kMc Pages

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#TravelDiaries: Back on the Scene



She's backkkkk!


[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

Thursday, December 4, 2014

[VIDEO] How to Recognize Happiness as an Adult #MotivationalMonday


Here's another video from my Motivational Monday series.

In pursuit of the perfect EVERYTHING, do you remember the last time you were genuinely happy? Here's how to recognize happiness as an adult and grasp at it whenever it appears.

Press play:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On Being an American Working in the UK




"That's the problem with you coloreds. You're always focused on the treatment you expect to get, instead of the treatment that you're getting." - Line from Dorothy Dandridge (1999)


Everytime I step foot into a new classroom or place of work there is that flutter of apprehension at the pit of my tummy -- one-third nerves, one-third adrenaline, one-third exhilaration.

You never really know how you're going to be received by the new lot of people. First you worry about the women. Will they be kind, welcoming and warm or will they feel threatened, question your intentions and resent you silently?

And then there are the men. Will they respect you and see your value or will they think of you as a cute face, here to make things pretty, and then overspeak you in every meeting.

I would expect to experience this in every new workplace situation. That has been my truth. Understandable after all, we are all human and judgemental by nature. You do have to prove yourself in each new instance, so I really wouldn't expect to feel any differently.

However, I must say, it is a bit more burdensome to face this new office hazing as -- a smart woman, a beautiful woman, a charismatic woman, a black woman -- in a world where you are used to being classified as a minority and continually gauged against generalizations based on age, race and sex.

Gifts from my UK team on my last day of work


What surprised me about working on my particular team, in my particular office in the UK, was that the burden I usually felt, the burden to prove myself and fit in, felt slightly lighter.

Even though I was the only American woman on a team of young, British men, there was less of a hurdle there, less of a disconnect between me and the guys on the team that I, and I alone, would usually be forced to bridge if I were working in the US.

They spoke to me genuinely, no forced small talk, and connected with me as if we were cut from the same cloth. They laughed at my jokes and I at theirs. We related with one another easily. I felt a part of a team much sooner and deeper than I had ever felt in any other place of work.

They invited me out for lunch and drinks, more than once. And not that awkward obligatory invite extended to the new person (that you secretly hope they will decline). They seemed to genuinely like my company and showed sincere interest in conversation with me.

I didn't feel like an outsider shrinking myself to help others feel more comfortable around me. I shone as bright as I wanted to and the guys didn't seem to mind one bit, they related to me just the same.

The women in the office, were slightly different. Most were kind and inquisitive at first, but warmed up to me and showed me sincerity or pulled away from me and became more cold as time passed and as they saw more and more of me.

I had limited exposure to most of the women in the office, as my team was comprised solely of men. Most women were kind in passing, but there are always one or two who try to show you that they are the alpha female (even if it's only in their mind).

The young, and young-at-heart women in the office were the kindest to me. No surprise there. It felt similar to how it is in the States. My relationship with women in an office setting is always a bit more complicated than I'd hope for.

All in all, I was highly attentive to how I was being received and perceived in the UK office setting. I was keen to take notice of the nuanced differences between an American and a British corporate place of work, for a woman like myself.

I felt at home with my co-workers in the UK office faster than I have ever felt at home in any of the American offices where I've worked.

Maybe my year studying and exploring abroad has changed me. Maybe I'm more humble and less defensive in demeanor. Maybe the treatment that I expected to receive was more positive than before I left my home country.

Maybe that's why reception was a bit different.

Or maybe that soreness that still exists between the assimilating cultures in the US is ever more evident when you are working in a place where that lingering angst ceases to exist.



Here's a recent vlog on a day-in-the-life working in the UK. Press play. 


Friday, November 21, 2014

The Truth About International MBAs and the Tough Time Finding Jobs In UK


International MBA students in London

When I initially decided to come over to the UK to study for my MBA, I had no intention of staying longer than the year. But as I approached the middle and end of the program, I realized that I desired more time in the UK. Time to work and really plant my feet into the culture. Time to live and socialize with true Brits, as opposed to the various international students that occupied many of the seats on my course. 

I wanted to leave England with a truer understanding of what it was to live, work and play in Europe, as opposed to leaving with a majorly academic perspective on European life.

If I was going to extend my stay, I would have to find full-time employment to finance my adventure. I wasn't naive enough to think that it would be a breeze. I knew I was a bit out of my element, being in a new country and all. However, I did think that several years of industry-specific professional experience, stellar networking and interviewing skills, an early start on the hunt, confidence and a decent MBA would ease the process a bit. 

The truth: International MBA students who want to work in the UK will have a hard time finding an employer to sponsor their work visa -- a mandatory requirement to remain in the country. The 2012 changes to the UK’s immigration laws mean that obtaining the right to stay and work long-term is a much more difficult process -- and from my personal experience, a near impossibility. 

Prior to April 2013, non-EEA graduates who had studied in the UK had the opportunity to stay in the country and seek work for two additional years after completing their studies. Now, most grads only have four months. 

This article explains the arduous plight of the International MBA student: Why International MBAs May Have A Tough Time Finding Jobs In UK

International MBA students in Egham

The Good: I am currently working in the UK and loving every minute of it. I was fortunate enough to be assigned an amazingly helpful and supportive mentor and professional coach who worked hard to ensure that I could gain international work experience with his firm in Ascot. He also helped me to refine my dissertation topic to better position myself as a marketing and branding risk management expert. I ended up with an excellent mark for my final piece of coursework as an MBA, more marketing management experience at a global firm, and an international professional network. 

The Bad: I almost lost the opportunity to work with my mentor because the academic process at my university is not tailored to support international students who are at a professional level in their career. The slow process of delivering final marks to support a working visa application comes at a detrimental opportunity cost for those looking to submit for jobs in the UK immediately after finishing the course (imperative since you only have four months to intern/ work and beat the pavement for a job).

Additionally, while on campus career advisors may talk a good game with the best of intentions, they often lack the resources to help during the initial stages of the job hunt. They can only do so much, particularly when dealing with students who have several years of work experience and are not seeking entry-level positions, but seeking the strong relationships with employers who are open to hiring non-EEA international talent.   

The Ugly: Here's what I mean when I say the academic process is not tailored to support international students -- my particular uni would not ratify final marks and confirm successful completion of the MBA course until mid-November, two and a half months after we turned in our final piece of coursework (submitted in September). Since international students only have four months to work after completing the course (most student visas expire in January), this is a huge hurdle, as most employers will not employ you unless you can confirm that you have passed your course, even if you are still eligible to work in the country until January on a valid student visa. 

If your grades are not released until mid-November and you must leave the country in mid-January, that leaves you with a negligible amount of time to work and get your foot in the door to source a firm that may sponsor your working visa to stay long-term. There is a HUGE disconnect between what the academic community choices to do and what is beneficial to the careers and livelihood of international students studying and wishing to go on and contribute to society in the UK. Note, this is just one instance where there is a world of disconnect. 

In my personal circumstance, my mentor did backflips to work things out for me. I am blessed to have someone like him on my team. 

Final thoughts: I do not regret the decision to study in the UK. I have made some amazing connections and equally amazing memories. My life has been forever changed and I am fulfilled and at peace with this experience. My CV receives an amazing employer response in my industry and my international appeal is evident, though hindered in the UK by this visa hurdle.

It is important, however, for anyone considering a decision of this magnitude to fully understand the implications and repercussions. I wouldn't over think it. I would still make the decision to study abroad, if so inclined. To me, life is not about over analyzing. It's about sensing what your intuition is leading you toward and acting on that feeling, though you will be blind to the full repercussions of the decision. For me, in this situation, 80% turned out the way I wanted it; the way I worked for it to turn out. Here, I share the hardships of that remaining 20%. Pareto principle. 

While I understand the importance of border control and immigration laws and I respect the laws of the land, I'll close this post with the comment below, left on the article linked above, which mirrors my sentiment on the issue:

 "While agreeing with most of the comments made in the article about how difficult it is for international students to get a job offer in the UK, the fact also remains that MBA schools haven't done their bit. All the promises of cv specialists and career guidance come to a nought when there are simply no employers willing to recruit if you dont have a valid visa. Sad to see that even after huge drops in international students coming into UK to study, the education industry is not able to rustle up its might and represent to the government the need to end the repressive visa regime." -Jaygopal Raghavan

Now those are some strong words from Jaygopal, but I've never been one to shy away from the truth.

[What's next after Tier 4 Student Visa?]


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured in The Orbital's Beauties of Holloway #RHUL

 


Back in the spring of this year I was invited to shoot for Beauties of Holloway. Beauties of Holloway is a special insert to The Orbital, the official magazine of Royal Holloway. The insert was designed to highlight the diversity of beauty and culture on campus. 

These photos were taken on the footbridge at the main entrance to Royal Holloway, University of London. In the background you find the Clock Tower and the north facade of the Founder's Building.

Special thanks to SURHUL BME director Violet Bordoli for having me and to Yang Qiu for his epic photography skills. 



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#PRESSPLAY Epic Weekend | Miami Dolphins @ Wembley Stadium + Lauryn Hill @ Brooklyn Bowl London






Epic weekend. The Dolphins slaughtered the Raiders and Lauren Hill slaughtered the stage. Come watch.

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

VIDEO EMBEDDED BELOW. CAN'T SEE IT? CLICK HERE:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

[NEW VLOG] 26. TWICKENHAM | SHE CAN COOK TOO? OOH, I HATE HER!






"Ohh, so she can cook too? Ooo, I hate her!"  -- *twirls*

Dinner party vibes.. oh and, after the party it's the after party ;)

Intro and outro music by: Blank & Kytt

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

Video embedded below, click HERE if you can't see it.

[NEW VLOG] 25. #MBALIFE | I'M DONE. THANK GOD...AND MY MOM!




"Wherever you go, may people always recognize that you have a beautiful heart."

Thanks for supporting me throughout my international MBA journey. Here's a peek into my life in the last few days of the program.

Music by: Blank & Kytt "Thursday Snow Reprise"

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

Video embedded below, click HERE if you can't see it.



Tags: mba, life, lifestyle, london, rhul, egham, high street, surrey, royal holloway, school of management, dissertation, founders building, on campus, masters, business, administration, englefield green, korean sushi, st. johns egham.

[NEW VLOG] 24. RICHMOND | I HAVEN'T CHUNDERED!




Just watch.

Music by: BlackMagic - Repete

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

VIDEO EMBEDDED BELOW, CLICK HERE FOR THE DIRECT LINK.

[NEW VLOG] 23. EGHAM | STUMBLING THROUGH A GRAVEYARD?






Dissertation delirium has finally set in.

Music by: Blank & Kytt "Come Get Some"

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

VIDEO EMBEDDED BELOW, CLICK HERE FOR THE DIRECT LINK.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Education Journey: Words of Wisdom From High School to London MBA





As you have requested, here is the story of my journey from high school, to the University of Florida (Go Gators!), to studying for my MBA in London. Here are my words of wisdom to those who aspire to a university level education and ideas on how you might finance it. Here's hoping you have a wonderful back-to-school season.

Music by: Cippa Kid "Let It Cry"

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

VIDEO EMBEDDED BELOW, CLICK HERE FOR THE DIRECT LINK.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

5 Ways to Cope With Anxiety & Stress | @kMcDiva








Here are 5 ways to cope with anxiety and stress.

#MotivationalMonday

8 HOURS of Relaxing Music - Meditation, Sleep, Spa, Study, Zen
http://youtu.be/qrx1vyvtRLY

Sleepytime Extra Wellness Tea
http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/sleepytime-teas/sleepytime-extra

MUSIC: "It's About Time" Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics

==========================================
*++ SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL ++*
==========================================

http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kmelanie319

==========================================
*++ GOT QUESTIONS, BUT TOO SHY TO ASK
PUBLICALLY? ++*
==========================================

http://ask.fm/kmcdiva

==========================================
*++ CONNECT W/ ME ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA!! ++*
==========================================

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/kmcdiva
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/kmcdiva
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kmcdiva
BLOG: http://www.kmelanie.com

==========================================
*++ HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH NEXT!! ++*
==========================================

DATING IN LONDON PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hz54iSiODiylDwL-Npm9Rby

BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM PLAYLIST: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdtzqqwNM7hxyrLnmPmEFG0sxkgjgsQgZ

TRAVEL DIARIES + LIFESTYLE VLOGS
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9527DE475ABD0A02

==========================================
FOR BUSINESS INQUIRIES: info@kmelanie.com
==========================================

Video embedded below, click HERE if you can't see it.


Tags: how to, coping, anxiety, 5 tips, visualization, yoga, meditation, prayer, exercise, sensory deprivation, unplug, stress, sleep.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails