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.