Why MBA or a Master’s Degree is not a waste of time

Someone told me an MBA degree or a Master’s degree is useless. Well, I can’t say he is wrong because like any pursuits in life- something is worthless if we don’t apply it in everyday living.

My decision to pursue a Master’s degree stemmed at one point in my career when planning, making rational and logical decisions, coming up with action plans became confusing. When to start was not the question either but how to. I grew frustrated and I felt incompetent. I was equipped with courage, good intentions and desire to deliver but I did not have the necessary tools to effectively do the task. The resource of broad perspective and clear understanding of the work in front of me eluded the best of me. I wanted to churn out solutions-actual and practical solutions that work- long term and not just a band aid. I want preventive measures and not just to fire fight.

Where am I gonna get that? School? I was there- college degree was a blur. Should I go backwards? I’ve read books, I’ve sought learning from mentors, experts and friends but I wanted more. The decision to go back to school was purely wanting to understand the balance sheet and the financial statements but when I finally started my MBA- I saw a hurdle so humongous that I began to question my self if I’d be able to survive. Then I read this article. Just me finding a reason to go for it.

After 3 years, 3 jobs, millions of prayers from the millions of changes that happened in my life, I am still on the journey towards becoming America’s Next Top Model! Lol! But seriously, still far from the comprehensive exam and of getting the diploma which by the way I am still not sure if I’d get, I know I still need millions of prayers. But who knows, nothing is certain. The doors are still open for that.

Many believe that those who pursue an MBA or a Master’s degree are after the diploma, sure it makes an amazing bragging right to earn one and a great sense of pride to be seeing it up on the wall of your parent’s ancestral house or your own home. But a piece of paper called diploma is more than that. It is ones years of toiling and of financial, emotional, intellectual, social test endured. The sleepless nights or days of writing those papers and analyzing those cases, the pounding of the heart when the professor starts questioning your work and demands that you defend it. When at times you have to apologize for missing a date with friends. Thinking up of strategies to organize your life, family, work and school obligations.

But along that arduous journey, nothing can replace the wonderful people one meet. Of learning from others of the same or different industry. Hearing perspectives of others makes me humbled that after all, I may have considered myself expert or master of my field but so are others. The years of studying did not just teach me the concepts and the theories, it taught me and still teaching me perseverance, of fighting the good fight and most importantly having the growth mindset. I can still improve and I have yet a lot to learn. Experience is the greatest teacher. Who says going to school is all theory? Going to school is an experience on its own. When you do decide to step in to the world of the academe, please bring with you your open self and a strong one at that.

We all need a very good reason to stay in the game or the game beats us before it even starts.

Love,

Moning ❤

Find Your Why
We all need to know why.

Women are expected to be everything

Just last night, a breakdown happened. It was something that has not happened in a long time for me. It’s not that I have developed a knack for keeping my mess together but being able to set them aside temporarily. I am the typical mother of the millennia- juggling work, motherhood, wife duties and all the sideshows trying to be sane whilst fulfilling all these.

As my two children ages 7 and 4 entered Gradeschool and Nursery, respectively, never have I ever felt the highest demand of all time since I became a mother. Taking care of the enrolment to school supplies, uniforms, and every day fetching, I literally felt my body numb only after a week. Over the weekend, I have never had me wanting to cover my self under the sheets for 12 hours or more. When I was single, I usually oversleep because of a hangover from the other night’s partying. None has prepared me for this demand.

Last week, I watched and listened to Sheryl Sandberg talks on TED about women leaders, why there are only a few of them. It has been very noticeable and even today in my own country and industry, the proportion of women leaders versus men has a substantial gap, with more men able to come on top versus women counterpart. But why is that? Women are expected to do everything, alongside career, family and everything else. I keep the list of to-dos of almost about everything and what really had me lose my mind yesterday was I had to deal with covering the school books while my husband was doing a re-run of the Gilmore Girls. These issues are important to talk about because I don’t mind my husband watching Conan or Designated Survivor or playing video games to ease his mind from hard day’s work especially that he also tries to juggle a full-time and a part-time job. He has to know though that it isn’t okay for me that while my partner sits and watches TV everything is handed over to me because my energy level is only so much.

My husband and I had this conversation last night and about how much I am asking that he be my true partner in everything. He can’t just assume I would be able to carry everything because I am the wife and the mother. The laundry, the cooking, taking care of the children’s needs, cleaning and the mundane stuff we often forget also takes so much of our energy piece by piece. In this side of the world, people get babysitters or house help but we live in a house with trust issues and I don’t mean that with negativity but of the reality that it isn’t easy finding and keeping a good house help today. These daily doses of parenting to-dos and lists that have to accomplished needed to be done together. Women do not have magical powers but we are expected to have one which is why the demand always levels up because we try to keep up. Women priorities always have family on top, career second but men always associate career and family as together and neither are separate. The association that when men surge careers up-the family also goes up alongside with it because it’s their job to provide. Family care today has shifted especially when the number of mothers providing financially has significantly increased over the years but the work women do inside the house has never changed. The expectations what women can do outside may have transformed but inside the house, they are still expected to be the one to hustle first and hustle most.

A housewife or a career woman or career mothers needed to have this dialogue with their partners because unless we have real partners do we really achieve our life’s purpose and fulfill what really is the legacy we ought to leave. Life is so much more and we can achieve more.

Waiting at school for my daughter and reading case notes for work.

 

Loneliness Strikes

“You are stronger than you think you are.”

Often I respond with pride, “I know.” But the truth is, it slips through my understanding what being strong really means. Life was never unfair, and God therefore is always reasonable. He gives and so He takes. Your intentions therefore your outcome. No matter how the words come out and the action shows- the heart in its intentions would manifest most likely what it yearns.

There are still the mornings after the inconspicuous fearful nightmare is followed with an indecipherable loneliness that kicks in the gut. Energy is then drained from the entire being as if something snatched the light off. Many would say to snap out of it, like I also tell some who tells me about the darkness that looms. Maybe in the presence of this hazardous, often stubborn lonely little person inside do some of the courageous beings fight to overthrow it. Maybe overthrowing isn’t what it needs but friendship and of understanding that this will never go away. And like a child it needs the warm embrace and the acceptance that those bad things, those that keeps the nightmares close will always be a part of the life lived. That withdrawing from the world composed of billions of people trying to keep things together does not change anything but amplifies the fear.

Just hold on to those threads weaved with love and joy over the years. And that knowing “Faith does not make things easy but possible” may give hope more than one needs.

Maybe feeling lonely isn’t a bad thing all the time. Maybe this is how life tells one to stop and re-evaluate the steps.

Strength is not something acquired with experience, I think. It may be a constant decision and a choice to make. Every day. Always.

 

Where things matter

Many of the things I wanted to write about vanishes just before I could grasp them. What is it today? Let me try to recount.

I met a little fella when I changed into my running clothes this morning. The fella was comfortably lounging at the back of the car. Even when I moved around and opened the back door, it stayed there; and so I did not bother it. It was very interesting as I first thought of it as a fallen leaf but it moved. I just went on and ran my 30 minutes.

As I was travelling home from work at 8AM-yep, I work at night; the traffic was really bad. Unusually unmoved. When I got past the traffic lights, I saw a cordoned area with police officers around. It appeared that someone inside an SUV was ambushed. But while the incident is horrific and that I should feel horrible, my mind was busy planning on another route to take so to avoid going late to my daughter’s rehearsals.

Yes, this post is about trying to make sure that my kid do not miss her rehearsals. And while at it I can stay at the back of the car writing my case studies or reading work emails and sort the ones that needed replies.

I did search on the internet any news of the incident and found the information enough for me to utter a few words in my head that “may the person/s survive and come out well” of the incident. I just can’t fathom why there is a need for violence and why for some it becomes easy to shoot at people.

Anyway, while waiting for my daughter I got hungry and asked someone at school for a place to eat. I was directed here. A low profile inexpensive food stall we call “Carinderia” and found my favorite soup, “Tinunu-an Kalabasa”.

I waited for the rehearsals to be over, 2 hours of waiting is an opportunity for a lot of things for me. Reading, writing and or working. Many things come our way. Our days are filled with stuff that we control or controls us. The choice is ours. ❤️

Storytelling

I can vividly remember the day I got fascinated with stories. I was 4 or 5 years old when I insisted to sit-in at my siblings kindergarten class. It was the only class in our community funded by a non-profit organization and conducted by volunteers who if my memory serves me right were given allowances to get things by. The class was held right on the second floor of the community chapel and but at present the chapel had soon been gone burned to ashes. The room was filled with donated toys, a Nipa house, and donated books. The teacher, we called her Ma’am Noemi- taught there from our parents down to us and I even heard she is still there trying to keep it going and trying to keep the learning alive. Although truth of the matter is, I am not sure if the battle on education in where I come from is still being fought or if it was already lost a long time ago.

I had been asking myself why my hunger for learning never ceases and lived every day trying to understand why. Today as I smelled the coffee, I realized I have to remember where it started and all I can think is that one teacher who introduced me to Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. I remembered her looks as she was seated in front on a small chair, while we sat in astonishment on the red cement floor; as she turned those pages giving life to the stories.

I met her again few years back and thanked her for all that she’s done for me and for my siblings and the community but looking back to that day I thanked her, it really did not occur to me how she’s impacted my life until today. I would have wanted to hug her for if I am going to be very honest now, she initially imprinted a deeply-rooted desire in my heart that love for learning from the stories she read. And while life has blessed me with more teachers who’ve done so much to water the seeds, she was the first to sprinkle water on it.

But who planted it? My mother. My mother for her short life on earth planted the very important thing I needed in life, the desire to learn and the importance of education. I am not sure if she’d predicted she’d not live long enough to see us have our own lives and choices but she made her every single decision to be all about our future. Especially when she moved us out of the slums where she grew up and saw the potential harm of a drug infested place she lived all her life; it was clear that she wanted her kids to have a different life.  And that was what I remembered. That was what changed me. Every time life feels so down and confusing, I would remember how my mother in her capacity did everything so we’d have a different life. So we’d choose not the easy path but the one that gives us peace. Peace is not always saying Yes or agreeing to what life throws at us for even in the comforts of conformity, chaos lives.

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When our mayor opened our public library for 24 hours, I saw the opportunity for my children and so I could introduce them too to the doorways of the different worlds. Provide opportunity for them to interact with other children, choose any book to scan or read, or just stare at the beautiful covers. I also learned that a storytelling organization exists in the very same library. It sparked my interest because maybe I can go back to the place where my mother grew up and maybe just maybe start a weekly storytelling sessions with the children and maybe just maybe initially and unknowingly imprint in those minds a little desire to read and to learn. And meaning for that desire to be passed on not just to my children but also to my neighbor’s children.

I grew up reading everything I see, from the billboards to notices on doors. All the writings on the wall, and the hanging decorations with texts amused me. Yes, I want to know everything about storytelling. It’s where my love for reading sprang from. It may not save the world, or may not save everybody but it may make an impact in someone just like it did to me.

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Productivity Lie We are Sold To

I recently read a book, “The One Thing” and I just couldn’t believe how one book can change parts of ones self. One item in the book resonates in me and not just because I was immersed in the workforce right after graduation but because I entered a world of corporate slavery where one is taught “Multi-tasking” is the way to survive a hectic day.

This is one lie that opened my eyes to one simple daunting reality. I was set up to fail by the very people who said they want for me to succeed not because they wanted for me to fail but because they also believed in such a lie. It perfectly made sense to me when the writer presented that the concept of multi-tasking was meant for computers not because computers are working on a task all at once but because computers are so fast, it creates such an illusion. So what do we do? Focus and attentiveness on what we do and that we have to develop efficiency in switching tasks. It also made perfect sense that to be efficient, we have to list down to know our main or most important tasks so we will have the clarity of what to tackle first. Because in reality, the thought of multi-tasking in itself is stressful.

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Multi-tasking is a lie.

It made wonders in me. It didn’t make everything perfect but it made everything else easier and bearable.  We cry of unfinished tasks and so much to do with so little time and never really thought that we are thinking and doing things wrong in the first place.

Practice focus and develop attentiveness. Read the book: The One Thing. Try it for a start.

The ONE thing.jpg
Thankful to the writers and to pool of friends who recommends great books to read

2017- The Year that was

I’ve always wondered why a new year has to be celebrated. When I was little I remembered the festive feel it gives, the food, and the noise. I was just sort of- going with the flow. As life grow inside of me, I was given answers to some questions and usually answers aren’t absolute as they led me to more questions.

2017 was a year of self-discovery for me. My ulterior motives, my internal battles, and of finding what really propels me to live. Is it my children? My work? The love of my life? Or something else? Questions like why do I have to get up to work? Is it to feel useful? To have a good life? What are my ambitions? What is the worth of my soul? I have noticed that as I drew nearer into uncovering the answers to the questions, I am left with more questions. Life as I realized will be a never ending discovery.

2017 tested the faith I have in myself and that I am more selfish than otherwise at times when I feel convenient for me, who am I kidding? I talked more than necessary, I talked more than I listened and I analyze less. I spent time on unnecessary stuff and I sweat on things that never really matters. I have questioned the validity of my marriage as I delved into the reasons why I tied the knot and of why him. The important decisions and whether I chose well. It brought me to the answer that our choices defines how we live, that true love is a choice, and that my ultimate ambition is just truly to be happy. Often, this is masked with so many unnecessary things I thought I needed. But, I am working on it. I read loads of books, baked and cooked, watched too many TED Talks than I had ever been, traveled a lot, missed many appointments, but gained true friends. Just a few of the things that unfolded right in front of me. I’ve had the opportunity of professional development- many of it. I got lost, felt incompetent and overwhelmed and just before the year ended, my husband lost his dad to cancer. He was diagnosed in 2013. It was sad for him and his whole family. 2017 was many things.

2017 was a tough year. But as to why we celebrate it? Maybe it’s obvious- New Year brings new hope, a reminder that everybody can start all over every day, every morning at the exact moment we open our eyes. Despite the challenges, living and loving is still best than not have lived and loved at all.

Cheers to 2018!

 

Love,

Moning

That Tiny Cottage in My Dream

A movie date with my husband yesterday and on our way home, the conversation goes like this:

Mommy: Dad, I saw this funny video like a gag TV show wherein a man would put a cute piglet inside a faux grinding machine that would produce sausage. He would let the innocent bystanders taste the sausages and when they say it tastes good, he would take a live piglet and put it in the grinder.

Daddy: Is that the same Gag Show we saw before?

Mommy: No, I think it’s created by animal rights activists.

Daddy: Mommy, does animal rights activists eat animal meat?

Mommy: I think they shouldn’t because what’s the whole point?

Daddy: I think animals are created really for human consumption.

Mommy: That is up for debate but I agree with you. I also think that human population has grown exponentially that it has created an imbalance in the whole ecosystem. Dad, how did we grow that fast?

Daddy: That’s the question for mathematics, Mommy.

(Both laughed)

Mommy: Also, why is it that we are filling up the cities too fast?

Daddy: Because we have everything we need here, school, jobs, hospitals and so much more.

Mommy: Why do we need hospitals?

Daddy: So we get cured.

Mommy: Why do we need to get cured if we all die in the first place? I mean, don’t get me wrong on this question but the city is so stressful, polluted and I don’t understand what we are after.

The conversation stopped there as my husband also changed the topic while his focus shifted solely to driving. The last thought got me thinking further into it. I had a dream few days ago that we settled into a simple little cottage with my favorite place just outside the kitchen- a small chair facing a small garden. To read, to watch the children play, to see life’s wonders, probably write a book, get an online job-coding or virtual assistant or anything. Plant vegetables and flowers. Bake. Watch the world go by.

I felt some sort of peace. That wonderful place gave me hope. One day, I will live in such place. Towards that goal, I will work on it.

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A place of zen and peace

Doc Sahlee

We just had a trip to the doctor today as my youngest was having a hard time with runny nose, colds and cough. Even though we’ve bought over-the-counter medicines, I still feel uncomfortable giving medicines that’s not prescribed by her pediatrician. She’s the doctor of both my daughters and I call her Doc Sahlee.

Because I had to bring my youngest daughter to Doc Sahlee I had to inform school that my eldest can’t be anywhere but home. There was a disruption in the household as my husband’s grandmother was also in the hospital being looked after by the family members. We never had a nanny so when emergencies come up, we had to make do and make adjustments.

Normally, waiting for a doctor’s appointment can take hours and hours but today we were lucky that the list isn’t long. Our turn came 15 minutes after we arrived. While Doc Sahlee was doing her routine check up, listening to Gabe’s chest, hear her heartbeat, looked at both her ears and had her open her cute little mouth- we were also having small talks about life. We seldom see each other except when the kids get viruses and bacteria one after another which no mom would ever want. She asked me how things have been and I told her how recently I had a breakdown and that I got myself overwhelmed with everything that has been thrown at me. She listened like a good doctor would and told me, “Say no. Just say, no”. Told me that there would always be sacrifices built around wanting to achieve something in life. All these are not new to me but those words coming from a mother whose profession is far more important* than mine, and who took a backseat saying no to conferences abroad, to symposiums and all other activities to take care of her children and her husband- it was a breath of fresh air.

Many people I know in the corporate world has had issues with sacrifices, of what to sacrifice and trying to solve the work-life balance enigma. Always trying to console the self that the sacrifice of being away from family and children is worth it and that being at work for 15 hours in a day equates to love, as such is working hard. I am beginning to believe that those people who’ve already made choices of bringing children unto the world does not have that kind of luxury to even begin with. There aren’t easy choices but only sacrifices to be made. And we must be willing to accept that these sacrifices are necessary and that the children nor the partner shouldn’t be guilty of us taking a backseat for them nor us thinking that they owe us. And if we decide to do the other thing and sacrifice the kids or the partner or the friends and the family then we must be willing to accept the repercussions of not having the most memorable time with those we love and shouldn’t blame ambition and dream for it for we made the choice. After all, time will continue to pass us by and we have the control over how we use it.

After the prescription paper and saying the many thank yous, I kind of appreciated Doc Sahlee more. I just realized that she has become one of those people I truly believe, trust and appreciate.

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*I said more important because saving lives and terminating people has huge difference in impact I suppose. But these two have different meanings to us, so both are still incomparable in a sense.

Understanding Functions

I am writing this while class is ongoing. I know it’s not good, I don’t believe in multi-tasking. It is not effective but surprisingly has become addicting. So I am writing this piece with a whole lot discussion going on, an idea when it arrives sometimes I find it compelling.

Discussed in class topics like how to think, act and become a strategist like a CEO- has given me a lot of insights but it’s becoming clear too that the job is scary. It is a very demanding and difficult job. An ambition to be taken with caution.

Anyway, an idea popped into my head while the professor was talking about strategies, integration and levels of responsibilities in leadership- I just realized that while one begin to understand his/her role in an organization as one gains knowledge, experience and wisdom; the gap will also widen with the people she/he works with. The gap I am talking about is the level from where we understand one another especially when the rate of accumulating those wisdom, knowledge and experiences is not the same. It goes with all relationship, I suppose. Misunderstanding happens when a concept/idea/information is interpreted differently. And interpretations are personal, comprises of level of maturity, experiences, emotional intelligence and interests. Interpretations stems from inside the person’s ideals, ideas, beliefs and views of the world.

Where am I driving at this? What made me write about this? In my line of work, talking to individual is the core essence of my function. From discussions on problems, giving options, coming up with solutions and compromise. The conversations we make everyday also defines relationships. When we talk to people who are not ready yet to listen to the things we have learned, what we believe and our realizations -we become misaligned. Why I think this is important? Because often I feel disheartened when I am not understood. Everyone wants to be understood but not really concern on understanding first. I remembered my Director saying, “Seek to understand”. Easier said than done as emotions always gets in the way.

My understanding have expounded, and that on how we send a message across is important. It is a must to ensure that the message will be understood. Because our level of understanding will never be the same. My function in the organization involves communicating and making others understand, may it be new processes, programs and changes and a whole lot  more. More than that, my job is also to understand the connection of the people to the organization and how I would be able to help in adding value by communicating clearly.

understand

 

 

Moms and the busy word

 

I attended today a parent meeting for the upcoming Family day at school where my 7 years old daughter go. I was late because of headache and laundry and my youngest child’s tantrums and my husband’s still not done with work and my own paper at school due. When I arrived, the parent attendees were all ready to leave and seems they are done for the day but they went back as soon as they saw me. I was embarrassed of course for being late and for stopping them from leaving.

We went through the whole talk of the activity which will be in two weeks time. The preparation to the dance presentation, costumes and the whole shebang. We haven’t figured out what to dance so we still have a long way to go.

One parent approached me that she might be having a difficulty with the practices due to work and that she’s very busy and another parent saying that she too has less amount of time with these extra-curricular things because again busy. As a mother of two, a worker, a wife, a student and between all other things I do in life, I didn’t know how to respond to them because I understand how the things we do in life are overwhelming us. Being a parent is an altogether a demanding job.

What struck me though is how conveniently we use the busy word in this age and how it’s become the shortest  word we can come up with as an excuse. I also have challenges with managing my time and I could still vividly recall what my mentor told me about being busy and with time. She said, “We cannot manage time, we can only manage ourselves with the little time we have”. This is what I always remember whenever I get hit with the busy word. We are not busy, we just prioritize and spend time on things we think as important. My only problem is that I am sucker with saying “No”, which I find myself over committing and this results to me either over-stretching myself and or disappointing people for under or not delivering at all.

As I go along my journey as a mother, I have learned basic principles, laws and lessons of the choices I make. The mistakes that drives me to change and the triumphs that keeps me inspired. One of the mantra that have kept me afloat is that on priorities I am a mother first, a worker second and a student third but this as simple as it may seem is still not to be taken lightly and while I may be guided by this mantra, the others can sometimes be overbearing and overtake the first priority. Today, I was reminded of this and of how the school activities is my duty as a mother and that my involvement in my daughter’s life is one of the most important duty as a parent.

we do everything

So why I started to decide that busy is our reality today, it still shouldn’t keep us from deciding what’s important and what can wait.

 

Inadequacy

Feeling of inadequacy creeps in to me
Accomplishing too little from thinking too much
Fighting darkness with greater dark force
With a heart beating to do good yet loving the evil mood

Confusion is creeping in to me
From what to face with this long list
To pump food for the little darling as I start with the long typing
Desperately yearning to finish the chores and reach thy goals

The nights I wish were longer to stare as they mumble
The days I wish were longer to finish what Was started
The heart that is beating to do good wants to apologize when it carries out evil mood
The heart that wants to give more good is tempted by the bad mood
The heart that wants to be good is living a story that is called motherhood

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