Sunday, December 7, 2008

For Spring 2009 Students:

In this class, it is important to keep on, or even better, ahead of schedule. Make sure you know when assignments are due and what is included in each. The client project is a great learning experience. You get to know the people in your class while you all work on solving a problem. When selecting members for your group, make sure you choose people that will be reliable. You will have to make time out of class to meet, so it is important that the majority of your group is able to be there. Assign each group member a different task of the client project, so that one person is not stuck doing more than they should.

Learning to write proper resumes and cover letters was personally beneficial in this course. I believe that these are skills that are important to learn for those hoping for a career in the business world. You will receive feedback from your classmates on your assignments before turning in your final drafts, which is also helpful. It is important that you are comfortable using such devices as the Internet and Microsoft Word for this class. You will also get to create a business writing blog and an online portfolio to share your work. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this class and put forth my best effort in all my assignments!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working with Helping Hands

So far in this course, I have thoroughly enjoyed working on our service learning project. It has been really fun getting to know the girls in my group. We all complement each other in different ways, which allows us to get our work done efficiently and effectively. I have learned that I like to take initiative, which will can be helpful in the future.

Personally, I think the best thing about our project is how excited Debbie was when we told her our idea. It is a good feeling to know that we are impacting someone's life for the better. She was very positive when we explained our proposal for a website and blog for Helping Hands. I have talked with Debbie on the phone and she has been extremely grateful for all our hard work. I think the biggest challenge so far has been getting our PayPal idea implemented. When Callie and I visited the thrift store and Helping Hands house last Monday, the older women were a little unsure of our idea of creating a PayPal account where internet users could make donations online. They did not understand why they could not just continue to receive checks from donators. Our group thought PayPal would be ideal since so many people use the internet in today's society. We are still trying, so we will see how it turns out.

One of the main things I learned during this project was to have patience. We had to be patient while we brainstormed proposal ideas, and also when we waited for the response from our client. Also, working in groups can sometimes be a overwhelming, so it is important to be patient with the other group members. Overall, I think our group has done a great job working together, and we have put our best effort into our ideas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dual Coding Theory

The first thing that stood out to me in this ad were the big, bold words "Practice Like Champions" on top of the doorway. It seems to me as if this is part of some sort of sports team's motto and they want to display it nice and loud, so to speak. I next noticed the words "We Believe" written on the inside of the door way. Even though the doorway and locker room look a little worn down, the words give the opposite message. They invoke feelings of inspiration and motivation that the team may need to get pumped up before the start of a game. To me, it seems as if the words and images displayed together create a vision of a somewhat broken team that hopes to regain its strength and pride, and this locker room is where that strength comes from. Nike uses dual coding well in this ad and it makes the reader think that a team can play and win hard by incorporating Nike products into games and practices, for if a team believes in themselves they can do anything.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miscommunication at Work

For the past five summers, I have worked at my local YMCA in Charlotte, NC as a lifeguard and swim coach. I was promoted to Aquatic Manager during my final summer along with some of my fellow co-workers. It was our job to make sure the staff remained alert and up-to-date with emergency procedures in case something were to happen. We held in-service training meetings every two weeks in order to go over rescue skills and techniques. One important piece of information the managers tried to stress to the guards was that when a guard is on duty, he or she is not only responsible for watching the water but also for performing specific rescue skills. Each guard was assigned a different task if an emergency were to occur according to our action plan. This also meant that communication between the guards was extremely important. At one of our training meetings, the managers created a scenario where a member was swimming in the pool, and then suddenly became lifeless. The primary guard jumped into save the member, yet the other guards around the pool just stood and watched when they should have been helping. We explained to the primary guard that it was his responsibility to call for help and to get the other guards' attention. The guards that were on break should have been running over to the scene with the AED and oxygen tank, and someone should have been calling 911. Fortunately, this was just a training session, but if it had occurred during our regular hours of operation, someone could have been seriously injured and we could have been dealing with a very dangerous situation. We began to practice similar scenarios at each of our meetings, and our staff improved greatly in their rescue and communication skills. By the end of the summer, everyone knew exactly what to expect and knew what their duty was in an emergency situation.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mock Interview Reflection

Before my mock interview last Wednesday, I was slightly nervous. I wasn't sure what to expect or what questions would be asked. In order to get rid of some of the nervous feelings I was experiencing, I went over some common interview questions from an online site. I also reviewed my resume to make sure that if I was asked anything about it I would be able to explain myself. I wouldn't say that there were any particular questions that threw me off, but there were a couple that I had to think about a little harder. I have never been very good at answering questions on the spot, so I felt that the mock interview helped me feel more comfortable.

If I could interview again, I would make sure that I had researched the company thoroughly in order to become more familiar with it. I would also make sure that I had a list of questions to ask my interviewer and become more engaged in the conversation. Overall, I learned a little more about what an interview is like and how I should act while being interviewed. The mock interview process is a good way for students to become comfortable with interviews, since many of us are getting close to graduating. I enjoyed the experience and hope that I can take the techniques I learned and put them to use in the future.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Presentations

This past week, I enjoyed watching everyone's presentations in class. Some of the topics were so interesting! One of my favorite presentations was Adrienn's, where she demonstrated how to properly open and serve wine. It would be very beneficial to anyone who is thinking about becoming a server in a restaurant, and I think it is just good information to know in general! I also liked the handout she gave everyone explaining what kind of wine you should drink depending on the food you eat. This is good knowledge when attending business or interview dinners.

Lauren's presentation on "How to Efficiently Facebook Stalk" was very entertaining. I would have never have thought of such a topic, but I feel like everyone in our class could relate to her presentation. I know I have been guilty of exactly what she described - I can usually be found procrastinating in library staring at the Facebook profiles on my computer screen! The video from YouTube was also fun to watch. She did a great job!

One other presentation I really liked was on South Africa by Chelsea. It was very interesting to learn about a place to which I have never been. I never realized how beautiful South Africa was until I saw her pictures. Learning about culture has always sparked my attention, and hearing the native language was pretty cool! Now I know a few good places to visit if I ever end up traveling there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Free Blog Topic - Gas Shortage

The effects of the recent Hurricane Ike can be clearly seen throughout the Southeast, as many states in this region are experiencing gasoline shortages. I was on the phone with my mom the other day, and she was telling me how she wasn't sure if she would be able to make it home from work with the amount of gas in her car. She also told me that the gas stations had lines of cars streaming from the pumps, and many people were running out of gas while waiting in these hour-long lines.

After reading a few articles I found about this topic, I discovered that this gas shortage is not only affecting people trying to get to work or back home. In Athens, Georgia, it was suggested that this Saturday's game between the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama be cancelled. Experts were afraid that the fans would use up all the gas, and none would be left for the local residents to use to take care of their families. Representatives from UGA thought this was an absurd idea, and refused to cancel the game.

The gas shortage seems to have come at an inconvenient time, following the recent financial crisis at Wall Street. I hope that by the next week or so the oil refineries in Galveston, Texas will be up and running at their usual performance. Fortunately for me, I do not have a car at Clemson this semester, but a few of my friends have told me that the Ingles gas station ran out of gas as well. Today, people are so dependent on their cars, and I can understand the frustration many people in the southeast are experiencing at this time.