Saturday, September 23, 2006

WWW Day

Yesterday was WWW Day! What did you do on WWW Day?

WWW Day is a day to celebrate the World Wide Web and reflect on how it has changed your life. Well, I had a marketing exam and then Rosh Hashana dinner, so I did not reflect yesterday. But this morning I will.

Top Ten Ways the WWW Has Changed My Life:
1. I can easily and cheaply stay in touch with lots of people
2. I can shop from home
3. I can read about any subject at anytime
4. I don't have to ask people for directions
5. I can stay home and still get my work done
6. I can sell to the world
7. I can find a job without visiting the office
8. I don't have to use the library to write a paper
9. I can train more effectively
10. Allows me to share my life on a page that anyone can read

How has the WWW changed your life?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy New Year

Tomorrow night starts the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana (translated, it means "The Head of the Year). Now for a little lesson...

Typically in the US the new year involves parties, drinking, and staying up till at least midnight. On the other hand, Rosh Hashana is usually celebrated by going to dinner with friends and family, then to the synagogue for a few prayers, and we eat apples and honey. There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. More

The apples and honey are symbolic for the year to come. They are supposed to represent the sweet new year that we would like to have. If you have not put honey on apples before, it is awesome stuff and should be done as soon as possible. It is a great snack anytime during the year. Some other traditions are using bread and honey, instead of apples. Also, many people go to a river or stream and throw bread into it. Technically, you are supposed to "empty your pockets", so don't bring your wallet, keys and phone. This is called Tashlikh ("casting off"). This practice is to symbolize the casting off of our sins. This is the

After Rosh Hashana, we spend the next 10 days asking for forgiveness for all of our sins over the previous year. There are lots of technicalities to how you should do this, but I am not going into that. So, on the 10th day of the new year we have Yom Kippur. This is the Day of Atonement or the day we ask g-d to be inscribed in the "book of life" for the coming year. I like to compare this to the twelve step programs. The programs tell you to take "one day at a time." Well, the Jews take "one year at a time."

Basically, on Yom Kippur we ask g-d for forgiveness once a year. This could be compared to Catholics who ask forgiveness every time they go to confession. Or at least that is way I perceive. I certainly don't know enough about it to say very much.

The coolest part of Yom Kippur is the "sounding" of the shofar. This is when a person blows on a ram's horn.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

On My Way to China

Today was exciting. I have been heavily involved in my operations management class. My group turned in its project today, I had a class in operations today, and I had an information session with three members of the supply chain/operations field. They were from Sonoco, Michelin, and Pfizer.

So, after all this I went and met with my internship advisor. She made it seem quite easy to obtain an internship in China. I will be working with an agency in China that will help me find the internship, a place to live, obtain my visa, give me a cell phone, and lots of other benefits, such as 24 hours service line in case I get loss (since I don't know the language). Pretty cool.

I don't expect all this to happen overnight, but hopefully I will have all the details worked out before the semester is finished.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Success in Hartsville

This past Sunday was awesome! I had a blast putting myself through torture. I loved it so much that I have no doubt that I will be doing this again one day. My time was three hours and five minutes. I came in 42nd place overall. Thank you Shaun, Emily, and Nanda for getting up in the middle of the night to come support me.

A little play by play...
I woke up at 4am and loaded up the car. My roommate and I picked up a couple of fellow classmates and we headed out to Hartsville. We arrived just as the sun was trying to come up.
I went and set up my things at the transition area and tried to warm up. It was fairly chilly, so I happily plunged into the water when the horn was sounded. The water felt like a bath at 85 degrees. I finished the swim feeling great.












After a successful transition onto the bike, I was off. I knew this was my event and I hammered through every inch of the course. I flew past people on the hills. I finished this section of the event with a big smile on my face.












Then, I got off the bike and put my running shoes on. This is when the race turned ugly. My legs were stiff and my knees were full of lactic acid. I could barely run, but I knew if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start up again. So, I pushed on with step hurting more than previous. Around the fourth mile, my legs were starting to loosen up and by mile five I was running normal again. My last mile of the run, ended up being my fastest.

When I crossed the finish line, I felt really good and tired. My first triathlon was a success!

The best part was my victory kiss!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

ExxonMobil Will Survive

ExxonMobile will survive without me. I missed their information session this evening, since I got the time wrong. 5:30 is not the same as 7:00. I will have to remember that.

Tomorrow I will get to shake hands with about 30 or so corporate people from the Columbia area. The school has organized a dinner for us to practice our etiquette and social skills. The evening should be fun and funny. Fun for the the free dinner and socializing. Funny for all the mistakes we get to make and talk about later.

I got to play a game today called BAFA, BAFA. It is a game to teach cross-cultural differences and cultures. I was an alpha, so I got to touch and stand very close to people, smile and laugh, shuffle cards for no reason, and talk about men and sports. That is about it. The Betas were "rude" people who butted into conversations, couldn't speak except for a very simple language, and were basically a very capatalistic group of people. It was pretty funny for the first thirty minutes. It was starting to get old towards the end. Perhaps the visiting groups should have been bigger to make the game go faster. Anyway, I was tired afterwards, so I came home and napped. That is why I love school.

So, I got two more days! Carbo-load time!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pfizer Visits USC


I attended an information session with Pfizer tonight. Their were people from there Internal Auditing (IA) division. I have no interest in IA, but I went for the experience. As a bonus, I got some food and gift bag. The bag had all kinds of great Pfizer consumer products, that will soon be sold off (I think before the end of the year).

Tomorrow I will be seeing a session with ExxonMobil. I have some friends in Boulder, CO that would probably ask me to stand outside of the school and protest that ExxonMobil is even setting foot on the campus. However, it should be an interesting session and I will get fed again.

My entrepreneurship class ended today and next week I will be finishing up Leadership. At that point I will only have four classes! What a relief. In fact, I will finish up a third class before the end of the month and I won't be starting any new ones till the end of October. We have a pretty hefty exam schedule in October and a couple of long weekends. All in all, October should be a bit more relaxing, aside from all the organizations, sessions, internship searching and interviewing, and all the other extracurriculars.

So, in less than five days I will be participating in my first triathlon and I can't be more excited. Tomorrow morning is my last "real" workout before the race. Friday I won't train at all and then just a few minutes on Saturday to loosen everything up. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Elie Wiesel Speaks in Columbia


Wiesel spoke at the Koger Center in downtown Columbia tonight. This is not the first time I have heard him speak. It is truly amazing to hear the silence in the room as we all strain to hear his next words. Everyone there wants to listen and learn from him, which is encouraging to me. I see Columbia as a small southern college town, with small southern town problems. However, as Wiesel pointed out, Columbia is better than it was 19 years ago during his first visit here. This is also encouraging.

Wiesel reminded us that Darfur is every person's problem. He said that when any religion or race is discriminated against it is to the detriment of all of humanity. Wiesel studies the Talmud and in it is a famous saying that, "when you save the life of one person, you save the world." Wiesel preaches this concept in slightly different words.

Wiesel spoke about interviewing an author in France, whom he was hoping to ask for a recommendation for a job with a government official. This author was famous for being in love with Jesus and relating everything to Jesus. He gave a few funny examples how things always came back to Jesus. At some point Wiesel gave up. He asked one last question of the author, in which he responded that, "Jesus suffered too." Wiesel then looked at the author and said, "I know of children that suffered far more than Jesus did and not a word is ever spoken about it." He then got up and left the office without ever asking for a recommendation. After reaching the elevator, the man came out of his office with tears rolling down, stating he was truly sorry. Before Wiesel left the man said, "Maybe something should be said?" This is how Wiesel's first book came about. Very cool story and a wonderful talk.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Entrepreneurship Rocks

Today I got the pleasure of listening to 20ish presentations from my class. Normally I dread sitting through 4+ hours of presentations, but today was about entrepreneurship. This is something that I highly value, since I am one of them. I love listening to business ideas that people have. People always talk so passionately about them. I just love it when their eyes light up when you ask, "So, what is your idea?" Some presentations were the standard, some creative, but they all had a touch of emotion which is the part I love.

In other news...
I have 6 days till my triathlon. It is this coming Sunday. I am so excited, nervous, anxious, and a few other emotions. I checked out the course this past weekend. It is a bit hilly, which is to my advantage. The lake and surrounding area is beautiful! I will be sure to take some pictures of the event. I believe my roommate will be joining me early in the morning to give me some support.

The IMBA Allstars had their first indoor soccer match this afternoon. We won! However, it was by forfeit. The opposing team only had 3 people show up. We found three people who would play, so we scrimmaged for about 45 minutes. It was great to kick a ball around, since it has been a couple of years since I played last.

Currently, I am in the midst of working on a leadership project for a class. It is a time consuming project that has been put off as long as possible, since I don't care for the professor. I was actually half way done with the project and then the professor changed the assignment, which meant I needed to start from square one. Very frustrating.

The rest of school is going well and keeping me so busy that I have resorted to taking things one day at a time, like I am in a 12 step program. This program ends when I finish the semester in a little over three months. They will go quick, which is a relief.

I am actively involved in the internship search. I am looking for an internship in supply chain management over in China. If you have any ideas for me, please let me know. I am hoping to secure an internship before the end of the year, so that I may book plane tickets and everything else that is involved with the leaving the country for five months. I get excited whenever I think about traveling next year. So many new countries, cultures, people, and languages. It will be truly awesome.

Check out my roommates video he used with his project. Please vote on it too. All the people in the video are in my MBA class. It is great. Anand is a true playa!

Click Here!!