Monday, December 23, 2013

First Semester of College Recap


In one word, my first semester of college has been very unpredictable to say the least.
Leaving high school, I had to leave all of the organizations and groups I was proudly apart of. I had to leave my closest friends, my beloved teachers, and start everything fresh in college. Going into San Jose State, I figured that I was probably not going enjoy it since I was living from home and just because, well, it was “San Jose State”. Little did I know what all of the amazing first experiences and friendships this first semester alone has brought upon to me. I had a chance to venture out of the state twice with my new loved organization AIESEC. I had a chance to network with a countless amount of people from a variety of different places.  I had a chance to learn what I actually found to be interesting and succeed in those classes.
These new experiences made me really reflect on my life and what I want to do with it. To those who read my blog and are still in high school, I strongly believe that no matter where you decide to go, you will have fun if you make the most out of it. Strangers won't come to your dorm and ask to be your friend so this means that you really have to put yourself out there. Join clubs, go to parties, and don’t be afraid to meet other people because you really never know what your future would look like if you haven't met someone :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What Not To Do Before A Job Interview

For those who don't know me that well, I am an extremely punctual person. Or at least I try to be. I used to always be late to everything: Boy Scout meetings, school, hangouts, badminton practices, events... I'll always walk into the room late with my head down, usually with a bag of tacos in my hand, and try to avoid eye contact with everyone. It wasn't until these last few years, I've made, being on time, one of my biggest priorities. But on the day of my recent job interview, disaster was ready to be unleashed.

A key component of being on time is preparation. Before I sleep and when I wake up every morning, I spend ten minutes planning out my whole day or recapping on my whole day. So the night before, I hung my suit's hanger on my door handle, placed my wallet, keys, watch, and chapstick on the table ready to be picked up the next morning. I set multiple alarms on my charging phone and even set up a back up alarm to wake me up at 8:00am. I planned that I would leave the house at 8:45am to go to Jamba Juice for breakfast and depart from Jamba Juice at 9:00am to arrive in Palo Alto at 10:00am and spend the remaining time before 10:30am to review my notes and interview questions. Sounds clear and simple, how hard can that be?

Everything was going according to plan until I hit freeway traffic. On my Google maps, it calculated that it'll take 52 minutes to get from Jamba Juice to EPRI so I thought since it was only 9:00am, that'll be perfect! Once I entered the freeway, I was hitting bumper to bumper traffic for at least an hour... As time went on, the more nervous I became. The time struck 10:00am and I still had 10 more miles to exit the freeway. So I'm thinking to myself, calm down, everything will be okay. 

I exit the freeway at 10:20 and I'm fumbling though my phone so I can memorize the directions ahead of time. At this point, I hit one of the worse feelings in my life, the feeling of being rushed. I park all the way in the back of 3240 Hillview Avenue, put on my coat that I left hanging in the back seat and scurry inside the building. 10:29am. I'm thinking to myself, things could be worse. And it was. It turns out, I was in the wrong building, the wrong address actually. The location was actually 3420 Hillview Avenue instead of 3240 Hillview Avenue... 

I email the HR coordinator on my way to the car saying I was going to be a tad late (calling would have been more effective). I start up my engine and speed a half mile across the traffic light to arrive at the entrance to the parking lot. The HR coordinator told me how EPRI and SAP shared some sort of sign so I assumed by pulling into SAP's parking lot would make me secure. To my luck, visitor parking was full and at this point, I called Denise to tell her about my situation. She told me I could park anywhere I could find so I scurried in and out of the parking garages but it was absolutely packed... Zoomed in and out twice and of both garages and could not find an empty space until I spotted an employee walking out to her car. I think I could have seriously killed somebody by how reckless I was driving. I rushed to where she parked and sprinted inside SAP. 10:38am. not bad, this could be worse right? 

Me: "Hi, I'm here to talk to Denise" 
Receptionist: "Who?" 
Me: "Denise, the HR Coordinator from EPRI?"
Other Receptionist: "You mean EPRI? That's next door buddy you got the wrong place.." 

Just imagine me in a suit with the wind blowing across my face sprinting next door for this interview. Luckily, the distance wasn't that far from both buildings except the fact that I had to sprint uphill. I slow down to catch my breath before I walk in the door because at this point, I was completely out of breath. 10:45am? At least I showed up, I thought to myself.

Me: "Hi, (gasps for air) I'm here to see Denise!!!"
Receptionist: "Oh okay, and your name?"
Me: "Pham, Tam Pham." (Imagine the most slick way to say this line, and that's how I said it.) (Not really, I just said my name) 

Denise came in to the front and escorted me to the meeting room. 

Me: "I'm so sorry, asjdfklajsdk;fjasdjfjlk" 

I begin to explain my situation and Denise cut me off and explained, 

"It's okay, a lot of our employees get lost the first time they come up here. Do you need any water or anything?"

 I was touched about how caring she was despite the fact that I wasted her time.

After an hour of interviewing with three different people including Denise, I got a call a week later telling me that they want to offer me a job. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

Even if I didn't receive the job, a lot can be learned from this experience. 

Take 101N in the morning instead of 280N.
Get the right address down. 
Keep the HR Coordinator's phone number handy in your contacts list.
Always look at the bright side of things. 
If the worse can happen, it definitely will happen. 
Make the best out of every situation. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Rant


Thanksgiving is the time of year to reflect on the year and be thankful for all of our blessings. It's the time of year when kids from college come home, when parents don't need to work, and everyone comes together to bond over a traditional dinner filled with different types of food to grub on. 

What bugs me is that why can't this feeling of appreciation and gratitude be constant throughout our whole lives? Why must this time of thankfulness come once a year and everyone finally realizes how lucky they really are?

It's evident that even the very next day, the same loving and caring people you saw at the dinner table are fighting over the last Ipad at Walmart with another family. People are literally killing each other and dropping all of their gratitude and kindness for cheap bargains. Now I feel like Thanksgiving is just a holiday that companies can capitalize on with their marketing strategy. Now there are Pre-Black Friday sales, constant online bargains, and stores are even opening on Thanksgiving night! They are now luring in customers to line up hours before 8pm on Thanksgiving night to be the first ones in line to enter the stores. Well, the more hours the store is open, the more revenue they'll earn... What company wouldn't take advantage of that? 

It just grinds my gears how employees and customers have to sacrifice their Thanksgiving dinner, that ultimate bonding time, for deals they cannot find elsewhere or work they cannot miss. 

I don't have any right to tell anyone how to live their life, but I just wanted to share my own perspective on this ancient day of giving. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone :-)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

School or New York? Definitely New York


To start off, let's just say it is an absolutely miracle for me to venture to New York in the most random time of the school year.

AIESEC US (Find out what AIESEC is here) was hosting "Train the Trainers" event, which was an intense 3 day training seminar where participants learn about themselves, learning theory, and training techniques. On a personal and professional level, participants enhance their personal development, learning, and skills and become certified trainers in the AIESEC network.

With more research, I'm thinking to myself, this is an awesome opportunity. Even though this was only my first year in AIESEC, I applied on a whim. I thought, why not? For the TtT in New York specifically, only 10 delegates got chosen out of all of AIESEC United States so my hopes were certainly not high for this. At first, I was rejected and the email explained how I lacked experience, lacked conference attendances, and I was already at a disadvantage because I lived on the West Coast (their goal at that moment was to strengthen the clubs in that region). But a week before TtT, the National Trainers Team Coordinator sent me an email that someone dropped out last second and asked if I was still interested. I was like, hell yes! I booked my flight that same day and the rest was history.

So my plan was to depart San Jose on a Thursday morning and arrive in New York City in the evening. From NYC the next day, I would take a bus to Ithaca where Cornell University was located, and spend 3 days and 2 nights on campus. On Sunday night, I would take a bus back to NYC and spend all of Veteran's Day (Monday) exploring the beautiful city.

Everything was quite an adventure and I also had the chance to practice some photography as well. If you are interested, my adventures are separated in the three links below.

Day 5: 24 Hours in New York

If you had 24 hours in New York, how would you spend it?

Nat, JJ, Tami, and their two little cousins Nate and Emma, and I departed around 11 for breakfast. I found out that all of these eateries in New York are hit and misses. Luckily Sarabeth's was a hit because everything in the restaurant looked so elegant, even the food!

We walked over to Central Park and wow that park is absolutely stunning. This is the kind of place I'd take my soul mate to just to walk around and enjoy the view. I didn't even come to New York on its best days but I think photos can speak for themselves.

Since JJ had class at 5, we roamed around Chinatown for souvenirs. I bought 4 "I <3 NY" T-Shirts for my family and Katherine to bring back home. I got to reunite with my favorite milk tea store ever, Kung Fu Milk Tea!!! I wasn't even thirsty or hungry but I bought it anyways just because I knew I can't get it anywhere but here #TouristProblems! We eventually met up with JJ, Tami and John to a Chinese restaurant which had some awesome food. Dumplings, Potstickers, Fish, Fried Pork, there was a huge variety of food.
Tami and John took the kids home while the rest of us continued to explore New York. We ended up walking on St Marx and exploring this hipster section of New York. We stopped for dessert at "The Spot". The menu was extremely creative as it combined different types of treats into one dessert in a great selection. My order came in a burning hot pan but there was vanilla bean ice cream on top with a touch of caramel. This photo says it all.
We went past Soho on the way home and we passed by so many different shopping outlets. I passed by this flea market I specifically remember I went to two years ago to buy my first fedora! A surge of memories came back and my face just lit up just remembering how long ago that experience was.

We decided to drive around New York without any set destination. I came home, packed my luggage, and said my good byes to Tami and John. Tami was absolutely so kind to me, she didn't accept any of my money trying paying for food and offered me to come back whenever I was in town. But I sneakily put $60 in my thank you card and told her not to open it until I left (I'm so clever, I know hehe)

Nat drove around Times Square and just all over New York. We didn't even know where we were going, but we ended up on the Brooklyn bridge and all around the outskirts of different cities. We then traveled to The Magnolia Bakery and Nat introduced me to the most bomb banana pudding ever. It was fluffy and sweet, but the bread crumbs really complimented everything else, it was so absolutely delicious.
We went for a late night snack for Natalie and found out Corner Bistro closed at 4. We walked in and it was actually a bar/restaurant but we stuck to burgers and fries. It felt like such a long day, but the night was still young! Too bad we were all exhausted.... We planned to stay at Nat's other aunt's house to take a 45 minute nap before heading to the airport. It was so funny, we were just talking about Harold and Kumar while driving and we happened to pass by a White Castle. We decided we would HAVE to go there. Bloated from the Bistro, we got medium vanilla and chocolate shakes and they were larger than an original Jamba Juice smoothie. I can now cross the famous White Castle off of my list :)

After sleeping for an hour, JJ drove me to the airport at like 3am and we said our final good byes. It was has been one hell of a day, and I thank them both so much for letting me have this memorable expereience. They are fucking awesome.

TSA wasn't even ready until 4:20am so I was at the  food court on my laptop, half awake, killing time for an hour. My flight was at 5:45am and during the flight home, I was fast asleep. That is the end of my wonderful New York experience.

Day 2-4: Cornell University - TtT

Day 2:
My bus to Ithaca departed at 8 am so Nat and JJ walked me to the Bus Terminal. Even at 7 am, the streets were crowded and you could really see everyone up and about. While waiting in line for the Shortline bus, I luckily met a girl named Lelenia who was actually from Cornell University. She was majoring in Labor Relations and was interning in D.C. for this semester but came back for this 3-day weekend. We sat next to each other on the bus and let's just say the 5 hour ride there didn't exactly feel like 5 hours. She was very kind to give me directions going to Caldwell (The Building), which was such a struggle finding my way around. If there was one thing about Cornell, it's that there are hills, it was freezing, and everywhere you need to go was noticeably distant from each other. I used to get tired just walking through the quad back in high school.

The campus was amazingly beautiful. 
I felt like royalty walking past and through castles everywhere I walked.

I thought NYC was cold but it was sleeting during the bus ride here. I eventually felt a little bit of snow but I was too absorbed noticing Cornell's beauty. I was an hour early anyways so I didn't hesitate to capture some photos on the way. 

I was actually the first one to arrive so I had lunch with Mahrusah, a member of the Organizing Committee, at the dining commons. Went back to Caldwell to meet the 9 other delegates I'll be spending the weekend with. Everyone was extremely cool, and they were all from the East Coast. Madison, Illinois, Yale, Georgia, Purdue, and I was the only guy from the West Coast entirely, but that didn't stop me from bonding with all of them. After many ice breakers, we started into our sessions and it went on until about 10pm. Exhausted, I traveled back to Tim's dorm who is a member of AIESEC Cornell, to crash for the night. Everyone else wanted to go watch a movie or do something but if anyone really knew me, I cherish my sleep. The next day, I would be training for over 14 hours so I really needed my rest. Tim and his friends even invited me to go party but I really did not feel like going out. I spent the night reflecting on my trip, my life and catching up with old friends back home. Got a good 7 hour sleep and prepared for tomorrow's rigorous session.
Day 3:
Training went from 8 am - 10:30 pm. I don't want to go much into detail since this event was kind of a "You need to be there" moment, but let's just say everything was very technical. A countless number of activities and presentations, but overall everything was extremely informative and I learned a lot of skills I wish I had during my time in Interact District Council. 

Instead of crashing back at Tim's, I hit up my old high school friend Rehan who attends Cornell and she gave me a little tour. She let me crash at her place and I met all of her floor mates who were all super friendly and welcoming. I had to prepare a 15 minute session on any topic I wanted to so I stayed up until around 3 am to perfect everything. I created a two page speech and a Powerpoint to help my session and I was too sleepy to continue staying up and memorize everything. I ended up bonding with the other floor mates and Rehan's roommate talking about life until we finally called it a day. We both needed our sleep.
Day 4:
Woke up at 7 am to get ready. I was pretty sad I didn't get a chance to say good bye to everyone, but I left a little thank you note on my way out. (Thanks Rehan & Rachel!) Today's session was all about using everything we have learned over the weekend and applying it to a practice session. I volunteered to go first but my session was more of a Ted Talk than an actual session. I received valuable feedback nonetheless, and everything is indeed a learning experience. Sessions and feedback for everybody went on until 3:30pm and we spent the last hour concluding the whole TtT experience. The facilitators described what opportunities TtT will open up to us in the future. 

My bus back to NYC was at 6 pm so before heading to the bus stop, I toured College Town, which was the area where all the best restaurants and parties were. I went to Jack's Grill to purchase a quality burger with Cajun fries (Thank the Lord). While waiting for the Shortline bus, I met a woman named Marcella. She's at least 50 years old and I offered her some fries. She reluctantly took one and I discovered she was actually the wife of a professor at Cornell. I could tell right off the bat she was a warm-hearted person. We talked for half an hour about my plan for the future, her experiences, how she never saw a Jamba Juice ever in her life, and it just goes to show how everyone in the world has their own story; it's beautiful. The Shortline bus arrived so I had to cut the conversation short, but I gave her my card in hopes she'll stay in contact with me (You never know who you'll meet again in the future!).

On the bus back, I sat near one of the other TtT delegates who introduced me to members of AIESEC Baruch. It was a dark ride back in Ithaca because the sun was only out for such a small portion of the day. We all ended up sleeping on the way back. From the bus stop in NYC, I took the subway back to Nat's. Jimmy refreshed my memory about which train I should hop on, and while waiting for the money machine to be back up, I joined in on this conversation these 3 cops were having about Prison Break. It was ironic because they were actual cops analyzing the plot, and I don't know, I thought at the time it was pretty funny. After I got off the train, my Google maps led me the wrong way home. It took me West instead of East and as I was heading back, my phone died so I was walking around the rural areas of NYC with a very expensive camera, a fat backpack and was dragging my luggage  everywhere. I tried asking people for directions; some didn't know, one guy looked at me and told me that he was so drunk, others ignored me. I eventually found myself at a McDonalds and charged my phone with my laptop. All eyes turned to me; this Asian teenager with a ton of baggage sitting down all alone. Once I reached some battery life, I eventually found the way home and note to self, never walk around NYC at midnight by yourself with all of your belongings. On the bright side, NYC was so beautiful. I am still amazed at its beauty, maybe because I'm so used to California but observing my surroundings and analyzing all of the differences just makes me appreciate my visit even more.

I finally arrived back "home" and everyone treated me as if I have lived there my whole life, which was very welcoming (': I updated everybody on my trip and eventually everyone went to bed except Nat and I. We were watching a super funny ass show I forgot the title... But we just bonded until 2:30? ish I lost track of time but we got to sleep in the following day anyways so sleep wasn't crucial for me at least. I prepared for the next day and was ready to spend a whole 24 hours in the beautiful city of New York :)

Day 1: The Flight

I woke up knowing it was going to be a great day. 

I packed up my remaining items and made my way to the airport. One thing I really love about airports is that everyone in there is so diverse and unique. While waiting to be checked in, I met this Indian man in line. I commented on how I admired his Jordan duffel bag and I learned that he came for an interview with Apple all the way from Canada. I'm assuming his Blackberry job he mentioned wasn't cutting it for him LOL. After an hour, I boarded on with United Airlines to land at LAX. I sat next to a man named David who tells me he has traveled almost everywhere. It was quite facinating to hear his experiences because I want to one day be that guy telling stories to random teenagers on airplanes about a crazy life I had been living. From LAX, I was planning to land at the JFK airport in NYC. I bought a $12 sandwich at a nearby shop because United Airlines doesn't offer free meals, and for some reason I never trusted Airline food.. (Even though I never tried it) I ended up sitting in the last row of the airplane next to Abraham and Andrew. Abraham was from Bakersfield coming back to his hometown for his brother's wedding and Andrew was from LA who worked for a restaurant supply company and wanted to attend a show back in New York. What's cool about meeting these different people is that you never know if you'll ever see them again but if you do, it'll be so cool to say hi and memorize their name. Talk about an expanded network. Luckily, there were TV's so I ended up watching Safe Haven, This is The End, and finished reading Tuesdays with Morrie which was an incredibly beautiful novel. 

I arrived at the JFK airport on time at around 9:30 E.T. and was greeted by Nat's cousin waving her arms out of the sunroof of their silver Mini Cooper. I was surprised with some New York milk tea with vermicelli noodles inside which complimented the taste extremely well. I have to give props to Natalie because I think I would have cried and peed my pants twice driving in New York traffic. At one point, 5 crowded lanes were forced into one because of construction (At 10pm.. Come on now) and imagine a mob of angry taxi cabs and other cars cutting each other off to squeeze into this one far right lane. I mean, does anyone not realize how dangerous this madness is? If there was one accident in the middle, all the lanes would be backed up for at least an hour. How would an ambulance even get through? But driving and seeing all of the lights, cars, and people was such a treat. It brought back so many memories from my NY trip two years ago, and it was great to be back. 

I arrived at Nat's Aunt's apartment and met everyone:her two aunts, Nikki and Tami, and Tami's boyfriend, John. It turns out they ironically knew about AIESEC before because of their trip to Europe. Tami obtained AIESEC cards there for a discounted price to get them into the museums and other attractions for cheap/free LOL. After small talk, Natalie, her cousin JJ and I made our way to visit Times Square. 

The view was absolutely amazing. 

New York gives off a totally different vibe from California. The busy streets, the rush of people, the bright lights all made this experience so memorable. I was here, in arguably the greatest city in America. They asked me if I wanted to go anywhere but I really had no destination. I just wanted to be in this atmosphere again, and observe everything around me. On our way back, we stopped by and bought some chicken over rice from a neighboring cart. We sat on the steps in front of Madison Square Garden to devour this delicious food. 
Around us, there were many people who had multiple bags on them and looked like they needed food. I saw a man holding a Choco taco which looked like his dinner, and it just perplexed me because it was at least 50 degrees outside. I took one last bite and offered the rest of my meal to a man named Mike. He was ironically from Sunnyvale looking for a job in the Finance field. He looked and smelled horrible, but he went on to talk about his story and his religion. I really believe the only thing that these guys need besides food, water and shelter is someone to interact with them. On the walk back home, Natalie was telling me how in Washington Park (I believe) somebody sets up chairs so that anyone can sit down to share their story and start a conversation with people there. I would love to give up a day of work or school to be able to meet new people and simply listen to their experiences. Maybe one day. 
We arrived back at the apartment and it was so hard for me to sink in that fact that I'm sleeping in New York tonight. I  had to get work done with some emails and future homework so I didn't have to worry about it throughout my trip. Before I knew it, the clock ticked 2 am and I knew that I really needed energy for the days following. 

It felt really great to be back :-) 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Wild Weekend in Arizona

This is a long overdue post but a few weeks ago I took a road trip to Arizona with an organization I joined, AIESEC, for their regional conference known as West Coast Fall RoKs 2013.

First off, "AIESEC is the global youth network impacting the world throughleadership development experiences. AIESEC has been facilitating youth leadership activities as well as international internships & volunteer experiences for over 65 years, developing a global learning environment across 124 countries & territories."

In my own words, AIESEC focuses on global exchange to give students a valuable experience to travel and volunteer/intern abroad. As AIESEC members, we are responsible for receiving and sending out students to help give them an enriching life experience. We are the largest student run organization in the world, and some of our many responsibilities include convincing companies to hire interns from foreign countries to help their business, recruit students who want to volunteer/intern abroad specific to their major and location, match students from other countries to companies' specific job descriptions, find housing and making the intern feel at home here in the U.S., managing multiple budgets to fit certain needs, etc. We do have a professional side of AIESEC which practices real life business and leadership skills, but as a club, we are like a family. We want to work towards a common goal: peace and fulfillment of human's potential. 

The conference over weekend with AIESEC was definitely memories to cherish for a lifetime. It was cool because we got to connect with AIESEC chapters from other schools such as SLO, ASU, UCD, SDSU, and Cornell so I feel like my network has expanded at such a greater scale. I even roomed with a student from Germany who is part of the AIESEC chapter there! It's so inspiring to see how AIESEC brings together the youth to give students a chance to enhance their business and leadership skills and really make a difference in people's lives; that is just awesome. The topics we learned during the retreat was very technical specific to AIESEC, but it was enriching and inspiring to say the least. For me specifically, I spent 5 hours learning how to sell AIESEC to companies and how things needed to get done after the contract is signed, etc. What was also pretty cool about this this retreat was I think I found one of my passions in life and that is with Sales/Marketing. Practicing how to sell AIESEC to companies and the process behind everything lets me sort of visualize a career in that sort of field. I'm definitely interested in the psychology behind of what makes people do what do in a business aspect so West Coast RoKs allowed me to have this opportunity. I partnered up with next semester's president Imran to my first sales meeting with a guy from Juniper Networks and I just found out how the power of communication really is. Even if I don't pursue a career in Sales, it's a great skill to have regardless of your major and I find it quite enjoyable thus far. 

This blog post was a bit lengthy, but in short, I'm glad I joined this wonderful organization. I hope that with AIESEC, I can change people's lives and one day go on my own exchange. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jamba Juice Tips, Stereotypes, & Funny Things to Say


Some insight from an ex Jamba Juice employee

Tips & Tricks:
1) Look online for coupons before heading to Jamba Juice. There are always going to be promotions or coupons on the web.
2) Become a Jamba Insider! Not only do they give you email regarding special promotions, your next 16oz smoothie can be bought at a discounted price for only $2! You can show the employee from your mobile device so this coupon can be reused (illegally) until the expiration date. Even when the expiration date is around the corner, the internet has plenty of opportunities for success (make another email address and become a Jamba Insider again, and repeat)
3) Ask for promotions. Sometimes there are deals going on that you might not be aware about. It doesn't hurt to ask!
4) Fill out the surveys they occasionally hand you after you purchase your order. They are called Jamtrak surveys where the customer can fill out to judge the store's performance and usually result in a Buy 1 Get 1 free coupon next time you roll up into another Jamba Juice. If they don't give you one, go ahead and ask for a Jamtrak survey if they see any lying around, it doesn't hurt to ask!
5) Always, always, always ask for a receipt. Sometimes there are occasional coupons/deals at the very bottom.
6) Buy Gift Cards from Costco. There are always deals of buying a $50 Jamba Juice Gift Card for $35 or something like that (I'm making these prices up of course) If you're a frequent sipper, why wouldn't you want to invest your money?
7) Split your smoothies. Go ahead and buy a Large size smoothie and ask to have the smoothie split it into two cups. You'll get two 16oz smoothies for the price of a Large! 
8) Ask for extra. Anytime you request for almost anything extra, the Jamba Team Members are supposed to put it in a bigger cup. If you ask for extra ice, they'll upsize your cup. Extra strawberries, extra sherbet, extra whatever they are supposed to upsize it for you (If I were you, I would ask the cashier right then and there to upsize the cup because sometimes people forget and or they are new) This doesn't apply for like Extra Peanut Butter for example because, that extra peanut butter or an extra boost won't have any significant effect to the smoothie size. I would, for the most part, recommend asking for extra ice. Asking for extra fruits or sherbet costs an additional 50 cents, you might as well upsize your drink to begin with if you do get extra fruits/sherbet.
9) Jamba Juice has a 100% Goodness Gurantee. If you don't like your drink for whatever reason, you can bring it back up to them so they can get you a new one. If it's too watery, not blended well enough, not filled up all the way, etc. People mess up and that's okay. Kindly let the employees know why you want a new drink and they'll be happy to make it for you. Just don't be a douchebag about it and abuse this rule.
10) Ask for it Thick, Thin, or Chunky (if you want). It's all preference, but the thicker the smoothie, that basically means it'll be harder to sip than your usual smoothie. If you want it thin, the smoothie will be more of a liquid than a smoothie. If you want it chunky, the smoothie would have some fruit bits as you sip it. 

This is really funny because these stereotypes are actually the trends I witness on a daily basis every time I come into work. I'm not trying to be racist haha. These customers might say somthing like...
Indians: Fresh squeezed orange carrot juice with no ice
Mexicans: 2 Mango and Strawberry  (Notice how I didn't say the full names)
Little Kids: "Can I get a White Gummi please? " "Can I get a Sour Patch Kids?" "Can I get something from the Secret Menu?"
Middle Aged: "What's healthy here?" "Can I get one of your Fruit and Veggie Smoothies and add an Antioxident, Daily Vitamin and a C & Zinc Boost in there?"
Elderly: "Hi, can I get a Jamba Juice please, make it light."
Asian Parents: "Can I get 3 Power smoothies all split in two cups each to go?"

If you ever want to troll any Jamba Juice store try a couple of these lines and see their reaction. Make sure to look super disappointed when they tell you you can't have these things. 
1) Can I get a Strawberry Wild with an extra wild please?
2) Can I get 5 Jamba Juices please?
3) Can I get a Turkey Sausage and Cheese wrap with no Sausage?
4) Can I get a Smokehouse Chicken flatbread without the corn?
5) Can you hook it up with a drink?
6) Can I get 5 water cups with mostly ice please? (-__-)
7) Can I get a Screaming ORGASSMM?
8) Can I get a Pink Gummi?
9) Can I get a Mango a Go Go, make it heavy? 
10) Can I get a Stoner's Delight?

Hope you guys found this useful or at least entertaining to read! Thanks! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Theatre: Monologue - Hitch

I've always been into theatre but I was never exactly super skilled in it, But just because I'm not an expert doesn't mean I can't love it. I love having a chance to perform on stage or behind the camera because acting forces me out of reality and I can develop into a whole new character that I must embrace. Luckily, I was the last one that had the chance to add into an acting class at SJSU and I would like to share with you guys the monologue I had to perform! This is the opening scene of the movie, Hitch (which is a really really good movie btw).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'm such a Nerd

It hasn't even been a semester of college and I'm loving the fact that the skills I've been learning actually applies to the real world. I haven't had a passion for learning in so long, except with my hobbies but telling my parents that education excites me is so much more satisfying. The clubs I joined let me network with so many people already and I'm learning about sales, finance, cold calls, meetings, interviews, marketing, leadership. I'm touring some of the best companies in the Silicon Valley and receiving chances to listen to some of the most successful people in the nation. Gaining all of these experiences makes me so pumped for my future, all I'm thinking about is how I can improve, what can I do to increase my knowledge, where can I gain experience? And I think it's really awesome that all the upper class men I have met so far are so eager to help me with my journey. 

I think it was fate that I eventually ended up at SJSU. By staying local, I get to help support my family, pick up the kids from school, run errands, go to school and be there for my seven year old brother.

I never thought I would be so pumped to LEARN. That's basically it :-)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saying Good Byes

Over the many years of my education and activities, I've met some of the greatest people I'd probably ever meet. I recently said good bye to many of my friends moving off to college and my girlfriend. Knowing that I will be living totally separate lives from everyone I once grew close with is quite alarming. And (realistically) knowing that you'll probably never speak or see half of the friends you grew up with makes it even worse. Good byes suck, but it's just a part of life. I want to thank everyone in my life for having an impact me no matter how big or small, because without my friends, I wouldn't be the person who I am today. I wish the best of luck for all of my friends tackling college and I hope that we do keep in touch.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why I Don't Believe God Exists Anymore


I don't believe in a God anymore. 

After 17 years, I have been surrounded by God’s presence. I attended many religious schools, joined church groups, and was raised under a Catholic family. Baptized and Confirmed, I attended church every week and prayed every night to a divine being who I thought my whole life was must be real. At one point, I even considered on becoming a priest.  

Recently, I've gave much thought about my faith and my religion, and asked myself, how am I supposed to believe in a divine being that I have never seen or heard? My mom calls it faith but I call that skepticism.

When we really think about it, has God really made an impact on our lives today? When I made the basketball team in high school, did God give me that extra boost to propel me, or was it my hard work and perseverance that finally paid off? When I got hit by a car while on my bike, did God purposely eliminate all the cars off of that busy road or was that just a coincidence? How can we be for certain that God is real?  

As a child, I simply obeyed my parents and never questioned my religion. Now, I have lost faith in a divine being. I stopped praying every night, attending church, and normally when something good happens people normally say “Thank God!” I’m saying, “Thank you Causal Determinism!” I kid you not. My life is virtually the same with and without God and my life feels no difference. 

The Teleological argument, Cosmological argument, and Ontological argument are all theories for the existensce of God, but they can all be refuted in a way where we cannot completely accept them as true. But the biggest objection that convinced was the Problem of Evil. 

Why is there so much evil in the world? 

If God was an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent being, it is believed that the world should be full of happiness and love but instead we live in a world with much hate and negativity as well. The theists believe evil is justified under three main arguments: Evil is needed as a part of the body's warning system, Evil is needed to appreciate the good, and Evil is needed to punish the wrong doers. However, there are many arguments against these points that still leave theists puzzled and doubtful. 
The first response from the theist would be that pain is needed as a part of the body’s warning system. If a man put his hand on a stove, it could possibly burn his hand and give his body a “warning” to wear gloves next time or to not put his hand there at all. Along with fear, it’ll make sense to have fear when we see violent crimes unfolding such as a gun shooting or a bombing because it gives us a message to run away from the problem in search for safety. So it seems clear that pain and fear provide good reason to exist, but there are other instances where this is not the case. Take the case of a new born baby diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa, a disease that causes blistering all around the body and severely limits the baby’s physical freedom. The baby cannot even be held on lie on its back without pain. And also the case of a countless number of  patients who are in crippling conditions but cannot improve their situation, so they are left in suffering. What lessons would these pains bring up?

                The second response could be that Evil is needed to appreciate the good. At first, this sounds logical because if everything was indeed good, we cannot distinguish it from evil. The problem that arises is, is there such thing as excessive evil? Cancer takes millions of lives already, so why does AIDs, Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease and several other diseases exist? If God wanted to teach a lesson, why not kill 100,000 people instead of six million during the holocaust? Why add the extra natural disasters that punishes populations as big a cities to become a chaotic disaster?
          A theist’s third response to the problem of Evil could be that evil is needed to punish those for their wrong doings. This tactic is observed in child behavior. When the child does something that goes against the guardian's desires, the child is often punished by maybe not going out for a week, or not playing games until the end of the month, etc. Since this is a common theme with parenting, wouldn’t it make sense that this could apply to everyone in the world?. Unfortunately, there is no real correlation between the wrong doers and punishment. It turns out some of the worst people have great health and the more selfless people tend to die first or get diseases. There are babies who are born with diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa and die shortly after or live their life in suffering; Can we really conclude the baby had enough wrongdoings that God must perform such an act?
Gratuitous evil is an evil that is not logically needed for the occurrence of the greater good or essentially, pointless evil. A hiker in the wilderness who breaks his leg and cannot reach civilization for help is left out to suffer and die. Or a baby born with epidermolysis bullosa. There seem to be no greater good in these situations unless killing the hiker might bring peace and prosperity to his town and killing the baby will make the world a better place, both cases in which are highly unlikely.
Gratuitous evil does exist because we see reports of innocent lives being taken away from maniacs all over the world. The incident on 9/11 killed many innocent people because some guys wanted to go on a suicide mission. During the marathon in Boston, two guys set up an explosion near the finish line also killing innocent lives and frightening America. These criminal acts do not seem to have any effect that promotes the greater good and honestly, seems pointless.
          The thoughts for God’s existence are extremely contradicting. We would think that if God was real, we would have a much safer and happier world but the fact of the matter is, we don’t. Tragedies happen every minute, kids are dying for no beneficial reason and gratuitous evil surrounds the world.
The problem of evil has undoubtedly convinced me that there is strong evidence against God's existence. I still seek to take more philosophy classes as well as theology classes to kind of see where I'm at. But as of right now, the problem of evil has convinced me that there might not be any God.