Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finishing the Proposal

Over the past few weeks our group has been working really well together to get our presentation ready for next Monday! We are excited to have the opportunity to present our thoughts and ideas on the healthy campus initiative to Jennifer Goree.

Last week, our group began filming in the shoeboxes and everything has been very successful from the beginning. Nate and Blake did a great job acting out their scenes from Billy Breathes, and Erin really shined in her role. Additionally, the scenes at Fike were shot earlier this week including the front desk scene and the yoga class. Stephanie was an excellent front desk attendant and the video is coming together. Also, Nate has continually done an excellent job leading the group, thus giving us the ability to complete the film in a reasonable amount of time.

Yesterday, we finished the video portion of Billy Breathes and completed all the editing and formatting for the pilot episode in the Tillman Media Center. Again, Nate contributed extensively by figuring out how to use the Mac Home Movie editor (no one knew where to start haha). He added text, music and transitions to our video and it really looks great. By setting up different meetings we were able to accomplish our task and everyone has been trying to contribute in one way or another.

On Friday, we will have class time to discuss things even further, but as of right now we are ahead of schedule. I plan on creating a few slides for Friday so that we can incorporate them into our presentation. After discussion, we figured it will be necessary to have a PowerPoint to introduce the proposal, provide an overview, and then serve as a medium for viewing the video to our fellow classmates. All and all, we will easily meet the deadline and our proposal project has been very successful. I am part of a great team!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ethical Principles

With our future entrance in the business world near, we must come to realize the ethical dilemmas each of us may face. The most important thing to remember is to choose the moral high ground and do not let anyone change your values.

When I think of ethical dilemmas in the business world, the first companies that come to mind are Enron and WorldCom. They are two great examples of ethics gone bad and what not to do in the professional world. Changing the companies books in their favor is inexcusable and resulted in bankruptcies for both of them. Additionally, Corporate officers were sent to prison because of their ill-willed choices and it all came down to their greediness. After hearing many cases and the results of different choices I have easily determined my ethical principles.

The root of my ethical principles is honesty. Always telling the truth is something that should be well respected and is the basis for making appropriate choices. In addition, I will always communicate with team members to decide on the right actions. It is important to never assume you know all the rules and get second opinions on anything that is controversial. Lastly, I believe the easiest way to avoid an unethical decision is to ask yourself: who are the effected parties? Who will benefit and is this benefit legal? By taking a step back and asking questions it will be easier to decide on the appropriate course of action. All and all, our class discussions and other explains have led me to these ethical principles.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Workplace Miscommunication: The EpiPen

Whether its a job, sports team, organization or group there always needs to be open lines of communication. The importance of the easy and use of communication is paramount in conveying every one's ideas, setting up meetings and accomplishing the tasks at hand. Without communicating people may be unaware of deadlines or even jeopardize the safety of others. This became the case in one of my experiences in the past.

Although I have held many jobs, the biggest miscommunication in my workplace experience was when I was a camp counselor for TTS sports, a local day camp for kids. The one thing that is stressed when looking after children is always their safety. Above all it is vital to be on the look out for harmful things that may happen.

Numerous children have allergic problems these days and require the use of an EpiPen if an allergic reaction should arise. The situation began at camp one day when there was a miscommunication on who would take control of a child's EpiPen. Children who have such severe allergy problems must always have an EpiPen near by in order to ensure their safety. Furthermore at camp, it was the responsibility of the counselor overseeing the child for the day to have the medication at all times. As a matter of fact this did not happen one day at camp and the medication was left inside the field house for the entire day!! The miscommunication was a result of one counselor thinking the other had it and vice-versa. Obviously, this was a simple mistake; however it put the child's safety at risk.

Thankfully, the ramifications of the situation did not affect the child, but provided a valuable lesson for all of the TTS Sports staff. Our director really advised us that situations such as this one are very important to avoid and we must do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the kids. I think this situation could have been avoided by simply double checking with one another. For example, who is responsible for Jacob's EpiPen today? Which group of counselors is he participating with today? Also, we could have prepared a checklist of the items we need before leaving the field house including first aid kit, cell phones and of course specific medications for the campers. All and all, the miscommunication did not have detrimental consequences, but the result was a valuable lesson was learned.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Online Portfolios

As technology continues to increase, even college students will have to learn more about using the world wide web and online resources effectively. I am not completely computer literate, but I seem to be able to figure things out by trying and using them continuously.

My past experience with online portfolio work is somewhat limited; however I am now in the process of creating my own web-page to display my course work and my experience as a Clemson undergraduate student. I am using my Google account to create the portfolio page and it is very self explanatory so far. Therefore, the experience is definitely coming along, I just have been really particular when creating the pages. It is rather difficult sometimes to add the certain details to a page that make it look professional. Despite these challenges, it is a matter of time and effort and the experience has been good for me.

Since the main objective of Business Writing 304 is to create our own portfolio, I will certainly need to know details before combining and displaying my portfolio due on March 23rd. The main questions I have are as follows: Will the portfolio need to be displayed electronically or is a hard copy appropriate? What sites or programs will be most effective for this type of project? Mainly, I just need to know what students have done in the past and what is the best way of displaying our course work for the draft. I do know what needs to be included and I look forward to combining all of the work I have done to date. The best part of the portfolio is we will be able to use this in the future and creating it only helps us in the end.

Routine Maintenance Review

Despite the snow day on Monday, We were finally able to finish the presentations earlier this week. I really enjoyed all of them, but the one I liked most was the "Benefits of Doing Routine Maintenance." Simply, the presentation hit close to home.

I thought this was a great presentation because it took into account the audience, and the topic is something college students rarely think about, myself included. As a guy, I really should know more about cars and this presentation hopefully will begin my future learning. With gas prices the way they are students are always looking to save money, and routine maintenance is a simple option to accomplish savings. I haven't had my oil changed in forever, and the presentation has really motivated me to go out and get it changed asap. Also, I learned four main benefits to doing routine maintenance. By not ignoring your vehicle it will have a longer life, you'll have a better knowledge of your car (which I need), it is less expensive doing the maintenance yourself and of course it will increase fuel economy!

All and all, I was able to take a lot away from the presentation and plan to continue to learn more about my vehicle and take care of it the way it should be taken care of.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Class Presentations

What is the number one thing Americans fear? Of course it must be snakes, spiders or heights right? As a matter of fact it is none of the above; the answer happens to be public speaking. Some people say they would rather die than have to give a presentation and public speak! With that said, I think everyone has really shown confidence the last few days of class and I have really enjoyed all of my classmates five minute presentations.

To narrow down to my top three, I will have to select Harry's on "The Myths of Asians," Scott's, covering the new invention of "The Jetlev-Flyer," and Mike's which explained "The Inter-Ac Basketball League." What made each of these topics so enjoyable, was a direct result of my interests and hobbies.

First off, Harry's presentation was absolutely hilarious, he touched on the jokes associated with his ethnicity, which really gave him credibility or ethos. He had some really awesome clips from comedians, which made what can sometimes be a serious topic funny. I think he was effective because he kept the class engaged and entertained. He really put his background aside and embraced the topic to get people's attention by using pathos. Lastly, Harry connected with his audience and picked a topic he knew most people would get a kick out of. All and all, "the Myths of Asians" is my favorite presentation most recently.

In a different way, I really enjoyed Scott's presentation because I learned about something new. I had no idea such a cool water technology had just came out and the whole concept was intriguing. I really enjoy spending time on the lake and the discovery of this new jet pack makes me want to try it out someday. The presentation was enjoyable because of the clips showing the pack in action and all of the features associated with the jet pack. Lastly, Scott was an effective speaker because of the topic and the interest I had in lake activities.

The third topic I really enjoyed was "The Inter-AC Basketball League." Again, it came down to my interests, I love every sport and it was cool to hear his direct experience with future and current NBA stars. I think he was effective because of my knowledge of the sport and my personal interest. Moreover, he had plenty of ethos, which made me pay attention and get his perspective of his own personal experiences playing against the athletes. It was great to learn where many great basketball players have come from and it will be interesting to see if more develop into NBA stars from Mike's area.

I am looking forward to more presentations on friday!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Covering the Cover Letter

No matter who you are there is always more to learn, and everyone who applies for jobs can always do something better. After perusing, and reading the advice on cover letters, I now have learned a few awesome tips to help with designing and improving my personal cover letter. Therefore, in this blog post I plan to cover the cover letter and the advice I have picked up in my little research.

Cover letters play a critical role for employment and they must be tailored to the specific company you are applying to. I agree with almost all of the advice offered by the articles on, especially the format. The three paragraph introduction, skills/benefits and close is a very effective and simple way to reach a prospective employer. Also, I really liked the two techniques offered, the postscript and testimonial techniques. This advice is a great way to establish your credibility and motivation to join the company. Moreover, I think the sample cover letter is the most useful part of the tutorial. I believe it is going to give me a general idea for which I can personalize my letter. Sometimes by seeing an example it really helps put the pieces to the puzzle together and spur greater thinking. Reading all of the articles have given me some great ideas to brainstorm on and how to go about constructing the cover letter.

Any surprises? As a matter of fact, I had no idea it was appropriate to write a post script, I thought that would be somewhat unprofessional. After reading the article, I have to agree that this will emphasize a person's value to the company and is a great way to get the reader's attention immediately. Additionally, I was unaware that most human resource managers always look at the resume first and push the cover letter aside until they are interested. I guess this does make sense, since they really need to see if someone is qualified before they go any further. All and all, I plan to use the post script technique and the testimonial technique because I believe these will definitely emphasize my skills and benefit to companies. I know there are so many other articles that will help me develop the best cover letter, and I plan on learning more before my job applications next year.