An Adventurer's Dream

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Personal Branding: Who Do You Want To Be?

Or rather, what part of you do you want the world to see?

Despite all the talk about “being yourself,” it’s quite important to show off how likable you can be. It’s not that you have to separate your true personality and the face you show the world – they can be one and the same. In fact, they should be.

How do you correctly portray your character and personality?

In the long run, it’s up to you. There are a million and one ways to show yourself off in a favorable light. Probably more. Have a good public rep, strengthen your LinkedIn with certifications and volunteer hours, work towards networking in the field that you endeavor to end up in…

There really is more to it than that, though. I like to think of it as deeper. Who do you want to be? Who do want to be?

Honestly, I have no idea. I can say that there’s a certain goal I am aiming for, but I will always want to take myself further as soon as I hit the mark of completion. I know I am not the same.

So, for now, the goal of branding is to increase one’s strengths and increases of success.

  • Grow your confidence by wearing clothes you feel comfortable and powerful in.
  • Eat foods that provide you with the strength to get through the day – and foods that won’t cause you to crash later.
  • “Fake it ’til you make it.” Even if you don’t feel confident, take on the demeanor as if you are. Straighten your back, lift your head. Look fear in the eye and stare it down.
  • Make small talk with strangers at that event you don’t want to go to. Be kind to everyone you meet. Have fun.
  • Keep a strong social media platform. Don’t blog or tweet anything you wouldn’t want your parents to read. People that want to stay in contact with you will quickly judge you based on the content of the social media you run (which is sad, but true).
  • On the other hand, don’t be afraid to blog or post things that you want. Just make sure to keep professional and leisure separate – maybe have two accounts that you use.
  • Smile, smile, smile. It brightens up the room and can be super contagious.

There are tons of personal branding posts out there (like this one on Forbes and this cool Personal Branding Blog). Seriously, it’s a lot to wade through but you find some great content out there.

For me, my personal branding is going to consist of some real changes in my lifestyle and the way I portray myself on a daily basis. I’m talking more confidence and a cleaner, crisper look. Be excited. Change is good.

What about you, my dear reader? Have you thought about your personal brand? Please share down below!

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Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

I want to do something AMAZING.

As do we all. But, really, this feeling to do something spectacular just likes to take over me. I wish it would last forever, because it is a good feeling – as if I am flying and I can see everything from where I’m at.

My newest idea is to start a business. This is something I plan to seriously do in the future, but why should that prevent me from doing something now.

The perks of starting a business now:

  1. Experience. And I want experience. I need experience.
  2. Fun. Why should I not have fun with it?
  3. Extra money. I need money.

I’m young. Taking risks is something I’m expected to do. So why not meet expectations?

I asked a friend of mine if she wanted to do a joint business venture together and she’s all for it. I’m excited to get together with her and put our heads together to come up with something amazing.

I still have other plans and other ideas that consist of the following things:

  • YouTube channel – actually sticking with it
  • Mastering violin. Just need to practice.
  • Learning Japanese. And Korean.
  • Becoming fluent in French.
  • Getting an awesomesauce job (and I think I’ve found my new perfect one here)

The problem is that I have no time for all the dreams I have (unless someone wants to turn me into a vampire or otherwise immortal being that doesn’t decompose or get scary looking? That’d be perfect). But I’ll finish as much of them as I can.

So, my dearest readers, what say you? What are your plans and goals for life or for the near future? Feel free to comment below and share!

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Success!

I’ve decided. Or, completely almost decided. On what, you may ask? 

(Almost) Every college student has the problem – deciding on the career path that suits them. I mean, even though you have the rest of your life, what you do now is what takes you on to the next stage of your life. And it feels like it has to be perfect. At least, it does for me. I want to make sure that I’m heading in the right direction. 

And what is the first step in the right direction for me? Event planning. 

At least, I think it be fun. Business and creativity in the same setting, something that I’d be sure to enjoy. I’ve dabbled in event planning before – organizing birthday parties at the theater before and setting up a Halloween party in the fall for one of my personal assistant jobs. Of course, I haven’t set foot in the industry yet – I can’t say I’m anywhere close to knowing even the beginnings of ins and outs of true event planning. 

And the thing is, I want to know. I’ve always dreamed of putting together the perfect party, the perfect wedding, the perfect house. Planning and organizing and decorating… 

So, here I am. Resume all pretty and cover letters ready to be built. Jobs to apply for and careers to make. We’ll just have to see what happens. No matter what, I’m sure it’ll be great. 

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Informational Interviews

They’re like interviews for jobs… but instead they’re informational!

As a student, this is perfect. I get to learn more about the world and see if there are any jobs I am interested in. And I’m free to ask whoever I want to do an interview with me.

Right now I’m in the process of researching businesses to find an interview with in Austin. It surprising difficult, despite the large amount of businesses – both small and large – that exist inside the city. I’m the type of person that likes a lot of things, so it tends to give me a bit of difficulty sometimes. Do I want this? Yes, but wait! That sounds good, too!

Have you done informational interviews before? Any advice or businesses you think would be fun to learn about? Let me know below!

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I’m Back! :)

First of all, I want to note that I am still alive.

Second, I apologize for not keeping up with my daily posts for the March of Happiness and for not updating more quickly. It has been hectic and I had no time while I was in Japan to do anything at all with regard to my blog. I am finally getting some time to sit down and write a post, in which I do realize that I have a lot to catch up on.

First of all, to March of Happiness. I was going to try and set up the posts before I left for Spring Break, but I was so bogged down by schoolwork and travel preparation that I was unable to do that. Instead, I’ll make a list now and let you see all that has made me happy since the last time I posted on her.

  • Day 8: Music
  • Day 9: Safe Flights
  • Day 10: Japan
  • Day 11: Beppu Hot Springs
  • Day 12: Tea Ceremony
  • Day 13: Shopping
  • Day 14: Travel
  • Day 15: Hello Kitty
  • Day 16: Freedom
  • Day 17: St. Edward’s
  • Day 18: Sleep
  • Day 19: Clockwork Princess
  • Day 20: Japanese Food
  • Day 21: Chinese Food
  • Day 22: Warmth

I’ll give you some better posts for the rest of the month, so please bear with me as I continue to post about March.

Next, Japan. There are no words that can appropriately say how wonderful Japan is. I really enjoyed my week spent there. While we were eternally busy  – half of the day with school-planned activities and then half of the day hanging with our Buddies (students from the school there) – it was great to be involved in so many things. We went on business trips (got to see Nissan cars being built!), did cultural activities (tea ceremony, flower arrangement, meditation, etc.), shopping (they have amazing malls, bee tee dubs – mall plus a grocery store installed!), and lots of food experimenting. I had been extremely nervous about the food at first; when you think of Japanese food, fish and shellfish is the first thing you probably think of (I mean, sushi, hellooooo). Dead wrong. There’s so much good food – real ramen, cucumber sushi, beef sushi, miso soup, rice, banana ice cream crepes (those were heaven!)… The list goes on. Korean food – totally there, too. I didn’t realize that Korean Barbecue has metal chopsticks. Those are the coolest! And the Buddies, the students from APU that went to events and other things with us, were absolutely amazing. I made some wonderful friends. Also, let me tell you that there is a theme park called Harmonyland outside of Beppu. Guess what the theme park is for? Hello Kitty. Yeah, you read that correctly. HELLO. KITTY. Honestly, that theme park was way more amazing than I was thinking. And so much Hello Kitty.

Needless to say, I had a great time in Japan. I cried several times because I had to say goodbye to my new friends and goodbye to the country. I really hope that I get the chance to travel again someday, and definitely to Beppu – or Japan in general. If you get the chance to go there, definitely grab that chance and take it. Travel. Even if it’s not Japan. Travel where you can.

Did anyone else have a good Spring Break? Or relaxing? I hope you did! Please, feel free to share the adventures you went on over the break.

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The Future – What I Plan To Do

It is scary to consider the fact that in a year and a half I will be graduating from college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. It seems so far away, but I know the time that it takes to reach that point in my life will fly by. I am finding it increasingly important to think about what I will do with this degree once I am out in the world.

It’s extremely hard to decide what one best thing that I will do. There are so many hobbies, important memories, and experiences that will lead me to the correct “career.” I would really like to work my way into the administration team of a large corporation and earn enough money to eventually one day start my own business. I know that my dream may seem a little big, but I find it is sometimes best to think big. If you don’t shoot for the stars, you won’t reach them.

In my mind, however, there is another thing that keeps coming back to me and that is: how am I going to give back to others? I know that it isn’t considered the “norm” for those in business to want to give. I think it’s a pretty bad stereotype. I’ve seen many people that do things that help individuals in their community. I want to make sure that whatever business I end up working for has a strong connection with the community – perhaps it donates some of their revenue to charities or goes out of its way to help the homeless. If I find that the organization that I work with does not have a way to help others, I think I might get involved. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is something that I really want to aid. In fact, I have plans for a service project in my upstart café that will help to donate money to this organization. I am still working on the idea, but I really think that it can be at least a little help.

Looking forward to the future both excites and scares me. I don’t know what to expect. There is a goal in mind, but I know that fate doesn’t always give you exactly what you want to. My dream is to create a café and bar establishment with my best friend. We want to attract a lot of different customers and give people a nice place to come to when they need to get away. It would be wonderful if this eventually happens. I think that would be the most pivotal point in my life.

And you, dear readers? What are your plans for the future?

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Adventures in a Far Away Place

I have had three classes between yesterday and today where someone has come in and spoken about studying abroad. It sounds so beautiful and wonderful – like an amazing adventure that all college students should yearn to take. Going to class in France, bicycling to the university, immersing myself in the culture of this other land… It’s beautiful, indeed, but it’s not something that is possible for me.

In order for me to graduate from St. Edward’s on time (May 2014 is my objective), I will need to take full course loads each semester until I graduate. I will have to take a class over the summer. Studying abroad is outside my budget limit (I can hardly afford going to St. Edward’s). However, there are still two chances I have to get the opportunity to go abroad. The School of Business and Management offers two courses that have components that allow you to study abroad. The thought of being able to participate in such a class is thrilling.

However, it does cost extra to take these classes. The one that I want to take next semester is traveling to Japan. It would be such a wonderful experience and I would be so honored to be chosen to participate. I have to write a short essay to apply and then if I am selected I will have to pay $1,500 extra for the course. My parents are not too happy about having to pay extra, especially when my school is so expensive to begin with. Half of me has already accepted the fact that I will probably not be able to take the class (I mean, what are the chances of me being actually selected to take the class and then of having the money ready for next semester?) yet half of me will be completely heartbroken if I do not take this chance. I really, really want to go… And it’s not just because it is Japan. It is because the experience would be so life-changing and I know that I would be able to use it for future events and business decisions.

I will send my essay this week to the person in charge. I really do hope I am chosen. But, a part of me hopes that I am not, so I won’t have to be heartbroken after I have been told “Yes.” I guess we’ll see how it turns out. Whatever it is, I am sure it is for the best.

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I Am 1000 Zombies Trying to Break Into a Building

This is what the guest speaker yesterday made us write down. This was his comparison to using 100% of your connections to break into the company you want to be employed by.

Donald Asher, “author of 12 books on career development and higher education”, was the guest speaker yesterday at my university. His event title was “Navigating the Hidden Job Market”. The content of his speech was highly interesting and very thought-provoking. I found myself completely immersed in the topic and laughing at his very good sense of humor.

Did you know that about 85% of the job market is made up of the hidden job market? This segment of the market is made up of jobs that are advertised at some point, but the person who gets the position was never a part of the advertisement – they didn’t see it. The hidden market gives job seekers a great advantage; not only is the competition for the position you aim for significantly lower (try moving from 200 applicants to about 20), but you don’t need all the specifications that are listed on the job description to get the job.

Also, jobs seekers have a better chance of getting the job if they are recommended. People only recommend people that they trust, so there is a lower risk factor involved with hiring someone that has been given a good word. This also takes away a “lie-factor” that is out in the job seeking market. Asher says that about 25% are lying on resumes. Crazy, right? Well, if you have been recommended, obviously you are not in that 25%. Who would recommend a liar? Not me.

Asher gave plenty of good advice, like on making sure you keep your target career in mind. Have an elevator speech ready. Get involved with an informational  interview in the market you have an interest in. And to network.

I enjoyed the information he told us, and like I said, he was pretty funny, too. Take a look at his books if you are interested in learning more; I will probably take a look at them at some point.

And, remember, I am 1000 zombies trying to break into a building. I will definitely get in. Watch out world! 😉

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Small Business Development Program

I have a dream. And it is to one day create my own business and run it successfully with my best friend, Aaron. So, I guess mine is half of a dream, with the other half belonging to him.

Today I attended an event sponsored by the Career Services at St. Edward’s University called “Small Business Development Program.” It lasted from 5:30 PM to about 7:00 PM. And, boy, did I get a lot of helpful information.

St. Edward’s University is in Austin, Texas. Yes, I have told you where I live. No, I don’t care at the moment. I may eventually. However, the point is the city: Austin. I’m sure every city has it’s own version of the “Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office” that came out to visit us. However, Austin is really standing out to me right now. The speaker that gave the presentation today spoke about all the free opportunities that are available in the city to people like me that are wanting to start their own small business eventually. Get this, did you know:

  • Over 90% of Austin businesses have less than 100 employees?
  • More than 80% of Austin businesses have less than 20 employees?

I didn’t. I thought it was an interesting fact.

Anyway, Austin invests in the small businesses because they bring so much income to the city. They also help in keeping unemployment down. So they provide a lot of services that are super helpful: free or low-cost classes, orientations, one-on-one business coaches, databases with information on networking, and an office to do research for your upstart company. How amazing is that? I never would have thought there would be such a wealth of information and help just out and about in Austin.

As a future businesswoman working to get her Bachelors in Business Administration, I am very excited to learn about the many possibilities of service and knowledge I can have. I want to be successful in life. Hopefully I will get there.

Now I just need a car to get me around Austin to the locations I need to go. It’d be nice if one just dropped out of thin air.

How about you, dear readers? Are you interested in starting your own business eventually? Have you heard of any amazing resources like these?

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