📅 Monday 20/9/21 to Sunday 3/10/21

Here's what I've been up to over the last fortnight!

I plan to share notes and observations from the content I'm consuming, as well as a bit of accountability in terms of tracking my personal progress.

Jump to sections:

👨‍💻 Website work - Launching the Life of Karrot!

Why a website?

It's a good question - check out my reasoning here.

What the process has been like:

  1. Registering a domain through DigitalOcean, adding security through Cloudflare. This involved cnames, card details and ssh-ing into my server.
  2. Using the Ghost Ease theme template and opensource code as a frame. This makes for easier article publishing but allows for code changes.
  3. Designing a logo, site header and branding using Canva and testing Hexcodes.
  4. Learning, failing and relearning HTML, CSS and a bit of JavaScript to make various stylistic changes.
  5. Integrating a successful Dark Mode feature! There were a lot of late nights I was testing looks haha, so appreciate that all the elements and site view are able to be toggled.
  6. Beginning to write articles, with published ones listed below! Alternatively, you can click the website link at the top to head directly to life-of-karrot.com. This was a whole other fun aspect, including image formatting, table of contents integration, footer content and of course writing - the main point of this blog!

Articles I've published!

Website Pages

♻️ Volunteer Activities

  • For my high school alumni organisation, the Old Falconians' Union (OFU):
    • Planned and co-ordinated the first online alumni Crossroads Panel since the annual event's inception. This included gathering 35 panellists from 6 different fields (Allied Health, Science/ Math, Engineering/ IT, Law, Medicine, Business) and arranging question submissions and Zoom sessions with over 250 current students.
    • Interviewed Tom Craig (Tokyo 2020 Olympian, member of the Australian Hockey team the Kookaburras) as an Old Boy Feature. It was insightful to catch up with a modern icon of the sport, and his non-lockdown European environment made me slightly jealous. But further, it was great to just have a chat with an old mate from my local hockey club.
  • For Sikh Youth Australia (SYA):
    • Led a marketing workshop with the volunteer team teaching how to copywrite and create effective content for Facebook and Instagram campaigns. Another good side activity to stay in touch with mentors and friends from this community (from NSW, QLD and VIC) as we steadily but surely approach the end of lockdown!
  • For 180 Degrees Consulting (180DC):
    • Apologies in advance if any of this is vague, as I'm mindful of which details I am and aren't allowed to share!
    • Our group was able to meet our client which was a sweet and informative discussion, helping inform us on how we're going to provide a solution to their business issue.
    • I'm taking the website design research I've conducted and putting it into our fancy slide-deck for submission next week.
  • For USYD Business Informations System Association (BISA):
    • Did copywriting for an upcoming Roles in Tech panel event.
    • Organised an exciting mid-semester social event (on Zoom) where random cross-portfolio teams were formed and given a crazy prompt. They then had to select sponsors, outline a marketing plan with some designs and explain the educative outcomes of their solution (which sneakily fit BISA's portfolio descriptions). Managed to win a $20 Uber Eats voucher for myself!

✍️ University Studies

  • Luckily, USYD students are just completing their mid-semester break with a no-classes-on-Monday long weekend. I definitely needed the break!
  • For my agile software development practices course, we had group meetings until 1am Thursday night in the lead-up to a Java assignment submission on Friday - only to find out on the Friday evening that the deadline was extended until Sunday. Well, we submitted a 70+ page report!
  • I've been trying to catch up on lectures especially for the two upcoming exams I have - one on SQL Database Management, and the other on Business Intelligence.
  • Finally, I managed to cram in some linux/ bash homework that was cruelly due Sunday night of the long weekend. I'm also starting on my python assignment for the same subject. Half-heartedly looking forward to working on it...

🤵 Professionalism

  • Brushed up on my LinkedIn account and submitted various internship applications for Marketing roles. I have to say, video questions are a lot harder than expected, especially in the time limit provided.
  • Caught up with my two mentors (one in Tech and the other in Digital Marketing) and had enjoyable conversations around this website, books to read, company culture and application tips.
  • Guided a few North Sydney Boys in their university choices, which helped me reflect upon my current and future career decision-making and built upon some valuable connections for years to come.
  • Managed to finally score two interviews! One at a start-up whose platform I've used and personally loved, and another at a dream organisation in an unexpected role that surprisingly fits my skillset! Fingers crossed for the outcome/s - and will keep trying if need be.

📚 Books I've been reading

Start with Why

Published 2009

Notes as I'm currently reading:

  • Part 1: A World that doesn't start with WHY
    • 1. Assume You Know
    • American car manufacturers solving issues at the end of production vs Japanese manufacturers instilling learnings from the start of the process
    • 2. Carrots and Sticks
    • Most business choices today, especially promotions, are short-term manipulations that have none to a negative impact in the long-run. Consumers make purchase decisions in a vacuum but aren't loyal to the brand or idea.
  • Part 2: An alternate perspective
    • 3. The Golden Circle
    • Go from inside the circle out - WHY->HOW->WHAT. Apple beats other computer competitors by 'challenging the status quo', a motivation that doesn't even apply to the industry.
    • 4. This Is Not Opinion, This Is Biology
    • Human decisions pretend to be based in science and reason, but relate more to a sense of identity and belonging. We are tribal and want to buy-in to something bigger.
    • 5. Clarity, Discipline and Consistency
    • Gut decisions usually feel right because they align with our unique "why". Contrastingly, rationalisation can lead to us over-thinking and ignoring crucial emotional context.
  • Part 3: Leaders need a following
    • 6. The Emergency of Trust
    • Companies are caught up in "what" culture, which reduces differentiation and hampers consumer relationships. You don't need to be a first mover if you market the why (e.g. Apple iPod). Don't describe role descriptions, employees who are inspired by the brand will work hard for themselves.

Interestingly, I found this 2017 Harvard Commencement Address by Mark Zuckerberg in my Youtube feed, and despite some of the statements that seem to contradict his own personal wealth, it serves for some inspiring listening on Purpose - or Why!

10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades

Published 2015

Notes as I'm currently reading:

Reading this out of order according to which parts require prioritisation. Some chapters are pretty barebones/ the minimum, others can be found on Thomas Frank's Youtube channel. However, it has still been a beneficial read thus-far.

  • 1. Pay Better Attention in Class
    • Outside of the classroom eat, sleep and exercise well.
    • In class be active by speaking up and deliberate with note-taking.
    • Be solution-oriented (15 min work before asking for help).
    • Reduce decision-making friction by planning ahead.
  • 2. Take More Effective Notes
    • 5 note-taking styles - outline, cornell, mind-maps, flow and write-on-slides.
  • 4. Plan Like a General
    • Planning is not doing. Prioritise by separate positive, reducing negative and willpower impacts.
    • Work out your fudge (under-estimation) ratio and factor it into work plans.
  • 10. Make Group Projects Suck Less
    • Get to know everyone, set clear expectations and strong communication channels.

🎥 Movies I've recently seen

Big focus on Bollywood and one of its modern stars, Akshay Kumar, over the last fortnight.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa

Premiered 2007

Watched Sep 27, 2021

I believe horror is one of the most difficult genres to really do an outstanding job of through film. However, this classic had fantastic acting, spine-tingling camerawork (especially in the first half) and the right mix of plausibility in its scares. Funny at times as well.

Thank You

Premiered 2011

Watched Sep 29, 2021

Super funny for the first 2/3 as this trio of obscene cheaters and their (poorly written) wives hire a private detective to uncover the truth. The final third really killed it for me with some difficult logic, dumb character choices and exposition ruining the ending.


Premiered 2010

Watched Oct 03, 2021

Why do some Bollywood movies take a whole hour to complete set-up before reaching the main plot? After the intermission (and when the rich house is actually introduced) this becomes a hilarious extended-family film featuring a military brother, millionaire father-in-laws and an (unearned) trio of friends. Akshay Kumar's bad luck and storyline got tiring and felt unresolved towards the end, although there was a fantastic comedic middle section here.

🎵 Music I've been listening to

White Ladder album by David Gray

I heard the emotive track This Year's Love a few months back, and thought it was a gem from an otherwise obscure artist. Only upon going through the rest of the album did I realise how soul-baring yet simple the music was, coming out of the artist's UK apartment. Definitely one for rainy days or slow drives, capturing the universal experiences of love and nights alone in a big city.

Little Dark Age album by MGMT

Similarly, I had heard When You Die years ago, and thought nothing of the rest of the band. This overall was a fantastic album from start to finish, with clear rises and falls, and definitely a moody exploration of alternative rock. Much more niche however.

📺 TV Shows I've been watching

Read below for my thoughts! Spoilers in the episode summaries, these are more for myself and perhaps if you wanted to refresh yourself on significant moments from the show.

You - Season 1 (2017)

Ratings: 📱=good, 🔨=ok, 📕=bad.

Episode#(SxE) Episode Title Date 1 sentence summary (spoilers!)
101 Pilot 🔨28/9/21 Joe the book expert and creep saving poor Paco, cool digital overlay, douchebag bf trapped in basement
102 The Last Nice Guy in New York 🔨30/9/21 Beck turns on professor, Peach is wary (and possibly bi? Or jealous), Joe has Benji evidence and a possible missing ex
103 Maybe 🔨30/9/21 Nice guy Joe tries to stop Beck messing around, an intimate furniture trip becomes a hospital visit for Peach and Joe burns the body after Paco runs errands into cops

Parks and Recreation - Season 2 (2009-10)

Ratings: 🏞️=good, 👱‍♀️=ok, 🚧=bad

Episode#(SxE) Episode Title Date 1 sentence summary (spoilers!)
207 Greg Pikitis 🏞️ 1/10/21 Peach pit boy sneakily messes with office, Leslie and Andy-on-the-payroll as Ann's Halloween party gets lid by secretly sad-boy Ron

Modern Love - Season 2 (2021)

Ratings: ❤️=good, 💑=ok, 💔=bad

Episode#(SxE) Episode Title Date 1 sentence summary (spoilers!)
202 The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy 💑 30/9/21 Cinematic NYC night shots as circadian rhythm disorder leads to close shopowner friendships, difficult day dating scenarios and a necessary sense of understanding

Marvel's What If? - Season 1 (2021)

Ratings: 👀=good, 🤔=ok, 🤷‍♂️=bad

Episode # (SxE) Episode Title Date 1 sentence summary (spoilers!)
106 What If... Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? 🤔 1/10/21 Set-up like an alternate Iron Man film but ended up having a lot more Black Panther, with some villanous motivations and exciting Wakandan action sequences

😅 Phew! You've reached the end of this fortnight, thank you for reading.

If you're interested in more content like this, hit up the homepage and have a browse. If you want to get in touch, my details are in the "Contact" link below!

👍 Hope you have a fantastic fortnight ahead.