Fears & Failures – Part of the learning process #3 in a Three-Part Series

Can FEAR and FAILURES be part of a learning process? With all that has been happening, this seems to be a good time for the last of my three-part series.  As a brief recap from my previous posts, the series started with Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream!, then I shared Unlocking Opportunities! And the journey continues…

Source: https://www.roliedema.com/success-iceberg.html

In my final quarter at CPS, I focused my energies on the job search process.  I spoke with many recruiters, sent many emails, applied to many jobs, and gave many interviews. Sound familiar?  When I hear and see success stories, I keep in mind that I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg – there is so much underneath.  Trust me, the learning during the process is powerful, embrace it! 

Sahar Rehman – No fears, learning from failure!

Moreover, I love this quote from Robert Stevenson, “keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” Hence, I decided to explore how my fears were overcome by my courage and how my failures generated motivation.  By taking an inventory of my broad experiences, skills, and competencies, I prophesied that my career development goals are attainable. 

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My journey of resilience & its rewards

Am I Resilient?!

Starting in March of 2020, I have been consuming an overwhelming amount of online content in an attempt to track the labyrinth of chaos we are facing in our world today. While writing this piece, there were times that I felt paralyzed and unable to bring my words to light.

Professor Patty Goodman and myself at the Global Pathways Student Conference 2019

My struggle was mitigated when Professor Patty shared her observation of my recent educational experiences. She described it as a Journey of Resilience. I had never thought of myself as Resilient. Yet, upon reflection, she might be right.

Researching resiliency – My perspective

Before proclaiming myself as resilient, I had to learn more about the concept. I read a journal on resilience definitions, theory, and challenges, along with interdisciplinary perspectives. The most striking perspective on resilience is that it can be in different aspects of life.  One could be culturally, biologically, emotionally, academically, and/or professionally resilient (Southwick, Bonanno, Masten, Brick, Yehuda, 2014).

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Illustration of transformational learning with unexpected rewards

Finding My Place in the Cross-Cultural Communication Field

It was three years ago that my career gained what I thought was to be my launch into the global market. After graduating from college and achieving my dream job of working at a huge corporation in Tokyo, the unexpected occurred. Within six months, I quit and moved back to my home country, the USA.

Mika wearing a yukata, a Japanese summer kimono, during study abroad in Japan.

Deciding to leave so quickly shocked not only my community, but also myself.  I had spent four years learning about Japanese language and culture.  Having studied abroad, researched, and interned in Japan. I had braced myself for expected sexism in the workplace, strong drinking culture, and even power harassment. However, the one thing that was I had not prepared for was my own lack of cultural agility.

Despite knowing what the Japanese perspective might be, I found myself defining right and wrong. I would often deem Japanese corporate culture to be unhealthy for its collective mindset, in contrast to my valuing individuality and freedom as someone raised in the USA. When I ended up leaving Japan to pursue a career in cross-cultural communication, I came away from the experience subconsciously wanting to fix Japan.  I had a vision and a strategic plan; next steps were to gain the tools.

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How to employ a successful communication strategy

I appreciated the many opportunities available while I studied at Northeastern University.  As the Head Student Life Coordinator for NU Global International Pathways Program, I was responsible for event operations.  In my last semester in the Corporate and Organizational Communications program (COC), I coordinated one of the biggest events and collaborations between NU Global International Pathways and the Office of Global Services — Global Voice II.   

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Unlocking Opportunities! Part Two in a Three Part Series

Welcome back colleagues!

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my story, Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream! Part One in a Three Part Series.

This second part is about what was, for me, a remarkable journey and experience at CPS. My time in the MS COC  program was full of global workplace learning opportunities, intellectual challenges and my personal and professional growth.  There is a quote by Benjamin Franklin that is very close to my heart and my personal philosophy of life: “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”  And, this quote guided me throughout my learning journey at CPS.

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Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream! Part One in a Three Part Series

Overwhelmed, confused, and nervous… I was sitting in front of my computer screen at 2:00 a.m. on a Tuesday night (2014), staring at a list of hundreds of schools around the world that appeared in the search result for “Masters Degree in Communications.”

Education has always been my priority, and I have an endless curiosity and restlessness for learning something new at all times. I had a dream to be the first generation international degree holder in my family. After thinking about it for a couple of years, I made my decision to pursue my dream that night! Continue reading “Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream! Part One in a Three Part Series”

How can Cultural Audits influence the Information Age?

As we forge into this Information Age and World of Robotics, the concept of Human Literacy has been introduced to the stage. What is Human Literacy? Northeastern University President Aoun has proposed Human Literacy to mean our unique abilities to adapt, collaborate, and offer empathy in comparison to computational literacy generated through artificial intelligence. This new use of the term human literacy is an example of a cultural linguistic adjustment in professional studies within higher education. This is where the idea of a cultural audit takes footing. So, what is a cultural audit?

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Recognizing cultural variations in social media & intercultural education

I was pleased to stand along with colleagues from 42 different cultures presenting their research at this year’s International Association for Intercultural Communication (IAICS) conference. It was my honor to present my research paper, Exploring Organizational Use of Social Media Marketing: A Global Perspective.  I appreciate the support from Dr. Carl Zangerl and the Northeastern University Alumni Relations Office  project. The data from my study was collected from 17 different cultures.

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How ePortfolios capture your professional brand

 

A fundamental skill of all communicators is the ability to tell a compelling story. ePortfolios enable students to tell their own experiential and educational stories, using words, images, and multimedia. A strong ePortfolio makes a statement about your professional brand – who you are, your values, your commitment to lifelong learning.

A judging panel of our Alumni Advisory Council selected three ePortfolios created during the 2017-2018 academic year as outstanding exemplars of what students can create.

Zirui Yan, Sarah Riggs, and Jillian Porazzo share their unique experiences in crafting their ePortfolios.  Hear directly from Linda, Sarah and Jill in this interview by Professor Patty Goodman! (approx.5 min video)

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What would you do if you weren’t afraid? — Lean In To Grow

Lean In To Grow — Event #10 and growing!

On September 17, 2017, Lean In To Grow was first introduced in the Communications Alumni Network Blog by Teeraporn Johsuntorn ’17. As TJ shared, we started this Lean In Circle from scratch. However, we all knew that it would be something beneficial to international female students. Over the past 17 months, we’ve sponsored ten events and directly inspired more than 200 students.

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