That night I was drunk on Facebook

18 Nov

After a thirsty night out with friends, I came home still filled with energy. I decided to check my Facebook news feed to entertain myself with shenanigans my friends had posted throughout the night. 

After a while, I was getting pretty bored. I was about to close the page and make myself a really wicked nacho or something as delicious when it’s 3am, but then I saw it. It was marvellous. You know those ads on the side of your news feed? I saw one that stated “Apply to Worlds most awesome job”. For a student looking for an adventure after graduation, this sounded simply delightful. I clicked on the ad and I was speechless  (and not because of my level of intoxication)! I was for a job as Event Manager job for this crazy awesome company in Malaysia. Looks pretty sweet right? I thought it was too good to be true so I left the tab open in my browser and headed to my kitchen to make a mess of mac n’ cheese.

The next day, I checked out the video again. Still looked like an epic opportunity. I researched the company. It was legit. Sweet! I told myself why not try to apply to a world-wide competition for a job all the way in Malaysia?

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Big thanks to Alex and Amadou for all your endless help

A week later, I was able to convince a couple of amazing friends to help me film and edit my application video. And a few more wonderful people from around the world offered to give me a hand.

Competition was getting tough as I started seeing applications being posted on YouTube. Most of them had multiple years of experience in large event management while I had only a couple of years under my belt.

Here is the final video I sent in as my application:

A few weeks later I get an email for an interview with one of the directors. I was stoked! She starts the interview with “Unfortunately, you didn’t get the position of Event Manager that you applied for…”. Well that sucks. “But, we absolutely looooved you and your video, and we think you would be a great fit for as a project manager in this company.” Fuck yes!

In total, I completed 4 interviews with Mindvalley and it was possibly the best interview process experience I have ever gone through. They were all on the phone or via Skype. I got some great insight from high level people on what they liked best about working there and what I should do to be better prepared to succeed in the position before jumping on the plane. My last interview was with the CEO, Vishen Lakhiani.

In the end, I did not take it (Long story – let’s not get into it.). Despite not having taken the opportunity to work in an area that’s about an hour away from exotic beaches and crazy adventures, I learned sooooo much from this company. It has forever changed how I perceive not only job hunting but also building an exceptional work culture.

tumblr_mshkpdMPRf1rhf0i3o1_1280I have used what I learned from Mindvalley and apply it daily. I am using their methodology of focusing on the company culture in any organization I join and apply their hiring processes. I am also very proud of myself of just giving it a shot and working my ass off to apply for a crazy opportunity. Since then, I have used the mantra “Why not?”. This is what has gotten me to so many opportunities and experiences.

[K]eep [I]t [S]imple, [S]tupid!

29 Sep

As Leonardo da Vinci once said:  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

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I over complicate EVERYTHING. Au revoir to my dreams of being considered “sophisticated”.

As previously mentioned in the Lemon Story, I added too many parts to my project which resulted in more than half of them failing, very fast.

Lesson learned? Focus on one thing and KISS.

The KISS principle states that simplicity should be a key goal in design, and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

I realized how complex my project really was when I started talking to the media, especially on the radio. I never felt like I had said everything I needed to properly explain what I was doing. Why? Because it was so damn complicated!  KISS!

So next time you’re doing a project of any sort – KISS!

OH, and don’t forget to use S.M.A.R.T. goals! Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely. These are especially helpful when you’re in a time sensitive situation, or simply, to focus!

Ta-ta for now!

The Lemon Story

23 Sep

This is my story, a young woman who changed the course of her professional life by handing lemons to random people. This event ended up being the catalyst moment that kick-started her fabulous, and geeky, career.

The story is actually pretty long and a tad confusing so I will try to simplify things by breaking it up in three parts.

Chapter 1: Why where you handing lemons to people?

If life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? 

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One night, during a lively discussion with my friend Denise, we came across this funny bucket list. One of the items

was, ‘wear a t-shirt that says ‘life’ and hand people lemons’. At first we just laughed, then, then I realized it was brilliant. Having a background in experiential marketing, I thought this was the perfect way to promote my new initiative, 925 Blueprint.


I did some quick brainstorming with my friend Nathalie, who had just opened her own business in PR and communications.  She readied the news release while I got the lemons. I had just graduated from university and I didn’t have a job, and neither did most of my friends. I wanted to work in a company where I would be able to be creative and make a direct impact. It was frustrating and so I decided to do something about it. My answer was 925 Blueprint, part internship/part blog for me to dive into the internship world and write about my experience in the hope of generating interest and an information exchange between Moncton-area companies and university students looking for work. 

Team LIFE - From left to right: Rachelle, Jenny, me & Terry.

Team LIFE – From left to right: Rachelle, Jenny, me & Terry.

On Wednesday, September 19th 2012, I hit the streets of Moncton, with some friends helping me out. Nathalie’s media blitz worked – there were reporters waiting for me on Main St.

Rachelle, Jenny, Terry & I gave away 100 lemons to random people on Main St. and at the Université de Moncton campus while promoting the blog. We invited everyone to share a story about how they dealt with a time where Life handed the

 

 

Chapter 3: What happened next?

Interview at Libre-échange , Radio Canada : http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/Libre_echange/2012-2013/chronique.asp?idChronique=246680 (audio disponible!)

Interview at Libre-échange , Radio Canada : http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/Libre_echange/2012-2013/chronique.asp?idChronique=246680 (audio disponible!)

The media loved it! Who wouldn’t want to talk to a crazy girl handing out lemons and trying to start a conversation about NB’s youth exodus problem? (Post with interviews and articles)

I started getting calls from people in my professional network offering or telling me about job opportunities, local business organizations were sharing my news release with their members and even random people started contacting me by email, phone and social media offering me opportunities.

I completed three internships. I ended up cancelling or refusing other internships because I really liked one of the employers I was working with at the time. (SPOILER ALERT – Still working with this employer! Woooo :) )

The blog was abandoned not long after my third and last internship. I stopped posting and after a couple of months, I tore down the entire site.

Chapter 3: What would you do differently?

Everything and nothing at the same time.

I was flippin’ lucky. I had many helpers throughout the initiative, friends and family mainly, but none of them really had an idea what I was trying to accomplish. Neither did I, to be honest. Now looking back, I see how all over the place I was with this project. I do want to thank everyone for everything they have done to help throughout my (first) mini quarter-life crisis. 

My key learnings:

  • Don’t spread yourself too thin
  • Quality over quantity
  • Focus
  • Use S.M.A.R.T. goals

Imagine if I would have only focused on finding myself a job. It would have been a more selfish approach but the vision would have been much more clear. Same goes towards the blog. It’s two completely different missions that I thought was genius to mix together along with a bunch of other projects. The outcome would have been so different in each case.

With all that being said, I would not be where I am today if I had not attempted 925 Blueprint. I learned so much more from starting this (insert synonym for messed up) initiative.

Everything happens for a reason.

Moral of the story: If life hands you lemons, you make lemonade right? Wrong! You make grape juice then sit back and relax while everyone else wonders how you did it!

The end. (of the Lemon Story)

Lemon Story – Media coverage

23 Sep

Media coverage after the Lemon Story event:

[Last updated Oct. 3 2012]

- Entrevue avec Isabelle de BoFM 90,7 (Sept. 28 2012)

- Article dans Le Front (Sept. 26 2012) : http://maui-lefront.blogspot.ca/2012/09/diplomee-de-la-semaine-astree-goguen.html

- Entrevue avec Janique Leblanc de Libre-échange, Radio-Canada (Sept. 24 2012) : http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/Libre_echange/2012-2013/chronique.asp?idChronique=246680 [Audio disponible]

- Interview with Tyler Mclean from McLean in the Morning (Sept.21 2012) 91.9fm in Moncton (http://www.news919.com/shows/article/192633–mclean-in-the-morning), 88.9fm Saint John (http://www.news889.com/shows/article/192633–mclean-in-the-morning)

- Article dans l’Acadie Nouvelle et sur Capacadie.com (Sept. 20 2012): http://www.capacadie.com/actualites/2012/9/20/astree-goguen-prend-les-grands-moyens-pour-se-trouver-un-emploi

- Interview on Information Morning Moncton with Jonna Brewer at CBC Radio (Sept. 20 2012): http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningmoncton/2012/09/20/when-life-gives-you-lemons/ [Audio available]

- Téléjournal Acadie – (Sept. 19 2012 ) Reportage par Janic Godin (Visionnement n’est plus disponible en ligne/Unable to see the show online anymore)

- Times & Transcript (Sept 20 2012) – Front page (Terry Du from Team LIFE in a elbow freeze) – article of the launch on the next page

- Short phone interview and story on BoFM (Sept. 20 2012)

- 5 o’clock (Sept. 19 2012) and morning news (Sept. 20) on both stations, C103 & XL96 (more random mentions in during day)

http://www.c103.com/index.asp?mn=3&id=87&cc=2

http://www.xl96.com/index.asp?mn=4&id=13&cc=2

Lemons into Lemonade
 A recent Universite de Moncton graduate wants to find a positive in her challenging situation of job-searching while in debt with student loans — turn “lemons into lemonade,” so to speak. And Astree Goguen hopes that in doing so, she can help other fellow grads in their search for jobs in their fields that will allow them to stay here in New Brunswick. Fresh off a degree in business administration, Goguen is offering her services to employers as an unpaid intern for weeks at a time during which she’ll write about her experiences on her blog, “925 Blueprint: When Life Hands You Lemons.” She plans to learn and post about what employers are seeking from new hires, and how job-seekers should be proceeding, in hopes that she and other prospective interns can turn these opportunities into jobs. She launched her campaign Wednesday in Moncton by handing out lemons to passersby, urging them to visit her online at www.astreegoguen.comor on Facebook.

Always read the warning label

21 Sep

After posting my first article, I started receiving a bunch of emails and inbox messages asking me why I was being so open about my experiences. To be honest, I am selfishly doing this to hopefully improve my health. After a visit to my family doctor a week ago, he seemed worried about how I managed all the stressful situations in my life. I realized I had to do something before my health takes another serious hit.

I decided to write a blog.

This is mainly influenced by the community in which I work. We promote how OK it is to fail as long as you learned something from it. When I started looking back to the last 12 months, I realized that I learned a few lessons and they may be helpful to others.

So here I am, publicly sharing details on my wins, failures and what I learned from both.

I feel I should probably warn you about a few things before I get started:

  • Let’s be honest, I am not a spectacular writer. I get criticized all the time that I use too many comas, passive terms and add too much “fluff” in my emails. You can probably tell that English is not my first language. Some think it’s French, but it’s not. It’s Chiac. A french dialect where we butcher fancy words, conjugate English verbs like we would in French, speak really fast and use our hands when we talk as if we’re being attacked by a swarm of mosquitos.
  • I do not have the answers to everything – although, like most Gen Y ambassadors, I like to think I do. But I don’t. None of us do. But, I will get to that in a later post. I am simply sharing my point of view of this crazy world.
  • You will not get many details of my personal life. There some things I am just not comfortable in sharing. I hope you understand.
  • Lastly, I like to think that I am pretty funny sometimes.

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 I am also sarcastic, direct and swear a lot more than I should. However, for the sake of this blog, I will use my grandma rule for Facebook – I won’t post anything that I wouldn’t want my mémére to see.

  • I am very open to feedback. If you find a grammatical errors or think I said something completely “off” or out of line, please feel free to send me an email to astree [dot] goguen [at] gmail [dot] com.

Now that you have read the warning label of my post, enjoy the adventure that is my life!

A year of lemons

19 Sep
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LIFE is handing you a lemon, what are you going to do with it? – Picture by Acadie Nouvelle

A year ago today, I did something that changed the course of my career, and my life, in a way that I could never have imagined. I may now be known as the “Girl with the lemons” but I am damn proud of it. Most of you are possibly wondering what I am up to now, and yes, there has been quite a few changes in my life since September 19th 2012.

This morning I woke up determined to write a blog post about this past year. I thought it would be relatively short and simple. HAHAHA – nope. I realized I went through way more than I thought I did, and, that I like to talk a lot (shocking I know):

In the past 12 months I discovered a new world (yes, startup life is a creature of its own), was presented some ridiculously amazing opportunities, was connected with excellent mentors as well as brilliant leaders and entrepreneurs, realized who are my real friends and true supporters, and I learned many lessons (mostly the hard way). Also, pretty sure I aged 10 years.

I will be sharing these experiences on my blog in the next few days in a form of multiple posts detailing parts of my journey, what you shouldn’t do when looking for a job or starting a business… basically sharing all the stupid things I did that made me fall flat on my face, and other things I want everyone to learn from. I want to recognize all those that we’re monumental to making this year a success despite my constant failures – so expect some sappy shit at some point – but for now, THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR BEING AWESOME!

Contact

3 Mar

You can reach me by email at astree [dot] goguen [at] gmail [dot] com or through any of my social media profiles by checking out about.me/astree.goguen.

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Vous pouvez me rejoindre directement par courriel: astree [dot] goguen [at] gmail [dot] com ou en visitant n’importe quels de mes profils sur les médias sociaux en passant par: about.me/astree.goguen.

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