Monday, February 8, 2016

Recent Favorites

Since the Spring Breaks have begun, I have recently been trying, watching and eating a lot of different things. The thing that I've been super obsessed with lately is a Japanese animation (anime) called "Hataraku Maou Sama" which literally means "The Demon Lord is Working (Part-Time)" in English. It's an action-comedy-fantasy anime with a touch of romance. Definitely my cup of tea. Basically, it's a story about a demon lord named "Maou Sadaou" and his subordinate named "Ashiya Shirou" who had to retreat to Earth, specifically Japan, because they lost a battle against the Hero, Emilia "Yusa Emi" back in their own world Ente Isla. Without any money or knowledge of our world, Maou and Ashiya stumbled around in Tokyo and were finally taken to a police station, as the policemen wanted to assist the "Foreigners". In the end, they finally got an idea of what was going on and decided to live in a 1K (one room, one kitchen, one bathroom) apartment, and Maou tries to earn money for their living expenses by working at MagRonald (if you didn't realize, it's McDonald's without copyright infringement). It's hilarious to see the ruler of the netherworld trying earn money and live in a small apartment in Japan (just like me!). If you're a college student, living alone in another country, you'd definitely relate to this fun, 13 episodes anime! 

As far as beauty routines go, I still stick with my usual products, but I have been obsessed with the new Maybelline Dream Whip foundation (which is something that might only be available in Japan). It feels moisturizing at first, but it turns matte after a few minutes. The cover power is pretty good and it's available in 6 different colors (which is rare in Japan, because the Japanese rarely have tanned skin).

My last favorite is the Royce Chocolate Ice Cream! It's absolutely perfect! I love how it's not so sweet and that there's an unexpected chocolate sauce inside! Originally, I thought that it's way too overrated - I mean, it's just an ice cream right? - but it's probably one of the best ice creams (that is available in the convenience stores) ever!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Show Stoppers

Before anything, I apologize profusely for not posting anything the past 2 weeks! I have been very busy with finals and I'm finally done with exams for this semester! 

Anyway, I'm already at that age when I see engagement pictures and wedding invitations from my upperclassmen, and so this got me thinking about my plans for the future. From the academic side of things, I am going to be a Professor's Assistant for accounting classes, and so, I'm planning on (hopefully) studying from the basics again during the Spring break. I know that it sounds totally nerdy, but aside from wanting to completely and fully understand accounting and finance (which, as you may know, my major on campus), I also want to be a good role model and second teacher for my "students". I've also applied for a seminar class with one of the best accounting professors here in APU (let's keep our fingers crossed for the results) and I will be taking an internship program (hopefully) next year! But, on the relationship end of things, I still have yet to find "the right man" for me and so I'm still single. Single, but very happy!

I'm putting the horse before the carriage here, but I just saw the most beautiful wedding gowns from Haute Couture season! My favorites were the ones by Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab... 

I actually prefer simpler dresses for myself. I'd want to get married in a chapel on the sea with just my closest friends and family. Dinner would definitely be the best seafood. Yum. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Alexander Wang Pre-Fall 2016

Alexander Wang has always been, and always will be, my favorite fashion designer ever. I know that there are a ton of other amazing designers out there as well, but I can never find anyone with cooler designs that Alexander Wang's creations. His designs are always so up-my-alley and putting one of his pieces will make anyone feel instantly cool. His designs ooze laid-back with a lot of edge, perfect for those who don't really enjoy multiple splashes of color or weird shapes and graphics. For the Pre-Fall 2016 Collection, Alexander Wang created both very wearable and eye-catching pieces which had lots of silver metal details, unique cuts and a somewhat 90's vibe. Apparently, his inspiration didn't come from exotic, far away, dreamy lands, but from the people he sees around him in New York City. The street style in  New York city is composed of everything - from on-trend fashionistas to hobos - you could definitely get inspiration just by looking from the contrast and putting these different styles into one. For me, the outerwear and bags are just screaming to be bought. I am obsessed with the leopard print coat and the long green coat with the unique button details. The bags are perfect, without too many embellishments and the basic colors makes them easy to be paired with anything. However, my favorite piece has to be the simple, long, black dress with the metal details. He rarely creates dresses or gowns for evening wear, but when he does, they're absolute perfection.

(pictures are from VOGUE)

Fairy Drops

Mascara is that one thing that never works for me. My eyelashes grow straight down and despite using eyelash curlers and expensive mascaras, they still won't be as curled or long as I want them to be. One day last month, I went to a random drugstore in Beppu Station and discovered mascara called "Fairy Drops" and the girl in the picture had mile long, high volume, super awesome lashes. At first, I thought that this is just another one of those marketing scams, but being the curious girl that I am, I just decided to try it out. 

When I opened the tester mascara, I was shocked to see the wand. There are three "balls" on a "curve" (I guess that's the best way to describe it) and it looks like it could just torture your eyes when you accidentally sneeze and poke your eyes with that thing. I tried it anyway and I was very, very pleasantly surprised with the result! My lashes became much more voluminous, long and visible without any eyelash curlers! This is definitely going to be my holy grail mascara and I totally recommend it to everyone who needs a lot more help with their lashes. The price isn't cheap, but it isn't expensive either, so it's definitely still affordable, even with my waitress part time job money. It was around 2,500 yen (or USD 25) in Beppu Station's drugstore.

Please ignore my under eye circles as I haven't had enough sleep for 2 weeks. Preparations for the business competition and exams really take a lot out of you. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dreaming of Arabian Nights

My friends and I decided to join a business competition that's being held on our campus. The theme of this year's business competition is "Business in Beppu", which means that we had to create a new business that will really help Beppu city to flourish. Our professor showed us a video of Jack Ma (the entrepreneur who created Alibaba in China from basically nothing) and he said, "Look for opportunities in the troubles of others." We thought about it for a while and decided that Beppu's tourist center in Beppu Station, wasn't as helpful as we expected it to be. So, we decided to create a new, multi-langual tour and travel agency called "Genie Travel" (hence the title of this post). 

Long story short, we created our basic business proposal, submitted it, passed the first selection, got some votes, passed the second selection and got into the final round. We created our own business plan presentation with all our might. Alas, we are still in college and we still lack a lot of knowledge and experience to create the perfect business plan. I'm in the Accounting and Finance major, which means that I understood most of the Financial Plan part. However, I really couldn't come up with tourism ideas. In the end, my group won third place for the competition. We weren't upset. In fact, the three of us felt very accomplished. Here's a photo of us from the event!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Golden Globes 2016

As you may know, I am such a big fan of red carpet events. I just love looking at beautiful and stunning celebrities in magical designer dresses and gowns on the red carpet. The Golden Globes is the first red carpet event in 2016, so I really wanted to share my thoughts on my best dressed list and, if possible, maybe I could write another post on my favorite beauty looks and accessories as well!

The obvious trend this year are soft, nude colored (beige, creams, flesh tones) and simple. Nothing too crazy or over the top. 

Zoe Kazan opted for a nude Miu Miu dress and accessorized with Chanel Fine Jewelry. I am obsessed with the slightly different nude tones on her dress, which makes her look simple, yet with a unique little detail. Her clutch just adds enough bling for her look and I am obsessed with her blunt bob hair cut.

Kate Hudson also chose a nude toned dress. This Michael Kors two piece gown looks absolutely beautiful on her - I mean, look at those toned abs! Plus, I love the matching choker and the same tone clutch! The shimmer on her dress is just enough, without looking like a total disco ball.

Brie Larson wore this amazing, golden Calvin Klein Collection dress. Paired with simple Tiffany & Co. Jewelry, this look definitely glitters and glows! The cutout makes the look more edgy, but the subdued golden color makes this dress super elegant and classy. Love the simplicity of this look!

Saoirse Ronan was a beautiful Greek Goddess in this Yves Saint Laurent Couture dress. The cape, the draping and the deep-enough neckline makes her look stunning and elegant. The simple silver jewelry adds a little bit of shine and I love her hair style! 

The simple neutrals are easy on the eyes and the simplicity of the dresses makes the celebrities look extra classy and elegant. When in doubt, I'd always prefer to go with "less is more"!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Letter to APU: "How to Improve APM/GSM"

My campus decided to hold an essay competition in order to get the students' honest opinions about the overall education system used in APU, specifically the APM/GSM (International Management) area study. I thought that this essay might be good to post online to tell future APM/GSM students about the positive things and negative things that they may experience in APU. I hope that this message will be seen or heard by the dean as well as the authorities who have the power to change the current APM/GSM.

One disclaimer before the beginning of my essay: this is MY personal opinion regarding the matter. It doesn't mean that my opinion is the right one, heck some of them may even be wrong. It's just the opinion of a third year APM student. Also, I apologize for suddenly writing a 1,000 word essay on a blog. Must be tiring to read.

Everyone wants to be the best. That is a given. In this case, I am sure that APU wants APM/GSM to be in the list of top 10 business schools in the world, if not, the best business school in the world. I believe that APM/GSM professors have done all that they can to make APM/GSM a better business school by creating events, pouring their hearts and souls into teaching their students and learning from the best business schools in the world. However, APM/GSM has yet to be accredited by the AACSB, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Receiving this accreditation would definitely prove that APM/GSM graduates are highly skilled and they will definitely become more desirable to companies around the world (AACSB Accredited, 2016). This has been a problem for quite some time for APU, which is why I would like to state my opinion on my ideal APM/GSM in order to assist with improving the quality of APM/GSM.

First of all, I believe that APM/GSM does not necessarily have to create more ideas to improve APM/GSM. Some of the programs that we utilize in APU are wonderful enough. Therefore, the question that we should ask ourselves is ‘why are the programs we have not enough to contribute to the improvement of the quality of APM/GSM?’ The answer to this question is quality. Students are not motivated enough to make a difference. I could say this with confidence because most students think that they have nothing to gain by improving APM/GSM standards. Even if professors create the most brilliant event with the top CEOs from every top company, students will not learn anything new if they do not engage themselves in that event. Most students in APU will just passively listen to the speakers from these events and forget the contents within the next hour. So the first issue we have is to motivate the students to improve APM/GSM standards. In order to do so, their interests must be piqued and they need to have the interest to participate (i.e. two way communication, et cetera).

Next, I believe that APU students could learn outside of class. So, I would like to discuss about the circles that are able to help with APM/GSM’s improvement. For example, GBL or the Global Business Leader circle is an amazing place for APM/GSM students to start discussing problems in the business world. However, I have heard from my friends that GBL’s quality have recently decreased. One way I could think of to solve this is to have an advisor – a professor from APM/GSM who is willing to help create activities and discussions about the business world. Theories should be taught in the classes, but learning from actual events and cases that happen around the world from circles can really boost the students’ knowledge, get them thinking and in the long run, they can solve these problems and create a better change.

Aside from improving APM/GSM by using available resources, I believe that learning from the world’s current top business schools will definitely help with improving APM/GSM standards to be even more ideal. A good business school to learn from is the Harvard Business School. HBS starts each day by asking “What difference will you make in the world?” This question gets students motivated, thinking and dreaming about their future. They also teach their students to learn how to make decisions in the face of conflicting data, complex politics and intense pressures. Students are asked to explore new ventures and connect with entrepreneurs from all around the world. Finally, they also provide with the world’s newest updated leading research and resources to keep the students enlightened with newer information from any part of the world (HBS, 2016). Aside from learning from the strengths of business schools, APM/GSM could learn from others’ mistakes. A lot of HBS students have stated that professors have pushed them way too hard, some policies were too rigid and ridiculous and the school itself had expensive gatherings and social activities that students seem to become “customers” of the business instead of a normal student studying at a university (Byrne, 2015).

Finally, I believe that teachers should teach accordingly. I am a student of the Accounting and Finance major and I experienced a lot of trouble because most teachers believed that students should study by themselves and that teachers should not “spoon feed” their students. However, the majority of students will agree with me when I say that accounting is not the easiest subject to learn. Teachers should teach everything carefully and in detail. Explanations should not stray away from the materials being taught at the time and examples should be short, simple and direct. Of course, majors like Management and Marketing should be taught another way. According to the materials being taught, teachers should provide the students with a real life business case (preferably something recent) and guidelines to analyze it. I believe that teachers should teach the students differently, according to the majors. This brings me to my next point, which is the order of the lessons being taught. In APU, students could take some lessons in the wrong order (e.g. students are able to take Accounting 2 before finishing Accounting 1). This is unsystematic and it could cause confusion. Students will just take courses for the sake of completing their credits instead of actually learning something. APU should fix this system to create the ideal learning process for their students.

In conclusion, before creating any new innovations, I believe that APU should change and improve the resources that they have now. If they keep things as they are, it will be difficult for APU to really improve their standards and, of course, it would be very difficult to receive the AACSB accreditation. The foundation is the most important part, thus it should be fixed before adding more ideas to improve APM/GSM’s quality.

That's just my opinion on this matter. If you have any other suggestions, comments or criticism, please just leave them in the comment box below!