Up Hill Battle

Happy Wednesday readers. Glad you could join me for another exciting version of a day in the life of an MBA student. Continuing to follow me during my exciting life altering events, trials and tribulations included. This past week may not have been the most eventful, in terms of exciting, but I’ll have to admit I was extremely productive. Prior to this past weekend my wife and I continued to chip away at the boxes in our house. We haven’t completely moved in yet but it’s starting to feel more and more like home everyday. tree

My wife enjoys collecting birdhouses. Unfortunately, we were unable to hang our birdhouses because of HOA regulations in our living community. This past week was a large milestone for the Pulido family that will forever be marked in our family history. The first hanging of a birdhouse at the new Pulido residence. We probably have 20 birdhouses, including 1 bat house, that we have slowly been hanging over the past few days.

This weekend, there was some special daughter father bonding time. Jordan’s dad came over to assist in our new faucet and sink installation. We now have no leaks in the sink and clean water coming from the fridge. Very exciting after not using our sink’s cold water line since the day we moved in.

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Slowly we are beginning to see progress, but we understand this will be a marathon not a sprint as we make improvements on this 140 year old home.

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Agency Competitive

Happy Friday COB!! Hope everyone had a great week after that incredible win against the Tar Heels! Watching that win will absolutely go down as one of my favorite memories at East Carolina and as a Pirate! Last week in the blog I talked about my first experience helping put together a social media campaign. This week the discussion continues with more projects within the agency world.

As I stated previously, the majority of my time was spent on extensive projects for clients and for the agency itself. One of the largest assignments that I took pride in was a full competitive analysis for a select number of clients. A competitive analysis is an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors.

In order to do this I had to research every competitor’s website, digital advertisements, social media accounts, creative and other properties. After I completed my research, I then had to analyze all of the information. I examined each competitor’s brand message, taglines, website tone and look, claims they made, and the tools they use for their campaigns. Finally, I put all this information into a presentation and it was sent off to the client. This was lengthy process because each of the three clients I analyzed, Harris Waste Management, NYCM Insurance, and Med Solutions, has a very large number of competitors.

Dalton Agency Workspace

Dalton Agency Workspace

These projects were very valuable both to me and to the agency. I gained firsthand experience in forming this type of presentation and completed something tangible that I can take with me when interviewing for a full time position after graduation. I also contributed to the Dalton agency in a big way, they also look at this presentation to see if the brands they are shaping can stand up to the competition.

Stay tuned for next week when I talk about my first commercial video shoot!

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Day One & Social Media Advertising

Happy Friday COB! I know all of you are ready for the weekend but more importantly ready to watch our ECU Pirates beat Carolina!

Like I said last Monday, I want to use my blog to in the next few weeks to further explain my experiences this summer working at the Dalton Agency, a full service-advertising agency in Atlanta, GA. So, why not start with day one?

On the first day of my internship I was given four different clients to work with during the summer – NYCM Insurance, Med Solutions Healthcare, Lonza Chemicals, and Harris Waste Management.  My internship duties consisted of multiple tasks that I was responsible for; however, because all of these clients are so different I never had the same type of day twice. I was given large and extensive projects and smaller daily tasks to keep with up regularly.

One large project that I spent an extended amount of time on was a full social media audit for our client NYCM Insurance. I was able to see the entire process of how an agency plans a social media strategy for the client and how they begin to execute it. The process started with multiple conference calls with NYCM so that way we could gain an understanding of what they hoped to achieve with social media properties.  Through these meetings our social media director and myself came up with a number of goals for NYCM’s social media platform and the client approved them.  The next step in the strategy was my responsibility; I needed to perform my first social media audit on all of NYCM’s competitors.

The purpose of this audit was too assist our social media director when forming the final social strategy to be presented and later approved by NYCM’s director of marketing. In order to complete this I had to fully audit a list of competitors such as State farm and Allstate Insurance. I researched their social media properties to see how they were using them and how well it was working. I included observations such as how many followers each account had, how often they post, whether or not people ‘like’ or ‘share’ their posts, among other remarks.

Sample tweet from the NYCM social campaign.

Sample tweet from the NYCM social campaign.

I complied all of this information into a presentation and presented it to our director of social media. I was then able to see how he formed their entire social strategy in a way that would help NYCM grow and expand their business and market them as a more talk-able brand. Prior to this assignment I had no idea what a full social strategy entailed, or what a social media audit was.  I enjoyed doing this because I was able to learn from someone that has been incredibly successful in the business and I was able to complete something that I will be able to take with me that show my experience level.

The social audit was just one of many projects I was given during the summer; however, it was one of my favorites! Stay tuned for next weeks post about my first commercial video shoot!

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Moving on up

Happy Wednesday everyone! As promised, I’m back and here to report on school and a new house for the Pulido family! This past week, I took off from work (and slightly from school) to move in and begin renovations on the 1865 farm house my wife and I just purchased.

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I enjoy working on my house, and overall staying busy with my hands. However, it has been a bit difficult balancing these past few weeks and staying productive. Overwhelmed would be a slight understatement. BUT, I enjoy adversity and look forward to the other side of those difficult time. Because if it was easy, everyone would do it. And if it’s difficult, it’s probably worth fighting for.

I’m slowly beginning to catch up on school work (even though I don’t have Internet at my house yet). And I am grateful for the help of friends and family this past weekend which made moving in possible. Now the slow and tedious process of renovating a house we are currently living in… This should be fun!

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My friends and family have been great, but my teacher have been accommodating as well. They understand it has been difficult over the past few weeks and are bending over backwards and providing extensions until I’m fully up and running. I look forward to the comments and hope to give more positive news in the near future.

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Welcome Back!

Welcome back College of Business! It feels great to be back in Greenville and I am ready to kick off my senior year as well as another semester! Although it is the third week of school it still does not feel quite right sitting in the classroom again; I am sure I’m not the only one that feels that way.

For me its not so much having obligations again but its more about adjusting to not having to get up and go to work everyday like I did for the past two months. This summer I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern with the account management team at the Dalton Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. The Dalton Agency is a full service-advertising agency that offers services varying from public relations, social media, video production, branding, media, and guerilla marketing to its clients. They are headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida but also have offices in Atlanta and Orlando. In the Atlanta office I worked directly under two Vice President Account Directors and their Account Executives assisting them each day on different clients. However, because the Atlanta location is a smaller agency I had the opportunity to wear many different hats throughout my time there. I was able to experience not only the account management sector but also the production, social media, creative, and media departments in the agency.

View of Midtown from the Dalton Agency

View of Midtown from the Dalton Agency

In a span of eleven short weeks I was able to experience and learn more than I ever thought possible. The people I worked with and what they taught me are both things that I will eternally grateful for. In the coming weeks my blog will highlight different experiences I had during my internship as well as assignments I worked on for the agency. Life inside the advertising world is a crazy ride so stay tuned everyone!

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Exciting Adventure

Welcome back students! ECU Grad students, Undergrads, and new students especially. Man how life can be full of life changing adventures. Over the summer I took two classes and have now moved on to my 2014 Fall semester. I look forward to reporting in (almost) weekly and sharing my journey as I continue ECU’s MBA program.

This semester my classes seem to be getting off to a good start, so far. Currently I am enrolled in a Pilot class for Project management, Finance, and Operations Supply Chain Management. The work load seems fairly reasonable but of course there will be a lot of reading. Not my forte.

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Recently, my wife and I have purchased a new country home 25 minutes away from campus. SO EXCITED! We will finally be leaving our apartment of 7 years and begin our own adventure on a quiet road with 9 acres of land. Outside of physical activity, which has been limited because of my focus on school work, I love working and renovating my house. Over the next semester I’ll be blogging and sharing a lot of my renovations as I document this new and exciting journey. I look forward to hearing comments and seeing old, and new faces.

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Above and Beyond

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Written By

Adam Aldridge

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

To start out the day we went and visited the Shanghai UPS international hub. During the visit it was interesting to learn that as large as UPS is in America, Government regulations have limited UPS to exporting and importing internationally, allowing for domestic carriers to operate inside China. I found the safety standards in the distribution center to be lacking behind U.S. OSHA standards. They did have several pro safety banners and a good lost time accident record.

Lunch was a very good meal for our last in Shanghai. There was a bun that you filled with beef and green beans to make a sort of Chinese taco. Towards the end of the meal, the restaurant went to McDonalds and presented us with French fries served on a plate. This gesture was very nice and completely unexpected. The meal was capped off with a plate of watermelon which has come to signify the end of the meal every time this trip.

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Boarding the high speed rail train to Nanjing was extremely exciting. The average speed of these trains are 280kph or 173mph. The first class compartment was very nice, large comfy seats and foot rests made the journey go by very quickly. The trip took us nearly two hours, yet looking out the window we never felt like we left the city. It was an endless sea of 20 story apartment buildings and manufacturing facilities. That really showed how huge China’s population is, as well as its booming economy.

An old saying is that you can always tell how good the economy is doing by how busy construction is. After being here a little over a week and traveling in 3 major cities, I have seen so many construction cranes erecting buildings into the sky. New buildings just completed ready for tenants to move in. The booming economy, with new factories and apartment buildings, will provide ample opportunities for the dilapidated areas.

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The city of Nanjing greeted us with a downpour of rain and a long, uncovered, walk to the bus from the train terminal. The traffic in Nanjing was relentless and by far the most crowded streets on the trip. This made the soaking wet trek to dinner and the hotel an even longer journey through the city.

Arrival at the Nanjing Grand Hotel was very pleasant. The entrance was luxurious with a grand piano playing in the back of the room and a fountain front and center. The rooms were interesting, especially the bathroom. The toilet had a bidet, heated seat, and a control panel to work all the features. The room was spacious and the beds were very comfortable. Further investigation of the hotels facilities we discovered a great looking workout room, and several restaurants. Unfortunately, the pool was closed until July which will be a sorely missed commodity as our group has used the pool and hot tub extensively at the previous hotels.

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Time To Reflect & Look Ahead

Happy Friday COB! I am sure everyone is welcoming the weekend after a long and stressful week of exams. As I have said in my posts the past few weeks I cannot believe how fast this semester has flown by. Although the initial shock has yet to wear off, it is still time to reflect on a great semester and a great internship.

Working with the College of Business this semester as a social media and advertising intern has been an incredible opportunity. I was responsible for my Friday blog posts and the COB Pinterest page, along with helping out with the COB Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also planned my very first marketing campaign, solo to promote the Spring 2014 Career Fair. This semester I gained and learned so much through my internship. I have expanded my experience in advertising and learned about different social media trends.  I have learned the true influence of social media in today’s society and how it is of the upmost importance to have a positive social media presence for your brand or company.  I also realize what is involved and the commitment needed in making a marketing campaign successful.

When I accepted the social media internship in December I never realized how much I would actually take away from it. I also had no idea how many doors it would open for me professionally. Like I have posted previously, I was able to accept a full time account management internship at the Dalton Agency in Atlanta GA for this summer.  An opportunity I do not think I would have been given if it were not for my time with the COB.  Now as exam week is in full swing and my senior year of college is on the horizon I am excited for the summer I have ahead of me. I cannot wait to move to Atlanta for the summer and experience a great city and gain even more knowledge about the advertising world.

Ready to spend my summer working in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

Ready to spend my summer working in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

I wish everyone luck on their exams this upcoming week! Stay strong and study hard and it will all pay off! I hope to be back blogging for “A Pirate’s Life” in August so stay tuned!

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Where Has The Time Gone?

Happy Friday COB! As the last full week of classes winds down I find myself exhausted and in disbelief. This week has absolutely been the hardest week of the semester for me. Group project meetings, final projects, and exams filled my week with a lot of stress so I am very thankful for the weekend right about now. However, I cannot believe that this year is almost over. I feel like I just got back to Greenville, being so excited to move all of my stuff into my new house in the “grid” with two of my best friends. I remember patiently waiting for the first football game and actually looking forward to the first day of the fall semester.

First game of the year! Cannot believe this was months ago!

First game of the year! Cannot believe this was months ago!

Now, almost nine months later I cannot believe another year of college has sped by. In a less than two weeks I am going to have to say goodbye to so many of my close friends after their graduation. I will soon be moving out of my house and into another closer to campus and then I will be off to Atlanta to start my internship. Then, in August I will officially start my senior year at East Carolina. How did the time go so fast? I do not feel old enough for this!

I can only imagine how it is going to feel this time next year when I am the one putting on that purple cap and gown, taking my last finals ever as an undergraduate, and moving out of Greenville to a new city where hopefully a job in advertising awaits me. Hopefully the time goes slowly!

Are you graduating in two weeks? Are you a junior and feeling the same as I am? Comment here and let me know how your feeling about the end of another year coming so quickly.

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Take A Break

Good morning everyone. Reporting in after a well needed vacation. I love taking a vacation, but I love coming home even more. I can adapt to new situations, but I sure do miss a routine and most importantly the gym. There are only so many amenities I can fit in my suitcase and the rest I have to leave at home. And because I usually have to drop the dog of at her grandma’s house, I really miss our dog.

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We stayed for four nights, and after day one without successfully finding a gym, I threw all my original plans out the window. I decided to take the weekend off the gym, and off of school, strictly relax. I’m sure that decision might make me work harder in the upcoming weeks but I think it was important for me to relax with everyone while I was there.

Without a plan, each day was a new adventure. We hit every West Marine in the surrounding area (thanks to my father-in-law), did shopping in downtown Charleston, and hit a few antique stores for Jordan. I’m a bigger internet shopper and save my money for workout gear, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a blast.

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Overall the weekend was a success. Beach house full of family, relaxation, games, and my wife. What more can a man ask for (other than our dog)? I like spending time with my family, but we have another fun filled vacation right around the corner. A week long adventure at a Sprint Cup NASCAR race in Charlotte Memorial Day weekend.

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