postgrad life

Taking Stock – 16

End of summer vibes people! How are you doing? Hope well and taking in the very last rays of the sun before fall descends upon us here in Europe in a few weeks. To those back home in Kenya I’m sure you’re just counting down the days to the end of the cold season there, and I’ll be home soon too so guess I get a double summer this year, whoop! Anyway, that aside, let’s see what the past month has been like…

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Taking Stock – 15

Can you say hibernation??? Or hermit? Because that is exactly what I have been for the past two months – a hermit in hibernation. Sorry for the long silence but I was in full on study mode getting my dissertation done. I have done nothing but write, design, research, write and design some more for eight weeks straight. I’m finally done though, submitted my project yesterday and now I don’t know what to do with myself haha.

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Taking Stock – 14

Are all of you as sad as I am to see May come to an end? This has been quite a fun-filled month for me and now that I’m knee-deep into my dissertation, no more fun for a good one and a half months till I complete this project… Sigh. Almost there, I can see the light at the end of this academic tunnel.

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Taking Stock – 12

January, as much as it’s my birthday month, simply refuses to end. Possibly the longest month of the year hands down but it hasn’t been as torturing to me this time as it usually is. Probably that’s because I’m not working so I’m not feeling the pinch of no money till the weekend haha. No offense to those of you who are. Well it’s just a good three days and the month will finally be over folks, stay patient and let’s take some stock shall we.

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#WhenInLondon… Visit the Imperial War Museum

London is a very historic city and with history comes museums filled with culture, tradition and art. Museums are some of my favourite places to visit. I relish at the thought of learning about the different historical periods of the host towns and the various cultures accompanying them. The Imperial War Museum is a tad different from the usual culture/art museums as it is one dedicated to encouraging the study and understanding of the history of modern war.

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Typewriter Tuesdays – Lean In

I totally forgot to post this last week… Blame my confused brain for that and I like how I didn’t realize till today when I was meant to write yet another review, lol.. Well I guess now I’m ahead for next week, lets hope I don’t forget to post that one either.

Today’s review is on the nationally acclaimed book by Sheryl Sandberg or the Facebook lady as most people call her, which I don’t get why.. How is she the Facebook lady just because she works there?

LEAN IN: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

That title alone should already interest you to find out what’s so good about Sheryl. Sheryl Sandberg is the current COO of Facebook and has been listed not only as one of the 50 most Powerful Women in Business but also as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people. Her TEDTalk catapulted her even higher in the status area as she spoke about women holding themselves back from getting what they want and what they deserve in the professional world.

As I read this book, I thought it was going to be another self-help book in the likes of the 7 Habits books, not that I have anything against those books, but we get it already, we don’t need 100 more books talking about the same thing… It turned out Sheryl wasn’t as nauseating as most of those books, which is good or my review wouldn’t have been as nice as its turning out to be haha..

One famous statement from Sandberg is ‘sit at the table’. What does this mean you ask? Well simply that.. SIT AT THE TABLE. Don’t wait to be invited, don’t wait to be summoned, know your place in an office, boardroom, conference, meeting, business deal and sit at the table. She goes on to explain that ‘sitting at the table’ means seek challenges, take risks and pursue your goals with gusto. Sheryl has various big shots quoted in her book who are just as normal as you and me, they made the same mistakes, some even made bigger ones but they learned from them and that’s what’s placed them where they are today as powerful women.

For instance, Cisco’s chief technology officer was interviewed by Huffington Post and asked what important lesson she learned from a mistake she made in the past… She admits to saying no to a lot of opportunities when she was starting out because she thought she wasn’t qualified due to the type of degree she had studied for. Sheryl reminds us that there isn’t any perfect fit when you are looking for the next step in your early career, you should just take various opportunities and make it fit for you rather than vice versa. Confidence is key in finding your footing in this big bad world and only when you have confidence will you learn to sit at the table

Sheryl’s style of writing isn’t ‘preacher’ type like most self-help books, she tells a story that I think every single woman no matter what background can relate to. Being a recent graduate this book has been key in making sure I don’t die of depression due to the constant search for a job and the constant rejection I have faced in the past months and will face in months to come. It has helped me keep my head high and stay positive and continue working hard to get to where I want to be eventually. It has been my solace of sorts as the situations I have faced, she has too or has examples of powerful women who have gone through it as well and if they came out as strong as they are now, I know my time will come as well. Sheryl introduces us to not only her professional life but her personal one as well as the two are fully integrated and both depend on her a lot. Having an entire cooperation under your care plus a family as well can be demanding, tiring and hectic but she handles it with all the grace and poise in the world… with obvious mishaps here and there but no one is perfect right??

One other important lesson I learned from reading Sheryl’s story is to never mute my achievements. It doesn’t do anyone any good. I know it looks all modest and all but if you mute your achievements, who will ever know about you and realize your potential and value? Sheryl talks about women being these nurturing beings and men being the leaders; meaning women are meant to be nice first before being competent. “If a woman is competent, she does not seem nice enough. If a woman seems really nice, she is considered more nice than competent. Since people want to hire and promote those who BOTH competent and nice, this creates a huge stumbling block for women. Acting in stereotypically feminine ways makes it difficult to reach for the same opportunities as men, but defying expectations and reaching for those opportunities leads to being judged as underserving and selfish.” I can quote so much more but what good will that do in boosting up her sales index right? We as women have to work twice as hard as any man to get to the top and we still have to be nice while doing it?? Why is that? We feel the need to belittle(for lack of a better word) our accomplishments to appear as ‘nice’ and liked by everyone and for what purpose? What will being liked gain for YOU in the future? I highly doubt it will pay those bills you have on the kitchen table and neither will it feed your children unless you are a nanny.. Nice nannies make more money:)

Lean in, literally leans in to the lives of the everyday woman, the mother, the teacher, the driver, the professor, the scientist, the manager, the intern, the sales associate, the MD, the CEO, the COO like Sheryl, the President, etc… No matter your ranking in society, you still have to give in to certain societal norms just because apparently thats how it’s meant to be? Sheryl’s book tells us otherwise, it lets us know that we can be all those things and not be afraid of showing off, and not have to think about how it looks to society. We can do all that and sit at the table with the big boys, have the same meetings, make the same deals, make the same money or much more and become even better than they are. I may come off as all feminist in this post but I do agree with everything ‘Lean In’ talks about.

Have a sit at the table ladies, have the will to lead and you will succeed. Also, get this book, I promise you it will not drudge on and on but actually inspire you and get you motivated to take charge of your life as a professional woman, it will help you harness the power within you that you know you have.

As it is the end of summer, I wanna wish you a good first week of school for those of you in school
(how cool is it that Im not in that group anymore?? haha) and a good first week of life in the real world for us newbies and a good week to the rest of you wonderful people!

From NY to ATL with love:)

So my schedule didn’t really ease up like I thought it would but I am going to try and do the impossible today… A DOUBLE POST! Yes folks, you will get your dose of typewriter tuesdays today as well as my random ramblings as well just because I feel so bad about being so silent in the past few weeks.

How are you all? Awesome? Tired? Happy? Ambivalent? Savoring the last few weeks of summer like I am????? Sigh! I cannot believe summer is ending so soon, really feels like it just started! Anyway, on to more relevant matters… I recently had a big RANDOM change in my life. Yes as the title suggests, I have decided to take over yet another major city in the United States and that is Atlanta, or as it’s formerly known… Hotlanta! This move came very unexpectedly but I am embracing every minute of it because as you all know, everything does happen for a reason.

New York was super duper awesome. They weren’t lying when they said its the city that never sleeps, because in the last 2 weeks I can count the actual number of times I legit got over 5hrs of sleep. As my homie @emmaccheppy loves to say, YOLO. It wasn’t just party all day and night here though, I did actually get some work done people! I was fortunate enough to get some writing done on a public platform which was a wonderful experience for me as a budding writer/blogger/editor. Have any of you heard of The College Tourist? No? Well I’ll tell you about it nonetheless:) It is a student based platform centered around college students, a website catering to the needs of incoming students, current students and recent graduates as well. I was part of their summer writing interns team and my job was to basically write about my summer location in relation to college students. Give the ins and outs of NYC to provide both relevant and informal information about life in NY in general to students wanting to go to school there or hoping to intern there for a while like I did or those hoping to live there after school. Basically, I got to tour the city, live like a local, and blog about it. Talk about internship of the year:) Catch up with my work and adventures in the big city and check out all the other entries within their blog for those of you at home interested in studying abroad, and for those of you here in America interested in studying in a different state or country.

I’ll be lying if I say I don’t miss life in the concrete jungle because as hectic and stressful as it was, it was still some of the greatest times of my life. I met so many new people constantly, I stumbled upon some amazing places, ate amazing food and really grew as a person while there. NY will always have a part of my heart, the rest of it already being hogged by my beloved Nairobi lol.. I miss the busy lifestyle, the constant movement, being able to go anywhere, anytime… I don’t miss the constant presence of bugs and rats everywhere though! @mysscheeks remember our dear catrats?? Yes, that’s my name for the rats in that city- catrats because those rats were abnormally huge! Have you ever seen a rat the size of a cat? yeah, neither have I.. freaking scary. To all my NY sweethearts, you all know I miss you already dearly! If I don’t make it back to living there, I will for sure visit from time to time:)

Okay lemme stop pining over Manhattan so much when Atlanta is ALMOST just as awesome! Iv been to ATL twice before now, so I have experienced it on the tourist side, not as a local so interested to see what the next few months will be like. I am working tirelessly now, having taken up another internship and still focusing on my freelance projects while working on gradschool applications so staying busy is helping me NOT focus on the loneliness that will set in quite soon. Unlike NY, I don’t know anyone here and that was a major risk on my part, moving to a city with no connections at all,lol.. I just have my one friend here, @mosesngone who I am so grateful for, don’t know how smooth my transition here would have been without him! So far ATL has been pretty chill, laid back, as the south should be:) No ratchetness yet!! Yes @wild_succulent & @_jatelo, I know what ur thinking hahaha.. I refuse to turn ratchet, the end.

I am grateful to have SPACE in my living environment. That’s one thing NY needs to work on like for real… Why pay crazy amounts of money for an apt where you can hardly fit urself in leave alone your roomate/pet/bike??? WHY NY?? hahaha.. This is not a permanent move though, so I have a feeling come November/December I’ll be on the move again, hopefully for a permanent place this time around whether it be back home in Kenya or somewhere else in this great big world. I’m going to stop here so I can get a head start on the next great book review! Last 2 weeks of summer guys, I’m as bummed as you are.

Hello Atlanta!

Ciao:)