One of my girlfriends is visiting NY for meetings and she asked me to help her to pick up her wedding gown from Vera Wang the day before. I am so happy for her. You know there are times when you say “good for you” you actually feel “gosh it’s so unfair I cannot believe she is getting this while I didn’t!” But that kind of feeling is not in my dictionary anymore. I am lucky to be surrounded by both guys and girls who are as ambitious, capable, observant, insightful and FUN as myself (sorry I’m complimenting myself again), if not more, and they complement me as a human being, and they inspire me every day to give back more with passion and love.
Ultimately it’s not about a competition after all. It’s about inviting someone to join the life journey with you, to learn, to share, to enjoy; or sometimes, just to sit quietly together while looking out of the window, and maybe laugh, and sing.
Treat people right, any people
When I was in Hong Kong I went to this Portuguese restaurant once and ordered some baked pork and rice dish. I asked the waiter some standard question on what kind of sauce he recommends, how long it will take, and how big the portion is etc. Apparently he was relatively new and he couldn’t answer half of the questions. I got very impatient. I unintentionally raised my voice and I was at the edge of asking to be served by another waiter. He was embarrassed obviously, and my friend who went with me gave me a very disturbed stare, which I couldn’t quite figure out why at the moment. Read more…
I really want to hear your insights on how to follow up with people I just met with such as alumni or high profile people. After the first acquaintance, I usually don’t know what to say to them through email or phone since we barely see each other. At the same time, I’m afraid that too many emails of questions or holiday wishes would annoy them. But I want to make a good impression because I may need their help at some point. Would you please elaborate how you maintain the relationship with your contacts?
Thank you – N
Another great question from Ask Danye, you guys are really awesome awesome inspirations! And I want to reassure you that the very fact you are writing this email to me means you take initiatives and that you are on the right track: yes, you do need to reach out to people BEFORE you actually need help from them. And here’s how to do it:
- Make it extremely easy for them
- Keep it very short (the 3 steps)
- Watch your tone (some do’s and don’ts)
- Write it already
Make it extremely easy for them
Senior people are busy people, so if you want them to do just about anything in the world, you need to make it super easy for them. I recently coordinated with HR, Yale Alums at my firm, and Women Initiatives for an informational/networking/recruiting event with Smart Woman Securities, a women organization from Yale. I pushed very hard for the event to happen obviously since we don’t really recruit on campus, and there’s tons of coordination work. But I got affirmative response from EVERY SINGLE person I reached out to and everyone is super excited to help me, even Harvard alums!
Let me take a break and write something fun about myself.
So I did this a long time ago when the 25 Things About Me idea first came out on facebook and I got tagged by someone else. Now I realized there are so many precious things about me I didn’t get to mention and so many new experiences I didn’t get to illustrate. So I rewrote this in memory of the first 25 years of my life, and I want to dedicate this to everyone who has been a part of my life, who has challenged me, inspired me, encouraged me, showed up for me, stayed with me when I felt frustrated, confused, and anxious, and finally, who has embraced my character wholeheartedly.
Btw, in case you are wondering, the pictures are taken by professional camera so you know how misleading they can be.
1. I introduce myself as Kanye with a D = Danye, and people love it. Well everyone knows Kanye West, but very few are aware that “Dan Ye” means “red leaf” in Chinese.
2. I am BIGGGGGGGGGG on sleep; I am BIGGGGGGGGGG on efficiency too.
3. I like abs. I think just abs is good enough.
4. I have visited all 8 Ivy League universities + MIT + Stanford + UChicago.
5. The only flower I wish to receive is lily: it has to be lily and it has to be white.
I was at this Womensphere Summit on Emerging Global Leaders this past Saturday and the beautiful lady sitting beside me is a junior at Brown University majoring in International Relations (no surprise), and she is freaking out about what she is going to do for the rest of her life, especially when everyone starts talking about passion and building a solid career path.
This may be the stage you are at in your life and you are thinking about the same issues and you may be freaking out too, and if I were right, you actually go to a great school with top programs and your grades are decent. But you are still freaking out. Why? I know. I’ve been there before: There are simply too many options, and you could potentially do anything and everything. But you have no clue what you really want and how you should make such decisions.
Ok so here are some well-tested advices (by my own experience and by many others) on how to figure out your passion and make decisions on your junior internship and more importantly, your first full-time job. Bear with me.
Find a good NAME for your internship
Aside from the release of Verizon iPhone 4 and another round of big snow in New York, there is something else that has flooded the internet these days: Ms. Amy Chua’s Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior article on WSJ.
I have to say I like this article. I admire Amy’s honesty and audacity to even talk about things in such controversy that many Chinese are familiar with but may be totally unimaginable to other cultures. I am intrigued and impressed by her witty (at times funny) language and detailed examples, and I mean who would not be?! Especially when you read such a tagline – Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?
However, as much as I have personally lived through many experiences Amy has explicitly described in her article, and as much as I can only nod through her 3 points that by large have differentiated Chinese parents from other parents, I have sadly come to an conclusion that there are at least two fundamental flaws in the very foundation of her arguments:
1) Happiness and success do not necessarily correlate to each other, especially when you define success in such a narrow way.
2) Ending your parenting story when your kids are 15-ish is probably quite pre-mature. What may have worked for a 7-year old does not mean it will work the same for a late teen.
I have kept blogs in a variety of places before and this is the first and only time the website sent me a stats summary with such details for the bygone year. For the constant thrive to optimize user experience and the degree of dedication, I want to first thank WordPress for offering me, and many other bloggers in this world, an intimate place to pursue our passions, to share our curiosities, and to develop a legacy.
I also want to take the opportunity to appreciate every one of you who has stopped by my blog over the past year. For those who have commented on my posts, cheered for me on my facebook walls, left a message to me on LinkedIn and Gtalk, followed me on Google Reader, or mentioned my blog to me face-to-face, I want to thank you for being my constant motivation and inspiration. Your encouragement means the world to me.
Started in mid-April 2010, the blog had 70 new posts and was viewed about 21,000 times over the course of 2010. Not bad for the first year I have to say. Thanks for sharing this with me.
Here are my Top Posts of the Year:
This was an introduction email on career opportunity that I have been waiting for. As I know most people are still struggling on how to effectively network and communicate, I figured it was a good idea to share the email and my interpretation with you.
I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO TRAVEL, to Europe especially, then Latin America. I secretly wished I were a guy when I was in middle school because I know some of my guy friends would just leave a note to their parents and then go off to another far faraway place for mountain climbing. I THOUGHT I couldn’t do that as a girl.
Then I was at college, I was on financial aid. The money from my part-time job went to food, books, clothing, paying back some loans, and buying tickets to go back home every now and then. Then the summer came, I wanted to go to Europe and maybe study aboard in Paris, but then I’ll have to pay more. Hum, so I would think to myself: maybe I should just stay on campus and find some internship around town so I can earn more money first.
Before I realized it, I was one of the proud alumni already. The good news is I finally make some money now. The bad news is I simply have no time. And for the rare cases when I do have both, I worry about who else I should be traveling with.