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Sunday, April 30, 2017

BRIC economies essay

 BRIC Economies

The rise of BRIC economies has led to the emergence of a new market to exploit for multinational corporations. The four countries are characterized by a large population and a rising middle class propelled by improving economic conditions. The product of choice I would offer to these markets is Gatorade which is a sports themed energy drink. The choice of Gatorade is because a major characteristic of a rising middle class is to consume products that are conceivably different from everyday brands. The everyday brands in mind in this case are Pepsi flavors and coca cola company soda brands.
            Brazil is an economy in South America. The economy has been on the rise for the last three decades and this was only interrupted by the global recession back in 2009. Presently, the economy boasts of a gross domestic product of $2.416 trillion. This has been achieved with a growth rate that reached 2.9% in 2013. There have been a lot of capital intensive investments in the industrial sector by the government as well as by foreign investors. The high interests prevalent in the Brazilian economy are an ideal incentive for foreign investors.
            The economy is performing fairly well with respect to imports and exports, the country performed well over the last year with exports higher than imports. The exports stood at $18.71 trillion and the imports at $18.36 trillion. The economy had several industries ranking in the top ten world percentile in terms of market share in the world market. These included electrical machinery (18%), mineral fuels (14.4%), nuclear reactors and parts (14.2%) and cars, buses and trucks (8.9%). The economy is performing well but needs to have more exports. The negative aspects that form the basic challenge are high interest rates and inflation which have made local industries struggle in the face of foreign investment. The key to improving exports and reducing imports lies in reducing interest rates for the sake of domestic firms. This will improve production, reduce unemployment and increase household incomes.
            In relation to national debt, the economy is still in a precarious situation with 59.2% of the GDP accounted for by debt and external debt amounting to $475.9 billion. This does not bond well for an economy on the rise. Positively though, the budget is on a surplus meaning that efforts to cut down on the debt are working. The currency is trading favorable when compared to the dollar with the average exchange rate for 2013 being 2.153. The biggest corporations in the economy are Petrobras (petroleum and energy), BR Distribuidora (fuel wholesaler), Telemar (Communications), Telefonica (telecommunications) and Ambev (beer and soft drinks). The government has worked tirelessly to reinvigorate relations with its main partners with whom Brazil has strategic partnerships and these include U.S., Japan and Western Europe. Transparency is on the rise in the economy with the government having been a co-founder of the transparency organization Open Government Partnership. The government also has a portal where the public is able to access information on the utilization of public funds.
Russia as a nation is the former USSR or Soviet Union. It is one of the largest nations in terms of land mass. In terms of growth, the economy attained a GDP of $2.553 trillion in 2013 ranking just ahead of the Brazilian economy (World Factbook, 2014). This was attained with a growth rate of 1.3% over the year. The range of industries that contributed to the phenomenal output in the economy varied in sector. The major industries include extractive mining, machine building, defense, ship building, rail and road transportation, agricultural machinery, power generators, scientific and medical equipment and communication equipment.
The economy currently has a healthy balance of payments with exports exceeding imports. The exports are mainly petroleum products, metals, natural gas, chemicals, military products and wood. The imports include machinery, pharmaceuticals, meat, optical and medical equipment, vehicles and plastic. The extent of public debt stands at 7.9% of GDP and an eternal debt value of $714.2 billion (World Factbook, 2014). The Russian currency is trading favorably but is weaker than the Brazilian currency trading at 31.82 to the dollar. The unemployment rate at the moment is bearable although it could be improved. The major challenge with Russia is that its exports do not quite match its potential due to the prevalence of the ‘communist’ image with few strategic trading partners. The nation has a reputation for corruption ranking 127 out of 177 countries analyzed by transparency international (Transparency International, 2014).
            China is the most populous nation and economy in the globe. This means that it is bound to have an economy to reckon with. In the 1980’s the economy was mostly a closed economy but has moved towards a market economy in recent times. The economy is spurred mostly by a huge work force that works in the industrial sector as well as the services sector. In terms of the GDP, the economy was ranked third with a value of $13.39 trillion (World Factbook, 2014). The currency mode of determining the GDP is not highly recommended in the case of china since the exchange is determined by the government. The economy is on a phenomenal growth path having achieved rates of 7.7% over the last fiscal year (World Factbook, 2014). Contribution to the national output is mostly between the services sector and industrial sector.
            The balance of payments is healthy for the economy with the exports ($2.21 trillion) exceeding imports ($1.95 trillion). The economy however has a considerably high level of external debt which as of 2013 stood at $ 863.2 billion. The strength of the currency will help going forward as the economy aims to reduce external debt. The currency traded at 6.2 Renminbi Yuan to the dollar (World Factbook, 2014). Corruption is still an issue in china with the transparency levels raising concerns with foreign investors. The biggest corporations in china include Sinopec (Oil), China National Petroleum (Oil), State Grid Corporation (utilities), Industrial and commercial bank of China (banking) and China Mobile Limited (telecommunications). This is the best performing BRIC country (O’Neill, 2011).
            India is the second most populous nation after China. In the past few decades, policies of liberalization have opened up the economy. The growth unlike in many industrial economic powerhouses has not been fuelled by the industrial sector but by the services sector. Its main export is information technology related services. The economy had an impressive GDP of $4.899 trillion making it the fourth ranked economy globally. The services sector made a contribution of 56.9% to the total GDP. The country is also witnessing a phenomenal growth rate having achieved 3.2% growth rate in 2013. The main industries are textiles, food processing, chemicals, transportation, software and pharmaceuticals (O’neill, 2011).
            The economy at the moment has a balance of payments that is skewed with the country import more than it exports. The economy imported in excess of $100 billion more than it exported in 2013. This may explain the huge external debt of $412 billion. The unemployment levels are also high at 8.8%. The economy needs to cut down on debt and increase employment levels to move forward. This will also help strengthen the currency which currently trades at 58.68 units to the dollar. The big five corporations in India include Indian Oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and State Bank of India. Corruption is very prevalent in India. The levels of transparency are also low with the country ranking 94th globally in the transparency index (Transparency International, 2014).
            The four BRIC countries have economies that are performing well but each has its own unique challenges. China and Russia have only recently begun to open up to the global market while Brazil has high interests hindering internal growth and India is overly reliant on the services sector. These are challenges that can be overcome with ideal fiscal policies, greater transparency and increased export trade. At the moment, China and Russia have the edge over Brazil and Russia but this may change as they all have similar economic conditions. The marketing of Gatorade in these markets will be focused on the middle class with whom a connection can be created and the issue of price will not be an issue. Marketing in India and China may have to be adapted to the markets as the markets have different characteristics to Brazil and Russian markets.

O'Neill, J. (2011). The growth map: Economic opportunity in the BRICs and beyond.
Sujatha, B. (2006). BRIC economies: Opportunities and challenges (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Hyderabad, India: ICFAI University Press.
The World Factbook, (2014) Country Economic data, Central Intelligence Agency,
Transparency International (2014) Corruption by country,

Friday, April 21, 2017

Killer Sales Personality

Do you have a Killer Sales Personality?

In my Job as a sales manager, I spend my days with Real Estate Agents observing who's succeeding and who's not.  Would you believe that the most common reason Realtors fail to develop enough business is that they either don't know how to prospect or DONT WANT to prospect.  It's truly that simple.  Because what we believe and what drives us has an even greater effect on our results than our selling skills.

Prospecting doesn't call you.  There is always something more attractive, more urgent, or easier to do.  If you don't carve out blocks of time for prospecting, it wont happen.  And the harsh reality is that you might have a Killer Sales Personality (Who cares), the best phone technique, and the sharpest sales story, but if you don't take back control of your calendar and set appointments with yourself to prospect, it wont happen.  No one defaults back to prospect mold, schedule it in.

It's almost embarrassing to even be asking the question of whether you would be more successful if you prospected more?  The answer is always "YES."


Overcoming rejection in the real estate business

Realtors must learn to overcome rejection. 

In our Real Estate Profession, there is a lot rejection involved, but it is no joking matter.  We are rejected by our leads, during negotiations and during the process of a transaction.  Rejection will always exist !  

Early in my career, I would take it personally when people did not use me to help them to buy or sell a home.   My husband encouraged me to put on my imaginary bulletproof vest.  He said that way I would develop thick skin, yet keep my sanity.  Well it worked, I have been toughened up !

It took rejection after rejection to polish me to my shiny perfection (LOL - Joke).  What I want you to understand is that if you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?    So even though being rejected is no joking matter, it is possible to recognize the value.  Take it in stride or even in a light-hearted manner.  Use the bullet-proof vest visualization, which has served me well for many years.


Understanding Central Florida Flood Zones

 Realtors must learn to understand flood zones.

Flood Zone Questions

Definition of a Flood:
  • A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.
What is a Flood Zone?
  • According to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, any building located in an A or V zone is considered to be in a Special Flood Hazard Area, and is lower than the Base Flood Elevation. V zones are the most hazardous of the Special Flood Hazard Area. 
What is BFE flood?
  • BFE = Base Flood Elevation.
  • The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles. The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or floodproofing of structures.
  • 100-year floodplain means there is a 1% annual chance of flooding at or above the base elevation.
  • FEMA states there is a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30 year mortgage for structures within the 100-year floodplain.

Flood Zone Definitions

Zone Description
V 100-year floodplain with wave action, no BFEs determined.
VE 100-year floodplain with wave action, with BFEs determined.
A 100-year floodplain, no BFEs determined.
AE, A1-30 100-year floodplain, with BFEs determined.
AH 100-year floodplain, with ponding, with BFEs determined.
AO 100-year floodplain, with sheet flow, with BFEs determined.
AR 100-year floodplain, previously protected by flood control structures and being restored.
A99 100-year floodplain, that will be protected by a flood control project under construction.
IN 100-year floodplain, no BFEs determined.
B, X500 500-year floodplain (0.2% annual chance of flooding)
C, X Outside 100-year and 500-year floodplain.

Flood Insurance Quotes

In order for us to do a flood insurance quote outside the B, C, & X Zones, we will need a copy of the FLOOD ELEVATION CERTIFICATE which is done by a surveyor.

Shaded Zone X are areas that have a 0.2% probability of flooding every year (also known as the "500-year floodplain"). Properties in Shaded Zone X are considered to be at moderate risk of flooding under the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance is not required for properties in Zone X

According to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, any building located in an A or V zone is considered to be in a Special Flood Hazard Area, and is lower than the Base Flood Elevation. V zones are the most hazardous of the Special Flood Hazard Areas


Monday, April 17, 2017

Converting Leads into Customers

Converting Leads into Customers

Prospecting systems fail due to "User Error" rather then due to "System Error".  Things take time.  A new converted customer is not going to suddenly pop out of thin air based on one phone call or one email.  If Prospecting were that easy, we wouldn't need Agents.

In prospecting, the key is to avoid becoming discouraged when something doesn't go rightYou must be able to withstand being rejected time and time again.  Keep in mind that if prospecting were easy, your potential to make big bucks would not exist - Somebody would have created an APP to do instead.  The reason why Real Estate can be such a profitable profession is due to the reality that many agents cannot survive the rejection in this profession and aren't willing to stay focused.  The 1st excuse is "My Leads are Junk"  Yes they are if you don't pay attention & communicate with them !

The Top Agents have high levels of focus and drive. These high achievers not only have the attitude to keep going prospecting call after prospecting call, email after email, but they also are able within calls & emails to keep things moving forward.  .

Are these agents successful every time?  Of course not.  But over a period of time, they will put together enough wins to come out on top .

It's like running a marathon, it doesn't take much to start the marathon, but it takes a runner with a commitment to finish a marathon.   Your attitude is the difference not the system !

Friday, April 14, 2017

Procrastination is Self-Sabotage

Procrastination is Self-Sabotage

Procrastination is one of the most popular forms of self-sabotage because it's really easy.   There are many fun thing you can do in order to procrastinate, and there's no lack of other people who are totally psyched to procrastinate with you.

And while it can be super fun in the moment, eventually the naughtiness buzz wears off and your sitting there sometime later feeling like a loser, wondering why the heck you haven't gotten your act together.  And why are others are putting in deals and making money.

If your serious about changing your ways, you will find a way.  If you're not, you will find an excuse.

Remember DONE is better than PERFECT.   So get off your Seat (lol) and get started... NOW !

Sales is an Art

Sales is an Art: Is failure and option for you?

If sales were a science, then it would be much easier for Realtor to be successful.  All they would need to do is follow the process perfectly.  But I say Sales is an Art, and that's why so many people struggle to be successful and is especially why so many agents struggle with prospecting.  They have an attitude about prospecting that they will only do what is necessary to make their numbers and nothing more.  An attitude like that will ensure only one thing - one day you will wake up and see no sales and no pipeline.

Prospecting is not an optional activity if you want to be successful.  It's an essential one.  The level of motivation you bring to this task at hand is going to determine the results you achieve.

Let's get something cleared up right now.  Prospecting can be difficult.  Successful agents know there will be tough times, but they also know tough times don't last.   Do you think Steve Jobs would have stopped all work on the iPhone just because somebody said something he didn't like or never responded to his ideas?  Nope, Failure was Not an Option for Steve Jobs.

So I ask, Why should you stop prospecting?  Is Failure an Option for you?


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Real Estate Do-Re-Mi for Realtors

Do-Re-Mi of Real Estate

"Let's Start At The Very Beginning, It's A Very Good Place To Start" are lyrics of the song "Do-Re-Mi" from the movie The Sound of Music".

Often Real Estate Agents just don't know where to start.  "Let's start at the very beginning.," which is lead generation,  The fundamentals of prospecting are like the notes Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So and so on,

Consider "Do" as a customer lead.  It's interesting to note that "Do" has another meaning when used in a different context.  To take action means to "Do" something.   Once a real estate agent has a customer or a client lead then the agent has something to "Do".  "Re" could be the houses they are interested in, which leads you to preview the home.  This leads to "Mi" where you find out more information about your clients. "Fa" is the agent finding way to be of service to clients.  And "So" is the follow through involved.

Just as in the song, the step in the process are the tools agents can use to build a business. Once you know them well, be creative and mix them up to build a business through lead generation.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Student Consulting Internship Report



     The externship was a challenge in bringing all the skills learned throughout the University experience.  To bring so many ideas and experiences into one course was definitely fun and tiring at the same time.  In the beginning the challenge was mostly with communication and lack thereof.  Whenever you bring on new staff it is always wise to introduce them to their supervisor and explain what their role in the company will be.  Neither of these were done with the new batch of interns as the experience quickly turned ugly.
     Being an intern in any company can be a daunting task as you are new and probably not sure of what is going on.  Having a good structure in place when bringing on new staff whether an intern or new employee is essential to giving them and you the best opportunity to see where the company can go.  The employee orientation program is designed to show new employees/interns what our company is about, what is expected of them and the organizational structure of the company.  We want to make any new employees transition into the company a smooth one.  That is why every company should have an employee orientation program in place and implemented effectively to reduce confusion, stress and anxiety of new personnel coming on board.
     The first week was the toughest with little communication from our supervisor and that means none at all.  Then when asking the professor for help also gave little to no relief to the interns.  Some were posting that they might have made a mistake in taking this externship as the problems seemed to out of control to make the experience fun and learning.  That is why some even questioned whether this course was actually real because to bring on new staff like that was horrible planning on their part.
     Since the first few weeks things have gotten better as those interns have gained more experience and we actually know who our supervisor is and what our roles are.  Part of the confusion was also the lack of information as to what our role would be in the company and our assignments.  It was required to have 10 hours of time for the company each week, yet the first week many had no idea how this would come to be.  There was even a few times mean things were being said about some interns that spoke out because they came off too hard and maybe a little rude.  But could you blame them for how things started and not at all what was promised when most were signing up for this course.  The experience has gotten better and allowed us to put our experience at University to good use.
Human Resources

     The first project given was to make a sales sheet when contacting customers.  Just like the introduction into this course there was little instructions other than go do it.  This made gathering information difficult as finding a starting point was difficult.  The answer came when questions were asked because the project seemed dead in the water without some assistance.  Once the answers were given, filling in the information was a whole lot easier.
     The second project give was to make the code of conduct for the University consulting company.  This was a little easier as we had more experience within the company and had a better understanding of what is expected of the interns.  The research wasn’t that difficult as most companies have posted their code of conducts online and many are almost copies of each other.  The only difference with University consulting was incorporating the online experience as part of the conduct.  This was a challenge as most copies that were read pertained to brick and mortar buildings verse one that is totally online.  With the help of the other classmates the project seemed to do well and was approved by our supervisor.


Information Management, Planning, & Controls

     Planning and controls is one of the most important aspects to a company and making sure things run smoothly.  Having in place ideas and procedures that allow new staff to understand the company, understand their roles and know how to conduct themselves is key to making and controlling what happens in the company.  Information management is the flowing of information in a company through e-mails, telephone, fax and basic communication.
     Planning is key to making a company run well like University consulting and was key to many of the issues felt in the first few weeks.  Our Vice President decided to take a vacation but left no one behind to help the new interns as they came on board.  The lack of communication with planning dealt University consulting a black eye for the first few weeks.  The information could have flowed from Kevin to others if it had been in place an employee handbook and orientation program for them.
     Evaluating information management, planning and control in the business world was fairly easy as they reflect many of what goes well or poor for companies.  Information management for the University Consulting appeared easy on paper as the information sharing today is so much easier than in years or decades past.  We can share information through e-mails, phone calls, conferences, meetings, customers and employees.  According to AIIM the community for information professionals,” managing this information throughout the information lifecycle regardless of source or format (data, paper documents, electronic documents, audio, social business, video, etc.) for delivery through multiple channels that may include cell phones and web interfaces” (AIIM, 2013).  The success seen with information management lies heavily on the organization and how it is set up. 
            Planning in the business world and especially with University Consulting you can see how the smallest detail can mean major ramifications to the process.  If a plan is not in place to cover each aspect of a situation, problem and then the business may suffer.  This was evident in the vacation of Kevin our President.  A vacation is needed by most in any business world but planning on knowing what should happen if that person is away is key to keeping your business flowing smoothly.  One thing I took from this week’s discussions and e-mails was that a better plan for bringing on new interns was definitely missing.  To achieve good planning for a business you need to make S.M.A.R.T plans.  This means specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.  The idea of bringing on new interns to help with the University Consulting is a great idea but needed to start with this and decided how best to use our talents.  If the planning showed who was coming on board, what are we expecting of them, how can we get them moving in a positive direction to help the company, make the actions realistic and provide a time table the interns should be up to speed.  All of these would make the transition of the new interns a better one and reduce confusion.  According to Small, “Your planning and organizational tools provide direction for your work efforts, allowing you to complete the most pressing tasks first” (Frost, 2013). 
            Control in business is a way management can set standards, goals and measure them to see where and how the company is doing.  Control for University Consulting is needed because of the online environment we are all in.  Being that we aren’t next to our fellow intern or director means that control must be that much more enforced.  Setting standards for University Consulting was key to showing people what is expected of them, how those expectations will be measured and what the outcome will be.  This week had some great examples of control or lack thereof as one the biggest factors to control is corrective actions.  Any company or business needs to have corrective actions to address problems, concerns or areas of confusion.  This week saw confusion on what was to be accomplished along with what was expected.  The right course of action should correct these problems to make going forward much smoother.

Organizational Processes & Procedures

     The difference between process and procedures is the way to go about doing things and then when will it be finished.  The process at University consulting  was the POAM which spelled out who was doing what project and when it was due.  The procedures were spelled out in the organizational meetings that each department held each week.  Overall the organization has worked well with how they process and expect projects to be done.
     The best way to analyze the processes of a business setting is to look at what we are doing in the University Consulting and with my current company.  The development of an employee in any company is only helpful it the organization and procedures that are in place allow him/her to expand.  With the University Consulting the organizational process is nice but not well thought out.  There was so much confusion at the beginning about who our contact, who was our supervisor was and what department we were in.  Then being placed in a department with little to no experience in didn’t help much either.  Then when we questioned Kevin’s choice of a vacation, his response was, “I can’t take a vacation”.  The process that broke down was that yes a vacation is needed by most but if you are a chairmen, vice president, you need to know that leaving your company without proper feedback with your employees is not acceptable.  Then not having a backup person that would take the new interns and welcome them.  The process and procedures should have been in place to understand what each person’s role is when at work or away.  In the current role as Inspection’s Manager for our office in Baltimore, Maryland, if the notion to  take off while new hires were coming on and had no one in place to assist them; there would be a new manager very soon.  “Business process guides are helpful with projects that require planning to control to coordinate the work of multiple locations, personnel, business partners and resources”, (Sessoms, 2014).
     Also we were given our first assignment on the Boy Scouts of America which was never asked my opinion if we felt ready or anything.  It was just given to us and then asked why we weren’t working on it.  In the real business world if you are a manager you should know your employees and their capabilities.  If in this situation my supervisor has known me for all of 1 week then hands me a large customer like the Boy Scouts of America, should have been handled better.  During our weekly meeting it should have been talked about and seen who wanted the project and who would offer support.  We would never have assigned a project to someone that was unaware of it first.  At least talk with them to see that this project is too much for them or if it needed to be divided among the other people.  In all the organizational processes and procedures in place have worked but just need time to develop correctly.
Ethics in Decision Making

     Ethics is one of the most talked about topics in the business world yet one of the most confusing. Ethics is all based on who you are, how you were reared and where you were raised.  University consulting has brought many peoples from all over the United States into an organization that is still learning itself how to function.  The employee handbook and orientation program would be the best idea for new employees to understand what is expected of them from the company.  By making them sign the code of ethics in the handbook and reading each section so it is clear what ethical decisions the company adheres to and which it doesn’t.

     The externship has been great in that learning about policies and framework for making ethical decisions in the business world.  Making ethical decisions is something every company should have in place for all employees, new and old.  Ethical decisions are very important because not everyone in the world has the same view of what is right and wrong.  It depends many times on how you were reared and what country you are from. “Simply stated, ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens, businesspeople, teachers, professionals”, (Santa Clara University, 2014).
            The first thing to giving each employee the knowledge of what ethical framework the company is has is through an employee handbook.  Every company big or small should have an employee handbook that holds information on many topics. According to the Small Business Administration, “A well-written handbook sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from your company”, (SBA, 2013).  The current job has the section called, “Standards of conduct”.  Ethics can vary based on many factors and that is why standards need to be set with each company to show people what standards mean for this business.  By making each employee go through an orientation program before they are brought fully into the company, gives you an opportunity to make sure they are the right people.  This could be useful for University Consulting as they grow and bring in new customers. 
            The orientation program is set to not only show what the employees will be doing but give them the handbook and make sure they have read it.  Some companies even make quizzes or tests to show they have read and understood the material.  This also helps because if the employee later does something unethical, you have proof that they read and were aware of how the company views its standards of conduct for possible termination. 
            This all works for bringing on new employees but in a company that has been in operation for a long time, sometimes decisions have to be made that affect many.  Decisions that may affect many with ethics it is always good to ask people for advice. “A formal code of ethics can help you and your employees make decisions more quickly by conforming to a set of rules to which everyone agrees”, (David Ingram, 2013).  Most people would tell you it is better to ask for advice before making a huge decision, and then later find out you made an unethical decision that could affect many.  This is why most companies of any size have a Human resources department to assist in making the right decision.  University Consulting could definitely use an employee handbook along with a great HR department to help with any issues that might arise.  With this own experience this happened during the winter break at University.

Organizational Structure, Management, & Leadership

     The experience of how management, structure and leadership affect the organizational performance of a company is of great importance to many to see how they will do in the company.  To be good at management doesn’t mean you can also be good at being a leader.  According to small business, “Employees who believe they have a direct owner-style relationship with the organization often find ways to improve their attitude and productivity”, (Vitez, O, 2013).  If employees believe their position is to help the organization with a good leader, then usually this means good things for the company.  The employees will work harder to do great work and make improvements that help the company.  This is one thing that was tried to use with University Consulting, that the employees (interns) are shaping the future of the company.

            Structure is needed to succeed in any company as you need roles for each person and understanding of who is responsible for what tasks and abilities.  Management is needed for success in business because it offers a path for people to know who is in charge and that those people understand the plans for the company.  University Consulting has some great leadership and one is Chris, we spoke with regard about a situation and that both understood he was vice president but we made himself available which is great.  Being a great manager isn’t always easy as there are many demands on you to perform and bring in revenue for the company.  Chris gave his time and we both came to an understanding of what we needed to move forward.  Having respect for a manager like Chris because he was approachable; he listened and responded with guidance not criticism.
            “Basically, how productive you are is a direct result of the training, development and encouragement you receive from your manager — and how productive your manager is as a worker”,(V Giang January 29, 2013).  This comes from business insider and explains a lot of what managers need to know and understand.  Your team is only as good as you provide them with training, development and encouragement.  This is how managing in my current job as a department head of about 25 people.  Try to encourage rather than criticism, develop rather than put down.  If you want good production out of your team you need to be not only their manager but a good leader.  This is difficult for many to hold both because many think being a manager is a leader.  A leader is someone that not only tells you what to do but can show you, give you examples of how and why, and then shows you the next step in the process.  Someone you want to work for because of how they treat you and provide guidance into your training and motivation to do more for yourself and the company.

Cultural Literacy

     Cultural literacy is something that most people don’t understand but if they did would see how important it is to who and what we are.  After getting more information about cultural literacy you can see why it is important to know our history and the people and events that made it.  There used to be a segment on Jay Leno where they would walk the streets asking people about events and people and most had difficulty identifying people that most should know.  This is something that any person should see and understand is wrong.  Some people were asked was Idaho part of the US or questions like when did Pearl Harbor attack happen?  It was so surprising to see that many people had trouble with these questions. “In other words, you can't solve problems unless you have the relevant knowledge to do so”,(Jonathan Wai, May 23, 2011).   This explains so much about our learning as a society today.   You always here older people say our generation doesn’t understand how it was.  That is true because most children today can work a laptop or an IPAD but can’t pass an easy math test without a calculator. 
            Hirsch had some good points because cultural literacy is so important and he is right our schools are failing our students. According to Santa Clara University, Schools have emphasized "skills" and "child centered experiences," without teaching content “.”(Santa Clara 2013).  They are more worried about getting kids to pass the course rather than content.  This plays in everyday life including at the work place because some people come from different backgrounds and cultures.  If you ask someone at your work about ethical behavior and what is right and wrong, you might be surprised on what they say.  A test in my current company and asked some of my tech’s who our founding member of our company was?  It was asked 10 techs and none of them could answer it.  We told them that the history of our company was on our company website.  Cultural literacy also plays a factor when you have people of different ethic, age and country backgrounds.  Someone here from India would have little knowledge of our history, just like we would have little knowledge of their history.
            The business world is complex and to add so many people of so many different backgrounds, education levels, you can’t expect there to be always consensus on issues.  At University Consulting there is the same affect because of you people of all levels working on a start up with little contact and only electronic communication.  This has been interesting because usually for a business you have people in the next office or somewhere close.  Here we have people all over the United States interacting to make something work for this company.  My generation knows things about American Idol, reality TV shows, etc.  Someone like my old supervisor might know more about other items from an earlier time than me.  This doesn’t make us different but our upbringing makes us just a little different.
     Cultural literacy is important because it also ties in with the ethical atmosphere of the company.  If you don’t understand where people are from you won’t understand why their ethics are different than yours.  It is so important in this global economy that you know about your own culture along with that of others to make sure decisions won’t affect someone in the wrong way.  The day of companies dealing only with their own ethnicity are long gone.  In today’s market and evidence in our own company of University consulting is that people are from everywhere in this world and understanding where and how they will work in your company is of great importance.


Individual Testimonies

Matthew H. Bass

     The externship program is great because it gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned.  The experience at first was not the smoothest but it did get better as more information was provided that made the experience better.  In all the externship could be rated as a success if you look at the big picture rather than looking at the first two weeks.  The first two weeks were probably summed up in one word, Confusing!  The confusing part was just due to lack of communication, which was better over time.
      As more of us spoke up about the experience and how it was not what we signed up for, the managers did see the need for change and improvement.  As the weeks, progressed communication got better along with the understanding of our role in the company.  The projects also started off slow in the sales and marketing department and part of that was due to our manager.  She liked to just assign projects without really asking if it was something that could be handled by one person or needed assistance.  After the next manager was in place things went much better as a few changes were made to improve the department.  The best change that happened was going away from the Adobe classroom to the teleconference which helped with hearing everyone.
     The experience could be helped by the addition of an orientation program that could help new interns know and understand what will happen within the company.  Because everything is online it helps to send the package out at least a few weeks before they start the externship.  This would help reduce confusion and keep the students interested in this process.  From the dialogue in the discussion posts the next batch of interns had the same problem.  Therefore, it is even more clear that something needs to change when bringing on the new interns.  The orientation package that has been spoken off all during this paper is sorely needed as the continuation of problems needs to stop if this company ever wants to get off the ground.  The skills gained during the externship are one of patience and communication.  By having better patience with people who are not just like myself, has led to better understanding of how people work or lack thereof.  You cannot clone yourself so you need to practice patience with people who might see projects and communication different from yourself.
     Being a manager this externship has helped in making the process and procedures work well in the company as a whole.  The best experience that was had dealt with conflict resolution.  This is probably the hardest topic for people to handle as it usually deals with upset people.  This was handled great with the help of the vice president Chris who spoke on the phone at length to why communication is integral to our success as a company.  The conflict was resolved and it helped in my own experience as a manager in a company.  This course should be offered to all students at University as a way to apply most that they have learned.  Especially those in the business administration program, this experience was one that has shaped and molded the learning’s from the past two years into one great experience.


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Wine Tasting Experiences

Wine Tasting Experiences

First, make note of the circumstances surrounding your wine tasting experience that may affect your impressions of the wine: A noisy or crowded room makes concentration difficult. Cooking smells, perfume and even pet odor can destroy your ability to get a clear sense of a wine’s aromas. A glass that is too small, the wrong shape, or smells of detergent or dust, can also affect the wine’s flavor.
The temperature of the wine will also have an impact on your impressions, as will the age of the wine and any residual flavors from whatever else you have been eating or drinking. You want to neutralize the tasting conditions as much as possible, so the wine has a fair chance to stand on its own. If a wine is served too cold, warm it with your hands by cupping the bowl. If a glass seems musty, give it a quick rinse with wine, not water, swirling it around to cover all the sides of the bowl. This is called conditioning the glass. Finally, if there are strong aromas nearby especially perfume walk as far away from them as you can and try to find some neutral air.

Once your tasting conditions are as close to neutral as possible, your next step is to examine the wine. The glass should be about one-third full and you should loosely follow the following steps to completely evaluate the wine visually.

Now that you’ve given the wine a good look, you’re ready to take a good sniff. Give the glass a swirl, but don’t bury your nose inside it. Instead, you want to hover over the top like a helicopter pilot surveying rush hour traffic. Take a series of quick, short sniffs, then step away and let the information filter through to your brain.
There are many guides to help you train your nose to identify key wine fragrances, both good and bad. There are potentially thousands of aroma components in a glass of good wine, so forget about finding them all. Naming all the fruits, flowers, herbs and other scents you can trowel out of the glass can be a fun game, but it’s not essential to enjoying and learning how to taste wine.  Once you’ve taken a few quick, short sniffs of the wine, try to look for the following aromas, which will help you better understand the wine’s characteristics.

First, you want to look for off-aromas that indicate a wine is spoiled. A wine that is corked will smell like a musty old attic and taste like a wet newspaper. This is a terminal, unfixable flaw.
A wine that has been bottled with a strong dose of SO2 will smell like burnt matches; this will blow off if you give it a bit of vigorous swirling.
A smell of vinegar indicates VA, a nail polish smell is ethyl acetate.
Brettanomyces an undesirable yeast that reeks of sweaty saddle scents. A little bit of “brett” gives red wines an earthy, leathery component; but too much obliterates all the flavors of fruit.
Learning to identify these common flaws is at least as important as reciting the names of all the fruits and flowers. And it will also help you to understand your own palate sensitivities and blind spots. Discovering what you recognize and enjoy is key to learning how to choose wine on your own.

If there are no obvious off-aromas, look for fruit aromas. Wine is made from grapes, so it should smell like fresh fruit, unless it is very old, very sweet, or very cold.
You can learn to look for specific fruits and grapes, and many grapes will show a spectrum of possible fruit scents that help you to identify the growing conditions cool climate, moderate or very warm of the vineyard.

Floral aromas are particularly common in cool climate white wines like riesling and gewürztraminer, and some Rhône varietals, including viognier.
Some other grapes can be expected to carry herbal or grassy scents. Sauvignon blanc is often strongly grassy, while cabernet sauvignon can be scented with herbs and hints of vegetation. Rhône reds often show delightful scents of Provençal herbs. Most people prefer that any herbal aromas are delicate. The best wine aromas are complex but also balanced, specific but also harmonious.

If you smell toast, smoke, vanilla, chocolate, espresso, roasted nuts, or even caramel in a wine, you are most likely picking up scents from aging in new oak barrels.
Depending upon a multitude of factors, including the type of oak, the way the barrels were made, the age of the barrels, the level of char and the way the winemaker has mixed and matched them, barrels can impart a vast array of scents and flavors to finished wines. Think of the barrels as a winemaker’s color palette, to be used the way a painter uses tubes of paint.

Take a sip, not a large swallow, of wine into your mouth and try sucking on it as if pulling it through a straw.
Again, you’ll encounter a wide range of fruit, flower, herb, mineral, barrel and other flavors, and if you’ve done your sniffing homework, most will follow right along where the aromas left off. Aside from simply identifying flavors, you are also using your taste buds to determine if the wine is balanced, harmonious, complex, evolved, and complete.

A balanced wine should have its basic flavor components in good proportion. Our taste buds detect sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

A complete wine is balanced, harmonious, complex and evolved, with a lingering, satisfying finish.
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