Category Archives: Life

Tower Hamlets College Web design Course

Tower Hamlets College — Learn to communicate

Tower Hamlets College Web design Course

I am in a pissed off mood today as the col­lege that I signed up to do an “Access to Web Design — Stan­dards” course is sud­denly no longer doing the course due to lack of interest/students.

I usu­ally wouldn’t be annoyed at some­thing like this. This is, how­ever, a course that I signed up for last month. I also had to do a Math and Eng­lish test to get into this course. I passed those with ease and thought I was on my way back to a life of edu­ca­tion in a field that inter­ested me.

Of course, as usual with my life — things don’t always turn out to be what they are and when­ever some­thing is going well there is always a downer to cause stress or to just piss me off. I am actu­ally quite grate­ful in this instance that I have a full-time job at a major media agency that is pay­ing me quite well. Oth­er­wise, I would have been left even more pissed off at the fact they had told me on the day of enroll­ment that they were no longer doing the course and had no alter­na­tive courses that I could do that be would sim­i­lar to the course I applied for.

What’s even more annoy­ing is that this week I received three meth­ods of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Tower Ham­lets Col­lege ask­ing me to enroll on the 8/22/2013 for the Access to Web Design course. (See the image of the let­ter above) The first form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion came by post. The sec­ond form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion came by email; and the third by text mes­sage. All of the infor­ma­tion given was to enroll today for the course that I had signed up for. I was actu­ally in a happy mood today as thought I’d be an adult stu­dent study­ing a web design course, which is the type of future I see myself in.

Unfor­tu­nately they did not com­mu­ni­cate the fact that they had totally stopped the course giv­ing me only 2 weeks to find another col­lege that would hope­fully allow me to enroll onto a suit­able course.

It’s quite funny actu­ally. They deleted the the “Access to Design for Web — Web Stan­dards” page from their site after I had com­mented on their Face­book page:

Tower Hamlets College - Facebook comment

I get that mis­takes hap­pen; how­ever, I’ve now been left at a dis­ad­van­tage as I now have to spend time find­ing another course. The fact that I may have to take time off from work doing that is what pisses me off to no end.

outside tottenham-court-road

In turns out unpaid internships aren’t so bad

I’m glad, ecsta­tic, amazed, over­joyed and every other happy adjec­tive you can think of. Today I was told that my intern­ship was turn­ing into a full-time job. I’m to start work as an employee on Mon­day (12th of August) and I’ll finally get paid for the work that I’ll be doing after suf­fer­ing 6 weeks on no income and purely just burn­ing through my savings.

What’s the job

I’ll be work­ing in Cen­tral Lon­don of off Oxford Street for a divi­sion that does Search Engine Opti­mi­sa­tion (SEO) for clients in the United King­dom. I don’t have an assigned title yet, but I’ve kind of crowned myself as an SEO Spe­cial­ist. I’ll be work­ing on 50% tech­ni­cal SEO and 50% con­tent mar­ket­ing. Essen­tially I’ll be doing a mix­ture of both and I’m hop­ing to improve my tech­ni­cal knowl­edge of imple­men­ta­tion and sim­ply doing things cor­rectly. The rea­son I’m doing this type of job is because when I was 16/17 I man­aged my own web host­ing busi­ness and it taught me about dig­i­tal and I nat­u­rally learned about SEO. In fact, this job is quite ideal and is the per­fect job oppor­tu­nity and I’m hop­ing to grow out and become a pro­fes­sional in this field as I’m already quite pas­sion­ate about this type of work.

What did I do to stand out

This is a ques­tion that is quite spe­cific to the job that you’re doing. The main things that I did to stand out was to ask as many ques­tions as I pos­si­bly could come up with and to act upon those answers imme­di­ately. While I am reluc­tant to go into specifics of what I had done, I feel I can con­fi­dently say that I achieved quite a bit for the team. If you can achieve and become suc­cess­ful by going the extra mile and doing sig­nif­i­cant things then you’ll get noticed and you’ll pos­si­bly turn that unpaid intern­ship into some­thing. I think that get­ting noticed and doing work that looks cred­i­ble is essen­tial and being con­sis­tent in doing well is another eye opener.

Abol­ish­ing Unpaid Internships

I hear the argu­ment for abol­ish­ing unpaid intern­ships and I do partly agree with this. I how­ever feel that this argu­ment has been struck down by the very fact that I’ve man­aged to turn my intern­ship into a job. Also, I don’t think intern­ships are bad and peo­ple have a choice as to whether they’d want to do an intern­ship. I mean, it’s not as if you’re being forced to do the work and it’s a way to learn and become part of an office expe­ri­ence and gen­er­ally looks good on a blank CV. (My CV was not blank!) I also hear the argu­ment that peo­ple are des­per­ate and that employ­ers are tak­ing advan­tage of that fact; I’m afraid this is just the begin­ning of chang­ing times and while I’m not a heart­less bas­tard and I did indeed do an intern­ship myself and as long as the busi­ness or com­pany you’re intern­ing with isn’t forc­ing you to do things you don’t want to do then I don’t see a prob­lem. I’ve done a 6 week unpaid intern­ship and I doubt the peo­ple argu­ing against intern­ships have actu­ally been interns before and if they have, I doubt they suc­ceeded in get­ting job through their intern­ship. (Oth­er­wise they wouldn’t be complaining)

What does the future look like

The future looks quite bright. In fact, I’m look­ing to do a part-time course at Birk­beck Uni­ver­sity for Web Tech­nolo­gies. It’s a foun­da­tion degree that will help me excel and become more qual­i­fied in the field that I’m aim­ing for. They also have a cam­pus in Strat­ford, although my new job is actu­ally nearby to Birk­beck University’s main cam­pus. I’m not yet sure if the course would be fea­si­ble for me as I’ll be work­ing full-time and I have no idea if the part-time course could cater to my needs and if I could do the course around my job. How­ever, if I can then great! I’ll def­i­nitely have to look into it and sign up for a course! Though I do have that feel­ing that I’ll be unable to do any exter­nal courses due to the nature of that job that I’ve entered.

Outreach, Outreach, Outreach

I actu­ally haven’t talked about what I’ve been doing ever since I arrived back in the UK and there is a rea­son for this. The rea­son is because I have not had enough time to update my blog that much and I’ve gen­er­ally been knackered.

For the past month up until now I’ve been doing an unpaid intern­ship for a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency. It’s one of the largest dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agen­cies in the UK and is now part of a com­pany which recently became the 1# adver­tis­ing agency in the world. The peo­ple there couldn’t be any bet­ter and I couldn’t be hap­pier to be involved in the accounts they are cur­rently man­ag­ing. There is also talk of this intern­ship lead­ing to a job, which is what I’m hop­ing for and count­ing on. How­ever, if a job doesn’t come out of it the expe­ri­ence is invalu­able and the con­tacts that I have made will be handy in the future. I’ve also had a fan­tas­tic expe­ri­ence there and I’ve seri­ously met some of the nicest peo­ple you’d ever want to work along­side. — That’s some­thing that makes this job tran­scend in com­par­i­son to my pre­vi­ous job in Taiwan.

SEO

Some ran­dom image to make this post more inter­est­ing. / Image via morgueFile

So why I am I doing an internship?

It’s the best way to gain expe­ri­ence. Addi­tion­ally, I’ve always wanted to be involved in some sort of inter­net related job and I think I’ve actu­ally found some­thing that I would like to do career-wise. Even if I don’t get a job where I’m cur­rently work­ing, I’ve actu­ally had plenty of offers on my doorstep offer­ing me posi­tions of sim­i­lar jobs in this field. It seems that the infa­mous “Out­reach Strate­gist” title is an attrac­tive choice for recruiters who have looked at my CV. Although I’m actu­ally more inter­ested in the tech­ni­cal side of things; how­ever, I don’t mind grow­ing into that from an out­reach posi­tion. I mean, I already have quite a bit of knowl­edge of the tech­ni­cal­i­ties of SEO and the pro­ce­dures behind it, but I feel I’d do bet­ter in another posi­tion that I’m con­fi­dent in (Out­reach) and then I could even­tu­ally grow and become more con­fi­dent in tech­ni­cal SEO, which is what I’d even­tu­ally like to do.

It is still early days and even though I’ve been work­ing at this dig­i­tal media agency for over a month now there is still so much more to learn. I’ve actu­ally come to the con­clu­sion that SEO is a never end­ing cycle as there is always some­thing new com­ing along or when Google sud­denly makes an algo­rith­mic change — the rules also have to change to go along with that change. Right now, con­tent mar­ket­ing is the in-thing for SEOs doing exter­nal link build­ing; how­ever, that soon might be chang­ing with recent algo­rith­mic updates that Google have employed to pre­vent SEOs abus­ing the frame­work that Google have so care­fully crafted. Any­ways, hope­fully I’ll be employed by this month or the next. I’m def­i­nitely a lot more hope­ful than I was when I orig­i­nally arrived in this coun­try and I now see a future in this market.

Fin­gers crossed.

Edit: Oh, and if you’re a Con­tent Strate­gist or some other form of link builder, don’t be put off by this blog post. I still may or may not accept your guest post request depend­ing on the qual­ity of your email to me and the propo­si­tion. The types of emails that I’ve received from many of the peo­ple that have been seek­ing guest posts on this blog have been absolutely irri­tat­ing. I’ve even had one media agency try to play dirty with me by using a gmail email account pre­tend­ing to be an indi­vid­ual as opposed to a group try­ing to obtain a guest post on my blog. — It won’t work with me and I’d rather you be hon­est about your inten­tions; rather than try to trick me. :s

Meeting an old friend

Today I met up with an old friend of mine from sec­ondary school. I can’t hon­estly say that the expe­ri­ence was enjoy­able as we went to this bar where they were play­ing loud music and it was really dif­fi­cult com­mu­ni­cat­ing. I was try­ing to get a catch up as to what she’d been doing the past 2 years, but as I said, it was too dif­fi­cult to com­mu­ni­cate with the music and all. Then we went to this disco… where she and her friend were kind of danc­ing and star­ing at each other, smil­ing, as they were kind of danc­ing. I wasn’t sure if they were sober or if this was their nor­mal behav­ior. Either way, it was an extremely weird expe­ri­ence… But it was good see­ing her again and know­ing that she’s doing well for her­self! :)

Here’s a pic with me and her: (I’m not sure if I have any old pho­tos to make a com­par­i­son from sec­ondary school)

Old friend

Canary Wharf

First job interview since I arrived in London

07/04/2013: Please read the update(s) I posted below. tldr: — Angel Links is a door to door mar­ket­ing firm. 

Today, I went to a job inter­view for a “Sales” posi­tion for a com­pany named as “Angel Links”, although I’d prob­a­bly refer to the posi­tion as more of a “Sales con­sul­tant” posi­tion. I’ll admit that it’s the first time I’ve heard of this com­pany; how­ever, I will say that it sounds like a decent place to work & the peo­ple seem very nice and friendly. The com­pany appears to be a PR & mar­ket­ing firm and from what I gath­ered they only deal with global busi­nesses. Of course, I don’t know which com­pa­nies they mar­ket and do PR for; how­ever, if they do only deal with global com­pa­nies then Angel Links might be deal­ing with rather large companies.

The inter­view went well, but I tried to approach this inter­view as a learn­ing curve; and that it was. I feel I dis­played con­fi­dence and humil­ity. Those would likely be the two adjec­tives I would use for this job inter­view. I feel if I had a sec­ond chance, I could pos­si­bly do bet­ter in respond­ing to all of the ques­tions that I were asked. I’m hope­ful, but then again, there were over 50 peo­ple that applied. That’s a ratio of 50:5, as there are only 5 posi­tions avail­able for this job. I was, how­ever, a lit­tle dis­turbed as the inter­viewer never really answered my ques­tion about the pay. It was as if he was try­ing to dodge my ques­tion by giv­ing me the crap­pi­est answer. I had red flag sig­nals all over the place, once that occur­rence hap­pened. We’ll see how it goes.

Dur­ing the inter­view, I, for the most part used my expe­ri­ence work­ing in a full-time job (In Tai­wan, as an ‘assis­tant engi­neer’) as a method of speak­ing up for myself. Whether that was enough, I don’t know. I won’t be too mean to myself, as I thought I did enough. But some­times enough is never good enough, and I wish I had said more and I wish who­ever the 5 can­di­dates are that get picked do well and they become employed. It really does suck being unem­ployed. It was a good day out and about, nevertheless.

Here are some pho­tos (Eye candy) that I took of Canary Wharf/Canada Place:

Update:

I received an email from them say­ing that I have been accepted for a sec­ond interview.

I’m, how­ever, lit­tle more dubi­ous about this com­pany than I was before, as I’ve now come across infor­ma­tion about this com­pany being a pyra­mid scam of sorts. Where they employ as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to spread what­ever prod­uct they want to adver­tise and they some­how reap the ben­e­fits out of that. It also seems that there is no basic rate of pay, which con­firmed my sus­pi­cions before and it seems that this is a “door-to-sales” posi­tion and is ENTIRELY com­mis­sion based. I’m still going to go to see what it’s like and I’ll be ask­ing the employ­ees there (If I think I can) about the pay and the com­pany itself.

I feel a lit­tle gut­ted, but then again, I could be wrong and there is only one way to find out.

Another Update:

Is Angel Links a scam?

Who knows whether they are a scam or not, but they cer­tainly have tricked quite a few peo­ple, includ­ing me, into believ­ing they were a rep­utable com­pany offer­ing the chance for the unem­ployed for a decent liv­ing. It turns out they are just a door-to-door sales busi­ness and this type of busi­ness has been repli­cated all around the world, includ­ing the United States. I feel that this needs more expo­sure, so I’m going to link to posts on Red­dit which give detailed expla­na­tions behind what these com­pa­nies actu­ally do.

UK Jobs: “Yet another scam

For the US “Life tips”: “It’s a scam

While I didn’t attend the sec­ond inter­view, which I was invited to, I feel a lit­tle silly as I bought a new pair of shoes and a nice trousers for the first inter­view. How­ever, I can of course use those as future invest­ments for job inter­views I attend in the future, of course. I’m a lit­tle upset, which is why I’d like to expose what they really are, as they don’t have any back-bone at-all. They sim­ply want you to adver­tise their goods with­out pay­ing you a dime, and who knows if they’ll pay you the amount that they promised as adver­tised on their list­ings. Either way, steer well clear of this group.

uncertain1

Life update post

I am sure I’ve made sim­i­lar posts to this post about my future. The uncer­tain­ties, the wor­ries and the “What will hap­pen… ques­tions”. But, I’ve decided that I would like to make a return to the UK to study again or to sim­ply go back to work! I can leave Tai­wan in  March/June/July as that is the period that I can stay in the Tai­wan; unless I want to do Tai­wanese mil­i­tary ser­vice, as I am Tai­wanese, as well as being British. I would have done the mil­i­tary ser­vice last year (I actu­ally wanted to do it then), but I feel that I’ve wasted a year, so I’m no longer inter­ested in doing it and I really need to get studying/working before I become too old and become useless.

Con­tinue read­ing

2013 - 1

Cracked camera screen

5 days ago I cracked my camera’s screen; I own a Pana­sonic DMC-FZ28. I screwed up bad as I’m a lit­tle low on money and can’t afford a new one, for­tu­nately for me the cam­era is still oper­a­tional, well, other than the screen I can still use the viewer to take pic­tures. I was calm at the time I broke it, but it’s quite annoy­ing hav­ing my cam­era in this state.

Con­tinue read­ing

Wedding - Everyone

I’ve been a busy bee!

I don’t know where to start! Although the begin­ning is usu­ally the best place, I feel as if I haven’t posted in a while, to which that is true. So I’m just going to post a few pic­tures that I’ve down­loaded from my Face­book album recently.

Other than my grand­mother pass­ing away, and with some of my rel­a­tives being up in arms over the inher­i­tance, every­thing has been fine. I kind of look at the way my grand­mother was and I have con­cluded that it was best that she died, as her con­di­tion was not get­ting bet­ter and a life of immo­bil­ity is not really a life. She also said to my mother that she wanted to die as you lit­er­ally needed some­one with her 24/7 to do things for her as she could not move on her own will.

Con­tinue read­ing

grandma

Grandmother passed away

My grand­mother has never been healthy, espe­cially when it came to her inter­nals. Every 3 days she would have to go to the hos­pi­tal to get her kidney/blood washed. It was a pro­ce­dure that seemed to make her tired, weak, and unhappy. She did accept these things as part of life, and how could you not? — As it was some­thing that became her life. 2 days ago she died; ini­tially it was from a stroke after one of the kidney/blood wash­ing, then it turned into some­thing worse. She didn’t recover from her stroke, and 3 weeks later she died.

Con­tinue read­ing

PlanetSide2 2012-12-11 23-21-38-72

Bleh.

This post is sort of an update as to why I haven’t posted on this blog in quite a while. I haven’t exactly had any­thing enter­tain­ing going on in my life and in-fact my health has been the con­cerns that I’ve been hav­ing. I con­tracted a virus and I’m wait­ing for the effects of the virus to go away, how­ever for now I’ll have to live with fatigue and bore­dom. I guess after com­ing back from Korea, I haven’t really recov­ered as it has made me more depressed about life, as I expe­ri­enced some­thing amaz­ing and com­ing back to Tai­wan, well, I just feel as bored as ever.

To pass the time I’ve been play­ing games such as PS2 (Planet Side 2) and that game has kept me pretty happy for a while, how­ever PS2 has quickly become bor­ing for me. While I should be study­ing, to which I haven’t, my Chi­nese has actu­ally improved a lit­tle, even with min­i­mal studying.

I guess I posted this as there are peo­ple going around say­ing that today is the end of the world. NASA has a qual­ity arti­cle about this, and here is a small excerpt: (Link to the full arti­cle)

The story started with claims that Nibiru, a sup­posed planet dis­cov­ered by the Sume­ri­ans, is headed toward Earth. This cat­a­stro­phe was ini­tially pre­dicted for May 2003, but when noth­ing hap­pened the dooms­day date was moved for­ward to Decem­ber 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan cal­en­dar at the win­ter sol­stice in 2012 — hence the pre­dicted dooms­day date of Decem­ber 21, 2012.

Quite ludi­crous, but there are nut jobs out there that firmly believe this, I don’t under­stand how they can con­tinue spout­ing out crap when they are proven wrong, time and time again.

Any­ways, what­ever the case, the world is not ending.

Going back to my life, I have thought about my future and have decided that I’ll be going back to the UK to study. I’ve had enough of my life in Tai­wan, espe­cially so with my fam­ily here. They are a com­plete night­mare, and I just need some time where I can get away; so to speak.

That’s it for now, I guess.

Julie Lee

Why long distance relationships are hard

Long dis­tance rela­tion­ships are where two peo­ple who love each other are unfor­tu­nately sep­a­rated by dis­tance. Usu­ally the only form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is through the inter­net, let­ters or tele­phone. Per­haps, peo­ple see long dis­tance rela­tion­ships not last­ing and to a cer­tain agree I can agree with them. How­ever, in my case I have been dat­ing a Korean girl that I love to bits for over 11 months now. I met her in Tai­wan while study­ing Chi­nese and we had a spark and both fell in-love with each other.
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Here are some of the things that long dis­tance rela­tion­ships involve:
  • You don’t see your girl­friend on an every­day basis. Some­times your lover doesn’t have time to speak to you on cer­tain days, it is painful when your girl­friend is depressed and only your words can be used to cheer her up, and not a nice big cuddle.
  • An uncer­tain future. See­ing as I’m British & Tai­wanese and my girl­friend is South Korean, it’s pretty dif­fi­cult to decide where we are going in our futures. I want to do every­thing that allows me to become closer to my girl­friend, how­ever of course that isn’t always going to go as planned. It also takes time for plans to take any effect.
  • I’ll be head­ing back to Eng­land next year and the time-zone dif­fer­ence will be dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent, so I’ll be even fur­ther away and I don’t know whether I’ll be able to keep in-touch with her on a con­tin­ual basis.
  • Always be HAPPY and pos­i­tive, as I can­not stress this enough. If YOU aren’t happy or pos­i­tive, I don’t see the rela­tion­ship last­ing or being worth it. If it involves going the extra mile to be happy, take it; you only live life once, as there is no reset.

I miss my girl­friend to bits even though I just came back from see­ing her 16 hours ago. I hate not being next to her, I hate not being able to hold her hand, I hate not being able to speak to her on the whim, I hate that I can­not squeeze and hug her tightly. Those are things that I hate not being able to do. So, if you are involved in a long dis­tance rela­tion­ship, what are the things you hate not being able to do?

Just your average boyfriend and girlfriend

My trip to South Korea

I just came back from Incheon Inter­na­tional Air­port, or South Korea just a cou­ple hours ago. (It takes around 2.5 hours from Korea to Taiwan)

I only stayed for 6 days, and those 6 days have been the best time of my life. I haven’t had the most excit­ing life in the world, so this trip may appear as triv­ial to oth­ers. How­ever for me, meet­ing my girl­friend after hav­ing no access to her phys­i­cal pres­ence for over 9 months really made this trip spe­cial. I could have stayed with her indoors and it would have been spe­cial, I didn’t even need to go to spe­cial areas or places to enjoy myself, just hav­ing her pres­ence was enough to make this spe­cial. Hav­ing said that, I went to many places with her and had a blast of a time. We went to the DMZ, Korean War Memo­r­ial, Lotte World (aka Wait­ing World), Itae­won, Chun­cheon, Insadong, Sam­sung Sta­tion, COEX Mall, Myeong-dong, Dong­dae­mun and other places.

Here are a few pics:

Seoul Underground-Subway

Seoul Underground-Subway

Seoul Underground-Subway

Seoul Sub­way pro­tec­tive doors

Julie Lee

My Julie

My girlfriend

Dis­cussing what to do later in Star­bucks

 

Seoul Tower

Seoul Tower at night

At the de-militarized zone (DMZ) with military police.

At the de-militarized zone (DMZ) with mil­i­tary police.

Picture with a cool military guy!

Pic­ture with a cool mil­i­tary guy!

Memories

Aww. This leaves me with a hole in my heart.

Picture of us under Seoul Tower

Pic­ture of us under Seoul Tower

Beautiful view of Seoul from Seoul Tower at night

Beau­ti­ful view of Seoul from Seoul Tower at night

Underneath Seoul Tower

Under­neath Seoul Tower

BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken at Dongdaemun!

At Seoul Tower

At Seoul Tower with my beau­ti­ful girl­friend observ­ing Seoul from a high point of view.

Just your average boyfriend and girlfriend

A pic­ture of me and my girl­friend at Seoul Tower. This pic­ture was quite funny as we asked 3 Chi­nese ladies if they could help us take the pic­ture. They did so. How­ever, they also used the flash lights on their phone cam­eras to brighten up the area where we were stand­ing. Unfor­tu­nately, my eyes got a bit screwed up in the process.

Myself at Dongdaemun

Myself at Dong­dae­mun with my lovely girl­friend photographer.

Incheon Airport

Moments before I have to leave, we take one last pic­ture together. As you can see by eyes, I got a lit­tle emo­tional. I didn’t want to leave.

At the airport with my girlfriend. A big kiss before I leave her to go to my fight.

At the air­port with my girl­friend. A big kiss before I leave her to go to my fight. … and yes, my head is quite large.

Those are just a few pic­tures I took. I took in total around 700 pic­tures with my cam­era (FZ28) and my smart­phone. I’ll be upload­ing more later on, and all the higher qual­ity pic­tures will be going on my pho­tog­ra­phy website.