Blog

Upward and Onward

My Plan

In order to enter into the professional market, I plan on learning many more technological and soft skills. My friend and I recently launched our company, SourceChain. SourceChain is a blockchain/cryptocurrency consulting company that helps people navigate the confusing market of cryptocurrency. We help people set up wallets, SHA256 addresses, and provides general advice regarding safe practices inside of the industry. The first phase is rolling out a captivating and professional website. Due to restrictions and lack of originality in 3rd party website development applications like wordpress and squarespace, I have decided to build the website from the ground up using the following coding languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SQL. We have begun to roll out other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Making sure that we are cohesive in our branding requires that our website/Twitter/Facebook header are all the same and scaled correctly. We will be making sure that we are consistent with our color scheme and the syntax in our writing. We want it to be concise and informational. Regardless of if this company succeeds or fails, I will still be preparing for a professional environment. I will be able to build connections, show a potential employer what I am capable of, and display that I take initiative while applying creative solutions to problems.

 

Presentation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have learned that, regardless of the industry that you are entering into, you need to be professional when you conduct business and uphold an appropriate image. Whether this image is dressing in a suit every day, or wearing shorts and a flip flops, it’s important to embrace the environment that you seek to impact. It is extremely important to understand your audience and how they will perceive you. You want to make a positive impact at first glance and give them a reason to trust you. Once you have passed that barrier, you can work on developing a genuine relationship, so that you can expand your network and ultimately you net worth. It is important to be transparent and honest with whomever you are interacting with. Even the colors that you present yourself in subconsciously impact your client/viewer. It is important to understand the situation and dress accordingly.

 

Writing Style

Regarding my writing style, I have found that I thoroughly enjoy being professional and creative in my writing. I enjoy finding new words to implement that will grab the readers attention, with the hope to impress them. However, I have found that this can take away from being concise. I might use filler words that provide no literary subsistence, dragging on a sentence for more than it is worth. I like being able to find issues in my writing because gives me the opportunity to improve.

 

Course Excellence (from my perspective)

In this course, I have excelled in being able to be more resourceful. After realizing that Lynda was a complimentary software for CU students, I was able to use it to help me with a multitude of applications. I also feel as though I have excelled in online interaction as well. I started off ruff at the beginning of the semester, not responding to the video discussion, or meetings certain deadlines. However, as the semester went on, I was able to manage what I needed to accomplish. If I was struggling to meet a certain requirement, I would be resourceful and find a solution before the problem was no longer fixable. I also excel in irony/contradictions because I am turning this late.  Furthermore, I feel as though I have excelled in the blog posts. I love being able to use my own voice when I write instead of being gridlocked into a prompt.

 

Advertisements

Onward

bljjWhat Happened?

I honestly can’t believe that the time has come for one of my biggest life changes. Spring 2018 is going to be my last semester of college and possibly my last semester of education. Right now I would rather enter directly into the job market than pursue a higher degree. Unfortunately I haven’t obtained internship experience like a lot of individuals my age, so there is a chance that I will be completing my first internship following graduation. My ideal situation would be accepting a job offer as an entry-level analysts or sales representative in an industry that has some connection with the outdoors.  Whatever my next step is, I’ll be happy as long as I’m moving into a situation that rewards me with valuable experience and helps me begin my career.

Planning Ahead

In order to ensure I am successful in my next step, I am going to begin filling my resume with as many diferentiating qualties as possible to create my own personal brand. One of the valuable skills I learned about in this course is how to properly brand my image with varying platforms. I didnt realize how important it was to have a cohesive flow of information portrayal across all platforms to attract job opportunites.  I want employers to look through my application and see a leader who is analyticaly strong, while also maintaining a postive charisma.

Since I do not have any internships to list as experience I belive it is important to try and add material that shows you have still developed skills for a workplace envirmonet. Once this semster is over I will begin studying for the Microsoft Office Specialist Certifiation that I will complete beore the semster is over. I want to complete as many certifications as possible to show diveristy, but the first one I will complete is the Excel certification to prove my analytical capabilites.

My Uncle works in the Communications department for Vail Resorts and recently told me one of the most common questions they ask candidates is if they know how to create a pivot table in excel. He explained to me that he’s turned away highly qulaified candiadtes based soley on their lack of knowledge related to Excel and other common computer programs because it is not worth the time wasted to train these individauls.

I think I will have an easy time marketing my leadership skills through my brand. I have carried postions with a lot of weight in various organizations at CU Boulder. Most notably I have been Risk Manager and House Manger for my fraternity. Both of these postions required me to manage an orginazation of 141 male members in an appropriate way. As comical as it is, I really learned a lot of important interpersonal skills needed to effectivley lead and motivate a group.

Portraying yourself in a charasamatic way is a challenge in my opinion. I find the difficulty resides in customization of your application to speak correclty to the reader. Applicants can make the mistake of trying to show charisma by going over the top with resume and cover letter format. It is important to style your credentials with personal customization, but you also dont want to have your resume look like a bad art project. I have found the best way to portray this is through appropriate social medium platforms. In todays market some employers will look for you on social media, and using appropriate pictues to show yourself outisde of the office can be a great way to show personality.

Self Improvements

I beleive my strengths in this course were shown with my strength in communication. My writing style has always aimed to be as clear and consice as possible, most likley due to the amount of research papers I have written. This class helped me take those skills that were already developed and apply them to a new area of effective business communication. Now I have confidence that I can communicate my ideas appropriate for a workplace enviroment. One thing I discovered is I do have the ability to add some creativity to my wrtiing style to make it more personalisitc.

 

Reflection- Taylor Gray

Planning for the Future

open-for-business-sign-in-neon-style-turning-on_rbggsj7g__S0008I will still be in school for about another year, and I will look for either research or teaching jobs.  This will include looking at internships in the meantime to get some field-specific experience under my belt.   My personal brand will be well-defined by then, mostly just in the ways I conduct myself, but also in how I present myself.

I also have opportunities for side-jobs like sculpture commissions, DJing parties and weddings, Youtube commentary, and even babysitting/caregiving.  All these things require very classic branding and marketing, all of which I feel more confident in, as I have an updated resume, and I have experience with branding tools like blog sites and social media.  I got my current job due to personal business cards circulating, and I have had much more qualifications and experience since then.  I might also want to learn some professional skills online from great resources like Lynda.com which offers comprehensive classes on anything from business to art to ethical hacking.

I plan on being authentic by focusing on my capacity to bring together disparate viewpoints and synthesize a working model or relationship that takes into account both paradigms.  This way I can use the best most analytical parts of me, without having to compromise my personal opinions, since when I analyze things, I am open to both sides, and I lay out the facts first.   I also plan on maintaining a better online presence, keeping Linkedin and other social media up-to-date.  This helps me show I am engaged and evolving, and I can also use those as opportunities to post links to and mention causes I think are important.

Top 3 way I want to portray myself in the professional world.

  • Creative- unique perspectives and solutions to problems
  • Reliable- consistent and quality results
  • Self-aware- able to take criticism, able to know what people are asking for/need

 

Reflecting on the Past

I struggle with my writing style sometimes, trying not to sound full of myself, but I do have pride in my style of summarizing or narrating; I tend to cut the fat out and focus on just the important facts rather than describing thoughts.   I have noticed this before, but a lesson in this course made me focus on it.   In fiction, it’s just a style choice, but in business, I think it is actually much better to be able to boil things down to their useful parts and discard the rest, especially when trying to communicate with others, and/or solve conflicts or issues.   Although, in business writing I do also have to remember to have a touch of warmth and understanding.

In this course, I think I have excelled in a few areas.   I naturally excel at proofreading and checking for spelling and grammar mistakes, although, this can sometimes give me license to construct some long, albeit grammatically correct sentences.  I think one thing I didn’t think I would necessarily do well with was the personal branding.  I was able to create a unique set of identity attributes, and I can further refine that for marketability.

Before this class, I hadn’t had any experience with branding myself other than some generic colored business cards, but now I feel like I have a lot of tools at my disposal.  With many of my natural talents in arts and sciences, I now have the idea of what it will be like to be communicating, teaching, leading, and managing in the business world, either between colleagues, or with fans of my or my company’s potential works.  I feel confident now with branding techniques, especially online, and avoiding common pitfalls like disorganization or content that is not translating well to the target audience.  Now, I have a place to start when I begin a personal website for all the different things that I do, and some techniques to help sharpen the focus.

Looking Ahead

last blogI am very excited that I am graduating next semester.  This is a huge goal of mine because my major is rather difficult and this will be a great accomplishment.  My gpa is decent enough that I can go to grad school if I decide to in the future.  I plan on getting an internship in the oil/gas consulting field, preferably somewhere in Denver.  However, I think it is important to keep options open so I would go just about anywhere.  I am currently have applied to several internships in Texas, and I am looking at several others in California and one in Australia.  I’m not sure if the energy consulting industry is the field I want to be in forever, so I am also trying to broaden my horizons and add other skills.  Oil/gas are dying industries and while they will never be completely dead in our lifetimes use will definitely­­­ diminish.  This is why I have decided to take the 3-week intensive business certificate program for non-majors this spring at CU Boulder.  There are several other certificates that I think are worth pursuing in lieu of going to grad school.  Several of these include several coding certificates.  I think these would be really beneficial and relatively easy because I already have a base with Python and C++.  Grad School is also a possibility in the future, but right now I am focusing on work experience.

I plan on boosting my online presence and working on my linked in and resume.  I really am thankful that this class gave me a great starting place.  I had no linked in and a very poor resume before this class began.  This class also really emphasized the need for a good online presence and that is something that I need to work on.  I will continue to add and develop my brand identity because it still needs work right now.

I really enjoyed several of the video lectures on how to effectively communicate in a professional manner.  These lectures explained how to send difficult emails to coworkers and bosses.  In the professional world, I think three important traits one must have in order to be successful are loyalty, dedication and reliability.  I think it is essential that I portray these traits in my writing, online persona and the workplace itself.

I like that I write in an effective and clear manner.  I don’t think employers or coworkers will ever have a hard time understanding what I am trying to communicate.  I think I can work on being more creative in my writing.  Sometimes it may come off as too boring or unoriginal.  However, in the energy consulting field, this skill is not as necessary as being able to communicate clearly and effectively.

I think the two things that I enjoyed the most and excelled at in this course was creating a slide deck and my resume.  Before this semester, I had a resume but it was disorderly and missing a ton of information.  I think I haphazardly threw it together in about 45 minutes Freshman year.  I spent a fair amount of time creating my resume this semester, and I think I created a professional resume.  It’s not the most creative resume but I can make a creative resume if necessary.  Now, I just need to continually update my resume as I add marketable skills over the years.  I also really enjoyed creating the slide deck.  I had never used Canva before, and that is now my preferred presentation creator.  I think I picked a great color scheme and overall design for our slide deck.

Reflection

personal-branding-1-759x500This course has taught me a lot of valuable lessons, most notably how to sell my personal brand image and how to communicate in the professional world with a composed and cohesive tone. I think the main thing I’ll take away from this class is representing myself in a professional manner across multiple platforms. I didn’t realize how much my social media presence impacts my overall professional image, and this class allowed me to take an in-depth look into the way I’m representing myself online and what I should change moving forward. Another lesson that will stick with me is how to communicate efficiently in the workplace. The writing style used in the business world is much different than how I’ve been writing my entire life. I’ve been taught to use creative writing principles, which is intended for a much broader audience and includes a lot of excess adjectives and details. Learning to write professionally will be an adjustment but will also be very useful when applying for jobs and starting my career.

Business Writing Fundamentals

I always thought that I couldn’t show any sense of character in my business writing but this is far from true. One thing that I like about my writing style is that it shows my personality and isn’t drab and lifeless. Business writing stresses a few main things: using clear communication, having a specific audience, and persuading and informing rather than entertaining. This article sums up the most important aspects of business writing. When portraying myself in the professional world, I’ve learned how important it is to be clear and concise rather than overelaborate, as I always have in my creative writing. Professional writing stresses the importance of understanding your intended audience from the very beginning and being able to gauge how they will react to your message. Lastly, I must know exactly what I’m trying to accomplish in my writing, whether it’s inform someone of something or persuade them of my position. Either way, having a clear understanding of my intended audience and how they may react is critical to being successful in the professional world.

Personal Branding

Through this class, I discovered that I excelled in the digital branding unit. As a marketing major, I am passionate about creating cohesive images for other companies and found that I could do this same thing for my own brand image. A lot of the marketing principles that I’ve already learned applied to the personal branding unit, such as clearly highlighting my skills and working to develop my weaknesses. Personal branding isn’t just about selling myself, but getting to know myself better in the process. By creating a digital platform- in my case, a personal website, I discovered what my best attributes were and also where my weaknesses lie. This article highlights the multiple benefits of personal branding. Through this process, I figured out what areas I needed to work on the most. For example, I found several discrepancies between my social media presence and my professional persona. I truly believe that being able to recognize these weaknesses, and being okay with vulnerability and failure, will allow me to be my truest self in the professional world. I’ve learned that the key to being authentic is accepting these faults and working to transform myself into the person I want to be. I’m not perfect and there are many flaws in my resume and online presence, but the process of personal branding allows me to understand myself better and work towards becoming a better person.

Moving Forward

In the future, I plan on being much more careful with what I put online because my social media presence does not accurately represent who I am or who I want to be. I also plan on working more on my personal website, because this is a very useful tool when applying for jobs and can help set me apart from competition. By working on my personal website, I will work towards becoming a better person and being more authentic in the professional world.

Blog Post 4

What’s Next?

clem-onojeghuo-210707.jpgThis month I graduate from the University of Colorado. I have been working my way towards my graduation, a big goal of mine, for a while. With this goal in mind, I have had a long time to think about what I want to do next in terms of my career. So what are the next steps I plan to take? I will graduate with a degree in Communication but I have been working in sales and marketing the whole time I have been in school. I know I don’t want to stay in this field, but I would like to utilize the skills that I have used in the workplace over my career thus far. Throughout this past year, I have decided that one of the jobs I think I would like to do next is work for a non-profit. So, I plan on spending some of my time volunteering for a non-profit organization in or around the Boulder/Denver area. I have wanted to volunteer for a while, but have not had any time to do so. With the completion of my degree behind me, I will have more time to spend exploring this career option, while also gaining experience, and of course, taking the time to help a cause I feel passionately about. Volunteering will help me build my personal brand by showing any potential employer that I enjoy investing my time and effort into causes bigger than my own. It also has the potential to help me get my foot in the door with a new employer.

Another career I am interested in pursuing is in government and public policy. Although I am a little older, I would love the opportunity to have an internship working for the government. I believe I will have a hard time getting a job in public policy since I don’t have experience. But do think I can land a part-time internship. Many public policy positions require master’s degrees and I don’t want to jump right into graduate school. I have also read a lot about if it is even worth getting an MA in Public Policy. A good way to help build my personal brand and land a job is to gain some experience. An internship, like volunteering, will give me insight into an industry I know nothing about. Gaining this type of experience will show that I am serious about wanting this type of career change.

Looking Back

Throughout this semester I have learned how important it is that I show the best of myself in everything I do both in person and online. I learned more about my online identity, and how it can be viewed as a complete reflection of me, even if I don’t want it to be one. Because of this, I need to curate I look like online by making sure I pay attention to what is posted about me and what sort of messages I am saying through my digital brand. I also was reminded of important writing skills like knowing my audience in an email. In order to effectively communicate my messages to people, I need to write them clearly and concisely. Writing a professional email has the potential to make or break a professional relationship.

I like my writing style. I believe that I am an effective communicator and my writing is easy to read yet interesting. I think I am able to grab a reader’s attention and keep it until the end of my message. I discovered that I also write in an understandable and straightforward way. I am proud that I have to ability to successfully and skillfully communicate with others on both a personal and professional level.

I have excelled in this course’s discussion posts and blog posts. I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to respond to the prompts and to the other students in the class. I also did well working as a team member in our group. I think that these two areas accurately reflect my communication skills as well.