8/29/2005 12:00:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|There are simply no reasons to complain. Last Sunday, prior to my first engagement with my MBA peers, I found myself very anxious and with a head full of questions. Today, one week later, many of these questions have been answered and great part of this anxiety evolved into excitement. I left the Calamigos Ranch yesterday after a couple of days doing some deep self assessment both professionally and personally in addition to some great team building efforts, which by the way, greatly contributed to get a better idea of who my colleagues are. The tools used to achieve these goals where quite peculiar and I will use the rest of this post to share some of them and the revelations it brought to me. Myers Briggs We spent most of Friday focused on the Myers Briggs test, a measuring instrument, focused on 4 dichotomies of our personalities. Let it be said that although there are extremes, one can observe both characteristics of the scale (extroversion and introversion, for example) based on a particular situation that forces that person to use the not so dominant side (have you ever been forced to step "outside your comfort zone" ?) . With enough said, let me explain what I found out about myself.
  1. Extroversion - Most of the time, I get a lot of my energy from other people and the environment. I Love to work with others, especially in a fun environment.
  2. Sensing - My most clear characteristic. The present is important, sensorial information is vital. Intuition does not tend to fly with me (I have to work on that).
  3. Feeling - Those that know me know that I tend to base my decisions on values and on a person’s concerns. Emotions have a place into the workplace.
  4. Perceiving - I lack organization. Spontaneity and adaptability to new environments and people are qualities I’ve showed many times in the past.
Groups and Teams that lack diversity and show similar MB Personality Types are less likely succeed. These uniform groups tend to miss opposite points of view. In other words, they become one-dimensional and are more likely to fail mainly because they oversee “the other side”. This workshop was of great importance to point that out and also to prepare us, incoming students, to the many team-oriented tasks that are yet to come, both in our academic and professional lives. We shall wait and see.|W|P|112529884685657039|W|P|A Weekend Away|W|P|8/21/2005 10:52:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|So there goes my first day in LA. My MBA started in great fashion with a reception over at the Drescher campus. My colleagues seemed young, motivated and quite welcoming but I know that this will change once the heat and stress of academic work overload kicks in (trust me, it will happen very soon). Until then, the school wants us to get to know each other well so that Graziadio's hands-on approach to education (lots of teamwork, case studies, etc.) may work smoothly. It is in fact a great idea. It will eliminate the need for us students to go through awkwardness when we need to work together, when to perform at our best, we need to be relaxed and comfortable with each other. As Doreen Shanahan, former Coca-Cola vice president and Pepperdine MBA alumna said today, we are here to be either consumers or learners. Which one would you rather be? SFU Congratulations to HBO on the conclusion of Six Feet Under. It certainly will be missed. It was one of the very few shows I followed, through its 5 seasons and looked forward to see the next episode. Great acting (Peter Krause, Frances Conroy and Lauren Ambrose were phenomenal), unpredictable plot and savvy directing made this a must-see for me. |W|P|112469224229763700|W|P|First Day On The Books|W|P|8/24/2005 03:55:00 AM|W|P|Blogger dane570omar|W|P|damn good blog, check out mine http://juicyfruiter.blogspot.com, comments always welcome!8/20/2005 02:28:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|One hour for my flight. While I wait, I sit and hear Sao Paulo play Atletico Paranaense over streamlined internet. In the airport, people walk around, changing gates. The game: Sao Paulo with a man down suffers pressure but the score remains 0-0, for now. See everyone in LA...|W|P|112457373126027742|W|P|Airport Talk II|W|P|8/19/2005 04:53:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|From Dictionary.com, "distance" is defined as "The extent of space between two objects or places; an intervening space". To put it in three words: the space between. And it might not be necessarily a physical space. Distance can express itself in a handful of different planes: emotional, professional, in agreement or in completeness, to cite a few. The interesting element about distance is how it manifests itself sometimes and how it can quickly evolve. At this point, it may be obvious that I'm not talking about for example, the distance between Sao Paulo, Brazil and Los Angeles, California. The two cosmopolitan cities (one that I was born in and the other where I currenly reside) will always be 6136 miles apart, unless another major earthquake turns California into the next Hawaii. I'm talking instead of the other types of distance, where measurements prove to be totally unjustified and uncalled for. A person can be miles and miles apart from someone and feel that someone very close by. Take a mother who thinks of her son in Iraq. Many mothers will tell you that they know when their sons are OK and when they are not. Their physical distance is insignificant. On the other hand, take some couples, who decide to get divorced after 30 years together. One lawyer once told me that many times, the husband or the wife say that for the longest time, they've been in different places, far apart from each other, even though they have shared a house, a bed and a bathroom for the past 30 years. Truth is that distance cannot be measured neither understood. It is just too dynamic and abstract. It can however be felt, whether if you are 6136 miles apart or face to face.|W|P|112449626253413601|W|P|Distance|W|P|8/17/2005 09:08:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|

Brazilian Cartoon
Originally uploaded by brafury.
I saw this cartoon on the Brazilian magazine Pequenas Empresas, Grandes Negocios (Small Companies, Great Businesses).
To understand the joke, one needs to understand that what the international partner is being seduced by is what millions of tourists come to Brazil for: women, booze and fun, Carnaval style.
Enough said, enjoy the joke.
|W|P|112433810550794733|W|P|International Sales and Marketing|W|P|8/15/2005 09:45:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| Just a quick post to realize and acknowledge that what I've been waiting for 4 months is finally here. This Sunday I'm starting my MBA at Pepperdine. I'm also gonna be missing my folks, who will be returning to Brazil and all of my special friends who I left in Ohio. Finally at night time, in the solitude of my new apartment, I'll watch the last episode of Six Feet Under which pathetically enough, mark the end of a great chapter of my life and the beginning of a promising one.|W|P|112416749502901572|W|P|The Time is Coming|W|P|8/14/2005 09:35:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Read article This is my country. Since moving to the United States to study, I had no interest in following the political scenario of Brazil, especially after our 'brilliant' people decided to gamble on electing the Worker's Party former union leader and folkloric political figure Luis Inacio 'Lula' da Silva (portrayed on the left) to give continuation to the 8 years of government of Sorbonne graduate sociologist Fernando Henrique Cardoso. After 3 years of unfulfilled promises, major international gaffes and a less than mediocre government, Mr. Lula and his party find themselves in the middle of a major political scandal: PT's (The Workers' Party acronym) most influential men are being accused of major corruption charges, led by allegations of illegal campaign contributions and other 'under the table' payments. The scandal took some time to reach the President but it did and the public, who elected the opposition leader hoping for a corruption free government couldn't be more disappointed. Mr. Lula's approval rate is plummeting and the first chants of impeachment are being heard not only among the media but also on the streets in a similar popular movement that led to the impeachment of the first elected president of Brazil, Fernando Collor de Mello. A few days ago, the president went on National television and apologized for all the corruption scandals that happened without this knowledge (right...). Obviously, the apology did not fly and Mr. Lula's political future seems uncertain. Not to mention the future of PT. Some say this will be the party's final act. For the sake of an emerging economy, let's hope so.|W|P|112403742637806616|W|P|Brazil: Lula's apologies unconvincing|W|P|8/13/2005 07:36:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Read article A good review. Literally rich, no doubt about that. However, I have to agree with fellow bloggers that Virginia might have tried a little too hard to rationalize what went on in last week's episode. Certainly, she used powerful words but they felt exagerated and awkward when associated with a TV show, even though there are not many drama series with this level of quality and talent as Six Feet Under shows. Nevertheless, she raises great points about the different ways people grieve and how the loss of someone or something we love impact on an individual's behavior. Now that Nate Fisher is dead and there are only two episodes left on this 5 year old show, I look for some happier conclusions for the other characters. After all, life is too rough and raw as it is. Let it be mellowed by some happy, fictional endings.|W|P|112394315575237354|W|P|On 'Six Feet Under,' Grief and Authenticity. A New York Times by Virginia Hefferman|W|P|8/12/2005 09:02:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|Some things we just can't publicly write about. It's just not possible. So, I've decided to write about something else. My MBA class profile sounds interesting enough. Let me say this, it's very diverse. As Kathy Holland says, just like Pepperdine likes it. There are 16 countries represented in my class. The Americas are represented by four: US, Canada, Mexico and of course Brazil. Asia is once again dominant with several countries in the list. If there's diversity in terms of countries, let me not even start mentioning majors. A lot of business majors of all types, arts and sciences and the ones I find most compelling: tons of engineering, of all sorts. Makes me wonder what would have happened to me had I continued with my plan to become a software engineer (yuck!!!). It only makes me happy that we are such a diverse group. It also makes me less insecure about my weaknesses for that I know that each individual in this class come from different backgrounds that lack one thing or another (a more positive approach would be saying that each of us add something to the equation but I have to say being positive right now is kind of impossible). In addition, there was another discovery: I am certain I'm not the only Brazilian there. Among all the Universities in the list of Undergraduate institutions, I saw a very familiar name: Fundacao Getulio Vargas located nowhere else but in Sao Paulo, Brazil... My hometown.|W|P|112390580523846221|W|P|My MBA class profile|W|P|8/09/2005 07:59:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|This has been the worst shape I've been in quite sometime. Following weeks of an anxiety fueled cross country move (I recently relocated from Columbus to California) I finally had an opportunity to weigh myself and find that I weigh 10 pounds more than I used to a few months ago. Sure some of that is muscle. I definitely noticed that I have been able to lift more and heavier than ever but I also notice some extra luggage around my waist. Nothing extreme though, my body fat probably went up from 11% to somewhere around 13% but it's enough to sound a silent alarm in my head, which triggered what I call the detox plan: a week or two of total nutritional and physical training discipline, starting this Wednesday when I hit Orlando, FL for a week with my parents. In a nutshell, here are some of the factors that I think played in this weight gaining month: 1. Anxiety - From moving and other uncertainties in this time of my life. 2. Lack of exercise - Yes, I've been slacking big time, mostly because of time, schedule and priorities. 3. Poor nutrition - Well, it's hard eating well when it's not on top of your agenda and you eat out a lot. 4. Alcohol - Yes... I've engaged in probably 20 farewell parties in the past month... Ooops... To sum it all up, my discipline fuel tank is running low and this following week is the time to fill it all up... Bring it !!!!!!|W|P|112524878274797417|W|P|Rock Bottom Fitness|W|P|8/09/2005 08:14:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|The big boss of small talk has always been the weather. Every time two people get together and neither side can think of anything interesting to say to the other side, talking about the weather seems to be a great way to buy some time to think of anything useful to discuss. Beware though: If you're on a date (the first three or so) and you catch yourself discussing how rainy it's been for the past week, there might be a slight chance that your "yet to be" relationship is heading straight to the land of no call backs. Nevertheless, I wanted to take the moment to make an incredible remark about the weather of my new home, Woodland Hills, CA. This community located in the San Fernando Valley registered temperatures of 100 degrees for the past few days and it seems like tomorrow things aren't going to be much different. Not very shocking for a summer day. The shocking part however, is that Los Angeles, properly said, register temperatures sometimes 20 degrees milder, even though the two cities (or neighborhoods, depending on the way you interpret it) are about 20 miles apart from each other. That's just plain shocking to me. You can see the temperature in your dashboard skyrocket as you go north on the 405 and as you exit your car, once you hit the Valley, you are awarded with Sahara like conditions, perfect enough to cook an egg or a steak. I guess I can't complain. This year, I'll be skipping the great Midwestern weather. Now, that my friend, is something to talk about. |W|P|112360046014056415|W|P|Let's talk about the weather... no small talk|W|P|8/03/2005 01:08:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| My friend sent me a couple of pictures of him surfing in Costa Rica. Pretty amazing, very well done. When I left Brazil, Renato was just starting to surf but it seems like he's got it down now. It makes me wonder if when it comes the time to pick where I will finish my MBA next year, should I give this small Central American paradise my attention? I already had one very positive feedback on this location and I have to admit it wouldn't be bad to learn once again how to surf. Chile however is still my number one location. Court Tough day in court today. The prosecution offered to settle my case but I decided to think about it a little longer. Having said that, there was a bit of trouble that made me have to stay about four more days in Columbus than it was planned... Well, I'm not complaining. |W|P|112310061041228464|W|P|Surfing in Costa Rica|W|P|8/02/2005 09:06:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|My lack of fitness topics can be explained by the fact that I have been concerned about my move to California. Moving to Cali didn't make me stop working out but I have been eating poorly and far from being focused on my body and my dietary habits. Although I have not gained weight, I do feel that my body is not necessarily happy with some of the choices I've been making on these two particular fields. Call it laziness or anxiety, things have just been a little too hectic for me to devote myself completely to my body. I have however been adopting a different training routine which consists of two heavy and long weight lifting days (push/pull exercises), followed by a couple of full body circuit training days and two 20-30 min cardio days. I have to say it's quite challenging and rewarding and most importantly, perfect for those who lack the time and energy to workout hard during the week (since originally, your two longest and heavyest workouts are on Saturday and Sunday. Here's how I broke it up: Mon - Circuit (Full-Body Workout) Tues - Circuit again (vary exercises, lighter weights) Wed - 30 min cardio Thurs - Push Routine (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs, Calves) Friday - Pull Routine (Back, Legs, Biceps, Lower Back, Trapezius) Sat - Rest Sun - 20-30 min. Cardio Thanks to this routine, my impaired diet habits have not put me out of shape and have given me more time to take care of certain issues. Please make a note that the original article on Muscle and Fitness had the two heavy lifting days on Saturday and Sunday, with everything following the other five days but since I've been on Summer break, I adapted the routine to my own needs. |W|P|112524851024925579|W|P|The Weekend Warrior Program|W|P|8/02/2005 08:59:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| A few months ago, I wrote about how this HBO series played an important role in my life and how it first came to my attention. Last night, after a day of packing and melancholy in Columbus, I watched Nate Fisher die in this last episode. I have to admit his death basically shocked me and reminded me that human beings are bound to continue moving through life, shoving hardships behind them, reluctant to look back no matter what and most importantly that as Latin hip-hop band Ozomatli once said, in this life there are only two assured things: death and change. The death of Nate Fisher is yet another sign of closure of a great chapter of my life, in which I grew so much as an individual, from a mere exchange student in a Midwestern university to whatever I became today (I refuse to describe myself in words). In two days, my life is set to take a U-turn, more dangerous and intense than the one who landed me in jail a couple of months ago. In a matter of 4 hours(about the time it takes to fly from Columbus to LA), I will have a new life: new responsibilities, new home, new city, new car, new schedule, new friends, new challenges. All I can say is that I'm scared to death...|W|P|112299806747723987|W|P|The Death of Nate Fisher: Moving on|W|P|