All posts filed under: Personal

The Power (or Lack of) of Internships

There is always something to learn in every situation – depending on your perspective. Some might say it is always better to get an internship at a large corporation for its name recognition, connections, and employment opportunities. It is true. A lot of times, having a big name on your resume (much like a degree from a renowned academic institution) can stack the odds in your favor during a job hunt. Yet, I believe being an intern at relatively new or small companies provide special opportunities to learn and grow. The current company I am working for is small. We have two owners, nine employees, and two interns including me. I am the marketing intern and I work with two others, making up a three-person marketing team. The small size of this company meant that I was actually handed much more responsibilities and allowed much more involvement in the business than the average intern. As of today, I am in charge of operating and managing the company’s market research and analysis, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads …

Learning and Growing! Internship and Coursera Specialization!

Last week, I started my internship with WLM Financial – a real-estate brokerage. With my interest in urban planning and development and my background in the social sciences, it appears to be a good fit to work as their Marketing Intern. I was quickly integrated into the marketing team and I am happy to say that the owners have been very trusting and gave me a great opportunity to learn. They have taught me a great deal in the past week about mortgages and real-estate. They are always open to questions and really took me under their wings. I look forward to learning more about the real-estate industry and about business development. Though I am only an intern, my opinions were valued and contributed to the direction the company is taking. Using my skills with ArcGIS, I took the initiative located our target audiences. I integrated demographic data with geospatial data from the U.S. Census Bureau to reveal locations where our target audience might be located. I was quickly able to locate ten cities in …

Customer Service is…

Today, I helped out with the Taiwan Products Day in San Gabriel, CA. It was a great learning experience and one of the first times I helped out with a large scale event. Customer service was incredibly important and I found it amazing to help people. With a winning smile and great patience, it was amazing to see how easy it is to make someone feel comfortable. I enjoyed solving problems as well. One of the vendors could not find her package at all and it was essential for her meetings with her buyers today. (Hooray Google!), after obtaining her tracking number and the logistics company, I was able to track her package. We found that it was delivered safely to the hotel and was misplaced somewhere. With the help of the friendly hotel staff, we were able to locate her parcel and deliver it to her before the event began. It may sound simple, but helping a nervous vendor feel comfortable and ready for her meetings was a great feeling. I began to understand …

If You Want to Visit Peru

As a recent graduate, I have a fair amount of time on my hands while job hunting. This meant that I have plenty of time to indulge in reading, one of my favorite pastimes. I am a pretty avid reader cutting across a variety of subjects: history, biography, biology, classics, philosophy, to name a few. One of my favorites things to read is books about foreign places, cultures, and histories. I recently devoured the book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams. The author retraced the expeditions by Hiram Bingham III, who was famous for “discovering” Machu Picchu and a host of other Inca ruins in Peru. The book is highly entertaining and really reminded me of my own time as a research assistant in the Peruvian Amazon. If you are interested in learning a little bit about Inca culture and history, there is lots of nuggets in this book. If you want to visit a foreign place, but is unable to physically at the moment, this book …

Dessert…is the Food for Soul

Let’s take a break from the heavier stuff. In recent years, I have taken quite a liking to cooking and making desserts. This is partly because I am beginning to notice how the food you eat affect how your body functions and feels. Another reason is the sense of accomplishment that comes with making good food. I admit, my skills as a chief is probably only average, but part of the fun is to see my personal growth. With each meal and dessert I make, I gain more experience with how to prepare the ingredients and what to do once the fire is on. Desserts are my favorite things to make. The more challenging the dessert, the more I want to attempt it. I always love a good challenge and a hard dessert is like a puzzle to be solved. Personally, I think unlike main courses and dishes, most dessert recipes require some delicacy to their preparation and cooking. It takes patience and care to make a good dessert. As the ancient Chinese like to …

The Mental Acrobatics of Space

Space has always fascinated me. It is something we experience constantly, but few would pause to give thought about. As a child, I built castles and moats out of rocks and mud. I drew imaginary and fantastic maps. I created cities out of Lego and origami. Yet, I never truly understood the spatial arrangements and relationships between objects. To be honest, despite going to graduate school I still do not completely understand them. In my humble opinion, I believe the interactions between psychology, design, and planning have been quite weak. Why do we prefer smooth edges and straight lines? Why do we have preferences for certain spatial arrangements? Why are certain places more attractive than others, even if they are designed similarly? Why do we prefer to be in the middle of spaces as opposed to the edges? How do we use the space around us and why are some spaces more utilized than others? Certainly, part of the answers to these questions depend on not only personal preferences but also historical and cultural background – …

Relaunch…The Brand New Ideas by IamLliw

Hello everyone! IamLliw is back! For those that don’t know, check out About Ideas by IamLliw. It has been a long time. In the last couple years, I attended and graduated with a M.A. from Arizona State University. I focused on urban environment studies through an urban political ecology framework. My passion for space and the use of space led to me examine relationships between social issues and their spatial distribution. Along those lines, I immersed myself in urban planning and development, as I pursued my interest in urban environments that developed during my time in the Department of Environmental Protection of Taipei. The major projects I have been involved in typically revolved around the spatial analysis of cities. That is also where my passion lies – understanding, analyzing, and creating space. Unfortunately, this blog fell to the wayside with my focus dedicated to my studies. However, my experiences in academics taught me the importance of developing and sustaining a voice. At its core, every published research paper is an intellectually developed and evidence based report …

Kenting Travelogue

Kenting – a summer paradise for beach-goers and sun-lovers at the southern tip of Taiwan. It has been almost ten years since I last set my eyes on its bustling main street, its numerous inns and shops, and its small beaches. The sun just feels different there, different from the sun in Taipei. More radiant, it shines down from a blue sky flanked by towering white clouds that floats like cotton candy instead of the dark, foreboding rain clouds that seem hang over Taipei perpetually. Perhaps that is just my imagination, fueled by a desire to get out of the trappings that I have come to associate with Taipei. What makes a place attractive is not what characterizes it. It is just how much we prepared ourselves to find the place attractive (kind of works with people too…hahaha). For me, someone who loves being outdoors in the sun, Kenting is vastly more attractive than Taipei. For others, those who show up on a trip to the beach with brand-name bags, make-up, and high heels, the …