Tag Archives: Going Back to School

CurrentTrending Topics for a Grad Student

“Trending” seems to be trending in social media talk.  So what’s trending in my life right now:

  • Midterms/ Studying
  • Late Nights
  • Tired
  • Stress
  • Study Break Munchies
  • Minimal Social Life
  • Procrastination
  • Full DVR
  • Upcoming Project Deadlines
  • Did I already say tired..I meant exhaustedstress demands increasing

It’s the mid-point of the semester and that means the stress of studying for mid-term exams is high and the demands of deadlines are cranking up!

So if you’re trying to manage a higher than usual stress level like me -keep in mind there’s always an end to it all.  Mine is in May until then I’ll take the weekend.keep-calm-its-almost-friday-4




Final Countdown!

It’s the Final Countdown!!


I can see the end in sight.  (Even though my eyes itch like crazy from allergies!)   In 3 weeks I’ll be wrapping up my 4th semester in my Grad School journey.  So what’s left between now and the start of my summer break???

  • One Test – Marketing Research
  • Infographic Resume – Digital Lab
  • Data Visualization Assignment  – Digital Lab
  • Video Resume  – Digital Lab
  • Group Report & Presentation – Marketing Research
  • AdWords Group Project Report – Digital Lab

It may seem like a lot but I think it will be manageable.  Fingers crossed.  Point is – if you don’t hear much from me between now and then, chances are I’m working on one of the above items.

Even though I won’t be taking classes I’ll still be working hard this summer.  I’m determined to find my focus for my degree plan and start working towards a clear goal.  I’ve learned so much since my first day of class.  Everything seems so interesting that at times it’s a bit overwhelming.

So the good news is – I should have plenty of material during the summer for inTuitionat40!


Trailblazing Debut

Part 3 of the development of my trail running quest and my own marketing principle.

Development Milestone 12:  Dec 1, 2012 Race Day!!!  Yesterday was my trail running race debut.  I showed up a little early just in case I couldn’t find the park.


The race sold out so I felt pretty lucky to have a spot.  The weather was perfect, a little windy but dry and a nice 67 degrees.  Can’t beat that for Dec 1st!!  The course started out on a flat field where we were soon routed to the wooded trails.  We had to run single file due to the narrow paths so I had to strategically time passing the runner in front of me.  Yes, I actually was able to pass people!  I found I like the challenge of the quick sprint to pass or the small uphill slopes.  Thankfully there’s normally a downhill on the other side to help me catch my breath.


What a great morning!  Not only did I run my first 5K by myself but I finished my first trail race AND placed 4th in my division!!!  It was a lot of fun.  Hopefully there will be other similar races throughout the year.

Now…how did the Poser Principle wrap up…

The primary premise of my principle is we all want to be either someone we’re not, be better at something than we really are, or just look good doing it!

Marketers know this and I fell right into the trap!  I saw the girls running in the Athleta catalog and I wanted to be like them.   It doesn’t have to be the Athleta catalog, a sport or athletic “look” to mimic.  It can be a the image of a model in a great holiday outfit.  One could think they will have as much fun as she is having if they purchase that dress or top.  Companies use pretty pictures, celebrity endorsements or slice of life imagery to entice us.  In my case – it wasn’t just the attire I went after but the lifestyle.  I got a lot out of this experiment.  It may not get the rest of my tuition covered by my innovative theory but I found a great healthy stress reliever to help get me through my future stressful times of school and life.

Trailblazing:  Suggestive of one that blazes a trail; setting out in a promising new direction; pioneering or innovative

OH and I can’t forget the last stage of the Consumer Decision Process.  STAGE SEVEN: DIVESTMENT (Disposal, recycling or remarketing)  This won’t happen for  a while. I have a lots of miles to run with my North Faces!!!



Can a Poser Become A Real Trail Runner?

My next several posts will document the creation of The Poser Principle, a marketing principle developed my none other than….me!

Poser – One who attempts to appear to others as something they are not.

A little historyI run.  I’m not coordinated enough for team sports that involve catching, throwing or kicking; so I run.  Running is easy.  The way I see it running is a good solo sport. I can walk out my front door and get a good 3-4 miles in or I can join my friends for a fun, non-competitive race.

Before I get started explaining the development of my Poser Principle, I need to briefly explain the already developed, Consumer Decision Process (CDP).   It is a seven stage roadmap of consumers’ minds that marketers use to help guide product mix, communication and sales strategies.   At the end of each development milestone I’ll note the stage of my CDP.

Development Milestone 1:  Mid-October 2012 The Winter edition of the Athleta catalog (direct mail marketing) hits my mailbox.  Since I don’t live in the mountains for skiing, the closest sport I can relate to is trail running.  I see the models running in their cool trail running clothes and I think… I want to look that cool.  I bet if I buy those clothes I’ll look as cool and fit as they do.  Isn’t that how it works?  See Exhibit 1 below.    STAGE ONE: NEED RECOGNITION

Development Milestone 2:  Oct 25, 2012  I receive an email from a local running store (direct email marketing) for a trail run in the DFW area.  I reach out to my friend Sandy to see if she has ever done any trail running.  Her immediate reply is – “Yes!  I’ll sign up now.”  Ahhhhhh – panic sets in!!  I was just asking about it,(information gathering) – nowhere did I say – “Let’s do it”.   I’m a poser – I’m not a trail runner.  STAGE TWO: SEARCH FOR INFORMATION  

Development Milestone 3:  Oct 28, 2012 I decide I’m going to give this a try.  BUT I’m a poor college student so I can’t just go out and buy all new running gear.  I’ve got to research this and try it out some before I spend money on a sport I’m not going to stick to.  I continue my external research on the differences between road running vs. trail running.  The benefits sound great!

  1. Fewer Injuries: Trail running is on softer surfaces which reduces impact forces but also builds strength in your stabilizer muscles.
  2. Improved Technique: the adjustments trail runners make due to the uneven terrain are helpful in improving acceleration for running on any surface.
  3. Mental Break: (This already sounds promising for a worn out grad student working full time).  Trail running allows you to enjoy different scenery, breaking up the monotonous asphalt jungle around town.
  4. Breathe Easier:  No carbon monoxide from nearby cars and the abundance of trees provides a more oxygen-rich environment.
  5. Get Faster: (who needs to know why – I just like the sound of that) Trails usually involve hills, running hills can make a runner faster.  One theory on the Kenyan runner’s speed is due to the fact they run hills and soft surfaces every day.

I’m sold!!!  I’ve committed to give this a try but I’ve not committed to the race just yet.  I have one month before the run.  I decided I would wait until the run gets closer to commit.  In true poser fashion, I’m not going to run in the cold rain…the race is in December; there could be a number of bad weather elements going on come race day.

Forth Milestone:  Oct 30, 2012  I get home from work, put on my (said with annoyed tone) “normal running clothes” and head out the front door.  Where does one trail run in the middle of the city in the middle of the week?  Heeelllllooooo – the nearby park!  I ran 2 1/2 miles in the rugged terrain of the nearby elementary school while the 8 yr old soccer practice took place.  There may not have been tree roots and limbs for me to dodge but there were divits in the ground for me to watch for and I definitely had to put forth a little extra effort in my stride than I do on my normal sidewalk route.  Plus I could feel some blisters coming on.  Maybe trail running shoes are needed…      STAGE THREE: PREPURCHASE EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES

Stay tuned to find out if I buy new running shoes.  If buy the cool outfit to match the girls in the Athleta catalog.  AND if I run my first trail race next weekend.


Are you Native or an Immigrant? Part 2

I wanted to continue a little more on last week’s post.  I thought about how I’ve changed recently to utilize some of the benefits that technology has to offer.

  • I love having one of my textbooks on my iPad.  BUT in true immigrant form, I take notes from the chapters in a spiral notebook.
  • When I research topics for my group projects, I copy and paste the information from articles I find on the internet along with the link to the site for future reference.  Then I digitally highlight the points of interest I used vs printing out the article and highlighting with an actual highlighter pen.
  • I have created flash cards on my iPhone w vocabulary words vs old paper note cards.
  • I not only input my grocery list on my iPhone vs paper notes, I have lists for different stores in my phone as well.
  • I love that the latest iPhone update put Reminders on the iCloud.  I can now type in my to-do’s or reminders and access them from my phone at anytime.

Where I have a ways to go to keep up with my Native classmates:

  • I do still print reports or presentations out to edit them
  • I still print out the professors lecture notes before class so I can take notes “old school” style by the slide vs typing them in the presentation like my peers do.
  • AND most of all – I don’t switch media every two minutes!  Seriously???  How does anyone focus with all that change???

I will say I’m improving in my digital savvy skills by picking up some of the digital native ways, but I will always hang on to some of my immigrant traits and be proud of them.

Are you a Native or an Immigrant?

In the midst of all the terms I’m learning for school I stumbled across these on my own – “digital native” and “digital immigrant”.
Digital Native – people who have grown up with mobile technology.  They move sub-consciously between devices and media platforms (TV, computers, tablets and smartphones).
Digital Immigrants – people who have learned about mobile media in their adult lives.
My immediate thought “I’m Native!”   When I study I move from devices…along with my faithful study buddies.
We study at my computer –

computer_study And we study on my iPad

Studying with Ipad

And we study on my iPhone  –

Studying with iphone Flashcards

But it turns out it’s not that simple and there’s more to the evaluation.

Digital Natives
  • Like to receive information fast – check
  • They like to multi-task – check
  • Prefer graphics before their text – hmmm…half and half
  • They function best when networked – half and half
  • They thrive on instant gratification – check
Digital Immigrants
  • Print out digital documents to edit vs editing online.  Ahhh – They got me – check

Here’s where it gets interesting  – A study was done comparing the two suggests this transformation in how time is spent, patterns of visual attention and emotional consequences of modern media consumption is rewiring the brains of a whole generation.

So how do marketers attract the attention of both Natives and Immigrants?  Or better yet…how do teachers engage (Native) students and keep their interest if they are used switching media.  I remember in my high school sometimes using the class set of textbooks and thought that was exciting.   Especially the day I got Farrah Fawcett’s copy.  She went to my high school!

If you want to read more:

Reality check…full circle

Tonight I left for class feeling ambitious and thinking I’m going to school! Tonight’s my in-class school night and it’s about a subject I’m really interested in!  Interactive Digital Media.

I sit down with my iPad instead of a text book feeling pretty good about myself. The lecture starts and it’s a guest speaker.  Now I’m even more excited…someone from the industry is going to tell us about how search engines work.  This is so far from what I do all day – how exciting!  Well…as he starts speaking I hear more acronyms than we have in our office.   Some I know…most I don’t.  SEO, PPC, CPC, CVR, the list goes on – ahhhh!!!!   I tell myself  “Just take notes and you can look it up later.”   I begin to feel a little better as I’m able to figure some of them out during the lecture.  Then the questions start popping up from my fellow classmates.

That’s where things really start to turn.  Seriously??  How do they know all this stuff already?  How do they know how to ask such in-depth questions?   I’m now feeling old.  All I can think about is how yesterday I was fitted for my mouth guard so I will quit clinching my teeth when I sleep.

Then I remember next week I go to the eye doctor where I’ll probably have to get stronger lenses for my glasses!  I sit in the classroom thinking – What am I doing here!!???!!  What do I really want to do with myself when I finish this program?  It seemed like everyone in the room is there building off what they are already doing in their every day lives.   I don’t deal with any of this stuff.  I deal with placing fixtures in a store, customer traffic patterns and managing rollouts.  I deal with the brick and mortar world – not the digital world!

Thankfully, reality kicked in……………that’s why I’m here.

I’m here to learn new things and open new doors.  I don’t have to know what I want to do at this moment.  So I tuned back into class and left feeling different than when I walked in the door…

but still optimistic!!

Good night!