Loving Rachel Zoe!

“To be honest, there are a million people out there waiting to see me fail. It makes for a better story. It’s what people want to see. They don’t like success stories. So I have to work much harder to stand up on my game.” – Rachel Zoe

These days, there is nothing better in life than to watch back episodes of Rachel Zoe, stylist to the stars. Her clientele includes beautiful women like Eva Mendez, Kate Hudson, Anne Hatheway and Demi Moore. Known as the red carpet stylist, Rachel’s works are usually placed on the Oscar Best Dressed list.

You can watch free episodes via Youtube here.

The reason why I love the Rachel Zoe Project as much is because my personality resonates to Rachel Zoe. She works with a small team of people whom she trusts and treats as family, and her work is her life. I think she’s a lot more naive and trusting than I am but the way she approaches her personal life (secondary to her career) and her work (she gives it 101% her all) mirrors mine.

I also love it how strong she is. The reason why she has been successful was not really because of luck but rather because of hard work. Clients love her because they know she has their back, no matter what. “The problem with Rachel is that she never says no to anyone,” complains her poor husband Rodger who is forced in her shadow. He used to be an investment banker and is now working as her business manager cum President.

If I ever do become successful, I would credit it through blood, sweat and tears.

My years before in finance was not an easy road. Actually, I poured everything into my job and slept with my blackberry. It was the first thing I’d check in the morning and the last thing I’d check at night. Even now, I am an email freak. The best way to reach me is first via email, then via calling or texting me. I am usually very bad with voice mails.

In a way, I am scared to leave my career behind for a family. Trader wants us to start a family in a few years (which is coming up soon) and he wants 2-3 kids. The thought of it scares me, and yet everyone reminds me how important it is to balance your life. I wonder if a good family life is worth leaving your career.

What can I say? I am selfish. I want it all.

Anyway, I’d like to share something that I wrote for our female mentorship program that a classmate is pushing. I think it’s a mighty regal idea so long as it’s executed well and we get paired up with a woman that mirrors our own personality. If I get paired up with a messed up bimbo with no purpose in her life, then I’d rather shoot myself.

Here’s what I wrote about me — enjoy!:


Everyone here calls me Bonita. I’m usually the person sitting in the front row and became famous in my batch for my inquisitiveness, straightforward opinions, and loud voice. I could also be a bit bossy at times, demanding the best out of my group, and oftentimes driving them bananas. But they say they love me. I believe them, most of the time.

I was born and bred in the Philippines, lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and fluent in English, Mandarin and Filipino. My undergraduate was Business Management and before my HKUST MBA, worked in a bank, moving to Hong Kong in December 2008 at the very height of the financial crisis. Prior to my banking career, I was working in a technology company for 2.5 years but wasn’t too keen on a 9am-to-6pm lifestyle. Post my MBA, I would like to return to the fast-paced financial services industry, specifically in capital markets.

My greatest challenge in the past year was how to balance work and play. I had a print-out calendar full of recruitment events, group meetings, and whole days of classes. I was also very active extra-curricularly so that took out a lot of my time. I have a tendency to give things my 101%, so the challenge was more on which projects to say yes, or no to. The trick is not to spread yourself out too thin. 

The club I joined was the most rewarding aspect of my MBA journey. We did a lot. It was terrific to organize projects that connected my classmates to highly experienced practitioners from the field.

Words of wisdom for incoming women: reputation is extremely important. Protect it. This means, observe your classmates closely before dating them. Don’t be too easy. If you do something stupid, don’t post it up on Facebook. Make your word your bond. If you said you’ll do it, then do it. Build up a reputation of a woman of high integrity, who can conduct herself appropriately to the occasion.

Secondly, make the most out of your MBA because in the end, you’ll only do your MBA once. You really only get what you put in. There are tons of amazing professors here and relevant knowledge to be learnt. You can only absorb the most if you really did the work, ask questions and engage in group discussions.

Lastly, your female classmates are your sisters. It’s tempting to gossip and talk badly of others, but it’s unproductive and hurtful. You don’t want to be known as a gossip: it’s a negative reflection on who you are versus a reflection of the other. If you have an issue with a sister, talk to her about it so she can change instead of going behind her back. Likewise, try to help each other instead of thinking that others are a threat. Meanwhile, if you find yourself a victim of malicious gossip, be strong and see if what people say have merit.

Remember that you cannot really please everyone. The best you can do is to stay true to yourself and your values. Don’t change or blend yourself in the background just because others don’t like it. You will always have critics especially if you’re highly visible. Just conduct yourself in the best way possible, and let your achievements, attitude and sincerity take care of the rest. 

Things I have enjoyed doing in the past year both alone and with my classmates include:

1.)    Traveling around Asia: I’m a frequent flyer of Tiger Airways and Jetstar

2.)    Watching live concerts in Hong Kong. Tickets at http://www.hkticketing.com

3.)    Walking around Mongkok for cheap finds

4.)    Having afternoon tea at the Peninsula and Sevva: you just gotta experience it

5.)    Art-jamming, cake baking and getting a massage in Shenzhen

6.)    House parties when someone makes a delicious home-cooked meal

Hope you liked it. Have a great week ahead!

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