Flew back to Williamsburg on August 20th after spent 2 months of holiday in Jakarta. I arrived the next day and I had to move into a new apartment. I decided to move here with two of my classmates from Thailand so we can share the rent. I thought it would be a good idea to save some money. Actually the apartment is way better than my previous apartment and I also got the master bedroom, so it was a good deal. I didn’t have time for jet lag because I had to move my stuff from the storage and set it up into our new apartment.
I attended my first Batten Fund class on monday and found out that next week I have to present an update for the two stocks that I cover. Well, they did not make it easy for my first week in the second year.
My best friend from college had an opportunity to visit United States and we decided to meet in Washington DC. I spent a day in DC with him during the weekend and had to go back early the next day because I have to finish my presentation material for Monday.
Finance class was really intense. Well, the professor made it clear last year that this class was not for everyone, it was intended for students who has a financial background. I decided to take it anyway because I want to learn finance. The class consist of cases and keynotes speaker from corporate executives or financial institution experts. It was not easy in the beginning, I barely understand the class, but as the time goes by I was able to follow the discussion.
Last summer I applied for Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) position and I got accepted. I work for a Supply Chain Professor in the business program to help her with her research. Fortunately the job does not require a mandatory time, I can work during the weekday or weekend as long as I can deliver the task. I can manage the time to work to fit into my schedule.
I had a little reunion with my teammates from the first year. We had dinner in the Colonial Williamsburg. Laith’s brother was in town, so he joined the dinner as well. Too bad David could not join us.
This month was super hectic for me. I spent almost all day at school during weekday to work on the case with my teammates and I spent the weekend at school to work on my GRA task.
I went to Durham during the fall break to visit my friends over there. One day I went to Duke university to see my friend camped out for the Basketball tickets lottery. Thousands of students camp out to have their name on the lottery even though it did not guarantee they will get the tickets. They have to stay there for 3 days because they need to check in every hour or so. When I asked my friend why wouldn’t the university just build a bigger stadium, she said “well, we’d love to keep the tradition”. Well, enjoy the camp out then.
I had a study trip to DC for my finance class to visit some companies in the financial industries. We visited a private equity company, a real estate company, a government foreign investment institution, etc. I was impressed by how private equity company and real estate company work. The concept seems so easy to implement when they explained it to us, but I am sure it was not as easy as it sounds. Overall, it was a great trip for us.
I started my Marketing class this month, it was less intense than the finance class. More than 70% of the class was allocated for key notes speaker and company’s visits. We visited an advertising agency company, a PR consulting company, a product management company, etc. It was a good trip.
I kinda kept my mustache for almost a month just because I want to keep it consistent with last year even though this year we don’t have any Movember charity event. I got invited for a Thanksgiving lunch to my friend’s house. It was my first Thanksgiving experience and probably would be my last one, unless I have the chance to live in United States again in the future.
We had study trip to Atlanta in the first week. We visited Chick-fil-A HQ and Coca Cola HQ. Chick-fil-A has a really cool HQ complex. They have their own day care in the office complex, breakfast and lunch are free, and the RnD facility is awesome. I really enjoyed this trip even though it was a long drive to get there.
I had 3 big presentation in the following week, stock pitching presentation for my Batten Fund class, Smithfield presentation in front of the board and our Markstrat Simulation presentation in front of the class. For my stock pitching, I spent months to prepare that. Finding a good stock in the oil energy sector was not easy at the time while the oil price keep declining. However, I managed to find a good company and the class agreed to buy the stock. It was a really good experience for me to be able to dig deeper into the company’s financial and performance and also to be able to convinced others.
We did well on our Smithfield project and I am glad that we got a good grades for this assignments. The Smithfield HQ, by far, is the best corporate HQ I’ve ever seen. It is located in the sub urban areas, far from noise and loud activities. The building is more like a mansion than an office. From the executives meeting room you can see the lake, the birds and all the nature beauty in the area. I think almost everyone wants to work in a place like that.
For Markstrat simulation, although we were finished last place, we did learnt many things. Knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. With that Markstrat presentation, we were officially finished our fall semester.
Overall, in terms of academics life, I learned many things this semester. The course and the class a bit different from the first year, so it took me a while to get used to it. I was forced to go beyond my comfort zone and faced some situation that I was not expected. However, those situation are one of the best learning experience for me.
There’s no growth in comfort zone and there’s no comfort in growth zone
In terms of personal life, I have my ups and downs this semester. I would say that I barely go out and hang out this semester. Whenever I have a spare time, I usually read books or just contemplating about life. Yea, doesn’t sound like me. It’s funny that I actually enjoy it though. Sometimes when we are busy with life, we don’t have time to reflects and think. We forget to ask what’s our purpose in life, what we want to do with our life, is this the life that we wanted, etc etc. I think god put me through that situation so I would be able to learn and reflects about the life I had so far. I’m so thankful for what he gave to me.
I have less than 5 months to finish my study here. Gotta enjoy and get the most of it. I hope that I could become a better person in 2016.
Williamsburg, 11 January 2016.