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.
Ok, so once you’ve found your perfect padfolio, it’s time to outfit it for your job search.
A good padfolio has room for a pad of paper, a penholder, business card holder (both for yours and those you meet with), a folder to store paper, and room for other random items.
So make sure you’ve filled your padfolio with paper and pen, first and foremost.
Vistaprint business cards - 250 for $10 (includes shipping)
Secondly, if you don’t have a business card… get one. Vistaprint offers 250 premium business cards for $10 (that includes shipping). Networking happens everywhere. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you, and they will. Business cards will also make you stand out.
Zephyr Printing in Iowa City has affordable pricing for getting your resume printed
Third, always carry a few copies of your updated resume in your padfolio. I strongly suggest you get it printed on professional resume paper. Zephyr Copies in Iowa City will do it for about $0.10 a page, depending on how high of quality you’re after. It’s another really easy way to stand out, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Fourth, an often forgotten step in the interview process is to thank your interviewer as soon after the interview as possible. Simplify the process by carrying pre-stamped envelopes and appropriate thank you cards in your padfolio. Soon after the interview, fill out the thank you and stick it in the mail. Don’t forget to ask your interviewer for a business card so you know where to send it!
Finally, its a good idea to write down some questions and company facts in your padfolio before the interview. Don’t be afraid to jot down additional information during the interview – it’s expected.
What other things would you suggest a person carry in their padfolio?
It certainly sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Free access to top brands and their products, the opportunity to build up your resume, and a job that doesn’t always seem like it is one.
So how do you do it? What kinds of responsibilities will you have? What skills will you gain?
Allow me to enlighten you.
How do you do it?
It certainly helps to be a Marketing major. Or a business major in general. You’re also going to need to have a genuine interest in the brand/product, because you’re going to be talking about it a LOT. Previous experience in a Marketing related role or internship helps too, but enthusiasm and education also come into play. It also helps to be enrolled in a large University, because brands want the most bang for their buck: the bigger their audience, the better.
So once you’ve evaluated your qualifications, Google is your friend. Do a search involving “Brand Ambassadorships [Your School].” A couple other good resources:
And some brands known for hiring at big universities:
Victoria’s Secret PINK
It also doesn’t hurt to ask brand reps on campus about their jobs. They may be graduating soon and will need a replacement.
What kinds of responsibilities will you have?
It certainly depends on who hired you, what their program is, and whether or not you’re getting paid.
For my brand ambassadorship with iChill, I’m not technically employed, but am an Independent Contractor. I get paid a set amount every two weeks. My responsibilities are to pass out iChill, pass out promotional goods, take pictures of people with both, and secure sponsorships between iChill and events on campus. They expect about 20 pictures and 8 hours of work every 2 weeks. It’s a pretty sweet job.
My brand ambassadorship with Sony is a lot more involved. I have similar directives, but executed differently, and more often. My primary responsibilities are to drive traffic to the Sony Education Store (click here if you wanna help me out!), and to set up events to promote Sony products. In the background, I have to keep up with Sony happenings in the news, promote Sony on Social Media, build relationships with people on campus, and pass out promotional goods. And so much more.
What skills will you gain?
Just working for Sony has helped my professional development more than any class or previous work experience.
You learn to be a leader, since you’re the basis of knowledge for the brand on campus and you have to make connections and make things happen in order to be successful
You learn all aspects of Marketing: advertising (for your events and for your brand), promotions (to people of the physical products), event-planning, sales (even if you’re not directly selling anything, you’re still selling an idea), and more.
You learn how to be a good communicator: how to talk to people to get mutually beneficial results.
You learn responsibility. You are the only one who can keep you on track with your projects. If they don’t get done, there’s a consequence.
It’s easy to see how a person can benefit from a Brand Ambassadorship. I’ll leave you with this recruitment video from Sony – someday my job will be up for grabs, too!
Textbooks are expensive. Or so I thought, up until now. Then I discovered a few tips for getting the most out of the textbook buying market. You too can keep the bill under $100 if you follow these tips…
Amazon is so under-utilized and incorrectly used. Sure, Amazon’s a deal to begin with. But if you consider buying used on Amazon, then textbook buying doesn’t seem that bad at all.First, consider the basic Amazon product page.
Amazon Product Page$108.96 new? Hey, it's cheaper than the bookstore at least...
See this little box?
That’s almost an $80 price difference! And from my experience, textbooks are in as usable condition as they are at the book store, if not better. My latest purchase was rough around the edges as its worst offense, but came with the optional data disks that the book store wont even consider selling with a used book.
Amazon also has three very good deals available to students right now:
Sign up for an Amazon account at Amazon.com/students and get a free 6 month Prime account that includes 2 day shipping on almost everything on the website.
Kindle Textbook Rental – Similar to Chegg, but tailored towards the e-reader market
Enter in code: ETXTBOOK to get $10 Kindle e-textbooks (More details here)
Their online resources are invaluable for test prep. All of the books from 4LTR Press (used extensively in University of Iowa business classes) can be obtained easily for under $100. E-book form is even less, and you could probably get someone to sell you the code they get with a new book purchase if you were both cheap/savvy enough to consider it as an option.Cengage currently has a promotion going for $10 off any $80 purchase using code: SP12T1
Iowa Book Exchange Iowa Book Exchange is another genius idea that is under-utilized. Basically, two brothers who are majoring in Engineering developed a website that allows students to buy and sell textbooks, at prices that are a little less than what the book store pays for buy back (so, dirt cheap!). Students agree to meet somewhere (be safe!) and make the exchange, free of charge. The best part is that I used to work with the younger brother And if you’re wondering, I have used the service, and was extremely satisfied with my transaction. I got my Management book for $30 (as opposed to like $70 new)
Chegg Chegg allows you to rent books instead of buying them. I have not personally used Chegg, but my mom has, and so has one of my old roommates – I’ve heard no complains so far! And often times it’s much cheaper than the bookstore if the first few options don’t turn up acceptable results.Chegg currently has a promotion going on for 10% off any textbook rental using code: 11712806
The book store? Meh. If all else fails and you need your books quick, there’s always the local book store.University of Iowa has:
e-books In general, e-books tend to be cheaper than hard copies. They’re also much more convenient (if you can get over the fact that you don’t have a physical copy to hold) to carry around, or log into from any computer or connected device.
The library What could be cheaper than the library? If you’re the type of person who doesn’t read every chapter, this might be the option for you. Besides, why spend hundreds of dollars on books you’re never going to crack open? Most professors put a few copies on Course Reserve.
Buy older editions, in lower quality
My final tip to you is to always buy the older edition, *with professor approval.* Most professors acknowledge the fact that there is no noticeable different between the current and last edition. Older editions will save you a bunch of money. Another option for the thrifty textbook buyer is to purchase slightly lower quality books.
Mayors, badges, tips, specials, points… I can see how it could be confusing for a newcomer. But Foursquare is something worth figuring out. If you’re a business owner, using Foursquare can provide another platform in which you can draw in customers. If you’re a shopper, Foursquare directs you to the best places, products, and deals. It is a hub of information and opportunity if used correctly. So let me break it down for you…
Checking in at the place I ate dinner tonight
One of the most fundamental actions of using Foursquare is checking into places. Basically, if there’s a place, someone has probably created it’s equivalent on Foursquare. All you do is find your place, and click “Check In.” Other options include sharing your check ins with Facebook and Twitter, but I advise you to use these options sparingly. No one wants to know everything you’re doing all the time, and you probably don’t want to invite stalkers if your profiles are public… Other people can comment your check ins, and you can upload pictures to places you’ve checked in. Foursquare is really a lot like Facebook, but it’s niche is location-based social media.
Being the Mayor
Here's the bottom of a Foursquare "place" page
Foursquare is first and foremost about brag rights. Being the mayor means that people see your picture and name pop up every time they check into a place you’re the mayor of. It can help you build a reputation for yourself in a community among other Foursquare members; if you’re mayor of a lot of academic buildings, you must be involved and studious. If you’re mayor of a lot of bars… you like to have fun (maybe at the expense of studying). So it might be worth being selective of what you strive to be the mayor of.
Badges are basically proof that you get out and do various activities. Each badge is centered around a certain activity… whether it be academic, entertainment, food, drink… you get the idea. My campus has it’s own badge you can earn after checking into certain places. The more badges you have, the more you obviously use Foursquare.
Points are probably the most blatantly competitive part of Foursquare. There’s a scoreboard that pits you against your friends, and there’s an all time high score that you can try to beat for yourself. Other than that, they don’t serve much of a purpose.
Specials are one of my favorite parts of Foursquare. They are little known and under utilized. One special almost anyone, anywhere, can use is a special for free chips and salsa at Chili’s. All you have to do is check in! In my college town, there are a lot of bar and food specials – either a free item or a percentage off of your bill. Specials are denoted by an orange rectangle that says “Special” when you check into a place. You can also find them under the “Explore” tab.
You can leave tips at places you’ve checked in at to warn someone about bad service or praise a place for doing something right. Tips are also a great place to do a little self-promotion. If you’re the mayor of a place, your tips pop out at people when your friends check in.
Annnnd those are the basics of using Foursquare. Do you have any tips or tricks for the Foursquare beginner? Or any questions for how to get the most out of it?
I’ve been pretty stressed out recently. As has been my mom. We are both victims of unfortunate circumstances we are stuck with until at least the end of the school year. Her problem is that her teaching position is bringing her more anxiety than joy, and mine is that I share my apartment with some pretty unsavory characters (and that’s putting it lightly).
Despite my uncomfortable living situation that leaves me with a negative feeling that permeates to other areas of my life, I still pulled a 3.33 GPA this semester. Good… but I know I can do better. So in an effort to no longer let myself be a victim in these situations, I’ve come up with a list of stress relievers to put into practice in my daily life.
Read a book. What could take my mind off of a bad situation more than transporting myself into the mind of an author I like? When I read, I get lost in another (albeit fictional) person’s life.
Watch TV. Though not as intellectually stimulating, watching a show from my favorite series can similarly clear my mind while also resting it.
Workout. This has to be one of my favorites, because it’s as good for your mind as it is for your body. Whenever I go workout, I can’t focus on anything besides getting through my exercises. Afterwards, I get a self esteem boost from knowing that I did something good for my health.
Yoga. Kind of an offset of working out, but yoga helps me de-stress in a different way. Done right, yoga helps clear your mind of negative thoughts and leaves room for positive ones to come in. It also has the health benefit of improving flexibility.
Shopping. Another one of my favorite de-stressing activities… although this one definitely is not healthy for my wallet. I love getting new things, so shopping, even in moderation, can turn a bad day into a good one.
Listen to some ambient tunes. Favorites include Foster the People, Animal Collective, Angels and Airwaves… stuff like that. I think music can have a very powerful effect on your mood if you let it.
Work. This may not be true for everyone, but my job allows me a sort of stress relief similar to reading a book. If I really throw myself into a project, I forget about everything else. The result is something I can really be proud of, adding another element to the mix.
Well, the title of this post may be a bit presumptuous, but I did pretty darn well on my finals last semester – no final grade lower than a B, and I scored so well on one of my finals that it pulled my grade up a whole letter.
So what are my tips for Finals success? Read on!
GET SOME SLEEP! – I’m sure you’re hearing it from everyone. But there are really two reasons as to why this advice is important. First, you want to be well rested so you’re not falling asleep during your exam. It tends to be hard to recall important information when you can barely keep your eyes open. Secondly, you don’t want to miss your exam because you slept through it. Professors make it very difficult to make up a final you just decided to miss, especially those at the end of finals week.
MAKE A PLAN! – I consider myself to be a very organized person year-round, not just during finals week. But finals week requires even more precision than usual when it comes to making sure you are maximizing your studying time. I print out a calendar in weekly format (this one’s the best – http://www.calendarsquick.com/printables/download.html?action=customWeekly), put in everything I need to do: work, class (if there’s still any left), deadlines, etc. Then I put in literally everything I need to study. I only cross things off when they’re done to my exact specifications. This is a good way to track how fast you’re getting through material and what you need to focus on.
USE ALL OF YOUR RESOURCES! – If you have any online books, chances are there are online study tools bundled with them. I have three classes that use books from Cengage (http://cengagebrain.com), and they have review cards, quizzes, and PowerPoints available online. Quizzes especially are an effective way to see what specifically to focus on when studying.
MAKE A STUDY GUIDE! – I’m lucky enough this semester that most of my professors tell us exactly what to focus on. However, in the past I’ve had to decide on my own what the most important content was. Either way, making a 2 page per chapter study guide focusing on important concepts (preferably before finals week) is a lot more efficient than going back and reading a 20-30 page chapter, especially when you’re stressed and pressed for time.
LEAVE YOUR APARTMENT!(/dorm/whatever) – I’ve found that when I’m sitting in my room, I get a lot done, but I also waste a lot of time that could have been used more effectively. Spending the day (or just a chunk of time) at the library keeps me focused. Other successful study spots: Coffee shops, dining halls, and the student union building.
DON’T LOSE MOTIVATION! – Finals week = hell. For everyone involved. But finals week can really make or break your grade, and I think most people would kick themselves if they didn’t take the opportunity to do their best. If you try your hardest and still don’t succeed, you have nothing to regret.
REWARD YOURSELF! – Finals week is going to be a very long week if you don’t give yourself breaks to relax and enjoy yourself. Recognize when you’ve gotten something accomplished, and allow yourself to do something that makes you happy.
CHEW GUM DURING YOUR EXAM! – It helps your memory, which means you’re more likely to recall things you may otherwise have not. (Here’s a study you can refer to on Google Scholar)
Good luck to everyone! Winter break will be here soon.