Monday, August 27, 2007

Hospital -- Updated

My mom was discharged from the hospital this afternoon. We weren't notified until this morning. She's much better now.

So, what happened was... Her colon (large intestine) was infected. The most obvious symptom was her terrible abdominal pain. It has many factors - Diabetes, Old age, Lack of fiber, and lack of exercise. In general, she had bumps on her large intestine that popped. All of the puss leaked and caused an infection. They did a procedure where they had used a needle to take out the puss. Normally, if her part of her organs (ie. bladder) are not functioning properly, she would need a surgery. However, after the small procedure, some rest and antibiotics, she's better now.

My mom went to the ER last Friday, and she was diagnosed for Diverticulitis. After 11 hours at the ER with her, she was finally admitted to the hospital at 2 am.

Today, I visited her; she looks much better. On her first day at the ER, she was poked 9 times for blood sample and IV. Two nurses poked her about 6 times and missed. Finally, the doctor did the job in 1 shot. By now, 3 days later, she has probably been poked about 20 times.

Anyway, she had a small procedure two days ago, and she's fine now. She can finally eat. The case management team will review her status tomorrow to see if she can go home. There's a chance that she might need surgery.

After 11 hours in the ER, I have only noticed one thing - that no one knows anything. Maybe I'll explain next time when I'm not so sleepy.

My First Day

I need to write an entry to reflect on my work today.

At the banking center that I work at, there is a temporary Manager, Assistant Manager Associate (me), Small Business Specialist, 2 personal bankers, and about 4 tellers. The location is great. It's a 30 minute subway ride, and the station is right across the street. It's right at Grand Central Station.

Today, I worked a 9 to 5 schedule. The banking center only opens M-F from 8 am to 6 pm. So, my schedule will only have 3 variations - 8-4, 9-5, or 10-6. What sucks, however, is the lunch break. We only get a 30-minute lunch.

I saw the vault today. It was rather interesting.

Otherwise, it's extremely hectic. I was so tired from smiling.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Creme Brulee Secret

Here is an updated entry with the picture. As you can see, Rob just turned 5.

Google! I google everything. I found all of my yummy recipes online. I would even google a restaurant's recipe, and they usually have a copy-cat recipe of it. Please look at the link below for creme brulee.

Generally, I found this to be the easiest. Usually, they'll tell you to use the stove, and all kinds of stuff. For this, the oven does everything you need with the recipe. In addition, get the torch. It's fun. Rob and I have been burning all kinds of things, esp. marshmallow!

On a side note, I came across another recipe where it stated that the ingredient "Heavy Cream" is not called Heavy Cream in places outside of the United States. I think it's called Whipping Cream or something. Anyway, I got my Heavy Cream at the section where they store milk.

Oh, and, I had to bake it much longer than the directions given.

Good Luck, Hayley! It was easy and yummy. And, Honey... It was very very hard to make! And, only I was talented enough to make the yummy Creme Brulee for you. lol.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Next 5, 10 Years...

"Where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10 years?" I get that question very often at job interviews. I generally just brush them off by saying that I believe in higher education, and I plan to enroll in MBA part time. More generally, I answer them by saying that I will be in a higher position. For example, for Citigroup's Business Analyst position, I told them that I see myself as a Senior Analyst or a General Manager. For Bank of America, I told them that I see myself at the cozy office that I was interviewed at.

Right now, my Assistant Manager Associate program is 12-24 months long. Hopefully, I will finish it in 12 months. As for Rob, he is still applying for Dental School for the entering class in Fall 2008. If time allows, I would like to make use of my tuition reimbursement and take classes. Perhaps, a master before I get my MBA? Realistically, that won't happen.

In the next 5 years, Rob will be busy as a student. Meanwhile, I will be busy getting my part-time MBA. If we're still in New York, I would attend NYU part-time. Otherwise, there isn't enough part-time programs available as of now; also, going to school full-time will not be feasible when I have to support my family. My dear uncle suggested that I should give my parents an obscene amount of money per month. He had such high expectations.

By Fall 2008, we will know what state we will be in. Subsequently, we will be living together. 5 years later, Rob will graduate from Dental School. He can then practice dentistry, or he will have to do residency to apply for specializations - ie. orthodontist, endodontist, periodontist, etc.

In the next 10 years? Who knows!

P.S. I am now convincing Rob to support my parents. LOL. I get to apply for Stanford's full time program, and we get to live in San Francisco! Woohoo!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Honey's Birthday

"Nobody likes you when you're 23." - What's My Age Again by Blink 182

Rob's 23rd Birthday was on Wednesday. We celebrated his 23rd birthday as if it was his 3rd. Majority of his presents were toys! On top of that, we went to the aquarium! -- but it was fun and the environment was pleasant. Originally, I planned to go snorkeling, shark dive, or the Linkin Park's concert. Unfortunately, my employer has been holding back 3 months' worth of my paychecks, and I'm $200 shy of being officially broke.

The both of us love to eat. For the past year, we have learned to make everything that we loved to eat in restaurants. One by one, we eliminated the choices of restaurants that we would go to. So far, we have eliminated Apple Bee's spinach dip, Ruby Tuesday's mini burgers, buffalo wings, fried calamari, Thai fried rice, Peter Luger's steak, Korean kalbi ribs, and many more! Soon, we will cook TGI Friday's fried macaroni, Red Lobster's stuffed mushrooms, and Houlihan's potato soup!

For Rob's Birthday Eve, we had - Seafood Fra Diavolo, Mussels, Shrimp Cocktail, and Creme Brulee! I'm so proud, esp. on the Creme Brulee~ They turned out to be perfect; it was my first time cooking these dishes, too! Oh, and Rob made me my favorite, new drink - Bahama Mama Rum!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Citigroup & Bank of America

I had the phone interview today with Citigroup. They have 5 openings, and they seem to be interested in me - more so, desperate.

The job pays around $60k US. I say, "around," because that's what I was told. However, this Business Analyst position, I would be expected to have 60-hour week. I can leave when I finish my tasks, but I can't if I don't. So, whereas, one day I may leave at 3 pm, the other I may have to stay until 8 or 9 pm.

Most Business Analyst within that department will be promoted after 2 years, or work at another department. The job description is interesting; I would be able to apply what I have learned from my Business Management degree.

Meanwhile, I am scheduled to start on Aug 27 at Bank of America. They don't open on weekends and there will probably be no overtime work needed. The lifestyle will be rather stable. My offer and benefits package is coming in the mail. Anyway, it looks like I will stay with Bank of America because the pay is similar when I include the bonuses.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dim Sum~

My father has 11 siblings, and my mother has 5. Over the Summer, my mom's oldest sister visited, and she will soon leave in September. As a result, we have planned a get-together this coming Saturday at a dim sum restaurant.

My boyfriend was invited. He will soon meet all of my relatives in the tri-state area. He already met 3 of them. Now, he will soon meet about 7 others -- assuming that my cousins won't show up.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

About Interviews

LOL. It didn't fit in the comment box.

I have never had group interviews; I can imagine them to be intimidating. I tend to cure my curiosity by googling like crazy - so I'd know what I'm expecting. Generally, aside from the company's website, forums helped me a lot. I don't think I can give any advice besides the typical ones like be calm, confident, dress for success, etc. Instead, below are what I have done and questions I have been asked.

In general,
1. I have expressed great interests in the corporations with clear and objective reasons. I usually sound unusually optimistic. I'd remember a few stats about the company/industry that you can "show off". I tend to think that besides that I am suitable for the job, I'm usually just likable. For the Daiichi job interview, I made stupid jokes (they turned out to be very informal). For HSBC job, I spoke on a friend-level asking for advice as a Financial Advisor (he turned out to like my curiosity and interest about the job). Of course, however, speak professionally.
2. I have shown objective evidence that I have the experience in the position that I am applying for. If I didn't, I would tie in other experience that are closely related to it. I didn't have experience in sales, but I had experience in fundraising.
3. Ask questions; let your curiosity and interest show. Never ask questions that you can find out from the company's website.
4. Email the interviewers asap to thank them. Send a snail mail within a week to thank them.
5. Make sure you know what the position you are applying for entails! Make sure you know their job descriptions.
6. I'd review the qualifications for the job and make sure I address all of them when I am asked to describe myself. Like, if they're looking for a team player, I'd stress how I am a team player.

Daiichi Life:
1. Where do you see yourself in x years? - Getting my MBA; stressed on the importance of higher education to me.
2. Summarize your experience.
3. What do you think the difference is between Japanese and American? - Explained the difference between Asian's work ethics and Westerners' work ethics. (Racist comments, but they bought it and laughed)
4. What Chinese restaurant would you take the executive of Daiichi if he were to visit New York? - Peking Duck, Shanghai Food - soupy dumplings
5. What are some positive qualities you have? - Good work ethics, etc.
6. What are some negative traits you have? - I blanked out. I said I was a workaholic, and I have taken steps to balance my work and life. (The trick is to say something negative that isn't really negative)
7. Does that mean you are not as serious anymore? - No, blah blah blah.

HSBC (3 interviews)
1. Summarize your experience.
2. What do you know about Finance? - Nothing; I can never learn enough in classrooms.
3. What experience do you have with sales? - Fundraising; if I can convince alumni to donate $ to the school that they didn't even like, I can do anything with sales.
4. What are some positive qualities you have?
5. What are some negative traits you have? - I blanked out again. I said something about work and family again.

Bank of America (3 interviews, assessment, survey, phone interview)
1. Situational Q&A:
- If the customer disagree with your recommendation to open a certain account and s/he asked to speak with another personal banker, how would you handle this? - I would explain to them in detail why I have made the recommendation. If s/he insisted on speaking to another personal banker, I would allow it.
- How would you avoid similar problem in the future? - I would give detail explanation before suggesting a product/service. I would be less aggressive. I would present the recommendation as an only an option.
- How would you gather your information for a project that you have no experience in? - Internet, experienced peers
2. Phone Interview:
- What do you think the everyday life is for a personal banker? - Opening accounts, meeting sales goal
3. Interviews:
- Questions on language proficiency - situational question
- Role play for coaching an unmotivated subordinate who hasn't met their sales goal - (assistant manager & subordinate) - Ask open-ended questions, offer help, monitor what s/he did wrong, be sympathetic and asked if there were problems at home, etc.
- Role play for my experience at a fundraising environment (alumni & caller)
- Do you think tellers are important? - Extremely, because they deal with 90%+ of customers and they are essential for bring sales by referrals
- Why do you want to work for Bank of America? - Specific stats on its position in the industry; Growth / Sounded Optimistic (will soon be the benchmark in the industry and overall amoung all organizations)
- How did you hear about this position? - Were looking for management trainee position; it was the only one of its kind
- If you were the assistant manager tomorrow, how would you increase sales? - Since we can't pull customers in and tellers deal with most of the customer, I'd demand tellers to ask for referrals to see if the customer will open up accounts that they don't have based on our information of them. (They were impressed that I observed this as a customer.)
- What are some of the first things you would do if you were hired? - Make sure I know what the tellers are doing, because I wouldn't want to be managed by someone who doesn't know what I'm doing as well. I see that personal bankers and tellers may be segregated due to the duties/responsibilities. I can imagine that personal bankers who have worked for 1+ year and not know the tellers. Therefore, I would postpone getting to know peers who I work closely with and make sure I befriend the tellers first.
- Negative Traits - I blanked out yet again. (You'd think I would have a set answer by now) I made up something about how I treat my subordinates as merely subordinates, and I should listen to them on a level as a friend.

4. Survey:
- Behavioral questions on management - basic questions I already learned from my major
- ie. What's more important? - profit, employees, etc. - Employees

Staffing firms & others:
- Summarize your resume/experience.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I can always trust my supervisor (Doctor for occupational medicine) to be the cynical one when giving advices.

I have asked the career center for advice. They generally did not like the fact that I am going on another interview. On the other hand, the doctor put me back to reality. She said that employers can fire you without blinking an eye; so I should take on any opportunity as soon as I see one. It's true, especially when I have read heartfelt comments by former employees who were fired to cut cost by monstrous corporations like this.

Also, it makes me wonder. The positions have been subconsciously compared when speaking to others. I makes me realized how lowly people think of the Assistant Manager Associate job. I suppose so. In plain terms, I will start as a personal banker. Hmm...

Ah, when is she gonna call me to schedule the interview!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Business Analyst = Management Consultant!

I have never been so nervous about an interview before. All of my confidence is gone. Our whole idea that an interview is really yours to lose is gone. I applied with a cocky cover letter (because I had multiple job offers at hand). Now, my desire for the position is making me humble again.

After some research, I found out that the occupation Business Analyst is equivalent to Management Consultant. I favored the Bank of America's Assistant Manager Associate job earlier because it gives me the management experience I need to apply for top 10 MBA schools in the future. However, it just hits me now that the Business Analyst position is everything about management!

I am a nervous wreck! I still have to wait for the assistant/secretary to get back to me to confirm my interview appointment. I fit the qualifications perfectly, except for the preferred but not required consulting experience. Hopefully, my current title as a research analyst will help me win the job.

According to a the Association of Management Consulting Firms, typical earnings in 2004—including bonuses and profit sharing—averaged $52,482 for research associates in member firms; $65,066 for entry-level consultants; $89,116 for management consultants; $123,305 for senior consultants; $191,664 for junior partners; and $317,339 for senior partners. Only the most experienced workers in highly successful management consulting firms earn these top salaries.

Meanwhile, Bank of America has treated me well. Hey, I got a raise and a higher compensation before I started! I guess, I can never lose. The Bank of America's position is still more than I ever expected when I graduated.

Dilemma Again!

I accepted the Bank of America's Assistant Manager Associate position verbally. However, I was contacted by Citigroup today. The Bank of America is the perfect job. However, the position at Citigroup is "Business Analyst"! I always wanted to be a Financal Analyst or something at a cozy office without dealing with customers. The base pay is higher than that of the Bank of America. However, assuming that I get all of the bonus, it equals the same.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm Hired!

More importantly, I took the job!

hey increased my salary and compensation package! I was told how much I would make when I first applied - This way, they can screen out applicants. Now, they increased my salary by $6000 a year! Additionally, I was told that I wouldn't be able to receive the quarterly commissions until I become an Assistant Manager in 1.5-2 yrs. However, I qualify for that as well! I am qualify for at most $4000 per quarter - if I reach their sales goal. That's a possibility of $16,000 more!

Full benefits package - visions, dental, medical, 401k, and everything else!! More importantly, unlike other employers, I will be qualified for tuition reimbursements right away! And? Accounting classes!

Fortunately, there's a Bank of America wherever Rob and I decide to go in the near future.

P.S. I love interviews. I'm so good at them!