Well, it's been nearly four months since school ended, and the job search goes on. With the current economic downturn and unemployment at its highest level in 25 years, I couldn't have timed my graduation better! I've been in this situation before, and I know that eventually something will give. My job search has become very healthcare/biotech-focused, and the good news is, these industries aren't doing too badly. I've enjoyed learning more about the biotech industry, and the big industry players such as Roche, Genentech, Amgen and suppliers to the industry, such as Millipore. I've been making use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to network with folks in the biotech industry and have had some surprisingly positive results. I'm very much looking forward to the Biotech Bay Career Fair which I'll be attending on May 6th.
Later in May I plan on attending the Ninth Annual Graduate Business Hooding Ceremony and Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Convocation at San Francisco State University. I recently received an honor student nomination, so I'm just beaming about that - thank you Dr. Wong! To receive a Distinguished Achievement Award for my graduate work would really be a feather in my cap...we'll see how it goes.
Until then I will keep plugging away on the job search, continue exploring my target industries and firms, and hope for opportunities that will allow me to leverage both my professional experience and investments in education.
Update: 16 Dec 2008
I'm done! I've attended my last class and my research project was approved! This has probably been the fastest 16 months of my life, but also probably some of the best months of my life. Getting my MBA at San Francisco State University was such a great decision. I've enjoyed the personal growth as well as the many new friendships. With a graduation ceremony in May, the experience will go on for a bit longer. A big thanks to my family and friends who made the journey smoother than it would have been otherwise! I've been so lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive people.
Now it's time to enjoy the holidays, but also intensify my job search. So all you hiring managers out there, please be sure to check out my experience and career goals!
Update: 24 Aug 08
After seven weeks in Vietnam, I'm finally home and mentally preparing myself for my final semester in the MBA program at San Francisco State University. My summer trip to Vietnam was VERY productive. I got to meet lots of interesting people whose insights will surely make their way into my final research project which is due this December. I got a better handle not just on the macroeconomic issues facing the country, but also better familiarity with the transportation industry, consumer preferences, human resource challenges, and Vietnamese language, history, and culture. I learned more about the education system, Buddhism, the role of women in Vietnamese society, as well as many details about doing business in Vietnam.
So it was quite a multifaceted adventure, and each day was a learning experience.
The fall semester starts this Wednesday and I'll be taking these three classes:
IBUS 859: International Business Negotiating with Dr. Baack
BUS 890: Seminar in Strategic Management with Dr. Baack
BUS 895: Research Project in Business with Dr. Nicholson and Dr. Wong as readers.
I expect all three classes to be interesting and challenging - now is certainly no time to lose focus as I want to get the most out of these classes.
I'll also be busy with a job search since I'm hoping to be gainfully employed in the spring of next year. Fingers crossed!
PS. Here is a pic of me and Mr. Ho Kim Lan. Mr. Ho is the manager of the International Relations Department at the Saigon Port. We had a very good discussion about ports in Vietnam, how they are dealing with the challenges since WTO accession, and the important role of the government.
Update: 25 May 08
The spring semester is officially over !! Well, it was four days ago, and I couldn't be happier. Two semesters down, one to go! As always, I can't thank my friends and family enough for their tremendous support. There are so many things that can derail a person, but their support really allowed me to stay focused and accomplish some really great things this semester.
Now I get to enjoy my summer, and this will be the first time since 2004 that I won't be taking any summer classes. How weird !! Anyway, I've made some great plans so it's not like I'll be blowing the summer MTV style on some beach drinking booze and then posting stupid pictures on Facebook.
I plan on visiting Vietnam for seven weeks in an effort to see if a business opportunity that I've spotted is worth pursuing. I will conduct market research, evaluate distributors, and try to learn more of the language. I know about 300 words...not nearly enough...but I should be able to pick up a lot more since I'll be immersed.
The good news is that a lot of the information I uncover on this trip will be included in my final research project for the MBA program. I hope to uncover what is really needed to successfully do business in Vietnam, at a much deeper level than what you might read in a U.S. Commercial Service publication.
Stay tuned for what I think will be some very exciting updates!
Update: 26 Jan 08
With winter break just about over, things are going to start getting hectic again. I'm so glad that I had time to spend with friends here in San Francisco, although I didn't get to see everyone unfortunately.
I'm looking forward to the classes I will be taking in the spring semester which starts on Monday (the 28th). Here's what I've got scheduled:
Wish me luck! I've seen some of the syllabi for these classes, and I think it's going to be a lot of work !!
PS. Here is a pic of me and Dr. Joel Nicholson, Chair of the International Business department at San Francisco State University. He invited me to a dinner where I was recognized for my work in international business, work that I did back when I was an undergraduate student. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the other students Joel works with, and enjoy the great food at Espetus. Joel is an awesome guy and I am thrilled that we get to work so closely together as I make my way through the MBA program.
25 Jan 2008
Update: 1 Jan 08
One semester down, two to go! I'm very happy with my grades (three A's and one A-), and am looking forward to the spring semester. But first, I'm going to enjoy my winter break and try to exercise more. Studying all the time can leave you feeling rather stiff...
My thanks go out to family, friends, and others who have been so supportive during a very busy semester. It is because of you that I can be so successful at all of this !!
Happy New Year !!
Update: 13 Oct 07
Another quick update since I have a new pic to post !! Whe hew !!
This is me and Dawn Walker, president of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Scholarship Association. We were at a dinner and reception for winners of the Alumni Scholarship Association awards (9 Oct). I won the award for a graduate studying business administration. It was very cool to be honored and surrounded by many talented people from all kinds of disciplines Ė cinema, accounting, sexuality, nursing, you name it. School is going well, but Iím kinda like a deer in headlights with the amount of work I have to do. Here are some topics Iím covering this semester:
Strategic Marketing. My team is working with a small adventure travel firm, and we are tasked with putting together a strategic marketing plan for him so he can grow his business.
International Business seminar. My team is looking at Vietnamís entry into the WTO and how this is impacting the country (which has been both positive and negative).
The Strategic Use of Information Technology. My team is looking at one of the largest health care companies in the United States, and looking at how they use information technology to create a competitive advantage.
International Marketing Research. This time I am not working on a team, so single-handedly I am analyzing the market potential of Vietnam and designing a plan for a small California company to enter that market.
So I keep busy as you can imagine. Anyway, until the next update, enjoy this pic.
Update: 6 Sept 07
After having returned to school in January 2005, I have finally gotten my undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University! Very exciting. A big hearty 'thank you' to family and friends who have been soooooo supportive.
I'm currently enrolled full-time in the MBA program at San Francisco State University. My emphasis is again International Business, with a geographic focus on Vietnam (although I'll be exploring other parts of the world as well). I hope to finish by the end of December 2008.
Further updates to come (time-permitting)!
PS. A recent picture (7 Aug 07) taken at Saigon Hi-Tech Park, site of Intel's largest assembly/test facility in the world! Well, it will be in 2009. Now it's still pretty much an empty field... That's Mr. Le Thanh Nhan who helps manage the park and took time out of his busy schedule to tell me all about the park.