My Post-Graduation Plans

Hello from Velehana International Airport in the Maldives! I’m typing up this long-overdue post as I eat a chocolate muffin while tethered to one of those free airport power outlet towers. Momma Lee and I got our bags scanned before we learned that the Priority Pass lounge is located before security. Unfortunately, the guards won’t let us exit and re-enter security, so we have two hours to kill at our boarding gate before our flight to Singapore. There's no wifi in the entire terminal, and we didn’t buy local prepaid Maldivian SIMs so we don’t have data either, but silver lining: I’ve got downtime to recap on where I’ve been over the last 6 weeks.

Update #1: I graduated from university!

On June 8, my classmates and I reported to the indoor track at 8:30am, assembled according to our majors, got our names checked multiple times as we snaked around the outdoor track, paraded along Massachusetts Ave toward Killian Court, and waited about 15 minutes before all 1,920 of us soon-to-be alum (999 undergraduate and 1,821 graduate students) took our seats.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, was our keynote speaker. Besides mentioning that there's "no such thing as a free chicken wing," she emphasized the importance of using technology to improve society. Sandberg implored us to build mindfully—"Could we?" and "Should we?"—when trying to create with awareness and integrity. During her speech, this particular segment stuck with me:

Class of 2018, it’s not the technology you build that will define you. It’s the teams you build and what people do with your technology. We have to get this right because we need technology to solve our greatest challenges.

We’re optimists because we have to be. If you want to do something that has never been done before, so many people will tell you it cannot be done.
— Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

After, President Rafael Reif spoke, as did our Class of 2018 Student Council President, Colin Webb, and then sooner than I could voice my worries about tripping on the artificial turf in my heels and faceplanting on my way to receive my diploma, it was in my hand and I had officially graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After the ceremony, there was a reception hosted by the bioengineering department, and then my family had lunch at Earls, which happens to be next door to where I'll be working in the fall. 

Photo creds: Erica Yuen. Idea creds: Pinterest

Photo creds: Erica Yuen. Idea creds: Pinterest


The design on my cap is re-do because the first time around, I forgot to take into account the orientation of the mortarboard on my head so my design was rotated 90°. Luckily, after managing a bulk order of caps & gowns for 140+ of my classmates (purchasing from a generic regalia outlet was half the price of renting from the university’s preferred vendor), I had an extra cap lying around. I transferred the white vinyl alphabet stickers over to the new cap but had to draw and cut a new world map because tacky glue really did its job on the first cap.


Update #2: I am going to be employed!

I start my consulting job on September 5! I return from globetrotting (see below for my summer itinerary) to Boston on September 2. Thankfully, I’ve already moved into my new apartment, so I’ll just have a bit of jetlag to get over in my three day respite before training begins. 

Special regards to the ever-lovely Iva who heard of my apartment searching woes in May and offered to split her 2 bedroom with me. I’d been hunting for a place since February and, despite viewing upwards of 20 units through three different brokers, found myself unable to pull the trigger on signing a lease because every broker asked for four months' rent to secure a listing—first month, last month, one month as a security deposit, and one month as their commission. ALSO, she’s getting a dog in the fall and I could not be more excited (concerns about dog hair on my work clothes aside). A friend once predicted that my first major purchase after landing an apartment would be a dog and whaddaya know, his prediction’s basically coming true. (Side note: My friend Dylan is getting a Samoyed later this year and I’ve already called dibs on being its godmother and taking it out for runs out on the Esplanade. My passion for pups is REAL. for bridge loops, too. running bridge loops is fun.)

The majority of my posts for the next foreseeable future will be city guides and musings largely inspired by my travels around Europe and Southeast Asia this summer. My itinerary is as follows: Iceland (Reykjavik), Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, & Toledo), Portugal (Porto & Lisbon), Amsterdam, Belgium (Ghent & Bruges), Germany (Dusseldorf & Berlin), Greece (Athens & Spetses), Maldives, Singapore, Taiwan (Taipei & Taichung), San Francisco, Boston. If there’s a city that you’ll be traveling to soon, let me know below and I’ll work on its guide ASAP. As always, you can check out each city’s summary in dedicated Story highlights on my Instagram page (viewable on mobile).