Tag Archives: coworkers

A Wonderful Whirlwind in Japan

japan-112722_640While traveling for work, I always make an effort to carve out at least a small pocket of time to enjoy my destination… through cuisine, local acquaintances, or a drive-by sight-see. When I found out I was going to go to Japan for work recently I wasn’t sure what to expect. Meetings, dinners, train rides, repeat. While I was excited to return to Land of the Rising Sun, it was hard to imagine having any time to enjoy the culture.

Without really trying, my experience of traveling to Japan for work exceeded expectations by a mile. My trip was full of out of this world food and flavors, unexpected hospitality, meaningful local connections, and exposure to a new side of global business. I even was able to wrap up some unfinished business from my trip 10 years prior…

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My American colleagues and I were lucky enough to have a few of our local Japanese colleagues with us for the vast majority of our week. When did this become invaluable? Not only when navigating the intimidating train systems, but even more so when it was time to eat. From ramen and rice to sashimi to shabu-shabu (above), I ate some of the most delicious Japanese food. The most adventurous selection of the week went to sea urchin.

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I’ll try everything once and that’s a great attitude to have in Japan, especially when you’ve got locals ordering on your behalf.  A dictionary of food came in handy at one meal to help in our interpretation of the beautifully presented edibles.

Name that sushi?

Name that sushi? My favorite is on the top left.

When traveling on business, you have to work to see the sights. That's why one night I kidnapped my colleague and took him on a field trip to Shibuya crossing to see the famed intersection. With little research we hoped on the train, found our way, and even stumbled into a local watering hole.

When traveling on business, you usually have to go out of your way to see some sights. That’s why one night I kidnapped my colleague and took him on a field trip to Shibuya Crossing to see the famed intersection. With little research we hopped on a late night train, found our way, and even stumbled into a local watering hole for a sake nightcap.

Coworkers

Getting the chance to do business in Japan was invaluable experience. Business in Japan is built on a foundation of respect, honesty and follow-through. I am a wiser professional after building relationships with colleagues from some of the most successful and well-established companies in the world.

Umeda Sky Building

I’ve always had a fascination with skyscrapers and tall structures, and the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka had me entranced from the moment I laid eyes on it. I had never seen or heard of it and it became the subject of early morning exploration. While I didn’t have time to go up to the hanging gardens on the top floor, it will forever be in my memory as one of the most unique buildings I’ve ever seen.

Perhaps the most

After 5 non-stop days of meetings, presentations and train rides we finally earned some official sightseeing time. Thanks to the never ending hospitality of my local colleague, we enjoyed Kyoto with visits to the Nijo Castle and the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). While I had been to both spots during my study abroad in 2004, being back was a time to reflect on how I’ve grown in the 10 years since my first visit.

Because of the nature of this trip, we spent a lot of time on the Shinkansen (bullet train)…  traveling from Tokyo to Hamamatsu to Osaka to Kyoto and back to Tokyo. During my premiere trip to Japan 10 years ago and during our ride early in the week south to Osaka, I missed the opportunity to see beautiful Mt. Fuji out the train window due to less than desirable weather. On our final train ride back to Tokyo, the day before we were to depart, as the sun was setting, without a minute of sunlight to spare, we lucked out and I finally got to see the majestic mountain.


It was a spectacular and satisfying way to wrap up an unforgettable week. More photos and memories on Flickr.

My Racepoint retrospective

I’ve officially been a Dolby employee for 1 year today. Which means it’s been over a year since I left my memorable 3.5 year stint at Racepoint Group. It feels like a great time to reflect back on not only the great experience I gained at Racepoint, but more importantly, the great friendships I made (not to mention all the friendships I made through these friendships). In no particular order…

Raymond and Marcelo

Lucie, Yuli, Marcelo and RPG intern Nene

Yuli and Marcelo

Colleen, Jade, Zrinka

Meagan

Nicole, Marcelo, Jade, Boomer

Jade, Yuli, Meagan

Boomer and Meagan

Lindsey

Joy

Meagan, Marcelo, Kersti

Meagan and Nicole

Kersti

Copy machine gems > #2

A few weeks ago I started a new blog post series that was going to be called “Don’t you just love it when…” and I started with a funny print out left at the copy machine at work. “Don’t you just love it when people leaving embarrassing things at the printer.” Well, I haven’t really had much luck identifying other instances of times when you should just love something… so I’m going to try to make a copy machine discovery post series out of this instead.

Here’s an interesting find from the copy room today… any thoughts or stories on why someone printed this lovely image out full size? 🙂

Running off the clock

Several of my personal and professional passions collided this week. Planning, organizing, mobilizing, communicating, gathering and running!

Over the three weeks I’ve spent what little spare time I’ve had at work organizing a team of Dolby runners to participate in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, a 3.5 mile race in downtown SF for local companies, raising money for the local YMCA. The event attracted more than 6,000 runners and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to have 30 coworkers come out to run and represent our awesome company.

I had a blast, think all my coworkers did too and found the experience of getting folks out to run together extremely inspiring. It was rewarding not just motivating people to come out and run but getting an extremely diverse group of Dolby employees together, getting to know people they normally wouldn’t interact with. We had runners from HR, marketing, finance, engineering, business development, legal and facilities – nearly every corner of the company.

The whole experience got me thinking about the possibilities of combining my personal and professional passions to create a completely different career. Just last weekend my friend Katie asked me what my dream job might be if money and experiences weren’t considerations.

I didn’t really have a solid answer but now I’m thinking being the director of a big annual race or race series might be something I could start fantasizing about. What other sort of job would make use of my professional experience in event planning, PR, promotion and fundraising, along with my new found obsession with fitness and running. It’s hard to imagine not running a race but maybe I should start sitting a few out in exchange for some volunteering and race planning experience. Who knows…

Copy machine gems > #1

Don’t you just love it when people at work leave incriminating and/or embarrassing things at the printer?

The almost accidental marathon

This weekend Brian and I participated in a 6-hour endurance race at Pinole Point Recreational Shoreline called the Dirty (Half) Dozen.  My strategy going in was to run/walk/run/walk the 5k loop for the 6 hours, definitely no intention of trying to run the whole 6 hours. My goal was 24 miles, with a little more than half of those being from running. During the last hour and a half I was doing all sorts of mathmatical equations in my head trying to figure out how many 5k loops I had to do in the remaining time and then if I could squeeze on any of the smaller loops they had set up in case you didn’t have time to finish a full 5k in the last 20 minutes or so. Anyway, I realized if I did 8 big loops and 2 small loops (.7 miles) I could get to exactly 26.2 miles – marathon distance. I wasn’t sure I had enough time but I went for it.

It wasn’t easy but I powered through and I made it. I ran a marathon distance and I wasn’t even planning on it. (Even though I wouldn’t really count it since I ran so much and took so long.)

I went to check my final time and to my surprise, found out I only ran 26.1 miles! Turns out the small loop wasn’t .7 it was .65 and I didn’t know! Doh.

Oh well, like I said I didn’t really want to count it anyway. Next up: SF Half Marathon in a week!

Team sports

My coworker Brian and I joined a 9-ball pool league with 2 colleagues (that we didn’t really know prior to getting their company wide bulletin board post looking for new team members). Turns out they’re both really cool, as are the other 2 members of our team. Also turns out Brian and I are absolutely awful at 9-ball pool. Out of the five of us that played, three won and two lost. Brian and I were the two losers. I got beat 38-8. Not good. Kind of embarrassing. But our captain (and coworker) encouraged us to stick it out and we ended up paying league dues and are officially out (coincidentally our team name is Stick it… or maybe not coincidentally). The social aspect was definitely fun (despite having to trek out to the OUTER Sunset for our “away games”) but I think more than anything I think I just want to prove to myself that I can commit to a weekly activity (I’m not good with that sort of ongoing commitment). So I think it will be good for me.

Sidenote: My family had a pool table in our basement while I was growing up and I always used to play around (aka toss balls around, break pool cues, decorate my sisters dolls with pool chalk). All this gave me a false sense of pool pride, because like I said above, I was much more awful than I anticipated. Practice makes perfect however, and Brian and I are committed to improving. Stand by and wish us luck!