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Thursday, July 30, 2015

My British Accent


One of the biggest things about living abroad is the exposure to different ways of life. A big part of that is the way in which we communicate. To me, the British have one of the most noticeable and appealing accents of those who speak the English language, so I was keen to pick up the way while I was there.

While I was away, every time I would call or visit home I would be asked, "Do you have an accent yet?" I think a lot of people find the accent lovely and are interested in how cultural emersion changes you. Here are my favorite British slang from my time in London. Press play and tell me if you think I've got it, or if my British accent needs some work :)



Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to be notified when my videos go live. Drop me a message when you do, I'd love to personally welcome you to my vlogging community!

Global Meditation for Compassion - My Reaction Video


If you follow me on FB or IG you know that I participated in the #iamcompassion event a few weeks ago. I was encouraged to attend by my friend Ruby Velle, who I admire greatly for her stance on love and its necessity in the world. Personally, I'm a firm believer in the power of meditation and manifestation and would be keen to see more love and compassion in the world, so the event was right up my alley.

Here is my reaction to the #iamcompassion event, Deepak Chopra's Global Meditation for Compassion, a live stream meditation and discussion where everyone was empowered to be the change they want to see in the world.

Hundreds of thousands of people from across our global meditated on behalf of all of us for a more peaceful and compassionate world. This was the second annual event where the world's energy was shifted for the better. Click the link below if you are interested in hearing how it all went!
 


Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to be notified when my videos go live. Drop me a message when you do, I'd love to personally welcome you to my vlogging community!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Quick Update #pressplay


In the midst of chaos I am the calm. My life has made a complete 180 in the last few months. Click play to find out why. Don't forget to subscribe to season 2 of my vlogs. New life, new series! Please play on the vid embedded below. Here's the direct link if you can't see it: https://youtu.be/kapJDVslGfA

Friday, May 22, 2015

Here's the Deal w/ New York City

Come with as I go around and play tourist in the city that never sleeps, NEW YORK CITY, in this the final vlog in this series.

+PLUS we're at 500 subscribers! xoxoxo give-a-way time! Details to come. Subscribe to stay tuned! https://www.youtube.com/kmelanie319

[Video embedded below. Can't see it? Click here: https://youtu.be/K0Rduh180SM]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fat and Happy in New York City



I have spent the last several months in New York City. Here's what I've been up to. In addition to what's here, I spend ample time chillin in Harlem and attended a really unique, interactive show at Le Qube pop-up theater called Vintage Live.

 +Liked this vlog's soundtrack? It's Nicki Minaj ft. BeyoncĂ© - Feeling Myself Instrumental [Twerk Edition] (Chinaboy Remix) https://youtu.be/3Zd0Rppy3qk

 +PLUS we're at 500 subscribers! xoxoxo give-a-way time! Details to come. Subscribe to stay tuned! https://www.youtube.com/kmelanie319

[Video embedded below. Can't see it? Click here: https://youtu.be/dJd8UskKc8M]

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

...to steal my heart in one fell swoop



I've tried not to slow down for any extended period of time for fear it'll sink in how much I miss London.

The tears will flow, I'm sure.

They call New York the greatest city in the world, yet I've tried and tried again and again to fall in love with this place - to no avail.

Yet London was able to steal my heart in one fell swoop. 

I felt light there where I feel heavy here.

Powerful and light. 

At times I feel powerful here, but always heavy. Always beaten down. Kept in a box. 

An odd thing to say of your homeland. Not just any homeland. Still no less true.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Conspiracy Theory or Truth? One Reason Why UF's Black Recruitment Efforts are Not Made a Priority


I've been following Jeff Schweers' Gainesville Sun series on declining Black enrollment at UF. I wrote my initial blog post about it here. The post included how attending UF changed my life forever and 3 things we can do TODAY to help maintain a strong legacy of Black and Afro-Latino achievement and excellence at UF and throughout the Gator Nation.

Additionally, I have been speaking with a few former student leaders and ABA members about their perspective on the situation and how alumni might support increased recruitment and retention efforts.

A friend mentioned that one possible reason for the somewhat lack of interest in stepping up recruitment efforts might be because Black alumni are presumed to not give back financially, in a large way, thus less of a priority. This had been a topic of discussion several years ago while this friend was attending UF's Levin College of Law.

Coincidentally, on March 7, Jeff published another article about Gale V. King's $1M donation UF's College of Journalism and Communications. The fund is expected to generate about $35,000 to $40,000 a year that will go directly to scholarships and programs, according to Diane McFarlin, dean of the journalism school.

Gale V. King is the executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Nationwide Mutual Insurance in Columbus, Ohio, grew up in Gainesville and went on to great corporate success.

Does Gale's donation negate the conspiracy theory (or truth) that Black alumni do not give back in a large way, thus are less of a priority? How could we use this narrative to reiterate to the new administration how important, and mutually beneficial, Black student recruitment efforts are to the Gator Nation?

READ THE FIRST POST IN THIS SERIES: URGENT: Get involved w/ your University of Florida - Alumni Association NOW - Here's why.

Monday, March 2, 2015

URGENT: Get involved w/ your University of Florida - Alumni Association NOW - Here's why.


If you're anything like me, you realize that attending and matriculating from the University of Florida was one, if not the, best decision of your life.  There are so many things that can be said about the doors, hearts and minds that have been opened by the opportunity. Gators will understand this wholly. No further explanation necessary.

I have encouraged all of my younger mentees to attend a university away from home, particularly UF, if their credentials support attendance.  Living and studying in a small, rural town is well-worth the sacrifice to attend a world-class institution such as UF.  UF is a tough school to get into now-a-days, but not just because of its ever-increasing "Ivy League of the south" status, but sadly because of the decline in commitment to minority recruiting.

Have you been keeping up with the news about the drastic decline in black enrollment at UF? If not, read more about the issue here:
Both articles were written by Gainesville Sun staff writer, Jeff Schweers. He can be reached by phone: 352-338-3176 and e-mail: jeffrey.schweers@gvillesun.com.

MORE FROM THE ARTICLES: “Falling black enrollment is not unique to UF,” Glover said. “Other State University System universities have experienced similar declines.” UF's black undergraduate enrollment fell by 876 students between 2010 and 2014, or by 28 percent. 

Florida State University, the University of South Florida and Florida A&M also saw decreases in black student enrollment, but not to the same degree as UF. The state's eight other universities either maintained their enrollment numbers and percentages or saw an increase in both.

The University of Central Florida saw an INCREASE of 1,000 students — a 19 percent growth rate in its black undergraduate population. Black students grew from 10 percent to 11 percent of the undergraduate population.

“The recruitment and marketing environment has gotten tougher, no question about that,” said Gordon Chavis, UCF's associate vice president for Undergraduate Admissions, Student Financial Assistance and Student Outreach programs. UCF has an AGGRESSIVE COMMITMENT to minority recruiting, established by John Hitt when he became president in 1992.

Here's what you can do TODAY:

If you feel that UF has changed your life for the better and are interested in maintaining a strong legacy of Black and Afro-Latino achievement and excellence at UF and throughout the GATOR NATION, now is the time to get involved with your University of Florida Alumni Association:

  1. JOIN the UF Alumni Association. Membership starts at $40. Money talks, B.S. walks. We know this. You most show some level of financial commitment to be taken seriously.
  2. CONNECT with your local UF Alumni Association. Send your local chapter president a note telling him/her that you are concerned with the decline in Black enrollment and that you are poised to help in anyway needed. Also, Save the Date for Destination ABA, the UF Association of Black Alumni's first multi-city alumni experience taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2015 in Atlanta, South Florida, Tampa and Washington, D.C. Be vocal about your thoughts when you attend. ALL are invited.
  3. SHARE your reflections with new UF president, Dr. Kent Fuchs. President Fuchs is currently on a multi-city Listening Tour to meet with alumni, friends, media and leaders in Florida's major cities and selected cities nationwide. With stops in Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa and other cities beginning this spring, he will gather ideas and thoughts about how to shape UF's next era. Attend AND speak up when he is in your city or email him today. 
NOTE: UF recently hired a new Director of Admissions. Now's the time to re-evaluate the recruiting practices and get the buy-in of the new President and new Admissions Director.

We, the black alumni, supporters and friends, are here to help. We know what currently works and what can be tweaked in regards to minority recruiting. Let's open a dialog and get this challenge rectified. Step one, let our voices and concern be heard. Step two, meet with the new leadership at UF.


GATOR NATION, WE NEED YOU. SPEAK UP TODAY. IT'S TIME TO STRIKE WHILE THE IRON'S HOT. LET'S WORK TO INCREASE THE STANDARD OF MINORITY ENROLLMENT AT UF TODAY.

Comment below and let me know your thoughts. I am in contact with the UF ABA National President and will relay your thoughts directly to her.

READ THE SECOND POST IN THE SERIES: Conspiracy Theory or Truth? One Reason Why UF's Black Recruitment Efforts are Not Made a Priority

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#BookReview: 7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards + #HeForShe Solidarity Action Kit


I received this book, 7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards, at the Google UK Black History Month event a few months ago. The book was gifted to the audience by Dr. Thompson herself.

I ended up keeping the book in my work bag and reading it on my daily commute. It felt like an inspiring book to read as I got on with my daily grind.

The point in the book that resonated with me the most was the use of a performance coach, a career coach or an executive coach as mentioned by several of the high-ranking women interviewed in the Overviews on Education section of the book. I will add the career coach option to my career arsenal moving forward. I think it is an excellent strategy for continuous professional development and one that had not been on my radar in the past.

Sometimes when you read professional development or self-help books, it feels like endless prose regurgitating ideas that are intuitive or so basic you wonder who exactly the audience might be. I was happy to find this career coach nugget within the pages of this work and details on why the women chose to work with one.  


An additional point that comes up in the book, that I do agree with, is that male counterparts are often times more of an advocate to women professionals, more so than other women in the workforce. I'd be interested to read more about how we might disrupt that dynamic, so that women can see other women as allies and supporters as opposed to competitors.

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE and her work click here.

If you are interested in learning more about #HeForShe, a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity (men) in support of the other half of humanity (women) for the benefit of all, click here.

Download the #HeForShe Action Kit here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

#LifestyleVlog | Things Are Heating Up!







Here we are gracing Cafeina Wynwood Lounge, Joey's Italian Cafe, Brew House Wynwood Brewing Company and Grand Central in the Magic City, Miami, Wynwood, 305 baby! Yes, it's really this fun and 75 degrees fahrenheit in the winter. *drops mic*

 Music by: "Bounce House" by Silent Partner

[Video embedded below. Can't see it? Click here: http://youtu.be/roUE5kcURmo]

#LifestyleVlog | Pretty Women Wassup?





3 random days in Miami with yours truly. Come with and see what all the hype is about.

[Video embedded below. Can't see it? Click here: http://youtu.be/x-z5pSU5X4w]

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#TravelDiaries: Back on the Miami Scene





She's backkkkk! I'm back in south Florida for a bit. Come with me on my first coffee date back in the Magic City

[Video embedded below. Can't see it? Click here: http://youtu.be/b6t9zb1jaBA]

#TravelDiaries: Her first time in London





My mom's in London for my MBA graduation. Here I am touring her around the city. She loved it and now understands why I'm in love with the city.

Kx

[Video embedded below. If you are unable to see it, click here: http://youtu.be/V_wd8Qdsz0Y]


The Expat Paradox


Paris

A few months after moving to London I read an article describing a paradoxical situation that befalls many expats, where their new country fails in comparison to home, yet home no longer fits snugly.

I knew instinctively I would befall a similar fate.

Living in London exposed me to an alternate reality. A reality that I fell in love with.

Yet I am afraid to stay. And afraid to return home.

Afraid to stay in London and be so very far away from my home... my family, my friends, life's familiarity. Hyper aware that I may lose the attention of the ones I love the most -- the ones who love me the most  -- sacrificed for the unfamiliar, yet alluring, love and attention of the unknown.

Afraid to return home to the same ordinary life I sought to shake loose. Afraid to fall back into the same grind, facing the same demons, as if the last year was just a fleeting day dream flickering off into the distance. 

How will I continue to use this experience to elevate my life if it led me right back to where I started? 

How do I face the possibility that I may fall short of the "elevated life" I seek?

The audience speaks: No guts, no glory.. You'll be fine.. You'll work it out, you always do.

As if through some miraculous alignment of the stars an aspirational life is possible without the sweat and vision required to align them.

Perhaps at this point I should acknowledge the Pygmalion effect on my life. Perhaps I should be thankful for the accountability that has brought to life this abstract form.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

None the less, full disclosure: I realize the luxury of my anxiety, which to be clear, is a fleeting day dream flickering off into the distance. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Your MBA International Management Graduate from Royal Holloway, University of London

Here I am pictured with Principal Paul Layzell after being awarded for Best Dissertation #MBA #RHUL 2014









On Tuesday, 16 December 2014, I accomplished a major item on my bucket list. I strolled across the commencement stage, chin up and chest high, at Royal Holloway, University of London as Principal Paul Layzell handed me a symbolic diploma certifying that I am a Master of Business Administration.

The sense of relief I felt was uncanny. A sense of calm, certainty, peace... and pride. I am happy to acknowledge my true emotions without feeling bashful about them.

For the past few years I have been striving and strategizing on how I might take my life from the comfortable to the extraordinary. I decided that studying and living in London and travelling Europe would be my ticket.

To be clear, I was not running from anything at home. I lived a very comfortable and privileged life, but I wanted to stretch myself. I wanted to push the boundaries and see how far life would take me without the constraints of fear and self-doubt.

It is a bit of a drug, accomplishment is.  Addicting. Once you figure out the formula, it's hard not to want more and more of it. Fear then becomes an element that you face, but mainly disregard in future pursuits, as the high of accomplishment far trumps the depression of fear.

You're habitually seeking the next fix. Searching for the next hurdle to leap over, all the better if you can make it look easy. At times restless and antsy... haunted they might say.

But for this one, this MBA... I felt a sense of peace. I lavished in it a bit for the first time. I enjoyed the win, soaked it in. I don't take this one lightly. This one has been quite good.
















--
For those interested in my MBA dissertation, here it is for your perusal. The work won best MBA dissertation of the graduating class. 

 
Kell x

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