Looking Back and Planning Ahead - 2012-2013

Although this is not 31st December yet, I decided to write about my new year's resolution now. I am doing a little road trip with my friends and I am afraid that I might not get enough time to write this down before 31st if I don't start early. So here I am, in a Starbucks neat BWI airport in Baltimore, waiting for my friends to arrive and looking back at how last this year was for me and what I want to get done in next year.

As I did for the last few years, first I want to do a look-back on what I planned last year and how far I have achieved. 

I wanted to finish my MS as early as possible and start Phd or job. Although I got a good PhD admissing, my luck with assistantship was not that great. I had few interviews with some professors but no one assured me anything positive. But, at the same time I got an internship offer from Simulia. Just when I was about to accept the offer, I got a better offer from Siemens to work for NX Nastran team as a software engineer. All of them happen within just two weeks of my thesis defense. The NX Nastran job description was very close to what I call my dream job. So, there was no hesitation in accepting that offer. So far, it seems that was a good decision.

Secondly, it was MANG! I can not say that I had success in this project but I showed some improvement comparing with last year. Logistically, I am in a better position now and I think I am heading in the right way even though not sure how far down the road I have to travel. 

I think I am 40~50% done when it comes to getting in shape. I have been closely watching what I am eating. And I also have plans for next year on how to continue for getting in shape.

I was able to complete two out of three UC projects that I decided to do. The IMLD was a huge success for Cultural Connection. I also made a few good friends that. I am not sure how much impact the career development seminar had on CEAS graduates but I was glad that I got the chance to organize it and brought somethig new to the table for SDS GSA. I think, it played an important role for SDS GSA being selected as the best GSA of the year. I am not sure whether current guys will continue arranging this type of stuffs in future. The other project that I never got a chance to start was creating a forum for people at UC who are interested in using computational methods in their research. I made a presentation to the GSGA meeting to create a strong case for the forum. I think part of the reason was I did not find enough interested party to start. Also I was quite busy with my transitional situtaion (finishing MS and what to do next). Then, as I left UC to start my job, I had the last nail to the coffin of the project.

As I promised to myself, I started learning a new language. I never thought it was going to be Turkish. But you never know, what lies in the next bend of the road. I think I am doing OK although I need to spend more time with it.

I started a coking blog and did not go far with that. Only three post. Someday, I will make it up :-(

I started some business idea with Tareq but right now I feel it was not the wisest decision that I made. Partly because, I am not sure how exactly I can make an impact to the business and partly because I do not have enough logistical support to so the stuffs that I want to do. 

I started learning Ukulele but guess what... I kind of suck at music...I have really very little musical sense and I find my ears are not trained to differentiate between different sound of music. But I am not giving up. Next year, I am going to put some more time and see how things go.

Now, lets come back to the stuffs that I want to do for the next. This time I am planning to do it in a little different. The idea came to me after reading this blog post. Instead of just listing this activities in a random order, I want to arrange them based on certain theme so that it makes more sense. 

1. Getting more active
I want to get more active and I figured out there are few things that can help to to get there. I do not know what of those things I will like doing/ end up doing consistently but here is a brief list of things that I feel interested in.

# Tennis, Boxing, Running, UC Rec Center

I do not have a specific plan for this. But, I want to learn dancing hoping this might give me some extra yards on the field.

3. Technical development
I have not yet got a chance to complete my 5-years plan. I need to do that very soon. Meanwhile, I plan to attend Coursera lectures to get a better hold on computer science stuffs. I will enroll in the relevant algorithms, data structures and programming courses.

4. Personal development
I want to increase my breathing spaces. A good advice I received few days ago is not to put all my eggs in one basket. Though no one can tell me exactly how many basket I should choose, I have few in my mind. I am going spend few more hours in learning Turkish. I want to do more photography and if possible learn to play Ukulele.

Published at: 01/03/2013