Business people can be creative

•April 21, 2010 • 3 Comments

The world of business can be a scary and vicious world. Sometimes getting ahead may have nothing to do with your intelligence or ability to execute your job duties successfully. However, I’m not suggesting you seduce your boss.

More than ever before, employers are seeking people who are not only strategic, but also creative.  Often in business, especially PR, budgets are tight. You must be able to come up with creative and effective ideas to solve business solutions.  

Like anything we do in life, creativity requires practice.  We need to stimulate our creative minds constantly to stay in the zone. Here are some tips to becoming more creative than Joe Average.  As a result, you’ll become more desirable to employers. In fact, they’ll hunt you down.

  • Get outside your house: The environment around you helps stimulate ideas.
  • Think big: Don’t limit your creative thoughts because they seem unrealistic.  Allow ideas to flow. You can find ways to make them work later.
  • Daydream: Yes, productivity is important, but allowing your mind to wander can lead to very innovative ideas.
  • Drink water: When you’re hydrated, you think much more clearly.
  • Tell yourself you’re creative: Many people say creativity belongs to artists. That’s not true. Even the most stuffy business people can be creative if they believe they can.
  • Surround yourself with creative people and things:  Talking to friends, going to an art gallery or reading a book can stimulate your mind.
  • Keep a journal handy: We often come up with great ideas when we least expect it. Make sure you jot down your ideas right away.  Trust me, you will forget them if you don’t.
  • Blog: The more you practice being creative, the better. A blog provides a handy way to express yourself and learn from others.

Check out this blog for information about boosting business creativity. You can also click here for general creativity tips.

We’d love to hear about ways you keep your creative mind running.

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Happy goodbyes

•April 21, 2010 • 4 Comments

The 2010 school year is almost done. For the students in the 10-month PR program, we are about to embark on our two month practicum placement. So our time in the classroom together finishes on Friday. Sadly this means today is our last day of this blog.

I will speak for the rest of the manyfaces team and thank you all for reading and contributing to making our blog a success. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it.

I hope you all have a safe and happy summer.

Now lets celebrate! We’ve made it!

Inspirational Quotes

•April 21, 2010 • 2 Comments

For the last three weeks, you’ve read our words. As this semester ends and we begin pulling out our hair, I thought it would be helpful to share some inspirational quotes from some very wise people.

“You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.” Dr. James G. Bilkey

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” Abraham Lincoln

“To succeed, you need to take that gut feeling in what you believe and act on it with all of your heart.” Christy Borgeld

“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” Chinese Proverb

“Even if I don’t reach all my goals, I’ve gone higher than I would have if I hadn’t set any.” Danielle Fotopoulis

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” John Mason

“I want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here.” Homer Simpson

You can find more inspirational quotes here. And, if you love The Simpsons as much as I do, you can find more Homer Simpson quotes here.

We’d love to hear any quotes that help you get through this busy time of year!

Playoff Pointers

•April 20, 2010 • 1 Comment

Being a hockey fan, I look forward to April every year since it kicks off playoff hockey season. Being a student I loathe April for it is also known as EXAM season…

How does one learn to juggle studying and watching your favorite team every other night? I’ll help you out with three easy steps.

  1. The playoff hockey schedule is released a few days in advice of the first round on nhl.com. Go there and find out when your team starts their first series.
  2. After finding out your team’s schedule, find your own. Exam schedules are also posted well in advance on Blackboard. It is also sent to your mymacewan email so check there as well.
  3. Combine the two schedules and assign time to study. Remember intermissions usually run around 15-20 mins. This time can also be used as a quick refresher but be sure to leave Hockey Night in Canada games out of the picture – no one wants to miss Coach’s Corner.

There you have it. Three easy ways to maintain your GPA and cheer on your boys.

Does anyone else have any playoff studying pointers they would like to add?

Then and now

•April 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

I wrote the other day about how much we have or haven’t learned about our classmates over the last eight months. This time, I’m considering how my beliefs about and understanding of PR has changed over the last year.

When I started this program, I didn’t really have a good grasp on what, exactly, PR is. I knew that the skills involved – writing, planning, events, dealing with people, research – suited me pretty well. I fit extremely well into the Is This Program For You? on the MacEwan website. I work quickly (I am always one of the first ones finished my exams, much to the glares of many classmates), thrive under a deadline, and multi-task like a pro. But when I started out, I struggled to explain what, exactly, PR was.

I still don’t really have a pithy explanation when someone says “What exactly is PR?” (It happens kind of frequently.)  I have a good grasp on the different elements of PR, I think, and an idea of where I could end up. I’m still not totally sure of what kind of job I’m going to find. In an ideal world, it would be something to do with social media, but I don’t want to limit myself to too narrow a field when I’m job hunting.

But I think that when I started out, I had a lot of PR mixed up with marketing and advertising. And while I like that side of things and occasionally envision myself in a Mad Men-esque job (minus, you know, the sexism and the smoking, although I’d take the drinking), it’s really the more behind-the-scenes stuff that I look forward to. I’m really, really excited about my practicum. I’m nervous, but looking forward to where I end up after that. I have a great situation – I just took a leave of absence from my job to do the program, so I can afford to be a little picky about what job I take while I go back to work. (Fortunately, I liked my job just fine.)

It’s still strange to think that eight months ago, we didn’t know anything about PR beyond the most basic ideas, and now we’re heading out to work in the field. How have your perceptions about PR changed over the last eight months? What kind of PR are you hoping to end up doing? What has surprised you most about PR?

Me back on the first day of school. A very kindergarten-esque photo!

Don’t fear the budget

•April 19, 2010 • 2 Comments

A couple years ago I got a rude awakening – I was BROKE! Not just I can’t buy a new pair of shoes broke; I mean living in tomato juice and noodles for three weeks broke.

It was then that one of my friends sat me down and taught me how to do a proper budget. I discovered that I was completely over-spending. And when I was “budgeting”, I was doing it all wrong.

As students, many of us are living on a tight budget and are greatly dependent on our student loans. So I would like to share with you some of the tips I received to get my money situation under control.

  1. First, calculate what you are currently spending. Include all the essentials like rent, food, phone bills as well as all the random things like clothes, beer, trips, McDonald’s, etc. And be honest!
  2. Compare your spending with your actual earnings or student loan allowance. Many of you might be surprised to see you are actually spending more than you are earning.
  3. To get on track, start cutting unnecessary things. You are going to have to make some sacrifices depending on your income. Sadly, your shoe shopping days might be over for awhile. But include all the essentials like rent, car, and food.
  4. Don’t spend more than $100 a week on groceries. The average person should only spend $60-70 a week. Time to start buying smart!
  5. Don’t allocate every penny of your monthly income. Put some aside for savings or for later use.
  6. Give yourself some “fun” money each month to do with as you please. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything.
  7. Sit down at the end of every month to write up a new budget. Your budget will change depending on the month.
  8. Finally, keep track of your spending! Either write it down or take your monthly allowances out in cash and keep your debit at home. This way you have no choice but to watch your spending.
  9. Use these tips in hopes of reaching a point where at the beginning of each month you have enough money to get you through the entire month. No more living pay check to pay check my friend!

I know budgets can be scary and frustrating at first. But if you are honest and follow your spending wisely, budgets can actually be fun. You might discover you have more money than you think!

Coffee: the good and the bad

•April 19, 2010 • 6 Comments

 

The end is near. Although it’s an incredibly busy and stressful time of year, it will soon end. Until then, many students, like me, turn to coffee to stay awake so they can study and complete assignments.

Prior to entering university, I was anti-coffee. I didn’t like the idea of depending on a liquid to keep me functioning. After one week of getting up at 6:30 a.m. every single day, coffee became my best friend. Aren’t we glad those days are over? For now…

It seems like one day science says coffee is good for you and the next it claims it’s bad. Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance.  I know I’m addicted to it. But is it good? Is it bad?

The Good

Coffee has several medicinal purposes. It stimulates bronchial dilation, helping people with asthma and allergies. If you’re trying to lose weight, it not only boosts your metabolism, but it also curbs your appetite. Some research claims coffee has helped reduce the risk of suicide in women.

 The Bad

Too much coffee can increase blood pressure and cause cardiovascular disease.  Research has also linked it to breast cancer due to increased estrogen levels. And, as many of us have experienced, it can cause jitters, nervousness and even heart palpitations, not to mention that unpleasant crash once the effects wear off.

So should you drink coffee? I think in small doses, coffee, or at least caffeine, is necessary in university. Check out this blog for more information. You can also click here to learn more about coffee.

Do you drink coffee? Could you survive without it?