Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Final Blog- Class of 2009

Hey Spring 2009 business writing class! This is a great class you are taking, but get prepared to do some work! We did many different activities in this class, including creating resumes, having mock interviews and creating a client project. I would have to say that the client project is the most work, but definately worth the work. This year my group worked with the Helping Hands organization redesigning their brochure. In order to successfully complete the project, we had to learn to communicate well not only within our own group assigning tasks, but with our client. We had to be professional in our writing, and make sure our objectives were coming across clearly so she could understand what it was we were doing. My suggestion to you is to come up with an idea early and keep the client constantly updated, so that they will have the opportunity to make comments and changes if there is something they do not agree with.
As far as writing materials geared toward helping us succeed in the future, I suggest you pay close attention in class and to the PowerPoints. Angela goes over everything you need to know, and gives great examples to model your document after. We created resumes; something that was very beneficial to me when applying for internships. I also learned some grammar rules that I was not aware of before- study those! This knowledge can only improve your professionalism in the working world.
For each of our porfolios we had to use some technology. I struggled with this at first, because I had never used the web design program, SeaMonkey. However, I quickly learned that if I asked others in my class for help, my problems were solved. Others have training that you might not have, so don't be afraid to ask for help! The class is small and everyone talks in it so try to feel comfortable with your class- this will not only help you in your writing, but the more you participate in discussions, the better your grade becomes!
Overall I really enjoyed this class and I hope you do too! Angela is a great teacher and my biggest suggestions for success in this class is to a) do your work on time and b) don't be afraid to ask Angela for help...she teaches the class, so she obviously knows how to help!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Client Project Reflection

Reflect on your client project. What have your learned from working with your team members?
Working with my team members I have come to learn that you cannot always depend on those you initially thought you could depend on. We formed our team in the good faith that everyone would show up to the meetings and stay actively involved in the group. However, we came to find out one team member just stopped coming not only to our meetings, but class as well.
Although this was a problem for my team, it also brought us together in the sense that we had to reorganize what we were doing. We reassigned tasked and figured out how to utilize each member's talents better.

What has been the best thing about this project?
I think the best thing about this project is that we were not just doing it for a grade. Redoing a brochure and submitting it to our client meant that we were taking time to give back to the community and helping out a great cause. I really liked the hands on aspect of actually redesigning the brochure- it gave me a sense of control and a small glimpse of what it is like to have to handle a project for an outside client.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Like I said before, my biggest challenge was overcoming the absent team member. Luckily for me, I had 3 other great members who all worked together to get things done, so it really wasn't as much of a challenge as I thought it was going to be.

What have you learned that will help you the next time you have a group project?
The next time I have a group project I will make sure I stay organized and take control of the group so that I know everything is getting done on time. I like to have set schedules, so I will make sure I allow enough time for the project that if a probelm is to arise, such as a part of the project does not get done, I still have time to correct it before it is due.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dual Coding

When I first looked at the picture, the visual element of the dual coding theory jumped out at me first. The picture is of a gym door- very plain and simple, with a few words written above it. It grabbed my attention because it reminded me of my own high school gym and I instantly felt some nastalgia. The plain scene made me want to inquire more into what the meaning of the door was, or where is was leading.
In order to inquire more into the ad, I next looked at the dual coding theory of language. The words written above the door read "Practice Like Champions. We Believe." This language is very effective in the fact that it ties in the nastalgia of the photo. Since I was already thinking back to my high school days, when I read "we believe" I felt instantly connected to the ad, as if I was a part of the concept on a whole. The words are inspirational and being an athlete myself, I felt like when I step into a gym, I really do need to give it my all because people believe in me. I thought back on times when I played volleyball and how I would practice hard so I could play hard.
The last thing I noticed was that it was a NIKE ad. I think this is effective advertising, because it got me to think about the product and relate to it, before ever even know what it was.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Over the summer I worked at a summer camp for elementary-aged kids. We would take the children on field trips to a local waterpark, but not every staff member had to go every time. One time at a staff meeting, they were reading staff names for the next trip, and I heard "Lauren" get read off. (I was not really paying attention). The next day I showed up to work suited up and ready to go, when I realized there was another staff member named Lauren. We were both ready to go on the field trip, but obviously only one of us was needed. We informed our supervisor of what had happened, and I volunteered not to go on the trip. This worked out well for both of us.
Thankfully the miscommunication was not a big deal, but it certainly was something that could have easily been avoided. First off, I should have been paying full attention at the meeting. Even if I get bored I need to remember that meetings are held for a reason and there is always valuable information shared during them. Also, when I only heard my first name read, I should have clarified with my supervisor which Lauren she meant. Asking questions is always better than just assuming things, because it could lead to costly mistakes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mock Interview

This week I had my mock interview for a position with the Red Bull Corporation as a Field Research Marketing Manager.

1. Were you nervous? How did you deal with this?
I was not really nervous going into the interview. I feel I took the proper steps before hand to alleviate any pre-interview jitters I could of had. I reviewed the job description multiple times, looking to really see what sort of values and characteristics the company valued- not only in their employees, but their product as well. Typing out the cover letter beforehand also helped me to identify some of my strengths that related to the job description, so I knew I could always use this to my advantage during the interview. Finally, I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that confidence is always key.

2. Did you get any questions that threw you? How did you handle those questions?
One question that threw me was the question about what my biggest accomplishment was. I knew I could not use an example from high school, and honestly outside of sport competitions, I had no big accomplishments. So, instead I tried to think of something I had recently done that would relate to the type of job position I was applying for. I ended up talking about an event I had set up over the summer, and put as much enthusiasm behind this as I could. I knew my employer did not know whether or not this really was my greatest accomplishment, but I felt my confidence and relating it to the job was pretty convincing.

3. If you could do the interview again, what would you do differently?
I would not do much over, because I was proud of the way I handled myself. If anything, I would have spoken slower so that I could have gotten my thoughts out in a smoother, more fluid way. I spoke a little choppy and I'm not sure if I made sense the whole time. I also would have made sure I had certain accomplishments I was proud of and some big obsticales I had overcome in mind, just to be prepared in case of those types of questions.

4. What did you learn from this experience?
This experience gave me confidence in myself to handle pressure situations. I learned that even though I may not have had all the qualifications the employer was looking for, if I can showcase the skills I do have in a positive manner and relate them to the specific job, I will be okay!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I have really enjoyed watching all of the presentations this week. Although many were very interesting, I picked my three favorite to talk about.
I really liked the presentation on the benefits of dark chocolate. I am an avid fan of this type of cocoa, but learning some health facts about it just made it that much more sweeter to me. Lowering blood pressure is always a goal of mine, and I believe dark chocolate has this effect because I always eat it when I am stressed in an effort to relax. Knowing that dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that help decrease the risk of heart disease was uplifting, and looking back on my amount of dark chocolate consumption, I should be heart disease free! Finally, the piece of Dove chocolate was a nice touch that left a lasting impression on my taste buds.
The next presentation that really stuck with me was the one on how to properly serve wine. It was a neat concept to me because I didn't realize it was such an intricate process. From making sure the neck of the bottle doesn't touch the glass to checking the cork for mold, each detail really does enhance the wine drinking experience. I know next time I order wine at a restaurant I will make sure the waiter is doing everything properly. The handout at the end was cool and will help me in knowing what wine to pair with what time of meal- something I did not know before.
The last presentation I chose was the one on visiting South Africa. I have never been out of the United States, and this country appealed to me. It had beaches and grasslands, with all types of animals from Lions to Penguins! The restaurant she talked about also seemed out of the Jungle Book, with the dining being up in tree houses. I liked hearing one of the 11 languages from South Africa, and I actually recognized it because it was in the same language of a song I sang in high school chorus. After looking at the pictures and hearing the clip of a language being spoken, I was really motivated to make it my goal to visit one day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

California Train Crash

The current event I'd like to talk about this week is the recent train crash in California. On Friday, September 12th, a commuter train in Los Angeles collided with a freight train, killing 25 people. This was a shock to me, not only because so many people died, but also because I could not understand how a train could crash into another train. After the investigation, however, it was discovered that the operator of the commuter train had been text messaging and was not paying attention to the rails ahead!
I could not get over how irresponsible someone could be to know they were trusted to operate a passenger train and yet think it was okay to try and multi task. The media has beaten the point to death that it is not safe to use a cell phone while driving, especially the text messaging feature. You have to literally take your eyes off of what you are doing to read the message. I used to think that if I heard the news emphasize the dangers one more time I was going to scream, but obviously some people still have not processed the message. It is one thing to put your own life in danger because it is your life to control, but when it comes to other people's lives, there is no excuse. I feel terrible for the families affected by this tragedy that could have been prevented.