Some Tips for Students Looking for Internships or Jobs

I have mentioned a few times that I participate in the recruiting event for my company, and I had just visited a local university few days ago. Desperate time makes desperate students (people) *sigh*

Look for job is definitely money-releated, so I am going to offer some tips for students. Assuming you have the skills and technical criteria, I offer the following tips on how you approach and talk with company recruiters, and in all practicality, the tips should be also useful in your day-to-day interaction with people in general.

Disclaimer: I am not a “professional” coach — meaning, I have no certificate — but I do have the perspective of a recruiter, having done it more than I can count with my two hands and talked to hundreds, if not thousand of students.

Here I go.

  1. Do not behave like a robot — You are not a piece of meat. The recruiter is not a piece of meat. No one is just a piece of meat. So don’t treat people like a piece of meat. Should not we treat all people courteously anyways? Examples such as…
    • Do not simply walk up to a recruiter and recite a planned speech or essay.
    • It follows that, greet the recruiter and do not ignore him or her when greeted with “How are you?” or similar questions. (That happened a lot.)
    • Similarly, it’s good if you have a plan, but if the recruiter behaves or responds “out of sync”, adapt.
  2. Slow down your speech — It is great that you are prepared. It is okay that you are nervous. But it is NOT okay that you speak so fast that the other person cannot understand you, or simply zone out because you “buffer overflow” his or her brain. Speak at a decent pace.
  3. Breathe — Yes, literally, you need to breathe. This goes hand in hand with your speech. First of all, without breathing, you die. Without enough air, your speech will suck, and then you will try to speak even faster. At which point, you will get even more nervous. Breathing also helps your body handle the adrenaline rush. So, breathe. Breathe between sentences. It is okay to have a moment of silence.
  4. Stand tall — This will enhance your presence and image of confidence. Do not mistake this with puffed chest. Personally, I believe this has a huge impact on our impression on people in general, consciously or subconsciously. Fix your posture. If you don’t know what a good posture mean, go study what yoga, martial art, or singing talks about in a good posture.
  5. A nice and firm handshake — Besides posture, handshake is another good sign of a person’s attitude and confidence. A nice firm handshake is one which two persons’ hands cross with the concave part between the thumb and the index finger followed by a quick but firm squeeze. Do NOT crush the person’s hand.
  6. Pass on your resume once introduced and greeted — At career fair. This one is common sense, right? Give recruiter the resume so he or she can take notes of you and mark key points you that you are pointing out. (Literally, a few students did not give me the resumes until half way or when we are done talking… does not make sense, to me at least)
  7. Format your resume for easy glancing or browsing — Especially for career fair, the recruiter is to find key information in very limited time. Format key information so they are easy to spot at a glance, like graduation date, GPA, companies and job description of your previous work, important skills for the job you want, etc. Ask friends, teachers, strangers and see if they can find those information in 2-3 minutes. That will most likely make them happy.
  8. Resumes’s “One-page-ness” — This is targeted to undergraduate. Unless you have many very very important and relevant information that you MUST present, keep it to one page.

Note: Let alone the hard-to-browse resumes. I am very surprised to see many poorly done resumes yet these days. By that I mean, some of them are so obvious that the person did not even try.

Even though this may not be what all recruiters look for or how they feel, I believe these should be some good starting point, and the first 5 tips are generically useful for your interaction with other people in daily life. That’s all I have for now. Hope you find it useful.

Originally posted 2009-02-27 02:07:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Why No Way is the Way

A way can be said to be a predefined set of pattern or behavior.

It has been a long time that our various social structures and cultural patterns base on our mutually exclusive definition of good and evil, right and wrong have done us well. That is great. However, it is about time for us to move beyond.

Impermanence IS the only absolute of nature, as base on the fundamental teaching of Buddhism and also base on the fundamental understanding in physics.

Time is changing. As we relentlessly continue to develop technology that accelerates the speed for which we and our society change, the more so that any pre-defined set of pattern and behaviors are to become obsolete. That is to say, it is very likely that pre-existing ways will have less and less benefits and more more harms the longer we hold on to it.

In a state of chaos, no predefined patterns, no premeditated thoughts can help us.

That is why having “no way” is the only way to behave suitably as time proceeds from here on. It has never been more true.

Having no way does not mean to fight and to abolish any existing way. Quite oppositely, having no way means MORE so that we need to study and fully understand all, or at least as many as possible, existing ways that we know of. But without being attached, as in clinging to any particular one of them…. only then, we can spontaneously apply a suitable way that maybe one or more of the pre-existing ways in combination, or create a new one, in any particular situation.

And this is only possible if you don’t cling on to a specific way.

Understand both what are defined as “right” and “wrong”… and know that at any time, “right” could become “wrong” and “wrong” could become “right”. Seeing sides without taking side.

This may seem very dangerous and foreign to our mind conditioned to follow patterns of behavior in the last few thousands of years. It is in-arguable that we have the brains to move beyond that.

That is the kind of mentality, living attitude that more and more mankind needs if we are to live harmonically among ourselves and with our environment.

That is the kind of world leader we need, even just as people with influence.

Bruce Lee’s JKD is actually of no particular style. It has its basic routines, training patterns. Many of those may have been drived from Wing Chun or any other style that Bruce Lee studied, and they are good starting point. But you should not be restricted by any of them. He did not even want to call JKD as JKD if he can get by without words.

We have to be able to move beyond all the ways that we have.

As the “no-mind” teaching in Zen, it means for us to go beyond our mind. Reality lives beyond our thinking, our logical intelligence. This is also why the only thing a Zen master really ever does is either destroy all your existing concepts and ideas — including what you think of Zen, or if he thinks you are close, directly points you to the “no-mind” state of being and perception.

To deal with reality optimally, we need no-mindedness and make no-way the way.

Then of course, this choice cannot be made up in the mind as a decision like we usually do, but instead it is a choice that is to known by our heart.

Originally posted 2010-08-23 23:33:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dealing with Emotions

Allow me to share with you today a way to deal with emotions. For the majority’s concern, this is namely about a more healthy way to deal with negative emotions, although it is the same with positive emotions, as people never think in terms of dealing with positive emotions. By no means am I an expert or guru, but this is something I believe and practice and that is why I am sharing with you.

Before going into the description, I categorize below the common ways people act to deal with their emotions. Note that the categories usually happen in combination. After that, I share with you the way I have in mind, and finally I provide an example from my personal experience.

Distraction through External Means
We should all be familiar with this category, whether we know someone or we have done it ourselves. Things like drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or even food/chocolate… People use these external means to block out the mind and to numb the senses in order to avoid truly feeling emotions. It becomes abuse because the effect of is only temporary, which means they will have to do them incessantly to keep the effect.

Dramatization
This is another way for people to distract themselves from the real emotions, by blowing it out of proportion. “The end is here!” “Everyone hates me!” Is that really true? I doubt it. While the person focuses on those dramaticized thoughts, he does not have to deal with the emotions, and hence, another form of distraction.

Being in Denial
Somewhere in the continuum of human race, the notion that people should not have negative emotions was thought up. The ones who believe this notion refuses to acknowledge the fact when they are feeling emotion such as anger, hatred, jealousy, etc. Those are label as “bad”. It’s not right to have them. And they will relentlessly ignore them and probably claim that everything’s fine and they are happy, optimistic, kind, etc.

Obsession with the Emotion
This is the scenario where the person allows the emotion to completely take over. He loses self-control and most of his logical ability. He fixates on the emotion so much so that all his actions are purely as a result of that emotion. It is very difficult to talk sense into such people but easier to just try to calm them down first, even if just physically.

Substitution
Instead of feeling disappointed, people switch to anger. Instead of feeling sadness, people switch to anger. Instead of feeling love, people switch to hatred, at the end of relationships. It’s like playing musical chair with emotions.

When people react to their emotions in terms of the categories above, more negativity and harm are generated. My hypothesis on why people have so many problems due to emotions lies in the fact that they never deal with the emotions at the root when they happen. They do not fully experience their emotions, especially the negative ones. Therefore, they keep accumulating and eventually lead to detrimental effect, which can take years to happen and then years to resolve. It is similar to how people handle their physical body. They often do not maintain the body where they do not exercise and not have balanced diet until illness occurs, but this is another topic. Moving on to what I think people can do to deal with emotions.

Be Okay with Emotions
The first and foremost thing to understand is that it is okay to have emotions. Any types of emotion. Human beings are emotional creatures. It is part of being humans. You feel emotions. I feel emotions. Every single day. Lots of time during a day. As long as we are still breathing, emotions will happen. So it is okay to feel sadness, jealousy, hatred, anger, disappointment, frustration… Just as it is okay to feel happy, satisfied, excitement, passion, love… You need to understand that they are your emotions. Your emotions are not you. It is a big step if you can simply be aware that you have the emotions when you do. You want to fully feel your emotions as they happen.

Identify the Thoughts
Now that you know it is okay to feel emotions. You can be more comfortable with them. When you are sad, you feel sad. Just as when you are happy, you feel happy. This is about simply being with your emotions. When you are okay with having emotions, you can be aware of them. Once you are aware of what you are feeling, you can begin to understand what are the thoughts associated with it. Why do I feel sad? Why do I feel anger? The answers to those questions are our thoughts, which are the true culprits of the pain those emotions are causing you. These thoughts exist together with your emotions. Emotions are created from thoughts. And more thoughts can intensify emotions. Now that you know you have these thoughts, know that it is also okay for thoughts to exist also.

So the first two steps involve identifying the emotions and thoughts that exist within you. By no means are these two steps small or easy. It is very uncomfortable to do at first, but like everything else, it comes with practice. It may be so hard at first that you will want to run away and go back to the usual routine of distraction, dramatization, denial, obsession, or subsitution. We all do it. So let me say that this is also okay, but try to be aware of the behavior and if you can, return to identifying what are the emotions and thoughts. If you cannot, just try to stay calm and not act rashly for awhile. Then try again.

Check with Priorities
Now you are aware of the thoughts that you have. These thoughts are at the heart of why you are feeling the emotions. Remember I talked about priorities before. It is beneficial to line up those thoughts with your priorities, your values in life. The thoughts you are having, are they aligned with the priorities in life? If they don’t pertain, maybe they are not so important after all. Have you done your best in terms of your priorities in the event that leads you to feel those emotions? If you have done so, maybe it is not so bad after all because you did not abandon your values. If you haven’t, it’s also okay, because we all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from it and do your best next time.

This is not an easy process, and it doesn’t make emotions and problems go away immediately. However, I do believe by following this process, you can face your emotions with a sense of peace and not to do anything destrustive to yourself and others. This is a process of fully experiencing your emotions and thoughts. I am also confident that you will “handle” the emotions in a shorter time frame instead of having them linger for ages. The more you practice experiencing emotion as described, the quicker it gets to free yourself from the burden of emotion.

I have briefly mentioned that I experienced a break up in a recent post. I will use what I have gone through as an example. Break up is never easy, as for you, as for me. As long as one is truly devoting one’s self to a relationship, the end is never easy. Definitely I was sad. Besides that, I also somewhat confused and then a bit angry. I think that is normal for most people :)

My Sadness
The fact is that I only enter into a relationship when I genuinely like the person a lot. I would like to spend time with her and have fun together, go through experience with her and be able to support each other through good and bad time. I sincerely care for this person, and hope that I can be there to make her and her days better. But in the end, she made the decision to leave. All these things combined together are the thoughts that made me sad. I still feel some sadness, but it is okay. During the time we are together, I did my best being the person I truly am and giving in the way I believe in. “I truly did my best yet it still ended”, that maybe another thought that is causing me sadness. That doesn’t matter because it is okay to have sadness. On the flip side, it can be, “I truly did my best and I have no regret.”

My Confusion
As for the true reason behind the end of relationship, I probably will never find out, which causes confusion. Being human and being me, I am curious. I also wonder what I could have or should not have done. However, the reason behind and all the wondering mean nothing. Does it really matter if it is really due to circumstances in life, or if she has found someone else? The bottom line is that she is certain about the choice. By staying calm during the conversation, that is exactly what I endeavored to ascertain with her. She has made up her mind. She has made the choice to walk a different path, and I will just have to be okay with it. And I am okay with it.

My Anger
As for anger…I am not quite sure, but probably for all the reasons that left me sad and confused. And also perhaps I was looking forward to spend our holidays together, decorating Christmas tree. A happy scene only to be decimated. A bit of anger was there, but it is now gone. After all, there is not that much to be angry about once I can be okay with my sadness and confusion. I should be thankful that we had a chance to share a part of our lives together.

In a nutshell, the key point here is to be aware and to be okay with your emotions, truly experiencing the emotion when it happens. Staying calm and just feeling it, know that it is there. It is okay for it to be there. Once you can do that, you can move on to seeing your thoughts. If you can do something about those thoughts, then do something about them. If you cannot, then there is nothing to do and no reason to have those thoughts and therefore no reason to have those emotions. And if there is emotion remaining still, just be okay and experience them. And repeat the process.

It will take time to develop this way of dealing with emotion. However, there is definitely this peace you feel by doing so, which will allow you do deal with more emotions that happen in the moments in life.

On a final note, this post has a lot to do with awareness, so if you enjoy reading this, feel free to check out my post on Awareness and Zen.

Originally posted 2007-12-21 16:54:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Happiness is Like Water

One of the most fundamental attitude toward life that we seem to agree on today is the pursuit of happiness. On this topic, I simply want to present an analogy here.

Happiness is like water to us.

Yes, we need water. However…

If we try to grab and hold on to water, it simply flow out of the hand.

If we try to preserve a batch of water in container forever, it will become stale water — dirty and stinky.

If we retain all the water we drink in our body and never let out, our bladders will get bloated and eventually we will get sick.

If we drink way too much water, we will also get sick and may even die.

If we hoard water, it does almost no good as we can only drink so much at once.

If we poke, kick, and strike water to try to figure out what it exactly is, it only gets murkier.

So is water. So is happiness.

Know that sensation when you find when you are most thirsty.

Know the taste of water across the tongue.

Know the moment when water flows into the mouth and down into stomach and your thirst is fulfilled.

Know the non-sensation of drinking more water once you are fulfilled.

Know the feeling when you drink too much and you are bloated.

Finally, we always perceive peace, beauty and vitality in water that flows free.

Now if we try to control how water would flow… Well, I will let you finish your own thought now.

Originally posted 2010-01-29 00:47:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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