Saturday, July 30, 2011

Welcome Home!

I would like to dedicate this blog post to all our soldiers and troops out there who are out fighting for us and keeping us safe. My best friend was able to end her long awaited return of her husband from Afghanistan this week, and it was the most beautiful thing. Although I only was given the chance to see photos and a video, I still cried my eyes out and couldn't be more happier for her and her family. We should never take advantage of our troops because they are doing so much for us. When you personally know someone who is over there fighting for you, I think you take a different approach on the situation. I also experienced what it's like to have someone go through a deployment, and as a friend, it was my duty to stand by her side and do everything I could to help her get through this tough time.

I would LOVE to share the video and photos with everyone. It's these beautiful moments we love to see of our troops and we welcome them home with open arms. I realize many families are still awaiting the long return of their soldiers, and my hearts go out to all of them. God Bless Our Troops!

(Grab your tissues!!)

Very touching and beautiful! Welcome home SGT Connell!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and next week we kick off WEEK 5!!! YAY!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Something to share!

Two days in a I am just spoiling all you readers out there! I was working on a project for my intercultural competence class and part of my project is to interview someone from another culture. Well, I have a friend who lived in Nicaragua before coming to the United States, so I decided to interview him. After the interview, I needed to type it up and I really want to share it with everyone.

There are so many different cultures that we come in contact with here in the United States and they actually bring a lot of new things into our lives. Think about some of the yummy foods we get to enjoy. These foods come from all over the world and from different cultures. We also have new traditions and get to interact with all these great people. They can teach us a lot and I feel their experiences are so beneficial to us!

Please read what I wrote about my friend I interviewed. It's amazing how much his life changed by coming to the United States!

To better understand the differences between my culture and other cultures out there, I decided to interview a good friend of mine, Javier, who came from Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America. Before I met him, I knew absolutely nothing about the Nicaraguan culture, and as our friendship grew, I began to learn a lot of fascinating things about his unique lifestyle before coming to the United States. Javier, who is now 24 years old, was born in the capital of Nicaragua called Managua. He grew up specifically in a place known as El Barrio Reconciliacion, where life was very hard. This specific area was very poor; the houses were extremely small, and not very attractive to the human eye. There were no telephone poles, no such thing as cable, and the roads were not paved, so even walking through the streets, their clothes would become extremely dirty very easily. Javier went on to say that these residential areas in Nicaragua are very different from the areas in the United States and that he is much happier living in the United States.

Javier lived in this specific area until the age of 14 before coming to the United States. In Nicaragua, he started going to school at the age of 4 from 10AM until 1PM and at the age of 12, he was forced to take night classes in order to help his family out at the local market. His mother designed and sewed clothing and jewelry that they sold to help make money for their family. I asked Javier how businesses do in that area and he said that the businesses do ok, but this particular business did much better in the summer than in any of the other seasons. Since some of Javier’s family still lives in Nicaragua, this business is still conducted and ran by his cousin and his cousin’s husband. Again, they say that the retail store is doing ok, but is still much busier in the summer. With that said Javier feels that the business is probably doing very well right now.

After receiving the background about his time growing up in Nicaragua, I was really interested on how much difference he sees from life in Nicaragua to life in the United States. “It’s very different,” Javier said. He was telling me how the days seem to go by much slower because many people just sit around or try to sell products at the market since no one can go out and afford to do things that we take for granted in the United States. A typical day in Nicaragua for him and his family was waking up at 6AM, getting ready to go to work or school, eat a very small breakfast, and then leave for the remainder of the day. Upon returning home, you did whatever homework you had from school, ate dinner, cleaned up the house, and then went to bed. His life in the United States allows him to go out Friday or Saturday nights, walk the streets, go to dinner, while in Nicaragua it’s dangerous to even step foot out on the streets at night and it can even be dangerous walking by yourself during the day. Of course, we all have the fears of walking the streets both day and night, but in Nicaragua, the tensions are high and you never know who could approach you.

Our interview then went into the things that Javier feels stands out about the Nicaraguan culture. He told me the food definitely stands out, as well as the music. In regards to their meals, it consists of some type of meat with either tortilla or rice and some beans. One of his favorite meals is called vigoron, which is a pork dish, with boiled yucca and pork with chopped cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and chili. I was hungry just talking about it! He also went on the say that their music style is also very different. They have a mixture of European (mostly Spanish) and indigenous tribal sounds. He also said they use the marimba a lot in their music, which is an instrument in the percussion family that consists of a set of wooden keys or bars with resonators.

Javier also wanted to discuss with me the differences within the school systems. He said that the dropout rates are much higher for two reasons: 1) kids have to work to help support the family and 2) the kids are recruited by gangs to engage in terrible behavior. He was happy to say that most of the kids drop out to help the family, but there are still some who engage in gang activity. The school days are much shorter in Nicaragua, lunch is not provided, and you have to wear a uniform regardless if it’s public or private. The students stay in one classroom all day, compared to the United States, where we go from classroom to classroom. Javier also wanted to add that the crime rates are higher as well in the major cities. He said that the laws are followed much better in the United States, and that in Nicaragua, many traffic violations occur and other things occur that the cops simply cannot keep up with. Therefore, a lot of people get away with wrongful doings on a daily basis.

Overall, Javier is very happy that his parents decided to bring his family over to the United States. He now lives in Totowa, New Jersey with his mom, dad, and sister. His family’s reasoning for bringing them to the United States, when he was the age of 14, was because they wanted him and his sister to be able to go to a good school and receive a better education. By coming to the United States, they are able to pursue a college career and find a job opportunity much easier than in Nicaragua, where times are tough. Javier’s parents realized that the life in Nicaragua would not allow them to pursue all their hopes and dreams or live up to their full potential. Now that he is in the United States, he has graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and is working full time as a manager. His final words to conclude our interview were: “Life in the United States is good!”

So after reading that...what do you think? Have you ever engaged with someone from another culture? Did you learn a lot from them that you have never learned about before? It's so interesting to talk to people from different cultures, so if you haven't, start asking questions! You'll never know who you'll meet!

Have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Staying cool this weekend?

I sure hope so! It's been a brutal weekend with the heat but hopefully that will lift and hopefully everyone has been enjoying the beach or their pool! I've been LOVING the pool life this weekend, although it's almost just as warm as outside of the pool. Still very refreshing!

So alright, here we are Sunday morning around 11AM! Let me just tell you, I have the biggest ball of energy that I already started to work on homework for this upcoming week. I was so stressed because the work load seems like a lot, but I figured if I start small and work my way up, it won't be so bad, so that is what I did when I rolled out of bed this morning. I alleviated some stress and now I am ready to get going with my day!

I do have some things I'd like to discuss. First, my prayers go out to all the lives that were lost in Norway this past weekend. So very, very sad! I kept seeing all this breaking news and then when I read it and heard about it, I was truly heart broken! May they all rest in peace....

I would also like to congratulate our winners who participated in the Berkeley College Summer Work Shops!! The students were asked to post their comments about the workshops to be eligible for a prize and I am happy to congratulate the following 3 winners: Isalah Pickens, Myra Simone, and Destiny Melendez. Enjoy your prize and thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experiences at the work shops with us! We hope you will join our Berkeley Family!

So on Friday, I spent the day interning and I got to write my first newsletter copy! I am interning for Dauphin, which is an office furniture company and they just recently went to an industry event known as NeoCon. Now, of course I heard a lot about it, but didn't get to go, so I was a little nervous about writing about something I didn't really know about. I sat down with one of the Marketing coordinators who gave me some information about the event, what new chairs they introduced and their special promotion that differentiated them from the competition. Here is what I wrote that is now being reviewed for approval:

Newsletter Copy: July 2011- NeoCon

(Top of newsletter: Introduction about NeoCon)—
The industry’s largest event, NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2011, captured the attention of interior designers and architects all over the world during a 3-day event from June 13th through June 15th. This South African themed celebration took over the Dauphin Showroom 393 in Chicago, IL, offering a lot of exciting events including trips to South Africa and Dauphin’s introduction of new innovative furnishings. To promote Dauphin’s new furnishings and to promote the South African trips, Dauphin incorporated life sized puppets to walk through the hallways to interact with all of NeoCon’s attendees. The puppets were operated by professional puppeteers and guided by safari guides who distributed promotional passports to all attendees. These passports indicated the direction the attendees should go in order to be able to register for the South African trip. The attention drawn to Dauphin Showroom 393 was buzzing with high energy in anticipation of possibly being able to win an adventure of a lifetime to South Africa.

(Middle of newsletter where winners are pictured)—
In order to be eligible for the South Africa trip, all registrants needed to be present at the time of the drawing, which was during the cocktail parties Monday and Tuesday evening. One winner was selected during the Monday evening cocktail party and another winner was selected during the Tuesday evening cocktail party. The winners of the South African trips include: (INSERT WINNERS NAMES) To keep the excitement level high during these cocktail parties, Jessee Palter, a famous local Jazz singer, performed original jazz and pop songs to get the crowd off of their feet to interact with those in the Dauphin showroom. This also gave all attendees the opportunity to see all of Dauphin’s innovative new furnishings and distinguish how they stand out amongst the rest.

(Bottom of newsletter describing the features of new furnishings-discussed making the chair photos smaller at bottom so more text could be inserted)—
At the show, Dauphin was pleased to introduce the following new innovative furnishings: 4+ conference, Aspetta, Octave stools, Axium tables, Aiko, konstrux nesting tables, konstrux table system with white board magnetic glass, Logan, and Lordo swivel. Dauphin continues to innovate in its seating design to stand out amongst all other competitors within the industry. Dauphin dedicates their time in finding the most outstanding features that will benefit our customers. The 4+ conference chairs offer an intimate work environment with a combination of design and function for your meeting room. Our Aspetta lounge chair offers a casual, yet hip style with recessed seating that is slender and compact for your reception or waiting areas. The Octave stools offer an adjustable height cylinder, allowing for the stool to return to its original height when the weight is removed. Axium tables are contemporary, chic, and available in 3 different heights that will make your space sparkle with ingenuity. Aiko chairs blossom with auto synchron mechanisms to allow adjustments to the given body weight and will add character to add types of office settings. The konstrux tables are compatible for your dynamic spaces. Logan offers unique comfort and style with a clean design and maximum dissipation of body heat for the user to remain comfortable throughout their sitting. Lastly, our Lordo swivel offers a pressure-regulated elastic backrest to create a comfortable cushioning effect.

That was my first attempt and now when I go back into the office, I will hopefully be presented with some changes and then incorporate it into the newsletter with the given layout! I am so excited because I have never done anything like this before, especially for a big company like Dauphin.

Overall, I LOVE my internship and will be sad when it's all said and done, but I will walk away with a lot more knowledge and skills than I had beforehand!

Well, get out there and enjoy the rest of the weekend, and until next time! See ya!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

As We Near The End Of Week 3....

Yes, I said it, we are nearing the end of yet another week in the Summer Quarter!I hope everyone is having a great week so far, and in a few more hours we can say TGIF!

I want to ask everyone to take a few minutes and read the statement made in this photo posted below:


We have so many troops who are fighting for us and making sure that we stay safe, yet sometimes we really don't understand what they go through on a day to day basis. Yes, it's hot over here in New Jersey, but just think of how hot it is over there on top of their gear they must wear! I got this photo from a friend of mine who is a military wife and her husband is currently serving overseas. Please take a moment and give thanks to our military and all they do for us! God Bless! <3

What else do I have to talk about? Well, I actually began commenting more on the Facebook pages for both the main campuses and the online campus. I shared my blog on the online Facebook page the other day asking for some suggesting about what to talk about in my blog. I had a student request some information about how you actually go about obtaining your internship. That is a great question to ask especially being an online student where most of your interactions with career services is based via email or phone, whereas an on-site student has the ability to meet face to face with a career service advisor.

So let me explain this process a little bit. If you are a new student starting out, you may not even know much about the internship process yet because it's still a while away before you reach that point. When you are in your 11th quarter (going for a Bachelor's degree) you will take a course known as Career Management. This course will help you build your resume and give you all the necessary tips needed to make sure you shine in your interviews. This class will also require for you to find an internship or have Berkeley assist you with that process. You can most certainly go out on your own and find an internship, like I did, or simply meet with an advisor who will find you an internship that lines up with your related field of study.

You will spend your time in that class perfecting your resume, cover letter, thank you letter, and things of that sort. You will also prepare a career plan that will illustrate what you hope to achieve in the future. It's very helpful and will prepare you for your job and interviewing processes.

Then when your 12th quarter comes, you will be an intern! This more than likely won't be your only class since you still may have some credits to complete, so time management will be key here! Since I am in my internship now, I will continue to post updates about my experiences and share any tips I can about how to manage time more effectively with an internship and other classes you may have to take!

Please, as much as you want to be done with school, don't rush it! Enjoy the time you have because before you know it, you will be nearing graduation asking yourself, "Where did the time go?"

Stay cool and enjoy your weekend everyone!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How's The Quarter Going?

We are about to wrap up week 2! So how the heck is it going? I've noticed a lot of great interactions on the Facebook page, which I am happy to see! It's great to have all of our students conversing with one another and sharing all of our favorite classes at Berkeley as well as tips to help us all survive!

Speaking of survival, I bet many of you are wondering why you stuck it out for the summer. I bet you have a really good reason, but if you are ever feeling doubtful, I have some tips and suggestions to share on how to survive through these summer classes! Remember, the Summer quarter is only 11 weeks, one week shorter of a normal quarter, so it's not really all that bad!

Here we go. For starters, you are probably sticking it out to get ahead in your college career. The faster you get through school, the faster you land the job of your dreams, and life just gets better from that point on! Well, at least that was my thought going into school & summer classes! Ok so here is the thing, when you take summer classes, you need to be careful when you spend a late night out. If you know you have a class the next morning at 8AM, chances are you want to stay in that night and focus on preparing for your class the next morning. Falling asleep in class will not earn you a good participation grade, so my advice, don't go out the night before if you plan on staying out super late! It will affect your grade tremendously.

Another thing to remember about summer classes is to keep on schedule. Don't fall behind because you want to enjoy your summer and spend a day at the beach. Again, that type of thing will affect your grade and it could result in having to retake the class again. This also delays your graduation process!


So staying focused should be your main priority, but also have some fun! After all it is your summer, but try to not to get overwhelmed and too consumed in the summer/beach life!

You all did well with choosing to get ahead in your academic career so don't treat it like it's not a priority. You will be glad you did this when it's all over and done with...Believe me!

For those of you who have stuck it out through the summer you have any tips to share? We can all learn from one another!

It's going to be a gorgeous weekend, so catch up on your work and get out there and enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Welcome Back: Summer Quarter Kickoff!


Welcome back to continuing students and Welcome to all of our new students! We have officially kicked off the first week of the Summer Quarter and are well on our way to a great and successful quarter! Time to run out to get those books and read over the syllabus so you know exactly what you will need to succeed!

This is sadly my last quarter here at Berkeley. As I started my online classes this week, it was a bittersweet moment. I posted my introductions and I stated it's my last quarter and then I got all boo-hooish! It went by way too fast and I guess what I want to say is, enjoy every moment of college because like myself, you will be wishing you could be stuck in that lecture class wishing college was ending! I will definitely miss it, but it's on to bigger and better things in life!

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be completing my internship this quarter. I did start back in March, but just as part time, so now I will be gearing up to meet my 300 credit hours! My internship position is as a Marketing Intern at a company known as Dauphin North America. If any of you travel on Rt.287 around Boonton, NJ you may have passed this building. “Dauphin is one of the world's leading office seating manufacturers, recognized in more than 50 countries.” My job description is to assist the marketing department in several day-to-day activities including internet research (press, products, etc.), proof read the marketing materials going out, graphic design support for the marketing coordinator, learning graphic design software to help create the marketing materials, and monitor their social media.

I interned today and did a lot of fun things which made time fly right on by. One of my first projects of the day was to reconstruct an operating manual for one of the chairs that the company sells. I worked with a program known as InDesign on an Apple Mac. The purpose of this manual was because one of our buyers, Target, had just purchased this specific chair from us and the marketing department is in charge of creating this specific piece of material for the company in regards to their new chair. I then went on to my next project, which was to look over our current leads and send out marketing materials so that these clients could obtain further information about the chairs we have. The marketing items sent out is a brochure of the chair and it's special features so that the client can decide if this is a chair they particularly like.

I then played around with a PowerPoint presentation with pictures from their most recent trade show, known as NeoCon. At this trade show, they gave away trips to South Africa, which is where the CEO of the company is from. I imported pictures and inserted African themed music to go along with the presentation. I added my creative marketing touch and off to the attendees it went!

Overall, it was a busy and successful day of interning! As the next 11 weeks progress, I will be involved in many more projects that I look forward to sharing with all of you!

I want to wish everyone the best of luck this quarter and please remember to show up to class the first week and get all the materials needed for the quarter! You can always visit our awesome bookstores for all your school needs!