December 07, 2007

Advice to Spring 2008

To succeed in Angie's class, and specifically the client- based project, it is necessary to be self-motivated, organized, and an effective communicator.

When doing the project, I found that I would leave everything to the last minute and often have questions that needed to be answered. While Angie is readily available to help at all times, it is better to keep your own schedule and work a little bit each day.

Since you are also working with a group, it is vital to be organized and an effective communicator. There is a lot to do- blogs, presentations, and 7 pieces of a proposal- that needs to be divided up among group members. You also have to check regularly to ensure that everyone is doing their part so that your grade will not be adversely affected, which requires good communication skills. You have to make sure you all have the same objective going into the project to ensure its success.

Other than that, I wish you all the best of luck in Angie's class. I know you all will enjoy having her as a teacher.

November 27, 2007

Not a typical Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and traditionally, I would get to spend quality time with family over Thanksgiving. I would eat so much turkey and stuffing, that I would have no choice but to sit down on the couch next to my other thoroughly stuffed relatives and swap playful banter and amusing stories. However, this Thanksgiving, tradition was broken.

This year, my youngest brother and his band were featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The whole family left Sunday the 19th and did not return until the following Friday. It was a wonderful experience full of sightseeing and lots of togetherness (a 16 hour bus ride both ways as well as a schedule of all activities for the week). We saw the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall Street, Ground Zero, Times Square, Chinatown, and Little Italy. We also went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Seaport, the Museum of Natural History, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The parade was fabulous and I encourage anyone that is in New York City around Thanksgiving to attend. I had to get up at 4 a.m. but it was worth it to have front row seats on the street. The balloons were fantastic, as well as all of the clowns and various parade participants. There is so much to see that is not recorded on the television shows, and even though I am 21, I was as excited as the children around me. I even had several clowns come and give me some flowers and throw confetti in my face!

Even though I was nostalgic for my traditional Thanksgiving with the extended family, and change is not something I like much, it was one of the best Thanksgivings I have had. I still got to eat the traditional turkey and stuffing from our night cruise through the harbor and I got to talk more with my brothers and parents, which I do not get to do as often since I am away at college. I have enjoyed experiencing something new and hope that someday I can return to New York for another holiday.

November 12, 2007

Personality Hiring

I think that Ellen Simon brings up an interesting trend in her article, Employers Study Applicants' Personalities. After taking several business classes, I have come to realize the importance of relationships between coworkers and superiors in an organization.

Businesses are becoming more customer service and team oriented. Therefore, group communication and cooperation are becoming more and more important. The best way to ensure that a company will succeed is to select employees that can not only perform their job, but want to be there and can work well with others. Thus, personality can be a deciding factor for teams. People usually work better together when they like each other. It has also been found that job satisfaction is affected by the people that you work with. Retaining good employees has become a large focus for organizations today, so organizations have started to administer several different tests, including personality tests, in order to determine the best fit for their organization.

As mentioned in the article, personality testing can be biased. Thus it is important that multiple people are questioning applicants for employment to ensure that these biases are given as little weight as possible in the actual hiring decisions. Also, organizations do not want employees that have the same viewpoints, because then nothing innovative will be created, which will cost the organization a great deal of revenue. However, if the organization takes time to train HR professionals and other employees in effective hiring techniques, they can limit biases and still get employees with good personalities that will benefit the organization.

November 11, 2007

Dual Coding Theory

Dual Coding theory combines visual and vocal communication to better communicate a marketer's message. Two particularly effective commercials that use dual coding theory come to mind: Mazda and KitKat Bar advertisements.

Mazda's current marketing campaign involves their "Zoom Zoom" slogan. The slogan shows up in the commercial through several different mediums. It is sang throughout the commercial as Mazda's jingle. It is whispered at the end of the commercial by a child and also appears in written form. The road at the very end spells out the words "zoom zoom." The commercial conveys an overall sense of fun, so the consumer gets the idea that Mazda's are sporty and fun to drive.

KitKat commercials incorporate this theory as well. Like Mazda, KitKat incorporates a jingle in their commercials. The jingle is sung along through the duration of the commercial, with the lyrics coinciding with what is going on during the commercial. After the words "gimme a break" are sung, there a pause, or "break" in the song, followed by more lyrics. The visuals in these commercials often include people in ordinary situations, that are taking a break from an activity to snack on a KitKat bar. The group is shown breaking apart a KitKat bar to share. This shows its fun to eat the candy bar and share it with your friends.

October 31, 2007

Group Work

I have enjoyed working in a group thus far. I think that it is important that everyone learn how to communicate and cooperate with others, as well as to appreciate the different perspectives that people can have on the same subject. Colin and I do that very well. We bounce ideas off of each other and collaborate to make the project even better. No one is in charge of one specific area of the proposal, we are both responsible for all of it.

Colin and I work very well together; we are excellent collaborators, attentive, and open-minded to other ideas. The only problem that we have encountered has been splitting the workload evenly; we both like being in charge, so we both volunteer to do more. However, this means that we are both dedicated to the task; we will complete the proposal on time and to the best of our abilities.

In Phase 2, Colin and I need to be a more organized and set deadlines for ourselves. We have been continuously working on the project throughout the semester, but if we had given ourselves deadlines, it would have made the final creation of the proposal much easier. Phase 2 will go smoothly for our group though because we have good dynamics and good work ethics.

October 24, 2007

Cats or Dogs

I know that many people like dogs or cats. There are many differing opinions on this subject. I have been trying to decide which pet I prefer, which pet compliments my personality the best. Here is my comparison:

Dogs are:

  • Loyal
  • Playful
  • Protective
  • Dependent
  • Loud (barking)
  • Large (cost money)
  • Must be cleaned frequently
  • Require lots of attention
  • Love you because you feed them
  • Trainable (do it yourself or pay someone)

Cats are:
  • Cuddly
  • Small (cost less money)
  • Playful
  • Lazy
  • Independent (can be inside or outside pets and can take care of themselves)
  • Require attention sometimes
  • Must work for their affection
  • Trainable (spray them, love them)

I believe that I am more of a cat person based on my comparisons. I feel that cats are more in tune with my personality. Their personalities are more obvious than dog's personalities. If cats are mad at you, then you know it. Dogs will love you no matter what. I feel like more is to be said if you have the loyalty of a cat, because it is harder to attain their affection.

However, I also love playing with dogs. So I have decided that when I have settled into a good job after college, I am going to buy a puppy and a kitten so that they can grow up together. I think that both will contribute to my happiness.

October 17, 2007

Interview Experience

After participating in the mock interview for English 304, I have discovered some of my strengths and weaknesses during the interview process.

I excel in interviews due to my personable nature, so my strengths are thinking on my feet and spinning questions to my advantage in order to provide the interviewer with information that I feel is important. I embellish on simple questions to set myself apart from other interviewers. I am looking into HR positions which is an advantage because I have a clear goal and I can ask questions of the interviewer easily, since they are likely in the HR department.

Some of my weaknesses for this particular interview included the fact that I did not know as much about the company as I would have liked. I also had not gone over routine questions and prepared answers. Before interviews, it seems to be a good idea to look over the commonly asked questions so that you have answers in mind. Also, it is good to plan what you would like the interviewer to know about yourself. I believe that if I had put a bit more time into my preparation, the interview would have been excellent.

This being my first mock interview, I was relaxed and confident. I believe that those two factors are key. I also try to represent myself honestly when interviewing. I want to be the best fit for a job without having to play up certain aspects of my personality that I believe the company would find desirable.