vineri, 5 iulie 2013

Incredible India Periodical (1)

It's been 8 months and 19 days since I arrived in India. I think it's time to start sharing about my Indian experience, don't you think?

I'm sorry I didn't do it from the first few days, when everything was new and weird and I used to get a cultural shock almost every day...I remember I use to have an epiphany every other day and felt happy that I decided to come to India.

After I started to work, for real (since December), I did not have time to write anything, I am, trying to share my Indian experience and what I understood so far of this unbelievable culture.

I'm on sick leave, so now I have some time to READ! So, I started "Holy Cow", by Sarah Macdonald - a book that I've been wanting to read for the past 6 month, but only touched when I was wiping off the dust from the bed-table.

I like it a lot! It helps me remember the beginning of my experience here and understand things about the culture that Indians were not able to explain to me (because even they don't know the reason behind it). It also has a lot of things that I haven't seen or experienced yet, but hope I will.

So, for now, I'll advice everyone who is in India or plans to come and visit, to read it and take a few items for the "to-do and to-see" list.

Word/expression of the day: Namaste!   (= welcome)

luni, 21 ianuarie 2013

New year's Resolutions part 4

I just realised today that it's the third week in Jan and I didn't do my resolutions...
Maybe because is the first time in my life when I don't have a winter holiday for Christmas and New Year's and in stead of laying somewhere thinking about last year's adventure, the targets that I have set for myself and how many I have reached, this year I was working!
When I thought about my transition to the "working lifestyle" I always thought the hardest part would be getting used to the non-stop working calendar with 16-21 day of Earned Vacation per year, when my entire life has been spent between a long summer break, a short winter break and an Easter break...
So here I am, facing the first one. I didn't take it as hard as I thought I would, but that's because I'm in India and I didn't even feel that Christmas has come and passed and I think I realised that I'm in the new year a week ago...
So, that being said, let's go back to the well-known routine:

Step no 1: Check last year's resolutions:

1. Keep my scholarship;
- I did!
2. Do an awesome research and a good dissertation 
- Not so much...I had a really good and difficult idea for the dissertation paper and the research, I connected with the right people who opened a very difficult path for me ( I would not be able to even enter a hospital if not for these people - yes, my focus was doctors and residents), then I faced the hard medical environment. But that was not the thing that kept me from completing my research and paper, that was the time. I was not able to completing a good, real (as in "not fake") research in the time that I had left, so I had to make a choice: either finish the paper, but not at the level that I was aiming or not finishing it now - so, I decided to put a pause to it and restart it when I'll get the time (because now I have the connections).
3. Get the USA Embassy visa to spend another American summer, figuring out what I want to do with my life after I return (phD?, job?, internship? another MA program?, psychotherapy module?, Iasi?, Constanta?, Cluj?, Timisoara?); 
- I did it again! I went for another summer to USA, but this time everything was so much better, because I had last year's experience, I knew the town, I had a good first job and for a month I didn't even need a second one, and afterward I was able to choose a job that I would enjoy doing. So, since I always wanted to know what it's like to be a hostess - I did that for my second job. And I met some amazing people, starting from my bosses, to my colleagues and the customers.
And somewhere around May-June I figured out what I wanted to do next with my life, so all the anxiety went away, so I was able to enjoy life after that moment (Thank you mom&dad for being so supportive and trusting my decisions even if they did not seem the perfect ones at first!). So I went to USA planning on having a nice time, working, putting some money aside, to prep for the next step in my life: an international internship in HR, in a multinational company (point 10 on my last year's resolutions). And for this I would like to thank ASFI and AIESEC for prepping me and making my plan get the shape of reality! So, I searched for the right role and company to start my career and discovered the perfect match for my requirements: TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) - I felt in love with it (yes, I felt in love with a company) and decided to go on an HR internship at TCS and just TCS, no matter how long it would take me to get accepted. So, I applied (to what seemed to be a great role) and waited, and waited...and when I was thinking about applying for another position ( not so great, but still in TCS - HR) I received the congratulations mail: I passed the first round of selection. After that, there were lots of interviews, and finally, after 3 months, I was congratulated for being selected for the internship. So, I went straight home and applied for Indian visa ( which was another challenge, as you might have read in the "One Step Closer" post).
        For USA I have a very long wishlist: Seattle, San Francisco (Stanford University), Las Vegas (Grand Canyon), Washington (Holocaust Museum), New York and Boston.
I'll be happy if I check off the list Stanford University, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, Boston and San Francisco.
- The only regret I have for this year's American experience is that I didn't get to do all the travelling I was planning, but I am sure I'll go to the USA again, and I'm sure that the Holocaust Memorial Museum will be waiting for me there.
4. Manage better my time (and go to bed before 2 a.m.);
- I did manage better my time, and I ended up going to bed at 1 AM, which was a great step forward!
5. Go to the gym (get fit) !!!
-  Failed this one. But I walked a lot and I went cycling a few times (Thanks IVelo and Green Revolution!) Maybe this year, since we have a great gym at our office...
6. Eat healthy and drink water;
- Totally failed this one! I think I reached the peak of my weight since EVER, but I'm working on the psychological angle now, so I'm making the first steps (which are the hardest). At least, I started drinking water (and now I actually like drinking water).
7. Read a lot; 
- I read, not as much as I would like to, but I realised at some point that my targets are unrealistic for a 24 hours day. I did discover some amazing books this year, so less the quantity, greater the quality.
8. Watch classic movies (any suggestion where I can find some?) and watch the new ones only at the cinema, with friends;
- Classic movies - same as last year: I increased my classical movie horizon by two.
- Watch new ones at the cinema, with friends - that I did and it was a great way of getting together with my friends (different friends, different kinds of movies), I'll definitely keep doing this (in India, is not even a choice! :))).
9. Go to lots of concerts;
- I went, and for that I have to thank my ASFI friends for bringing me, one way or the other, to 80% of the total attended.
10. Find an internship abroad and/or a volunteering opportunity abroad; 
- Best idea I have ever had! And I actually figured out a way of doing them both! But about this, I'll keep posting the whole year!
11. Visit A. at Cluj;
- I did!!! Yuhuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Thank you, A for being such a great host! It was amazing to see Cluj for the second time, but through your eyes (way better!).
12. Enjoy France and Paris with M.!!!
- I most certainly did! Thank you, M!!! Could not imagine a better person so share my French and Paris experience with!
13. Go on a short trip with my gals somewhere in Moldova
- We did not go anywhere together this year :( Still on the list though, and I think is going to become a priority once I get back home - since all of us are already working now...
14. Make a difference;
- I like to think that I made a little difference, through the ASFI projects that I was a part of. 
15. Contribute to the ASFI's growth and of its HR department;
- Again, did not reached my target, but I think I was able to bring the awareness, curiosity and ownership into my HR smurfs. I look at this generation's smurfs and if I helped shape at least 5% of what they are now, then I can be very proud of myself!

Step no 2: Make new resolutions:

1. Set realistic targets for myself!
2. Have a great experience in TCS, learn all that is possible, bring my perspective to the table and score a great performance (and maybe stay a little bit more?);
3. Explore as much as possible India's touristic attractions;
4. Discover some hidden wonderful places;
5. Get to understand the culture;
6. Balance my life with work so that points 2, 3 and 4 can be achieved at the same time;
7. Get at least 6 hours of sleep per night;
8. Drink 2 L of water every day;
9. Slowly give up on sodas;
10. Learn a little bit of Hindi;
11. Bring a great contribution to the Maitree Sandesh School initiative, make a change for those wonderful kids!
12. Learn and start practicing meditation!
13. Reach inner peace or at least start walking the path towards it;
14. Start the 30-days challenges;
15. Enjoy life, laugh a lot and appreciate the people that I meet on my way and keep in touch with my home-friends.

Maroon 5 - Daylight (Playing for Change)