​​Blogging Day 2: She worked late in the office

I stayed late in the office later than usual. Because sometimes I finish my work, and then I stay in the office to study for university, to learn Arabic, or just to read a book. There was absolutely nobody in the office.

I stood up and walked toward the kitchen to get some hot tea to my desk. As I approached the kitchen, I noticed one of my colleagues at her desk. She was still working. “Hey, are you still here?” I asked with a tricky yet polite tone of voice.

She turned her head around just the head, not body, smiled with her “exhausted” eyes and said “I have to finish a few things before I go home today.” It was so late that outside was DARK.

This is the kind of thing that Project Managers do. Because they are responsible for the project they are given, they do not count the hours they spend in the office. Nobody cares if she would leave at 1pm in the afternoon or at 9pm at night. She just needs to deliver the project IN TIME before the given deadline.

I remember the first day at DHL as a Junior Project Manager. My line manager explicitly said: “I dont care what time you come to work and what time you leave. Just get the job done.”

Photo credits: Reid Beels

Blogging Day 1: I got conditional offer for Masters in Management

I received an official conditional offer to study at University of New York. Admission office gave me two conditions:

1. Provide Bachelor degree with transcripts.
2. Provide two recommendation letters.

The offer stated “if these conditions are not met by the program start in September, this offer will be voided.”

I have emailed 2 of my teachers at Czech University where I studied Bachelors asking for recommendation letters. They kindly agreed.

Oh by the way…

There was another condition saying: “To secure your position at this program you need to make first installment 75000 CZK $3000 within the next 14 days.” which I did yesterday.

The tuition fee is 280,000 CZK or $12,000.

Isnt it too expensive? Yes, it is. This is arguably the most expensive Masters program in the Czech Republic maybe only Anglo-American University is the similar price.

But to me it is worth it. The classes will be only on weekends. So I will be able to work full-time from Monday to Friday, cover my living expenses, and maybe some part of my tuition.

At the end of this program I will be granted a Masters degree from the University of Bolton, UK which gives me the right to work in the UK.

Because it is a British program, Masters degree here lasts only ONE YEAR. That means next year I will already hold a Masters degree in Management.

But the most important thing is QUALITY of education at this university. Quality, brah!

After studying for almost 4 years at public university, I have to say honestly. I am sick of public schools. I want to get a really good education even if it is a private university. For that I dont mind paying the expensive price.

Photo credits: Filippo Bianchi.

3 Reasons Why University of New York

3 reasons why I want to study Masters at University of New York in Prague:

1. The classes are on weekends.

This is a big deal for me, because this way I can keep my full-time job as an IT Project Coordinator. The job that I love. The job that I dont want to lose. Can I handle working from Monday to Friday, and then study Saturdays and Sundays? YES, I can handle it. After all, I will need to do this ONE YEAR ONLY. Many people are doing it. Why cant I?

2. The degree of Masters in Management is granted by the University of Bolton, UK.

This degree is recognised in the Czech Republic, England, and in the US. If by any chance, at some point of my life, I will have to live in Europe or America, with this degree I can always get an official job.

3. Small size of a class — 12 students.

This means, teachers will give me much more attention [than if I would be in a class with 100 students] = better quality of education.

He will have more time to listen to me, answer my questions, help me understand topics that I have difficulty with and… most importantly… I will have a chance to DISCUSS whatever is interesting to me INDIVIDUALLY with the teacher.

Of course, there is a couple of things that is not good about this business school. For example, they cant give me a regular student visa in the Czech Republic [because technically I will be a student of a BRITISH university, not a Czech one]. I mean, I still can get a visa to live here, but I wont be allowed to work in Czechia.

That is why, I need to figure out how I will solve my visa issue [I am actually trying to get a “work” visa now].

What do you think about this university? Let me know in the comments.

Interview Results

My wife and I entered the university building [she was there to support me — my whole “fan club” right there 😄]. I approached the receptionist and said “I have an appointment with George.”

She picked up the phone. Talked to somebody. Then looking at me said: “please go to the 5th floor, they are waiting for you.”

When I reached the fifth floor a nice lady met me [she was really polite]. But she was not the one who was supposed to interview me. “Can I offer you a drink?” she asked. “No, thanks. I am good,” I replied politely.

“He will be here in a few moments,” she said, referring to the director of the Master in Management program, who was supposed to interview me.

I came 5 minutes early. So I had to wait for him a little bit in the interview room. During this time we had a small chat with Veronika [the nice lady] about this program. She works in the admissions office and can answer any of my questions regarding studies at this university. When she was leaving, she asked me again: “Are you sure you dont want anything to drink? Water?”. “No, thank you,” I replied. “I am fasting.”

When I noticed some confusion on her face about the word “fasting” I tried to explain to her quickly: “Do you know what Ramadhan is?” She immediately got it. Smiled. Nodded. And left the room.

The director came in. He was serious. Not excited. Totally calm.

“Have you had a chance to read the case study?” he asked.

“Yeah-yeah,” I responded.

“What do you think about it?”

I told him what I thought about the case for the next 20 minutes. He was listening attentively, with his arms crossed on his chest. His whole body language was saying “Boy, I am going to figure you out. You can hide nothing from me. Absolutely nothing. So you better be honest!”

The case study was about an American food company that was trying to launch its product in France.

“What do you think,” the director asked me. “Is this company doing the right thing to bring their business into Europe? Do you think this American product will do well in France just like it does in the United States?”

I was looking right into his eyes, trying to concentrate on the question.

He added: “And remember: there is no RIGHT answer here. I just want to know your personal opinion.”

I gave him my personal opinion. I told him what I would do if I were the CEO of that company [how bold]. I even gave him some examples from Uzbekistan.

The whole talk was interesting. I was genuinely interested in business talks.

At the end, he said “I am impressed. I dont see any reason why you should not be admitted to this program.”

When he said this, I felt joy. I smiled, feeling relieved that I have passed the interview successfully.

Then he added: “I would be happy to see somebody like you in the class.”

Interview Day

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I have an interview on Monday with the Dean of Management department of University of New York in Prague.

At the interview I am supposed to discuss a business case study. The dean will examine my competence in business and management field. This makes sense, taking into account that I have a Bachelors degree in Computer Science.

Now here is the problem [the very first one in my experience with this school]: the admission director promised to send me the case study on Friday. Today is Saturday. I havent received any case study yet.

I am not nervous. Because I will probably need only ONE DAY to read, understand, analyse, and fully get ready for the interview.

BUT. If I dont get this case study by tomorrow morning, I might start getting a little nervous.

I chose to study at this school because [one of the reasons] they have the best customer service among all the business schools in Prague. However, when the admission director forgets to do something that he had promised to do, you start thinking “hah… to be honest with you, it gets interesting.”

That being said, I still dont question the professionalism of the admission director of this business school. I mean, come on. He is a human-being. He has a right to FORGET something sometimes. He just forgot. It happens.

P.S. Yesterday I passed [with excellent grade 😎] my LAST exam in my Bachelor studies. One final thing left. THESIS DEFENCE! In 2 weeks I will get my degree inshaallah.

He Accepted Islam

“I known you for 3 years now,” I told Adam as we were walking from our mosque towards a tram stop. “But you never told me the story of how you came to Islam.”

“I can tell you my story, if you want,” he replied.

Adam was born in an atheist Czech family [as he himself puts it]. In other words, his parents doesnt believe that God exists. His grandmother is a Christian, but she is also not practicing Christianity as much as Muslims do [like praying 5 times a day].

“As a teenager, I had no idea about Islam,” he started explaining to me. “I didnt even know what Islam is. What God is. What even the word “Muslim” means.”

I was listening to him attentively, because I dont meet people like Adam often. I was born in a muslim family. I was raised in muslim majority country. Everybody in Uzbekistan knows what Islam is. Who Allah is. Maybe they dont pray, dont fast, and commit all kinds of sins, but almost everybody believes in God.

“One day,” Adam carried on. “Somebody gave me Islamic music. There was no instruments playing there. The music was mainly vocal. I enjoyed it so much that I started listening to it a lot.”

At the time Adam was 17 years old. He was in high school.

“Then I became simply curious about this religion. What is Islam? I googled it. I got even more curious about Islam when all these ANTI-ISLAMIC movements started popping up in my country. What is this Islam all about anyway?!”

I was fascinated to find out that those anti-Islamic movements, instead of pushing Adam away from Islam, actually gave opposite effect: he was PULLED towards Islam [subhanallah].

“For the next 3 years, little by little, I started learning about muslims from the internet,” he looked down, as if thinking about his next words.

“Which websites did you use? Like wikipedia?”

“No,” he replied. “Mainly Youtube videos. Like videos of Mufti Menk and Nouman Ali Khan.”

I nodded and smiled. I dont watch their videos a lot, but I follow them on facebook. Especially Mufti Menk gives some really nice advice on social media. He is an educated and nice Sunni scholar.

“Little by little, everything what Islam was teaching made total sense to me. I started comparing Islam to other religions. To Christianity. To Buddhism.”

He told me that there is only ONE version of Koran [main source of Islam]. That this book [Koran] was not changed for the past 1400 years. Not a single word was removed or added to the book for 14 CENTURIES.

“I started thinking that there MUST be some ’Superpower’ that created this whole world. This Earth is a miracle. The whole universe is a miracle. Somebody had to create it. Maybe ALIENS? But somebody had to create those aliens too…”

He was totally convinced about what he was talking about. I could feel it.

“As I was learning more and more about Islam, it all made sense. I realized that Islam is the most LOGICAL religion.”

I was listening to him as if I was learning about my own religion for the first time. I already knew at this point that I HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THIS DUDE ON MY BLOG [which I am doing right now].

“I started praying,” Adam continued. “Making dua to Allah, asking him for things. I believed in him. Then I thought, what am I waiting for? I actually became muslim already in my heart. So I said the words of Shahadah! I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His slave and messenger.”

At this point I couldnt help myself and said out loud “Allahu Akbar! [Allah is Great]”. I said it QUIETLY not to scare people off at the tram stop [I am not an idiot]. People could get me wrong.

Adam became a muslim when he was 19 years old. He then started coming to our mosque. He still prays with us in masjid.

We all love him. And he loves us back. Adam can always come to the mosque, whenever he needs some help. Be it emotional or financial help. And it is our obligation to help our brother. Because when he said the words of shahadah, he became our brother.

This is the kind of experiences that make me realize that I havent wasted my time in the Czech Republic. After all, I left Uzbekistan and lived here for almost 4 years. I didnt waste my time. I met Adam. Who accepted Islam.

Masters degree

I paid 2000 Czech krones [87 dollars] for application fee and applied to University of New York in Prague. I got a reply from the admission office saying “We have received your application. I will carefully review your documents over the next few days and let you know the results.”

It was pretty easy to apply. All I needed to do is pay the fee, fill out the online form, and write a motivation letter.

I procrastinated writing this letter for a few month, because I wanted to get my Bachelor`s degree first.

Now that I have passed all my subjects [almost all. I have the last one left next week], I sat down and eventually wrote it. Although the admission director instructed me to “keep it simple”, I couldn`t help shelling out 700 words on 2 pages about me [as you already noticed, I LOVE writing about myself].

Then, I received an email from admission director reading “We would like to invite you for an interview” [yuhoooo!] Then he also wrote “You will solve one business case at the interview.”

Usually, they don`t require you to solve a business case if you hold a management degree in Bachelor`s. However, my Bachelor is in Computer Science [nothing to do with business or management]. That`s why, if I want to do Masters in Management field, I will have to pass ADDITIONAL business case.

I don`t mind it. Actually, I don`t mind a business case AT ALL. I read The Economist [weekly magazine about business, politics, finances] almost everyday. I pay 85 dollars every 12 weeks so they send me a new edition of The Economist every Monday by post.

Sometimes people think I am dumb to actually PAY when I can get it FOR FREE from torrent. But I believe the QUALITY of articles in the Economist are worth 85 dollars for 12 weeks. Besides, I don`t think that getting articles from some shady websites is fair to the people who actually work to produce those magazines. If you can afford it, you should pay for it.

Anyways. The point is… I like reading The Economist. And I am looking forward to the interview to solve a business case.

Lets see how good I was at reading business cases for the past 2 years 🙂 The interview is next Monday [8th day of Ramadan].

My Wedding

I got married. We did our wedding really small, only the closest family members were invited. So dont get mad at me for not inviting you to my wedding.

Neither me nor my fiancée [I can already say “my wife”] is a big fan of big wedding parties that cost like $20,000. I believe this is a complete waste of money. I would rather travel the world with my wife if I had this kind of wealth [which I dont. Obviously.]

Thats why, no offence. We invited only close family members and did a small event for them.

I read in some magazine that they did a research and found out that the #1 reason why people spend ridiculous amounts of money on weddings is just to SHOW OFF.

Alhamdulillah. I dont feel the need to prove to people that I am successful [especially when I am NOT]. I dont need to prove anything to anybody. No need to show off.

Anyways. I feel that now I have the right to write things related to marriage life [even though I JUST got married 😛]. Maybe soon I will be giving some meaningful advice to you on “how to keep your marriage” or “how to find love” or “5 reasons why you should get married as early as possible”. Hahaha.

Name: Abdullah Green
Profession: Senior marriage counselor

I know I sound stupid, but I like this idea 😂

When Comedian Becomes President

Yesterday a comedian, with no previous political experience, was elected as the next President of a European country. He will run Ukraine for the next 5 years [at least].

I personally find this amazing. If I were the citizen of Ukraine, I would vote for him too. Why?

I don`t trust politicians. Political systems are messed up and political world is dirty.

I will rather trust a comedian to run my country. He just looks more trustworthy.

During hilarious shows a comedian openly talks about his faults. He laughs at himself, at his mistakes in life. If he was okay to talk about his most embarrassing life moments openly to the world, I am inclined to trust his words when he says “I can solve some problems in the country, if I were a President.” and I would definitely vote for him.

Everything that comes out of politicians` mouths is sceptical to my mind. I just don`t trust them. I always have this feeling that they just say whatever others tell them to say.

A comedian, on the other hand, seems to be honest with me. He is not in this dirty system.

I believe the time has come when everybody gets what they deserve. Internet!

Internet reveals everything. If you are a bad person inside, someone will take a video of you stealing or accepting a bribe or insulting somebody. Then the internet will show it to the world one day. If you are good person in your heart, social media will see it. Internet reveals who you really are!

I am not saying that Zelenski [new president of Ukraine] has the best personality in the world. But he surely is a better PERSON than Mr Poroshenko.

As far as I am concerned, this is the only reason why he managed to become a president. It doesn`t matter that he has no previous political experience. HE IS A GOOD PERSON. This is good enough reason to trust him the fate of the country for the next 5 years.

The Girl With Lower Back Tattoo

I bought this book yesterday for 99 Czech krones (the price of small coffee at Starbucks). Almost finished reading it.

The author is so open about her experiences that I can’t stop reading her stories. Her openness makes me listen to her, craving to get to know her more and more. No wonder that she is one of the most best comedians in the world.

I admire her honesty. I wish I had her courage to talk about my failures so openly as she does. Maybe this is the key to my success in my writing career.

#amyschumer #thegirlwithlowerbacktatto#bookclub #comedian