Tuesday, July 21, 2015

That moment when I decided to do MBA

I must confess, I am one of those who tak reti duduk diam individual. I'm not satisfied with doing just one or two things in my life at any one time. I must do more and multitasking excite me. Yes, I'm a crazy person and definitely glutton for punishment.

In 2011, some major down turn happened in my career. In short, all my projects were frozen and taken away from me due to some internal change in direction. I would be lying if I tell you I was not devastated but in working life, company's interest will always supersede individual's preference (read that young people, it's not all about you) and accepted the decision. However, me being me, I need to find something to keep me occupied and that's when I decided it's the right time to develop myself. I applied for MBA with 4 universities and Alhamdulilah, got accepted by all 4. I then decided to choose Manchester Business School due to their tagline "Original Thinking Applied". In my whole career journey, I love developing projects and then be involved in the operational part to see whether what's on paper do actually work. That will give me full satisfaction. And this time is not an exception.

I still remember the first introduction to the course session held late 2011. That's when I met my classmates and to my surprise, I was the only female! Alamak! No gang. However, I was really lucky, I have amazing classmates who are always looking out for me, making sure I am coping well, knowing I have to balance work, family and study all at the same time.

The journey was ok at first. I was not that tied down with work at my new work place. There were just several projects and I managed every elements in my life quite well. The classes were not that taxing, only about 3 days for every subject and usually it's spread over the weekend. However, things changed when my workload started to picked up and what made it more challenging was when I got promoted.

There were few occasions I felt like quitting and not continuing. I know I have paid a lot of money for this (FYI, I paid this with my own money, no scholarship, loans or what so ever). I decided to use my own money so I can motivate myself to complete what I started. The course after all is not cheap. It's super freaking expensive, however, it's worth it. Despite all this, I wanted to stop and just focus on work and family. This was when my classmates repeatedly came to my rescue and continue to motivate me to go on. Little bit more Liza, we can do it and we will do it together. Apart from that, support from my better half really helps. When I need to complete my assignments or study for my exams, he will take over my function at home so I can focus. How can I not love this man so very much!

And just when I thought it's tough, it gets tougher. I got to know I am pregnant in my final semester where I am supposed to complete group final year project. Battling with morning sickness and fatigues the first 3 month, I just have to keep on pushing myself. I felt guilty many times, felt like my team members were doing most of my work. Alhamdulilah, I got better and managed to play a bigger role and complete the project.

Yes, I passed. Yes, I graduated. And most importantly, yes, I finished what I started. Alhamdulilah.


It was tough, it was very challenging, it was tiring. However, I'm glad I went all the way and complete it.

I owe this to my family and my classmates, my colleagues and my boss. Without their support, I would have given up LONG time ago!


And now, to move on to the next phase, taking self development to another level. Let's wait and see if I get to do that. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

#IsyrafZayd survived first long haul flight!

When we decided to attend my graduation, one thing we are very worried about was the long haul flight. When I received the confirmation that I will be graduating, Isyraf was only 1.5 months old. And he will only be 4 months plus when we board the plane. I was not sure if he is up to it. Like most mothers, I felt he is too small and too soon to experience this. However, my better half convinced me this is my big day and I worked really hard for this so we will all go, Isyraf included.

Few weeks before the journey starts, I talk with Isyraf everyday about it. Told him where are we going, why are we going and what he can expect. Yes, I know, some may feel, mana dia faham. Dia kecik lagi. I believe otherwise actually. I know he understands and I know he will listen to what I am saying to him.Told him he needs to behave, no crying on plane cause it will disturb other passengers. Told him it will be a long journey and he can take that opportunity to rest and sleep.

Few days before the journey starts, my main focus was to pack Isyraf's stuff. His diapers, milk formula, toiletries, clothes and other related items. I have 2 separate bag for him ; one for on flight and another one for the rest of the journey. I find being prepared will cause me less stress and try to anticipate what is coming my way. I know my better half sensed how stress I am and he tried his level best to calm me down. I know he knows my main concern is whether Isyraf will be comfortable and will not throw a tantrum during the journey.




When the day has finally arrived, I can only pray for things to go well. I was reciting few prayers I know to pray for safe journey. We boarded the flight and my better half and I were given seats right at the front so Isyraf can be comfortable in the bassinet. However, bassinet can only be used after take off and before landing. While on air, should the seat belt signs are on, we need to remove him from the bassinet and to sit with us, with his seat belt fasten. His seat belt is connected to ours.

I read a lot as well to prepare me for this. One tip I received was to make sure he is sucking something during take off and landing so he don't feel the pain in his ears. So, I gave him the pacifier for both occasion. It worked well Alhamdulilah, He was calm, even calmer than me. I fed him right after that and he went to sleep. I can see there are other parents with toddlers who were trying their best to handle their young ones. One couldn't stop crying. I feel for the mother and I can only hope other passengers empathise with her condition, traveling alone with a 1 and half year old boy who just cried and refused to sit still. I am lucky Isyraf is making it easy for me.

The moment we touched down at Heathrow airport, I can only recite Alhamdulilah many many times that this part of journey is over. Isyraf did very well and hardly cries unless he wants milk and needs a diaper change. Other than that, he either sleeps or just lie down in his bassinet. I really believe the conversation I had with him before the trip helps. Yes, I know he understood.

So, now to enjoy the rest of our 16 days vacation in UK. At the point of me typing this, we are already in day 5 and about to leave Manchester for London in couple of hours. Will blog about my graduation ceremony later ya.

For now, need to pack before the drive comes. Till then!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Leaving June and No Looking Back

I can't remember being really tired for a whole month like how I am tired in June. So many life events which caused me to be so exhausted, either physically or when handling the emotional roller coasters drama called life. I feel like everything has to happen in June ; death, siblings rivalry, business predicament, children's issues, work problems....You just name it. All happens in June. I should not however speak too soon since there are 2 more days left in June and I hope my drama streak is over, at least for this month.

I have this one issue. When things are wrong, I just have to say something. I can't just sit and be quiet and see all this wrongdoings happen, especially if it happens in our family, be it our core family and extended family. Many occasions I get in trouble for speaking my mind. However, one good thing is I have improved on this subject ; I can still tell myself, "Liza, this is not your place to say anything. You are an outsider. You are just the in-laws etc". However, couple of days ago, I just couldn't hold myself as the person who others are hurting is my better half. Sometimes, I feel many people are just not grateful for having such a wonderful person as a brother, who really takes care of them, never failed to be there when he is needed and will do everything he can to help his family. And again, I speak my mind and got into trouble...AGAIN!

My hope for July, though my lecturer once told me "Hope is not a strategy". Well, what can I do when hope is all I have ;

1. I am graduating in less than 2 weeks time. After 2 years trying to juggle and complete my studies, finally I am done. Alhamdulilah, though it has not been easy. Will I do it again, well, as crazy as it may sound, I think I will. #PhDFTW

2. We will be celebrating Aidilfitri abroad. First experience for the kids and my better half. After what we have experience, and maybe still experiencing depending how this couple of days will be, I secretly as glad we are not in the country on Raya days. I personally feel I just have to get away from few ungrateful individuals.

3. Kicking start the second half of 2015 and focusing to meet work related KPI. Last year was a horrible year as far as work is concern. This year so far looks promising, however lots of work need to be done to meet the numbers apart from driving high impact projects that will benefit the graduates in particular

Not to be over ambitious, I will just stick to the above for now. I, of course, have thousands of other hopes. That has to be saved for other times, or accurately other months to come...

So July, please be kind. I am tired, I am exhausted. I am drained. I need recharging and I hope you can do that wonders for me....Insyallah
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