Pleasanton Chalk Art Festival- May 11, 2013

Image          It was a picture perfect weather in downtown Pleasanton today.  It was warm and clear sky when I arrived after nine AM to attend the Chalk Art festival. Me and a classmate carpooled, and we were lucky to find a nice parking spot right across the street from the event.  The Main Street was buzz ling with people in festive mood, many were having breakfast outdoors, window shopping, or walking their cute puppies.  Adding to the festive atmosphere was the backgroung music when we walked around to check out the restaurants and shops, we could hear the piano playing. Every block on Main Street, a painted piano was placed on the sidewalk so talented young children could showcase their skill playing the piano.  There was also a live performance at the Firehouse Art Center during the event.  The “chalk the walk” street, where anyone can buy a square for $20 and draw your art on the square was fun to watch.  I also had the chance to talk to one of the chalk artists, and to my surprise, she told me that she had started painting the night before.  Overall, it was fun seeing everyone’s unique talents on display. We took a lot of pictures throughout the event and posted it on Facebook.

         Dr. Yi hosted a lunch for us and it was fun.  The whole class had that chance to sit down and relax, and just be funny.  My only complain was my chicken Caesar salad lunch was not so great.  But other than that, I had a great time with my classmates.        

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Advice/Lifelong Lessons to Remember

The one thing that will change about me as a newly graduate is, I will have an MBA credential next to my name.  I think it’s outstanding and it adds more clout to my credibility on paper/first impression. Other than that, nothing has changed, I’m the same person that went in and came out of the program. I say this because my extensive experience being a manager/business owner has taught me a lot of things, and it took me years of trial and tribulations to learn what I learned now about real life and the corporate world.  Here are some of my life lesson experiences:      

1.   Never let yourself be driven by the fear of failure

2.   Remain calm and courteous even in the face of anger and verbal abuse

3.   Understand that doing the right thing sometimes turns out wrong

4.   Don’t be afraid to change the way business is done

5.   Don’t be afraid to change your mind

6.   Welcome advice from those you trust

7.   Don’t be intimidated by authority

8.   Look for positive lessons, even from negative experiences

9.   Walk the talk and don’t hesitate to express your values

10. It’s okay to say you’re sorry even when corporate counsel says otherwise

11. Become a Perpetual Learner

The level of job competition in our current job market is tight, and the trend is less likely to change in the near future. Professional development is all about lifelong learning and it’s very important in any career field because it gives us the opportunity to progress and refine our skills, build relationships, and it helps us become a better person overall.

12.  Volunteer, if you have not experienced it yet, its not too late to start

For those of you in my class who have no experience, volunteering should be on your list of things to do after graduate school.  I think volunteering is important.  From my experience, it keeps me grounded, it expands my network, and I learn hands on the issues my community are dealing with. Furthermore, when you volunteer, you connect with ordinary individuals who are not so fortunate, and this is important because recognizing how others are feeling (empathy), what their needs are, and how to respond to their needs appropriately are what I consider hands on training in leadership.  When you know and understand people in your team/organization, you can definitely lead effectively.   

 

How will technology shape events like these in the future?

In the aftermath of Boston Marathon, I now see a different role of technology in our lives.  Technology can be of great service to our community during times of emergency.  We can tweet, text and post messages to solicit or offer help.  In case of the recent Boston incident, roadblocks were installed and everyone was stranded.  It was technology that made it possible for the stranded attendees to connect with kind Bostonians who opened their homes so that they could have a comfortable place to sleep for the night.  Technology also became the forefront and made it possible for the speedy capture of the Boston Marathon perpetrators.  Snap shots of two individuals responsible for the bombings, and the before and after shots of the site explosion taken from cell phones and videos of hundreds of people at the scene helped law enforcement get a better look at the crime scene in different angles, and made it possible for them to ID the two people who are responsible for the bombing. When a horrible event like this happens, it’s the technology that connects us and make it possible for us to give each other support and help one another. 

Technology Experience

       The use of technology for the most part benefitted a lot of industries.  One in particular is the academia. My experience returning to school to get my bachelor’s degree after a long absence was surprisingly easier than I thought. Thanks to technology, I was able to hold a full time job and managed a very demanding program at CSUEB.  I was able to do most of my research on line, and this gave me the flexibility to do my assignments anywhere as long as I have my laptop with me.  I did not miss the library at all!  When it comes to the topic of civic engagement, most of us will readily agree that since the inception of web technology we became more involved with our community.  For me, the ease of finding information on line about what’s going in my community caused me to routinely read issues about new city ordinance in my town, city council meetings, homeless issues, and so on. This is also how I got involved to volunteer my time to help a local food bank organization-West Valley Community Services. Before I entered the MBA program, I spent my time there once a week but since I started the program, I could only spare to work at the food bank once a month.  I learned from my experience at the food bank that the people who are negatively impacted by the decline of our economy are the middle class.  Professionals who lost their job, and they have children to feed.  Their unemployment checks only covers their rent, utilities and gas money.  They are now the face of hunger in our society, and learning hands on issues like these keeps me grounded and spurs me to continually get involved.