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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Music and the Mind

Thursday, April 7, 2016
I like to browse before classes and read the articles that stand out. Today as I was reading about Beyonce’s newest comments on feminism I thought about the impact music has on its listeners. Beyonce is able to communicate her personal beliefs from the powerful platform of music. The phrases she sings are catchy and often play on repeat. You can find her music playing almost anywhere.

From personal experience, I know the songs I listened to as a kid still get stuck in my head all the time. I continue to intake new music though. I like my yoga class more when there is meditation music playing. I get psyched walking into classes that has sweet tunes playing. Movies become infinitely more scary when creepy songs are playing. I even remember things better when there is a melody. Music is playing so often and I have a strong emotional tie to it, but what does music actually do?

This question led me down the rabbit hole of research on how cool music is for intellectual and emotional development. Daniel Abrams, author and postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University of Medicine, said, “Brain regions involved in movement, attention, planning and memory consistently showed activation when participants listened to music -- these are structures that don't have to do with auditory processing itself. This means that when we experience of (sic) music, a lot of other things are going on beyond merely processing sound.” 

That gives music a lot of power. So how do we take advantage of this free and easily-accessible resource? On an individual level we can select music that we find empowering. Being aware of what you are listening to and the affects it has on mood is vital. On a larger scale, companies have been using music as a marketing strategy for decades. If you want to continue following me through the rabbit hole, this article talks more about our emotional ties to businesses because of melodies and has great video examples of music in marketing. (And here is the Apple video mentioned in the link that does not show up.)   

So as you are studying for finals or planning summer fun, remember the affect music has on everything you do. Use it to your advantage.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Case Competition

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Being a business student, there are two words you’ll hear a lot: case competition.

What is a case competition?

The internet isn’t giving me straight answer where or when these competitions started, but we sure do participate in a lot of them at the Marriott School. In a case competition, teams of typically four members receive a case study before the day of the actual competition. This study goes into detail about a certain corporation or industry. After giving an excess of information and data about the business in question, a problem is posed for the teams to answer. Teams then use their knowledge to solve this problem through collecting additional data, creating new models, charting graphs, and so on. A paper is usually written to present all of your findings and recommendations (with an executive summary since you never know if someone will actually read your whole paper).

The day of the competition, teams present their findings to a board of judges. An audience often attends, but it is only the judges that ask questions at the end of the presentation. The judges also request a copy of your slide deck. What is a slide deck? A printed version of the power point you are using. This makes it easy for judges to follow along with your presentation and look at the numbers you cite up close.

Why participate in a case competition?

Well sometimes you do not have a choice. Classes often have case competitions for assignments. When you do have a choice though, there are more benefits than just a grade. Case competitions help establish a team, push your mind to think outside the box in a short amount of time, and look great on resumes. Not to mention if you win, there is usually a prize or a trophy.

Fox TV win emmys 2015 ricky gervais trophy

So don’t be intimidated next time you hear about a case competition. Everyone gets better with experience and practice. Plus, you really don’t need to be a pro to come home with a prize. Just let your creativity flow and know you are making a difference to the company the case is about. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Guest Post: Meet Marcella

Thursday, March 24, 2016
If there is a black sheep to be found in the Tanner building or in a finance or accounting class, it’s definitely me. I am a theatre arts studies major. Why am I taking business classes, you ask? Because my dream is to be an arts administrator. What is that, you ask? (Because let’s be real, nobody has any idea what I mean when I say I want to go into arts administration.) It’s basically the business side of the performing arts. Somebody has to deal with all the finances and logistics that go into making a musical, play, concert, or dance performance a reality!

Originally I wanted to be an actor, but eventually I decided I wanted a career path that would provide me with more stability and keep me free in the evenings if I ended up being a working mom. I’ve also always had a good brain for business—I ran my own jewelry-selling business when I was in middle school—and once I started taking business management minor classes at BYU I realized that I really enjoyed business. However, I knew that while I enjoyed business, my real passion was for theatre. So I found a way to combine my passion with a practical set of skills that would make me more marketable and give me the kind of career I wanted: I’ll be graduating in June with a theatre arts studies degree and a business management minor and am currently in the process of applying for arts administration apprenticeships all over the country. My plan is to get an MBA in arts administration in a few years and open and run my own theatre company one day.

I think that people don’t realize that there is so much you can do with a business degree or even a business minor—more than just work for one of the Big Four or Goldman Sachs. Don’t give up on what you’re passionate about just because you want the stability of a business-related job. Theatre companies need accountants! Performing arts centers need marketing directors! Dance companies need managing directors! Opera houses need finance directors! All of these are positions without which the arts organizations of the world would cease to be financially solvent and function in a sustainable way. Artists dream big, but it’s business people that make those dreams a reality.

I will admit that I’m probably not ever going to make as much as an investment banker, or even an accountant. But I know that I will be happy doing what I’m doing, which is something money can’t buy. If I have any advice, it’s to dream big and not give up on those dreams! If your dream is to make it big on Wall Street, awesome. Do it. But if it’s to find a way to combine your passion for financial forecasting and ballet, don’t give up on that dream. The world is full of more opportunities than you can possibly imagine.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why I Love the Tanner Building

Thursday, March 10, 2016
This post, like many before it, comes from the Tanner Building. I often like to write about what it means to be a woman in business, a woman in school, a woman in the world, etc. However, this week I would like to focus on just a few of the reasons I love the Tanner Building. This blog isn't called Jane Meets Tanner for nothing.

1. The Architecture

This building really is beautiful. I love sitting in the atrium next to the fountains and starring up at the clouds through the glass ceiling. I love walking on the top floors and being able to look down on the students below, or outside at the glorious mountains. There is something about the Tanner that I find welcoming, yet professional.

2. The Blueline

I would like thank Blueline Cafe for saving my life, and my stomach, several times. Not only is the food in a convenient place, but also delicious. Can you get smothered burritos anywhere else on campus? I have yet to find them anywhere except next to the gourmet PB&J sandwiches at Blueline Cafe.

3. The Free Food

Whilst we're talking about being a starving college student, let's put our hands together for PWC, EY, and every other company and club that passes out free food on the stairs and first floor of the Tanner. They are true friends. Once I was walking with a friend who is majoring in design through the Tanner; she was blown away by the amount of cookies, donuts, and tiny candy bars we were offered. Free food is not an everyday blessing, but it's there when you really need it.

4. The Elevators

The Tanner Building connects campus on the bottom of the hill to campus on the top of the hill. Enough said.

5. The People

I'm not talking about the hundreds of cute guys dressed up for class presentations and interviews (even though that is a pretty big factor), but the caring professors and administrators that empower us to make a difference in the world. I would have died from stress a long time ago if it wasn't for the Grade AAA people that walk the halls of the Tanner Building.

Those are just five reasons I love the Tanner Building and why I am so thankful I decided to join the Marriott School of Management. It's a great time and place to be a woman in business.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Guest Post: Meet Katalin

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Have you ever wished you could receive advice from your future self? Have you ever wondered what it will be like to graduate and start your career? Since time travel isn’t a viable option, let me give you some advice I wish I had when I was in the Marriott School.

But first, who am I? I’m Katalin (KAY-tuh-lin), a Finance grad ('14) and former VP of the Women in Business Club. I’ve been working for almost two years as a Financial Analyst for a large global bank. I’m far from perfect but happy to share some thoughts that have helped me as I’ve transitioned to full-time employment.

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1. Get comfortable with saying “I don’t know”
Chances are high you’re a perfectionist. Guess what, so am I! As a kindred spirit let me implore you (a) to start practicing and (b) get comfortable with admitting that you don’t know everything.
While obvious, this practice is critical to help you be a more effective employee and jumpstart your learning. In the beginning of my job I tried anything I could to avoid admitting lack of knowledge. I thought that if I asked enough questions and did enough research I could some how get ahead of the learning curve. But guess what—it didn’t work.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am all about working hard, asking questions, seeking answers on your own and being a stellar employee. But as soon as you can shift your mentality to view learning as a continuous process it can help take the anxiety away.
The humility that comes with admitting that you don’t have all the answers (to life, your job, your future) is a mark of growing maturity.

2. Find growth through goals and protect yourself from settling through priorities
When I first started my job I was paralyzed by my free time. What was I supposed to do if I didn’t have homework? Did I have hobbies? What should I spend my money on?

Sincerely and prayerfully setting goals became an amazing way to manage my new abundant resources (time, money, etc.). I found things to occupy my time that are helping me to become the person I want to be. For me this turned into serving on the board of local non profit, developing quality relationships with people that build me up, joining a local running club, practicing yoga, traveling and even hunting for fun antique furniture.

Additionally, you will most likely experience a fear of settling. This could hit you at any time and be about anything. I’ve experienced the fear of the wrong major, dating/marrying the wrong boy, accepting the wrong internship/job offer, moving to the wrong city, spending money on the wrong long term investment, etc.

But here’s another secret. Write out your priorities. What really is most important to you? What are the different ways those priorities can be met? When you know what your priorities are and how different attributes rank against each other you don’t have to be afraid of settling. As long as the choices you make reflect and meet the priorities you’ve decided upon you will be fine!

Board Members at a Fundraising Event
3. This is just the beginning
These first steps you make are pivotal, but your life and career isn’t ending with them…they’re beginning! You may not stay at that first job for two years. You may love it. You may hate it. The important thing is to get comfortable with what your personal definition of success looks like and then go after it.

Big life changes and decisions are only going to increase in complexity and consequence. Just realize that no matter what you decide (even if you consider it later to be a “mistake”) your life isn’t over! People switch careers, go back to school, survive relationships, and start and end companies at all ages! We aren’t expected to know the end from the beginning.

Breathe. Smile. It’s going to be okay.

P.S. Invest in a good suit when you’ve got the cash flow.
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