Saturday, December 6, 2008

Final Post of Fall 2008

To be successful in ENGL 304 (Business Writing) with Angela Rogers, the most important thing to do is to come to class. The material is not difficult and Angie will help you in any way she can. However, the following advice might help you as well:

Client Project

For the client See full size imageproject, choose a group of people you can count on and communicate with. It would be wise to choose a group of individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets to enhance idea generation and divide the workload to the person with the appropriate skills. Try to stay on top of the work so that it does not pile up at end. Creating a schedule of deadlines for yourselves will help you to stay on top of it and make sure everything gets done well.

Career Writing Materials

You will be creating documents that will be useful in your career search, so my best advice for producing these documents is to take it seriously and do it well. Take advantage of the help Angie will offer to create the best resume (and other items) you can - it will not only count for a grade in the class, but you'll be able to use it/them in the future!


Pay attention and take notes when Angie explains how to do things online that you may be unfamiliar with. It's not very difficult if you know how to do it, but there are often little steps you'll miss or forget about if you haven't done it before and don't have the step-by-step instructions written down that Angie will give you.

This is one of the few classes I've taken that I feel like I'll actually be able to use in my business career. Use the opportunity to "double-dip" by creating quality documents that will serve you both in college (through grades) and in your future (success on the job and avoiding dumb mistakes in the workplace). The client project will actually benefit someone, so doing quality work on it will help out the client, give you a good grade, and hopefully make you feel good about what you've done!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Client Project Reflection

Working on the client project this semester has been an overall good experience for me. It's nice to have a meaningful class project that will benefit someone, in this case the Clemson Water Ski Team. My team consisted of me, Kendall, Barbara, John, and Andy. I think we worked well together and were able to play off of each other's strengths. We all brought different skills and ideas to the table, which strengthened our work overall.

I believe the best thing about this project is that we are creating something that actually has meaning and will be used outside of this class and this semester. It is not completed yet, but I think the ideas are great and the project will come together nicely to create a functional Web site for the team.

Our biggest challenge was that the team never responded with photos or team information. We were in charge of player bios and the scrapbook for the final product, so we've just had to find pictures online and use the information from the two guys who came in to create a sort of "sample" of what the player bio and scrapbook sections could look like if they decide to keep it. If they DO like those sections, they'll have the ability to add whatever photos they want and update the player bio section to include the whole team and whatever information they would like posted.

I think this project showed the importance of staying on top of things and communicating with my team members and the client. For example, when writing the proposal, we divided the work into 5 sections, one for each team member. However, some parts (like the executive summary) were dependent upon what the other team members wrote in the introduction, body, and conclusion. So, it was important for those sections to get completed in a timely fashion and shared with the team so that the executive summary would have ample time to be written.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dual Coding Theory

Dual coding theory discusses three systems that function together when someone reads to process language and visual displays and then to connect the two.

In this Nike ad, dual coding theory is implemented. In this ad, the first system, which processes language, takes into account the words: "PRACTICE LIKE CHAMPIONS" and "WE BELIEVE". The second cognitive system, which processes visual displays, looks at the picture. In this case, we see red, white, and black colors on what appears to be a brick wall and door. The third system activates mental representations of what is being read and connects the elements from the first two cognitive systems. We can put together all of the elements to see that the ad takes place in a gym, and the words are geared towards athletes as a motivational device.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miscommunication at Work

As a waitress, I work as a medium for customers to get their orders...they tell me what they want, I send their order to the cooks, and the cooks make the food and give it back to the servers to give to the customers. Unfortunately, the line of communication does not always flow perfectly from customer to waitress to cooks to waitress and back to customer. Another component in the restaurant business is the host(ess), who seats the customers.

On days when the weather is nice enough, we have tables we seat outside on the patio. Each of the tables is assigned to a different server (it's very hit or miss whether or not people are going to want to sit outside on any given day) and when the host seats a table outside for the first time that day, he or she is supposed to inform the server that they have a table outside. However, it doesn't always work out that way.

One day, I was serving and I had a table outside. It was a slightly chilly day, so not many people wanted to sit out there. However, when it got busy, the host seated a man and his daughter outside at my table. The host forgot to tell me he had seated me, so I didn't know I had anyone out there. It was busy, so I was running around trying to take care of all of my indoor tables, not thinking I needed to go out to the patio. However, I tried to check outside every once in a while to make sure I wasn't missing anyone. I went outside and sure enough I had a table. I hoped that they had just been seated...but no such luck. I went to greet them, "Hi, my name is Cassidy and I'll be taking care of you today. Can I start you off with anything to drink?" They gave me their drink orders and then I asked if they wanted to order or if they needed a few minutes to look over the menus, to which they replied, "No, we don't need any more time to look over the menus. We had PLENTY of time to look them over while you were IGNORING us!" I was mortified, but apologized and took their order.

In this situation, there was miscommunication between me and the host. He was supposed to tell me that I had a table outside, but was either too busy at that moment or just forgot. However, the problem could have been avoided if I had kept a better eye on my outdoor table to make sure I wasn't ignoring anyone. I also could have asked another server with a table out there to let me know if they noticed my table being sat. I feel that I learned from that mistake and now try to check on my outdoor tables more frequently to avoid the situation repeating itself.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mock Interview

On Wednesday, I had my mock interview with Mrs. Rogers. Overall, I think the interview went pretty well. In response to the questions we were asked to answer:

Were you nervous? How did you deal with this?

I was a little nervous going into the interview, but not too bad. My main concern was that I would be asked something I wasn't ready for or couldn't come up with an answer for, so before I went in I thought about answers to questions that might be asked (common interview questions) and a few stories to tell if the opportunity presented itself (i.e. if I was asked to "tell about a time when..."). I think mentally preparing myself with a couple possible responses and stories to tell h
]elped keep my nerves down. I was fairly confident going in that I would be able to respond to almost any question with the things I had mentally rehearsed.

Did you get any questions that threw you? How did you handle those questions?

I got asked, "If you could change one thing about your personality, what would you change?" and wasn't really expecting that question. However, I had prepared answers for my strengths and weaknesses, so I applied what I felt was my biggest weakness to answer that question. I was also a little thrown off when I was asked how watching my parents working with their company has affected me. I had never really thought about that so I wasn't sure how to respond - I think I may have gone off on a little bit of a tangent with my response, but hopefully tied it all together at the end.

If you could do the interview again, what would you do differently?

If I could do the interview again, I think I would prepare better and come up with more effective responses and stories to answer a variety of common interview questions. I would also try to avoid rambling on with my stories and keep my answers a little more concise.

What did you learn from this experience?
I learned about the interview process. I know now what to expect if and when I have or conduct an interview for a job. I'm glad we got to create resumes for ourselves - that's something that will be useful in the "real world" after college. It was also helpful to have the mock interview to get some nerves out and see what sorts of questions we might be asked in an interview and what the flow of an interview is like. Even though it was a short interview, I got a good feeling for what a real interview would/will be like.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Click to Give

In keeping with my dog-loving theme this semester, I thought I'd write my next blog about a website I visit daily. The website, The Animal Rescue Site, is set up so that anyone can help dogs for free in only seconds. All you have to do is go to the website and hit the button that says, "Click Here to Give - it's FREE!"

How does clicking the button help?

The website tracks the number of times the button is clicked, and for each click, the value of 0.6 bowls of food is donated to animals in shelters. This is paid for by sponsors who advertise on the site. It is mutually beneficial - when more people access the web page (and click the button), more people are seeing their advertisements. The site also sells merchandise. 100% of profits from all sales go to help animals.

How often can I click?

You can click the button once per calendar day per computer. The new calendar day, according to the site, starts at midnight United States Pacific Standard Time. No matter how many times you click, only one click per day will be counted per computer.

Are there other causes I can help with the click of a button?

Yes! The "Click to Give" sites are set up so that you can easily click from tab to tab and help out a variety of interests - hunger, breast cancer, child health, literacy, rainforest, and animal rescue.

I have the site as a tab on my browser, so that each day when I use the internet I see it and am reminded to spend a few seconds to click for all 6 causes. While 0.6 bowls of food isn't that much when you consider it on an individual one-time basis, when you get enough people clicking daily it adds up pretty fast! It is certainly worth the few seconds it takes to do, and is a great help to animals in shelters across the country.

For more information, visit the Common Questions page listed at the bottom of the Animal Rescue Site.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


This past week in class, we got to hear a lot of interesting speeches on a variety of topics. It was great seeing what people chose to speak about when given the freedom to pick anything! There were three speeches in particular that caught my attention: CJ's speech about football and giving back to the community, Cammy's speech about her animals, and Jamie's speech about Gatorade.

I was really impressed with CJ's passion for his topic and his desire to make a difference. His idea to start a football program for kids who can't afford expensive football camps was very motivating and made me start thinking about how I could give back to the community with my own skills and interests. The pictures and content of the presentation were also very good.

Cammy's speech about her animals was also fascinating. Not too long ago, I had my dog, my roommate's cat, and the two puppies we were fostering. I thought that was a lot of animals to have in an apartment, but four pets is nothing compared to what Cammy has! The number and variety of pets she has is amazing - and getting to pet a baby squirrel was really cool. Her pictures were also very effective (and cute!) and I hope she was successful in inspiring the class to help out in the animal world!

The last speech I want to discuss is Jamie's speech about Gatorade. I thought it was a cool topic because Gatorade is something most (if not all) of us have had, but probably something not many people really think about much. One thing in particular that struck me about the presentation was when he spoke about the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Barrington, IL. I'm from Barrington, IL, and I didn't realize my hometown made such a significant contribution to Gatorade! When I was on the soccer team my freshman year of high school, we had a senior assistant coach who got a job testing Gatorade at the GSSI, but I never thought much of it until I watched Jamie's presentation.

Everyone gave really interesting speeches, but these three stuck out to me. Unfortunately, I had to leave early on Friday so my dogs wouldn't be distracting everyone, so I didn't get to see the rest of the speeches. However, I was very impressed with all of the ones I did see!