Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Pointers for Using Pinterest

I recently had the opportunity to interview Eric Schulz, Huntsman lecturer and co-director of marketing and brand management, for a holiday marketing story that was included in this month's Huntsman Post. We discussed ways that businesses could utilize the holidays to their advantage. One of those ways was social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. While Facebook and Twitter are relatively easy sites for companies to use, Pinterest can be a bit more of a mystery because the strategy is much more subtle. As a woman who spends a lot of time on Pinterest, here are my ideas on how companies can use Pinterest as a basic form of marketing. 

1. Have a unique product or idea

When using Pinterest, users generally see the product before they know what company is selling it, so the idea is to catch their eye with a good product, something unique. Whether it be a sale, an idea, or product they've never seen before, you, the company, want to make the customer click on your image. This is the first step in getting a user interested in your product and company so come up with something new and creative that will catch the consumer's eye. 

2. Keep your audience in mind

As with any marketing strategy, your target audience is a big factor. While Pinterest users are mostly women, this is not your only audience. There are many different types of women who use Pinterest and each is looking for something different. Pinterest will be a more successful form of marketing for your company if you know what type of woman would be most likely to look at your product. (I say "look at your product" instead of "buy your product" because Pinterest is a place to get ideas, not necessarily to shop. However, if you can get users familiar with your company by consistently pinning unique products or ideas, they will be more likely to buy from you.) For example, if you're a company that specializes in technology products, then you'd perhaps want to target a working woman who could use your product in her professional life. Of course, there are many exceptions and specific circumstances, so just be sure to put some thought into your pins before actually pinning them.  

3. Have a description on your "pin" that is searchable 

Sometimes people using Pinterest go to the site to look for something specifically. This is what the search bar is for. Your pins will be more searchable if they have a searchable description. (The description is the writing you insert yourself before you pin an image.) Some pins have no description and some have very lengthy descriptions, but I've found that when I search for "gifts for men" I find that the majority of results that come up are the pins that have those words "gifts for men" somewhere in their description. So keep it simple and searchable so your product can easily be found when someone is looking for it. 

While Pinterest may not be quite as common as Facebook or Twitter, it is growing in its number of users. Though the site has a simple concept, using it as a marketing strategy does take some genuine thought, but the effort can be well worth it. 

—Allie Jeppson

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ace At A Young Age

I recently read a book titled “The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life." If you have been following the Huntsman Blog, you would probably know that I wrote a blog post on Donald Trump’s reality television show, “The Apprentice.” This time, I am going to write a review on the book written by his daughter, Ivanka Trump.

In addition to being the vice president of Donald Trump’s real estate company, Ms. Trump is also a businesswoman and former model. I first noticed Ms. Trump when she became one of her father’s assistants on “The Apprentice,” where she was responsible for observing contestants as they performed their tasks. She would then report their performances to Mr. Trump to help him decide which contestants should stay and which one should get fired.

In this book, Ms. Trump writes about what it was like growing up in the Trump family and how she started working in the real estate field. I prefer the second half of this book because she provides more business advice such as preparing for job interviews and building a brand.

My favorite part of the book is the “Bulletins From My Blackberry” section, which opens each chapter of the book. This section contains input on empowerment, making an impression, managing a team and other words of advice written by successful people such as Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of Huffington Post; Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotel; and Mark Burnett, television producer.

Ms. Trump also talks about her modeling career, her great interest in real estate and her jewelry business. She writes about her struggles to prove herself when she first started working for her father. During that time period, she talks about how people would assume that she was as smart as Donald Trump, just because they are related.

Ms. Trump might have gotten a head start in business because of her name, but I do not think she would be where she is today if it was not for her sharp business skills.

— Nadiah Johari

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Holidays: An Opportunity to Show You Care

The holidays bring with theman opportunity for managers and employers to show appreciation to their staff and those around them. For many people this is a stressful time of year, financially as well as personally. Managers can alleviate some of this stress by simply giving a gift or token of gratitude. It doesn’t need to be anything big, just something to show that you care.
Handwritten notes are one way to show individual appreciation. Take the time to think about what they sacrifice personally to help you.
An individually thought-out gift is also a great idea. Think about what their interests are and tailor your gift to that. Once piece of advice is to not give out a standard “business logo” gift to everyone. This takes away all personal ties to the gift and can make an employee feel neglected.
One of my bosses bought our staff lunch, and for a poor college student, it meant a lot and showed me that he went out of his way to appreciate me. My old boss sent me a package of my favorite kind of holiday treat, Bear Hug Fudge. When my employers show appreciation to me, it makes me want to serve them more and give my all to work.
I hope we can all remember to take this great time of year to appreciate those around us.
Klydi Heywood
Klydi Heywood

Friday, December 14, 2012

Utahns Should Park the Monster Plows and Enjoy a Snow Day

Editor’s note: The column below ran in the Deseret News in November of 2010 but the author, our own Steve Eaton, feels the message is one that people in Utah still need to hear. “Utah people know so little about snowy weather and driving,” he said. “I think they could learn a thing or two from the people of Washington State where I grew up.” This column is used with permission from the Deseret News.


It's started to snow again, and it's becoming clear to me that people in Utah don't know how to deal with snow. My family moved here from Seattle, where we would get snow just every other year, and we do a better job with snow than you Utahns do.

Here is a basic rule about snow that is apparently rocket science to most of you: If there is visible snow on the ground, start canceling stuff. You should cancel school, work and church meetings. Close everything.

That's what snow is for: an excuse to cancel stuff.

In Washington, we were so good at this that we took it a step further. In the Evergreen State, if snow is just being forecast, you should cancel stuff. You don't even have to wait for the snow to fall. This is called a snow day, and a snow day is a lot like a vacation day. Think about this carefully for a few seconds. Are you getting this? Something has gone terribly off track here. When I went through my first winter here and tried to explain this concept to people I got a three-step reply.

First, we never cancel anything because of snow. This is stated as if it's a bragging point. That's very confusing to me. It's like boasting, I never turn on the lights in our house, even if I walk into stuff.

Second, they say, the snow we are experiencing now is nothing compared to the way it used to be. It used to snow 14 feet in an hour. You couldn't even open your front door, the snow was so high. You would pour a glass of water in the house and it would freeze before you could drink it.

This leads to the third reply: Even then, we didn't cancel anything. We don't cancel anything for snow.

The principle of snow disrupting things is such a key concept in Washington, that if it does snow and people don't cancel things, well, we just go out and crash. We spin and crash. We go into ditches. We get out of our cars and fall down. And we don't have to wait until we get out on the roads to do it. We crash in our driveways and in parking lots. We're good at it.

When you go outside and it is cold and you fall down, that's nature's way of telling you that you've made a mistake. You're supposed to take the day off.

Here's another part of the equation. Everyone should be talking about the impending storm when a blizzard is coming and what things might be canceled. The newscasts here don't inspire panic. People don't rush out and buy generators if a storm is coming.

In Seattle, the TV people give storms cool names like "The Arctic Blast of 2008," and they come up with great graphics and warn of death, looting and destruction. Here, all we get is this dire warning: snow likely.

We live near a hill, and some of the recent snowstorms made the hill very slick. This meant that some people couldn't make it up the hill. When I saw this start to happen, I ran out in my sneakers to try to help.

It turns out that standing on an ice-covered hill behind a 6-ton car that is spinning its tires and sliding backwards isn't that helpful.

One of the people I went to help asked me what would happen if they just did a U-turn and went back down the hill. Since I'm from Washington, I didn't know. My guess was that they would just start doing out-of-control donuts down the hill because that's what we would do in Washington.

To the credit of local officials, they eventually canceled the hill. They closed it but only for a few minutes until this monster snowplow showed up that completely cleared the snow.

While we're at it, explain this to me: What's with the monster snowplows? We thought it was an earthquake the first time one went by.

I assume snowplows cost a lot of tax dollars and, because they make the driving safer, they make people stop canceling stuff. Trying to explain this just tires me out. It seems so simple. I'd write more but I think I'd better get out and buy a generator and batteries. Snow is likely. I hope the stores aren't already closed.

— Steve Eaton

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Not?

I was raised in a small rural town that seemed to never change.  It wasn’t that I was told that I could not or even that I should not, but other than by my parents, I rarely recall being expected or inspired often enough to lead me to become better than who I was, or who my peers and their parents were.  Opportunities to grow were scarce.  I didn’t know many people who had gone anywhere or done anything beyond what was culturally established by previous generations, no one to clear the path for me to follow.  I did know, however, that the lifestyle I grew up in, though it suits many, was not for me.  I wanted something more.

So two summers ago, I visited many historically significant buildings across Europe.  While I was there, I was exposed to new cultures and experienced new peoples, learning their ways of business.  A year later, I had the opportunity to teach underprivileged people in South America so that they might live a better life. I was able to give them the chance to show the world who they really are by helping them apply business principles that I had previously learned.

I took advantage of opportunities that enabled me to admire the work of Leonardo Di Vinci and other greats at the Hermitage and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, and then later, stood in awe between the Haggia Sofia Mosque and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, all the while being exposed to businesses throughout Europe.  I touched the ancient walls of Machu Picchu and ran through the streets of Cuzco in Peru, while aiding others to become their best selves. 

These Go Global experiences are not just something that I did and that I can add to my resume, they are events that have changed my perspectives, my desires, and my ambitions.  I have come to appreciate the value of living my life in other terms than “can and cannot.”  I now understand that there is literally no limit to what I can accomplish, as long as I am willing to do what it takes to get it done.

Each of us is flooded with opportunities at every turn, even if we sometimes have to look for them.  We have the extraordinary ability to use those opportunities to change who we are and consequently change the world around us for the better.   The real question now is not necessarily could I, or should I, the question is … why not?

Mark Bailey 

Mark Bailey is a Huntsman student who participated in a summer program in 2011 and the SEED program in 2012. He is currently studying finance and economics with a minor in operations management.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ken Snyder is A-Twitter Over the New Building

It was recently announced that the Pope Benedict XVI has started his own twitter account—in eight languages. Just 10 hours after the announcement was made the Associated Press reported that the Pope had nearly 250,000 followers in English alone.

It just so happens that I have launched my own twitter feed but I can guarantee you I won’t be competing with the Pope in terms of followers or pearls of wisdom. I do expect, to have a competitive edge over him when it comes to information about Huntsman Hall, our new building. In fact, the primary purpose of my tweets will be to give people a heads up that I have posted an update to the Huntsman blog.

Those of you who are interested in my missives might consider subscribing to my twitter feed. If you do, you’ll never be able to say, “I haven’t heard a tweet out of Ken Snyder lately.”

While there may be value in getting a consistent flow of tweets from someone like the Pope or some other wise person, I do not intend to update you constantly on what I had for breakfast or what I think of Donald Trump. I’ll leave that to other tweeters. My tweets will be about new developments in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, especially those that apply to Huntsman Hall.

My twitter handle is @KenSnyderHSB. I invite you to follow me. I’ll probably follow you back. 
Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Who am I?"

This is a line from the movie “Wall Street" (1987) that made me rethink about my dream of working in the financial industry in the Big Apple. The movie depicts the life of an ambitious stockbroker who is willing to go the extra mile, regardless of whether his actions are ethical or not, all in the name of money, power and success.

Bud Fox is a struggling stockbroker who was raised by his father, Carl Fox, who has strong moral principles, especially when it comes to honesty. Bud decides to do business with Gordon Gekko, a powerful, wealthy businessman whose work ethics contradict Carl’s values. 

His illegal work with Gordon proves profitable and Bud lives a luxurious life, which I call the “triple P’s”: promotion, penthouse, private secretary. He is caught in the middle when he has conflicting opinions with Carl, who is not at all fond of Gordon. 

Eventually, Bud realizes that his father has been right about Gordon all along and that Gordon has been using him. He sets to straighten things out and finds a way to defeat Gordon.

Personally, the movie opened my eyes to a whole new perspective about business. I am fortunate to work in a laid-back environment with people who have strong values. Wall Street, on the other hand, can be a completely different world. By watching the movie, I can deduce that some people are driven by money, decisions must sometimes be made in a matter of seconds and if you let it, work will consume your life.

That brings me back to the quote: “Who am I?” In such a busy world, it is easy to lose yourself, not knowing who you are anymore, and not knowing the person you are becoming. It is important to stop, take the time to listen to yourself and reflect on the things that you do to gauge where you stand in your career and in life, as a whole.

Eventually, Bud realizes that his father has been right about Gordon all along and that Gordon has been using him. He sets to straighten things out and finds a way to defeat Gordon.

Personally, the movie opened my eyes to a whole new perspective about business. I am fortunate to work in a laid-back environment with people who have strong values. Wall Street, on the other hand, can be a completely different world. By watching the movie, I can deduce that some people are driven by money, decisions must sometimes be made in a matter of seconds and if you let it, work will consume your life.

That brings me back to the quote: “Who am I?” In such a busy world, it is easy to lose yourself, not knowing who you are anymore, and not knowing the person you are becoming. It is important to stop, take the time to listen to yourself and reflect on the things that you do to gauge where you stand in your career and in life, as a whole.

- Nadiah Johari

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Job-Hunting Journey

With graduation just around the corner for me (May 2013), a gnawing question plagues my mind: What am I going to do?

I've found that this formidable question becomes a much easier pill to swallow after deciding between graduate school now and work experience later, or vise versa.  I have decided to get some relevant work experience under my belt before getting into the grad-school scene.  

Once that decision was made, I was free to devote my energy to finding a full-time job. The first thing I did was visit Career Services in the basement of the University Inn.  Maren Stromberg got me set up on Career Aggie (which I now check religiously) and helped me polish up my resume before sending it out.

And then came the hard part.

Applying, applying, applying. I must have filled out more than 50 applications in the months of September and August; most all of which I found on Career Aggie. I started going to recruiting sessions and took off work to go to the Tech Expo and Career Fair. It took about a month before I started seeing replies to all of my applications. Most people said that they were looking for somebody to start in the winter, but to check back in the spring.  

However, I did get the worm on a couple of companies. Northwest Farm Credit Services and Goldman, Sachs & Co. both held info sessions and accepted applications for full-time work starting next May. I applied and luckily landed interviews with both companies.

To hone in some of my interviewing skills, I went to one of the resume activities during LinkedIn Week, where I talked to Prof. Chris Fawson. I asked for some interviewing tips for my interviews and he gave me some great advice: read a current business book and use its key points to frame your answers to difficult questions.

I read the book Drive by Daniel Pink and even had a mock interview with a good friend, Thomas Funk, in preparation. Sure enough, at my Goldman Sachs interview, I was asked an ambiguous question about one of my work experiences, I was able to impress my interviewers by both referencing a popular business book and having a well structured response.

All of my hard work paid off as I was recently offered the job I applied for at Goldman Sachs. I know that my chances increased at least tenfold by preparing well and implementing some great advice from a faculty member who values my success.  

- Carter Holm

Carter Holm is a double major in finance and international business at the Huntsman School of Business. He is a member of the Huntsman School Business Council. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

The World is Round but Some Classrooms Will Always Be Flat

In my last blog I wrote about the benefits of a tiered classroom, especially when it comes to using the case-study approach, where a professor can challenge students by having them come up with solutions to real-world business problems. Given all those benefits one might wonder why Huntsman Hall will feature 12 flat classrooms. Why not make them all tiered classrooms?

Some of our professors prefer a flat classroom because the topics they teach can be most effectively taught in a setting where students are collaborating and working together on projects. A flat classroom gives them the ability to move tables and chairs around, creating small-group discussions that involve every student.

As you may know, studies have shown that the more students are involved in the learning process, the more they are likely to retain. The standard lecture approach has its limitations, even with the best professors. You’ve probably noticed how much more you retrain when you are in a situation where you are expected to learn something that you need to teach others. This is true even if that teaching amounts to just explaining what you understand to other members of a small group.

Anytime there is a topic like leadership, management or collaboration, a professor appreciates the flexibility to teach in a setting that allows students the opportunity to lead, collaborate and manage a project to a successful conclusion. When the educational process is working as it should, students can learn as much from each other as they do from the professor. People learn best when they can put into practice the things that are being taught.

When a new building is constructed people often focus on aesthetics, such as how it will look and how it will represent the philosophies being taught. Those things are important, but it is still in the classroom that much of the educational process unfolds. We are now at a rare point where we have a chance to design classrooms and facilities in a way that best help our students reach their goals.

It’s interesting to note that is was through a collaborative approach that we have come to our ideas about what should go in Huntsman Hall. And one of those conclusions is that if our students are to discover new ideas and explore new insights, some of our classrooms must be flat.
Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

“Gratitude is the best attitude” was a common saying around my home. This phrase is catchy and even rhymes, but does it work in the business world? According to an article by Brad Larsen, a success strategist, the answer is yes.
One way gratitude can benefit a business is through the eye of the consumer. The article states, “that customers are looking for value, satisfaction and appreciation on their purchases. A simple gesture of gratitude can be enough to keep them coming back and telling others about your business.”
Feeling appreciated is a human need, and is something that should not be overlooked or disregarded. The article gives seven reasons why saying “thank you” is good for business.
1.       Because it makes a difference.
2.       Because it builds better professional relationships.
3.       Because it opens doors to new opportunities in the future.
4.       Because it defines your intentions and motives in the business world.
5.       Because people return to you the attitudes and feelings that you give them.
6.       Because it lets people know that their business or work matters to you.
7.       Because people will always remember how you made them feel.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude can create a powerful change. The article states, “be plentiful in your gratitude and thoughtful in your thankfulness and watch your business grow.”
It’s as simple as that. Thank you for supporting the Huntsman Blog this day.
Klydi Heywood

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Goal to Give Back

The Thanksgiving holiday is always a good time to reflect and give thanks for what we have. With this year's break I've had the opportunity to do just that. I've been thinking lately on how very fortunate I am. Even though school is tough, money sometimes tight and the weather is frigid, I'm especially grateful for what I have and to be gaining a higher education here at Utah State University. With the holiday season in the near future, this is not a time to be greedy with our mounds of food and piles of presents. It is a time to reflect on all that we have been given and in thanks, give a little back.

Forbes Magazine recently compiled a list of what they thought were the top-ranking charities. As I thought about all the good that these charities are doing for the world, I couldn't help but be inspired and want to help in some small way. However, as college students, money is not always abundant and time can be scarce, which makes service a bit difficult. Yet, there are still a number of ways that students can give without becoming charity cases themselves. USA Today’s College site posted about “Givingback on a student’s budget.” This story lists a number of ways that students can donate what little time and/or resources they have to help others. A few of the organizations mentioned were:

CompassionPit: This site is a place where people can go to talk anonymously to a stranger about their troubles. The people on this site are often simply looking for a listening ear as they may be having a rough day or have a problem that you may be able to relate with and offer some advice. This website is a simple, but effective way for students to help those who may need it.

Free Kibble: With this organization students are not only helping hungry animals, but they are also giving their own brains a workout. Free Kibble offers 10 pieces of Kibble to hungry animals with every trivia question that you answer. This is another easy way to help.

Call to Protect: This organization allows people to donate their old cell phones in order to protect against domestic violence. The donated phones are cleaned up and resold. The profits gained are then donated to organizations working to end domestic violence.

Students can also find a number of places to help out locally such as donating clothes to Deseret Industries and other organizations,  volunteering for an afternoon at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter, and even visiting with people in a hospital or rest home. A number of other volunteering opportunities in Utah can be found here.

As students, we are so very blessed to be at this great institution gaining an education. With all that we have, let’s find time to give back this holiday season.   

- Allie Jeppson

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Road to Entrepreneurship: Don’t Go it Alone!

Many journeys and successes can be conquered alone. True entrepreneurial success, however, is not a one-person endeavor. There are days in the start-up cycle when cash runs short, equipment fails, customers back out, prices fluctuate adversely and endless obstacles are bound to arise.

On the other hand the finale of solo quests can be anti-climactic when the victor realizes there is no one with whom to share the joy.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have already looked down the long and lonely road that I know leads to the success that so many of us seek. It is a road fraught with twists and turns, pitfalls, windfalls, devastating setbacks, and, on occasion, a sunny meadow of short-lived winning streaks that we all hope will last.

The entrepreneurial path is not for everyone, I know, to take those first steps into the unknown and then keep going. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but for the adventurers, the risk-takers, the visionaries, the game-changers, the innovators, the tinkerers. I’m not going to pretend we’re all fearless — that would be a lie.

To help innovators face their fears, we get a few people together who share our vision- who believe what we believe — and we take the journey together.

I’ve never really told anyone this, but I’d like to race yachts someday, full-sized and fully crewed sailboats. It can be safely said that competitive sailing requires teamwork and trust. A truly winning team works in harmony, communicates effectively, encourages one another, and shares in every victory and defeat. Everyone feels ownership and shares responsibility for both the successes and failures.

Every new venture is like a sailboat race: you’ll need a team. When they are discouraged, you re-instill their confidence. When you are discouraged, they support you. You all share in the victories and in the defeats.

For those of you who aspire to achieve this class of entrepreneurial success, get your team together and set sail. Failures will be easier to bear when the load is distributed, and victories will be sweeter when shared.

Do not go it alone.

 -Reed Page

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grateful for a Computer With a Heartbeat

This week, just as I was on deadline for the Huntsman Post, my computer crashed. To use a football analogy to show you how close I was to meeting that deadline before the crash: I was down by two touchdowns with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter. I had come in early, was planning on staying late, and was believing that with a successful on-side kick or blocked punt I could still get a victory. 

Then, suddenly, just before the snap, each member of my offensive line died at the same time of a heart attack. That's the part where my computer crashed. Suddenly I was in a totally different game.

If you take away my ability to type and do e-mail, my world changes. After I organize and clean my office, all I can do is go outside and plant crops. Thankfully, the guy in the office next door to mine is Tom James. He has actual job skills and he deals in these type of work crisis situations every day at the Huntsman School of Business. Computers crash, and people run to him as their vocational world starts to unravel. He calmly goes about defragmenting hard-disk megabytes and downloading drivers, and soon he is rebuilding things and saving the day. Since his office is nearby, I see this drama play out on a regular basis but, of course, it’s much more serious when I’m facing a technology meltdown.

While he was in the other room hitting my computer with those shock pads, hoping to get a heartbeat, I found an old laptop in my office that had been retired years ago because it too had a tendency to crash. I plugged it in, booted it up and it worked—sort of. Because I do a lot of my work in Drop Box, I was able to get to many of my latest documents. It was still a painful process to meet deadline because many of the things I normally do without even thinking became more difficult. Sort of like throwing a long pass after your offensive line drops dead.

Everything was slow. I could have run a lap around the building every time I clicked on something expecting a response. Normally, I have two computer screens, which proves extremely helpful when I am writing stories and press releases from typewritten notes, e-mail information or audio recordings that live in my computer. I couldn’t use those two screens anymore. I could still progress but it was like writing left-handed—underwater.

Within 24 hours Tom had my computer back to life and working again. It’s sort of sad, however, because she doesn’t remember me anymore and has forgotten all my preferences and what we did together last Christmas. She is sometimes confused when I ask her to do things she used to do all the time like print a document or launch a program. I’ll click on a program and she wants to know if I agree with pages and pages of rules before she’ll let me use it. She used to trust me.

It is sort of like in Star Trek when Spock was finally tapping his human side and then they killed him off at the end of the movie only to try to bring him back to life in the next movie. The new Spock had forgotten some of the Star Trek movies he made just like we had.

I remember as a kid I watched a cartoon show about the future called “The Jetsons.” In the episode I remember, two of the main characters were in the military and were being punished by being put on a clean-up detail. It meant that they had to sit at a panel and punch buttons and watch as robots did the actual scrubbing and sweeping. They complained to each other of the difficulty of the detail and how that part of the military, where they punish you with hard labor, not changed in hundreds of years. They weren’t doing any actual work. They were just punching buttons.

So what percentage of your day involves mouse clicks and typing? What happens to your world when your laptop crashes or your smart phone gets dumb? Have you ever thought doing something was too hard because it might have involved ten or fifteen clicks?

Now, I know where you think I’m going with this. You think I’m going to complain about us all using smart phones too much and never communicating in person. You think I’m going to advocate for an Amish lifestyle and a car that runs on corncobs. I’m not. The technology I use every day allows me to communicate, keep my job, and makes it so I’ll never ever have to go back to the circus where I grew up.

This Thanksgiving I’m going to be grateful for the very technology that everyone loves to complain about. I need my computer even if she seems distant to me right now like we are strangers that just met. I’ll win her over. And it just so happens that I care about my iPhone that connects me to eBay where there is soooo much stuff that I really need to buy before it is too late.

When I get home there is plenty of real manual labor to do. Don’t worry. I’ll stay connected to the earth. Most of it is in my garage and I’ll need to sweep it out. In one way, we are sort of like the Jetsons, you know.

Only in our case, it is my wife who has figured out how to push my buttons.

—Steve Eaton

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be You

Last week I heard an interesting networking technique. A woman explained that when she was in between jobs or deciding which step to take next, she would find people who had the job she wanted. She would then track them down, via email or social network, and invite them to an afternoon lunch, or an after-work drink. She would explain that she “wanted to be them” when she grew up and just wanted to discuss how they got to the point they are now in their career.
A few days later I was reminded through experience, how much people love to talk about themselves. Putting these two concepts together, I have decided to follow suit and ask the person I “want to be when I grow up” to go out for a quick lunch.
An article I recently read on networking stated, “You should learn all you can about potential employers that hire your skills, and it is always helpful to get career advice as you are seeking a job.”
Because of the concept of “global village”, finding a job relies on who you know. I don’t know if this strategy will work but if anything else, I will learn what it takes to be successful and solidify my professional dreams. 
Klydi Heywood
Klydi Heywood

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Best Part of Huntsman Hall Will Be Mostly Invisible

The thing that excites me most about Huntsman Hall is something you can’t see at all—unless you know what you are looking for. The classrooms are designed for effective, case study teaching.

The best way to learn most things is through experiencing it. We call this experiential learning. In a classroom, the best way to simulate experience is through the case study approach. This approach is used at top business schools. Students study real examples of challenges that real business leaders have faced. Then we, as faculty, ask students to propose solutions to these challenges. It is a very interactive, effective way of teaching. When done properly, it helps the students learn from thinking through challenges, and learn from each other things that might not have even been introduced by the professor.

Our new classrooms will help our professors, myself included, use the case study approach more effectively. How does that happen? The classrooms are designed so that there are two aisles that cut through the tables making it easy for a professor to walk up to and talk directly with every student. The classroom design also makes it much more difficult for an unprepared student to hide in the back. It’s surprising how much focus a student can have when the professor is standing right next to them, challenging their ideas.

When I use the case study approach I often select a student to get the discussion going. I suggest they put themselves in the shoes of the business leader and I ask them how they would solve the challenges that are a part of the case study we are analyzing. Each student is supposed to be prepared to do just that when they come to class.

With the case study approach I can guide the students to consider specific issues that are important in such scenarios, and help them see the upside and downside of any particular solution. For example, because we emphasize the importance of ethical leadership at the Huntsman School of Business, I press students to consider the ethical implications of their decisions. The beauty of a case study is that there isn’t just one right answer they can unearth but multiple innovative solutions that could be tried.

Can you tell I love this approach to teaching? Huntsman Hall will be an impressive and beautiful structure but I think the best part of the building will be what’s happening in the classroom. I can’t wait to teach a group of MBA students in one of the new “case study” classrooms.
Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"The Apprentice": A Provider of Worthwhile Business Skills

Most of you probably remember the reality television show, The Apprentice, where contestants have to put their business skills to the test to win the coveted prize of running one of Donald Trump’s businesses. Although most people that I've talked to have different opinions about the show, I can honestly say that I’ve learned a few lessons that I apply to my own business skills. 

1. Don’t take things personally

The business world is one of competition and sometimes, it can be a bit harsh. One fragment of advice that I’ve received about dealing with rude people is to just “brush them off.” In other words, don’t let them get to you. Don’t hold a grudge against that person and don’t pretend to be nice. Just be your own professional self and as my mom always says, “never stoop down to their level.”

2. Don’t take “no” for an answer

In my last blog post, I provided tips on negotiation. Although it can be difficult to not take “no” for an answer, don’t give up in your quest to get the best deal possible.

3. Be passionate

From my observation, Donald Trump seems to be very passionate about buildings and as a result, he made a career out of it. When you are passionate about your work, you wake up everyday to look forward to the rest of the day because your job does not feel like a chore. It is important to love what you do in order to excel in what you do.

— Nadiah Johari

Monday, November 5, 2012

Looking Back on Global Learning Experiences

When I entered college, I knew that I wanted to study business but did not know what I wanted to do.  I remember sitting in the old auditorium of the Taggart Student Center during the first few weeks of college listening to a study abroad presentation from a student who had participated in three study abroad programs.  I thought to myself, wow that is impressive!  I did not realize at the time the impact it would have on me.
Over the course of my freshman year, I decided to study business and I knew that I needed to do something during my time at Utah State to distinguish myself from the thousands of students that would be graduating with business degrees.   Having always had an interest in the global economy, I thought that some kind of international degree would be the differentiator I was looking for.  When the Huntsman School of Business introduced the international business major, I knew it was for me and jumped at the chance to be among the first students with the degree. 
I recognized that if I wanted to work internationally, I needed some international experience.  When the Global Learning Experience program was introduced, I signed right up.  Looking back, this was one of the best choices I made during college. 

The South America program was the gateway into a new way of thinking and seeing the world.  Not only did I get to travel to South America and visit some of the biggest companies in Latin America where I was exposed to a different business culture, but I had fun doing it.  The South America Program was the beginning of a deep love for international business that was nurtured by great faculty and exceptional opportunities.
After the bird’s eye view of many international companies in Latin America, I wanted more.  During fall semester I sought out an internship with BOSCH in Germany for the next summer so I could get more hands on experience in the international business world.  While in Germany, I worked with divisions of BOSCH all over the world.  I loved it.  I came back from that internship with a sharpened business sense, many new skills, an understanding of how to work with people from all over the world, and an increased interest in international business. 
Looking back I can see how those Global Learning Experiences helped prepare me for the global workforce.  I feel that I learned more from the Global Learning Experiences and internships than almost all of my classes combined. Not to say that I didn't learn a lot in my classes, but the knowledge, experience, skills and understanding I gained while participating in these programs provided context for my classwork and prepared me to be effective and successful in the global economy. The Global Learning Experiences truly gave me the competitive advantage I was looking for.
- Josh Kerkmann
Class of 2009

Editor's Note: Josh Kerkmann is an alumnus of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business who was one of the first to participate in the Global Learning Experience program. He is now a consultant at BSM USA Inc. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Top Ten Productivity Apps For the iPhone Junkie

I am probably the only person in the world who has more productivity apps on my iPhone than games. I could have funded a trip to Maui and back with the money I’ve spent on apps that process, track, list and analyze things. So, I thought I’d share with you my top 10 productivity apps so far.

1.     “Drop Box” – Free - Dave Patel, a Huntsman executive type who knows stuff and has been there and done that, told me about Drop Box and it has become something I use every day. Since many documents I work on become group-editing projects, they end up in Drop Box where everyone can get at them. Once something is in Drop Box I can access it on my phone which means I can continue to work on projects even while in a line at the grocery store or while I’m waiting for a meeting to begin. (Of course, you can also use it to work on stuff while you are on vacation or watching a sunset, which can cause your wife to whack you on the side of the head. Be careful.) It’s free because they want you to use it so much you’ll start storing all your pictures, documents and even old socks in there. Once you are hooked, they charge you to for added storage space.

2.     “Docs To Go” - $9.99 – I know, spending $10 for an app in the iTunes world is like paying $200,000 for something in real-life dollars. It’s expensive. But it is a grown-up app you need if you want to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint on your phone. (I’ve never used it for PowerPoint but I suppose that I could always give PowerPoint presentations to people who are in line with me at the grocery store.) I bought this so I could open the work stuff I store in “Drop Box.”

3.     “Easy TimeSheet” - $2.99 – There’s a free version but I wanted all the bells and whistles. This app allows you to not only track how long it takes you to complete a project, like writing a blog, but to figure out how much your company paid for that particular project based on your hourly time rate. This would be a better app if I could find another app that reminds me to stop it when I switch projects and start it when I begin a new project. If you have a lot of multi-tasking and moving pieces in your work life, this can be a difficult app to maximize.

4.     iBlueSky - $9.99 – Have you ever tried mind mapping? This is a great app for organizing your thoughts. Also, if you take notes in class with a mind map approach like this you can really remember things for a long time. (If you have a disorganized, rambling teacher, however, it will drive you crazy trying to take notes in a mind-map format.) If you hate lists but also hate forgetting stuff and being undependable, you could make this app work for you too. I think someday, when I am an evolved, peaceful person, I will have my to-do lists in iBlueSky. There are lots of apps that do mind mapping approaches but the others have square bubbles that are too rigid and or goofy bubbles that make you feel like you are in junior high. This one is simple, clean, with no caffeine.

5.     “Touch Goal” – $3.99 – This is a good app for people who like to assign point values to stuff they do so they can have a total score at the end of the day. For example, you could give yourself 20 points for sticking to a diet all day and one point for every time you pick up a piece of trash outside and throw it away, proving you are a good person. I know, I know, the idea of quantifying your day with a score will horrify all you right-brained, mentally-balanced, sunset-watching people. Not me. I just give myself 10 points if I can watch a sunset without getting whacked by my wife.  

6.     “Streaks – Motivation Calendar” - $1.99 – Sports figures have people tracking all the stuff they do so that someone can announce how many passes in a row they’ve caught or how many games in a row they’ve got on base. Why shouldn’t you use this to keep track of things you consistently do, like how often you exercise or how many days in a row you can go without complaining? (My personal record is five days and it would be higher if it weren’t for that no-good, stupid … oops. I guess I’ll have to start over tomorrow.)

7.     “Daily Tracker” – Free – This is an app that includes just about everything you could want for tracking things, including a “to-do-list” and “expenses” function. I use it to track how much sleep I get. We all think we don’t get enough sleep. I know, however, that in 2012 I’ve been averaging 7:06 minutes a night, something I would not have believed, if had not tracked it myself. (Caution: if you are someone who likes to honestly brag about how little sleep you get, this app could spoil all that for you.)

8.     MyFitnessPal – Free – I use MyFitnessPal to track calories. It has bazillion foods listed. And it remembers which foods you eat most often so they are always at top your list. When you type in “chocolate chip cookie,” for example, you don’t have to go searching for it, it knows your cookie habit. You can also fix it so your friends can see how you are doing and give you a bad time if you eat only chocolate chip cookies.

9.     Tactio Health - $1.99 – I use Tactio Health to track my weight because it predicts the future. For example, it says if I continue to lose weight at the rate I am right on my current diet, I will have lost 450 pounds and reached my goal by April 3, 2013. It’s fun as long as you are losing weight but if you gain weight it gets rude and tells you things like, if you don’t get serious, you won’t reach your goal until 2038 or worse yet, you’ll NEVER reach your goal. On this app you can also track lots of things like body mass, resting pulse, activity, cholesterol and chlora-hydrine-fiber levels. This is the kind of stuff healthy, skinny people like to track. I just use it to predict the future.

10.  “Clear” - $1.99 – If you love crossing things off your to-do list, this is the app for you. It’s a very simple app but it is very addictive. It doesn’t allow you to do project management, scheduling or a thousand other things lots of apps offer but it gives you a little shot of joy when you check stuff off your list because it makes this little happy Star Trek noise. If you aren’t a list maker, don’t even try it. You’ll never understand.

The above list changes almost daily. I’m always searching out new apps in hopes of finding the perfect app that fixes everything and brings joy, peace and top-quality pizza into my life on a regular basis.
Now this list, of course, doesn’t cover game aps, entertainment apps, news apps, book aps or all the fitness and running apps I have bought. I don’t even mention “Coop Shoot,” a must-have game app. That game app was developed by former Huntsman student Britney Johnson, and current Huntsman students Lauren and Shai McDonald, and they are way smart and cool, so everyone should have that app.

There are so many apps. There are even apps to help you find apps. What are some of your favorite apps? Let me know and maybe I’ll check them out next time I’m watching a sunset or I’ll share them in a future blog post.

— Steve Eaton

Steve Eaton, is the director of communications, for the Jon M. Huntsman School or Business or, as some people call him, “the PR guy in the basement.” He writes a column for the Deseret News that can be seen here.