“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hello, welcome to my blog, my name is Daniel!
There’s something about taking a path less trodden, that leads to sweet rewards for the hardships I faced that ultimately made me stronger. I guess it’s true, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger;” That and doing things the typical average way, never works for me.
For example, if I had a new job, the training never works for me, I do it my way, and most times, I uniquely devise a way, which leads to the same or better results in my own method, which is always seen as wrong until I produced results.
Being in school, or out of school even, and speaking a critical language (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, and Russian) etc, the opportunities fly through the windows for you; essentially you’re writing your own golden ticket for your future.
Since my Chinese is best, then Korean which I am studying each day 🙂 , and finally my Japanese, my professors try to push me into these opportunities.
Some of these opportunities come in the form of fellowships, seminars, scholarships, sponsorships etc. but for some reason (weird huh?), NONE of these paths work for me. One reason could be my grades leave something to be desired. Even though my grades are decent lol, I want to have an “A” GPA. Since freshman year all the way up to my junior year (I’m a senior now), my grades were too average for these, but:
I didn’t want a fellowship anyway 😦 . I don’t want a guided, timed path. I want to do it myself (brave front for a lost opportunity). Plus I’m a man of action not academics.
Then, there’s the (make connections and network to get ahead approach). This is easy but challenging for me. I can hold a long networking conversation with high net worth people, in another language even, and these exchanges have had a great impact on my networking skills. But, in order for me to ever have help from these people I need to meet with them again after that initial meeting. I have a curse, which is anything online is difficult for me; if I send an application online, or apply online 99% (humorous estimate) of the time I won’t get it! I won’t get accepted, I won’t get a response. But if I go in person, 99% (still a humorous estimate) I will get it. Examples!
1.) If you never heard of http://projectpengyou.org/gocheck it out, this is an awesome site for US-China expats for anything really, they had a Harvard 3-day summit that I wanted to attend badly, all you had to do was go to China once I think, and I thought, “I can get that for sure,” not only did I not get it, I never even received a response which was promised, I found out from a friend, and she got her results over a week ago! Only when I asked her if she applied! Sheesh! Since that’s how it is I accept it, because I see it as, it wasn’t my time, or my opportunity.
But that’s not all:
2.) There was a retired ambassador who served in Taiwan for a period of time, and he came to Lincoln University. I thought (hehe!)(Advantage me) I’ll speak to him in Chinese, to (get ahead of the rest)and so, we talked in Chinese, 2 black gentlemen, lol, but of course he was dragged away by Lincoln’s set schedule, so he gave me his business card and said to email him, Cool! Emailed him, and to this day, 2 months later no response. Since that’s how it is, I accept that outcome, because I’m always motivated, small occurrences won’t shake my composure. Plus, I love hospitality anyway, I just have to keep moving, keep striving.
3.) Foreign Services! This one seemed thrilling, and rewarding. I took my Foreign Services Officer test, and failed! By like 10 points, so close! I will continue to take it, until I pass since it’s a free test (If it’s free, it’s for me!). The area I messed up on (just a lil’ bit), was on the personal section where you were asked questions about yourself. For example:
How often would people describe you as a leader?
And the choices would often be: “Very Often, Often, Sometimes, Not often, Never.” “If you chose either “A, Very often,” or “B, Often,” please give an example. So I tried to apply the “be humble” tactic, and answer maybe 40% of the questions with the “Often.” Turns out I did myself a disservice by selling myself short, I thought seeming arrogant would give me a “no thanks” but I failed! And I had good examples to give 😦 .
But that’s okay, I didn’t want it anyway.
4.) Disney!!! I got accepted into their college internship program, now I always wanted to get into hospitality, hotels, tourism, events, international stuff, culture, etc. that’s my dream! And a hotel job is what I wanted, so I applied to get into hospitality for Disney, and where did I get placed? Main gate, ticket swiping, in the burning heat of Florida, main parking lot etc, and with a horrible pay, less than $8 and hour, and with rent to be taken out of my check :O. I need money this summer! I originally planned to work for Disney here, so that when they open their Shanghai Park in 2016 that’s my ticket back to China. I could be a manager at a foreign company, speaking Chinese etc. But I’m not working main gate, forget that, it’s too far from what I want, I want hospitality please..
– Side bar this program has ups to people who want to move up the ladder, if they gave me hospitality I’d take it for $5 an hour. I’m still looking for a summer job, and at the time Disney looked real good, but I made a tough choice, choosing to not take it. It wasn’t conclusive to what I want to do, and I can’t keep taking side steps. I rather let someone else who wants it, and is less fortunate to accept such an opportunity and I will keep looking.
5.) Hilton, Marriott, all other hotel brands and chains. I’ve been applying to hotels for what seems like 3 years and can’t get in. Such an inner circle it seems. Even in China lol. No luck at all. Then my career services director gave me a suggestion, he said ” strategically select hotels with a lot Chinese tourist who frequent them.” since there was a massive burst in the amount of Chinese tourist coming to the US, or, rather a steady increase every year) he said, “apply again,” and send them an email explaining you’ve been to China, you know the culture, you speak the language etc, so I did it, and? (Take a guess) Don’t be surprised,
No response again lol.
This is my dream, so after all the rejections, I keep applying. They will have to accept me sooner or later lol, I don’t know why it’s so hard, but if I keep applying (harassment), maybe I’ll get lucky. If not, I think I’ll just save up for 30 years and open my own franchise sheesh!
6.) My most recent challenge is my MBA decision. I stated earlier, “my grades aren’t the best,” but I’m capable. So, my first choice is to go to South Korea for it. I was thinking of Sejong University, or Kyunghee University to study Hospitality. If not Korea, Taiwan, if not Taiwan, China, if not China, Japan, if not that, then I’m pretty hit. But, my biggest challenge with this is, my undergraduate debt that will hit me with a force, 6 months after I get that $ 100,000 piece of paper, I have no idea how to apply just yet, I have no idea where to get my scholarships or if I can even qualify. So much is unknown, but:
Hey! I’m used to this!
Something about the unknown, unconquerable tasks, pushes me to tackle them head on. The harder it seems, the more I want to overcome it. My father, loves to call me the comeback king, because I can be against the wall, and pull a rabbit out of a hat (if that makes sense). Simply speaking, I feel as though, Korea is where I need to get another degree from, plus, I want to experience the super fast Wi-Fi, my schools Wi-Fi is worse than my grades. Bring on the challenge.