So I’ve been in Nice for about 5 days now. In this short period I have already seen and experienced so much, and met new friends along the way. Unfortunately for me I have focused this trip towards my studies, that’s not to say that I am done with exploring this beautiful city.
I have been on many adventures as you could say in last couple of years, with each one playing a major contribution in my life. It has been a complete eye opening experience that has shaped my very perception of the world around me. I feel quite grateful for the opportunities that I have been able to undertake and have learned to not take things for granted.
One thing in particular that I have been focusing on lately is really developing my learning capabilities and working hard on learning as much as I can. I really did take my education for granted when I was younger, and I feel I could be further at this point. However that’s not to say I was not enjoying what I was doing at the time. My occupation itself is highly competitive but I feel the society in which I grew up in, competitive is an understatement. The opportunity to be paid is seldom available, the opportunity to do so is underrated and the ability not to is a luxury.
I am currently studying here in Nice, and that’s what I intend to do. I could easily categorize this trip as a holiday, with the incredibly blue beaches and beautiful scenery not making it any easier. I aim to use the courses that I am enrolled in, Luxury Brand Management and Business Strategy, to help round out my degree. I’d like to think that I possess the entrepreneurial spirit, but have discovered that I have a long way to go in this regard. My efforts have now been steered towards learning the fundamentals so that I may adapt them to my current and future situations.
Nice has been nice (had to be said) and I look forward to really diving into my studies for the next three weeks, and making sure that I leave no stone unturned.
Let’s talk about missed opportunities, and in particular opportunities for businesses to create and develop customer relationships with those actively engaging with a company and its products. Firstly every business should thank the great minds who developed the concept of social media. It is a fantastic tool for users to post their thoughts and ideas on their daily activities. From a business and marketing perspective, it is a great way to see how consumers interact with their products and services. Not to mention it is free.
I’m going to use a current example that lead me to further researching the impact social media can have on understanding the consumer market. I recently posted a tweet to Microsoft asking “@surface was wandering if the surface 3 keyboard would work on my surface pro 2.” I now know the answer of which many stores have told me otherwise (for those wandering, it does, I tested it). I was quite annoyed to the fact that I did not receive any response, whether it was the answer to my question, a link to where I would be able to get more info, nothing. Now that I come to think of it more, it was a wasted opportunity to potentially develop a new customer relationship.
In such a competitive world it is more and more important for businesses to use all tools available to help communicate with its customers. Social media has provided a platform that allows organizations and businesses to do just that, with an added bonus of being in real time. Responding to queries such as mine can help support the customer, and more importantly provide the customer with a public positive experience. I mention public as many other people who might have also inquired the same thing have the opportunity to see this on the public forum.
On the other hand, doing the opposite can also provide a public negative experience. Customer will also be able to see that your company is not supportive to its customers (as if customer support already isn’t a big enough issue) but they may also see the quite often negative outburst that generally follows. We’ll say this article is my negative outburst, I’m constructive in my feedback.
Businesses need to further understand how social media marketing can help them collaborate with engaging customers. With this sense of engagement meaning customers become participants, those acting in an open, participative, social environment. These customers have taken a personal interest and their time to voice their opinion whether it be on their own personal social accounts, on blogs, forums and so forth. This engagement process is broken down into 4 different building blocks:
Consumption: the initial act of a person downloading, reading, watching, or listening to digital content. One must do this before they start commenting or liking something.
Curation: the act in which one sorts, filters, rates, reviews, comments on, tags and or otherwise describes content. These responses to content makes it more useful to others.
Creation: the next act by a user is generating and offering content that they have created themselves. The beauty of this is that customers do this freely and as social media has grown more and more often.
Collaboration: the final act in which encompasses consumption, curation, and creation and forming what we see as online communities. The previous acts can be seen as singular actions, where this final act is the idea of bringing this all together to create social media.
The combinations of these acts can lead to two different avenues. By joining as part of the collaboration process you can provide your business with the upper hand as you communicate the likes and dislikes of your products and services with the customer. You may be able to support them by leading them to a solution, or take on their views and adjust accordingly. Secondly those collaborating with the product are then more like to engage on the next step which is trial, buy and advocate your products. For more information on business engagement with social media I encourage you to read “Social Media Marketing” by Dave Evans.
With the unfortunate example that I had encountered with Microsoft, who may read this article and adjust accordingly, businesses and individuals alike should participate and engage with each other more. If you would like to consume or curate on any of the content I have created and collaborate you can find me on most sites under the username tmagilldotcom.
So today I did a massive clean-up, a digital clean-up. If I knew how much time it was going to take I would have probably have cleaned the house, top to bottom. I was thinking if some of those files were a sandwich, maggots were the least of my worries.
Firstly I started with the desktop. Who reading this has just thought, I will save this item on the desktop so I can access it quickly and then just left it there. Like an old bookshelf brushing the cobwebs off I started moving them back, I even had a folder on the desktop called “desktop cleanup“ from where I had last tried to clean it.
Now, what was worst then that was my “downloads” folder. This is more like buried treasure, you can really go back through your (internet) history. Filled with photos, documents applications, you name it. If you’ve searched for it, it’s probably here.
Finally it came down to my emails. I on average get roughly 1300-1500 emails a month. From every website that I’ve subscribed to, constant updates from social media, barrage of work and work applications and finally the miscellaneous, which as it sounds is anything and everything else.
Here are some tips for your email so that you hopefully don’t have to go through the same pain. Don’t let me get you wrong, you may have to do some initial dumpster diving but if you do these little things, hopefully it won’t get too bad in the future.
Start Off Clean
First things first, I’m the realest. And to truly make sure that you don’t end up in this situation is that you need to start off fresh. You can go with my approach and sift through years of build-up. Alternatively if you don’t really care what’s actually on your emails (and computer), you can burn it all. I mean delete it all.
Check Your Settings
With your social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn you should go through and check to see what you get email notifications on, and turn them off. If your phone has push notifications and you’re constantly checking these pages anyway, you don’t need a second or third reminder that some random has commented on a link that you were tagged on.
It was amazing the amount of websites that I had signed up to, it was a reflection of all the hobbies and fazes that I had ever gotten into. Find that unsubscribe button and click away. I noted that I get about 1300-1500 emails now, however before this step, I would be tripling this number.
Now this is the clincher that will get everything back to normal. It’s the equivalent of buying new books and containers and the appropriately named folders at the beginning of each school year. Now just like each subject of class here are some folder names that you may include:
- Accounts - This is for all the initial emails for when you sign up for a website, also include password resets and anything that may have a member number attached.
- Appointments - This is for all your appointments and request for meetings. Think of this as your in-email calendar, especially if you’re also struggling to keep your calendar together.
- Finances - This is for any purchases, statements, payslips, or love letters from your bank. Though the next two may also be considered financial as it involves your money, it helps when searching for specifics later.
- Purchases - Now this is optional, if you’re a serial online shopper like me this is a good place to store any online receipts, shipping information and confirmations.
- Tickets - Again optional, if you find that you are attending lots of events, then you should create an additional folder. It is also great if there was any other additional emails in regards to you having to get those tickets.
- Trash - If you are a hoarder like me and can’t see anything let go, think of this as your online recycling bin. You’ve thrown it away, but it’s there just in case.
- Work/Personal - If you’re using a personal email, label it work, if it is a work email, label it personal. Though you should try not to cross these emails together, there is always a few that slip through. This way you can keep these two worlds separate.
So if you are sick of seeing the pages and pages of emails in your inbox, or ever had trouble trying to find that event ticket, or that overdue notice, fear no more. Take the high school approach to getting your emails in order.
Over the weekend I was in Sydney, and after the usual preparations (pre-drinking) of the night was concluded and time to go to the next location I got onto the phone and rang a taxi, shouted out to see whether we should get a maxi taxi or a couple of regulars ones. My question was responded with “don’t worry about it, we’ll just get Ubers. ” Now from where I am from, Newcastle, Ubers are not as common, however in Sydney nowadays it seems a social norm. Not in the sense that Uber has taken over but working in unison alongside taxi services.
I still do prefer the taxis and as always ordered my taxi and off I was. Now generally this trip is a good half an hour or so and there’s nothing worst then the feeling of that awkward silence for so long. So as a natural default and as you would normally you ask them how their night has been.
A topic I always like bringing up nowadays is what their view is on the development of Uber. I have had a mix response with some people saying that they themselves are also Uber drivers, that there is so many people requiring transport solutions so that they aren’t affected, some truly hating the fact that they are taking away possible business and some posing some other various concerns.
This taxi driver went through a concern that a lot of them have had and that is, anybody can be an Uber driver and that there is no regulation as to the legitimacy of their ability. Which is not exactly true, it’s just that nobody cares about the legitimacy of this 40 billion dollar company backed by the conglomerates of Google and Goldman Sachs if it provides a cheaper and more convenient service. It can be quite shocking to see how much this company is thriving even though the service is actually banned in most states across Australia including N.S.W and Q.L.D. (Lewis, 2015)
Even though it is illegal the major concern that I have come across is that it’s an introduction of competition. Something that will always cause an issues, of course the taxi services would be annoyed having to compete not only between each other but also now with another uprising competitor. Now a lot of taxi drivers have highlighted the issue but coming from this taxi driver in particular this point seemed more disconcerting.
After talking to and learning more I asked this man about his background and soon found that he had his doctorate and worked for a pharmacist. Not just dispensing but developing, he was a bio chemical engineer, I couldn’t believe it. It was shocking and upsetting for me to see that this man had worked for so long and then had moved over to Australia and now working as a Taxi driver.
I kept talking to him and I started to not feel as bad, he explained quite eloquently that this is simply how it is. He understood competition on a whole other level. Competition for him meant over 12 years of study and 10+ years of work experience and still grinding. Moving over to a land for him that still had more opportunity and being transitioned into a different job due to its competitiveness.
Back to the Uber situation, competition from them was not an issue for this taxi driver, but an inevitable challenge. One that he considered not a setback but simply a way of life. Even though he had been moved to a completely new industry, competition is always going to be an issue and it was seeing the determination to continue to strive through that makes me appreciate the efforts of hard work.
Lewis, D. (2015, January 15). Illegal ride-sharing service UberX outsmarts transport inspectors, disrupting undercover stings. Retrieved from ABC NEWS: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-14/uberx-outsmarts-taxi-inspectors-by-blocking-mobile-phones/6016940
Welcome to the age of the Keyboard Warrior, were users alike have access and the opportunity to voice their opinion on anything and anyone. With high speed internet and mobile connectivity, people are able to gain real time information from anywhere. Can this high accessibility lead to increased cyberbullying?
Yes, yes it can. With these new opportunities, of course it can lead to potential increase in cyber bullying. With the ingrained idea of freedom of speech, we as users feel we have the right to access and openly comment on anything as we please.
But I feel it is dependent on the severity of the comment. There is a different between, “This meal was bad, ” to “No one step foot in this restaurant, I can‘t believe they‘re allowed to serve food, ” to and even further extreme of “If I see that chef on the street, I‘m going to break his leg for that f***ing desert.”
This is where we need to curb our enthusiasm and understand the meaning and power behind our words. It is up to users as a whole to help educate themselves and others on general etiquette of the internet, and to understand that there is (or should be) a consequence to these actions.
The internet can also provide the complete opposite. There are so many opportunities that this ability to openly communicate has in helping the very situation of cyber bullying. Many various organizations and support groups use the internet to offer support to those suffering from cyber bullying. We need to shift from the idea that there is a problem and focus on using this technology to educate users of the internet.
CyberSmart - http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/
This is a fantastic website that has age specific applications and programs that are great in educating people on all aspects of cyberbullying and the different ways in which it occurs. I really find the 0-7 interactive games to be quite beneficial in teaching them the basics and the more sophisticated teen programs that delve not only be safe but being wise in terms of how they use the internet and their devices.
AntiBullying Network - http://www.antibullying.net/community.htm/
This website has a great amount of information for all situation. It‘s a great example to show how the internet can provide information on the matter. It‘s great in providing resources for specific groups in identifying, understanding and supporting situations were bulling may occur.
CyberBullying Info - http://www.cyberbullying.info/office.php/
This is a nice interactive web application that provides great resources as well as teaching users each aspect of cyber bullying.
There are many, many more websites and opportunities out there that can aid in the fight against cyber bullying. Even where most people feel that cyber bullying starts, the world of social media has the potential to help. There are many support groups out there, and you can start simply by educating yourself and sharing with your peers.
It is incredible the changes that in the short period that has been my lifetime that has occurred in terms of the technological world and its impact it has had on my environment. It is these changes that have shaped and inspired my passion for technology and my pursuit into a career in IT and marketing.
I remember the first time we got a computer, one of very few in my area that had acquired one. It was so fascinating the endless possibilities that it could provide, with its now considered quite limited ability. A beautiful IBM powered computer with what I believe was roughly about 4 gigabytes of storage and 64 kilobytes of memory, it was a vessel of imagination. With the ability to create images with paint, surf the web as it were and that oh so addicting FreeCell a good deal of my childhood was spent behind that computer.
If it wasn’t that, then it was in front of the TV playing the super Nintendo eating dried magi noodles in the summer heat, playing cricket 95. One particular childhood memory was Christmas in 1990 something, can’t remember which one, but I got a pocket Gameboy and Pokemon red. Additionally my older brother got Pokemon blue and the all illusive and spectacular Gameboy cartridge for the super Nintendo. Even though I had the advantage to be able to play anywhere being able to play on the super Nintendo meant being able to play Pokemon in color. Actual color.
But from there technology has grown and developed exponentially, in all areas. With phones being the most distinguishable in terms of integrating and adapting to modern technology, they provide a great timeline of the technological changes. Firstly making things both portable and smaller has been the driving force with technological advancements and mobile phones embodies this. However as each new bit of technology came available mobiles reflected them through its changes. Some of the most notable reflections would include the development of color, portable mp3 players, internet capabilities, touchscreen and the most valuable for all those selfie lovers, the camera.
When people think technology they focus more on the major devices like televisions, mobiles, tablets however there is a lot, lot more. Let’s take a look at appliances and within the household. Everyone’s now a barista with their own state of the art coffee machine, my washing machine now messages me when it’s done, air conditioners are no longer dangerous sticks rotating on a pole or from the roof, and who can go pass the Magic Bullet.
Practicality is not the only development. Technology has played a major part in all industries. From mining, to tourism, transport and none more so than health and medicine. If someone had told me that my computer could print out body parts when I was a kid, I would be well scared, but that’s where we have come to.
I can’t wait to see what happens in the near future, and as an IT graduate and an aspiring digital entrepreneur I hope that I can be a part of shaping it.
I’ve currently hit that stage of my studies where I have to actually start thinking about my future, scary I know, but the dream of last minute cramming, goon bag savings and 4 holidays a year is coming to an end. Unfortunately that piece of paper that you spent what seemed a lifetime and not to mention a considerable chunk of your pay for the rest of your life, will not land you a job despite what the university advertised. There’s the next step, finding a job, or the scarier version, the Graduate application process.
This is a little different to normal job hunting. You can’t just print off a hundred resumes, walk around the shopping center and hand one out to every business you walk past. There’s so many more daunting processes like; the pressure filled interview, the ridiculously worded tests and don’t forgot to mention that you might have to travel fair distances for each of them.
After countless applications I feel that I should pass on some tips that I wish I had at the start to help me.
1. Know the company.
Research the company, know what identifies them from other companies. Social media is best as it is also their way to promote their products, services, current events and programs. Follow them on LinkedIn, or on Twitter, or at least on Facebook. This will also help you weed out companies that may not be best suited for you. Never apply without fully knowing the company.
2. Learn some Math
As I go through these applications and have made it to the next skill assessment round, in some form or another you will have to come across some math based questions. Two trains go from point “A” to point “B”, one going at one speed the other another, at what point do they clash or something. Sound familiar? It will also help with developing your problem solving skills even if they are not math related.
3. Investigate the hiring process.
Some new companies are now using external partners or software to do their screening process. I recently just had to do a video interview Always best to see if you can get an understanding of the application, which you might be able to practice on. Doesn’t hurt to leave a comment on one of their pages along the lines of “Hi, was really interested to know what type of hiring process your companies uses for graduate positions.” Be upfront, also shows initiative and your eagerness to be thorough.
4. Have prerecorded/rehearsed answers.
What skills are you going to bring to the organization, another familiar sounding question? You may not know the exact questions but you know they are along the lines of what skills you can offer, name a situation where you have dealt with a bad customer, and what interests you most about this company. My tip is to have a handful of single line sentences or keywords that you can adapt to any situation.
5. Look over your own history.
Know yourself, helping with the previous step the best way to answer the questions is to know yourself and your experiences. Practice retelling the situation, this time focusing more on how you helped the key issue. The whole application process is essentially a retell of your life.
6. Get your resume in order.
You may hear this a lot but the importance of this step cannot be overlooked. It’s always a good thing to do this after the previous step so that you have a great understanding of who you are what your history is. Visit a career service professional or some form of support to help verify that you are on the right, they get paid to do this for a reason, they can help. Finally don’t limit yourself to the paper. I am more of a “ let my work speak for itself type of person.” A little easier in the design field but there are always way.
7. Become accessible.
Finally, get yourself out there. Make information about you, your career history, skills and any experience accessible. There are so many ways to get your name out there. If you’re not using social media start to, it’s also a great way to gain information about your organization. Use social media, themed blog posting, and YouTube playlist highlighting all your experience, whatever it takes to stand out and keep your employer interested.
It is important to always stay competitive and open minded while looking for graduate positions. Without a doubt there is always going to be someone looking for the exact same job as you and remember “hard work, forever pays.“
The FAA that controls airspace operations in the US has approved drone deliveries under certain conditions - does this mean that Amazon's vision of personalised delivery by drone and avoiding postal and courier services is now possible? And would that be a good idea?
Is it a bird, is it a plane, oh wait it’s just a postcard from my aunt. Are drones the way of the future? Absolutely, with general progression of technology and the new age it seems only natural that we would take personal couriers to the sky. Anyone else thinking that there could be a market in owl shaped drones? Patent pending on that piece of wizardry.
As people have already tried to argue, there are great possibilities that could arise from the use of drones, as heavy weights in this field, Amazon, have (tried) to demonstrate.
This is not new technology, we’ve always (well during my lifetime) had the option of air mail. But that’s not all, the military have utilized these services to capture intelligence and delivery supplies. If they ever need a Magic Bullet (pun intended), now Amazon has got them covered.
But with this new sense of possibility, always comes responsibility. The FAA have provided clearance for commercial drones to be used, with restrictions they feel appropriate enough. Even then, Amazon has already complained that this is too late, as technology has already advanced beyond this new revelation.
However will there ever be a way to fully control this new method of courier services. There are so many things that need to be considered in terms in allowing commercialization of this service. With the biggest issues, as always with new technologies and processes, is securities and vulnerabilities.
Firstly interception, it doesn’t seem to be that hard to think that I could intercept someone’s package. Mobile apps, tech disrupters, possibly just a fishing net on a large stick. Secondly how are you able to monitor all devices, or to stop someone from throwing an Amazon sticker on the device and flying it? If it goes fully personal, it will be impossible to truly regulate and manage all transport of packages. The ease of terrorism and attacks just seem too convenient.
Additionally how are we able to regulate this with our current usage in aerospace? I’m assuming that a bird is nothing compared to a drone in terms of being sucked up into the engine.
There is a value in our current systems. The postal service whether it be UPS or Australian Post ensure that your packages get to you safely, in every sense of the word. The reason you don’t have a bomb at your doorstep, or anthrax in the envelope is that it is securely scanned at each destination before it arrives to you.
Even with these new possibilities of vulnerabilities and insecurities, which are present in most to everything we do as a society nowadays, I still see that whether Amazon managed to succeed in commercializing it now, in the not too distant future, this idea will become a norm.
The head of Ministry of Sound has stated that free streaming services on Spotify or Pandora are going to ruin the music industry. Do you agree that streaming and other digital delivery methods are destroying the possibility of a vibrant music industry?
Being a modern day pirate and growing up in this technological world where information is so readily available and “file sharing” such a common practice it is hard to think of people of actually paying for music and movies in today’s society.
Many people nowadays would argue that the major benefits of providing a free service is beneficial in the sense that people are able to easily access and become more aware of the product (the songs) that are out, so that they may in turn be more willing to purchase other items of merchandise or go see a live performance.
On the other hand the idea of purchasing the music physically was the initial sale of merchandise. From which the musician was then able to produce further music.
I would argue that people are would be less inclined to go out of their way and listen to the song if it was not for free. For the artist that means they have lost an entire market of people who are not only not purchasing merchandise but have not even heard of their songs, losing great publicity and recognition.
I feel that as pirating music and freemium model businesses allows free access to their music that artists need to evolve with the industry and additionally focus on other aspects of music production and develop an understanding of the ever-evolving audience. This applies to not only music but to the print and movie industry also.
Great examples of new adaptations and understanding would be:
Allday told his broke fans that it was okay to torrent his music for free, however if you had the money that you could order the song and that there was additional packages available (Maskovitch, 2014).
Kanye West (yes I am using Kanye West as a reference, you can’t deny his ability) full length feature films of his album Runaway, and his supposed “immersive” full feature film for his next album (West, 2010). These additions compliment the music as well as provide an edge of other artists when it comes to the listeners parting with their cash on more than just the audio experience. They will download the album and then pay to see the accompanying film.
It is hard to stop the inevitable. Unfortunately with this day and age it is hard to stop people from downloading music and essentially wanting things for free. It is in our nature to do so. As Shuman says during an interview “I’m not going after people who are willing to pay today, and I’m gonna stop them from paying. That’s not our intention.” (Dredge, 2015) We’re looking at a new way of consuming music, and obviously I have to get people excited about a new product.
Maskovitch, G. (2014, June 17). Allday: If You’re Broke, You Have My Permission To Torrent My Album [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/allday-if-youre-broke-you-have-my-permission-to-torrent-my-album/
West, K. (2010, October 21). Kanye West - Runaway (Full-length Film) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg5wkZ-dJXA
Dredge, S. (2015, March 11). Free streaming is ‘killing music industry’: Ministry boss [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/11/ministry-of-sound-streaming-switch-off-free?CMP=ema_827
“Sometimes the good guys gotta do bad things to make the bad guys pay.” (Macht, 2012)
First and foremost, Edward Snowden, no matter what the intentions, broke the law. Not only did he break his oath, the Oath of Office, or appointment affidavit, which he took like all other federal government employees but he also broke the U.S. Code, in particular “Disclosure of classified information” (U.S. Code)(2013)
However there are always many different sides to the debate.
Words from the President:
Within the interview ran by Charlie Rose the president of the United States, Barack Obama, explains in his own words his view on the processes of NSA in relation to the development of the documents provided by Edward Snowden.
“We don’t have to sacrifice our freedom in order to achieve security.” (Rose, 2014) He puts forth the idea that with certain “trade-offs” we are able to achieve balance of the two. He states unequivocally that the NSA cannot listen to conversations without a warrant provided by the Fisa due to probable cause by rule and law. This is applicable to only Americans, what about the rest of the citizens of the world.
This contradicts a statement by Edward Snowden, “I, sitting at my desk, ” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email,” (Greenwald, 2013) in which outlines that government officials had the opportunity to do so.
My personal opinion is invalid in the matter as I have not acquired enough information to qualify a response. However some notable things to point out is that in terms of whether he did a bad thing, besides the fact he intentionally broke the law, are to be considered. There was other ways in which he was able to disclose the information besides to a journalist. He had the ability to officially disclose it to the proper authorities. However his intentions were to never leak the information to a foreign government, or to a specific group in general that may use the information that could compromise the United States. Instead his actions were aimed at informing the general public as a whole in matters he believed should not be privatised by the government. He wanted to ensure that the information would not be hidden from the public if he went through the appropriate channels.
The idea of whether his actions were ethical or unethical is up to further debate. Is it ethical to break the law, to break an oath, to intentionally go against company policy? Most would say no, so how is it different in this case. My argument is with the structure that he is within. Was the NSA itself acting ethically, and if not, for those working for them are their jobs in themselves and the rules that govern it ethical? Is an action considered acceptable if it contradicts an unacceptable rule?
As to whether he should continue to be pursued by government courts, in the eyes of the U.S. government he has still broken the law. His return with immunity is what I would consider to be public opinion and if he was granted such would mean that the government would have to concede that the NSA was acting against regulation.
Macht, G. (Actor). (2012, April 3). Suits. Dogfight [Television program] [Transcript]. Orlando, United States: USA Network. Retrieved from http://www.usanetwork.com/suits/episodes/12-12
Rose C. (2013, June 17). Charlie Rose interview at the Whitehouse [Video file]. Retrieved from: http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60230424
Greenwald, Glenn. (July 31). XKeyscore: NSA tool collects nearly everything a user does on the internet [Web blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/nsa-top-secret-program-online-data
The United States Code. (2013). Disclosure of classified information (Title 18. Part I, Chapter 37, Section 798). Washington, D.C, United States: U.S. Code.
Now let’s start off with the fact that I was skeptical and still am on the idea of social media and sharing ones life on the internet. I was quite adament on not participating and was very late in joining the online world in terms of using the various social medias available.
My concerns would definitely be in regards to privacy and the idea that these are personal people&rsquos lives that have the opportunity to be seen by anyone. I do see it being up to the user in terms of what they would like to share but for me it is still a major grey area.
My main issue would be on the sharing of other peoples live without their consent. Especially for when it is about a particular issue and using the internet to publicly air them out. Whether it be a comment on what someone did, an innapropriate picture or the various other forms of postable media, unless you were willing to say it to them directly and whether if the situation was reveresed would you like someone posting about the issue then it should not be allowed.
The people I hate the most would be those who who make money, or in any way selfishly gain from sharing and voicing their opinions on others. Included in this would be the likes of pop culture journalist and to the more generic "keyboard warriors" who feel that they may become more popular if they discredit others just becuase what they are doing doesnt happen to be what they are doing, or simply because their own life is unfullfilling or unacomplished.
In saying this, there is also a lot of potential that can come of participating in these particular rituals. Not only is it a good way to socialize (positively) but to educate, share content and compete healthly against others. Additionally from a marketing and advertising point of view it is a gold mine of opportunity.
For me personally I have decided to give it a try as a way to help document my life. Not for others but for myself. I find myself nowadays quite busy and continuously forgetting what i've done and acheived. With my field of expertise in IT and my desire to work in marketing and advertising, social media seemed to be a given.
I particularly enjoy all aspects of the creative industries and aim to delve deeper and spend more time perfecting my own craft in various areas including (digital) graphic design and creative writing. It is a bonus that these will help me in achieving my future career goals. Additionally as part of one of my courses for my degree I am required to write particular posts on certain issues. So each week there shall be at least a post, but like always I do aim to be writing more.
Well it’s finally over, my internship is complete. It’s hard to think that I was there for an entire month, it seemed to have flown by so quickly. From waking up in the morning, going straight to work, finishing, meeting up with the rest of my CRCC colleagues for dinner and the occasional drink, everyday seemed like one new exciting experience after the next. By the end of the month, it seemed autonomous, that within that short period of time I had already sunk so deep into the work and culture that it was second nature. I mean, I already had developed local eating spots, eating so regularly, that though they didn’t speak English they knew my order and was already in the wok cooking by the time I had sat down.
I won’t forget my time in Shanghai too quickly that’s for sure. Everyday had new and exciting opportunities whether it be trying to decipher a menu, a new project at work, or simply just making from location to the next. There wasn’t a day that went by that not a single memorable thing had occurred.
Don’t get me wrong though, there was a definite “culture shock” as they say. It took a bit getting used to going from a city of 200,000 to a city of millions. It seemed like the area was even smaller. But as you see from the size of the buildings, it’s not hard to tell how they fit so many people into one city. It was just the simple things that I found that were hardest to get used to. In particular being able to drink clean water from the tap. I’ve never bought so many bottles of water before in my life, I was going through 5-8 bottles a day. And another was the traffic. Not only people driving on the opposite side of the road, but on the sidewalks also. I queried how there wasn’t as many car crashes as I thought there would be, but as I was explained “it’s quite hard to crash when you’re only going 30 kilometres an hour”, which now makes a lot of sense. For those who stereotypically think Asians are bad at driving, I would now have to argue quite wholeheartedly, considering the conditions they drive unremarkably well.
But it’s been sensational diving in head first into the culture that Shanghai had to offer. As I’ve mentioned before, the food and the nightlife are something that just has to be taken with an opened mind to gain the full experience. Another major aspect that seemed to quite enjoy was the shopping. For one who has fully embraced the online shopping world and can’t quite remember the last time I set foot into a shopping centre, it was quite exhilarating. And of course I am talking about the markets, and bargaining. The only part of the Chinese language I managed to successfully learn, and with that the game was on. Whether it worked or not, or whether it was going to last, it didn’t matter, with an arsenal of tactics I always felt like I came out on top. It was fun comparing to see what each of us interns would be able to get the price down too, and I even managed to surprise some of the locals.
But the most valuable would definitely have to be working and gaining some firsthand experience, not only in a design type marketing environment but in an international one also. I remember my first day as vividly as my last. Without even sitting down or a full introduction to my other colleagues I was whisked away to my first meeting with one of their major clients, a fashion company currently in the process of expanding into a showroom. I remember sitting their doe eyed as I sat in a meeting completely spoken in Chinese. I thought then that I really should have done some more preparation, however I did feel a little better as my boss didn’t know a word either and had a translator (another intern at the organization) with us. A couple hours later we had come for what we needed, which ended up being my first project.
From then on out it was like clockwork. Each day working on a project, and then when one finished, it was on to the next one. It was exciting to see the different types of projects that the company was responsible for. Not only were they a marketing company but they did interior, landscape, product and company image/logo design. A few of my colleagues were designing the interiors of schools and libraries whilst others were designing watches and toys.
My work colleagues were great to work with, and it was important building that guanxi and network of work friends. We would help each other in completing the task and ensuring that we met the required deadlines, go to our local eateries and have fun experiencing the unusual culture of Shanghai. Half of the work place was of some form of Asian heritage whilst there was also people from Russia, France, Italy and more. I was the only Australian, which it was fun explaining what Australia day was all about, something I was quite happy to celebrate whilst over there.
With such a diverse workplace it made working there go really quickly, it was fun hearing how different cultures viewed different things and so forth. And while it was funny hearing the broken English I’ve come to realise that was probably my biggest downfall. Being the only non-bilingual person in the workplace made some simple tasks harder. It did not help that there was 5 different languages being spoken out of 8 workers. If and when I move back for work, I will definitely make sure that I am a little more fluent and I have continued to learn mandarin as I feel it would be a great tool to have regardless. My main goal for this however would be being able to read and write also. Not only with Mandarin but If I was to travel to other countries, I think I would put a little more effort into learning the language.
Besides the distinct language barrier, there was not many issues that I had with the work they provided. I was happy and I hope they were too, with my current level of knowledge and was able to successfully complete each task. Like most things there is always different ways of tackling the same task and I was able to learn a few new skills and in return was able to show them a few too. In one instance when having to design a site map and graphical diagrams for one of the mobile applications I was unfamiliar with the software that they were using. Instead I used one that I was taught in my courses and for that project they continued to use it. I was quite happy to be able to contribute in this way, for a company to take on a method in this way is quite remarkable.
Working overseas has provided me with the most invaluable experience to my career. It has definitely given me the edge when competing with others in the workforce. Personally I feel comfortable in being able to work and settle quite quickly into any work environment or significantly better then prior to my internship. I will have to give my resume a serious look over when I get back into Newcastle.
One thing I am definitely going to miss is my guanxi, my work family. Both from the company I worked with and the internship group. Firstly my colleagues in the workforce was one of the most diverse group I have ever had the privilege to work with. I have never been so confused in my life, but we all had the same presence of mind, to make good design and to get the work done. They say people live to work and others work to live, and this workplace had both. I don’t really know which one I side with but there is a definite difference within different cultures.
Finally the family that I grew up with from the internship. We would have gone through all of it. Both the good and bad, and every day with them was a new learning day like nothing else. It was like learning in the streets, and not like Sesame Street where you learnt a new number and there was a letter of the day. You had to learn more than a word, a couple of sentences or two just to get from one place to another. But it was a battle that we all shared together, whether it be from the myriad of scams we were forewarned about, to figuring out what we were eating was what was written in the menu.
It was not all bad however. If you were open minded and willing to uncover the hidden secrets that Shanghai had to offer then you could be provided the world. If you could understand that was what you were being given. My attitude to continue trying new things was what I believe lead me to getting the most out of my trip. I would always say “I didn’t come here to eat something I can get at home” or “try something that I could do at home. ” I truly became addicted to the eye-opening experiences that I encountered each day and by the end of it, nothing could surprise me. Definitely surpass my intrigue and broaden my idea of the possible but never fully surprise me.
It will be these quick learning sessions that will stand out the most in my mind and what I feel I will take out of this experience the most. An extraordinary culture, unparalleled experiences, and a second family to go exploring with.
Its time to write about the nightlife in Shanghai. Boy, did it not disappoint. As I was only there for only a month, I tried to make the most of it and as a result I spent every night out, except for two in which I ended up being sick.
But let’s start with bars. With a range of bars catering to all different types of nationalities and tastes the bars in Shanghai were something not to be missed. As I arrived on my first day, forgetting I just spent 14 hours on a plane, it was time to go out. With the older interns showing the way, they took us to spot which soon too became our regular. With endless choices of drinks and even shisha on the desert menu, each bar brought their own style.
Next it was time to step it up with the nightclubs. With table service as the main focus, it was clear to show who had the money to spend on a night out. With some special help from some new friends navigating each nightclub was one drunken memory after another. Not as much dancing happened from my part unfortunately as the floors were packed.
It wasn’t just one night club at a time though. It seemed we would always end up club hopping around the city as there was always a party on at each place. Finally ending up at what I believe Newcastle should introduce, after parties. A nightclub that won’t start getting busy until about three or four in the morning. With a few underground raves to add to the mix, these nights were not for the faint hearted.
Moving onto the music, I’ve never heard so much Katy Perry before in a night out. But each bar had their own mix and each nightclub had their own DJ. Being able to see a few major performances, front row I might add, by DJ Snake and Taboo was also on the highlight reel. I did not hear much to or at all any Chinese music whilst out though.
If you weren’t dancing and lucky to have a table you were playing what seemed to be more popular dice games. The locals can’t get enough of it and I managed to learn a few games also. It was really a strange experience going into a nightclub where the majority of people are sitting down and playing with dice, especially considering the amount of money each table would have to pay.
All in all the nightlife in Shanghai is non-stop. With a few million people in the city, no matter what night of the week it is, something is happening somewhere. You just got to dig a little to find the true gems of the city.
Three weeks complete. The idea of daily posts has just gone out the window. It feels like this week has just gone way too quickly. Its event worst to think that I only have one week left here in Shanghai. However I can’t believe I have been here for so long and have yet to talk about the food. So here it is, a Shanghai food appreciation post.
Well it has failed to disappoint. The food over here is completely insane and is one of mt favourite aspects of Shanghai.
Firstly the price of it. I have been over here eating three proper meals a day and on average spending roughly 100 kuai on food and that’s living quite lavishly. In reality it is only 20 dollars Australian which I wouldn’t be able to get dinner for that price. With places over here selling dumplings and rolls for 2-3 kuai, it is really not that hard to break the bank while over here.
My favourite and possibly the more interesting are the side stalls or street food that have swamped Shanghai. My favourite, a little setup called Babi Mantous, with the iconic Jackie Chan as the face of it, serving my a wide range of dumplings and my favourite zhurou dabao (large pork steamed buns). Being such a regular here is helping as my Chinese is shocking, the guy has even managed to learn a little English.
Other street food on my list as I walk down include egg wraps, shish kebabs, octopus kebabs, and a whole assortment of food that I can neither say nor explain. As long as there is a good line up for the food, you know you are in the right place.
Talking of dumplings however, I was able to visit was is considered to be the most famous dumplings in the… world I believe. Once I saw the queue for it, I could see why. People were lining up for over 2 hours for these bad boys, and some even already had food in their hands. I waited, only for half an hour, and I could taste why.
Next on the list are some of the more authentic Chinese restaurants, though you can’t get more authentic then side food. From Lanzhou noodles (hand-made pasta) to Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, one of the biggest restaurants I’ve seen. Just as interesting the food, how it’s cooked is just as fun to watch.
And finally if you are missing a bit of home or would like to try another culture, Shanghai has you covered. A regular for me is a Korean bbq, but I was quite happy to find an Australian bar on Australia Day so I could get a Chicken Snitty. I haven’t eaten a great deal of western food however. I have only eaten McDonalds twice as a good old 4 am feed only because they a McSpicy, which needs to land in Newcastle, and that they deliver to the hotel.
As I’ve said I didn’t come to Shanghai to eat food that I can eat at home. Once again, I have probably only scratched the surface as to what Shanghai can offer. I’ll dig a little deeper in the next couple of days.
Second day of the second week done and time is just flying by. It’s scaring me that in 24 hours I will have hit the halfway point of my internship and my time here in Shanghai. I have tried everything I could and I still barely feel like I’ve scratched the surface. Mainly highs and an a couple unfortunate lows, but as we say it is all part of the experience.
I attended my first Mandarin class today and truthfully I feel like I’ve learnt more on the street. It was good though as I now know how to bargain a little better, which will definitely come in handy when I hit the markets again.
But work has been great experience. After writing my first assignment, it was amazing to actually try and get this experience into words. I hope that I can continue on track with it and help further pursue my career. I am already one project down and now being able to further that into another was quite exciting. There has been some major loss of sleep but it is worth it.
On the lighter side of things, the absolute culture of this place is on par with none. There really is an old and a new Shanghai. Being able to visit a Buddhist temple during the day and then sit back and relax on the rooftop fifty plus stories high, highest at 93 so far, is incredible. The nightlife also, words can’t describe. Shanghai knows how to take care of people.
So here’s to my thirteenth day here and I can only bet the next will be just as action packed. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know the people I have been working with and building my Guanxi. Oh and as I have realised that I am supposed to be keeping a diary, I shall be posting more, hopefully, each day.
So it’s my third day at work, currently sitting in the office with an actual coffee, a meal that I don’t quite know what’s in it, whilst I continue to slowly prod along with the work that was given to me. All in all I feel like I’m starting to settle in.
I was lucky enough to get a workplace that is only a 10, 20 if I stop off for some Babi Mantous, minute walk away from my hotel. Which is not bad, considering some of the interns have to travel up to an hour to get to work. However, walking distance means a pain in the arse when it starts raining.
The city itself is something else. The amount of people infinitely increases the chances of something interesting to happen. For those who say Asians are bad drivers have no idea. I was sceptical at first but considering what they have to put up with, it’s amazing that I haven’t seen a car crash. I thought New York was bad.
But nothing beats going for a stroll and soaking in the culture. The food here is too good not to try. I am surprised I haven’t gotten food poisoning especially seeing that some of my meals have included an Octopus Kebab and Chicken Paws. I fairly sure it was supposed to say feet.
However I shall get back to work and continue working on my designs.
So I have, or I think have finished packing for my trip in two days and I have to tell you, it still hasn’t sunk in. In about 36 hours I am about to embark on my first solo international trip and I still don’t know whether I feel excited or worried.
Over the last few months it has been hard work preparing for this trip. Getting passport and visa ready, enrolling and prior studies, packing and vaccinations. There always seemed to be something more to do, and I still feel like I have forgotten something. I would like to thank CRCC Asia and similarly The University of Newcastle for this opportunity and their support during this process. Additionally Newcastle Travel for again getting me great flights.
The only thing left is to get on the plane and start this 5 week journey.
I have been offered the opportunity to work with a Branding and Design company called Octopus Innovation. I honestly can’t wait to start, working in the marketing and advertisement sector which is something that I hope to further develop my career around.
Cheers to meeting new people, having to repeat myself (then use google translator), trying anything to eat against the advice of my mother and to seize every opportunity. If you would like to follow use #TerribleTourist
So once again it‘s been a fair while since I‘ve posted. A lots happened since and I‘d like to think that I have slowly progressed to be where I want to be and better understand where I want to go.
The last few days (weeks) as I have been on holidays have been, well a holiday. I always find it important that people should take the time and step back away from their work. Night time for rest, weekends for fun and holidays to do the things you wouldn‘t normally do.
However, as many of us do, the Christmas period seems to be an extra period of indulgence. With Christmas ham, merry drinks and (too) many sleepless nights I‘ve developed a sense of early New Years guilt. Each morning thinking that the gym instead of the pub is where I should be going.
And as I do most Mondays and especially not just after this two week binge I have been on, I plan to get a kick-start on my New Years resolution. To get ahead its best to prepare and the spend the days leading up to it getting ready that way you aren‘t spending the new year organizing instead of achieving.
In Incremental Steps:
Sudden shocks in your system are not healthy for you and its makes it easier for people to slip into their bad habits again. Remember you should never quit anything cold turkey.
Get More Active:
The gym has taken a back seat to the banquet feast that comes at this time of year. Exercising not helps you lose those extra sizes you added to your waist but to help clear your mind and focus better.
Get More Creative:
Nothing helps ideas flowing and expand your thought process than too tap into your creative side. I miss picking up the pencil and formulating my ideas into visual representations. It‘s one on the main reasons I got into this field.
Read and Write More:
Now I‘m not one for reading, I think the only books that I have managed to successfully read cover to cover would have to be the Harry Potter series. I do plan to start however slowly, reading more articles and writing more posts, just like this one.
For me, the upcoming year, will inevitably play significant part of the development of my career, I only hope that I am prepared to be able to seize every opportunity.
“The only time you’re on top, is when you’re digging a hole.”
He has never seen himself as a Leader but has had roles that have required leadership qualities and wakes up each morning thinking he doesn’t have to do this today to lead this team but wake up each morning thinking that this has to be done because it is my role and my responsibility. With a speech filled with memorable quotes who better to speak on leadership as part of our International Leadership Series for iLead than Wayne Bennett.
With an extensive history as a former Australian Kangaroos Player, Queensland Police Officer and Super Coach (over 700 1st grade games with 7 winning premierships), Wayne spoke of his belief in Commitment, Selflessness, Ability to live with oneself and more can allow someone to obtain and possess the qualities that can allow one to lead, coach and inspire others.
“ Commitment sorts out the dreamers from the doers.”
With the understanding that promises or simply lies to yourself, Wayne, explained how crucial “commitments” were for himself personally and for others. At the age of 14 he made three commitments to himself; that he would become a police officer; that he would play for his country; and the one he sees most impactful on his success, to never drink alcohol. He understood to fulfil those dreams he had to make a commitment, not a promise.
“Talent alone is not going to get you anywhere, everybody has the ability to be talented.”
It is those who are willing to go above and beyond and pay the price that is required to be the person you want to be. Teach yourself the traits and qualities you want, and focus on what you have, not on what you don’t. He states that he would not be where he would be today if he focused on what he didn’t have. In the locker room and with his teams he always asked - why don’t you focus on what you do have?
In his time he has taught many people with great physical courage, similarly one quality he states for leadership is moral courage. The ability to stand for something. What do you stand for? He would be able to answer that for many of the members of his team. Belief in your own opinion, is better than falling for everyone else’s point of view and allowing them to manipulate you. Be proud of who you are and don’t be scared to express yourself. This is something he sees as one of his own weaknesses, a trigger that upsets him when he is unable was unable to say what he believe he needed to say at the time.
“One of your greatest learning tools is the observations of others.”
Another trait he continues to expand on was the ability to observation of people. How they react around you and with you. He says he has learnt more about leadership by simply observing people within the workplace and the people that he wants to be. His biggest challenge as a coach was to create an environment in which people can do their best and his biggest motivation to push further is within his failures, and his understanding of what he believes can and is possible.
“Isn’t it amazing how many things can be accomplished when nobody cares who did it.”
Leadership is about people, simple as that. He has seen many situations in which an individual overacts, as they believe it is about them. He continues by expressing that a leader is someone who is willing to stay at the end of the queue all day, every day. They put you (others) first, caring about your wellbeing so don’t be selfish. Leadership is about the team.
“Before you lead anybody, you have to lead you. You can’t lead other people if you can’t lead yourself. ”
On the other hand, the one person he wants to make happy, is himself. He points out that (and say this out loud to yourself) is that the only person you got to live with twenty four seven is me, you can’t get away from you. No matter what you do, whether you laugh, cry, go out, you’re with you. So why don’t you make yourself happy. With the example of a particular current Novocastrian, though he may have been able to play for Australia, payed quite fairly and everything else professional in his career, he still suffers from depression. Due to the fact that he doesn’t like who he is personally.
“you got 40 odd years in front of you all, so why wouldn’t you start to invest in you. So you can be that person in the workplace that does make a different. ”
He also left us with a few other parting qualities that he believes that can help us to be leaders and the people we want to be.
“Sometimes we get lost with the stars.”
- Communication → with your team
- Trust → for yourself and those around you
- Vision → for want you want
- Focus → on achieving your goal
- Responsibility → for your action and for your team
- Respect → earned every day
- And finally Honesty, Truth and Compassion
Finally I was able to start the question portion of the seminar and asked what he feels was the biggest lesson he had learnt in his career. Simply put, it was to treat everyone fairly. Team requires not only the stars but the people who put in the hard work. Though an individual may never be a star, his work should not go unnoticed.
Social Media is a medium that allows you to share your opinions, and at the same time advertises who you are. Not many people understand when they post the various pictures of themselves that it builds the portfolio that others perceive them. This is not just the people around them physically but the online community as a whole. This means that it is not only your friends that see how you look after a big party but your classmates, distant cousins, some guy named Paul living on the opposite side of the world and more importantly potential employers and companies that you may wish to work with.
Information is now so readily available that the average person can not only the find an individual or company but research their inner workings and what makes them who they are. This can be beneficial and works both ways, employers may have the opportunity to look at your profile and assess you by the amount of pictures of you and your cat or your tireless rants about your personal political leniency but you can do your own research and look at how the companies that you want to work with are going, what’s trending, how their employees are behaving and so on.
“A career is not something that is chosen when an individual leaves education, but rather something that is built through life” - Longridge, Hooley, Staunton 2013
Employers want people who are plugged in and want to know who they are. Gone are the days when you used to ask what you could do for the company. You have to be proactive and state what you can do for them, with what their currently doing and issues they are currently facing. With most to all companies now having some form of social media presence, it’s easier than ever to start getting in contact with who you need.
Here are some tips to manage your online presence:
Don’t spread yourself to thin
With the wide range of social networks out there many people who try to stay up to date and current, end up signing up with too many networks. Unless you do it for a living, more than three to four networks are generally more than enough. You do not want to wear yourself out. These tools are used to only help compliment what you are currently doing, not to overtake your day job. You should choose the platforms that convey your skills. General socialites stick to facebook and twitter, designers with Behance and job seekers or companies with LinkedIn. If you are unsurem you should only join the largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).
Know your Audience
You must understand who you want to target on each of your social networks. As you gain more friends and followers, you may lose track of who is reading your updates and posts. How many of your work colleagues are you connected with? Do you consider them reading your posts when you upload that picture of you at the other end of the beer bong?
Remember, being humble in your career extends to your presence online. Though it is important to self-promote it is only beneficial in moderation. No-one likes to connect or befriend people who are self-involved. You will soon see that your follower numbers will drop. The best way to promote yourself is to promote others. Connect personally with those who spent the time connecting with you, it helps with creating goodwill and a connection, as well as distributing value based on what you have to offer. It goes two-ways, you promote someone, and they will promote you back.
Be Consistent and Recognizable
Much similar to not wearing yourself to thin, you also should be consistent with your posting. It is very important when it comes to any self-promotion or marketing. This can be as simple as using the same image for your profile across all networks. You want people to be able to recognize you no matter what page they are scrolling on. However consistency is the key, not only your pictures, but your (user)name, fonts, colours and your overall message or elevator pitch.
And Don’t Forget to Network
They are called social networks for a reason. This should not obviously replace your normal interactions in the real world, but they are a great way in getting to meet new people and having the opportunity to give that first impression and that first impression can help you towards that career goal of yours.
Be creative in your approach. With the current available technologies then the original paper resume is not all that is required and is now often quite boring to read, especially for those who have to read a hundred to a thousand a day. Stand out and be creative, you don’t have to be tech savvy, you only need the skills and efforts that you use on a daily basis to get that perfect snapchat or Instagram photo correct. Here are some creative examples;
Dear Lisa Rudgers
Nick Belling Video Resume
I have just spent the last five days in the city of Atlanta Georgia for a conference, the National Campus Leadership Experience, in which I was representing Australian Relays at the homeplace of that bubbling beverage that is now more commonly known than the word “hello.”. With only 1 day to submit my application and a little bit of luck, I was told three weeks prior that I was to fly over with the addition of doing a presentation of how Australia Relays.
My travels started Thursday the 8th in which I began with a train trip to Sydney as preparation for the longest non-stop flight, Sydney to Dallas, (The return, which I am currently on, Dallas to Sydney via Brisbane is longer). Roughly sixteen hour flight later I land to what is only an hour later and then the mad rush to get through customs to get to my connecting flight to Atlanta. Panic had set in when I arrived with only thirty minutes to board my next flight and I was a couple hundred people behind to get through customs. However a few loud comments later I was able to skip a lot of lengthy lines. Silver linings I suppose, a movie (Silver Linings Playbook) amongst others that I watched on the flight. Seeing as my last flight was with United, where there were no screens in front of us, to Qantas where there was a video collection to rival most current modern day pirates, I had no issue with the long flight. I never had issues flying with United but I can definitely see the difference, though the service and leg room is still pretty much the same. Either way you’re stuck in a metal bucket.
Roughly twenty seven hours of travel later I finally made it to the Wyndham hotel and conference centre, where the conference was to be held. After a quick shower it was out for a bite to eat and to put faces to the names of those who helped me with getting overseas. Trying to avoid the urge to sleep so that I could ease the transition and avoid the dreaded jet lag, I had my first rehearsal of my presentation. It was clear at this time that I had not actually fully read through it, they took pity though for my lack of travels. I was still just trying to get used to the weather, a heat to rival Australia with the added pain of being ridiculously humid. Not a massive fan of heat in general and however like most States I have visited, they were experiencing unseasonably extreme weather.
The conference itself was very enlightening. They say that Americans do it bigger, and Relay for Life is no exception. Considering there are no major gatherings at all for the Relay in Australia this hundred odd person gathering was only the warmup to their thousand plus summit they have in a month or two’s time. Not only that this was their summit for high school and collegiate (in other words on campus) only, something that Australia has yet to establish and something that I soon to change.
The whole event was inspiring to say the least. To see so many people volunteering their time and efforts for a single cause is quite seldom seen. With each day packed with multiple sessions divided into both general sessions and work breakouts, the conference was over pretty quickly. Each general session shared the theme of inspirational talks that covered all areas of relay including; what relay is and its current works, it’s purpose and how it helps those, the people involved, relay on a global scale (my talk), technology advancements, further action and inspirational talks. While the breakouts were designed to help educate and shape its participants into more learned leaders and have the tools and resources to create and manage their own teams. By the end of the third day it was more than just learning, it was the bringing together of a nation. It was completed with a Luminaria Ceremony to truly engage the depth of the ACS’s impact and then brought back to life by the youthful exuberance of one of relays youngest ambassadors.
After the conference I was able to spend an extra couple of days in Atlanta to go do some sightseeing before trekking back. With the advantage of a City Pass I was able to see some of the more prestigious tourist attractions including the Coca Cola factory, Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, CNN, a Atlanta Braves game and infamous American Cancer Society Headquarters. Most of these places showing the rich history of Ted Turner, and more emphatically the power of Media, Marketing and Advertising. There was a slogan in the Coca Cola Factory that stated the Coke would be able to sell without any advertising. Then staring at the various giant billboards and their participation with most to all sporting events I could not help to think that advertising played a major factor in its success.
Finally I would like to finish this post with a tribute to Dr. Goody Klatt. During the conference we were unfortunately informed of his passing and his loss of battle to stomach cancer. He was the founder of relay and it was his motivation and vision to start the first relay back in 1985 where he ran around the track in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours. The fight against cancer has been severely shortened by his efforts and without him we would not be in the position to be able to finish the fight.
“Celebrate the survivors; remember those who lost the battle and FIGHT BACK! We all need to CELEBRATE MORE BIRTHDAYS and by relaying we keep the HOPE alive through education, community involvement and fundraising for ongoing research. I love you all!” -- Gordy Klatt
Wow, I can’t believe that its already over. SORRY I was unable to post yesterday’s wrap up, but the time just flew by. It was such a long day and I had to get Theo to put me to bed.
The second day was an early start, and I was still getting used to the jet lag. Theo had to go rehearse while I had breakfast, and then it was time! After Adam (our new friend, who has been our very good host) talked on his amazing work with ACS it was Theo’s turn. He even let me go on stage with him, lucky I didn’t have to talk though. Theo showed the Americans how we Relay in Australia and even managed to get 120 Americans chanting Aussie Aussie Aussie (Oi, Oi, Oi).
After that it was back to more workshops and more talks from some very exciting speakers. It’s so great to hear from all these people and how passionate they are about Relay. I have met so many new friends who I hope to keep in touch with. We got to finish the night off with some dancing after dinner. Americans seem to have a dance for every song, have you ever heard of wobbling. It was soo funny watching people do it.
After all that, I was very very tired. I wanted to keep dancing but I could hardly keep my eyes open and we had so much planned for the next day. Theo had to carry me to bed, my legs are still too tired to walk.
Today was unfortunately the last day however. It was another very inspiring day and also very sad. We walked into our last general session and there was tissues on everyones table in front of them. They performed a Luminaria Ceremony (or a Remembrance ceremony as we Aussies call it) and it was very touching. Not many tissues were left behind. But then we also got to hear from another very inspiring young boy, Dylan Walsh. He spoke of his amazing story of how he has diagnosed with Cancer at the age of 3 and has been relaying ever since.
It was very very sad to hear however that that one of the most influential members of ACS, the founder of Relay, the visionary, Mr Gordy Klatt, had lost his battle with Cancer and passed his torch on to finish the fight. Since 1985 (the First relay) he has helped sooo many people, and without him Relay for Life would not be around or where it is today. From Australia, we thank you for everything you’ve done.
It is now time for me to say goodbye to all my new friends. Me and Theo are off to check out Atlanta for a couple of days before our big trip home again, I hear we lose a day on the way back. Adam will be showing us around this afternoon, he said there is a zoo about, I hope I get to see the giant panda’s they have. However this is my last post. I will let Theo have it back again. He has been very kind to let me use his computer all the time. As Gordy would say “Keep up the fight!”
The first workshop for Day 2 was aimed at helping the volunteer committee students to:
- Identify their Vision
- Create a plan for building a whole committee
- Develop plans to meet short and long term goals.
Vision cannot be explained from one person to another. “Vision without action is just a dream, Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with Action can change the world.” Our first activity was to create a vision board of what we want for our relay in the future. The idea is to see what the goals are of the individuals, as these are what drive people and to why they participate.
Next was to help change from having a whole committee to a WHOLE committee. Not the idea that the committee doesn’t have enough members, but also that members are diverse around the entire campus. Consider yourself how wholly involved you are within your university, group or society. Diversity among different interests, clubs and communities allows you to have a wider and vast knowledge of your own surroundings. It’s these personal connections among different groups that encourages growth in your workplace.
way to become a WHOLE, is team bonding and cohesion. Without it, it creates an environment where working together is can be difficult. Being able to connect with other members in your team requires being able to get to how you all are connected and why you are working together to achieving the same vision and goal.
Being able to see this is an integral part of working cohesively within a team. By establishing common goals and understanding how each member engages as part of a team can provide a comfortable and rewarding environment, making it easier to achieve your common goals.
I first started thinking that leadership is “the ability to make a decision or perform an action on behalf of a group to benefit the group as a whole.” During the first workshop for the NRFLLE we discussed the many aspects of leadership and being able to recognize what makes a leader and how one can further enhance their skills if they are within a leadership role.
The first thing we touched on is who do we consider leaders? Can you think of the last 5 people who won the Oscar, picked in the NBA draft, richest people alive? Little tricky, may be able to answer a couple but not really. Now think of the people who made a positive difference in your life. You could easily name five right? The point is that, just because someone may be exceptional in their field of work doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are or should be considered leaders. It is the people who have a positive impact that you should aspire to consider as personal leaders.
“When we are inspired we can tap into our best selves and do amazing things.”
Our next activity was a subset of smaller activities that helped in the various areas that people may people may be good or bad at, or possibly unaware of it’s impact completely.
The first was self-awareness, where we shared personal characteristics that may hinder our ability to work as a leader. To be self-aware means you know how you feel and how your emotions and actions affect those around you. Ways to improve yourself aware ness could be to keep a journal or simply slow down.
Next was self-management, where we stand on a 1-10 line of how well we relate in regards to change. These are those who manage themselves effectively, and rarely verbally attack others, make rushed or emotional decisions, serotype people or compromise their values. Ways to improve the trait is to practice being calm, being able to hold your-self accountable and to look for the silver lining.
After that was Social Awareness. In this exercise we did some improve where we acted out various workplace scenarios. This is crucial to managing a successful team and committee and is focused on the leader having empathy which helps build the respect and loyalty of the team. You can enhance this trait by changing your perspective, tune into body language and be able to respond appropriately to feelings.
Finally our last activity was Relationship Management. This focused on what we saw was the difference between a coach and a mentor. Those with good RM are great communicators and set an example with their own work. One can improve this by learning conflict resolution skills, improve communication, and learn how to show appreciation.
”Being a leader is not about making yourself more powerful. It’s about making the people around you more powerful” – Heidi Wills
After this very intensive workshop being able to define what a leader is become significantly harder and everyone’s definition was different. What does leadership mean to you?
So I heard that last night theo had to spend the night rehearsing while I spent the night asleep. I\'ve never spent the night in such a big bed. A good night sleep and I\'m all fresh, can\'t say the same for Theo.
So we managed to get up for a fitness session this morning. This hotel has everything. Even a squash court. I plan to get on the courts hopefully for a hit.
After that I had to go and get Theo out of bed, it was time for him to practice again. I wasn\'t able to see him last night so I was excited to see him speak. Over here everyone is very kind, I have been able to give out many hugs.
We are just in the processing of waiting, a lot of relayers from all over America are just starting to Arrive. It\'s all getting very exciting. I am just having some lunch while Theo has meeting with some of the managers for the summit. I had to give him a talking though, he walked out with a plate of bacon.
Ohh I can\'t wait to see everyone.
So I’ve finally made it, to America and to my hotel. Oh how I’ve missed you. 27 hrs over one train trip and two flights, one the longest currently possible, and I’m finally here in Atlanta, Georgia for the National Relay For Life Leadership Experience. Considering I landed only half an hour later than when I took off, I seem to be dealing with the change in time quite well.
Though the weather is not ideal, every time I come to America it seems to be unconditional weather for this area, I’m just finally glad to be able to stretch my legs out properly. The flights I will say weren’t too bad. Considering that my last flight was with delta, I was just stoked to have a power point to charge my stuff let alone a wide choice of movies that I didn’t have to pay for.
But it’s not time to crash yet, just going to check out the conference room, and have run through of my presentation and get a solid meal.
To track my progression for this trip click on the collection link Why Not RFL
or follow the #whynotrfl tag on all social media.
Firstly I would like to say thank you to my travel size companion and trip photographer, Theo, for allowing me to use his blog for the next couple of days as we head to the National Relay for Life Leadership Experience in Atlanta, Georgia. Yeah that’s right, Dougal is going overseas for his first trip and I couldn’t be any more excited to represent Australia at the conference. I’m glad I don’t have to do a presentation like Theo though.
We are currently on our, what seems forever, journey to America. Don’t know why we chose the longest non-stop flight, but thank goodness I managed to get a window seat. Poor Theo has to sit on the isle and unfortunately has to get up every time the person between us has to go pee.
We are just at Dallas Airport now, and it is quite different to Sydney. Only one more short flight left and we are there. I can’t wait to see what our hotel looks like. I’m hope I’m not jet lagged, we have such a big day and weekend ahead of us.
Keep following this page to keep up to date on my travels, I hope Theo doesn’t get sick of me posting on his website.
Have you ever had that overcoming feeling of anxiety, the sudden rush of adrenaline, shortness of breath, sudden onset of sweating? Then you may be remembering that scary moment in which you engaged in some form of public speaking. Well let me tell you that the fear is real.
After an engaging session with a well versed toastmaster of 22 years, Mrs Annette Roberts, with her helpful tips was able to show us how to “take the terror out of public speaking” and make those butterflies in the stomach fly in synchronization.
For me, public speaking is a daunting task, one that studies have shown, people were more afraid of then death itself. With my upcoming presentation in a couple of days I seeked support and was told feinting whilst I walk on to the stage was not the best idea.
Alternatively deep breaths, a well-structured speech with a compelling hook, and the usual experience and practice is the recipe. Don‘t forget to be weary of your vocal variety so that you‘re not yelling or talking to fast and that visual aids can be supportive if they don‘t take focus away from you.
How does this help however when you‘re put on the spot, don‘t know the answer or in those high pressure situation like an interview. Mrs Roberts gave some very insightful things to consider, such as answering the “who, want, where, when, how” and or the “past, present and future.”
One particular method of answering that stood out was her “Point, Reason, Example, Point”
method. It follows the structure of ensuring that you:
- first answer the question directly (either yes or no)
- give a reason as to why you feel this way,
- back it up with an example (personal is better)
- and then reiterate your decision (this is why I feel this way).
With a few unlucky people who were picked to try out this method, it was interesting to see the significant difference it made in allowing them to just concentrate on the answer, without rambling into tangents or being distracted by the crowd.
So instead of imagining people in their underwear (which in itself could be quite distracting), think of yourself walking out, the crowd smiling, listening and applauding, and that feeling that they are much better off due to your efforts to talk.
It has been roughly a year in the making, but tmagill.com has finally been completed. The website has been up and running however its functionality has been less than ideal, in actuality it has been non-existent.
But with all the extra time that I have acquired from participating in the Dry July campaign, I have been able to spend time that I would normally be nursing a hangover to finally complete my website.
I would like to say congratulations to everyone who participated in the cause. For those who attempted the challenge and was unable to succeed, take solace in the fact that you made the first step. I strongly encourage you all to spread the word.
It is amazing to see what people can achieve when they have the extra time on their hands. As part of the Dry July campaign world records were out to be broken. With creativity not being stifled by the agonies of the dreaded morning after we were able to see communities come together to raise money to support the many organizations that help adults living with Cancer.
Dry July: World"s Largest Skittle Mosaic
Dry July: World"s Largest Smoothie
So congratulations to all those involved. You can still donate until the end of August