Archive for October, 2009

Little steps & big steps

October 21st, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

It’s been a busy fall for me and my family. I never considered how stressful it would be to send my son to school for Kindergarten. It helped that he was really excited about it–not ever a hesitation or clinging to mom and dad. Melissa insisted on walking him to his classroom for the first week, although Wesley would have found his way even without the accompaniment. It made his mom feel better, though.

The bigger surprise was a few weeks later, when the principal called us (first piece of weirdness) and suggested that Wesley move to the 1st grade. This shouldn’t have totally shocked us, since we knew he was reading at a high level. But we still felt it was better for him to progress through school with others at his own age level. And typically, parents who want to advance their children have to push hard against a reluctant administration.

But in this case, the school had evaluated Wesley, both academically and emotionally, and they decided he was ready for 1st grade. Suddenly, we had a slew of parental worries: what if he’s the shortest kid in school when he’s in high school? what if we move to another school district where he’s not so advanced? do we really want him to leave home a year earlier when he finishes high school? In the end, we felt that the school officials were right, and that it was better for him to be with people at his same level of performance, despite the fact that he’s a few months younger than most of them. This was a very individual decision. The hardest part about it was that we’re not the pushy kind of parents that insist on our child being #1 in everything. It just turned out that this was the best choice for Wesley.

XanderXander, who is now about 10 months old, is starting to walk (6 steps at a time), and he’s more mobile than ever. His favorite food is cardboard, and he’ll attack a cereal box with great ferocity. He screams when we try to remove the paper pieces from his mouth. If you’ve never tried to take something from an infant’s mouth (especially one who has teeth), I’d be happy to give you a chance to experience it.

Zach is adjusting to his big brother being away from home during the day. He’s in a preschool program a few times a day, and is also learning how to play with his younger brother in a less destructive way.

I’m taking some little steps in life, too, applying to full-time jobs across the country. I have no idea where we might end up, since geographic mobility is pretty much required if you’re looking for a job right now. Also, we’re ready to take our family on a new adventure, if we get that opportunity. It’s just starting to sink in that our life will be really different in about 6-7 months, no matter what happens. I’ve really enjoyed the hard work of school. Many days I’m gone from home for more than 12 hours, and the whole day is filled with group meetings, work, and classes. Other days, however, I can stay home for my son’s birthday party, and I can walk Wesley to school a few times a week. I will certainly miss that flexibility, but I’m also looking forward to discovering a new environment for my family. Oh, and it would also be nice to have an income again. (Not that I’m not grateful for the subsidized student loan, Uncle Sam!)


What is marketing?

October 5th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

The answer to this question seemed much easier when I was working in DC area theatre companies. I would have responded, “Selling tickets and promoting the theatre”. Little did I realize at the time that marketing can have such a wide range of employment roles, some creative, some strategic, and some very logistical.

Tonight I made good on one of my campaign promises as co-president of the Graduate Marketing Association: to help students figure out more quickly what the heck they want to do within the realm of marketing. One of my frustrations last year was that I really enjoyed talking to companies about their marketing roles, but I had a hard time understanding what they really did on a day-to-day basis without actually being at the company. Also, I wanted to know what marketing opportunities existed for MBA’s outside of brand management, although that is certainly a major interest of mine.

To figure out this big mess, I invited speakers from several different companies to come and share their experiences with the students, focusing on the range of marketing roles in the field. Having already had a club meeting related to Brand Management, we honed in this time on marketing/database analytics and social media marketing. And then to top it off with some real life experience, we introduced our case competition with Wedding Wire. So, beyond hearing about marketing opportunities, the 1st year students have the opportunity to address a real marketing problem with some creative solutions. The students will form teams and then have to work together to come up with a solution in less than two weeks! (And during midterms, which makes it even harder). I’m excited to see what they come up with.

Overall, I think it was a very successful event. One 2nd year student was clearly excited about the analytical/CRM side of marketing, and I’m hoping that others went away with a similar concept of what they’d like to do within the marketing realm.

What do I want to do within marketing? That’s a question for another day.