I'm Back!

Posted by Lady Mel On Saturday, January 28, 2012 2 comments

I'm back and *Jennifer Hudson post weight loss voice* I am felling goodddddddd. It's been over five months since I have last blogged and many things have happened. Last December, I left my freelance consultant job at NJMS for a chance to live and intern in.... Washington DC! I think this has been the best career move I have ever made!

All I can say is that I work on Capitol Hill and enjoying my time here. I have only been here for about two weeks and already went to my first DC Happy Hour!

Every year I seemed to change the content of this blog, which isnt a bad direction. I've changed and so have the people that have commented or visted my blog over the past four years. But here is what you should expect this new year.

1. U.S Politics, especially on the 2012 election (I am in DC after all)
2. Entertainment news
3. User Experience Design

The latter is the career that I want to get into. Since I have very little experience, I want to write more about technology, design, and interesting start ups and products. It will be a fun experience, I promise you. So guys, expect fresh content and the same funny girl. 2012, here we come.

Where I Was Months Ago Is Not Where I am Now

Posted by Lady Mel On Monday, August 22, 2011 1 comments

Today I start my second full-week of work! Yes I said work. Last month, I was given a full-time, 5 week temp job at the same department that I have working in for the past year. My confidence and professionalism paid off. Now I join the millions of grown ups across the world that are paid for a certain amount per month to get by.

I should be excited and I am. Do you know what it is like to be unemployed for over two years? MADNESS. But like a smart person, I have to keep my options open. I want a career with a layer of unpredictability and spontaneity even when I am doing administrative tasks 10-5:30pm five times a week. I must keep the passion alive or I will continue to burn out. As much as I enjoy this opportunity, my dream opportunity is around the corner. The green is not always greener on the other side. The grass is any color you set your mind to. I thought about applying to graduate school this fall, but I took a back side and decided I was not ready financially and intellectually to head back to school. But when I am ready, the grass is golder on the other side. Why did not learned this sooner?

Happy Fourth of July

Posted by Lady Mel On Monday, July 4, 2011 0 comments

I have been though so much
Since May,
I'm coming back to the blogging universe
In a new, constructive way
I have fewer volunteering hours
So I have more time to get my life together
And more time to blog.
So celebrate this momentous occasion
And get ready for the next installation
Of Lights.Camera.Drama!

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Video of the Week

Posted by Lady Mel On Friday, May 20, 2011 0 comments

Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg was the Commencement Speaker of Barnard College's Class of 2011 graduates. Ever since I saw her TED Conference talk, I fell in love with her. She is an inspiration to every woman on the planet. I hope to do what my mother and her mother and her mother could not do: dream big! Grats to the Class of 2011 and welcome to the workforce!

The Race for The Cure

Posted by Lady Mel On Monday, May 16, 2011 0 comments

Omg Christina. Where have you been? Funny that you have asked...

I've decided to take a year off and apply to graduate school in the Fall of 2012. My lack of HCI/ UX Design experience. My lack of research experience in the field. All the information recruiters and professionals need to ignore me or just say no. I have contacted several professors in my area about potential research assistant/volunteer opportunities, only to get rejected and I do not know why. I was estimable in my emails. No harsh words. No rudeness. But I was persistent with my responses. Since when has persistence become the new n-word? Take persistence and your drive to succeed out of the equation and what would you have left? Absolutely nothing. All I hear right now is dead silence on the other end of the line.

Also, I think social media is not a good outlet for job hunting. Social networking is good for "finding" pages and pages of job listings, but it limits the way people go about looking for work. Yes, I can tweet or use InMail to track down a employer about a career opportunity or job inquiry, but will that person contact me back?

Ok, I am having a hard time finding a research position. What is the closest thing I can do to get my top schools to look at me as a future M.S. candidate? I'll take an user experience internship for 500 points Alex Trebek. So I paid $30.00 (as an experiment) for the LinkedIn Job Expert account. I read that with this account, unemployed job seekers are placed at the top of the online applicant pool and job search results. So far, fewer people have checked my LinkedIn profile than before the upgrade. My summary and marketing pinch are sweet and concise to the point. I participate in several LinkedIn groups. I even posted this blog's url link and published work. If I could get my money back, I would. What are you recruiters waiting for?! Are you anxiously waiting for the perfect candidate to appear at your online doorstep?

Next stop: online job postings. BIG mistake. No one likes my applications. No one reads my applications. No one wants to interview me. I am just an inexperienced pawn in a recruiter's game of chess. Yet recruiters do not know that I am ten steps (pun attended) ahead of them. Is hope all lost? Not quite. 

I promise to attend more networking events this summer. Last week, I attended my first job fair; the 2011 Essex County College Job Fair Expo in Newark, NJ. I met future employers and landed some job training and job leads. I plan to attend another job fair next week. Drawbacks? I do not know the names of the employers and companies that will participate beforehand. It must be a Newark thing. Benefits? I pushed my boundaries and got my name and brand out there.

So I am not getting a job anytime soon. How can I or anyone in my situation improve his/her skills? UX Designers are in high demand. So during this summer, I plan to self-teach myself Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, and Illustrator so that by the fall, I am more marketable. I am going to continue reading about HCI and possible look into vlogging and open-source projects to keep me busy and awesome. If I can walk a three mile race for breast cancer without any prior experience, I can do anything ....as long as I am not stopping myself short.

And so my life after Smith College continues... what are your summer plans?
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I'm Clearly Winning This Week, Join The Challenge!

Posted by Lady Mel On Friday, April 15, 2011 1 comments

Hi guys! It's been over a month. I know, I know. Forgive me, but I brought you a basket for your patience!

Ok while I was away, I entered the 2011 UMDNJ Employee Health and Wellness Weight Loss Competition. I initially aimed at winning the grand prize; a FREE three-month gym membership at the Newark YMCA Center at UMDNJ. During the contest, I drank more water, cut down my carbohydrates, ate more fruits and vegetables, and walked more.

The contest consisted of three weight-ins from January 15th to March 25th, in addition to a free nutrition session by a licensed UMDNJ nutritionist that helped participants with their bad eating habits. 35 participants and 11 pounds less later, I came in second-place! I was not even disappointed because I was already a winner. The hardest part now is to continue losing weight and eating right. If you are interested in losing weight, I advise the following tips:

1. Take it slow. Progress does not come overnight. To avoid depression and eating disorders, take it one pound at a time. I was competing with myself, not with my peers.

2. DONT and I mean DONT weight yourself. The only times that I did this were during the scheduled weigh- ins with the University Hospital (UH) Food & Nutrition Department. I don't want people to feel self-conscious about their bodies every single time they weigh themselves. You must have a clear mind and break this habit. I trained myself to not do this from the get go and it paid off.

3. Eat what you want and then some. Learn how to balance your favorite food with healthier supplements. For lunch now, I will buy a container of salad and a small plate of chicken wings and French fries. On every other weekend, I will buy Chinese takeout but I will make sure to eat my vegetables and burn calories by walking the next day. If you want to slowly lose weight, you can try this approach. Otherwise, talk to your doctors about other drastic options. 

What's next? Apply the very same determination towards my graduate school applications. Oh what a night! Are you up for the challenge? How are you losing weight?