The Finish Line

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For the last three years I have been taking courses from Southern New Hampshire University in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Marketing. While this probably should have been motivation to blog more, I found that there would be weeks pass by without the desire to share. Now there are certainly people who got through programs like mine with a heavier work and personal load I don’t feel the need to compare myself with others. I didn’t go down this path to find a new job or get a raise, nope I just wanted this. More than 10 years ago I graduates from Western Illinois University with a B.A. in Communications, yup I have a degree in talking. While I love my alma mater by no stretch of the imagination did I put in much effort, C’s get degrees.

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So this time it meant more, I was still paying for my undergrad student loans but I am happy in my career. However there was just something missing, while I am good at my job I knew I could be better. Josh and I had discussed years ago that to be a more dynamic team one of us needed to have an advanced degree, one round of ro-sham-bo later and it was on me. I took some time to find that right program for me. I work full-time and a very unusual job at that, my hours are anything but 9-5. I needed a place that would let me do it at my own pace and possibly take time off, there are times when we launch a new program that there is little time for anything but work and sleep. This is how I found SNHU, I did call after seeing commercials but the conversations with my admissions advisor sealed the deal, they would be my university.

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It’s been three years and MANY late nights cramming, you would think that after all this time I would not put things off. All the work and time did earn me a degree but that’s really what I see as secondary. There are so many projects and papers I worked on that opened my eyes to new avenues and ideas. Josh was a huge part of my progress, discussing ideas and pursuing things with me. We would spend hours talking about brands and different marketing techniques. We will never see peanut butter the same. It inspired in both of us a passion to do more in experiential marketing. Now we have debates about what a program could be doing, how we can make something better, or how we could us an idea in one the existing campaigns (you can bet we are looking at adding a Poke-element to all programs). I know that I look at every aspect of work differently now.

I also could not have done without all the people in my network. I can’t thank my family, friends, and co-workers for fielding all the random calls and emails. More than one time a passing conversation with a someone sparked an idea for a project or got me over a hump. My closest girlfriends were the frequent recipients of these random texts and calls. Oddly enough all of them are currently taking classes, following different paths. I felt so supported and encouraged. And I do miss it a little.

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Of Two Generations

Family (1 of 1)

I am entering the final term in pursuit of my masters degree in marketing.  Understanding demographical information about particular market segments is a topic covered in each coarse taken.  Marketers looks at every aspect of consumer lives to better understand buying habits and possible interest levels.  As I have worked on projects one item I come across again and again are the generational distinction we use in the US to group together age groups.  This is particularly fun for me because  Josh and I are of two generations.

Josh is at the tale end of Generation X, while I am the first of the Millennials.  There are small differences that shaped how our childhoods were, even though we were raised in similar socioeconomic households.  We watched different TV shows, saw different movies, and were even part of different musical movements.  As adults we have different interests, however after 13 years there are few that don’t line up.

There was a computer in my 1st grade classroom, I had an email address is 7th grade, and MySpace was the greatest thing EVER.  Had my first cell phone at 16.  I’m not saying that Josh is not tech savvy but Millennials are able to embarrass the advances at a faster pace.  Technology is just the tip of the iceberg, there are also cultural differences.

Josh grew up with the hope and believe of change, a chance to make the world a better places.  Faced with a culture becoming quickly globally aware and accessible; they are the ones who felt the keen need to take part.  On the converse Millennials are disenfranchised, the recipients of participation trophies and parents who “only want the best”.  College is a right, not a privilege.  I graduated High School in 2000 and quite a fuss was put on that.  We were all supposed to do something and for many high expectations of what we would accomplish in the world came.  I just expected to graduate college, be handed a job, and be an executive in five years.  As you know that is not how things are going for Millennials.  I can’t really speak to this personally.  Upon graduating University in 2003 I did get a job immediately.  That initial experience and maturation made me a desirable candidate as I have worked forward in my career.  I have been given opportunities that someone five years younger will never see.

How can two people born so close together, or even those who graduated just a few years ahead of behind me be facing a different world.  Makes me feel privileged to work in marketing and know that my job is understand the people around me.

For James Uihlein

This is a post I have struggled to write, a post I need to write. This post is for the family of James Uihlein.

While in Hawaii on one of the dive charters there was an accident and a diver named James Uihlein passed away. He was diving with Josh and I when a medical condition was exacerbated and he started to have trouble. While the crew of the boat we were on did CPR and were diligent about getting James to shore as quickly as possible, he did not make it.

I am not claiming to have been friends with James or that we got to know him well, but he was on our team. His death is tragic and scary. If his family sees this I want them to know that we are enrolling in CPR classes, taking additional diving safety certifications and learning sign language. So that we might be able to do just one little thing to help another diver is distress.

We shot video during our dives with James and want to include that footage on our video from Hawaii, if you are a family member and this makes you uncomfortable please reach out to us. We do not want to do anything that might cause you pain.

This is also a reminder to our other SCUBA friends that things to go wrong out there.

Trip Planning – Hawaii

Overwhelming!!  That’s how I am starting to feel our upcoming trip to Hawaii is.  We are planning to visit Hawaii for vacation the first two weeks in December.  The reason for the trip is to attend a wedding on Maui but the rest it is see the gem.  However I’m having trouble figuring out what else to do.  There is just so much and so many options.  Too many islands, too many things to do and too many places to dive.

So I’m reaching out here, please make some recommendations.  We don’t have a budget yet and are really open-minded.