First Job — Coming and Going

August 18, 2016

Hi everyone! I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to update those who have made an impact in my life, no matter how large or small, on events that took place in the past half year and where I am currently headed in life.

Please feel free to let me know how you have been and where life has taken you! Reply to my email update or we can arrange to meet up.

As some of you may know, I served as a teaching assistant for the UCLA Global Classroom Program in Nanjing, China this past year. During this time, I learned so much about myself, my capabilities and ultimately, what kind of environment I want to work and live in. I realized that China was not the type of place I could thrive in; the consistent struggle to freely access daily news and articles, the “I don’t give a fuck about you attitude” by Chinese mainlanders, the horrendous air pollution, overcrowded streets, and shops all turned me off from continuing for a second year with UCLA Global Classroom (which is an amazing program, by the way). As an educator working in an international program, I recognized the importance of creativity in communicating across language barriers. I learned how to better get my point across to students whose native language isn’t the same as mine, ensuring they learn both the big picture and the smaller details. I appreciate all the mentorship and support that my co-workers gave me and will cherish all the memories that we had together: ordering 辣面 for lunch, burgers at Blue Frog, karaoke nights, and birthday celebrations. I will miss them all! Shout out to Eric Altice for working closely with me this past year and helping me become a better teacher.

After finishing up my time as a teaching assistant, I decided to travel through Asia for five weeks before coming back to the U.S. and finding a job. I went to Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong! Below, I have attached a few photos documenting some highlights of my travels.

(left) Enjoying the view of Oryukdo Island after going on the Skywalk in Busan, South Korea. (right) My friend Christina and I watching the most beautiful sunrise on top of a volcano with three natural color-changing lakes on the island of Flores, Indonesia.
(left) Enjoying a gorgeous skyline view of Kuala Lumpur in the KL Tower Sky Box 300 meters above the ground. (right) Trying to be cute with my new friends at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(left) My first time inside a mosque at Arab Street with my new friend in Singapore! (right) Derping around at the infamous Dim Sum Icon, known for its oozing Gudetama dim sum buns, in Hong Kong.

Coming back to the U.S. was a bit of a culture shock for me; I was not accustomed to the huge portion sizes, the expensive prices, and having English be the main language spoken all around me. But don’t worry, I am quickly adjusting back to the American lifestyle (though I still can’t finish an entire plate of food at a restaurant…)

Anyways, I was fortunate enough to find a job a few days after coming back to the U.S. I am pleased to announce that I will officially start working as the Program Associate for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, D.C. next week. This position will allow me to gain experience in program management, coordination, operations, and recruitment while simultaneously connecting AAPIs to the political process, something that I have always been passionate about. I am excited to start working for this wonderful organization and to start a new adventure on the East Coast. For those of you in the D.C. area, let’s meet up! Once again, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing back from you all!

P.S. I am still looking for long-term housing in Washington, D.C., so if you know of anyone looking for roommates or any available apartments, please send that info my way. Thanks!

Best,

Cathy