Friday, June 21, 2013

Who am I?

My name is Anastacia Westphal and currently I am a graduate student at Hult International Business School. I was born in Ukraine, but after the dissolution of the USSR my family moved to Russia. I was raised in a small city the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. Now I live in San Francisco, CA, the leading center of high technology and entrepreneurship.

I came up with blogging idea long time ago, even before I moved in to the USA. I have always dreamed of studying abroad and living exactly in this country. So it actually took years to make my dreams come true. However, as they say, it is better late than never. I am a firm believer that "when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it" (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho). So let's get started pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps!

“Do what you love!” This is one of the main secrets of Steve Jobs’ success, a great businessman of our modern world! And I feel really happy, because I have found what to love since I was a little girl.

I have always admired people who reach their goals. In most cases, they have a long and difficult way to their dreams, despite neither their rivals, nor the skeptics who always try to undermine their self-confidence and their belief in success. Single-mindedness – is their main secret! Fortunately, I have found this quality in myself in the childhood and now I am using it correctly.

I always knew that someday I would become successful in business and I wanted something more than just going to work and counting the minutes before you are allowed to check out. Isn't it boring? I definitely think that the ideal job is a job which you would look forward to. Therefore, I want to start my own business where I can do my best. Thus, my long-term goals are to invent something new and contribute to the global economy.

I believe that this blog will inspire young dreamers to achieve their career and life goals as well!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Most Important Qualities For Businesswomen

Managing the family's home, cooking and giving birth to a child... This is a list of typical female occupations. Nevertheless, it has gradually been expanded through the efforts of women themselves. At the present time, improvement in the new activities, previously available only to male population, brings to women a real pleasure and pride in their achievements.
Marissa Mayer and me at the 2012 Crunchies Awards

Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!), Sara Blakely (Founder and CEO of Spanx) and Oprah Winfrey (chairman, CEO and CCO of OWN; chairman, CEO of Harpo) are great examples of the most powerful businesswomen according to Forbes. These successful people proved that women can demonstrate excellence in business as well.

They bootstrapped their companies to the top, increased the capital and got millions of dollars. In addition, these businesswomen are attractive and full of energy; indeed, many representatives of the stronger sex even envy them.

However, it is much harder to build a good reputation and deep respect for women, however, due to these and other shining examples of success in business, it may be noticed that it is not so impossible. And what are the most important qualities for women to succeed in today's business environment? 

First of all, one of these qualities is strong self-confidence. It is very important to believe in yourself, follow the dreams, and keep doing it constantly even if it seems that nothing is working out. The businesswomen have develop the ability to control their own emotions, because there will always be supporters of the stereotypes saying that women have no place in business. 

Secondly, another important skill for a businesswoman is leadership. Leadership is the ability to make both male and females accomplish desired goals, and maximize productivity. Moreover, only possessing these skills is not enough, women have to develop their leadership on a regular basis. Thus, there is always room for professional and personal growth. 

Thirdly, flexibility and adaptability - these are qualities without which a business cannot exist. Women should be cautious in general, but more daring in the choice of tactics, also they have to easily break patterns and be willing to try new things. Fortunately, the flexibility of thought and intuition are nature qualities of the weaker sex and women just need to learn how to apply it in business successfully. 

Finally, any businessman and also businesswoman have to be great managers. They have to develop the ability to manage not only people but also business processes, projects and time properly. They should be able to balance work and life ultimately. A woman, who knows how to manage efficiently, always achieves the desirable goals in a certain period of time. 

In conclusion, I would like to add that it is not the whole list of important qualities for modern businesswomen, because it depends on the person what qualities she wants to improve in order to succeed in her career.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Google Startup Field Trip

On May 30, 2013 in Silicon Valley, there was a "Google Developer Technologies" seminar for developers of local startups. The event was organized by Google. Bay Area entrepreneurs and Google employees were invited to the Googleplex headquarters. The agenda included technical talks, news in the development technology followed by discussion with the Google Developers. Transportation, lunch and a tour of the campus were provided by the company.

I was lucky to attend this very informative event and network with interesting people. The main topics of the session as listed on the website were: YouTube API, Maps API, App Engine, Android/Play Store, Google Drive API, Google+, Chrome, Dart, Commerce, Google TV and then breakout session with the speakers.

I was so excited to be at the Googleplex, because I had dreamt about visiting it since I moved to the Bay Area. When I first found out that one of the founders of Google is Russian, I was pleasantly surprised. And when Google has grown so fast from a startup to a multinational corporation, I started admiring Sergey Brin even more!

The Googleplex is a set of buildings that are located in Mountain View, a city in Silicon Valley. Google is well known for its unique corporate culture and environment. For example, employees move between buildings on special bikes that decorated in Google colors.

The astonishing work environment indicates that Google is a successful company: there are plenty of cafes with different world cuisines, vending machines providing snacks and drinks. Google offers its own gym and swimming pool as well as a variety of games organized for Googlers including foosball, tennis, billiard, volleyball, Ping-Pong and video games.

On the campus there are both quiet secluded spaces and recreation rooms in addition to space for collaboration.

And what most impressed me is that all of these facilities are available to Googlers for free at any time! I had a feeling that people live on campus permanently. It seems to me that working at Google is such a pleasure.

Last, but not least, the entire campus is bright and innovative; there are sculptures of Google products and even a private garden and park. And for the visitors of the Googleplex there is the company’s official store where you can buy different things with the Google logo.

P.S. If you want to know more about the company's unique culture, I highly recommend you to watch "The Internship" - the new comedy about two 40-ish guys who have no technical background, but get internships at Google.