Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cleaning Up my Closet

Okay 'tis bigger than my closet.. it's my whole room.. In my three years absence.. I had managed to stack all documents and stuff (3 years or 4 years old) in the drawers, cupboard, desk in my bedroom in Indonesia. Last weekend, I've decided to clean them all out.. guess what I've found : my acceptance letter to UCLA undergrad dated in 2003, my UCLA orientation binder from 2003, my junior highschool grade reports HAHAHA.. I have lots of junks there...

but it makes me nostalgic that hey once more I'm at the same turning point in my life where I'm going to US for school.. pretty crazy.. Also remembered that in 2003, before school started, I had decided to perm my hair ( a decision which I had just repeated a few weeks ago and I have been regretting ever since ).. bad hair day for the next 6 months!!!

Anyway, life's good! My last day at work today, will get my salary in hard cash (coz I have no saving account here :P) and hopefully not spend it all out in one weekend.. This weekend is going to be an interesting one though ;) I shall NOT update you guys hahaha ..

Happy fall!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Freaking out

Summer is going to end soon... ohhh... nooo....... In one hand I feel excited... school is starting, I'll be busy.. at the other hand I'm gonna leave Indo.. my friends and my family here :'( I can't believe I've been home for 3 months ..

It's been a really great and different Summer this year.. Met with lots of ppl, new friends, old friends, interesting friends, new found close friends.. Must say that I've learnt a lot from this summer (career wise, relationship wise, my point of view, friendship)..

Going back to LA in 2 weeks time!! Darn time fliess...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

dya believe in Horoscope?


The Bottom Line

Unpredictable changes will make this day different from the day you planned.

In Detail

Today will start off like a cuddly lamb, but it could evolve into a growling lion before you realize it. Unpredictable changes will pop up throughout the day, which could send you down a much different path than you've mapped out. Luckily, these changes will create some amusing moments in your day, so you won't mind altering your plans too much. Expect someone to offer you an apology when none was necessary -- assure them that they don't need to feel bad.


Had to go and see the company's big boss today because I had to ask for his signature in the acquisition document. I was supposed to get his signature by Thursday but had forgotten to ask for one document. So there I was, on a Saturday morning non-working day, going to the big boss' house to get his signature..

When I got to his place, he was surprised to see me.. he thought I would have asked someone else to get his signature (couriers or drivers - common in Indonesia) and the craziest thing happen.. he told me "sorry to have bothered you..."

And I'm like thinking.. hermmm this is actually my fault that I didn't know he need to sign this document on Thursday and I'm his employee who needs to get my work done so technically I should be the one who said sorry to bother him on a Saturday morning non-working day to his house.. and there he was... the big boss.. saying that he's sorry to have bothered me..

I told him no it's my fault.. but at the same time am very amazed with this kind of leadership. I've heard of his family's leadership style -pretty known family in Indonesia- who is famous as humble leader and who respect its employees. But hell.. this is beyond! If I were in his shoe, I would have thought nothing of my (going to his place to get his signature) act.. I would have thought: hell yeah you should finish this job and I would have never thought of even saying sorry ...

Maybe it's the influence of Eastern culture ( where ppl are really polite and saying sorry for everything -which I can never understand) but this taught me a valuable lesson - of respecting people who work for you and to be a humble leader.. I have the utter most respect to this family and its leadership style and will always remember this lesson.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Will's question

William's queston :
Found your blog from admission411 website and it's very interesting.

Well, I have some questions related to the MBA interviews + goals and was wondering how you tackled them.

About myself. Born in Jakarta, went to Spore for my secondary school, skip JC, went to US for B.S. in Computer Engr and worked for the past 3 years in the semiconductor company.

I kinda take the whole application for granted. Didn't prepare much and I am sure my essays are very vague. Got dinged by 4 schools and invited to 1 school after I raised my GMAT from 650 to 710 (I think I was lucky enough to given a second chance).

Ok, here are the questions. Btw, thanks a lot.

1. How do you tackle leadership question? What are they actually looking for? The significance? I don't have any supervisory role at work. But I did become Permias President in college. =p

2. Failures. How did you tackle this? I read from the interview guides that they just wanted to know how I rebounce and learn from failures. But, somehow, those failures cannot be just like "lazy" etc. Cannot be too simple and cannot be so huge that there are no recourse.

3. This is a long one....
- In my essay which is very vague, I said that I want to be an entrepreneur in high-tech service provider. Then, I said for my short term MBA goals is to be an equity research analyst.
- Not sure what I was thinking then, but I know it's pretty hard to make the connection of going to IB as research analyst and the long term goal to be an entrepreneur. For most of the Indo student in the US, it's pretty common to go back to be an entreprenur.
- Do I need to have an viable business idea to begin with to tell the interview? How much detail I should be?
- I think I will drop the research analyst short term goal argument (I wanted to say that I want to become an analyst so that I can raise my own capital for my start-up company. Pretty lame, I know...)
- Instead, I am thinking management consulting dealing with start-up for my short-term MBA. Will they buy it?

Ok that's all. Thanks a lot for any help / comments. My interview is on 17th August (Indo's National Day). I hope it's a sign that I will WIN. =p

My Answer:
Hey Will,
shoot me a comment on blog the next time you have a question

To answer your questions :
1. For my leadership question. I wrote about a situation where I implemented a new procedure thus I highlighted on initiative, ability to influence people and ability to carry out a project as well as ability to be a flexible leader. Now in writing about leadership question: bear in mind that the adcoms will read thousands situations that show leadership experience so you want to kinda personalize your experience. Other than just showing the problem - how u respond - end result, also talk about why you solve the problem that way, what characters of yours are shown through the process, what you learnt from this experience. I think for most essays, they really just want to learn more about why you did something and what you learnt from it.

2. Failure essay. I didn't write any failure essay. But if I were to write a failure essay, I would first think about a specific incident where I had failed and see how I have learnt from it, how from that experience I have learnt to not make the same mistake again, or how the failure has changed myself, how it has prepared me better if something like that is to occur again. I think writing about a big failure is okay because certainly it has a bigger impact on you no? My take on essay writing is to concentrate on how the events have impacted myself.. Maybe other people who read this can offer help?

3. Haha I did this same mistake of having a vague short term and long term goals essay. I think it'll really hurt if you dont have a clear goal in mind. How detailed should the goals be? Just make it as detailed as you can envision it. Make the Short term in line with the long term goals as well.. 2 years ago I made the same mistake of not being clear about my goals because I thought how can I write something that I am not sure about.. but I started talking to other people and they told me yup you have to be clear about the goals even though you prob wont end up doing it... So your IB research analyst and then high tech start up haha.. yeah that's hard to argue.. Consulting dealing with start up? herm is it like general consulting right? Is there a specific field of consulting that deals with Start up? ( u have to check on that.. have to back up ur stories with facts). If I were you, I think a short term goal in technology company will make more sense.. or consulting with tech specification. Don't you think? Because if you return to Indo, you will need to have a competitive advantage over other ppl.. get your domain knowledge in tech first and start a tech company in Indo. ok so how detailed does ur essay have to be? I said I wanna go into Global consumer product to learn about the market dynamics.. (marketing, strategy, data analysis) and then with my previous finance working experience, I will go into microfinance in Indo.. well I think it's pretty specific.. for you.. u can say Short term of consulting or tech works, and then combined w something about ur previous working experience, u're gonna open a tech company in indo..

Friday, August 3, 2007


Been such a bore lately with my stories bout work and all aint I? Well BORE NO MORE.. Heading to Bali tonight!! Anyone out there heading Bali too?? Luckily I have a friend who works in Bali so tonight he's taking me to check out the night scene in Bali.. a much needed distraction.. I'm only gonna be there for 2 days! Oh MI! Bali is about 3 hours away by flight from Jakarta?? So since I gotta work on Monday, I must be back in town by Sunday night..

I'm also going to Jiwa Spa at Conrad Hotel. Gonna be my first time going to Spa ever.. well I'm actually going for this traditional "lulur" package - an Indonesian spa sort of - Don't ask me what it is .. as I said.. my first time..

So I WAS planning to go with only friendss.. and haD been able to drag my galfriend to Bali.. and then somehow her mom comes into the picture and then my aunty and my cousin (my aunt and the gf's mom are bestfriends) and in the end my mom.. so there you go 3 gals and 3 moms going.. Not complaining coz I'm going to leave the moms in the hotel tonight :P sorry...

Well so my previous trips to Bali had always been filled with Shopping and Food.. Well this time around we're going to the beaches... haha okay i shall stop this excitement :)

Now for my previous trip ...... I went to Hong Kong.. HAHA first time there.. Visited my banker friend who works in HK. Dang I met up with SOOOO many bankerss in 3 days, it's a shame I don't want to do IB. Seriously! I met with associates, associates-turning-directors, banker-turns-PE... (What's the noun for someone who works at Private Equity? analyst at PE??) Anyway you get the point.. the night scene is pretty nice except that it's really hard to get to any clubs without reservations/VIP/ opening up a table. Kinda like Clarke-Q in Singapore but better clubs. The food is goodd... haha well actually I didnt try the street vendor foods coz my friend has only been there for a while and am not familiar with cantonese.. but I did manage to try good dim sum, chinese food, and REALLY GOOD Lobster Pasta.. (Italian food, i know!)

The view in HK is breath-taking! (See the pic above, I took it while at this lounge at the top of the building) Seriously! it's like this beautiful city scene surrounding your life... or maybe because I only went within 7 miles of the heart of the city.. The shocking thing is that I didn't shop at all there.. not a single item.. not a HK souvenir t shirt.. I don't know.. they have HUGEE malls but I just wasn't in the mood to shop.. I did manage to get around the city by myself when my friend was working.. through the bridges that connected the malls.. (Don't judge me.. the city is FILLED with malls and the malls are connected with these bridges..) I basically walked my way from the apartment to three different malls using these bridges...

Okay so that's my summer travel..
Oh got my UCLA parking permit! yai