Four long years and now I am back where I started

People,

Yes it is true, I have made the big move back to Sweden. I have spent the past four years pursuing a bachelors degree at Marquette University, and it has been filled with a lot and little bit of everything. College really is a time where you get to explore, and try on new things and with the risk if sounding a bit cliche, you really kind of find yourself I guess. Being in a foreign country, and being away form your parents you really do learn a lot about yourself. The good, bad and the ugly I guess, but it is an experience I would advice anyone to explore. I could not be happier with my college, and Marquette has given me a lot, but in the class room as well as on the soccer field. I have met so many amazing people, obviously a wide variety of students, teachers, team mates, young, old and well you name it I guess. I also got lucky and fell in love in over my ears, head and heart but later on fell out of love. But I have also had the pleasure of seeing a lot of the world, spent a summer in Canada, my spring breaks in Miami, Spain, Dominican Republic and NYC. Went to countless places with the team, mostly cities that I honestly cannot remember the name of, but we went there to perform and so we did. Two regular season titles, one Big East championship (first in school history) and two NCAA play-off spots where we got the first win in school history. Titles are obviously fun and all, but when it comes to being part of team such as the one we had at Marquette it really has been more about the journey, during my four years I made friends for life. People you never forget, not because of the titles you won but the struggle you went through together. The countless miles, weights, and hours.

However, now all that is the past. It is actually just as far away as Sweden and home became four years ago, but now the roles are reversed and Sweden now is the mysterious new and Milwaukee the old security. I do believe that my past experience has put me in a good position to do something with my life. I am not gonna lie these first couple of weeks have been challenging, it is a completely new way of life, and I cannot help but wonder if it is the same for everyone who finishes college. As of now I am living in my moms basement, obviously looking for a place of my own, but it is not that easy to find and unfortunately I do not have the finances to buy a place. I am sure something will turn up though, that’s how it tends to work out and all and all living at home has its perks. Obviously, extremely happy that my mom opened up her home for me, but after living away from home for four years I do miss having a place to call my own.

Things are looking up though, I am starting full-time on january fifth in a field that peeks my interest and out office is pretty awesome. A sweet hot chocolate machine, and tons of fruit for us employees. I do so love my bananas. However, it is a long commute, and with hope for not experiencing delays I will spend about 3 hours a day traveling to and from work. I guess that will be my nap time, or book reading time, whatever i’ll fins something to do. I am also about to sign a, let’s call it a semi professional soccer contract. Could obviously lead to something more lucrative, but honestly I am just happy to have a chance to play after all these injuries. After all what it comes down to is the love for the game.

That is probably it until we enter 2015, which actually will be my first as an independent adult, as long as I can find a place of my own of course.

 

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Social Media Policies: Essential In Every Field

Hello people, as finals week is approaching I am trying with all my power to finish strong, or should I say army strong? No, I personally will most likely ever participate in anything that has to do with an army directly. At least I hope so, I think we all would step up and protect our home if it would come to that, however, I personally think there always are solutions that should be enabled ahead of war. I hope that we as a human race, will come to a point where soldiers are no longer needed. However, at this point we are far away from that. Especially in the Unites State, who has the largest military budget in the world. At this point you might be thinking, what does this have to with Social media policy?

Well you see the US Army as any organization utilize social media, and they have been smart enough to create a social media policy. You can find it here, US Army  I actually believe that the policy that they have in place is not only unique, but quite on point. As I hope you can imagine the US Army faces obstacles that are at the very least different form any other organization in America. One of the points that was made is the importance of geo tagging, and to avoid it as a soldier. As they are in the business of surviving, the US Army has deemed the geo tag as dangerous. The obvious reason being that they do not want the enemy to be aware of their location.

It was a policy that really made me realize that incorporating and exploring brand identity is essential for anyone. The first guidelines did approach the classical army rules, that we so often have seen in movies. Discipline, and to never go against those who are higher ranked than yourself. As they put it, any comments regarding member of the army will be dealt with in the dammer manner as if it was said to his face with everyone to hear it. You do not stop being a soldier just because you are utilizing social media.

There was also an interesting point regarding those who died in combat, strictly forbidden to mention names, locations, occasion until 24 hours after the person in questions family had been notified. A sign of respect and virtue regarding the dead, and the importance to the army to ensure that they will deliver the awful news to the families of those who are fallen. Similar rules were applied for soldiers who were missing in action, in order to ensure their safety no one is allowed to post about them, if an attack had been made it could be crucial to not allow the enemy the knowledge of potential survivors.

However, the most interesting part to be is how the Army clearly stated that they see social media as a way to clarify ad educate the public regarding their mission and how they happen. A case study that they had illustrated how the media had reported on a combat, and the US Army later posted a video from the combat that clearly showed how misinformed the reporting had been and provided people with a clear picture of what had actually happened. It also stated that social media is a two way conversation and that the US Army are not only  obliged to respond but that they do so gladly. It is a way for them to further educate the public, and engage and connect with family and friends as well as the public.

Lastly, I want to point out that their guideline did an excellent job in explaining what every platform is, and what the usage and interaction should and could be like. I especially enjoyed the social media dictionary that in a simple sentence or two to explain what a hashtag or Facebook is.

Do you think the army should be active on social? If so what ethical implications might they run into?

// Sebastian

The Essentials Of A Social Media Strategy

As social media usage continues to grow, and we are continuously seeing new social media apps being developed that the creators are hoping to sell to Google for a couple of billion. We aspiring professionals and professionals have to ask our selves, how can we utilize social media to benefit our business. Because there is no longer a question of if, it is a question of how and that how is answered differently depending on the market you are in. However, there are certain elements that I believe are relevant across all markets.

1. Set up realistic, measurable, and specific goals.

Even though you might see social media as an easy tool that you utilize everyday, there are countless of people who actually has no experience of using social media. Especially social media in a business setting, because of that people may have unrealistic speculations of the ROI they will receive. One tweet from a moderate account with 100-5000 followers will not grow your sales with 25% over the next week. That is simply not have it works, and by having a contest that ask people to re-teweet for a chance to win a gift card you will not see 2000 new followers and 1000 new customers, especially if you as most business who do not have that million dollar social media budget only have a moderate following of 100-5000.

Instead we need to explain that social media is a tool that can be utilized to create relationships between your business and its customers. Social media can make the brand loyalty and retention much higher, and drive sales and awareness that way. A customer will not come running to your store because you send out on tweet saying ” You need to check us out, value for money and we are fun and caring”, to expect those who see that to come running is unrealistic. The key here being explaining to your boss, or client what the social media efforts can do, so that when it comes to your report they do not end up saying something in the lines of, how come we only have 2000 followers when coca-cola have over 2 million?

2. Engage!

If someone called you office would you pick it up or just let it ring? If the answer is yes, than you should apply the same rule for your social accounts. Your fans/followers want to engage with you, and they want to hear a response. They want to get your opinion and thoughts, and they want to create that special relationship with you. That relationship is what will keep them coming back time after time, and most likely to tell and bring their friends as well.

3. Be the best you can be.

We all have a different set of skills, and we can adapt them to social media in all different ways. But all that you put out, should be the best you can create. People understands that a small business will struggle to compete with a company like Coca-cola, because they are the best of the best and have a bottomless budget. However, that does not stop you from creating some amazing content, content that will relevant and interesting to your audience. Apart of being your best is being genuine and honest, don’t ever forget that.

If you want to know how a company like Coca-cola is creating amazing content you should check this video out, 

And whatever you create I would follow this out line that Sarah Van Elzen over at Laughlin and Constable shared with me.

What do you think the most important parts of a social strategy is, and how does if differ from industry to industry? Please comment and allow me the chance to learn from you.

 

//Sebastian

Decisions That Shape You, and 10 Interview Tips

Hello people, hope that you are all well, and that this past weekend was optimal. I feel as if the older you get the more precious the weekend becomes,  because let’s face being a student or a child is a very relaxed life. As I am reaching the point of leaving student life and entering the work force, there are choices that you and the people surrounding you have made that really shaped how life looks for both you and them.

Thinking about my own life, I know that one of the biggest decisions I ever made was moving to Milwaukee, could not have made a bigger change actually. Leaving Sweden for the USA, now that is a big decision, but I believe the small decisions shape us as well. For students that usually entails, should I study or play video games, should I pursue an internship, or should I focus solidly on my academic achievements. Am I the person who will spend his college days going out 5 nights a week, there are a lot of small decisions here that will shape one’s future.

One decisions that has alway baffled me is the one regarding internships, now I know that internships can be low paying and that people can issues with their managers etc. I have been lucky in that regard, but I think the real reason for getting an internship is seeing if that is an industry you can se yourselves work in. Let us be honest if you cannot stand 15-20 hours as an intern for a semester, how will you stand 5 years with 40 – 60 + hours a week. Yes off course it looks good on a resume, but it is the only way to see if your specific internship is something you want to do.

But how do you go about getting those internships? Well interviews becomes essential, and I have to say that I have been somewhat successful at Interviews. I have not had that many, but those I have had have lead to jobs or internships. I have a top ten list for what I have found to be important for succeeding with interviews.

1. Be confident! People want to be assured that they are making the right choice for their business, and if you do not show confidence in your self and your abilities why should they?

2. Be polite! There is no greater fault you could do than to be rude, I beg you do not take confidence to be related to cocky. If you do, your chances will minimize immensely.

3. Take an interest! Make sure to research the people who will be interviewing you, as well as the company yo might come to represent. Even though Mike in suits got hired without any research, you most likely do not have the same capabilities as him. Try and find something that you have in common with the company ideals, or the with the person who will be conducting the interview.

4. Be likable. The president of a company that shall remain unknown told me that he never hires anyone that he could not drive to Chicago with without being bored. People know they will most likely be working close to you, and they want to enjoy that time. This does not mean that you have to be over the top hilarious, it just means you got to be able to talk to people about anything and everything.

5. Dress like you are about to meet the president. The first thing people will notice when you walk in the room is what you are wearing. Make sure it is comfortable and professional. As Barney Stinson would say “Suit up”.

6. Be prepared to ask questions! When they ask you if yo have any questions (and they will) always do. Have a few questions ready that works wherever you go, and have at least one that relates back to something that came up during the interview. My favorite is, who would not be a good fit for (role) at (company)?

7. Turn your weakness into strengths! Let’s face reality, you are not perfect! Nor will you ever be perfect, however, that is no reason to let anyone discard you as a candidate. A weakness of mine is grammar, however, that awareness makes me focus particularly hard on writing in order to ensure that my weak grammar never shows in my end product.

8. A firm handshake. First they see you, than they will shake your hand. That handshake will allow them to create an image of how you are as a person. Make sure, that handshake represents the calm and firm character that you will bring to  work.

9. Smile! People like when you smile, smiling makes people happy. Happy people are nice, and nice people are good to get along with. Mix that with your skill-set and abrakadabra you are getting offers.

10. Follow up!  When you leave the room it is not over, you can still turn a maybe to a yes. Follow up with the interviewer, say thank you and make it personal by bringing up something they said.

These are a few tactics I use when I prepare for an interview, and hopefully they will work for you as well.

Would you guys add anything, or do you have anything that I did not mention that works for you? Comment and spread the knowledge so that we all will be amazing.

 

 

Life As A Senior In College

Hello people, I hope you all are enjoying the fact that it is Friday, time to relax and enjoy time away from the weekly responsibilities. Well, almost at least, I have practice at 5, but after that it is clear skies and no turbulence.

One thing I have noticed as I have entered my senior year here at Marquette University is that classes are not only becoming more interesting but also more demanding. No longer can I just wait to do an assignment a day or two before it is due in a few classes. Now they all require planning and preparation as least a week ahed of time. Which off course is not bad at all, however, there is one conflict that comes with being a senior. The job search, a process that takes up countless hours, make a resume, remake that resume 5 times, tweak it for every possible job. Cover letter, revise and redo, and tweak for every job. Find companies that are hiring, and that are hiring in a field where you have an interest. Network like never before, reach out to every possible person that could possibly help you get a job.

A teacher ones told me, if you want to make it in Hollywood there is one thing you have to do. Never sleep, instead of sleeping go to every party, every event, every lunch and dinner that you possibly can find. And as the process of hiring is evolving, and trough my own experience so far I would say that there is one line that sticks with me” It is not about what you know, but who you know”.

So as this interesting experience continues I will strive to connect and learn form professionals in the industry, and if everything goes as planned I will have a job offer by the time I graduate from Marquette.

But know it is time for some homework before it is time to practice and than relax.

Also, Go Sweden, Olympic final here we come. And actually strange to know that Erik Karlsson who I used to train with is the point leader for the Swedish team. One time we lived very similar lives, but not anymore. Hopefully he will score the game winner in the final on Sunday!

//Sebastian

The Benefits Of Using Google Plus

Hello people, I hope you all are still doing well and that the fact that there is only two more work days this week gets you as excited as me. I have to say that going to college is not as hard as actually working, but there is still a lot of stress involved. Projects, papers, meetings etc, and this week has been a busy one for me personally, however, this morning when I walked to class I walked by a homeless man who just sat their and smiled. I do not know why, but it got me thinking, and I have to say that life is pretty good so many amazing people and things out there. How does this tie in to the title of this post?

Well you see Google plus happens to be one of those amazing innovative things that I really believe will push society forward, I know that many of you think that no one is using it and that it is a bad try of google to be more like Facebook. Well to you I say, look beyond the obvious, look past that name Google plus. Because let’s face it even though you might not have a google plus account, you have been on youtube, used gmail, or google something throughout your time on the internet. Google plus is really tied in to all of those programs, and it is more so away for google to collect more accurate information about their users like you and me. That off course allows them to charge more money from people that want to advertise, since they can more accurately target the ads to people who will actually be interested.

However, that part about google plus that amazes me is the potential growth that is has, not only for companies but also for normal people. Just such a thing as google hangout, the possibilities are endless. As we all know we are creating more and more social communities online, no matter if your interest is Harry Potter, cats or simply cooking food. Google hangout is place where those communities can meet, talk and interact without being at the same place. A place where people can follow divers along as they take on the barrier refs , or a safari in Africa. As I said the possibilities here are endless for everyone, and to be honest I expect important meetings to take place here, such as the united nations etc. I will not be surprised if the next presidential election will have a candidate that will include google hangouts in his or her campaign.

To become more familiar with google plus I read this article,,,

As the article states and what I take away from it is that at this point google plus is more beneficial to google than to its users. However, in the near future as the google plus community continues to grow the advantage for the users will become more and more evident. I say get on the google plus train now, and be more of a initiator than a follower, a trend setter not a trend slave. Off course if you are reading this now and still do not have an account it might be to late to call yourself a trend setter, but believe a couple of months down the road you will not regret it.

All the best you all,  and also for you that have been following for awhile, as you might have noticed I changed my the appearance of my blog, please comment and let me know what you think about the new look and possible improvements.

 

//Sebastian

Lessons Learned So Far!

As I have mentioned before this semester is filled with interesting classes, and I feel as if I am learning a lot. Luckily not in the old fashion way, tests, which if you ask me only shows what you can force your brain to remember for one hour, after that it is gone and you will never use it again. Instead now we are focusing on developing ideas, brains storm and talk to your class mates to apply it, learn about if from real life cases and than apply it yourself to a case that is relatable for you.

If you ask me that is the best way to learn, because in todays age there is to much information out there to simply being able to remember it all. To instead learn how to apply, relate, and problem solve is what allows students to really develop useful habits and will make them ready for “the real life”.

To celebrate that I will know give you all three take aways from my time so far in ADPR 4300 with Dennis Jenders as an instructor.

1. Whatever you do, always do it with passion.

It does not matter if you know things if you are not passionate about them, in todays work place you will be working in a team setting and that passion is what will drive the whole group to reach new limits. This applies to most industries, people want to follow and be around other people that share their passion, and that passion can take you places you never even imagined. With that is off course an understanding on how to express that passion, that personal brand in other places than just face to face. You need to express that across all channels where you are being judged, social media, such as Facebook, Twitter are huge today. Every employer will look at you across all those different channels and either say yay or completely forget you.

2. You cannot know it all.

In today’s day and age there is an unlimited amount of tools, skills and resources out there. Learn how to master some of them, and when I say master, I mean that if the world was struck by an apocalypse (Jericho) style, you will be able to recreate those exact tools/systems that you have mastered. All other things you need to be familiar with, all other things someone else on your team has to master, and that mix of skills that all relates to the same topic will make your team complete. This goes for new technology, you cannot master them all, but it is essential to you become familiar with them fast and master a few ASAP! The workplace is ever evolving and you need to adapt quick and carefully.

3. There are no limits.

Everyday people will tell you that things cannot be done, because you do not have enough experience, enough money, the right education, guess what, they are all wrong. There are no limits by excepts the limits you except, the limits you set. Not enough budget to award advertising on TV, well find a solution that is outside of the box I like to call comfort zone. Great example is the Lung Cancer campaign, No one deserves to die, very limited budget but amazing results. That is what we all dream about creating, but we have to realize that it is highly unlikely to reach those results every time, but we also have to reach the state of mind to never settle for ok, never ever just give people what they think is okay, instead give them the unexpected, give them you all. My girlfriend Caroline told me today that she has to go the awkward extra mile, and I agree that it is an hard extra mile to wander, but it goes with the grass is greener on the other side. Because in order to reach that grass we have to walk the extra mile, maybe even 10 extra miles, but believe me it will be worth it.

That is what I have taken away so far, obviously I could have mention the importance of certain programming, the difference between content and noise, the importance of being prepared, or the best practices for a Facebook page or a Twitter account. But instead I chose the abstract lessons that I believe truly will help me no matter what the future holds.

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//sebastian