Pleasanton Chalk Art Festival – The Big Draw

My first impression of Pleasanton was that it is a cute small town with a community that seemed to be very friendly and outgoing. Although it was a sunny hot day, that didn’t stop people from coming out and participating in the festival. The overall turnout was great, there were many kids, adults and artists (musicians and painters). Artists displayed their talents and skills under the hot sun while admirers strolled by. There were many other things to enjoy that day, from watching people draw, to music, performances, supporting local community, and much more. It was also nice to see many of our classmates make it to the event and lunch. We all gathered at Stacey’s restaurant and enjoyed each other’s company.

Here are some pictures of the event:

2013-05-11 14.20.26

2013-05-11 14.21.23


15 Pieces of Advice

Stay Focused:
Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed with your work load and tasks. Stay focused on the task at hand and always remember the end is near.

Take Risks:
I would recommend that you get out of your comfort zone and try new things that you are not familiar with. Some examples would be to try different projects and different teams.

Leadership Skills:
As a MBA candidate, try to be courageous and lead a team through project tasks or even by taking on more responsibilities.

Long term vision:
Sometimes we just focus on the task at hand and forget to look at the bigger picture. Take a step back and think about what you want to do after completing the program. Ask yourself how you can align your current work with your long term goals.   

Get to know People:
When you first start the program, make an effort to get to know everyone in the program. These are going to be your yearlong colleagues and friends for a very long time. I didn’t get to really know some people until after the first quarter, so try to put some effort into that.

Different Teams:
I highly recommend working with different teams as you will get more exposure to people and different ways of doing things. Once you establish a team it might be hard to change and get out of your comfort zone, but working with different people gives you different perspectives and valuable learning.

Don’t worry about Grades:
Grades are not everything. It may be nice to get straight A’s but what’s more important is getting the best learning experience out of the program. I would focus on getting the most out of this experience rather than just focusing on grades alone.

Build Friends:
Some of the relationships with your colleagues will last forever. Find ways to strengthen ties and bolster those relationships. Everyone here is going through the same experience and it would help to form close ties with everyone early on.

Think Positive:
At times, you will question the point of this course or a particular project. However, once you have accomplished the task you might realize that something good came out of it. At first, things might not be easily understood but we tend to reap the benefits of our hard work at the end.

Be prepared:
to get the best experience out of the course and to have a better understanding, I highly recommend coming to class prepared. Read the book or assigned chapter. View the syllabus to make sure you prepared for a head of time.

Attend conferences and school events. These will give you great experiences and exposure. Use Alumni to network with other people and create future opportunities.

Seek advice:
Professors are valuable resource for mentoring and guidance. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Try different projects and different approaches. The beauty of being a student is you have a choice in many of your projects. To have better knowledge, try participating or taking on diverse projects.

Learn from your Peers:
Each one of you have a different background and varied experiences. Be open to learn from your peers and be accepting to their new ideas even if they differ from your own.

Have Fun:
buckle up and enjoy the ride. This will be a one of a kind experience so try making the best out of it and have fun. You will build new relationships, tackle new projects, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Impact of Social Media on the news

This video shows the impact Social Media has on news reporting. It describes the growing importance of utilizing social media by news organizations and how it’s transforming traditional news reporting. Social Media is also used by the public to express sympathy and support during tragic events such the recent Boston Bombing. New emerging technologies and platforms such the ones described in the video are shaping the future.

While the Boston bombing was a tragedy, I find it fascinating how connected everyone has become. Social media has become an essential tool for the authorities to connect with the public and ask for their support in addition to traditional broadcast media. Throughout the man hunt and subsequent capture of the suspect, it was as if the nation had all come together and become as one hand to aid in the apprehension of the suspects.

The moment the Boston police tweeted that the suspect in custody sparked instant relief and celebration throughout the country especially in the affected communities.

My Thoughts on Social Media

As an MBA student, I relied on social media as a regular mean of communication to stay connected with my classmates. Some of my tools of choice include Google+ for its robust real time communication and LinkedIn for access to a larger professional network. The tools with which we access such services have become increasingly light and portable in such a way that allowed them to infiltrate the most personal aspects of our daily lives. Much of our social interaction with each other has become increasingly dependent on smart phones, tablets, etc. In my experience, this has not always been a positive thing. In the past few years, I have noticed a significant change in my own behavior as well as those around me. I became increasingly dependent on my smart phone and constantly find myself distracted by it during social situations. Although I intentionally dedicate time to spend with friends or family, I find myself constantly on my phone checking/responding to instant messages, emails, browsing, etc. While I’m aware of this change in my behavior, it is a difficult one to overcome. I fully acknowledge the potential benefits of social media and technology but believe that we need to be conscious of the downsides and take active steps to preserve the valuable social bonds we have.