Sunday, September 11, 2016

The good and bad of "real world" projects

I use "real world" projects in my courses a lot. They have drawbacks. They can require a lot of effort by the students, the clients sometimes are unreasonably demanding or, worse, clueless about academia, etc.  So why use them?  I'm sure you know some reasons.  One is that they give you something important to put on your resume, and to talk about in interviews. Another is that you learn about a real organization, including its goals and problems.  But there are others.  An  important one is that you usually have a chance to demonstrate your problem-solving creativity (or lack of it).  Another is that you learn or improve your skills in team management, i.e. handling slackers and the inability for all members of the team to find a common time to meet. So don't moan when a professor announces one of these projects.  Treat it as a great way to build your skills (and have some fun with it, too).

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It's summer. Keep your eye on the prize.

It's summer. Time to do some academic work.  Wait...what?  Yes, now is the time to get ready for your fall semester. Get your books now, and read a little in them. Sign up for courses now if you haven't already done so--don't wait until you're back on campus and the courses you want are filled up. Phone the office at your school that handles internships and ask what they have available now. Remember, your prize is a great career, so it's worth putting in a little time now to get ahead of the curve.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Learn about marketing from the Super Bowl

You can learn a lot about marketing by observing the hype leading up to the game. For example, the morning and evening news/talk shows on CBS (broadcaster of the game) usually have a story about the game or its players for at least a week before.

And there are the commercials, of course.  Don't just be entertained. Ask yourself, what goal is the advertiser trying to accomplish by spending $4.8 million for 30 seconds? Is the advertiser reaching its target market? What is the message (not just 'puppies are cute')? Are you going to buy the advertiser's product now, having seen the commercial?  Psych out the advertisers as much as the quarterbacks.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A heartwarming ad about the love sisters share

I'm a sucker for emotional ads.  Watch this one, by Guinness. (It may have disappeared by the time you try, due to Olympic Committee rules.) "Love means giving up your dream so someone else can realize theirs," one sister is quoted as saying.  Here's the link: Guinness ad

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I know a young lady who started college living in a dorm.  Every time her family visited her, they told me, they found her with her nose buried in her phone, on social media.  She flunked out at the end of her freshman year.  This study,  says there is a link between heavy social media use and declining GPA's.  That may or may not be so, since correlation isn't causality, but if you're in college and your GPA isn't so good, I suggest you read the article.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm a sucker for ads that use emotion.  Here's one from Wrigley's gum.  Yes, an emotional commercial about chewing gum!