Saturday, April 18, 2009

Put Technology To Work!

I feel that my group could not have completed this project without the help of technology. We used technology throughout the entire project. We originally started using our "Group Page" in BlackBoard to post our meeting Agenda. Since I was the person responsible for doing the secretarial work, I was responsible for posting these type items to BlackBoard. Once I posted the Agenda (or Minutes) to BlackBoard, I would send out an e-mail through the BlackBoard website to the rest of my group. This email would alert the rest of my group to let them know that I posted a new article on BlackBoard. My group members could then login to their BlackBoard site and see the article I posted. I did this same process for the Minutes that I posted for my group.

I feel that e-mail played a very important role in our group, even outside of alerting group members of new articles posted on BlackBoard. If a group member missed a group meeting, they would often e-mail some of the other members of the group to see what they needed to get done and what they missed in class. We would also use e-mail to send different drafts of items before we completed them and posted them to BlackBoard for the entire group to see.

My group did not hold any virtual meetings, but a lot of our work was done through online by e-mailing one another with item drafts and communicating. If it was not for BlackBoard and e-mail on this project, our group would have had to complete all our work in the classroom. This would be very difficult since my group did a large majority of our work outside of the classroom. It is very rare that we completed items inside the classroom. Most of the items we completed were delegated out in class and then completed by an individual on his/her own time.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let's Talk Ethics...

Discussing ethics is a very touchy topic in today's society, especially after the fall of corporate America giants such as WorldCom and Enron. When there are ethical lapses in business or government, the people participating in the ethical lapse are not the only ones affected by it. The effects of ethical lapses are felt by common citizens, such as those who held stock, purchased their products, were employed with the company, etc. After all the publicity surrounding recent ethical lapse events and what we discussed in class, I have taken on a whole new perspective of corporate America.

After actually seeing several excerpts from memos that were a part of ethical lapses, I have come to a conclusion that you (being in the management position) have to be careful about how you interpret memos. If you were to overlook the sudden termonology used in some of these memos, agreeing with what the memo seems to say on the surface, you could be help responsible in a ethical lapse case because to a jury, it could appear as if you knew about the crime. So, when you receive a memo from someone, take a few extra minutes and make sure you fully understand what they are saying. Furthermore, make sure you read into any phrases or sentences that might not make sense to you initially.

As I graduate and head into the work force or graduate school, I will need to have my ethical principles established. I believe a good way to set your standards is to ask, "If I were to do this, would I be ok with someone else doing this exact same thing?" If the answer is yes, then you are most likely ok to do whatever you were going to do. If you answer no, the subject would require closer examination. If what you choose to do will have a negative impact on anyone, you should probably think long and hard before you act on this. Also to mention is that what you are doing may seem like it won't harm anyone, but as the scheme escalates, it could cause greater harm. It is important also to not get caught up in schemes if one were to develop; you need to learn how to cut your ties with the scheme and move on, releiving or at least limiting yourself to any obligations for the outcome. These are just things I would keep in mind when deciding whether an issue was ethical or not. Specific ethical issues I would never get caught up in is stealing (in any form, including accounting fraud), lying to further my company or I, killing someone because of known information that was not suppose to be disclosed, and I am sure there are many, many, more that I would be able to handle if the time were to arrise. I think the two biggest ethical issues in companies are fraud and lying to further one's company or themself.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Several of my most memorable experiences I have of miscommunication come from when I was the editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook staff. With this position comes a lot of responsibility for making sure tasks get completed on time. It is very common for their to be miscommunication between staff members, and it usually ends up with something not completed.

The one instance of miscommunication that stands out to me the most to me was when we had a miscommunication of who was suppose to complete a group of pages for one of our deadlines. Being the editor-in-chief, it was my job to post the names of people who were assigned which pages. After assigning pages to people, I would then tell the section editors how many pages I needed them to have complete by a certain deadline. These could be any completed pages, as long as they totalled to that amount. Then, each section editor would assign each person when those pages were due to them so they could double-check the pages before they got sent to the plant for production. This was a miscommunication that probably occurred over a week time period. But, it started by me not communicating clearly to one of the section editors how many pages I needed for that deadline. We had such a large staff that staff meetings were usually around 30 people. Either this editor was not present in the meeting, or was not paying attention to me talking during the meeting, and she missed the information about how many pages I needed from each section by the deadline. Since she did not hear that she needed pages due for this deadline, she just assigned her staff a small portion of pages, just so they would have something to do over the next week. A week later, it was time to submit the pages for the deadline. I approached that particular section editor because I had not received enough completed pages to mark her portion of the deadline complete. After asking her when she would have me the rest of the pages, she responded that she didn't realize she needed that many pages for this deadline. Since she did not have these pages completed, I had to personally go through and complete several additional pages to make up the difference between the pages she had given me and the pages we needed to have completed for the deadline. It was a pretty big mess at the time because completing a page can take a lot of time. It forced me to work on the pages during school, and then after school, continuing into the night. Needless to say, we met the deadline, but not without me having to go through a lot of additional stress that could have been avoided. I made sure from that point on that I talked to each editor individually before each deadline to make sure they knew how many pages I was expecting from them. This problem could have been avoided through several ways. One way would be that I should have confirmed that each person was at the meeting and ask them to repeat how many pages they had marked down that I needed by a select deadline. Another way I could have prevented this problem was speaking with each editor individually after the meeting to clear up any questions that they had and reaffirm that they had recorded the correct number of pages I needed for the upcoming deadline. Another way this problem could have been prevented would be if I would have checked on the specific progress of each page before the actual deadline date.

When this miscommunication occurred, it was one of my first deadlines in the first year being the editor-in-chief of the yearbook staff. After this incidident, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into by being the editor-in-chief of the yearbook Just kidding. I learned from this mistake and I fixed it from that point on, making sure that communication was a focal point for me. I went on to successfully complete my first year as editor-in-chief, and was then selected to serve as editor-in-chief for a second year, my senior year of high school.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Final Presentations and Online Portfolios

Out of the final presentations that were presented, I enjoyed Kyle Cook's the best. Kyle did a presentation on the "Top 5 Clemson Dunks from 2008/2009 Season." I thought this was a very relevant topic since basketball season is coming to an end and we have already played our final home game of the season. I am a pretty big basketball fan and if I can't be at the game, and it's televised, I'm watching it! I enjoy pretty much anything "Clemson." It's something about the school pride and spirit that runs through my blood! So with that being said, this was a great topic for me to relate to! I saw all the dunks that he presented in person except for the dunks that were at the University of South Carolina. I would have to agree that his presentation was pretty accurate with those being some of the best dunks this year! I really enjoyed the media that accompanied his presentation. He did not just stand up in front of the class and show us pictures of the players and tell about their dunk, but he found the actual video clips to go with each dunk. Kyle did a very good job at incorporating visual aids in with his presentation.

I have only created one online portfolio in my entire life and that was for BIOL120 my Freshman year. In my BIOL120 class, we had to create a portfolio and keep all our documents in it so we had an online portfolio at the end of the year. This portfolio was then graded by our professor as a percentage of our final grade. This portfolio was simply an e-portfolio that was hosted by BlackBoard. We did not use any external websites to produce this portfolio, just BlackBoard. That worked out well because it helped me get a jump-start on creating my e-portfolio which I have to create through Clemson in order to graduate. A link to my BIOL120 e-portfolio is located here. I thought that the BIOL120 portfolio was fairly easy to create; thus making it a positive experience with using an online portfolio. I think it is a lot easier to create a portfolio online rather than a hard copy portfolio. With an online portfolio, you can keep it for a long time and share it with as many people as you would like. The hardest part for me was just figuring out how to get everything uploaded onto the website and linked to the right category. For this online portfolio, I don't know if I will need any additional help with figuring out how to work everything. What I might like to see is an example of what you expect our portfolio to look like when we get through with it. This would give me an idea on how I need to arrange my online portfolio.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Class Presentations

I have really enjoyed listening to the various presentations that have been presented so far! I am looking forward to Monday when I get to present my presentation. The presentation I liked the most was the "Top 5 Best Real Men of Genius." There were a couple reasons why I enjoyed this presentation. The main reason I enjoyed this presentation is because I was laughing almost the whole time. The second reason I enjoyed this presentation is because in high school, I downloaded every Real Men of Genius commercial ever created and listened to them all. So this topic was appealing to me since I have had interest in it before. I don't know that I actually learned anything from this presentation. I learned little facts about the company like changing the commercials from Real American Heroes to Real Men of Genius after 9/11. I also learned many other little interesting facts. Bryson was an effective speaker because he brought humor into his presentation. He was able to effectively use the PowerPoint and audio, while also being able to speak about the subject. He did not rely completely on his PowerPoint, but let his PowerPoint supplement his presentation.

The second presentation that I really enjoyed was the "soccer celebrations" by Keegan Priest. I found this presentation very appealing since I have played soccer for practically my whole life. The presentation was also humorous, which made it more enjoyable. I can personally relate to this presentation because growing up around soccer, I have seen many of these celebrations first hand. I learned many new styles of celebrating in soccer that I had previously never heard of. One of my favorite new celebration styles that I learned from Keegan's presentation is putting on a mask after you score a goal and running around. I thought that Keegan was an effective speaker because he incorporated humor in telling the facts about how to "celebrate" in soccer. He could have just stood up at the podium and spoke about being people doing dances, flips, wearing costumes, etc. But instead of doing this, Keegan added videos and pictures that gave the class examples of what he was talking about.

The third presentation that I really enjoyed was the "Coffee Options" presentation. I will be the first to tell you that I do not like coffee at all. I guess it is this strong dislike for coffee that made this presentation interesting to me. This presentation was enjoyable because it informed me on information that I previously did not know or understand. Since I had no background with understanding the different types of coffee, I was drawn into listening more about the various types of coffee. I can definitely say that after listening to the presentation, I am much more knowledgeable about the various options you have when ordering coffee. I found that the presenter was very knowledgeable about the subject, which helped me to establish creditability. The presenter showed that she had much knowledge about coffee and the various options when ordering coffee. It is this credibility and knowledge that helped the presenter to be effective. I also feel that this presenter was effective because her PowerPoint slides were a good mix between facts, statements, and pictures. By adding pictures into the presentation, she gave variety to the presentation. This variety in the presentation kept the audience from getting bored with the presentation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Reviewing for Cover Letter Advice

To start out, I have already written a draft of my cover letter for this class. So, with that being said, I have already done some research about cover letters on my own. There is one section of the website that stood out to me: the sample cover letter section. This section stood out to me because it's easy going website to website reading about what you SHOULD do while writing your cover letter. It's more difficult to find real life examples of cover letters that you can read to make sure you have a good basis of how your own cover letter show flow.

There was a part of the website that I disagreed with about writing cover letters and that was the information the website gave about the postscript technique. I will say first, before I critique this method, that I am not a professional at writing cover letters, so this advice could very well be good advice and I am just not accustomed to seeing it in use. The website said that it would capture your reader's attention if you put a "P.S." at the end of your cover letter and then followed the "P.S." with an interesting fact or atribute about a previous accomplishment. This, to me, seems like it might seem as if you are bragging on yourself a little much. It seems like the "P.S." goes beyond just discussing how you would be good for the job to just making yourself big-headed. I personally believe that the person reading your cover letter might be turned off to the fact that you think so highly of yourself, like you are flaunting it in from of that person.

I found it interesting that claims that most employers do not look at your cover letter first, they look at your resume. I found this interesting just because I have always been told to make sure my cover letter did not have any gramatical errors and that it was written in the correct format. I was told that a cover letter is what an employer truly focuses on because it contains the highlights of why you would make a good candidate for the job. After I read this article on, it makes sense that employers might just jump straight to reading your resume because it ultimately contains all the information on where you have worked. Employers often rate previous experience highly when deciding which candidate to select for a job. So after reading the article, it makes sense to me that an employer might read your resume before reading your cover letter. After all, your cover letter sometimes contains more information than is relevant for an employer to determine, initially, if you are a possible candidate for a job.

The cover letter checklist is definitely something that I found helpful. The checklist was helpful because you can just glance at your cover letter and make sure you have completed all the items that are on the checklist. After you complete the cover letter checklist, you know you are not leaving anything technical out of your cover letter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thoughts on Our Group Project

First off, I think this group project idea for Redfern is a great idea! This is a perfect example of the types of problems that we (the class) could come across in a couple years when we enter the workforce. As I listened to our speaker describe the program and what our goals were, I had several thoughts. The one thought that really stood out in my mind, which I will discuss with my group during our first meeting, was the idea of how to make the buildings around campus "green." There are many buildings around our campus which were built more recent than others. These more recent buildings are more "green" than most of the other buildings around campus.

The one things that stands out to me is the lack of energy efficient light bulbs that are being used around campus. I lived in Geer Hall (one of the shoeboxes) last year, and there was not a single energy efficient bulb in the whole building. Each room had six light bulbs in it, one in each closet (2), two bulbs for the main light in the center of the room, and two bulbs over the sink. Replacing existing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs is an easy way to make our campus "greener." I do understand that fact that incandescent bulbs are much cheaper than compact florescent bulbs, but looks at the pros that go along with using compact florescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs last much longer than regular bulbs, do not produce as much heat, and use less wattage which leads to lower power usage. In addition to the simple costs, think about how costly it is to send maintenance staff out to the dorms each time a bulb burns out. The maintenance department could save money by putting in compact fluorescent bulbs which would reduce the amount of trips maintenance staff spent back and forth to dorms. Yes, maintenance staff would still have to replace bulbs as they burn out, but it would be much less frequent trips.

Another thought that stands out to me is replacing old windows such as those in Lowry and the surrounding older buildings. I had several classes in those type buildings my Freshman year and it appears they still have single pane windows in them. These windows are extremely old and out of date. Double pane windows would make much more sense to the University because it would conserve on the costs of heating and cooling the buildings.

There are many little things like this around campus that could easily be changed to produce a "greener" campus. I understand that the University is facing financial shortfalls in the current economic state, but as a group, we could hopefully produce a viable strategy to raise money for these upgrades and additions. With working with my fellow classmates, I feel that we can create a viable strategy that could be implemented on campus to make our buildings "greener." If this plan was successful here on the Clemson campus, there is no reason why we could not build a universal plan that could apply to colleges across the country.