Monday, April 20, 2009

My "Day in the Life": Tuesday, April 14, 2009

6:30 A.M.—Seriously? Snooze.
6:45 A.M.—Wake up, hit the shower.
7:00 A.M.—Is it cold and rainy? No, sweet, only have to wear sleeves and a light jacket today, must be getting close to spring.
7:30 A.M.—Ear buds in, iPod on (nice medley of Good Charlotte, George Strait, and the Killers). It is only a 15-20 minute walk to school, which is enough time to eat an apple and peruse the left column of the Wall Street Journal. Reading the left column means that I know enough about the world headlines to be dangerous, but not enough to be useful—story of my life.
7:55 A.M.—Hit the Brand Center to print out the agenda for the GBA (Graduate Business Association) meeting. Leave enough time to swing by the candy jar on Carrie’s desk and get a quick chocolate fix for the first meeting of the day.
8:05 A.M.—Tell the GBA board that we will wait for the President to show up before we get started.
8:06 A.M.—Yep, that wasn’t a nightmare, I am still the GBA President so we will go ahead and get started. Topics to cover—Spring Ball, On Wisconsin Weekend, Habitat for Humanity day, Spring Study Break and the creation of the tailgating committee.
9:10 A.M.—Meeting over, but catch up with Abby Ballain (GBA Secretary) and Courtney Carlovsky (GBA Treasurer) to discuss the specifics for the end of year Town Hall meeting.
9:20 A.M.—Drop my jacket in my locker; run through the econ slides in case I get cold-called; Ask Joe if he read for class, he didn’t, so I feel better since I didn’t either.
9:30 A.M.—Macroeconomics starts; we are apparently discussing the GDP and something concerning apples and bananas. I was told to never compare the two, but Professor Davis has a different philosophy.
10:45 A.M.—Class over; now realize that the apples were simply a metaphor for production, good to know. Head to the Brand Center to check email, socialize, steal Carrie’s candy.
11:15 A.M.—I find myself enthralled in naming the VH-1 Top 100 Songs of the 90s courtesy of Amy, Corinne, Greg Rose, Shannon and I are in rare form. We should really video our performance. Who knew that Greg Rose knew all of the words to Marcy Playground’s Sex and Candy.
11:30 A.M.—Let’s get serious, time to read. Have five readings for Tom O’s afternoon class and I have only read one. Luckily, one of the study rooms across from the Brand Center is open.
12:15 P.M.—Dean Knetter and Coach K are holding a end of year session to answer questions about the program. Key here is that there is free food so count me in.
1:00 P.M.—Group meeting time. Sunaina, Katie W., and I are taking care of the Management Change Project for our group. Time to divide and conquer. Apparently there is more work to this than originally thought so we have three more meetings scheduled for the next week and a half—awesome.
2:00 P.M.—Back to the Center to finish reading for my 2:30 class.
2:05 P.M.—Who am I kidding? I can’t pass up a good conversation about reality TV and the merits of fantasy baseball. Going to roll the dice that I won’t get called on.
2:30 P.M.—Brand Strategy starts. We are discussing the theory of brands as entertainment and if TV can really influence the way people perceive the world. No cold-calling today so I will implement the “Jake Abel” strategy.
3:45 P.M.—10-minute break; time to get a soda for the second half of class
3:55 P.M.—Mark, Katie, Al, and Brian are presenting their case write-up on Starbucks. They did a great job with a really tough case. Still hate Starbucks though.
5:15 P.M.—Class over a little early, not going to complain.
5:45 P.M.—Time to head home. Maybe I will see one of the kids from MTV's College Life on my walk home. Need to call the fiancé as she is out-of-town. Definitely going to work out tonight.
6:00 P.M.—Quick change and head to the gym.
6:15 P.M.—Didn’t get to see SportsCenter this morning so I should catch up on that and then I will head to the gym.
7:00 P.M.—Make dinner and watch the beginning of American Idol.
7:30 P.M.—Time to multi-task: four readings for Marketing Communications, the Rangers-Orioles games on GameCast, create a powerpoint presentation for Center Director’s meeting tomorrow, start the Management Simulation, write up my portion of the IMC plan, and prepare for Operations. With two computers, osmosis, and a gift from God, this is all possible. Instead of the gym, I will take a quick jog later.
10:30 P.M.—Well, the Rangers’ pitching imploded again so that means I still have three readings for Communications, the powerpoint to create, and a simulation to start. Maybe I can lift a couple of weights. I think they are in a box somewhere.
11:45 P.M.—So the readings are done, the powerpoint is serviceable, but the simulation will have to wait for another day. Looks like I will be flying by the seat of my pants in Operations, but what is new. I am sure I will be able to work out tomorrow.
12:15 P.M.—Off to bed. I should be asleep in 10 minutes unless I get sucked into one of those classic TBS or TNT movies that you can’t help but watch. Anchorman? Sign me up.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Twitter responsible for collapse of American economy

While this seems like a headline you would read in The Onion, I believe this is partially true. Last Wednesday, the first year CBPM class participated in the world's first class ever taught through Twitter. (This could be a vast overstatement, but I am sticking with it). We have been learning about social media in Deb Mitchell's Marketing Communications class and Twitter is one of the new, up and coming tools that marketers are using to discuss their brands.

To learn more about its abilities, Deb brought in Wisconsin's own Twitter expert, Melissa Anderson, who is the Director of PR for the Wisconsin School of Business. She asked her followers on Twitter to tune into a live chat during our class and talk about how they use Twitter both personally and professionally. As Melissa talked, we interacted with individuals from all over the country. Many were PR Directors at other schools or businesses, but some were advertising execs or brand managers, heck even a celebrity (Ashton Kutcher) piped in a few times. If you didn't know, Ashton and Demi are huge Twitterers.

Honestly, I don't remember what Melissa said as I was more interested in the Twitter conversation. I was amazed that 50 or so people were active in our conversation during the middle of the day. Most were at work. Granted, Melissa invited some to join, but that was 10 people so 40 people just happened upon our chat.

So I go back to my original statement. I think that productivity all over the country must be at an all-time low if people are trolling around Twitter looking for conversations. Are people actually working? Guess not, but hey, I learned something.

If you want to see the transcript, go to and type in #bizpitch. Enjoy tweeting.

Spring Break UW 09 WooHoo!

So remember spring break planning when you were an undergrad..."Do we go to Padre? Or what about Destin/Panama City (Club La Vela maybe Spinnaker don't know if we will have enough time, you know what I am talking about), that was fun last year. Or wait, we could go skiing in Colorado for six days, that would be fun. Or, I know, Mexico. Two words--all inclusive."
Well in grad school, we have very similar conversations regarding spring break..."Chicago, it is drivable, I am sure we can crash on somebody's floor, I think some other people might go as well. Hey, it is St. Patrick's Day so there will be something to do on Saturday." And that is just for the first weekend.
All joking aside, spring break is different than what I remember. It is still fun to not have to go to class, but the craziness that most of us associated with vacations to exotic locales just isn't there. It could be that I am older and it hurts more or it could be that vacationing on $200 doesn't quite cut it anymore. Either way, Annette and I rocked Chicago with the Arseneaus, Worleys, and soon-to-be Digmans for the St. Patrick's Day festival. At least Chicago has a huge party for it and it wasn't like we were doing Omaha for Octoberfest.

Mark's wife Sarah and I are on the left with the Worley's on the right. I am pretty sure that Jess stole the hat I am wearing from somebody at the bar. I ended up with another hat at some point in the evening, but lost it as well.

Joe and Mark...haven't had a drink at all.

As for the actual week of spring break, it was pretty low key. A number of us got together Tuesday for the actual St. Patrick's Day and enjoyed the incredible weather (70 degrees seriously) on Memorial Terrace. Little strange to be wearing shorts and t-shirt overlooking a frozen lake, but welcome to Wisconsin!
That Thursday, we joined all of America and watched the first round of the NCAA tournament at a local sports bar. Haven't been able to watch an entire day of games since college. Apparently Joe, Al, and I thought it would be a good idea to wager on the games. Now only Joe thinks that was a good idea. We did get to revel in the fact that CBPM Bracket Organizer Extraordinaire Amy Maier lost her national champion (Wake Forrest) in the first round.

Now everybody didn't keep it local. Jamel and Mat did actually go to Mexico. They received some incredible deal online and couldn't pass it up. Apparently, they didn't realize that the "deal" was for couples. Needless to say, they received a few puzzling looks from the newlyweds...wonder why.

Probably should have left the shirt on for lunch Mat.

Jessie left incredible Madison weather for even better weather in Florida. Amy showed the Natti what is up (talk about dream spring break locales, what tops Cincinatti in March?). Jake, Amy, and Mariah enjoyed the scenery of Miami Beach.
All I can say is that the local Spring Break this year was so great that the wives have told us that Spring Break next year will involve a beach, umbrella drinks, and sun tan lotion. Guess you win some and you lose some.
Here's to my first post-college, post-Adult Spring Break, Spring Break!