My MBA journey, current events, what I like and don't like, random thoughts and stuffs that come to mind

Location: Santa Clara, CA

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Whoa...I only have two more weeks left before my MBA rat-race begins. I am still in Indonesia, spending my last 10 days with my family. The last time I wrote, I was still in China. Afterwards, My parents and I left for Singapore en route to Indonesia. My dad had some physical check-up in Singapore, the final verdict was he had to do his physical and speech therapist religiously.

I then spent almost a month in my hometown Takengon, Aceh Province. It was a tiny and isolated city perched on a highland so I wasn't complaining about the weather. Aside from helping my parents' with the business and taking care of my dad, I wasn't very productive. Much of the time was spent watching TV and Korean soap opera (Must see soap opera: Jewel in the Palace). Oh well, at least I did learn how my parents run their hardware business.

Housing matter is settled now that I have found the third roomie. All sorts of social events, workshops and orientation had also been signed up. I am good to go. During this two weeks, I will try to do as much networking as possible with some of the consulting and finance people in Jakarta. I manage to contact some Haas alumni in Jakarta as well.

Monday, June 05, 2006


For those interested in management consulting and firms other McKinsey and BCG:Marakon Consulting

Neewai, my days here are spent running from one theraphy to another accompanying my dad. I am not very impressed by the doctors here as they couldn't do much about my dad's headache. They denied that it might be the medicine that they prescribed. My mom and I decided to do a single variable test, i.e. omitting one medicine at a time and voila we found the culprit. I later learned that this Shen Zhong Hospital is a hospital for traditional medicine, not that I have anything against it. No wonder, I am always welcomed by a strong herb smell and traditional chinese music on the background every floor I go.

Albeit its strong Chinese tradition, the hospital stands tall with modern architecture on this bustling city. I am quite impressed by the sophisticated theraphy facility. I could see my dad making a good progress over this past two weeks. The staffs are very experienced and skillful, and the equipment is also very state-of-the-art. The only drawback is people are not very courteous so you have to fight your way to use the equipment...I just hate to fight with other stroke patients' family. Sometimes I, not knowing how to yell back in Cantonese, just stare at them in disbelief as they yell at me.

Witnessing the good business of this facility, my mom and I were daydreaming about opening it in Indonesia. Back home, health care facility for stroke patient is poor, hence, many patients seek treatment in either Malaysia, Singapore or China. My dad himself is not making a remarkable progress despite four months theraphy at home. Considering Haas' reputation in health care program, this may not be a bad option. Of course, I am still excited about pursuing management consulting and hi-tech management.

We also took time to visit tourist sites in Guangzhou and here are some of the pics:

Sun Yat Sen Memorial

Embroidery Work not Oil Painting (Chen Ancesteral Museum)

Foggy Guangzhou From Top of Bai Yun Mt.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Wooww long time no blog...yeah internet access is very limited now that I am in Asia. Thankfully, I am staying in a hotel in Guangzhou now so internet access isn't a problem. Let's pick up where I left off after I quit my job

1. Freaked out two days before I left upon informed that my F1 visa would be turned down if I'd ever applied for greencard which I did through my ex-employer. I sulked all day long coz my ex-employer's attorney wasn't returning my call. My boyfriend was kind enough to do research for me (while I sulked) and found out that as long as I have not filed for I-485 or whatever it is after the labor cert stage then I am ok. We confirmed the next day by walking into the attorney's office (and praise God she's very nice and didn't charge me a penny)

2. Got my F1 visa (phewwwwww) and the nice officer gave me a-5-year visa. It wasn't without a hurdle. He had interviewed me (only 5 mins: why are you taking an MBA, what do you plan to do after an MBA, who's financing it, and why berkeley. All my supporting documents weren't even touched) and was about to pull up my file when the computer suddenly went down. I have to came back 2 hours later. Standing in line for hours and hours under a scorching tropical sun at a heavily guarded US embassy is anything but painful.

3. Began my vacation in Bali with my boyfriend. We liked Bali a lot, it has nice beaches, cool hang out venues, fine restaurants, fine arts, and hundreds of years of history but it was pretty empty probably due to the bombings. My BF liked it so much except for the weather, he was oooing and aaahing over the heat and extreme humidity. Things got even more hilarious when we went to Jakarta and Medan where my family lives. My house isn't a modern house i.e. we use a squat toilet and showerless bath (haul a water from a tank into a bucket and pour it over your body) so going to a bathroom was very adventurous for him :)

4. Went to China with my parents. We are hoping for a major medical breakthrough for my dad. He's doing much better and much more cheerful but his speech is still impaired. He can repeat what we said but can't produce his own sentences when he wants to speak. Hopefully the east meets west medical treatment will do some good.

Guangzhou, where I am right now, is so much more modern compared to what it was 4 years ago when I last visited. It even has a rapid transit system like subway. People there are also very fashionable (kind of resembling their hongkong neighbors). One complaint that I have is that people have yet to take rules seriously. I was standing in a "8 items or less only" check out line at a supermarket with three bottles of water in my hand. A couples of guys with a lot more than 8 items obliviously stand in that line albeit the sign. I was about to give a lip service to the check out lady (who didn't even refused service to the aforementioned people) when the guy behind me started barking at created a little drama but he'd surely saved my breath.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


I truly enjoyed this past week without work though it didn't feel like I had much time sitting idle and did nothing. I used this time to network with some of Haas current student and my future classmates. Some current students from Indonesia were kind enough to have dinner with me and shared their Haas experience, it's very very insightful and I learned so much about what classes to take, to waive, to bid, which professor to avoid, what to do before internship recruiting started, what clubs to join etc etc etc. Throughout the night, I couldn't stop admiring how knowledgeable and passionate these people are.

I also went to happy hour with my future classmates who worked/lived in Silicon Valley. Meeting my future classmates sort of relieved my worry a bit about not being able to fit into to the b-school social life. Nevertheless, my worry still linger which I hope will subside once I meet my cohorts. I don't want to be a social queen. Having a healthy and tight-knit relationship with a few people is better than knowing all people superficially. We shall see...

Meanwhile, I was also busy packing and moving my stuffs to storage, I still haven't found an apartment but I have met a potential roomie with whom I will hunt down an apartment and hopefully thing will settle before I leave next week. Other than that, my days were filled with lunch/dinner with friends and running errands...Next week will be fun, I am looking forward to Days at Haas.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


And that's how it ended...sweet with bitter-sweet memories slip in between. I am talking about the conclusion of my career in semiconductor industry. I bid my co-workers adieu...went to the farewell lunch at Todai. But I am a bit dissapointed since the organizer/my ex-manager made a boo boo on the email telling people that lunch is tomorrow when it's actully today, so some of my good friends who had already left the company couldn't make it. Oh well...still 20 something people show up and we had a good laugh, or I mostly laughed at my good luck in exiting this industry.

This week has been unproductive anyway, I just completed passdown here and there and packed my stuffs. I came in at 10, checked emails, went lunch, checked some more emails, and went home at 2 or 3 pm....what a life !! My boss dropped by today to let me know the fat pay raise that I will get if I stay...oh well...not worth it. I left the company with a jolly heart a.k.a no regret at all but leaving my co-workers whom I have known so well is a bit tough...believe it or not, I was trying all my best not to personally say goodbye to each and every fantastic individual because that will just burst me to tears....

Another tear to shed...leaving my lovely roomie and hommie apartment, we've been roomating for almost 4 years and have known each other for almost 6 years starting college time. She is not just my roomie but also my best friend...but I am still in Bay Area so we'll catch up every now and then.

My room is almost empty and boxes are neatly stacked in the living room, waiting for the movers a.k.a some friends that I recruit to move it next weekend. and No, I haven't found a place to live so those stuffs will have to go to storage. Moving is always an effective way to purge out junks. Salvation Army will love me very much, I'll donate 5 boxes worth of goodies, mostly stuffs that are either too big, too small or bought out of impulse.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


As my vacation is looming, I now start sweating about where to live in August. I definetely want to live nearby campus so I don't have to drive (after all, gas price has shot up to the roof-top). My options are:
1. Rent an apartment nearby campus
a. Alone, expect to pay >$1000
pro: privacy, all space to myself, cooking convenience
con: $$$, not as merry as it is with roomie, unfurnished
b. Get a roomie, expect to pay $800 and above
pro: merry and jolly, cheaper since bills and rent are split
con: incompatible roomie = miserable life, can't walk around naked, unfurnished
Problems are:
a. I am too cheap to pay rent while away on vacation for 3 months
b. No time to look for roomie and dun wanna live with random stranger
c. Utility is not included, utility is another $75 to $150
d. meals not included

2. On-campus/campus-affiliated housing
a. Jackson graduate house: run from $800 to $969/month for one bedroom
pro: new and furnished, utility included
con: shared bathroom with 1 - 5 people, may bump into incompatible roomie

b. I-house, expect to pay $1400/month for single room
pro: broaden my cultural horizon, meals included, plenty of chance to make friends, 5 mins walk to Haas
con: dorm food sucks and probably will not eat there all the time, shared bathroom

Initially, I am leaning towards I-house but the price difference is steep compared to Jackson graduate house, plus the latter one is new and has a quieter ambience...putting it down in writing like this does paint a better picture of what I am looking for in housing

I don't remember having to go through the same crap back in undergrad...ooh wait, yeah, that's coz i didn't have to do anything, my ex-roomie did all the dirty works and she did a good job...I miss her

Heeeellllppppp !! Anybody looking for roomie in Berkeley? I am quite, tidy, clean and not a freak (I think...)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Exactly 10 more days to go before I bid work au revoir. The hardest thing is saying goodbye to my co-workers with whom I have gone through a lot of thick and thin. I will miss those lunches, happy hour, maybe a little of the 36 non-stop work hours that we often pull when things got escalated and yes, those annual ski trip to Tahoe.

As a matter of fact, we had just had our third annual ski trip to Tahoe this past weekend. We rented a nice cabin to house all 15 of us. I was never into ski but I would never miss this trip because it's fun. I not only got to know my co-workers better but also their SO. This time though, I fell in love with skiing coz i finally know how to brake and make a turn !!(finally....after all these years struggling) thanks to my personal coach a.k.a boyfriend.

He's a bit "ruthless" when it came to giving a lesson (yeah my co-worker warned me about not taking lesson from your own SO). When I fell, he would not try to help me get up and he's not very cuddly on the slope. Instead, he shouted "move your leg counter clockwise !!" or "throw your butt sideway" and much more which frustrated me. But his military style worked....On my part, I was a stubborn student and often talked back "this method doesn't make sense so I won't follow it" Good lord, we still had fun :)

Thankfully, work is getting slow. I am mostly wrapping up projects, passing down stuffs to whoever taking over my duty, saying goodbye left and right. People are envious about my departure from semiconductor world for good...though economy is up, this once exciting industry is no longer exciting, so people are trying to exit whenever they can. Praise God for my golden exit ticket :)