Every week, I spend my evening approaching people and discussing Sony products at the Tech Connection, which is a division of the campus book store. It’s a great opportunity to directly address people’s needs. I’ve found that most people shopping at Tech Connection are interested in smaller ticket items, like headphones. So here is my all-purpose headphone guide to address whatever it is that you’re looking for!
1.) The “I HATE when my earbuds fall out!”
PIIQ Clip-on Earbuds
Here’s the solution – get earbuds that clip on to your earlobe!
2.) The “I just want comfortable over the ear headphones”
PIIQ Smooth Headphones
PIIQ Smooth Headphones are an affordable way to get your music fix in comfort.
3.) The “Quality is the most important”
Studio Monitor Series Headphones
One of my coworkers (the Dell rep) at Tech Connection requested I find a way to get these for him on the cheap. They’re of excellent quality for the price, which is still under $100.
4.) The “I want noise-cancelling headphones”
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony has everything from earbuds to headphones, at a wide range of prices. If you want noise-cancelling headphones, Sony has a solution to fit your lifestyle.
5.) The “I need earbuds now!”
Alright, alright. You just want standard headphones. You can’t go wrong with PIIQ Earbuds.
All headphones/earbuds listed are under $100 (most under $50) and are available at the Sony Education Store: http://www.sony.com/uiowa. Most are on sale as of 4/19! Plus, free shipping for purchases under $25.
This weekend I went to a conference put on by PRSSA, a group I’m not a part of, but will probably join next year. PRSSA has a focus on Public Relations and was chosen to put on the regional conference for their organization this year. Although I’m a Marketing major, there is a lot of crossover between the two career paths. The following is some of the best advice I learned this weekend from some of the very engaging speakers I was privileged to listen to.
Scott Deitz, Senior Vice President Fleischman-Hillard
How does one succeed in the PR industry?
Excellent writing skills
Business knowledge (PR is usually a communications/journalism major)
Intellect – both emotional and logical intelligence
Passion for what you do
Social Media Knowledge
Work well in a team – someone who can take the lead, but sometimes follows
Loves to learn – read the Wall Street Journal
Produces timely, accurate, and measurable results
Willing to sacrifice
Define and differentiate yourself – show on your resume
Work at an agency first, learn skills, then work in a corporate setting
Decide if you want to work in a for-profit or non-profit company
Realize that finding a job is a competition
Say “yes” to every opportunity that you can
Take measured risks
Find a mentor
Look like you belong when you interview
Study abroad – shows that you take risks, have learned a new way to communicate, and are adaptable and cultured
Adam Flack and Viki Arias, Global Spectrum
Social Media – be conversational and engaging. Offer special experiences, contests, and scavenger hunts.
Define your target market and advertise to them in their preferred medium. Ex/ Older people look at ads in newspapers
Be a good community partner. The media will care if you do something that is relevant to the community.
Go where the media is. Ex/ The Fourth of July parade
Measure the effectiveness of your campaign by keeping track of the dates and times of promotions, using different discount codes, and follow up with a survey asking how people found out about the event
Budget marketing budget based on how well known (or not) the brand is and the projected ticket proceeds
Heather Friedman, Genovo Alternative Marketing
Create brand ambassadors that do the job for you
Define your brand of marketing
A modern challenge: your customers don’t have to listen to ads they don’t want to. Ex/ TV, radio
Marketing mix- traditional marketing, public relations, social media, events – events are the best way to bring a brand to life!
“Partner” with your client
“Fail Forward” – reconsider, ask what went wrong, make changes
Work with the same people you’re marketing to
When faced with a difficult situation on social media: apologize and fix the situation – don’t hit delete
Know yourself and stay true. Follow this equation…
(YOU) is the (TYPE OF COMPANY) for the (TYPE OF CUSTOMER). For example, Maddy is the Marketing student for the non-profit industry.
I came out of this weekend with new friends, new knowledge, and some potential new mentors. Definitely money and time well spent. Thanks PRSSA for putting on a great event!
My best friend Nikky and I entered a contest for what amounts to the most amazing internship in the world. If chosen, two people travel to Isla Palenque, off the coast of Panama, for a month of exploring their surroundings, immersing themselves in the culture, and creating content for the company (Amble Resorts) web presence. ITS PERFECT FOR ME.
How can you help us achieve our dream? Follow this link:
Dinner – Goat for some… quesadillas with chorizo and soup for me (are you starting to see a pattern?)
Some of the group in front of the bigger pyramid
We packed up and waited for our buses downstairs at the Cruz Azul. It was hard knowing we were going to leave the place we called home this week and the many amazing people we met. The first bus took half the group to Mexico City, but I went on the bus that stopped at the Pyramids, first.
The other pyramid
We got on shortly after the first bus left and said goodbye to the Xicotepec Rotarians. Then we were off! We had to stop because one of our members forgot his backpack, then we were off for real. We were given de-worming pills and told to take them in three months for maximum efficiency. I ended up taking mine about a week after coming back, because I didn’t want to forget. On the bus, I tried sleeping a big, but it was way too bumpy. It wasn’t long before we got there, however.
They were a beautiful sight to see as we pulled up. We were told to be cautious of the pushy vendors. A few rules:
You touch it, its yours
Politely say “no gracias”
Don’t make eye contact – use peripherals
My favorite – prices were made to be bargained with
Making a wish at the top
But we decided that climbing the large pyramid was the highest priority and started with that. The stairs were steep and we took them carefully. Apparently if you touch the middle-top and make a wish, it will come true, so that was our goal. On the way down, one of the Pharmacy students, Brian, tripped and sprained his ankle – right after we started questioning the safety aspects. Whoops. We helped him go the rest of the way down and he was a trooper, electing to walk out of the way to see the museum. The museum had tons of ancient artifacts and a scale model of the pyramids and the surrounding city from ancient times.
The shops were fun. I got a jaguar whistle, a pretty blanket, a necklace for Darya, a Mayan calendar wall ornament, and a sun and moon ceramic piece as per Dez’s request. We did good.
Model of the ancient city in the museum
We left around three and ate quesadillas on the bus. Mexico City was less than an hour away. We got to our hotel rooms and went downstairs after dropping off our stuff. Jim took us to the Artisan Market that had staff after stall of amazing crafts. Unfortunately, the ATM screwed me over so I couldn’t buy much. It gave me a 500 peso bill that was near impossible to break and actually unusable thanks to a rip. So I got one thing after a friend spotted me. Definitely a let down, but maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t spend anymore money.
I had some time to shower and get my bearings before dinner. For dinner, we went to a place down the street, close to the hotel that serves goat. I got quesadillas with chorizo because I don’t like weird meat. We had a great talk with some of the head honchos of the project. I’m definitely wanting to join Rotary International if at all possible. It was a great wrap up to an amazing project, so I’m glad I stayed out with them.
Preparing the goat
I gained so much knowledge, experience, and made so many new friends. It’s amazing how one week can become a life-changing experience. I’d love to return if at all possible – maybe next time as an even better translator.
Breakfast – leftovers – pizza, gorditos, pancakes, and starfruit
Lunch – lots of traditional Mexican food – 3x that day
Dinner – finger foods. My favorite was a hard tortilla that encased beans and cheese
They gave me this heart that they made with paint they made themselves
We got up early for breakfast as usual and drove to Ojo de Agua for the last time. Carlos brought us with the dentist students because we had a lot of supplies to drop off for the kids. When we arrived at the school, we played with the kids for a bit, then were presented with gifts. One of my favorite little girls brought me a necklace and matching earrings. I put them on right then and there, because she really wanted me to wear them. As if that weren’t enough, we got tons of adorable pictures, some made with paint they made by hand. We also received some beautiful embroidery made by their moms. It all was overwhelmingly sweet. The moms served us food and we began the first of three lunches that day. One of the better translators in the Rotary group gave a speech to the parents and teachers, then we presented the principal with a gift and thank you card. After the formalities, we taught the whole group the Interlude (its a dance some students at UNI came up with) and the Cha Cha Slide. The kids ate it up.
We call him "Hombre de Chicle" because he always gives us gum.
We spent the rest of the morning taking pictures and playing trompos with the kids until the heartbreaking moment when we had to leave them for the last time. They all started hugging us tightly saying “No te vayas!” (Don’t leave). It was everything I could not to cry.
We asked which food was his favorite? His response "todo." No wonder the kids call him gordito (little fat boy) haha. So mean. But we love him
Carlos then took us to the Rotary primary school for their end of the week celebration for our group. They had the kids doing some modern dances, traditional dances, songs, and speeches. It was adorable and fun to watch. Afterwards, we had our second lunch of the day and were told to pace ourselves – there would be more. We continued to improve our trompos skills there and I was finally successful in getting that darn thing to spin.
Them: Don't leave! Us: "Come home with us in our backpacks" Them: What? No!
We left soon after for the technical college that invited us for another celebration. We walked in during the middle of some sort of commencement ceremony which turned into a 10 year anniversary thank you to Iowa Rotary for the Xicotepec Project. Jim was recognized and given a plaque, pictures were taken, and we were led to a large covered area for lunch number three.
Thankfully, our final lunch was more appetizer food set up in a format where you could pick what you want. There were many different foods that were typical of the region and Mexico as a whole – desserts, seafood, tamales – you name it, it was probably there. We watched a guy make a bird out of an apple and make shapes out of caramelized sugar. It was so good, but we were bursting with food by the end.
An Aztec dance put on by some of the chicas at the Rotary school.
We were driven back to the Cruz Azul and wanted to nap, but had some final business to take care of. Jostna and I set out to find a working ATM, honey, and a few other souvenirs. We went to a store where the woman let you try the alcohol before you buy it… so I tried three different kinds. I settled on a bottle of Crema de Cafe (like Bailey’s) for my best friend Nikky.
We came back to the Cruz Azul with more than we had intended to and got ourselves organized to leave the following morning. I tried and successfully napped for all of about 20 minutes. Afterwards, the Rotarians held an end of the week fiesta for us.
Most of the CLA group at the Rotary school.
We were treated to the dancing styles of an award-winning dance troupe in Mexico. They did an Aztec dance, dances typical to certain regions, and a final group dance. It was incredible. Afterwards, the Xicotepec Rotarians gave awards to several of the Iowa Rotarians. Then finger foods were served.
The night ended with a lot of group dancing. We had a blast getting it all out before we left. It was an excellent way to wrap up an amazing trip.