Friday, December 2, 2016

Williamson-like critique

The first governance decision that played a major role in this class was not mandating attendance. Looking at this through my eyes it was nice not having to go to every class session, even though I went to almost all of them. Some mornings I was just not feeling up to par and it was not in my best interest to go to class, and being allowed to miss class without it affecting my grade was a nice luxury to have. I tended to enjoy class and did not mind going whatsoever so I did not take advantage of this luxury, however many people did.

Looking at this through the whole classes perspective, it was clear that people took advantage of this convenience and never showed up to class. Knowing that sleeping in and ditching class would have no affect on their grade, they just chose never to show up. Obviously, this hindered their learning and almost guarantees that they did not get nearly as much out of the class as the students who showed up often.

I can think of two solutions to this problem, the first would be to mandate attendance while allowing a certain amount of absences. This would deter the shirkers from joining the class, knowing that they would have to show up for class often, but it would also allow for the good students to miss class a few days that they just did not feel up to par. The other solution would be to restructure the course in a way that made the material taught in class necessary to succeeding, not just necessary for learning. This semester, you definitely learned in class but you could still do the blog posts and excel homework without showing up to class. As I said above, you did not need to go to class to complete the material that needed to be completed to get a good grade, and the shirkers took note of this early on and immediately started to take advantage of the situation.

Now I want to talk about the decision that was made to allow electronic devices in the classroom. In my perspective, I think that this was a bad decision. I am the type of person that is easily distracted, I can only focus on things for a matter of time before I get sucked into another thing, and this cycle continually repeats itself. With that being said, having my computer glaring at me during class was a major distraction to me. I know that I had the choice to take it out or not, but I am easily tempted by things, and since everyone else had a computer out I would usually take mine out as well.

Looking at this in the entire classes perspective, it was clear that they all wanted to have electronic devices allowed in class. This was not for the right reasons though, I constantly sat in the back of the classroom so I was forced to see what people had on the screens of their computers. I can tell you that nearly all of the people who were on their computers were not using it as a resource for helping them take notes or understand the lectures. Most people were messing around or doing homework for other classes and it most certainly limited their learning, just as it limited mine.

Looking at this further, I emailed you early on in the semester telling you that we should not have computers allowed, I knew that it would be a distraction more than a benefit. With that being said, if you leave this decision in the hands of the students the result will never change. Students are always going to vote for having technology in front of them, especially as technology continues to grow at a quicker pace in the coming years. Knowing that technology is a major deterrent to learning and that it is a problem that will perpetually be getting worse, it has to be your responsibility to mandate no technology in the classroom to ensure that your students are getting the most out of their experience and time with you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reputation in my family

A place where I have a strong reputation is with my family. When my extended family meets on holidays they view me in a certain way, a way that is based on the reputation that defines myself. I am the youngest member in my family so my reputation was always being the cute and innocent sibling. I was always looked at as the little baby in the eyes of my family. They would always be checking in on me making sure I had enough food and was having a good time. Over the years I have grown older, and with that my reputation has developed. I am not looked at as the little innocent kid nearly as much. My family asks me about college and about about my work life, they know that I am growing up quick. However, they still remember my old reputation of being the youngest and it comes out at times. Even though i'm an adult, I see them treating me like a little kid sometimes.

In my situation, I am doing everything in my power to break my old reputation, I want to be treated like an adult like the rest of my siblings are. To do this I always dress fancy to holidays, I like to make sure they see me looking nice. I talk clearly and act like an adult in conversations. Over the past few years I have been told how quickly I have grown up and how I am not the little kid that I used to be anymore, they are starting to think a new reputation of me. I definitely want to stray away from the reputations my family thought of me, I want to be viewed as a successful adult. 

In regards to cashing in, I have done this before for an immediate gain. In high school I was in the marching band, which was a great experience, but it played a major role in my reputation. With that said, when I got to college I decided to not do marching band and I didn't talk about it at all. I wanted marching band to be out of my reputation forever so that I could be looked at in a different light by my college friends. I changed my reputation to look less geeky to make different types of friends then the ones I made in high school.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Triangle Arrangment

My brother started working as a Sales Representative at His primary job was to contact car dealerships, build relations with them, and eventually close sales with them to purchase online ad packages through the platform. The triangle in this case is my brother being the agent and the two principles being his clients and his managers. From talking to my brother I have learned a good amount of insight on the expectations for sales performance rom the managers perspective, and also from the agents perspective.

With that said, it is in the Sales Representatives best interest to get as many closings as possible, for each closing you receive a significant commission incentive. The managers set prices that the Sales Representatives are supposed to base for each and every client my brother talks to, but those numbers are not always what my brother sells. In order to get more sales my brother has given discounts to clients, especially if they are reoccurring customers or if it is a very large deal. He does this in the best interest of himself as well as the client. However, this is not something that management pushed the Sales Representatives to do, they push for he most money on each and every deal and they think the best way of doing this is to stick to the price they set out. At the end of they day, my brothers perspective is that he is reading the customers well enough to see if they are going to buy the package at the high price, if they are not as interested as he would like this is when he gets into cutting discounts for the clients. When he does this he is maximizing the amount of customers he can close on and not limiting the amount of customers he will succeed on selling to in his book of business.

In practice this difference in views got resolved by my brother being one of the highest performers numbers wise. Although he might have done it in not a conventional way, this was easily looked passed when management saw how much money he brought into the company. Another way to resolve this could be to give management commission that is tied together with the Sales Representatives sales success. This will make management more inclined to seeing success from Sales Representatives, and be more allowing of giving discounts when they are necessary to ensure that sales are made as often as possible.

I do think that some managers may always look down at my brother for how he obtained his success. Most of them easily got over it due to how much money he brought in, but in the eyes of some he might have "failed" because he didn't do it sticking to the price that most stick to. He did satisfy his clients, himself, and the company as a whole though by bringing in many more customers then the typical Sales Representatives do.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Conflicts at Work

While working at Enterpise over the summer conflicts arose often, especially since I was at O'hare airport. The customers were generally in a bad mood having to wait in lengthy plane delays to long lines at the airport, when they finally got to talk to me things were not always as smooth as I would have wanted. For this post I want to talk about one situation in particular that was very tense. The customer had reserved a mini van for the weekend, he had a significant amount of luggage/passengers so he absolutely needed the mini van for his trip. I took care of him at the counter and then brought him outside to put him in his reserved mini van, but unfortunately we did not have a mini van on the lot. The managers mis-handled the amount of reservations that we had and did not account for the amount of mini vans that we needed. 

When there was not a mini van on the initial lot I asked the customer to patiently wait while I looked in the return lanes for one,  I could tell he was pestered but he let me check. When I got to the return lanes there was nothing, I had to tell this customer that we did not have a mini-van at the moment and that he could wait for one to arrive or that we could give him two smaller cars for the price of one. When I said this he exploded, he was screaming into my face, basically just tearing me apart for not having the car he reserved, which in all honesty he had the right to be angry. 

In his eyes he should have been able to get in and out of the car rental process very quickly, as he made a reservation before hand, but instead he was going to have to wait around for the car he needed. Also, what we offered him for compensation would have cost him twice as much in parking, twice as much in gas, and it would have split is family into two separate groups. This all is the reason he reached his boiling point and exploded. In my eyes I was just trying to find a way to get him in the car he reserved as quickly as possible, when I realized this was going to take a significant amount of time I offered a second option and told him the truth. When he did explode I felt that it was time for me to get my manager, he is the reason for the problem anyways, he tried to kill the situation with kindness he had a constant smile and open ears. My manager sent me to drive to our affiliate (National) to borrow one of there mini vans and let him take it on his trip, he also gave the man the entire trip for free,  just as a token for his troubles. I want to point something out really quick on giving away freebies. What I noticed is that it gets you out of the immediate problem, but in the long run it doesn't bring the customer back. Giving something away for free doesn't change the customers negative experience into a good one, either way you are likely to lose that customer forever to a competitor. At the end of the day the situation ended with the guy shrugging his shoulders and accepting the free trip, he was "happy" in the moment, but not long term. In my opinion, there is no way that customer comes back to Enterprise, and if he were asked about his experience he would certainly talk negatively about it. 

When the conflict became apparent to everyone it was the talk of the office for a few hours. It was almost like people were gossiping about it. It was right before my lunch break when it happened, so when I handed the situation of to my manager I went on my break, when I got to the break room everyone was talking about it and was asking me about it. When something like that happens in a corporate setting, people notice and the word spreads quickly. The situation could have been avoided with more careful planning and car management, our managers need to be more precise. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Selfishness Prohibiting Our Core Values

In each of the three articles there is a common theme, and that is that as children humans are good. In the first article it depicts our natural tendency to share, the second article shows that children like when things are fair, and the third article portrays children as empathetic and caring. Looking deeper at the article "The Power of Altruism", David Brooks talks about how institutions are built around selfishness, and that those selfish arrangements block our natural tendencies of being good. I agree with brooks, every corporate institution I have been involved with has been focused on manipulating ways that prove beneficial to the company in the long run. 

For this reason, I will be talking about a company that did not harness my natural longing to do good. Over the past summer I was an intern at Enterprise, there are some good connections with the readings and my experience that I want to talk about. My job was essentially to check people into the cars they were renting, and with that I was trying to sell them on coverages/upgrades/toll passes. Each month I made Enterprise close to $30,000 on top of what these customers reserved, by selling those previously mentioned items. With that amount I was the top selling intern, and positioned myself each month to win $300 as a bonus for my success. This means that a multi-billion dollar company only rewards 1% to it's best sales person. Looking at this further, 99% of the money I was able to bring in was given to people who are making a significant amount more then I was, like managers and all of the higher ups. If this wasn't frustrating enough, Enterprise is a very customer service based company, which is a good thing usually. However, in order to actually receive that $300 bonus the customer service score at our branch would have to be above corporate average. This score was calculated by surveying 100 random customers, if the customer was completely satisfied it would raise the score but if they were anything but that it would go against it. With that said, at the end of the internship I was only paid out on one of three bonus I should have received. 

The gift exchange mentioned above clearly shows the selfishness that exists in corporate institutions. In the first article, Haidt talks about how children have the natural tendency to share when there is collaboration. At Enterprise, there was clear collaboration, if not for me doing my job and selling customers products the higher ups would not be making any money. We both are doing very different jobs, but we both are pulling on a very intricate string that when pulled releases lots of money. Instead of sharing the money, the vast majority of it is kept and not dispersed evenly. I do think that most if not all companies act selfish, and it is the selfish systems that we are surrounded by that make us become selfish at heart. We become the very ones who will be put in a situation where we are pulling on an intricate string with someone else, but instead of sharing the wealth that is released we will choose to keep as much of it as we can, and it will be a significant amount more then someone who is doing a job nearly as important. 

Friday, October 14, 2016


I want to first talk about the decisions that I made my freshman/sophomore years. I chose to become an Economics major, largely because I did not get into the Business school. I figured that Economics offered a broad set of tools similar to what Business had to offer. Now, an Economics major definitely is very broad which is good, but it doesn’t really teach one particular skill that a recruiter might be looking for. So for this reason I think that settling for Economics definitely increased my income risk going forward. Sophomore year I went to my first career fair and landed an internship with Enterprise, which was pitched to me by the recruiter as a position where I would learn about all aspects of business, but in reality it was entirely all sales. With that said, I excelled at the position and was the top intern on the sales matrix, and I genuinely found a passion for sales. I am the type of person who likes to meet new people and talk, I never wanted a job where I would be stuck in a cubicle working with numbers all day.
Next I want to go into my junior year, my current year. Knowing that I wanted to pursue a future in sales I decided to target a Communications minor, I figured this would help me stand out with regards to other students aspiring for sales careers. With my second career fair looming I wanted to have a plan this time around, I had a more prepared pitch that sold myself as someone that their company should take a chance on. With this plan, I saw a lot more success from almost all of the companies I targeted. I received interviews which eventually led to offers. This coming summer I will be working for Textron as a Territory Manager Intern, and I hope that this internship leads to a full time position because it is quite lucrative. If I do as good as I expect it would set me up to land a full time job that makes on average $75,000 with commission bonuses. I chose to work at Textron over various other companies, like Pepsi, Arthur J. Gallagher, and Otis. I chose Textron because I believe they are the strongest company; they manufacture products that cross a diverse platform of businesses. Working for a company like Textron will allow me to mitigate future risk and hopefully will open the door for even better opportunities down the road. I also considered Pepsi but their products are not as impactful as what Textron has to offer, I predicted the risk that each company offered in terms of commission percentages on sales and Textron offered a much better opportunity.
Next, I want to take a look at the Economics of some of my choices thus far. At Enterprise I had immense success, and my managers noticed this. Seeing this success, they sent me an offer to come back again the following summer. After some consideration I decided to decline the offer and try to obtain a better position at the career fair. I did so because the opportunity cost was too high in my opinion, I saw my talent fitting in with a better company that could offer a higher salary to me. If I took that Enterprise offer, I would have essentially been throwing the Textron opportunity away, an opportunity that is way more lucrative and an opportunity that opens the door for so much more. In regards to choosing Economics, I was forced to settle because I was declined from the Business school. This increased my future income risk because Economics majors are less sought after. I was forced into a situation where I wasn’t allowed to learn what I had envisioned on learning, and it definitely pushed me back a bit. However, it didn’t derail the train, it actually has only pushed me further. Ever since my rejection I have pushed myself to find internships and prove that I will still be a success even without the major I had envisioned. Adding a communications minor allowed me to diversify my knowledge, which helped me avoid risk. A lot of the lessons I was taught in my communications classes I applied directly into the career fair, and that career fair is where I landed my internship this summer. Choosing to diversify my coursework is one of the major reasons I have reduced a lot of my future income risk.

Lastly, I do have an older brother who went to UIUC as well. He is four years older than me and was a communications major. He needed an extra semester to graduate because he miss-managed his course work. When he began looking for a job he struggled at first, it took him a fair amount of time before he landed a job at He did not manage the situation well out of school though, he needed more time to graduate and he struggled to find a job, but I took note of this. I thought about why this was the case for him and really made an effort to make sure it didn’t happen to me. This is why I go to my counselor regularly and also why I keep trying so hard to find internships. The counselor allows me to make sure I’m on the right path to graduating on time and getting internships should allow me to find a job much easier out of college. My brothers struggles made a huge impact on how I have been handling my collegiate career, having his guidance has been a huge reason for my success.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reflection Post

After looking through all of my prior posts I saw some common aspects in each one. The most noticeable to me was that each post has to due with organizations that I am/ have been a part of. They all are asking me to look at particular experiences I have had in different organizations and relate what those experiences to topics in the class. I have talked about my basketball team, internship, fraternity, and school all with specific details. In each post it seems like I am deconstructing the elements of these organizations to get a grasp of what makes them run so smoothly. I hadn't noticed how related all the posts are to each other until I did this reflection. I like how they all are about personal experiences, it makes me more interested in what we are learning in class. It also makes what we are learning easier to understand, the fact that I can relate everything to personal experiences really clears up most of the confusions I run into.

Looking back at my first post I can see an evolution in my writing style. To first note the most obvious changes, I started to separate my writing and I started to put the title in the correct position. These small changes make my posts look much more appealing to the eye, and help the reader enjoy them more. On top of those visual changes, the material I am writing today is much more analytical then it was at first. I am thinking of different angles and approaches and trying to talk about my experiences in much more detail. I have realized that in order for you to fully understand the organization I was a part of I can't be vague, I have to deconstruct it in as many ways as possible, allowing for you to have a much clearer picture of exactly what I am trying to portray to you. With the changes in style and the changes in the material I am writing, I can certainly say that my posts have been getting better each and every week.

When it comes to prompts, I want to first say that I have really enjoyed all of the ones you have provided thus far. Something that I would like to see would be a compare and contrast type prompt. For instance, maybe prose something where we have to compare an organization we are a part of on campus to organizations at different universities. It would give us a broader scope of knowledge on organizations rather than just what we are a part of. It would also allow us to see how different demographics play into the way organizations are put together and run. What I have seen in organizations in my life is very subjective to where I have grown up, and with that in mind I think it would be beneficial and interesting to dive into organizations that are located not so close to home. Another prompt idea is to have us talk to one of are parents and write about their job's structure. I think this would enlighten us on how a big time company works, since I expect most of our parents have solid and reliable jobs at major corporations. To me, this is would fit right into the course material and is something that is interesting to you to read and for us to learn about before we have to start are own job search.