International Students Archive


The Freedom of Personal Accountability

Life is shared, whether at work or at home. Nothing can be done independently of others or our surroundings. So in this interconnected living, it’s plausible to put responsibilities on others when things get tough. At some point, things always get tough. Sometimes it’s the other person. Sometimes it’s shared.


When the Shoe Doesn’t Fit…

My children happened upon the cartoon Cinderella last week. My mother and I were commenting about how darling it was…until the shoe fitting part. You know, the part where Cinderella’s foot glides into the shoe held by the prince. We women, who grew up in the US, have always celebrated Cinderella because


How Struggling Can Indicate You’re On the Right Track In Your Transition

If you choose to become a leader in your life, whether in your internal world or external world, daring to face the struggle of the unknown is the “ticket for entry” for success. Struggle need not be a four-letter-word. Struggle can be respected, even if not welcomed, as you know it


Accepting “MY” Imperfections

You are imperfect. I am imperfect. That’s part of being human. There’s something so “old news” about it all. Yet it seems like we are all hiding with terror from this reality of not being perfect...Witnessing and accepting our imperfections isn’t weakness. It’s an act of love. It breeds freedom and


5 Steps to Living Your Dream

So here you are in January, with 12 months ahead of you.  Another opportunity for a fresh start. An opportunity to go within and ask, “what do I really want for my life in 2014?” Sure, you can do it anytime.  But there is something magical about the beginning of the year


Befriend Your Fears and Thrive

I was watching the movie, Monsters University, with my kids recently. Through the laughs, I saw some realities for us adult folks.  After years of living, each of us has come to own the one, two, or more things that scares the living bijiggers out of us.  Like the movie, our minds


How I Became More Socially American: One Encounter at a Time

I was in seventh grade, at dinner at my friend’s house. At the table were her parents, my friend and me. It was a low key affair. We were having hamburgers. Across the table were tomatoes that I desperately wanted. My mind urged me to “just ask!”.


My Daughter’s Initiation with Racism

My daughter talks about this older Caucasian man, in a Patriot’s sweatshirt, who came abruptly to the table my mother and daughter were sitting at as they were finishing their lunch and declared, “you guys are finished and you need to leave”. Both stunned, it took my mother a bit


Want Engagement? Show That You Notice and Care.

After my leadership workshops, individuals who approach me tend to ask one fundamental question, "how do I get my boss to notice the work I do?". A deeper question they're asking is, "how do I know if I really matter?". Each one of us who breathes wants to know we matter.


Recognizing Our American Cultural Bias For “Passion”

When I coach non-Americans, especially Asians, to interview effectively for a US job, I emphasize the need to express their "passion" for their work or their "deep interest" for a potential job. Nine times out of ten, when I ask about this passion, I see Asian students searching my face, seeking