Archives

#ThrowBackThursday: Campus, Groups and Lessons Learnt!

Today, as I was busy doing my work, minding my business and sipping my water – from a KOR Water Bottle brand placement much, a very random thought crossed my mind, campus days! Not the fun times we had, because we had a lot of those – I treasure my campus mates for that experience. I’m talking about the tough times. The ones that make you wonder why you were studying what you were studying in the first place. I did Business IT in my undergraduate and there are some really difficult and unnecessary courses we did – ethics, computer graphics, programming, business accounts … it’s a long list, those are just a few of which I can remember as I write.

The tough times, really, were managing groups and the complications that come with being in a group. From the selecting members that will be in your group, availability of those group members, handling the assignments, the art of utilizing everyone’s strength within the groups and equally identifying their weakness – because that could be what takes you down, overcoming the group mentality and the solidarity in results.

Selecting group members

This must’ve been the lectures favorite part on the first day of the semester, “now get into groups which you’ll maintain for the rest of the semester.” It must also have been the students’ worst part, because woe unto you if you land into a group you don’t dig or don’t get along with the members. One has to be smart about the people they select to be in their group (if given the choice), else the struggle becomes real. Sometimes you realize you’d rather not select a group based solely on friendship – same concept with business.

Availability of those group members

So you have the group, good stuff. You have a plan as to when you’ll meet, but there’s a conflict of interest. Others are not available, others are not willing to sacrifice a little good time to attend a boring group meetings about assignments. Sucks when you have a group of 6 but only 2 or 3 are available – at all times. It’s very non-progressive.

Handling the assignments

So the 2/3 who meet decide, “Let’s peruse through the assignment and assign each group member a part”. I mean, their contribution is necessary, if not mandatory. You send the assignment and responsibilities to each member and give a “deadline” preferably a few days before due date so that you can work on the correction and formatting. Sounds perfect huh?

Art of utilizing everyone’s strength within the groups and equally identifying their weakness

Very important. When you’re in a group, you need to accept the fact that everyone is not the same, we’re absolutely different. Sometimes you might think, “If I can do this, why can’t he/she do this? “ Well, because he/she is not you honey. This is a tough lessons that many can attest to. If you’re not good at it, you’re just not good at it. Chances are that someone else is, why not support this person.

For example, we had a programming course, most of us loathed it. I know loath is a strong term, but that best explains our emotions towards that course. Unfortunately, it was a compulsory course. The lecturer happily gets us into groups of 6 and we’re assigned a project. The projects involved designing, developing and presenting a system. Presenting it to him the same way you would a client – including the manual.

Remember the part we loathe programming, that was 3 ½ of the group members. One (Valentine Wambui) loved it and she was the IT girl when it came to coding. The ½ (must’ve been Christine Were or Jean Opiyo) liked coding but wasn’t really good at it. The rest (Janice Muringo, Julia Wanjiru and I), don’t mention coding. Well, coding was just a part of the project, albeit being very important. For the project to happen – we needed to come up with the concept, design the interfaces and the database, code the system to being and then document the manual. Some parts like designing and developing the concept, interfaces and databases, you have to sit and do together – like one big happy family, that we did. However, someone had to take responsibility for each part, to make sure it’s done & well inputted or recorded. I love documenting, so if memory serves me right, I must’ve done the manual.

That’s the one time I saw the power of group work, because we aced that project – it was a Wardrobe Management System. Plus I had so much fun working with them and see the project materialize. I don’t know what happened to it, because that was way back in 2006/2007, when we used diskettes for storage.

TBT, Throw Back Thursday, Diskette

Group mentality

Perfect not! When everyone in their mind decides, “Someone will definitely do it!” Who’s that someone? Considering everyone in the group has a name. Once you overcome this mentality, chances are that you’ll thrive. Put a name on it. Have a group leader and let them distribute the work load based on who does what best and what can be done together.

For instance, we had a naughty group member who never participated or contributed towards any group assignments, but on the d-day always appeared concerned. So after bitching A LOT, we (Thuku Ndung’u or Rodney Senga, seconded by the rest of us) decided for that semester, he would contribute to printing and binding of the assignment, and any photocopies we would need during presentations – that stuff was expensive – given that it was campus with our ever eluding little pocket-money. He was moneyed, identifying strengths, no?

Solidarity in results

Whether you participated in the group assignments/activities, or not – you all get the same results. If it’s an A – y’all get an A, if it’s a C – y’all get a C. Unless you rat someone out, the lecturer looks at the group as 1, not as 5 or 10. When in a group, you’re fully responsible or in change of your group members’ success, and your participation is what will let them prosper.

Today, I am thankful for that throw back, because it has just made me realize that for the rest of your life, you deal with groups – whether it’s at home or at work. And campus was the best stage of life to learn that important lesson, because it’s brings into perspective the saying, “Man is not an island.”

Happy Diwali!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

My LinkedIn Summary

Summaries. I hated those. Especially when in school you were asked to read a book and summarize it in one page (or a limited number of words, they liked 300) in a way that someone will understand what the book was about. I remember in my previous workplace I had a colleague who loved the word ‘one pager’ that on my first day of work, he told me to come up with a ‘one pager’ for a project I was completely clueless about. It made me research, and that’s what actually made me understand the scope & objectives of that project. Because with a one pager you can’t write nonsense, it needs to be straight to the point. Plus it’s a quick read, so you can’t bullshit, or someone will know you are. Especially if they have knowledge of that project/book.

Well, that’s the same feeling that creeps up when I’m asked to give a summary of myself. I’m 27, that means, I’ve had quite a bit of experience and a story to tell. It might not be moving like some I’ve heard, but it’s something to say the least. Plus it doesn’t help that I’m not the best story teller or pro in giving an account of events that happened to me. Most I forget, then remember when something happens that touches on that experience.

I am, About Me

The thought of my LinkedIn summary has disturbed me for a while now. It didn’t cause me sleepless nights, but it made me a little uneasy because I didn’t feel like I was properly representing who I am and what I do in terms of my career.  I’m a lover of social things, especially those on the digital front – Facebook, Twitter, IG, LinkedIn, G+, Blog – basically, I’ve embraced digital. I always feel like they have a multiplier effect and they expose you to people you don’t know – but most of what is exposed to those people is what you share with them, what you want them to know or how you want them to interpret who you are. So to some extent you have some control. And so I changed my LinkedIn summary and made it a little more personal. It kinda made me feel good about myself, you know when you realize what makes you tick when you’re working. Here goes;

Armed with an IT, Project and Strategic Management educational background but actually practicing as a Marketer, an Online or Digital Marketer to be exact. It amuses me. It’s after all, what I am passionate about.

Thinking about what the person on the other end of the screen (computer, mobile or print) wants to consume when it comes to content. The process involved in conceptualizing, designing, developing and eventually sharing it – through the various social media platforms and having conversations around that content because it affects us whether directly or indirectly.

Coming up with plans/strategies on how to make the consumption of this content as interesting and stimulating as possible for the consumer through partnerships and teamwork. It’s through these two that we have had successful campaigns and achieved our desired results.

I am also a sucker for content that builds people, useful content. Content that inspires, impacts or influences someone (even if just one person) in one way or another. And that’s the main reason I run my personal blog at – Kawi Snippets.

That’s just about it. Happy Thursday Lovelies.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Harsh Realities

If there’s one (actually two but intertwined) thing I have learnt to respect and appreciate is time and experience.  At one point, I was of the school of thought “why do I have to wait to get this? I want it now” and “why do people make a big deal out of experience? I mean, if I can do it why are you asking for years of experience.” And then I figured, that time gives you leeway, while experience gives you exposure. They reveal to you things that you thought you knew but you actually didn’t. And slowly you keep advancing yourself. That’s why those two, I believe, are the most important aspects of growth. Growth in whichever capacity. So;

  • When you read a job vacancy and they’re asking for 5-10 years’ experience, that request is valid. It shouldn’t demoralize you. It should instead make you more optimistic, that the struggle you’re going through now is worth it. That at one point, with a little patience in your grind, you will reap the benefits too.  Respect your seniors, because one day, you’ll get there and you’ll want your juniors to do the same.
  • If you see folks who have been married for a couple of years, and they are giving you pieces of advice, listen, for only they know better. It doesn’t mean you have to do as they say or be as they are, but why re-invent the wheel or go through the same rough path they trudged, while they have identified a smoother one?
  • You have a business and someone tells you, “give it time, it will pick up”. The business is viable and your service delivery is exceptional – I tell my mum this every day, you just need to give it time and once people know about your services (experience), they’ll be loyal, and you’ll be their point of reference. Businesses don’t flourish in a day, a month or a year, some legacy’s take years to build. One just needs to be patient and put in some extra effort while at it.
  • You’ll understand how a person with years of experience will always tramp someone with no years of experience despite them having superior skills or why you can’t build a brand/business/house in one day -> Trying to put it into perspective.

Life, Life Lessons, Experience, Time, Harsh Realities

I know right! Not what one wants to hear. It’s a harsh reality, but the earlier one starts to value the fundamentals of growth; time & experience, the more things will make sense. I know most things don’t. It’s a LIFE-TIME EXPERIENCE!

Happy Thursday Folks!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Friday Snippets

Interesting week this one, but in an extremely good way. Let me not delve much into it, don’t want to jinx it. However, let’s talk professions. I am the poster child for social media/content and basically most things digital. It’s amazing how people perceive that, well, I’ve gotten the “she’s the one who does our Facebook and Twitter”. Basically, I have been downgraded to ‘just that’, those things that everyone else in the office thinks is a way to pass time. Good thing, they get a teeny-weeny section of what I do, like 0.something% but I don’t interject. I just nod my head and agree, because trying to explain it when the other party isn’t getting it, makes me seem defensive, which I really am sometimes *who isn’t?…I admire you*.

The best thing that’s happened the better part of this year, is having people who understand what I do. Or rather having a conversation with people who get me, who get my profession. It gives me some more confidence, that was rather lacking. You know when you’re a programmer, designer, lawyer, doctor, teacher,everyone knows what you do. I mean, its general knowledge. But content, what the hell’s that, what do you do?

I had a conversation with my dad yesterday trying to explain to him as simply as I could, what I do. And I mean in a very simple way, no jargon lingo. He’s old folk, so for him all these social media and content platforms don’t make sense. I broke it down, and based on the responses – mmmh’s, aaah’s, contributions, suggestions, opinions, I think he finally got it. I think he’s always had a hard time explaining to his friends what I do, at least mum got it some time back. Despite me having an undergraduate and masters degree in IT and Strategic Management, my work well, doesn’t quite capture those two in terms of my “titles”, so he wonders.

My Take: Be qualified, but don’t let your qualifications limit what you can do with yourself. You could study IT, like I did, but you could also be a greater cook. So that shouldn’t prevent you from being a super chef because someone said when you do IT you have to be a programmer. You don’t have to conform, respect your desires too.

TGIF, Hammock, Holiday

Thank God It’s Friday: If I could teleport that hammock, I would.

WATCHING

Scandal Ssn3 and Suits Ssn3. But honestly, I have been watching and 30mins into it I am dead asleep on my couch. Getting home feeling exhausted with the hope of watching a few episodes only to watch one episode all week. Feel me, does this happen to you?

LOVING

My friends, the support is overwhelming. For looking out for me, I have nothing but appreciation for you and if I can, I will always be there cheering you on too. In whatever ventures you take, as long as they’re legal and I think they suit you. Of course, I won’t cheat you can sing when you can’t, I can’t bear seeing you getting embarrassed on Project Fame. I will recommend you where I see you fit to do the work. But the bottom line is, I appreciate you.

LISTENING TO

Jam’s that are making my Friday a bit more interesting. I should probably make a playlist.

READING

Still blog-trotting! My sister also gave me this book, that now seems rather interesting. The title got me off at first but I decided to give it a benefit of doubt. Trying to live by the words, “don’t judge a book by its cover” … literally! Will tell you how that goes.

Books, Current Read,

EATING

My one meal a week, shame! But that’s what it has gotten to. I wouldn’t call it laziness but I happen to cook a lot and it seems endless or maybe I’ve performed miracles and I don’t know. That brings me to the question, do you think Jesus knew he had super powers or he came to realize later. Let me not get into it, lest it sounds blasphemous.

Food, Ugali, Pork, Fried, Vegges, Sukuma Wiki, Greens, White Chocolate

LOOKING FORWARD TO

Holidaying! Whenever it comes, I’m just craving that sun and sand. After being exposed to what a holiday would feel like for just a weekend, I am definitely looking forward to the next one. This stuff is addictive. Just thinking of the hammocks right about now.

HOPING FOR

Crossing fingers and toes that I bag it. It would be a great one to put my brains on.

SAVING FOR

A good blender. I want to be able to make my own shakes and juices, there’s no need for the disappointments we get from the restaurants. Plus for trips, we need to visit our country, it has the most beautiful sceneries and locations, those resorts won’t pay for themselves *pouts*

THANKING

God. These blessings, I can’t complain at all.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Work Quote

Besides that, to more laughing, living and loving. Let your weekend be nothing short of interesting, blessings!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Special’ove’ize

Of late, for some not so strange reason I’ve been trying to figure out what I my specialty is or what is it I love … on my blog that is. I basically write anything and everything that comes on mind. So when someone asks me what my blog is about, I say just that “anything and everything”. I mean it’s not solely about fashion, travels, poetry, food, photography, name it, because I’m pretty sure in the many posts I have, there’s something on each *facepalm*

Then it all takes me back to when I had just finished high-school and it was time to go to campus. How many (feel like saying *by a show of hands* I wish this was a talk of sorts) knew what they wanted to do right after their O-Levels? Personally I didn’t. I was made to go to Strathmore University to do a Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) because my dad didn’t want me hanging around the hood (this was revealed to me later on in life). Then after finishing that one, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do and there was an opportunity of continuation. Such that my DBIT was to act as my 1st year in Bachelor in Business Information Technology (BBIT).

I thought that was pretty cool, that’s minus one year, so I’ll have 3 years of Grad school. As you can see, without much struggle and thought I just got into the Business and IT world. Then I worked hard at it and bore my fruits at the end of it. I then started working and while at it, I was still trying to discover what I want to specialize in. What is it I enjoy doing? This because I came to realize that business and IT is so broad. Slowly while working in my first job, I discovered what I don’t like and what I don’t want to be. Then I was lucky enough to move from my first job and into a second one, where I discovered what I love and what I want to be. Hence, my third and my future ones. Now, I can specialize, I can distinguish between what I don’t like and what I love. That’s what I am up to.

Better, how you generalize all your boys who are friends, they are all the same at the same level. Then comes a time you lay your eyes on this one guy that sweeps you off your feet *swoon* and you special’ove’ize on him, because you want to be in with him for the long haul. So with my blog, I’m still at the general stage, where I am trying almost everything out. So far, I see myself getting inclined to “Life Lessons”, I love writing out my stories in parables and in a way anyone can relate and learn from them. I just need to figure an interesting way to bring it out, so that I can make you enjoy them as well. You know how we say “customer is king”, y’all super readers are my customers.

“For the love of what you do, what you want to be, where you want to be or who you want to be with, your world somehow comes together at some point to help you specialize in it, that’s what I call special’ove’izing.” ~ Kawi

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Closing This, Opening Those

Oh well, something to make my Monday a little more interesting. Yes, as you know it’s in my nature to make Monday yellow yellow and kill all the blues that present themselves today. I mean, I need to write a post to mark some days like today and how I’m taking a big step.

You’ve probably seen me saying it feels like closing day. Yes, it really does feel like it. Only thing missing is a pack of cards, some snacks and you know how it was when it was closing day back in primary and high school. The excitements and all thinking I have never gone through this before and I don’t know what I am supposed to expect. Good thing is that there’s always a first time for everything. This is my very first to serve a full notice to the end and for a job I loved to bits. It’s quite the experience I must say. Ups and downs, but most of all regardless of the that, it’s been a good experience. One that I’ll look back and I’ll be able to give someone a piece of advice.

So, it’s my last day being online content editor for rupu, yup! Been here for almost 2 years now (1 year 8 months to be exact) and lets say they are the ones who have molded me to be who I am today. It’s an amazing thing to see a platform be given birth to, take care of  it as it grows up, and while at it be at the top of the game. If that’s how nannys feel when they see us (the kids they took care of) all grown up after wiping off poop, bathing us, feeding us, teaching us and what not … then it’s such a fulfilling feeling.

So the final one month wasn’t exactly the easiest of my months. Oh my! I’ve experienced many moments, from the beginning where I actually handed in my resignation letter to the last day. Could that be the reason it’s standard that you have to give at least one month notice. It’s a reality check month, it’s a roller coaster of your feelings. At one point you’re here *points top* then next thing you know you’re there *points bottom* and it’s a cycle. You actually get to learn people, your colleagues through the good and the bad, this one is the bad, because you’re actually leaving them, more like dumping your spouse. Resigning from an organisation is not the easiest thing one could do. It bites, it makes you wonder what the others are saying, if they are happy for you, if you’re doing the right thing, if you’re headed in the right direction and other related thoughts.

However, this is in my own honest opinion. If I have a person who’s resigning in my department/organisation and moving to wherever I would be sincerely happy for them. It shows that they are still of relevance, that you added value to them. Well, that’s what the few organisations I have worked with have done. They have added value to me and I’m super grateful that I worked with them, I will carry that knowledge they’ve impacted in me everywhere I go. After all that’s what life is about – ‘live, learn and apply’. And now my former colleagues are part of my life in one way or another. I would love to meet them and catch up, buy them a drink or vice versa, be invited for stuff, give them business and so on.

Anywhoo, so that’s wassup! So in the midst of all that, let me do something humorous at least. Too much seriousness is not good for me today :-) So there’s this thing called “Not Me Mondays”, stolen the concept from some random blog I happened to see, I think it must’ve been a post from the link below the image above. It’s where you’re just brutally honest, tell it, then you deny it. I think she must’ve gotten it from “Shaggy’s – It wasn’t me” song. Here’s how I got it, let’s give it a try with 5 for starters and see if I have my hand at it.

  • The alarm went off at 6:30 and I didn’t just snooze it and wake up 1 hour later. I mean I would never, never ever…lol
  • That guy who was about to splash on my some puddle water while I was walking to work, that guy hmmm! I didn’t throw imaginary daggers at him, if looks could kill, but nah, that wasn’t me.
  • The guy in a BMW who was picking his nose like he wanted to remove his brains via his nostrils O_O. I didn’t even judge him and think, who does that on traffic. Yuck! But no, that wasn’t me.
  • I’m not that girl wishing that closing day at work could have been a little more interesting, nah not at all. Disclaimer: I’ll make it exciting after I’m out. Now that I have one week of bumming *yaaay* Meeh if only school was also on break, I could take a trip or something. No I’m not the one wishing that.
  • I’m not even so overly smitten *swoon* over a certain mister mister, butterflies, giggles e.t.c. I mean, how now? LOL (that’s for another day, I know you’re thinking, suspense is good :-) continue thinking)

Ha ha so how did it go? I think I should do it more often. That being besides the point, cheers to new beginnings, as I swim in new waters, the unknown, yes, new in every essence of it. Quite a couple of new chapters in my life actually, this should get interesting. Just gotten off my comfort zone. And for every ending, there’s always a new beginning. This is mine, as I close this and open those *cheers*

Have a super week lovely readers, one full of positiveness and awesomeness. Be blessed!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Into the Unknown

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or, you will be taught how to fly” ~ Patrick Overton

Dreams are known to be strange or rather mine sometimes turn out to be. Oh and that’s if I wake up and remember. Sometimes, I feel like I’m making up a bit of it so that I can coin how it’s going to be, this happens when I wake up and realize I was dreaming and I really don’t want to spoil the sequence. But as we know, once you’re up that’s it. It’s not like you can pause it then play when you get back your sleep. Another one starts up all together.

Like dreams, so is reality. We can be living a life that is going on fine, then it reaches a point we ‘re shaken up by a thing or two. This would be equivalent to waking up from a dream. You don’t want to face that which is shaking you up and even as you try to continue your life as it was whatever it is that’s come has to be faced. Life doesn’t pause and play for you. If anything it’s always on play. It’s not like a remote with the forward, rewind functionalities, you live it as it comes.

As your life is played out, you don’t know what’s ahead of you. It’s one day at a time. One day you’re at your comfort zone, the next day you’re forced to venture into the unknown. From the light and into the dark, at one point you could clearly see where you are headed because the path is lit for you, then at a certain place you cannot see what’s ahead, you could be walking into the edge of a cliff or headed to a beautiful place. Regardless of what is to come, trust yourself – your abilities, your decisions and allow yourself to take a risk and venture out, it could be the best thing that’s yet to happen to you.

What I’m trying to say, is that even with all the light or the comfort of being at a place you can relate with, you can never be to sure. The world is to dynamic for you to stay at the same place. You need to grow always, in the different aspects, you should allow yourself to go out to the unlit areas and find out of course don’t throw all caution out the window what that place has to offer. You could be the one to start lighting up the dark areas and create paths for others or creating comfort zones for others.

That’s probably the reason you are where you are today, because someone else took all the risk to create light were there was darkness, a path where there was none. It could be in anything, you coming into this world, let’s just start from there, must’ve been a risk taken by your parents … seeing as they didn’t know how some of you will turn out to be. But boy, didn’t we turn out good, okay, I’m talking about myself here. So, move forward and see what life’s got to offer in love, work, school, life in general. While at it, don’t forget to put God first, always puts things in perspective.

Venturing into the unknown, gives you some sense of satisfaction, belonging and achievement. Like you wanted and chased what no one else was or what someone else was chasing but got scared or gave up mid-way and turned back. It’s an accomplishment, one that you can proudly say you plunged yourself into, believed in and you’re now reaping the fruits. To those who’ve gotten there, big up. To those of us getting there, all the best, nothing comes so easy after all… No?

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*