Thursday, 27 October 2011

Options Options Options

I would be a liar if I told you that my educational journey has been easy.  I have always been at the top of my class and I was very involved in extracurricular activities. From the moment I entered high school, it seemed that I would be destined to head to university.   

Being a na├»ve 18 year old, I attended university straight out of high school.  I studied a variety of courses and was mildly successful. Unlike high school, I had to work really hard and the learning did not come naturally to me. This sent me for a loop and I felt lost and confused. I knew I wasn’t stupid – but I also knew that this program was not for me.  School wasn’t fun anymore.

This is when I discovered a whole new world – college. I learned that the class sizes were much smaller and that hands-on learning was an option.  This was not my experience at university and I missed that the most. College was something that I had never explored.  No one talked to me about college – university was the path. 

I’m not here to bash university but I am trying to open the eyes of other youth in a similar situation to mine. Looking at all options is a necessary step so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities available to you.  

Figuring out what you’re going to do when you leave high school is no easy task!  My best advice would be to follow your heart along with your head and take a look at all options available to you.  When they don’t match – take a breath and re-evaluate your priorities and what you want at the end of the day. After all, it’s your future and you’re worth investing in.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Power Of The Blog

Jamie Hubley (Right) 

It seems like just yesterday that I wrote my very first blog. At that time I was unaware of the power and impact that blogging has in today’s society. Blogging is not just a means of fulfilling the requirements of an assignment, but rather, a means of expressing yourself and hopefully being heard.  Maybe even a place where you can be yourself, and hopefully be accepted.

Recently on the news there has been a lot of talk about a young man in Ottawa, named Jamie Hubley. Jamie was fifteen years old. He took his own life after being constantly bullied at school and battling depression. You may be wondering how this connects to the paragraph above? Well, Jamie was an avid blogger. Jamie titled his blog You can't break... When you're already broken . He often wrote about the pain he was feeling as well as the ridicule he endured for being a homosexual youth. Even on his last day he posted about his suicide. His pain and despair was palpable.

Jamie used his blog to reach out and try to bring attention to what he was feeling. He gave us the power to help save his life by posting regularly. It was a cry for help that ultimately went unanswered. Well, at least unanswered by people who cared or could do something to help this very vulnerable and confused young man.

Blogging is a powerful tool and can be used to achieve many ends – both good and bad.  Maybe now I will take this blogging thing more seriously!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Seemingly Untapped Market

Well, what do we have here? Is this an advertisement targeting homosexual couples? That is simply unheard of...or is it?  This is a marketing dilemma that has created some lively conversation.

Kip Tuckwell, a Marketing professor at St. Lawrence College, brought this to our attention and it has resonated with me. He noted that almost 10% of Canada’s population is made up of homosexual and/or homosexual couples. I started doing more research and I discovered that these couples have an average income of $83,000 a year and most don’t have children.  From a marketing perspective, this particular group is also known for being very brand loyal (Jessica Stillman | January 7, 2008).  This is an advertiser’s dream – a virtually untapped market looking for ways to spend their disposable income.

Ford launched an advertising campaign that included homosexuals.  Ads were placed in magazine and television shows geared for a homosexual audience.  Ford also promised that with the purchase of a Ford vehicle they would make a corporate donation to certain homosexual organizations. ( This campaign was followed by a boycott of Ford by their ‘usual’ market. Their sales dropped 8% a month until they scrapped this entire campaign. Ford had to seriously back pedal in order to gain respect of their “traditional customers”. Personally I feel like this was not an issue with the advertising but rather, an issue with our society. Homosexual culture is not fully accepted and until this happens, companies must be cautious about their advertised content.

As for the advertisement above, I believe they are taking a great approach to this topic. It is a subtle but sexual approach that gets the message of acceptance across without throwing it in the face of the “average” consumer. Way to go Embassy Suites Hotel! You pushed the boundaries of traditional marketing but kept it classy!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Apple - Rocked to the Core

Steve Jobs - Visionary

October 5th, 2011 – just an average day for most of us. We woke up, hopefully showered and shaved and headed off to work. Little did we know that on this day we would lose someone who many consider one of the greatest visionaries of our time.  A man whose fresh and innovative ideas may very well have changed the world as we know it. The world will miss Steve Jobs.

Jobs was the co-founder and CEO of Apple. He created everything from computers and laptops to iphone, ipads and ipods. He was the “I” in inspiration and innovation. Jobs was a great orator and he shared his ideas and visions with students who he saw as our future.  This was a very wise business move.

Jobs was perceived to have the Midas touch – anything that he worked on turned into gold. The truth is that he worked hard to make all of his projects not just good, but great. He made it his life-goal to make technology something that people wanted to touch. He thought outside of the box to make his products fun, colorful, innovative and cutting edge. Jobs was a master designer who believed that design was more then just the way things looked – it was how they worked that was truly important.

Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.” Job’s profession was truly his passion. This was proven day in and out. Apple has been rocked to the core – but the real question now is what will Apple do now that the founder has passed on? Only time will tell for this rapidly expanding company. Hopefully, it just works!