How do we obtain the skills Employers wish we had?

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How do we obtain the skills Employers wish we had?

Want to know what college students seem to hate? Group Projects, 8am classes and speaking out in class. This isn’t something I’ve discovered through secondary resources or my own extensive research, rather, this is something I’ve observed on a daily basis. The bad news is that many of these dislikes and habits are beginning to take a huge toll on our professional development.

The fact is that one day soon, we will all more than likely have to get up for work before 8am (GASPS), collaborate with a team (oh no) and speak up to stand out. So why not start sharpening those skills?

FoxBusiness.com recently published an article that details the ways in which the academic behaviors of Millennial has been hurting their chances of impressing Employers. “Managers have an overall negative view of young workers, and point to their lack of soft skills regarding communication and interpersonal interactions, time management abilities and willingness to work as a team.”

Let’s change this and prove them wrong. The majority of us are well versed in the realm of Social Media, but we’re beginning to focus too much on the speed, not quality, of our communication. Challenge yourself to interact more face-to-face and for the love of all that is mighty, STEP away from your smartphone. Challenge yourself to be just as bold, as you would in your tweets, during your next interview. Employers want to know that you can help boost their social media marketing strategies or present to an e-board with confidence.

“Showing up is half the battle”, “The early bird gets the worm”…These quotes offer very valid points! Challenge yourself to make it on time to class and meetings. Doing this will tell co-workers that you respect their time and instill a sense of healthy urgency. You can’t get anything done unless you show up. Your college professor might not get on you but your employer wouldn’t hesitate in firing you for poor time management. Get in the habit now and it won’t be so difficult post-graduation.

Lastly, get used to group projects. There’s a reason they are so popular. You’ll have to work in a team in almost any job setting. Instead of assuming things won’t get done, start things off with a positive attitude and be dependable; your team will follow in your steps. Employers desire leaders who also know how to be productive within a diverse team.

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The Only Bottom Line that should ever exist…in Retailing

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The Only Bottom Line that should ever exist…in Retailing

I’ll have to admit to something. When I first read that major Accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Cooper, partnered with a retailing consulting agency to forecast trends for 2015, I was a little skeptical and excited. After all, at first glance, what would PWC know about retailing, consumers and ultimately where they were headed? It turns out they know a lot more than just auditing and tax.

I would have to agree with Dr.Meyer, my retailing professor, when I say that my favorite trend for 2015 was number 15; the Triple Bottom Line Scorecard. Why? Because it concisely summarizes what a retailer must do to stay in business. With this rule, people and the planet take the stage with profit being the last major piece in keeping a happy retail business. With the rise of content marketing and consumer involvement, it’s no wonder that retailers should focus on determining not only the needs of their target market but also their wants and desires, to which they should learn how to satisfy them with convenience and value. As retailers focus on understanding their “consumer persona”, they shift from being a “store that sells things that they want you to need” to a “store that sells things that you need before you even realize you need them.” Other important people that a retailer should focus on are their employees. After all, your employees are the driving force behind your business and should be paid fairly, treated with benefits and rewarded. It’s quite simple, the better you treat your employees, the better your business will perform and operate. Attracting and maintaining an excellent workforce will do wonders for your brand loyalty and retention…just imagine employees who feel so passionately about their employer that they would go out of their way to share experiences with prospective customers! Now that’s powerful.

The last piece of this trend involves how retailers will begin to focus more on their sustainable efforts. Most consumers are at least aware of the global impact that companies have and want to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. The majority of consumers lie in the “light green” section; they feel the need to do something but aren’t too sure what to do. It is best for retailers to recognize this need and capitalize on it, while also learning how their business impacts the world. As a compliment to sustainability efforts, companies can also lend a helping hand to humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Consumers feel as though they don’t have the power to make a huge improvement in the lives of barefoot children within 3rd world countries, but TOMS will do it for them while adding value and a sense of gratitude to their products. Seeing a company do good for the world will attract consumers indefinitely and inspire them to build up your brand through word of mouth marketing. In his famous TedTalk “Start with Why”, Simon Sinek says that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it…” 2015 will be the year that retailers and consumers alike will understand and practice this ingenious piece of advice.

Digested Branded Content on the Web; how it’s changed and where it’s going

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Link: Digested Branded Content on the Web; how it’s changed and where it’s going

Oh the joys of finally being within your major! Once junior or senior year comes along, we can all finally breathe a sigh of relief since we actually enjoy and are able to relate to what we are learning! My internet marketing course has brought me to certain articles I feel are worth sharing…

Contently.com recently published an infographic that showcased just how much the good ol’ USofA is leisurely plugged in. The article explains the value in content marketing and why most consumers will enjoy the shift in marketing practices due to major changes in behavior and online consumption.

Some of the statistics are obvious; content needs to contain a visual in order to be more effective, while others are more surprising. For example, the fact that 70% of US consumers listen to the opinions in blog post and discussion forums literally made me gasp ( I know, I’m a bit dramatic).

Surprising or not, it was refreshing for me to see the evidence of a changing behaviors in the digital world that is shaping the way marketers look at consumers. Content marketing has insured that we the consumers, are the priority rather than the selling point.

Take a look at the infographic (it’s visually captivating AND extremely informative) and comment with your thoughts! Does any of this information surprise you?

College isn’t about the grades you make, but the hands you shake.

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Working on campus has its unexpected perks.

I was fretting about an upcoming accounting exam, when our director of employer relations laughed, told me to stop worrying and said “College isn’t about the grades you make; it’s about the hands you shake.”  This got me thinking, if earning a post graduate job was all about networking then why was I so stressed about passing this exam?!

I realized then that not being able to understand balanced scorecards in accounting as easily as I did certain topics in marketing did not make me stupid…it made me disciplined and surprisingly smarter!

Don’t let bad grades define your potential or measure your intelligence.

I realized that I shouldn’t focus on learning things that I may not use in my marketing job. As college students, we should focus on what we’re good at and what we enjoy…which will hopefully become our major!

Hard work is not always reflected in grades and as counter-intuitive as it seems, it never feels like you tried hard enough…even when you spend hours practically building a relationship with your text book.

So instead of beating yourself up about it, use it as motivation to learn more about your career field and the skills you need to develop to get there. Build your communication skills by networking. Develop your organizational skills by becoming an officer in a student organization…whatever it is do it! And do it mindfully.

The next two things are vital. Above all, always be likable and trainable. No one wants to work with someone who can’t take a joke or who remains negative and closed off to personal interaction. Put yourself out there! Attend every event you can possibly attend and meet everyone in the room. You never know who you’ll meet, what connections you’ll make and what opportunities may arise. Be flexible and willing to learn. Every company will come with its own culture and work standards, so stay willing and excited to both adapt and bring to the table your own unique ideas!

As the academic semester draws to a close and the holidays approach us, let us rejoice in the fact that we won’t ever have to see those jarring subjects again and that one day our hard work will pay off no matter what! Make the grades you need to obtain your degree and graduate with pride by making better use of your time developing useful skills and not pouring over material you may not ever see again!

During my wait for final grades to be posted, I came across an article that practically changed my entire outlook on the one thing we all hate the most…failure. Take a look and get ready to be even more motivated!

“Why the ones who have bad grades are often the ones who are most successful”

http://elitedaily.com/life/motivation/why-the-ones-who-have-bad-grades-are-often-the-ones-who-are-most-successful/