los angeles recap

Hello hello!

Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty relaxing because I was just trying to catch up on sleep and homework. My sorority had our initiation, but that was the only big thing this weekend.

This past Thursday and Friday, I was in Los Angeles! I had to miss some school and I was pretty sick the entire time (thank goodness for DayQuil), but I had the most fun time. I was in LA because of a case challenge that was hosted by Deloitte. My team and I have been working on the case for a month and finally flew down to Deloitte’s office in southern LA to present it.

On Thursday morning, me and three other teammates drove down to the airport at 5am and got Qdoba’s breakfast burritos – it was my first time eating one and it’s actually life-changing. We hopped on our flight at 8am and got to LA at about 11am. Y’all, I love flying.

When we got there, it was around 75 degrees and sunny! I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dream and my cardigan; we checked into our hotel and y’all. The hotel booking was through Deloitte and I got my own room on the topmost floor. I was quite pleased!!

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Then we all headed out to lunch at Little Sister, which I highly recommend. I got a rice paper wrap, but we all shared food among each other.

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We had a few hours to kill before our networking dinner, so we walked around south LA. We stopped by The Last Bookstore (!!!!!), Gelateria Uli, the Grand Central Market and an ice-skating rink. Lots of good laughs and eats.

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We got back to the hotel and all napped a little bit since we were all exhausted. Then, I got ready with the girls for our networking dinner at Perch, which is a rooftop bar and venue space. It was so cool getting to mingle with other Deloitte professionals and the students from other schools! After the event, we all headed up to the rooftop to enjoy the LA skyline.

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The next day was competition day! We got up bright and early and ate breakfast and sat through a couple of presentations, and then we presented near 11am. We got an office tour and then found out that we made it to the final round! We presented again, this time with a much more challenging Q&A section. At 2:30pm, the two winners were announced – unfortunately, not my school – but honestly, we all let out a sigh of relief.

We gathered our belongings and drove to LAX immediately after the awards ceremony. Dinner was at LAX, and then after we found out our flight got delayed, we boarded, flew, and got home to SEA at about 11:30pm. Needless to say, I felt miserable and exhausted – I felt like I could sleep for days. I did get to watch Wonder Woman on the plane though, so I’m not complaining!

Overall, my experience in LA was incredibly memorable and fun; I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity and the people I got to meet and know are people that I’ll cherish forever. It’s going to be so weird to not meet three times a week to research or work on the Powerpoint slides. I learned a crazy amount in this month that I worked together with them though, and knowing that I’ll be going through recruiting with these crazy kids is so comforting. I couldn’t have asked for a better team!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Jen x

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october & november life updates

As you’re reading this, I’ve probably already landed in sunny California! Seattle’s been raining for the past couple of days, so I’m glad I get to escape and enjoy perfect 75-degree weather for a bit. Look out for an LA recap (and why I am in LA in the first place) to come next week! (Also: how is Thanksgiving next week?!).

As I promised and hinted at in my last few posts, it’s definitely time for a life update! Think of this as a coffee catch-up – grab your favorite drink because this is going to be a little lengthier of a post!

October was incredibly hectic, but in the best way possible. My class load isn’t bad at all this quarter, and I have great friends in each class, which makes it something I look forward to every day. Classes definitely went into full swing though, which means I had to buckle down and keep up with the material (and spend copious amounts of time in the library). Honestly, there wasn’t much of a routine in October for me – I didn’t even get to celebrate Halloween and dress up because my schedule was so packed. 😭

November was a lot more eventful. My business school turned 100 this year, and so they held a centennial celebration dinner at The Westin Seattle. My school always puts up really nice dinners, where multiple corporations such as Boeing, PACCAR Inc, and Nordstrom come to speak or present. We even had the CEO of Godiva as our emcee. The most extra thing about the whole night? The ice!! Sculpture!!

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Pacific bass with potato and eggplant torta – go Dawgs!!

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The same night, my sorority hosted our feed, where the proceeds go toward our philanthropy, the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s always a fun time to have students come to our house to grab snacks.

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Just a boy and his dino nuggets!!!

I “celebrated” my 21st birthday this month as well, albeit in the library. I had that tax midterm that I had to study for, but a group of girls in my sorority surprised me by bringing a cupcake, birthday party hats, and a FAT birthday balloon to the library (that thing is currently in my room and is going to take forever to deflate), and utterly embarrassing me by whisper-singing the birthday song to me. Not going to lie, it sort of made my day though.

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One of the things I love about UW’s Panhellenic community is that they really are making an effort to diversify the Greek community. There is a Diversity Chair who sits on the Panhellenic Executive Council, and they decided to start a book club! I hopped on it immediately because I can’t say no to great discussions, meeting new people, and free books. This month, we’re reading I Am Malala, which I’ve been meaning to pick for forever. I’m definitely looking forward to curling up with the book over Thanksgiving Break and meeting back up with everyone after the break to discuss. Our first meeting was wonderful – we met at a coffee shop at night and they treated us to a drink of our choice.

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Then it was time for big/little reveal! Our reveal is one week long, where the bigs basically shower the littles with gifts each day, and the reveal happens on the last night. It was so fun decorating and putting all the aesthetic pieces together. My favorite part? Not having to dance around the bushes anymore – I get to spend all the time in the world with my little 💖

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Another little exciting thing from this month? I’ve officially declared another minor: Informatics! Ever since taking my first informatics class, studying abroad in the UK and looking at high-tech, information and big data have never felt more pressing and relevant. I know I want to keep learning about the topic because it’s only going to become more important in the upcoming years, so I declared it. I would still be graduating “on time” (within four years total of undergraduate education), so why not?

Lastly, I had the privilege of attending an exclusive boardroom discussion with executives from Alaska Airlines when they came to our school last week. To be honest, it was pretty intimidating because there were C-Suite executives there and a ton of MBA students. However, it was incredibly engaging as we discussed the acquisition of Virgin America and how they’re marketing to their new audience and adjusting to cultural differences. I got the nerve at the end to talk to the CIO and asked about – you guessed it – disruptive technologies and how Alaska will be implementing them in the future. It was a different way about learning about a company, and I feel truly honored that I was able to be part of the discussion about Alaska’s future.

So that’s it for now! I don’t think I missed anything; what’s going on in your life?

Thanks for reading!

Jen x

a formal occasion

Hello hello, and happy Halloween!

Can you believe it’s already the end of October?! My bad, it’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted. I think I needed a break from blogging since, for awhile there, I was just cranking out travel post after travel post for my study abroad program and it got mildly exhausting. I also just got super busy with school and extracurriculars – but more on a life update later.

In between classes, hosting information sessions for club activities, working, getting coffee with professionals, team meetings, I do try to have fun every once in awhile. Every quarter, my sorority hosts a formal dance. For fall quarter, it’s known as the boat formal! Super fancy and fun – it’s definitely my favorite formal every year. This year, I took one of my good friends Jo who I met during my London study abroad program. I always love giving my friends who aren’t involved in Greek life a taste of what it’s like.

My only problem? I barely brought any fancy dresses with me to school this year. I didn’t have time to go shop for a dress beforehand because I was so busy – making the trip to downtown Seattle would have been a hassle. Luckily, I knew a few girls who frequently ordered dresses from Tobi I picked out a dress I normally wouldn’t wear; I’ve never worn body-con dresses until I found this one that makes me feel confident and allowed me to dance the night away.

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Dress // Hoop Earrings // Rose Gold Block Heels

I love the cut of this dress, especially the geometric lines and shapes. Funnily enough, the hoop earrings I’m wearing are actually ones I bought from London. Y’all, I could probably write a whole post about how hoops are changing my life: they are instant confidence-boosters! I feel like I can conquer the world and accomplish anything in my hoops.

Finally, I was at Nordstrom Rack when I stumbled upon those beautiful Steve Madden Carrson Sandals! I had been wanting a pair for so long and found these rose gold ones for less than $35 – that’s unheard of!! I had to snatch them for formal.

Here’s a few (lower quality) photos from my fun night:

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Look out for more posts to come this month – amidst all my busy-ness, I want to stay connected with y’all!

Thanks for reading,

Jen x

*Thanks Tobi for providing me with the dress in exchange for an honest opinion!*

britain study abroad // 01

Hello! As most of you know, I’ll be starting my Britain study abroad program in just a few days. I can barely contain my excitement! I’ve been staying in the UK for the past week, and I can already tell you that I love British people.

As part of this program, I will have assignments that need to be completed, but when I saw that a majority of it includes writing blog posts summarizing each company visit, I was beyond thrilled because obviously, I’ve been a blogger of six (!!) years now! We will be visiting technology companies in the UK like Amazon, 3D Print UK, F5 Networks, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for those posts!

Before I start my program, I want to discuss what I’ll be expecting as well as my goals:

The Company Visits

I am truly looking forward to the company visits, as I want to learn as much as I can during this program. Some companies I’ve heard of, some I have not. Regardless, even though I was assigned to research and compile a company briefing for 3D Print UK, I still want to do my own research on each company in addition to listening to my classmates’ presentations. I think this will instigate my questions and put my learning to its greatest potential. The more knowledge I have about a company, the more questions I’ll be able to ask.

Because we’ll be visiting around 10 companies, I expect that I’ll be vigorously taking notes in order to remember the details for my blog posts and future reflection paper. I also tend to absorb information better if I am writing it down rather than just listening.

Business etiquette in the UK is focused on punctuality and it actually seems like they are more formal overall, but I’m looking forward to visiting companies that differ in their structure and operations, like 3D Print UK, which has less than ten employees.

I hope that each company visit will inspire me to look into a new topic every time, and allow me to decide which industry I enjoy the most. I am intrigued by technology, and because Seattle is a fast-growing tech city, I am looking forward to comparing London & Seattle’s economic and technological growth.

The Culture & People

In my almost full week of spending time in the UK so far, I already really enjoy the people. Did you know that most people say “cheers” in place of “thank you” here? I absolutely love that. Even though the UK is an English-speaking country, I expect there to be some lingo differences, but not too much else. So far, I haven’t been called out for being “American”, but I’m nervous as I start living in London that the people in the city will start inquiring about the tumultuous state America is in at the moment, which I’d rather avoid talking about. However, I’ve been following British news on BBC every morning as I eat breakfast and the updates on Brexit are a rollercoaster ride itself – I’ll continue following it closely.

I definitely want to live in the UK at some point in my life, so I want the most genuine experience I can get, and that starts with being open-minded. It’s easier said than done, but earlier this summer in my Rome study abroad program, I realized that I was able to enjoy the city so much because a) I was living like a local and b) I was quite open-minded and relaxed. I hope to repeat that mindset in my time in Britain.

That’s all for now, talk soon!

Jen

it doesn’t hurt to try

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Happy Friday!

Yeah… whoops! I haven’t posted in exactly a month, and I deeply apologize!

After spring quarter started, everything has been absolutely crazy. I only have classes twice a week, but somehow, my time has been occupied with my (very stressful) finance class, extracurriculars, and maybe too many coffee dates. I just finished my round of midterms and eeep, y’all, spring quarter is over in just a few weeks and then I’m off to the best summer ever abroad in Europe! (Post about travels plans coming soon!)

Today I wanted to talk about something that happened earlier this quarter. I meant to write this when it was fresh in my head, but (see above), I’ve been busy. As most of you know, I’m studying accounting right now in college and started the recruiting process early. If you’re not familiar with the accounting recruiting process, it’s basically where students meet with professionals from the public accounting firms and start networking to them to see if they’re a good fit for the firm, and eventually interview to see if they get accepted into the firms’ leadership programs, internships, or full-time positions.

I had an amazing mentor this year who really allowed and inspired me to go for stuff. I’ve been disappointed and let-down before when applying to things and getting rejected because I was too young. To be honest though, I’m numb to rejection now; I still can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not to be “numb”, but I like to think that I’m resilient. I had the opportunity earlier this year to apply to a ton of things even though I wasn’t “qualified” (graduation year, necessary education), but my mentor still encouraged me to apply. She said, “You never know”. So I did.

Just a few weeks ago, I got an offer at one of the public accounting firms that I really love. I few weeks after, I got another offer. I was shocked. This – all of this – is what I get for just trying?

If it weren’t for my mentor, I wouldn’t have felt this success and achievement. And that’s just it – you will never know if you don’t try. It doesn’t hurt to try – unless you’re wounded easily. I think it’ll be a different growth process for everyone because some people have a hard shell like me, and some are a little softer and aren’t used to rejection yet. But trying it out, learning the feeling of what rejection feels like, toughens the skin like nothing else.