Madeline Osman
Personal and professional blog of Madeline Osman
August 8, 2012 by admin

Sony at Lollapalooza

Green Team

Green Team, represent!

Lucky doesn’t even begin to cover it.

dj

DJ at the Sony Cube

This year, after paying my $10 application fee and filling out what I can only compare to a job application and resume submission, I was selected to volunteer for all 3 days of Lollapalooza. Basically, this means exchanging 4.5 hours of work each day to get into Lollapalooza for free. I choose to participate on the Green Team, which is one of the many volunteer positions that revolves around reducing Lolla’s impact on the environment. Basically, we made sure that everyone put their trash, compost, and recyclables into the correct container. Sounds pretty boring, but a lot of people stopped to chat and 2/3 days I was right in front of the Google Play stage and was able to enjoy the music part of the festival.

In the cube

People in the cube signing up to win prizes

Another really cool part of Lollapalooza for me was seeing how Sony got involved. They had two stages and two tents set up. They had so many awesome giveaways that I saw just about everyone in the park with. I was also given the chance to get involved with Sony’s booth. On Sunday, I donned my Sony gear and helped get people excited in the Sony Cube.

cameras

Visitors had the option of going on a scavenger hunt with special edition Lollapalooza-colored TX20's

I went to the Playstation Tent and flashed my business card and they hooked me up. Here are some of the many things I scored:

swag

Playstation swag: light up bracelets, string backpack, mat to sit on, bottle openers, and free month of Premium Playstation content!

I think it’s interesting to note that for how much Apple tries to get into the music scene, they were noticeably absent. Sony is more than just a consumer electronics company – they are all about entertainment. Most of my Sony devices have a unique connection to at least one other device I have. On top of that, Sony creates some pretty amazing content – whether it be movies, TV, music, or video games. I had an awesome time getting to know my favorite company a little bit better this weekend!

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June 21, 2012 by admin

Verano de Español (Summer of Spanish)

My greatest fear for the summer was that I would lose all the Spanish knowledge I worked so hard to build back up after about a year break. But things are looking good for my Spanish retention – many opportunities to practice!

  1. First and foremost, I’ve been helping out at a place in Aurora called Family Focus where I assist in teaching native Spanish speakers how to use Microsoft Office products. Its from 7-9 every Wednesday and has helped me as much as or more than some of the Spanish classes I’ve taken.
  2. Second, working at a paint store has its perks. Many of our customers speak Spanish, so I’ve had many impromptu opportunities to practice my Spanish. The district manager promised me a polo shirt that says “Yo hablo español” so Spanish speaking customers know that they can come to me for help. I’m also working on my intern project, which will revolve around the topic of marketing to native Spanish speakers.
  3. Last, I’m bringing back audiobooks. I have a 40 minute drive to work everyday (about a 1.5 hour total commute), and quite frankly, am tired of top 40 hits. I reactivated my Audible account and downloaded My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult) in Spanish. I figured listening to a title I’ve already read will improve my comprehension, although I’m sad Audible didn’t have Harry Potter in Spanish. Regardless, I can’t wait to get started! I’m thinking of also devoting one night (or maybe just one hour) a week to watching a Spanish television show or movie. The more practice reading, writing, and speaking, the better!
Me encanta la lenguaje español!
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May 21, 2012 by admin

Summer Goals

  • Take a professional headshot for my social media portfolios
    What I’ve got right now is no good. And this goal shouldn’t be hard to accomplish now that I’ve got my new NEX-5N DSLR camera :)
  • Make my portfolio website
    I’ve got a basic design in mind, but I need to sit down and code it. I think having this blog is a good starting point, but I won’t be happy until I’ve created something to showcase everything I do, with my own design and code.
  • Make specialized resumes/cover letters for different kinds of positions
    I want to get a head start on my professional materials so that when I’m applying for jobs and/or internships next year, they’re just about ready to go. Besides, I need to update them anyway after my summer jobs and spring classes.
  • Complete a Marketing elective as my summer class
    This one was really a headache to make happen. I had to apply to Illinois State so that I would be on track to graduate. By some miracle, I got the class I needed approved and it just started.
  • Learn a new skill – WordPress
    Ok, so it’s not exactly a new skill. Especially since this blog is a WordPress blog. And I have worked with WordPress before, but I want to be more confident and knowledgeable about it. Especially since one of my freelance clients wants their website built on it!
  • Sign up for the Wall Street Journal (and read it!)
    I can’t tell you how many people have told me how important this is. I signed up to get it for free on RewardsGold (I’m thrifty, what can I say?), but if that doesn’t pull through for some reason, I’ll pay full (student) price.
  • Try a new recipe every week
    I’ve already gotten started! Made a delicious, creamy parmesan garlic pasta the other night, with plans to make baked oatmeal muffins as soon as we get more milk… My Pinterest Cook Book board (http://pinterest.com/maddyosman/cook-book/) is full of many more I’m just itching to try.
  • Read one book a week
    Been keeping up with this one so far, too! I’ve read two books since I got home last week and am planning on hitting up the library tomorrow for a few more :) I love to read when I actually have time – it’s addicting.
  • Hit the gym!
    Ever since coming home, I’ve been running and hitting the gym almost every day. Once I get myself motivated, it’s not hard :) Usually I’m very productive at the gym during the summer – wanna have a nice beach body!
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August 8, 2011 by admin

The Power of Freebies

I went to Lollapalooza for the first time in my life, and it was every bit as amazing as everyone who’s ever went told me. I’m so beat from the three day experience that I took off work today to recover.

I’ve been to other music festivals (Warped Tour, Projekt Revolution), and one thing I love is that there are always freebies.  Sometimes they’re are free music tracks, or keychains, stickers, etc., but at Lolla, the freebies were items of actual use. State Farm gave out a “Survival Kit” in exchange for your email and a few survey questions. The Survival Kit had sunscreen, hand sanitizer, chapstick, and earplugs – everything a Lolla-goer could ever want. Google was giving out battery powered squirt fans to promote Google+. There was a radio station with a phone charging station, Toyota handed out iconic Lolla headbands… the list goes on. My boyfriend packed a backpack filled with the essentials… but we didn’t need half the stuff we brought after raking in the freebies.

All I could think about was how awesome of advertising that was for those companies – especially the ones that successfully captured people’s information. Their potential customers will remember the friendly staffers and the awesome freebies when considering their services. State Farm sent me an email almost immediately following my visit to their tent and offered me additional freebies – MP3 downloads. Even though they had to put forth money to supply the freebies, the festival-goers became their walking billboards. I remember seeing things that people were carrying and immediately setting forth to get my own.

For people that follow Lollapalooza on Twitter or Facebook, there was an additional chance at free merchandise. They would announce a giveaway every hour or so during the festival if you met Lolla staffers at certain locations. One popular giveaway was for Camelbacks. I didn’t even know what those were prior to Lolla, but now I’m seriously considering getting one for future music festivals. I saw people with them everywhere. They were selling them for an unheard of $60 at the (free) Camelback-sponsored water bottle filling station. I figured no one would be crazy enough to blow $60 on a glorified water bottle (especially when you can get it for $40 or less online), but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They sold out. Such is the power of walking advertisements.

So companies, embrace the power of freebie marketing. It works, makes people happy, and produces results.

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July 22, 2011 by admin

A Day in My Life

My summer is becoming more and more repetitive, but not necessarily in a bad way. Everyday follows a pattern, with only minor changes (save for the weekends). Allow me to explain:

I wake up at 6am (or 6:30am if I’m really lazy) to get ready for work.

At 7am, I’m driving. It takes an hour, but luckily early morning radio is full of entertainment. At 7:15, there’s Smackdown with Showbiz Shelley. Basically, “Showbiz” Shelley, leaves the room (if that’s true or not, I don’t know or care), and the random caller on the line attempts to answer 5 seemingly random pop culture questions. I play along and usually average a 3 or 4 out of 5. Unfortunately, the random caller rarely beats Shelley, because all she does is study pop culture, and rarely misses a question. Regardless, it’s fun to see how up to date I am on celebrity gossip. Speaking of which, at 7:40, Perez Hilton gets on the line to discuss the latest. If I’m a few minutes late to work, at 8:05 the Second Date Check In (or something of the like) is on, where a person who hasn’t heard back from their date after a seemingly good night gets embarrassed by finding out what went wrong when they get their date on the line. Who knew 7am could be so interesting?

Once I get to work (8am, if you’re keeping track), it’s down to business. I don’t like coffee, but I’ll usually fix myself a piping hot chocolate. I’ll get done whatever I need to do, then take a lunch with the other interns at noon. On Tuesdays we go out to eat. So far we’ve been to a burger place, a Chinese place, and a sandwich place. Next week is Mexican!

Then it’s back to work. Sometime around 2-3pm, I’ll take a brownie break. A cosmic brownie break, that is. You know, those delicious Little Debbie brownies that have the crunchy chocolate candy on them? They also come in a box of 6 for under $2! What a steal. I think it’s only fair that I have a brownie break, because everyday I bring a salad to work for lunch and have a fruit smoothie for breakfast (as opposed to delicious McDonald’s or a microwave at home breakfast sandwich).

I get off at 4:30pm, then its time for the daunting drive home. It’s not so bad in the morning, because frankly, I need the time to wake up. But at night, all I want to do is get home. Luckily, I’ve turned what I previously thought of as a waste of time into a learning opportunity. Recently, I’ve embraced the awesome that is (that are?) audio books. I’ve got one for advanced Spanish (in an attempt to review before my Spanish class this Fall semester), and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Usually, I play the Spanish one (and repeat after the native speaker) on my way to work, in between radio shows. On the way home, I play the 7 Habits all the way home. I’m halfway through it now and excited to finish.

When I get home (around 5:30pm), I check the mail. This is one of my favorite parts of the day. I follow a bunch of blogs that advertise ways to get things for free. Usually these things are product samples, but I’ve gotten some pretty cool stuff, including: coupons for free products, a book, and full sized samples. Getting something for nothing (except the 5 seconds it takes to fill out the form) is awesome. I tend to get something (or multiple somethings) everyday.

After I chill out for 15 minutes or so, surfing the net, playing with the pets, or picking up my room a bit, then its down to business once again. I’m a web designer at school, and my boss recently asked me to do some projects remotely. So I try to dedicate 1-2 hours a night on average doing that. It doesn’t really feel like work when its something I love… and I can catch up on my favorite TV shows while doing it (which I probably would be doing regardless).

To keep things interesting, once a week I go to Yoga at the local recreation center with my friend Leah (usually Tuesdays, usually Yin Yoga). Once a week(night), I visit my horse, Dream. I usually see her once on the weekends, too. Then another night during the week, I’ll get coffee or dinner to catch up with some friends.

The weekends are completely different and rarely the same, but Fridays are my let loose days. I think after working 40 hours a week (not counting the 10 hours a week I’m stuck driving, or the extra work I put in once I get home), I’ve earned it. Fridays are also free Panera bagels at work days. Fridays are the best.

Saturdays/Sundays are errand/friend days. Sometimes I fit in a little bit of work for my school job, too. Weekends are also travel days. My boyfriend lives in Iowa (and I live in Illinois), so our only good chance to be together is during the weekends (a solid 2.5 days). It’s been kind of hard, but luckily I’ve been so busy I barely get a chance to even think about it.

Weeknights are sometimes also errand nights. Or shopping nights (even better). I try to get in one solid hour of TV (it would be more, but my dad is king of TV land until he goes to bed around 9pm, and I’m in bed by 10pm). After my hour of relaxation, I read for about a half hour before I go to sleep. I haven’t made enough time for reading lately, but a half hour a day is much better than nothing. I just started Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman, which is a social commentary on pop culture told in essay form. The essays are perfect for the 30 minutes of reading I allow myself – I can usually get through 2 a night (which makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something).

At 10:30pm, I get on the phone with my boyfriend, talk for a half hour, and pass out at 11pm.

And that’s a typical day in the life of Madeline Osman.

…At least for this summer.

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