Sunday, December 9, 2007

Advice for Students

You are so lucky to be in this class because Angie is an incredible teacher. You will find how meaningful English 304 is as you positively affect the local community. Be prepared to work hard throughout the Spring semester. English 304 is enjoyable and challenging. You will be working with real clients in real situations.

The group project is the main focus of the class. The project proposal may seem overwhelming at first. However, since it is a group project, the work is distributed between 4-6 people. Get to know your classmates and choose wisely when deciding who you would like to work with on the project. Remember to pull your weight throughout the group project because although there are many assignments during the semester, the end result is very rewarding.

You will be writing a blog each week basically about your thoughts and opinions on different things. It is important to remember to write each week. They are due every Sunday night.

During the semester you will write a resume and cover letter. You will also have a mock interview with Angie. This interview is highly effective in providing practice for any future interviews that you may have. Work hard on your resume and cover letter because these two documents will be very valuable for you.

Enjoy the semester in Business Writing!! You will learn so much about the business world!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decorating for the Holidays

I am enjoying getting into the Christmas spirit this season. I love listening to Christmas music very early. I listened to my favorite Christmas carols on the way back to Clemson after Thanksgiving break. Last Wednesday, two of my goods friends and I bought a Christmas tree and decorations. Mary Frances, Krystal, and I are on the Leadership team at Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). We thought the BCM building needed to be festive for the holidays. We were given a three hundred dollar budget for our decorating and went straight to Hobby Lobby. Our first challenge was to pick out the most perfect Christmas tree. It was a fun but a difficult decision. We finally chose a beautiful artificial tree that already had white lights on it. We were excited to find out that all of the Christmas decorations and trees were all 50% off! Next we decided to pick out a bunch of ornaments. We went for a classic theme of red, green, silver, and gold balls. The top of the tree is adorned with a beautiful gold star. We also bought five stockings for the mantle piece and a wreath for the front door. Mary Frances thought it would be a fun idea to wrap boxes to place under the tree. We bought large boxes, wrapping paper, and bows from The Dollar Store. The three of us had such a wonderful time buying festive Christmas decorations for BCM. On Thursday evening, we all got together again to begin the decorating. It turned out beautiful!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Employers Study Applicants’ Personalities"

I enjoyed reading the article titled “Employers Study Applicants’ Personalities” because it made me think about and anticipate future job interviews. I like that companies are trying to decipher individuals that are genuinely interested in a job offer from the rest. I feel that it is important to hire people who will have a strong commitment to a company or firm. This is easy to say but definitely harder to do because people can try to hide their true personalities at times. I enjoyed reading about the interview process at Rackspace. I agree that having an all day interview would brush away one’s superficial persona and allow one’s true personality to be revealed. Nine or ten hours would have to be draining for both parties. At KaBoom, the manager is not afraid to turn applicants away even before the interview. I like the manger’s statements revealing that he is looking for future employees who “are constantly looking at themselves to excel, not just cross the finish line, but blow through the finish line.” It is vital for companies to raise their expectations of employees because the companies are delivering a product to the public; and therefore, they desire for their service and product to be almost flawless. Several job interviews are now very challenging but what an accomplishment to be obtain the desired job.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dual Coding Theory

Being an elementary education major, I am familiar with the Information Processing Theory that we discussed in class on Monday. However, I did not know anything about the Dual Coding Theory. I think it is interesting how these two theories work can together in the marketing world. Excellent marketing is an art that is most effective when script and visuals are combined together to portray an idea. At first glance, words are just words, but when accompanied by a picture, words can rapidly activate an emotional response in people.

After flipping through a few magazines, “Everyday with Rachel Ray,” “All You,” “Glamour,” and “L.L. Bean,” I discovered how images when accompanied with words are extremely persuasive in advertising. Marketers market perfume adds perfectly because they include words, images, and smells. The Estee Lauder advertisement for Pleasures Delight has a large image of Gwyneth Paltrow smiling with her long blond hair flowing in the wind. People are initially interested in this image because of her beauty and fame. As the viewers look more closely at the advertisement, they will see that Gwyneth is offering luscious deserts of red strawberries, vanilla cookies, and strawberry iced cupcakes to the viewers. She looks very kind and welcoming. Marketers are targeting viewers’ sense of taste through the food images. As the viewers flip the page, marketers grasped the viewers again by targeting their sense of smell through the sweet aroma of Pleasures Delight. I love how the advertiser writes on the fold out for the sample perfume, “Experience Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight”. What a captivating and inviting line. The marketers of Estee Lauder are evidently well-versed in using the Dual Coding Theory. Now I even want to go out an buy this perfume.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Reflection on Group

Working on the Habitat for Humanity Web site Proposal has been a learning experience. I have enjoyed working with the other group members within Team Fix-it to create a new Web site for Anderson’s ReStore. I have learned that it is important for all members of the group to pull their own weight evenly because it allows the group’s goals to be successfully achieved. Having a group leader that is organized, prepared, and enthusiastic about the work is wonderful. Rochelle did a superb job as group leader! The group did not have many miscommunications except for meeting times. We tried to send out e-mails reminding group members of the time and place. Perhaps calling members a day before the meeting as a reminder may be beneficial in the future.

Our group was successful in brainstorming ideas throughout the proposal process. Members listened to the ideas of others with respect. It is important to acknowledge that not all members will have the same views, thoughts, and opinions; however, valuing others comments is vital. I enjoyed the personalities of the group members. Each individual brought a different yet positive aspect to the group meetings. A few examples include promptness, caring, respecting, and praising.

To improve in Phase 2, I think it will be beneficial to look at the proposal again to insure that appropriate formal business communication is present and uniform throughout our work.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Memories of Thanksgiving

Two of my favorite holidays of all time are right around the corner! I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the past two years, my mom has cooked an enormous Thanksgiving feast for my dad’s side of the family. Last year was incredible! My sister and I helped my mom prepare the Thanksgiving supper. When I was a lot younger, my family had the tradition every other year of driving all the way to New Jersey to visit my mom’s family. I always enjoyed going to New Jersey for Thanksgiving because I loved spending time with my grandmother. I have always called her “Nana.” Today, Nana is 93 years old and is still going strong. Nana usually would cook the Thanksgiving meal. I remember helping make the mashed potatoes and cumber salad. It is not customary for my mom’s side of the family to eat casseroles like green bean, sweet potato, broccoli, or macaroni and cheese. Everything prepared is made fresh that day.

Customs like this one are different from how my dad’s side of the family prepares their Thanksgiving meals. My grandmother (Dad’s mom) is crazy about casseroles. I could not believe it when she told me that she begins preparing them a few days in advance. My Grandma’s two specialties are her sweet potato casserole and macaroni casserole. The sweet potato casserole has brown sugar and pecans on the top of it. It is so delicious!

Over the years, my mom, my dad, my sister, and I would alternate attending Nana’s Thanksgiving dinner in Trenton, New Jersey, Grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and my mom’s Thanksgiving dinner in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. My favorite Thanksgiving meal is of course the one prepared by my mom because she takes a little bit of both flavors and prepares a meal with Northern and Southern flare!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Interview Reflection

My interview was conducted on October 10, 2007. Prior to the interview, I researched Clemson University’s Graduate School of Elementary Education. This simple research allowed me to become familiar with the curriculum. My favorite sentence in the program’s description states that the master’s program supports teachers facilitating “lively class discussions and active student involvement.” I was excited to read that Dr. Dee Stegelin was the Program Coordinator.

I am thankful to have been given the opportunity for a mock interview because the interview was excellent practice for admission into graduate school. Prior to this interview, I consistently had a fear of interrogation by the interviewer. After this mock interview, however, I developed a new confidence in my ability to speak during an interview. In the past, my pattern for preparing for an interview consisted of rehearsing elaborate answers to potential questions. The mock interview was the first experience that I have had in which none of the questions that I rehearsed were asked. However, I answered all of Angie’s questions with ease and confidence. I walked out of the interview feeling proud about my communication skills. I learned that excessive rehearsing is not always needed because the interviewee can not predict the exact questions to be asked. I know this revelation may seem obvious to many, but it took several years for me to realize that the ideal preparation for an interview is to relax and feel confident in your academic successes and communication skills.

I am pleased with the interview experience. There is one aspect relating to my non-verbal communication skills that I will change for the next interview. While talking with Angie, I realized that my eyes would look upwards towards the ceiling at times. Although this is a habit that most people do when they are pondering a question, I think it can hinder interpersonal communication. Therefore, during the graduate school admission interview, I will be conscious of maintaining continual eye contact.