National Restaurant Association 2011

Chicago!!!! That was the location of this years NRA (not national rifle association) trade show. The venue was McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, which is a beatifully huge convention center. Brands from all over the country attended as exhibitors, showing off what they can offer and people from all over the world attended to see what the exhibitors have to offer such as suppliers, distributors, hotel chains, food chains, and many small restaurants.

Good Health Natural Foods was vendor number 6476. Unfortunately our booth was not located in the Natural and Organic Pavillion (like I wished, having more traffic), even though our company is a provider of natural snacks. I had the opportunity to go to help out a co-worker of mine that lives in the mid-west. This was the first time I met her from our company but she was very patient and helpful and we had a great time.

There were hundreds of exhibitors there showing their products or services. Groupon had a two-story booth!!!! There were plenty of mascots there including a talking Heinz robot that attracted people to their booth. It didn’t necessarily bring customers over to try sample products but it’s a good tactic to stand out in a sea of competitors.

Nice mascot, unlike some others I saw. Their booth had a great cinnamon bun!

I met plenty of wonderful people there. Our company’s booth was located across from La Rosa’s Famous Cannolis. They had so many new potential leads with giving out free cannolis! Had one myself 🙂 Another booth next to our was Rumaino Cheese. Founded in 1921, Rumaino cheese is a leader in organic cheeses. Everyday of my four days there, I sampled their organic medium cheddar cheese multiple times during the day. It is awesome! I also got to meet the fourth generation Rumaino, Coby. He and his uncle were at the show manning their booth. Great people the Rumianos and they gave me free cheese to take back to NC! Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE cheese! #win

My experience in Chicago was long, yet short-lived. Although I was in the windy city, I didn’t get a chance to see as much of it as I’d hoped. My days were filled with working. I did however get to shop the entire Magnificent Mile and travel to the top of the John Hancock Observatory. I was 94 floors above the windy city and it felt amazing knowing I had the best view in Chicago. Two things I wished I could have also gone to were “THE EDGE” at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and went to The 900 shops. I also had a chance to see the Navy Pier. My co-worker and I had lunch as Riva’s restaurant located on the pier and it was great. Next time, I will get on the Ferris Wheel.

Chicago Skyline from the Navy Pier

The taxi drivers are really nice! They are also the best drivers in Chicago! Traffic, for that particular weekend was amazing and their driving skills impressed me. I also just learned that a childhood friend just moved to Chicago so next time, I will definitely get to see Chicago, at it’s best!!!!

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New chapter

May 6, 2011. That was the day that I graduate The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing. I never thought that day would finally come but when it did, it actually came fairly fast.

I remember the day I moved into Moore-Strong meeting my three, yes three, roommates. I also remembered my parents crying their eyes out when they realized their little baby is leaving the nest. I was growing up and moving to college was a big step towards being an adult. Now three years have passed since then and I have the memory of my family seeing me walk across that stage to accept my degree.

Along my four years I’ve had internships, jobs, and countless times living in Jackson Library or #clubjackson as some of us use to say. Group projects, countless papers, and hundreds of quizzes/exams/tests are finally out of my schedule (at least until I go to graduate school). I can now focus on my career of being a marketing assistant at Good Health Natural Products. Check out their brands and products at http://www.goodhealthnaturalproducts.com (new website is currently under construction). The company I’m with now will allow me to do everything within my major, which I love! I also get to do a little traveling, which I absolutely love!

Seeing all the graduate students at my graduation made me realize that I do want to go to graduate school in a few years. I’m not sure which program to do but I would rather do a program that will allow me to obtain a master’s in under 2 years. I’ve been looking into one particular program but I have a while to decide. I just hope that I can grow and prosper into a successful business woman that I sought after to become.

With all that is going on in my life, I will continue to pray to God and thank Him for my many blessings. I also would not be where I am today without the guidance and comfort of my family and friends. I thank everyone who has had a positive effect on my life and I am grateful for it. Thank you and I will continue to make you proud.

March of Dimes fundraiser

Hello good people!

I know a lot lately my blogs have been supporting local fund raisers. I apologize if you have been bored with these but I support these causes. My next cause I want to talk with you about is the March of Dimes.

When you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. We’ve been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2 billion to benefit all babies.

Think about your baby being born too soon. Wouldn’t you want someone to care or to help you in your time of need? This will help babies live to see their birthdays next year!!!! Change someone’s life today and donate to the cause: copy and paste this link below in your URL.

http://www.marchforbabies.org/personal_page.asp?pp=3480578&ct=4&w=4794385&u=cnjohns6

Spread the word and help save birthdays!!!

Women and Media

I am taking “Introduction to Sociology” at UNCG and one of our assignments this week was to watch a documentary called “Killing Us Softly” by Jean Kilbourne. Jean Kilbourne has realized back in 1979 that the media has displayed women in a certain “eye” in the media. Advertisements, commercials, and movies are all subject to women display as an “object” rather than a “subject.” Women are lesser than man is in the media. The media degrades women more so than it degrades men.

Look at the image above. Can you see how this can offend women? A man has a woman pinned how and the woman looks as if she is trying to get free, which is why her lower body is off the floor. There are other men standing around her, as if they were waiting their turn. In addition, there are others, plenty of them. Some communicate violence towards women as the one shown above and others portray women as a perfect image that everyone should maintain: flawless skin, certain hairstyles, small waist, and small butt or sometimes and bigger bottom, and big breasts. This is why so many women starting in adolescence are having eating disorders. Before a girl hits puberty, she is comfortable with the way she looks. During puberty, she has insecurities and questions her body because of how the media or how everyone else says their body should be. “You’re too fat”, “you’re too skinny” are terms a girl in middle school should not have to hear from fellow classmates. Why is it so hard to accept people the way they are. Without touch-ups, make-up, and Shapeups, the models and celebrities would be just like 99% of the rest of the world, normal and that should be ok but is it? NOOOOOO! The media holds them on a certain pedestal that if they do not have clear skin, or a small body frame, then they will criticize and shun them.

Active Listening

I am a part of a program at UNCG called the Bryan School Leadership Academy. It is a great program for active leaders on the campus of UNCG. This past Friday we had a session dedicated to communication, catered specifically to active listening. Our first task was to define active listening.

Active listening can have very different meanings, depending on how you view it. It can mean listening accurately, participating in the conversation to make sure you are both on the same page, or showing interest. It is polite to wait for the person to finish speaking first before asking questions. If you interrupt to ask a question to clarify what the person was saying, then that is fine. If you ask, what you think is going on and the person says yes then the person can continue and you both will go forward in unison. In addition, if you ask what you think is going on and the person says no, the person will rephrase it so that you will not walk left and they walk right.

There are possible ways for a conversation to turn for the worst. Certain expressions can make a person talk louder and angrier. This is because they THINK they are not being heard in what they are saying. This can mean that the other person does not understand their scenario as they tell it. To avoid the conflict avoid the following (courtesy of http://www.wisdomworks.net):

1. Blaming and attacking
2. Being distracted or using other body language
3. Interrupting
4. “Yes…but” statements
5. Making light of the situation

For a conversation to go smoothly, try these communication enhancers:
1. Asking for more information and problem solving together
2. Making eye contact, leaning toward the other person giving them your undivided attention
3. Showing empathy, validating the other person’s feelings
4. staying silent until the person is finished
5.”Yes…and” statements
6. Withholding judgment

I really appreciate the work that Dr. Preston Yarborough and Katelyn Chapman from UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service Learning, and Amanda Pelon from the Bryan School of Business and Economics for their passion in helping develop future leaders of the world. I have learned so much this past school year and I am sad that there is only one more session before I graduate. I hope the Bryan Leadership Academy continues to prosper and grow. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of a great program.

Endless Opportunities

I was speaking with a friend the other day and we were talking about career fairs at colleges. It has been expressed that recruiters hate doing career fairs. I thought about it and I can understand why they would.

Many students attend career fairs with resumes in hand but minimum to no research about the company they are handing their resumes to. When asked what do you want to do with your major, many people get stuck. After they say one thing, the company recruiter may say something about the position that has nothing to do with what the student wants to do. That’s when the student will say that he/she is interested in the position only because they aren’t any other positions open doing what they want to do.

When I heard about this, I thought to myself and I realized I have no idea what I want to do with my marketing degree when I graduate. After putting some thought into it, I realized the marketing field is so broad.

Many recruiters are looking for people in their sales department, which is totally different from marketing.

I went on an interview and the interview went well, even though I did not get the job. My interviewer taught me something important about marketing. Marketing, as opposed to sales, is developing a strategy or plan of action and Sales is executing that plan. I’d rather do the development phase than the execution phase.

I also pondered that I have been one of those students that went to those career fairs and switch my interests just to apply for the job. I really want to work in the marketing field but I need help understanding exactly what the following fields entail when it comes to marketing:

brand management
strategy
data management
SEO/SEM
business analyst
other fields in marketing

I would also like to know what SQL is and the best way to be familiar with it. Comments are greatly appreciated. Sometimes school doesn’t prepare you for everything, which is why I plan to get certified in other aspects of business.

As this picture means, the sky is the limit. You can do anything, but only if you set your mind to do it. Don’t be afraid to be a go-getter. Take initiative, make mistakes and learn from them. Make many more mistakes because that’s how you learn in life.