Sunday, April 19, 2009

Group Technology Utilization

Thinking back on our client project I realized that we relied quite heavily on technology. Most vital to our group was the file exchange feature on the group page of blackboard. This is where all the meeting minutes were posted in case you missed one. Also this is where we each posted our separate parts of the report and PowerPoint so they could be compiled into one piece. This was the first class that I have taken that utilized the group page or the file exchange. They are both very convenient and useful tools. Our group also emailed each other quite regularly, especially to make sure we were all on the same page about when we were meeting or what each group member was expected to have. Aside from blackboard and email, our project and presentation used Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Each group member was familiar with these tools. We also uploaded digital pictures of the organic farm into our presentation. We did not have any virtual class meetings; however, if I was more familiar with that ability I believe it would have been a great substitute for meeting in person. It would have been more convenient for everybody. This format would have only worked if did not need to do a lot of back and forth discussion or exchange documents as this would have been slower in the virtual classroom. Overall our group did take advantage of a good amount of the technological capacity available to us, despite our perceived general ineptitude for technology. Hopefully all the technology works as it should and our presentation goes smoothly tomorrow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ethical Environment of Business

The biggest thing that I took away from our examples of poor ethical conduct in the business world is how deceptive and unclear business communication can be. The excerpt written concerning the design of vans for the Nazi party was a particularly effective example. The whole class read and analyzed the paragraphs, but it was only after several minutes of in-depth discussion and some steering in the right direction by Angie that we even knew what the writer was talking about. It was a little chilling to know that we did not even recognize the seriously disturbing nature of the excerpt.

I think it is important to recognize what is important to your own moral character, especially in the business world. You should probably take a step back and analyze any job or assignment you are given in your business career that requires you to use such vague and imprecisely language as can be found in the memo about the vans. If you are required to write in this manner because your company is trying to hide something, you should evaluate whether you should continue to call this company your employer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Despite my lack of real-world work experience, I have noticed a couple of instances of miscommunication, and the results that arose from them. The most notable situation that I can think of occurred last year in a school organization to which I belong. Basically, a person in charge sent out an email informing the members of the group that we would be conducting a fund-raiser the next week. The email was sent late in the week on Friday, and there was some confusion as to which week the person was referring to. Some people thought he actually meant two weeks from when it was sent. Most people were aware of when the event was scheduled but the confusion caused us to have fewer workers than we had anticipated. This led to an increased workload for those of us that made it to the event.

The simplest way that this miscommunication could have been prevented would have been for the person to have included the actual dates of the fundraiser in the email. This would have ensured there was no confusion concerning when the event was going to occur. I think a lot of times miscommunication results from people just assuming that everyone knows what they are talking about, instead of making sure they are giving complete and precise information.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm on a Blog

I really enjoyed Jesse's presentation about simple car repairs that I could do. One reason this presentation was interesting to me was that I have no knowledge of cars or car maintenance. Also, it is such a necessary topic to have at least a basic understanding of that I felt it might be extremely useful in the future. He also collected a number of good detailed pictures showing the parts of the car that were being worked on and mentioned some very basic but useful tips that would make car maintenance possible even for somebody with as little knowledge as myself.

As far as my prior knowledge of online portfolios goes, I have none. I have not started making mine for the university nor have I been required to put one together for a class. I haven't had a class that taught the mechanics of making one, so hopefully we can have a pretty detailed explanation or instructions to follow so I know what is going on.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I was very impressed with all the PowerPoint presentations over the past couple of weeks. I enjoyed seeing the creativity and variety of interest of everyone in the class. However, I am supposed to only talk about three in particular so I will be discussing the presentations on Rajon Rondo, fishing, and the high school basketball competition in Pennsylvania.

I was intrigued by Jeffery's presentation on Rajon Rondo for two reasons: one, I consider myself a sports fan; and two, I consider myself a Kentucky Basketball hater. The second reason is what created my negative attitude towards Rondo in the first place. Jeffery had a couple of youtube videos that highlighted Rondo's playing ability and community service. I thought his presentation was effective in projecting Rondo in a positive light. His use of highlight videos and statistics persuaded me that Rajon Rondo my not be as bad as I had once believed.

What caught my attention about the saltwater fishing was the numerous incredible pictures of enormous fish and beautiful oceans. Fishing is certainly a topic that I claim no knowledge of, so the whole presentation was very informative to me. If you had told me some of the fish caught in the pictures were of record-breaking size, I'd have believed it. But to have a handout with actual record sizes and compare those to the fish in the pictures was fascinating.

Then there was the presentation on Inter-AC league basketball. Again another topic involving sports that I was completely clueless about. The presentation was very informative and convinced me that this was the premiere conference for high school basketball competition. Of course, there doesn't need to be much convincing with a list of players that distinct. To have three solid Division 1 basketball players in the same high school division is extremely impressive. Well, Inter-Ac had that plus Gerald Henderson, Wayne Ellington, and Sean Singletary. That's incredible.

Anyway, as I said all of the presentations have been great and I look forward to seeing the remaining ones tomorrow (or hopefully Wednesday, yay snow!!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cover Letters

The advice on cover letters given by was very helpful, especially for me as I am currently in the process of preparing resumes and cover letters for potential summer internships. Making a cover letter is something that I have not done in the past, so there I learned a lot of new advice that I am likely to use in the future. However, I can't say that I agreed with everything offered on the website.

In the "Reality of Cover Letters" section I only partially agree with the suggestion that the cover letter should not be about you. I agree that it is good to work in some information on the company you are applying to in order to show that you have researched them and are serious about wanting to work for them. However, the people at the company already know everything about where they work and are reading the letter to see what the applicant has to offer for the company. In that sense I think the cover letter should be primarily about yourself. Also, while I agree that your chances of finding employment increase dramatically when you spend a significant amount of time and effort researching a prospective company and creating a cover letter, you don't lose anything by applying other companies without such preparation. If there is a company you have a second-tier interest in, and you don't have the time to fully prepare a well-researched cover letter, you may as well apply anyway and the worst that could happen is that you will not be selected. Putting your name out there for a number of jobs you might only be partially interested at least presents the oppunity that you will be selected for an interview and you will still have time to do research and decide if you want to pursue that job.

I did find the metaphor of the cover letting being a sales pitch selling a product (yourself) to buyers (prospective companies) to be a particularly effective one. I think that is a good way to think about and approach writing a cover letter. I also think the advice to be proactive, calling potential employers and making yourself stand out, is very important. Your chances of getting a job are magnified greatly if you make an effort to contact the company, show your excitement for the opportunity to work for that company, and they remember your name.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Redfern Client Project

The real-world client project provides an exciting opportunity to use our group's creativity and talents in a useful application. For a while, I thought coming up with a group name was going to be the toughest part of the assignment, but we finally settled on Pro-Health in recognition of the nature of our project. So far our group has basically discussed what aspects of the healthy campus initiative and our client's needs we are interested in addressing. I think that as a group we want to pursue promoting good nutrition, as well as help market the organic farm so more students know about it and the availability of the products of the farm. Personally, I did not know about the student organic farm before the client visit. I believe that there is a genuine demand for healthy, organic foods within the student population, and if we were able to make more students aware of the organic farm's products, both regular students and the farm itself would benefit.

I think my biggest concern at this point is that our group is being overly ambitious. We need to narrow the focus of our project, because our current discussions involve combining about four smaller, individual projects. I'm afraid if we continue to pursue everything that we as a group are interested in we will be unable to do a thorough job on any one aspect of the project. I would rather focus on a simple project emphasizing the importance of good nutrition for students and the availability of healthy, organic farm products. I had the idea to make a video featuring a student preparing a healthy recipe, and think it would be most interesting if the cooking was done in one of the many residence hall kitchens on campus. Perhaps if we made such a video we could obtain ingredients from the organic farm, film its location, and discuss it's products and purpose. This is just one idea that we came up with. Hopefully, after we discuss our project further we will be able to limit the scope of our focus and provide Redfern and the healthy campus initiative with a product it will be able to use.