Wow, today was really a good day! I've been waiting for that "perfect" super-packed/fun/busy/crazy day to blog about, and all the stars aligned for me today. And here is my tale:
10:00 am - Get out of bed (I usually sleep at 2 or 3am) a bit groggy, but looking forward to the jam packed day. Quickly reply to all the emails about the >play Conference (Haas' digital media and entertainment conference, www.playconference.org), Astronomy midterm questions from my undergraduate students (I'm a graduate student instructor (GSI) for the class, more on this later), and follow up with a few career coach mentors to sign up for their 1st year "mentees" (part of a new initiative I'm pushing this semester as the VP of Admission.
11:00 am - Get ready to leave for SF to meet the HR Director of LucasArts, where I interned this past summer, for lunch. Checked Google Maps to see if the traffic was bad, and saw red and black lines at the Bay Bridge toll plaza, uh oh!!! I rushed out of the house and called the HR Director saying I may be late, and hoped for the best!
11:55 am - Miraculously, I got to the Presidio, where LucasArts is located (near the Golden Gate Bridge) 5 minutes before our meeting time. Whew!
12:00 pm - Treated to a nice lunch at one of the most beautiful company cafeterias I've ever seen. It has a 270 degree floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the hills of San Francisco. You really can't beat eating the yummy/healthy/organic food with a view like that!
The meeting with the HR Director was mainly to catch up on how life has been after I went back to school at the end of August. Unfortunately due to our busy schedules, we weren't able to meet up until 8 weeks into the school year. We chit chat about all the latest news on both ends, interesting classes and events I'm planning, and more about the culture of the company. I had such a positive and fun experience this past summer at the company that I'm definitely going into the gaming industry for my full time job after graduation, and if I'm lucky enough, hopefully I get an offer from them.
1:00 pm - Lunch ended with a surprise gift from the HR Director that was pretty random, and a guarantee that I will hear whether there's an offer in 2 weeks. yay! Caught up a little more with the UR Manager I worked with over the summer and then rushed back over the Bay Bridge to make my 2pm class in time.
2:00 pm - Power and Politics in Organizations", taught by Prof. Cameron Anderson. This has been one of my FAVORITE classes so far at Haas. The 7 week course (which will be followed by 7 weeks of Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, itself an "award winning" class) is like drinking out of a firehose. I've learned so much about human behavior, how to influence others, how to build networks and alliances, etc... through this course. Today we analyzed a film we watched on Tuesday, "12 Angry Men", and discussed the 6 ways of influencing a hostile crowd. Did I say I love this class? =)
4:00 pm - "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Wireless Industry". This is another popular class that involves 400-600 pages of reading every week and super in depth discussion about every aspect of the wireless industry, from the spectrum regulations to technology to platforms to carriers and more! Prof. Reza Moazzami knows EVERYTHING about this industry! And the class discussions, while it often goes over my head, have been very useful in understanding the nooks and crannies of the industry.
Today, we were lucky to have the former CEO of Good Technology, a competitor to Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry device, to come in and do a joint discussion. The speaker was engaging and the stories he told illustrated many of the innovative business strategies that RIM used to reach its dominant status today in the enterprise email space. It was definitely one of the best discussions so far in this
6:00 pm - Went to grab a quick dinner with 5 of my closest classmates at one of my favorite local restaurants, Le Petit Cheval, a Vietnamese restaurant where the lunch specials are under $6 and takes me 2 sittings to finish. I had to wolf down my food, unfortunately, because I needed to get back on campus by 7pm to do an Astronomy midterm review session.
7:00 pm - So why the heck am I a GSI for an undergraduate, non-science major, and breadth requirement astronomy class? Well, because I love astronomy, and it has been a hobby of mine since elementary school. I also took the course many many years ago with Prof. Alex Filippenko, and I can confidently say he is probably the best professor I've ever had. The guy is brilliant, yet can still explain super complex ideas such as black holes, supernovae, and the expansion of the universe so that even a non-science major can understand the basic concepts! In the past, he has made quite a few "poets" switch to an astronomy major. =)
Anyway, one of my biggest regrets in undergrad was not becoming a teaching assistant (TA) for him, and since I'm back at Berkeley now, I had to do it! While this class has taken over a huge chunk of my life, it has been very worth it to be immersed in one of my favorite hobbies again.
Tonight, as one of the 11 GSI/TAs (850 students take this class every year, with 26 discussion sections), I hosted one hour of the review session with a fellow GSI, answering any and every question the students had about light, phases of the moon, celestial sphere, and the planets. I was a little nervous about the session, since you never know what questions can come out of a room of 100 or so students, and I definitely did not want to get stumped in front of a large crowd like that, haha! I'm glad to say, it ended up being a lot of fun and I survived in one piece!
8:00 pm - Left for SF the 2nd time in one day to meet up with some non-Haas friends for game night and hanging out.
12:30 am - Returned home after a long day to check some more emails, type up this blog, and head to bed around 2 am. Quite an early night for me! Tomorrow is another day of interviews for my Power and Politics final paper, administering the astronomy midterm, and catching comedian Hal Sparks do a show in SF. I am loving life right now!