Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Reflection on Technology

Technology as a group project tool………………

Conflicting schedules of students involved in college group projects is always a roadblock to completing class assignments. The technology available at Clemson provides some relief from the stress of communication with group members during projects. Even though we did not have virtual meetings using the web, our group for this class utilized two features of the Clemson network: Blackboard and email. Planning for meetings in and out of class through email messages was an efficient way to keep everyone informed and updated, but the most useful form of technology was Clemson’s Blackboard. Meeting minutes were posted in the “File Exchange” to share the necessary reminders of previous discussions, as well as inform members of tasks to be completed. By sharing documents from the project on Blackboard, each member was also able to easily compile the required components for their personal portfolio.

Technology is certainly a necessary tool of any group project!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ethical Lapses

Two of the examples discussed in class exhibited similar ethical lapses. Both the Ford Motor Company’s handling of the Pinto car model and Jost’s Nazi memo illustrate a disregard for human life. Ford Motor Company preferred to ignore the devastating consequences of their unsafe product and handled the situation by paying a cash value for the loss of life, while continuing the Pinto production. Jost’s memo objectified the life of the Nazis’ prisoners by referring to them as “things” and not acknowledging that they were people. The disregard for human life in both examples is appalling.

As I prepare to enter the fields of food science and packaging technology, the previous examples are not the ethical standards that I aspire to. The production of safe products is the responsibility of everyone involved in food production companies. My own set of ethical principles holds a high regard for human life and will serve me well in the workforce of my chosen profession.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Reflection on Miscommunication

Miscommunication comes in various forms

Although my time in a work setting is rather limited, the general opinion of people I have encountered is that miscommunication occurs as a result of incorrect information being shared. My personal experience with miscommunication is slightly different; it stems from the lack of information being shared. While working on a club community service project, I encountered another form of miscommunication. Individuals working on aspects of the project met each week to report their progress as the deadline approached. Instead of sharing the details of her work, the publicity chair person routinely replied, “I have everything covered. Don’t worry.” The day prior to event, the publicity tasks were still uncompleted. In an effort to make the project a success, a few individuals frantically scrambled to complete the tasks as time was running out. This resulted in some people doing double the amount of work. Luckily the event was a success, but the preparation did not run smoothly. This form of miscommunication and its consequences could have been prevented if honest information had been readily shared in a timely manner.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Final Presentations and Portfolios

Final Presentations and Portfolios……….

The presentation on study abroad opportunities for architecture majors by Blake was not only informative but also enjoyable. The focus of his personal experience in Genoa, Italy was interesting and his descriptions of the housing in the villa made me want to pack my suitcase. It sounded amazing! The photos added to the enjoyment of a presentation that contained one of my favorite places—Italia.

My experience with online portfolios is very limited. Actually, I have only encountered one—the Clemson E-Portfolio required for graduation. Experiencing the frustration of working with the e-portfolio has not given me a favorable impression of online portfolios. After a few trips to CCIT in order to resolve conflicts on my laptop, I have not been successful in utilizing the program. It lost all of my documents last spring! Fearing the worst after the initial problems, I had saved a back-up disk of the documents at home and started over. My main concern is that I have everything completed for the portfolio draft due on March 23. The two letters (cover and follow-up) are on my to-do list, but I wanted to inquire about the group progress report. Does the memo from our class meeting on Friday March 6th satisfy this requirement?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Presentation favorites....

A particular favorite of mine was Liane’s presentation. Attending a track meet at Clemson is an exciting way to spend an afternoon or evening, so I liked the information on the events of the heptathlon. Not only was her presentation informative, it was also insightful, making it very effective. Being a former competitive athlete, I could really relate to her thoughts about the mental toughness needed for competing in the events.

Kevin’s presentation was also interesting. He was an effective presenter with his wealth of knowledge on his topic. I was not even aware there was an NCAA ban on Native American mascots and enjoyed hearing the facts, as well as his views on the ban. The pictures he used were a great addition to the presentation--particularly the University of Pennsylvania Quaker from Philly (only 10 minutes from my home)!

Harry definitely made me laugh with his presentation on Asian stereotypes. He effectively used humor in the presentation, which made it more enjoyable. His story regarding the test was a riot! I’ve already told a few people about it, and I’m sure I’ll remember it for a long time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Response to Cover Letter Advice

The Cover Letter

The advice given on the College Grad website is valuable advice for the job search process. I’ve already bookmarked the site for future use! I agree with most of the points, particularly obtaining knowledge about the company you are contacting for possible employment and describing yourself as a good fit within the framework of the company. Having someone else proofread your cover letter is something I will definitely remember and probably would have overlooked while focusing mainly on the resume. It was surprising to hear that the cover letter is not the first piece of material read, but the explanation made sense. Putting a testimonial quote within the cover letter is a point that I disagree with. While it’s true the cover letter should highlight your best qualities, it should be an example of your own communication skills. Attaching a testimonial letter to your resume sounds like a more suitable way to include a reference. The sample cover letter was helpful, since it’s always good to have a clear example of ideas or facts. Including a handwritten postscript at the end of the letter is something I will try to incorporate in my cover letter. If I were reading a typed letter, a handwritten postscript might divert my eyes to the bottom of the page too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

After the Client Visit

The Group Project………

Following the client visit, our group met to see if we could settle on a direction for our project. As a group, we share a common interest in helping to promote the organic farm. Ideas were discussed about how to promote the farm and bring it to the attention of the Clemson community. A brainstorming session was successful and possible ideas include a cooking video of a recipe using organic products from the farm, or a Facebook group. After researching the farm online, it was good to see that there are a variety of products offered seasonally. We are looking into the possibility that a Creative Inquiry Team from the Ag school is currently working with the organic farm and we may be able to get some helpful information from them. Since the client presented a rather broad topic of promoting a healthy lifestyle to Clemson students, our group e-mailed her about possibly setting-up another meeting to further discuss what we could do for the organic farm; we are still waiting for a reply. Regarding the group project, a question would be: Are we moving forward in the right direction to get a good grade on this?!!