Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dear November & December 2013,

While you were a pain in heart ass and the ultimate test of my emotional and mental boundaries, you were also the reason for my transformation into someone harder, better, faster, and stronger.  With every bad experience comes a lessons learned and I was able to pinpoint individuals in my life who are truly important to me, friendships I really valued, and recapture aspects about myself that I almost let fade away. 

Being with someone for almost 4 years helped me realize that with every connection and every minute spent with one another, you lose a little piece of myself and gain a little piece of the other. Personalities and daily habits collide inevitably, whether it's for the better or worse. While it took a lot out of me to get myself back on my feet, I was able to do so by focusing on myself and surrounding myself with the people who love me. 

Thank you friends (you know who you are) for being there for me at my toughest times - & you certainly deserve me at my best.


Friday, April 6, 2012

UC Irvine Attends Salesforce Cloudstock 2012

One of our goals as UC Irvine's ICS Student Council is to establish and foster a mutually beneficial relationship with corporations. Nestled far away from the tech bubble of Silicon Valley / SF with their targeted schools Stanford and Cal, the Bren School of ICS at UC Irvine is truly lucky to have caught the attention of Salesforce. Salesforce first became involved with our ICS School as Platinum Sponsors for ICS Day, a celebratory event of everything CS , and hosted a separate information session on cloud technology for a room full of students majoring from Computer Sceince Engineering (CSE) to Business Information Management (BIM). If I learned anything from my involvement with ICS Student Council thus far, it is the importance of reciprocating the value I receive. Salesforce provided the funding that made it possible for us to attend Salesforce Cloudstock 2012, and I am here to write about my experience at Cloudstock as a 3rd year college student majoring in BIM.

Coach Bus-ing from Irvine to SF

We left UC Irvine on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 around 1pm on our wifi-equipped bus (yay wifi!). Salesforce organized a hackathon "Created a Facebook application built on a Salesforce platform" for us to participate in during our trip. Although my laptop battery died within 5 minutes into the trip, some lucky students were able to participate in this hackathon. Even though the wifi malfunctioned and we were stuck with our iPods, phones, and kindles for the rest of the trip (#firstworldproblems), the bus ride still awesome and made for some great bonding time. (Special thanks to our bus driver Paul!) 


Excited UC Irvine students unprepared for my ninja picture taking skills

Our Hotel & First Night in SF

For some of the students, this was their first time ever in Norcal and they were super lucky to be able to stay at the Parc 55 Wyndham SF Hotel, which was smack dab in the heart of Union Square.

Parc 55 Wyndham SF Hotel

 View from our room!

We had a spontaneous group dinner at Puccini & Pinetti across the street from us. I definitely felt sorry for the waiters when a group of 18 showed up 15 minutes before their closing time. In any case, dinner was delicious.

 Half of our gang
(From left: Audrey Auyang, Kevin Lee, Kelly Yin, Jay Tolentino, Me (Lillian Chiou), Daniel Garcia, Calvin Lee, Robert Rodriguez)

We were able to walk off our food babies around Union Square, SF, which was both a culture shock and a fun experience. Luckily, the rain decided spare us that night.

 Some of the dudes

We spent the rest of the night doing very productive things (walking around the hotel, attempting to get to the roof (attempt fail), riding the super fast elevator to the 31st floor, and loitering around the lobby) and ended up sleeping at 3:30am.

[3 hours later]

Salesforce Cloudstock 2012 Here We Come!

Having set 5 alarms each, my roomie and I woke up at 6am aiming to get our sleepyheads downstairs by 7am so we could get to Cloudstock early as the first 500 to receive free T-shirts! Despite the eye-bags, SF is undeniably gorgeous (and freezing) in the early morning.

After spending our first 2 minutes inside SF's Moscone Convention Center taking pictures of everything related (as shown in the following pictures), we went through a very smooth and efficient registration headed by an equally efficient staff!

Me and SaaSy!

Students checking in to receive their free T-shirts

The Keynote 

After the check-in process, we headed towards the Cloudstock keynote presentations where notable speeches and videos were given and shown from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Kimberly-Clark's VP/CIO Ramon Baez (one of my favorite speakers of the day!), Burberry CTO Mark Hopwood, Activision CIO Robert Schmid, Living Social's VP Jennifer Trzepacz, Invisible Children's COO Chris Carver, Hewlett-Packard's EVP (former Boeing and Verizon CIO), Toyota's CEO Akio Toyota, and others. I especially loved the Activision Social Enterprise Demo w/ "gamer" Alan Wang, too funny!

It was truly a special treat for the UC Irvine group when we were able to meet and talk to some of the speakers, including Marc Benioff!

With Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff!

With Acitivision CIO Robert Schmid.

 With Invisible Children COO Chris Carver.

Trying to be like the Salesforce tech guys.

Break-Out Sessions / Mini-Hackathon

Afterwards, we broke off into sessions, conferences, and the Cloudstock convention. Although I spent a little too much time lounging about on the beanbags on the 2nd floor of the Moscone Center, I was able to semi-join the mini-hackathon (aka. watching my fellow brilliant council members Mathew Sprehn, Daniel Garcia, Phil Ma, and Patrick Do) and even attempted to make my own app on the cloud. I loved the way the convention was set up so that there were separate stations for each cloud service with representative from the companies always there to help and assist throughout the hack. I was also lucky enough to be a part of the Salesforce Cloudstock highlight video that will be used to promote next year's event!

Cloudstock also provided a great opportunity for BIM/MIS majors like myself to network with biztech consultant leaders such as Accenture and Deloitte. They provided me with a lot of great input from the business technical standpoint on how to implement Salesforce into my own career search. 

The arcade zone 

My favorite beanbags


Another great aspect of the convention was the #dreamjobs event. It was great seeing some familiar faces such as Christie McDonagh whom I met at the UC Irvine Engitech fair, and Nick Tran and Kavindra Patel who attended ICS Day last year and even hosted an information session for the students. I was also lucky enough to meet and have great conversations with Campus Recruiting Specialist Kelsey Platt, Campus Recruiter Jessica Iyer, and Director George Manning (who's also doing a Triathalon!). 

Having conversations with these individuals not only provide me with a broader scope of what I could do, but also of the vast opportunities out there that I was too narrow-minded to grasp. I really appreciated and got a lot out of the exchange of ideas I had with these Salesforce employees. 


We headed towards the little after-party at the Metreon rooftop, hosted by Marketo. The view was amazing as was the open bar :)

Thank you

Thank you Salesforce for providing UC Irvine ICS Students with such an amazing experience at Cloudstock. We really took a lot from this event, which not only taught us what we can do as students to implement this technology in our lives or future jobs, but also helped broaden our perspective of technology outside of what we learn in the classroom.

Until next time,

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Upon turning in my HCI final to the TA today at the very last minute, I overhead him saying "I'm sure the students who turned in their finals earlier are smarter than the ones I just collected finals from."

What??! Admittingly, students who are better prepared for their final might be able to cruise through and finish early, but that doesn't mean they're "smarter". Although the definition of "smart" is very multi-faceted, this was undeniably upsetting to hear, especially from the mouth of someone who will be grading my exam. Ridiculous.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cabbage Soup Diet: Day 4-7

So.... I kind of cheated or something along the lines of 1.5 lbs of Kickin' Crab Cajun Shrimp, Fries, and Sausages on Day 3 and forgot to add that to my previous Cabbage Soup Diet blog post....

Day 4: Banana Day

I was a good girl and ate 8 bananas for the day.

Day 5: BEEF DAY #1

I went all out.

TGIF Jack Daniel's Glazed Baby-Back Ribs & Shrimp (2,100 calories fuckyea)


TGIF Jack Daniel's New York Steak and Shrimp

Strawberry Lemonade

Day 6: BEEF DAY #2

I calmed down a bit.

Rib-Eye Steak (courtesy of Papa Chiou)

Day 7: Brown Rice

Didn't buy brown rice. Didn't want brown rice. DIDN'T EAT BROWN RICE.


Lost 2 lbs. A bit below my target goal, but.. at least I tried :)

Finals Week: Good Luck Note

Grubadubdub Study Time. 
[Black Tea & Soy Latte, Caramel Macchiato, Rice Crackers, Strawberry Pocky]

I received a text from my very awesome friend Michael Merchant today that I would like to pass on to everyone. 

"They say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I hope you enjoy the many opportunies you have this week to show off your skills and preparations. Good luck on finals!"

Although Michael tends to be overly optimistic (and ends up succeeding in everything he does anyway..) this is a great perspective to adopt, or at the very least, to think about when studying for or taking your exams. 

Even though I already botched my first opportunity during my 8am final this morning (it should be illegal for college students to wake up this early) by second-guessing myself 2 minutes before I turned in my exam (one of the worst feelings in the world), the only thing I can do it MOVE ON and get my noggin' back into shipshape for my next final tonight.. and the next one.. and the 3 more after that.. 

Best of luck to everyone! Just remember, Spring Break is just around the corner :)

- Lils

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cabbage Soup Diet: Day 1-3

These past 3 days have been a bit out of my comfort zone in that I'm going on my first legit diet. Ever. The Cabbage Soup Diet, introduced to me by Jenny Kim, is supposed to do wonders as a short term diet. Although some of you may ask "well you're just going to gain it all back after the week is over anyway", it will ultimately help me in the long run in that I'll be more motivated to hit the gym / eat healthier (less portions) to maintain the weight, versus the ever losing battle of trying to lose the weight. Anyway, I wanted to keep myself on track by updating this daily regimen on my blog. Here is Day 1-3:

Day One: Fruits and Cabbage Soup

Thank you Housewife/Chef Jerry Cao for grocery shopping with the noob (me) at 99 Ranch and for helping me make the giant pot of cabbage soup! 

Survived off cutie oranges, apples, and 3 servings of cabbage soup (shown above).

Day Two: Veggies and Cabbage Soup (lost 1 lbs)

Thank you mama bear for cooking me tsai (the green spinach stuff) and peas and ONIONS! You're the best. 

Survived off 3 servings of peas, onions, and spinach, and 1 serving of cabbage soup.

Day Three: Fruits, Veggies, and Cabbage Soup (lost 0.4 lbs, lame)

Thank you again mama bear, for cooking me awesome broccoli w/ garlic, and roasted asparagus and peppers! (First time eating asparagus, it was pretty good)

Strawberries yumyum

(My very terribly cut) Fuji Apples


Surviving off the above items.

I look forward to the next 4 days!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This really helped me put some of the "problems" I face in perspective. I know shit happens in this pretty messed up world, and although I'm (for the most part) unaffected by it all, having lived in the Irvine bubble all of my life, I can still take from this and hopefully improve myself by closing (and locking) my doors to people who are a negative influence in my life. I'm the type of person who'll give anyone the benefit of the doubt regardless of what I hear, but I really need to be smarter about who I claim are my friends. I'm tired of wasting my time being bothered by people and issues that I really don't give a f about, and it's time I grow up.

That being said, I aim to surround myself with, and be influenced by, healthy and intellectual people. I was asked last week whether I want to take the easy way out and go through life with minimal glitches, or challenge myself by not only my environment, but also by people who are smarter than me and will continuously push me to do more. Although the latter sounds painful, in the end, it is the experiences you go through and people you meet who make up the palette illustrating your life.

Until next time,