk some common myths about LA:

1. It is possible to live in Los Angeles without a car. Everyone told me that I would cave in and get one, but I haven't. Between walking, taking the bus, using Lyft, and renting cars, I've had all of my transportation needs met and I've saved a lot of money this way.

2. Everyone in LA is not flaky. True, I have met some flaky people, but who hasn't? Perhaps it is because I have had so few interactions with people in the entertainment industry, but I find people here extremely nice and friendly. My LA friends are genuine and relatable people who are not trying to "make it" nor pursue the next best thing.

3. LA driving is not crazy. In fact, I've found Los Angeles driving particularly easy because there's traffic everywhere. It causes people to move slowly, and if you're like me and don't usually know exactly where you're going, you have plenty of time to figure out the directions as you're moving. Of all the cities I've ever driven in, I still find Montreal to be the worst.

4. It is not always hot here. It's true that it rarely rains, but it is not always sunny and warm. I live very close to the beach and I assure you that it gets quite cold and foggy on this side of town. I'm not complaining, though. I've lived through nine Montreal winters.

This has been the best year of my life, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for me in this exciting city!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Remembrance

Though I was sick at home this whole weekend, I did manage to make it out to a play on Friday night. Along with friends of the play's starring actor, I saw "Marilyn, Madness & Me" at the El Portal Theatre. It was a well performed show about the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. Notably, for staging, they used a similar photograph to the one I snapped (below) just a few months ago from her grave site at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Marilyn Monroe's grave site with lipstick kisses

The month of October always brings about fond memories of my paternal grandmother whose birthday was the day before Halloween. She was a great role model and someone for whom I owe many of my interests and skills. One thing I fondly recall about my grandmother is that she was an avid viewer of Jeopardy! and she would shout out the correct answers nearly 100% of the time. As a writer and lover of word games and crossword puzzles, she inspired me in these arenas, so that is the true origin of my blogging abilities. But most impressively, my grandmother received an undergraduate degree, an amazing feat for a woman of her generation.

Interestingly, my maternal grandmother also celebrated her birthday in the month of October and also died in the month of January. Though I was not nearly as close with her, since she lived far away, she is always in my thoughts. And so, this month of October, a time when we remember the dead as we celebrate Halloween, I will be thinking of the women we have loved and lost.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Whirlwind Month

This past month has been a whirlwind! I have been going to concerts, networking events, cultural events, traveling, and watching sports games.

When it comes to music, I saw Butch Walker, Hanson, Little Big Town, and Keith Urban. See a photo from the Hanson show at the House of Blues below.


I also traveled to New York City/New Jersey (to see my friends and family) and San Francisco (for work). On the San Francisco trip, my company's virtual team got to meet in person which was a great experience! Below is a photo of the Single Grain crew, with the San Francisco, LA/Santa Monica, and Midwest teams all together.


As for networking events, Social Media Week made the ROC a hubbub of activity! I managed to attend one event which was The Moth Presents: "Network" StorySLAM where volunteers told true and interesting stories about online experiences. I also attended Lesbians Who Tech (and the people who love them) September LA Happy Hour, an event for which I am now a co-organizer.

I have also expanded my horizons by attending cultural events. One was Glow, which involved artistic light installations on the beach. While it sounded interesting, the event was disappointing. Additionally, my friend won tickets to an operatic performance of Carmen and she brought me along. It was my first time at an opera, and while I love musical theater, this particular show was just not for me.

However, what I have been enjoying is watching a lot of sports! Though I had never seen a football game until recently, I'm now an avid viewer and I watch as many games as possible. I also went to Dodger Stadium for the first time and saw the fourth playoff game against the Cardinals. Pictured below is a photo of my friend and me at the close of the game.


Lastly, with the new school semester in full swing, it is a perfect time to mention some recent academic matters. As a new blogger for QS Top MBA, I wrote about my post-MBA reflections. Finally, I wanted to share an article about a student at my undergraduate alma mater (McGill University) who used the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" to explain string theory. It is pure genius!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Trivial Matters

When I recently saw This is the End, I had no idea that the film's screenwriter Evan Goldberg was also a McGill alumnus. That, along with Jay Baruchel's Habs hat in the movie's opening sequence, warmed my heart. I am also proud to announce that McGill was ranked as a top 25 university for the tenth consecutive year.

Upon graduating from McGill University, I wish that I'd had access to "5 Epic Career Lessons I Learned in My 20s." It's a good read for anyone who does not want to make avoidable early career mistakes. And although my blog documented my time in the MBA program at HEC Montreal, I recommend checking out "A Day in the Life of a B-School Student" to see what one student's day is like at Harvard. It's an accurate description of any MBA student's schedule, regardless of the school.

I am also pleased to share that Los Angeles has been ranked the third hottest startup scene globally.  See the infographic here. In related news, my former boss of bLife was announced as a new partner of venture firm Upfront Ventures.


For those of you who enjoy trivia as much as I do, you might like to read "20 Things You Didn't Know About the NFL." Since I am especially fond of movie trivia, though, last night I enjoyed the Greg Proops Fan Club's podcast and screening of Sexy Beast, where Proops spoke about the film like a true cinephile.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

I was ecstatic to stumble across this article "Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are" because I 100% agree with the writer. Everyone does seem to wear their long hours as a badge of honor. But it should be about getting your work done, enjoying what you do, and then spending your free time doing other things you like to do. I am happy to say that that's exactly how I live my life.

On that note, I had a great Labor Day weekend! I was fortunate to get a ticket for the LA Tech Happy Hour 2 Year Anniversary: Mansion BBQ and Pool Party! The celebration took place at an incredible mansion in the Hollywood Hills with an infinity pool (photo below) and it was unlike any other tech event I've attended.


On Monday, I went to the LA County Fair where I saw deep-fried everything (pickles, watermelon, etc.) and saw The Motels, Berlin, and The Bangles perform. It was certainly a flashback to the 80's.

Then, last night, I flash forwarded to modern times at the Tegan & Sara and Fun. concert which was amazing from one of the first few rows! Watch a clip of Fun. performing "One Foot" from last night's show here.

video

Friday, August 30, 2013

State of Grace

Working from home certainly has its perks, one of which I have previously mentioned. But one major downside of the home office is loneliness. Fortunately, I came across an Inc. article "6 Ways to Combat Loneliness When You Work From Home," which provides some great tips to handle this. I've also started to go into our office (the ROC) more often, so I can see my friends and co-workers.

I have also attended a few networking events recently:  Silicon Beach Young Professionals August Mixer Sponsored by GoogleLesbians Who Tech (and the people who love them) August LA Happy Hour, and Girls in Tech LA Summer Sip Mixer 2013 (photo below). Furthermore, last weekend was the weekend of birthdays, as I celebrated two of my friends' birthdays all weekend long. My constant social interactions have left loneliness to wayside.


Additionally, I have continued my summer of entertainment. Last Friday, I attended the Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift concert (with surprise guest Ellie Goulding). See a snippet of Taylor opening the show with "State of Grace" below. I also returned to my new favorite movie theater, the Laemmle Monica 4-Plex to see Blackfish, which was great!

video

Now I'll be enjoying a fun-filled Labor Day weekend! I hope you all have a great long weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reunited

Living in Los Angeles, I am fortunate enough to be in a location where many of my friends pass through, whether it's to visit family, vacation, for work, or something else. In fact, in the past week, I had four different friends in town. See the photos below.





Also, the Santa Monica team of Single Grain has just relocated from Coloft to the ROC, the co-working space where I worked previously. So I have been reunited with my startup friends, and I once again get to enjoy the glorious rooftop workspace pictured below.


Interestingly, there was a recent article about the benefits of eating inside, rather than outside. I wholeheartedly disagree with the writer and actually laughed out loud at the comments that other journalists had on the topic.

As for local startup news, there was an email exchange involving the co-founders of Cross Campus, another Santa Monica co-working space, and PandoDaily. This is probably one of the most insane articles I've read concerning Silicon Beach and I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone talking about it.

In happier news, Santa Monica has the #2 spot for the Top 10 Zip Codes for Venture Capital Investment in Orange County and Los Angeles. And if you truly want to be happy, try one of these 10 simple things that you can do to make yourself happy today.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Home

Working from home and living just a few short blocks from the beach means that I can spend my lunch hour like this:


I must say it's a pretty great arrangement! On the flip side, seeing my co-workers twice a week is a lot of fun, too, especially since we go for lunches together and bond. Today, my boss even brought in three Single Grain shirts for me to wear, which I will proudly be sporting around town.

In news from the other coast, my adopted hometown of Montreal experienced a sinkhole recently. During my years in Montreal, I often passed through that particular street corner, so it's freaky to think about the incident.

In happier news, I came across an article about simplifying your life. As anyone who knows me well is aware, I try to live my life by two credos: "Simplify your life" and "Under-promise and over-deliver." With that being said, I am excited to share this article's tips so that others can live by my ideology, should they choose to.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Full Stack

I am happy to say that my first week of work went very well! My new team is amazing! For the first month, I'll be training for two days a week at Coloft, a co-working space, and the rest of the time I'm working from home. For the two days this week when my coworkers and I were all together, my boss took us out for lunches, including a fun one at a nearby shabu-shabu restaurant (photo below).


When my boss asked for information about networking events for startups, I was excited to share all that I know about the local Silicon Beach community. On the topic of networking, I thought this article presented some helpful tips on how to ask for an introduction. My co-worker Eric Siu also has a great blog, and I found his entry "The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Full Stack Marketer" particularly essential.

In addition to work, I also packed my week with a ton of fun. On Wednesday night, my friends and I competed in bar trivia. Though we didn't win, I was ecstatic that I was able to contribute my knowledge of pop culture for the team's earned points. Thursday night I returned to the Santa Monica Pier's Twilight Concerts to see Nikki Jensen and Xavier Rudd. Lastly, I've spent this weekend soaking up the sun and enjoying a couple movies at the theater - The Way, Way Back and Twenty Feet From Stardom. Both were great! I leave you now with a live performance of my favorite Xavier Rudd song "Messages," as I recall the wonderful memories of Thursday night.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Last Hurrah

This is my final weekend before starting my new job, and of course the Santa Monica weather is not cooperating. Although I haven't been able to sit out on a warm beach, I've certainly been enjoying a last hurrah prior to my new grind.

On Friday, I volunteered for the TechZulu Final Friday. I got to meet another b-school graduate from the east coast, as well as learn about cool new startups. In fact, one company called Recruiting For Good is funding free safaris!

In related news, my friend Robert Lambert who runs Silicon Beach LA just released a video from his Summer Hiring Blitz. If you want to learn about how to get a job in this community, check out the video below.


I am also continuing my musical tour of LA and got to go to Angels Stadium in Anaheim for Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation tour, which also featured Kasey Musgraves, the Eli Young Band, and Eric Church. The concert was so fun that I might now be a country music convert!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sand and Stars

This week I have continued to enjoy my LA summer, particularly in Santa Monica. I attended the Lesbians Who Tech July LA Happy Hour where I met women who were involved in a range of non-tech and tech companies, including Google and WordPress. See photo below.

Lesbians Who Tech July LA Happy Hour

Last night I enjoyed a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier where I saw the Tijuana Panthers and No Age perform. It was a beautiful night of sand and stars, and I'm hoping to attend another show at the beach soon!

Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A New Start

It's been over four months since I last posted, but I assure you it's for good reason. There have been a lot of big changes in my life and I'm excited to share them here.

On a professional front, I will be starting a new job in a week and I am eager to begin! I am also now working as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach so I can help people realize their fitness goals. As you may have noticed from my Mix and Match entry, I am passionate about physical fitness and even more so about motivating others. If you're interested in joining me on a fitness journey, feel free to check out my coach page here! Just so you know, I'm following the Body Beast workout and drinking chocolate Shakeology. It's only been a couple weeks but I can already see muscle growth and I'm feeling great!

It's a good thing I've been getting into shape because I recently played the part of Wonder Woman in a Buzzfeed video: "How To Throw Your Own Comic-Con." See the video below.


What else have I been up to these past few months? I've done some traveling around California and elsewhere. My destinations in California have included Solvang, Santa Barbara, Big Bear, Huntington Beach, and Hermosa Beach, while I have also traveled domestically to Ft. Lauderdale, New Jersey, and NYC. I've also attended some concerts and seen Garfunkel and Oates, Cyndi Lauper, and Billy Ocean. And of course, I have continued to be an active member in the Silicon Beach community, having recently attended a Santa Monica New Tech event and volunteered at Women 2.0 Founder Friday - Los Angeles. My first LA summer has certainly been off to a great start!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Californication


My parents were in town this weekend, so I got to play tourist in my own (new) city. Together, we walked along the Santa Monica Pier and drove to Griffith Park to see the Hollywood sign in the distance (pictured above). We also went our separate ways, as they explored other areas of town and I saw Looper at Quentin Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema, followed by a Q&A with the writer and director Rian Johnson (photo below).


In other entertainment news, the film Status Quo? that I worked on for my marketing consulting project during my MBA had a free online streaming to celebrate International Women's Day. The documentary is now available for 48-hour rental here.

I am also excited to share the link for C2-MTL volunteer opportunities, which have recently become available. As you may well know by now, I can attribute my current job to my experience as a volunteer for that particular amazing conference in Montreal! I strongly recommend getting involved in C2-MTL - it is a conference unlike any other!


Additionally, I wanted to note that C100 is accepting applications for 48 Hours in the Valley. As explained in the video above, this is a great way for Canadian startup founders to learn from fellow Canadians who have relocated to Silicon Valley. More information can be found on the C100 website.

Lastly, someone recently shared with me Business Insider's "Career Advice from LinkedIn's Billionaire Founder." I hope you like it as much I do!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mix and Match

We had the most amazing weather here from Thursday to Saturday! With the high temperatures and sunny skies, I happily went for daily jogs along the beach. I am truly enjoying the fitness culture in LA and I have embraced it through my jogs and gym rat habits. I even realized that I have started to collect matching sunglasses for my workout gear (see below).

Matching to the max!

Speaking of health and wellness, there was big news at bLife this week as we launched our newest app, a 30-Day Stress Less Challenge in partnership with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). As I monitor bLife's Twitter account, it's been great to see such positive feedback regarding Stress Less.

Interestingly, as I've been following news concerning stress, I felt that my worlds were colliding when I read a press release about preventing chronic pain with stress management. The study, which was led by professors in Montreal, clearly combined my old world (Montreal) with my new world (stress management).

I also continue to stay abreast of news in the startup world, particularly here in Santa Monica. I recently caught two Daily Muse articles that I wanted to share: "5 Ways to Work for a Tech Start-Up - Even if You Can't Code" and "5 Great Reasons to Consider a Job in Tech." As for local news, it was great to discover "The Rise of Silicon Beach: The Disruptive LA Tech Scene." Of course, I haven't just read about the goings-on in the startup community, I've also attended some more events, including a Tech Coast Angels (TCA) LA launch party and the TechZulu & Digital LA 5-Year Anniversary Bash (photo below).

Me and Josh Dubinsky, Business Development for At the Pool (Photo courtesy of PhotoBoxi)

I am happy to say that I have spent some time doing non-tech events, too. I went to a friend's amazing birthday party in a park that was complete with cotton candy, bubbles, tiaras, hula hoops, fairy wings, etc. (photo below). I also attended a screening of a crazy Ron Howard and George Lucas film called Willow at the Aero Theater that had a great Q&A with the screenwriter afterwards. This has definitely been a diverse, but awesome week!

Birthday party in the park

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In the Swim of Things


There is an awesome startup in Santa Monica called At the Pool (ATP). It encourages people to connect, and then meet in person (in other words, to take the Facebook experience offline). It introduces you to one new person a day, and usually you have a lot of things in common, such as geography, a love of sushi, etc. Through the social network, I've met with ATP's CEO, as well as others in the Silicon Beach community. It's perfect for someone, like me, who's new to town. The social network's reach is far and wide, though, so feel free to join from anywhere today!

Since I understand the importance of networking, and I encourage others to do the same, I was excited to find this gem of an article on Entrepreneur: "Meeting New Clients and Contacts Through Networking." It provides some great tips for effective networking. I certainly employed several of the suggested tips at the two events I attended this week: Pay it Forward for Business February Party and the 8th SiliconBeachLA Unwind at the Shangri-La.

The bLife team has been extremely busy, focusing on our new app that will be launched on Wednesday. Our Co-Founders/Co-CEOs were also in San Francisco this week at Wisdom 2.0, connecting with like-minded businesses and individuals. Below, you can watch a clip of Arianna Huffington onstage at the conference, where she talked about our GPS for the Soul app.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Unwind

It feels like the world is going startup crazy! My alma mater McGill University will be holding a Startup Career Fair in a few days. In fact, I've heard that the Silicon Beach community has a startup career event in the works, too. I'm looking forward to getting more details!

I am happy to say that I am officially a Community Ambassador for SiliconBeachLA, with my specialties listed as events and female entrepreneurship. You can see the link here. Though I have not yet received any questions about Silicon Beach, I did receive a LinkedIn message today from a newly admitted HEC Montreal MBA student. He mentioned that he discovered my blog through a Google search, and then proceeded to read about my journey from the very beginning to the present. I was so honored by his comments and feedback, and I'm so happy to hear that he found my blog helpful.

This Friday, at the 7th SiliconBeachLA Unwind I was giving demos of the bLife GPS for the Soul app. It was a great way for me to educate the local community about bLife and to spread the word about our newly released free iPhone app. We have been really busy at work on our next project, though, so stay tuned for more on that in a few days! In the meantime, below is a photo from last week's SiliconBeachLA Unwind.

My friend Jim (a fellow New Jersey native) and me at the 6th SiliconBeachLA Unwind

I also wanted to share a lovely short film from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) called Matrioska. Since I both worked with the NFB on my Supervised Consulting Project and visited Russia during my MBA, I thought this would be a perfect place to post the film. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Startup Central

As I suspected I would be, I was exhausted from a week packed with events, but it was worth it! On Tuesday, I worked the registration desk on behalf of Media Leaders at a Business Wire Santa Monica PR & Social Media Panel Discussion (see photo below).


On Wednesday, I attended a General Assembly LA event called Press Coverage for Startups: A Tech Journalist's Perspective. It was great to finally meet Lori Kozlowski there, after she and I had sent so many emails back and forth for bLife's recent article "Getting America to Check In With Itself."

Then, on Thursday, I saw my friend Espree Devora interview Clay Collins during a TechZulu Fireside Chat. Espree did a great job of making the event interactive, getting clear points across, and uncovering useful insight from Clay.

And of course, last night I went to the SiliconBeachLA Unwind, my favorite of all Silicon Beach events. In related news, Inc. just released "4 International 'Start-Up Cities' to Watch." Since I've been to two out of the four and I live in the heart of another "startup city," I found this article particularly interesting. As a dual American-Canadian citizen, I'm particularly curious to see how the startup community in Canada will evolve.

Though Canada may be learning from the US regarding startups, it seems that the US is copying Canada when it comes to postal service. The US Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that it will end Saturday mail delivery. I had gotten used to the lack of mail during the weekend in Canada, so this is really no big deal for me. I just wonder what ideas the US will borrow from Canada next. Healthcare? Subsidized education? Only time will tell!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hot Off the Press

My friend threw an amazing party a couple weeks ago. The theme? New girlfriends! She invited over a bunch of girls that she had met only within the past three months. It was a lot of fun and quite a change from all the techie events I attend. Here's a photo from the party:


It was also dineLA Restaurant Week which gave me a great excuse to get out and try a sampling of local restaurants. I ended up trying four different menus (Boa, Zinc @ Shade, La Vecchia Cucina, and Border Grill) and all were good choices!

Work has also been very busy, with several projects on the horizon. I am happy to say that bLife was recently featured in Forbes, with an article entitled "Getting America To Check In With Itself." Interestingly, the journalist (Lori Kozlowski) who wrote the story will be on the panel for an event this week (Press Coverage for Startups: A Tech Journalist's Perspective). I am hoping to make it to the event, so I have a chance to meet her in person.

In fact, my calendar this week is already packed with events since two of my friends will be interviewing onstage. I'm looking forward to attending the MediaLeaders Social Media & PR Panel Discussion and the TechZulu Fireside Chat: Build a Profitable and Bootstrapped SAAS Startup so I can see my friends in action!

Finally, I am excited to announce that one of my HEC Montreal MBA professors is an Economist Intelligence Unit Business Professor of the Year Award finalist! Not only was Johanne Brunet my Marketing Management professor, she was also my team's supervising professor for the Supervised Consulting Project in P8. I am looking forward to hearing the final results on March 14!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Flying High

This week, I received a couple notifications that brought me back to my MBA days. QS emailed me to let me know that they are providing access to over $1.2 million in scholarships. In order to qualify, applicants must register and attend a QS event, and then complete this survey. I hope this is helpful for anyone who is eligible!

Also, I was notified by HEC Montreal that my graduate student testimony and message had been posted. You can read the testimonial that I co-wrote with our AEMBA President Jean-Nicolas Denis at this page.

Although I am often trying to attend as many local events as I can, I've had to cut back so that I don't experience burnout. However, I did make it to the Santa Monica New Tech Meetup and the 3rd SiliconBeachLA Weekly Unwind at the Hotel Shangri-La. At the SM New Tech Meetup, we learned about seven new startups: Plug.dj, Fanappz, Saveastranger, ReadingKingdom, InternSushi, ChalkTips, and Birdsai. Interestingly, during the networking period afterwards, people kept approaching me asking if I was InternSushi's CEO Shara Senderoff (see photo below). As for the SiliconBeachLA Unwind, I am really enjoying these and looking forward to them each week!

InternSushi's CEO Shara Senderoff presenting at the Santa Monica New Tech Meetup. See the resemblance?

3rd SiliconBeachLA Weekly Unwind at the Hotel Shangri-La
I am also excited to share that I took a flight over downtown Los Angeles last night, thanks to my friend who smoothly piloted the trip. The view was absolutely stunning!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The New Year

I have had a busy start to the new year! For the most part, I have been in the midst of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) madness. At bLife, we were preparing for the CES launch of our GPS for the Soul app, which was created in partnership with The Huffington Post and HeartMath. Below is a photo from CES of the partners, with bLife's co-founders and co-CEOs Paul Campbell and Hamet Watt on the right.


It was a crazy first time for me to be in Las Vegas, with thousands of people attending CES. And although I was running around for meetings and work most of the time, I managed to have an opportunity to do a bit of sightseeing one night. I walked to the Fountains of Bellagio with a friend from Montreal who was also in town for CES (pictured below) and had drinks at The Chandelier bar at The Cosmopolitan.


These past couple weeks I have also participated in a few other events (photos below), including Silicon Beach LA's Weekly Unwind at The Bungalow, the White House Equal Futures App Challenge Workshop, and Women 2.0 Founder Friday - Los Angeles.

Silicon Beach LA's Weekly Unwind at The Bungalow

White House Equal Futures App Challenge Workshop

As a volunteer at the White House Equal Futures App Challenge Workshop, I was able to hear girls as young as 12 years old tell their incredible stories about their involvement in technology and interest in the political realm. Then, at the Women 2.0 Founder Friday - Los Angeles event, I heard Allison Beal present her founding story of StyleSaint; as a passionate speaker and entrepreneur, she was truly inspiring. This year is certainly off to a great start!