Do What You Do Best: You

I always lived my life living the life I would have in five, ten, twenty, and sometimes thirty years. I always like to plan everything that comes my way, so I know what to expect, and so I can mentally prepare myself into a progression.However, in some ways, it actually impairs me into regression.

I grew up wanting to be a novelist,screenwriter, graphic designer, CPA, CEO, film director, film producer, psychologist, psychiatrist, computer scientist, software engineer, web developer, advertising manager, teacher, president, business owner, social entrepreneur, and the list goes on and on. Despite the diverse and overflowing list of jobs I wanted to occupy, for each job or career, I meticulously schedule each step and evaluate what I need to do to reach that goal. For every job I worked towards, I honed down the skills and knowledge needed for those jobs, and oftentimes, doing this helps me see the world in a way someone who is on a single track would not.

I wouldn’t say I’m bragging about how I think, but I have seen everything through different perspectives because with the skills and knowledge one would attain, those perspectives are channeled within one’s decision-making. I often make many questions – albeit only some are critical – because I love to learn more and more about how something happened, why it happened, what could have happened, what went wrong, what could be better, and such. This curiosity usually makes me hunt for what I want: an answer – a solution. I would say that I am always dissatisfied with where I am and I want to advance and see something I haven’t yet seen before, so that curiosity usually runs wild to find the answer I am looking for to see as an opportunity. That opportunity makes me excited that I am off to a path with a lot of potential.

Nonetheless, that was exactly what I came to realize just two days ago. In my years of high school, I knew I wanted to be a corporate lawyer, and a JD/MBA dual degree is recommended to become a corporate lawyer to be a master of the law and a master of the business. I was so driven to become a corporate lawyer, but deep inside, I knew that, despite all of my internships in the legal, corporate, retail, and entrepreneurial world, I knew I was not about the life where I am locked down to an office crunching numbers and analyzing financial statements like an accountant, but seeing people face-to-face and helping them. But is that really enough? Do I really like to the tediousness that legal work entails? I was told that I have a good direction, a good head, a good mind for strategy, but can I actually sit down and win a bloody war where my wins equate to my salary?

The answer is no. I realize that some cases are all about being in the right because being in the wrong just makes it a whole lot harder to fight and win. If the fight went down and the opposing side came out victorious, you not only lost all that time and energy, but you also receive no money from that case. I like to work as much as I can and make it work with my own hands. With something I can control – myself. I am very logically driven, and I try not to involve my personal feelings into any professional or business matters. That is the case. I do not believe, despite the logic affiliated with the issue at hand, sometimes the law makes it so much more difficult to fight against because that is the law that governs us. I would rather be in a world that involves law than in the world of law.

And that’s where I thought of becoming a finance and international management concentrator. I was always into international business, cultures, languages, and the relations between the countries. My fascination in Japanese and Korean language and culture as well as my interactions with friends in London, Manchester, Madrid, Singapore, Sydney, and Toronto all teased me to learn more and more about their languages and cultures. This is all to the extent where I would want to work a job (or live a career) flying to new countries to meet new people and expose myself to culture-rich settings that kick the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit within me. Also interested in finance because of how money works in our system fascinated me on strategies and methods we can use to plan for a project or venture through financing. However, that itself was not enough.

Being involved in Positive Culture through the operational side of a business that involves supply chain management opened my eyes to examples in business where the inception of an idea ended with a product or service handed off to a consumer. The satisfaction of following through and seeing a result appeared to be very rewarding the no-pain no-gain workaholic I am. My mother is also involved in operations regarding the imports and exports of the supply chain management. Operations also is the field of not only planning but also doing what was planned. The obsession of mine to carry out what I thought really shown value to me through this business discipline. I saw myself in operations and finance at the end of the day along with international management.

For the international business enthusiast, studying abroad is on the bucket list. For the ambitious business student, learning a new language is on the bucket list. To prove myself that I am not taking the easy way out, I chose to learn Korean and study abroad in Korea with a triple concentration in finance, operations, and international management. Nevertheless, a realization dawned on me when I met more and more Koreans and analyzed industry trends only to see that there is not much value in business in South Korea. I also realized that international management would be taking so much of my time and energy taking three classes that can just be taught on- the-go through multinational companies. Boston University itself is a very international school, and that exposure can really go a long way.

I reevaluated the study abroad options at Boston University School of Management – without international management. I could go to London, Sydney, Dublin, or Copenhagen that did not require learning a new language. I have already attended and now attending another Korean classes, but after my four-year plan, I will be able to reevaluate to see what is my next step. I came to realize that despite living and hoping to study abroad for a semester through the three years of planning I have done to execute my goal, I have lost sight of what works and what doesn’t work. This international management concentration would have worked in Korea, but would I personally thrive and find more value in that option?

It was two days ago when I did not reject what my inner-gut feelings was telling me. It was telling me to find more value in my education here at Boston University. After really analyzing all my options presented during the Futures and Options fair featuring all panels for the concentrations and of school clubs, these would help me find out what works for me and what doesn’t, but I was between management information systems, finance, operations, and the concentration has been developed in time, strategy. In the end, I might end up studying finance, operations and law/strategy. That is, if strategy is developed in time for concentration courses fulfillment.

I learned that despite planning everything I have thought myself to be, despite diversifying your skill set and portfolio of knowledge, can push you back to regression. Constantly needing to research industry trends and your own habits can greatly benefit you finding what clicks with you and what doesn’t.

It isn’t just about what you want to do and what you need to do to live.

It’s really how you want to live your life and your dreams.

NOTE: As of October 2015, Questrom School of Business offers a Strategy and Innovation concentration. I am now a finance, management information systems, and strategy and innovation concentrator.

(3.5.15)