Happy New Year 2011!
This year has started with a busy but fruitful trip to USA.
Fiscal year for the company I have been working for starts from May and
now is the midst of finalizing top&bottom line plan for FY12.
To discuss FY12 financial plan of Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business unit for Japan, I participated in annual planning meetings held at Minneapolis, where the company's HQ are located.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, I decided to do 3 things on top.
1. Taking US CPA exam
2. Hanging out with friends back in MBA who live in MN.
3. Heading out to Chicago and meet one of my friend now studying MBA at Kellogg.
I could not do only No.1 since finalizing slides for upcoming meeting took much more time.
Studying for USCPA has not been exciting. It has given me opportunities to learn about Accounting but it is time consuming and not interesting in that understanding rules and thought behind is what requires most. I have determined to get it done even before joining MBA and not taking exam has made me demoralized a bit because my life loaded with the determination to obtain it would continue longer. I obtained BEC back in April and it will be valid till Oct 2011. 3 more to go and I hope to get them done by Aug this year.
Hanging out with my friends, a couple, reminded me of the value of the global friend network I have built during my MBA program. Feeling I was so happy to feel not only that they had been much happier in Minneapolis but also that they seemed happy to know that I had been fine. Experiencing we are still connected with distance even without seeing for year and a half has made me happy.
After business meeting, I headed to Chicago, where my friend has lived for Kellogg MBA program. He and I joined the same company simultaneously back in 1999 and we have been good rivals and friends since then. He visited Durham when he applied for MBA programs including Duke when I was a student there. This time he was a MBA student at Kellogg and I was a MBA graduate. Through him, I found out he experienced very similar things in terms of interaction among people with different nations. First year he interacted with non-Asians equally with Asians but recently more with Asians, which was what I experienced 2 years ago. We observed the same reasons behind. Common interests. Americans love talking movies because talking movies is one of the most general conversation topic in the state. Just before Chicago, I hung out with local employees at pub and had hard time not participating in their conversation due to the lack of knowledge about their topics. We agreed this part is something we cannot get over soon and all we can is to be patient. So I had a chance to talk with Asians at Kellogg. Mostly Korean and Chinese, let alone other Japanese students. They were all interesting but one lady who attracted my attention was a Chinese, who was born in the US and went directly to college after junior high. I expected she must be smart and turned out more than that. We talked about being parents and asked what she would do after having a baby. She responded that it is hard to imagine being a mother without directly experiencing it. There are many things that turn out to be just "Beyond imagination" and being parent is definitely one of those. Yes. What she surprised me was the e-mail I received right after I came back to Japan. The e-mail revealed that even though she was born in US, she was once sent back to Taiwan, her parents mother nation and lived separately from her parents for a while due to financial difficulty, but now they are together in the US and she loves her parents. It ended with her belief that as long as both parents are happy, their children follow. She was still thinking about the question and thought out her belief, reflecting on her life. WOW. I have been happy to know that just one meeting may have significant influence on anybody, which is a great lesson I have learned from Chicago.