26 August 2009

Making Your Own Way in a Down Economy

At BYU I have to take an hour lunch every day, and that hour has to be away from my desk. You might be thinking, "HAVE to?! Wouldn't you want that break?" Yes, most of the time. But really, if I have to stay on campus, and I can't be on my computer because I would be bothered with work related things, than I might as well be doing work. It doesn't take me a whole hour to eat one enchilada (Thank you, honey, for making me dinner!)

So yesterday I took my hour to eat an enchilada and read the latest issue of whatever magazine fills up our waiting areas in the interview halls of our office. I grabbed a Business Week with a picture of an ostrich on the front (that HAS to guarantee entertainment, right?) and headed to the kitchen where my food was reheating.

In this issue of Business Week I found a most interesting article that seems to demonstrate a principle that I've been hearing over and over again lately. And that principle is this: In a tough economy or in times of change, you have to be creative in the way you advertise your ability to contribute. For example, it seems like the accountants who survive in their departments when menial tasks are shipped overseas, are the ones who learn new skills and offer to facilitate as moderator for the new function. We also heard a professor at BYU talk to students in health programs about how they may need to approach the corporate world to create their own position rather than applying for a job description. He said that students will be successful when they show a company their areas for improvement and how the student's degree and skill sets can resolve the issue.

Well Sysco, the mega food service distributor, is offering free consulting services to restaurants on how to improve their cost savings. So Sysco offers cooking tips and graphic design for menus and spends hundreds of dollars on free services so that restaurants will keep coming back for more Sysco goodness.The article quotes Sysco as saying "We felt if we could improve their business, that would improve our business with them." Smart cookies! Read and be amazed.

25 August 2009

RESULTS - Photo Shoot for Secondary Applications

The results are in from our picture poll. And the winner is.....

Engagement Picture!

It was a close race... in fact there may have been some cheating (SCOTT!) We sure do use that picture a lot. It's all over my blog now! Scott is very happy with the outcome. Thanks to all my Alaska friends and relatives for trying to push the picture of Scott and shrimp as far as it could go! Scott informed me that even if the shrimp won, he was still going to pick the engagement picture. I think he's being sarcastic.

19 August 2009

Photo Shoot for Secondary Applications

So some of the medical schools that Scott is applying to, want him to submit a photo in addition to his secondary documents. As Scott and I have discussed which photo to choose, we've had some conflict of opinion on what kind of photo the school wants to see. Surprisingly, I am the one who suggests photos with more personality (to distinguish him from other candidates), and Scott is the one suggesting more professional photos that also include me (I add a whole new level of professionalism to photos!).

So we've decided instead to take one of our Life Lines and poll the audience. Which of the following pictures do you think Scott should submit for his secondary applications? There is a poll below this post for you to input your opinion.

Scott in Alaska

Biking in Hawaii
Triathlon Family
Engagement Picture Sports Center

Feel free to post comments and convince us of your picture choice. We are swayed by logic and humor. Also, if you have a better idea for a picture, let me know. I may have to arrange for a Scott photo shoot. That will REALLY make all of his modeling dreams come true!

Funny Scott Stories: Allergies and T-shirts

If you know Scott, you know he LOVES to tell stories about his life or his family. Well two things happened yesterday that Scott can't wait to tell everyone about.

The first story happened at Sonic yesterday afternoon. I love Sonic! But I should preface the story by telling you that we've had issues with Springville Sonic. Apparently they don't have a recipe in the back for the newbies to construct a Jr. Deluxe Burger. I'm very picky about sauces, so I order the Jr. Deluxe Burger that only has mayo on it. Perfect size, perfect taste. Well... Springville Sonic has only gotten it right once, and I've made Scott (who usually sits in the driver's seat) return the item if it's not made the way its advertised. Or I make Scott eat the burger if it isn't made right and he wont return it.

So anyway, yesterday, we opted to try the Springville Sonic again for a Jr. Deluxe Burger before going to the Cougar Sports Kickoff at BYU. I order only a Jr. Deluxe Burger and again it came out with more sauces on it than I care to look at on a burger. I asked Scott to tell them when they came back with our receipt that what they gave us wasn't a Jr. Deluxe Burger. When the rollerblading waitress returned, Scott said, "Um, do you think you can get us a new burger? This one has ketchup on it, and we're allergic to Ketchup." Haha! I had to stop myself from giggling. He said it was a legitimate complaint because some people are allergic to tomatoes. They returned the new burger to us, this time with no extra sauces, and a tomato! Something tells me that this Sonic franchise doesn't hire the brightest crayons in the box.

The second (and funnier story, as Scott says) occurred after we picked up Sonic and all of Scott's boy scouts to go to this year's Cougar Sports Kickoff. All of the sports teams were gathered for games, food, stories, and autographs at a BYU playing field. We arrived and I gathered some free posters for the boys and boy scouts to have autographed. Most of the football players could be reached at one long table at the end of the field after waiting 20 minutes in line to get there. Other players were scattered with their own separate lines around the field. We located McKay Jacobson and Harvey Unga quickly. Max Halls line had security patrol who told us we needed to wait in the 20 minute line in order to get Max's autograph. So we waited for Jan Jorgensen.

While in line for Jan's signature, there was another player, Coleby Clawson, signing autographs. Why not add another to the poster while we waited? So Scott handed Coleby our poster and noticed that he was using a normal pen instead of a sharpie. Scott offered him the Sharpie that I had, in my wisdom, brought for the boys to use. Then Scott said to Coleby, "Hey, and you can use my back to sign it." So Scott handed him the poster and turned around. Coleby started signing, and in Scott's mind he was thinking, "Wow! This poster must be super thin, because it feels like he's really signing my back." He was! Coleby signed Scott's t-shirt and then signed his poster. Haha! So Scott has one signature on the Orrock and Mendenhall t-shirt he was wearing yesterday. He plans to wear it to work on Thursday so he can tell the story again to all his patients.

17 August 2009

Top EFY 2009 Memories

No, I didn't attend EFY as a 25 year-old married woman. Not exactly, anyway. All EFY sessions for BYU campus are finally over! (Now I just have to worry about education week.) This is my list of top EFY memories from my perspective as a BYU employee. Enjoy!

10. During lunch one afternoon, I watched the newest playground clapping game. You know those games you played with all the clapping rhythms and sang the song from Big or Say Say Oh Playmate... Well the modern version of that, apparently, has some fake face slapping, if you can believe it. The girls would go through various clapping movements and then alternate between shaking their heads and the other with the fake slap. Interesting, to say the least.

9. For one week, earlier this summer, we would constantly look out the window to see the same group of teenage boys casually standing outside our office. It must have been the equivalent to cruisin' the streets at the Wilk. There were about six lanky teenage boys circled up around one short and stout boy, who apparently was their ring leader. We liked to watch their mating rituals during the slow moments of our day.

8. It seemed like every day we would be serenaded by an EFYer trying to show-off on the piano at lunch or between workshops. Why does BYU even have a piano in the lunch area in the first place? In any case, late in the summer I walked past as a lanky boy jammed out on a Jon Schmidt classic, with intermittent pauses for memory. Gathered around him were giggly, admirers doused, and I mean DOUSED, in Love Spell. I thought I had passed those puffs of Love Spell back in high school but apparently teenagers still apply way too much when boys are near.

7. I was walking from the Cougareat, dejected because I didn't have enough change to buy a crunchy taco (ridiculous price increase in a down economy!) and an 16 year-ish girlie EFYer, stopped me in the hallway. "I have a shirt almost exactly like that, except without the buttons," she informed me. Puzzled as to why she was talking to me, and why we would own the same shirt, all I could respond was "Oh," and I walked away.

6. My coworker and friend, Corina, was asked as she was coming to work if she knew where choir practice was. She informed them that she was wearing a backpack and no lanyard, and was, in fact, a student. They were embarrassed.

5. My friend and coworker, Stephanie, was walking past a line of rascal EFY boys on a Friday morning. I've determined that Friday is the rowdiest day, as all the kids have gotten comfortable with each other. She could see that at a certain point in the upcoming line boys were poking everyone who walked past. She walked past that point cautiously, trying to avoid the pokers. Instead, the two boys, seeing that Stephanie had escaped, stepped out of line to punch her in the arm. The gall! Had it been me there would have been a whooping or some serious words with them and their counselor. However, she just gave them her meanest evil eye and moved on. They probably thought they were flirting with her, silly youngin's.

4. One Thursday, a line of Sunday-dressed young men were standing outside our office in line. Someone at the front commented on how a few of them were wearing colored shirts instead of the typical white collared shirt and tie. Our eldest office sister, spent the next five minutes starring at the boys. I mentioned that she probably shouldn't spend too much time checking out the young men, because they would probably get the wrong idea. She said, "Well, my daughter told me I could look as long as I don't touch!" AH! I said, "No! That sentiment is not appropriate with this age." We all cringed a little at that thought, which was more than robbing the cradle.

3. A group of guys were checking out our front desk student, Anna as they waited in the hallway line for lunch. When I told her they were all staring at her, she blew them a kiss. Then one of the kiddos (He was 16. He told us so.) came in and asked if he could take his picture with her. She obliged, as she was actually quite flattered.

2. My coworker Trish reenacted this EFY scene she observed the other day. She said she was eating lunch in the square outside our office watching the EFYers, when she noticed a group of guys doing a social experiment. One of the EFY boys would walk along side of a meandering student, and then after following for a few feet would suddenly fall to the ground at their side. All of the boys would watch for the students reaction, but there was very little. Trish thought the boys were mostly annoying, until the boy followed a girl on her cell phone. After the usual few feet of walking side-by-side, the boy fell, this time in front of the girl. He said, "You are so gorgeous I'm falling for you." The girl busted up laughing, along with all the observers. It was his best move.

1. At almost the end of EFY season, I watched as a whole family came on campus to drop off their daughter/sister at EFY. The family had a few small children, including what looked like a 7 year-old boy, and they were coming into the Wilkinson Student Center to eat a pre-packed cooler lunch. When the 7 year-old walked through the door he scrunched up his face and frowned. "THIS is BYUUU?!!" You could tell he was a little more than disappointed... until! he noticed a Lighting McQueen cardboard cut-out as part of an advertising display for students. He quickly ran over to the Disney character and left his frown at the door. That's right, little boy, BYU has so much to offer!

12 August 2009

Your Personal Job Finder

A note before I proceed with my employment advice: On Saturday I cut Scott's hair. It was very exciting. I even took pictures by request from my best friend. I was so excited to post my adventure, when I discovered that the memory card wasn't in the camera when I took pictures. The pictures are saved to the camera itself, which as you may know, is incompatible with USB connections. So no pictures :( However, I was successful in cutting Scott's hair at home. In my opinion, I did a pretty good job, except I'm pretty sure there is one tuft of hair in the front that is longer than the rest of his mane. That's modern, right? I used clippers for the bottom and sides, but had to wield scissors on his overgrown top fro. Scary! Maybe someday I'll be able to recover the pictures.

Moving on...

The Fall Semester is upon us. Recruiting season at BYU is starting to bloom, and my work is becoming only slightly busier. With recent economic swings, more and more students and alumni are having difficulties locating or keeping satisfying employment. Not only that, but students have more competition for part-time jobs than ever before. On-campus custodial jobs have had more applications in a matter of hours this year then they have received in entire posting periods of years past. This environment presents an interesting puzzle of requests for our University Career Services staff.

Yesterday I attended a webinar presented by LinkedIn on how career services can better use the online application for university and student networking. Most of the networking advice was old news to me, since BYU-Idaho's business department taught me self-marketing skills brilliantly. However, LinkedIn is coming up with some new tricks and had some helpful tips inside the system, of which I wasn't previously aware.
As I updated my Public Profile yesterday on LinkedIn, I received two requests from Scott's cousins to help search for local part-time jobs. They know something that you may not... and that is that I am an Internet research GENIUS! Mwahaha! Go ahead, doubt, but many can attest that this is true. Last year I even found a long lost cousin of a recruiter visiting BYU, so he could reconnect (and get football tickets). Skills, I tell you! My favorite thing to research, though, is jobs. I research them for myself ALL the time, even when I'm not really looking to change employers. There is an inexplicable joy for me, when I find the perfect job for someone. Really! Plus it gives me a good challenge.

So I'm updating my networking profile, and helping family find jobs, and it hits me! ... Why am I not offering this service to more of my friends/faithful readers? I am in a position where I am intimately connected with new job advertisements every day from all over the world. I love to search. I love to network. I want to help people find jobs in this difficult economic situation. How does that NOT equal, personal job finder blog post?

If you or someone you know is looking for a job, I would be thrilled to come to your aid. Any industry. Full-time, Part-time, Temporary, Seasonal... Give me a challenge. Just post a comment, send an email, or connect with me on LinkedIn with some details on where and what you want. I will be your job Cha-Cha! Your personal job finder.

06 August 2009

Favorite Dances of the SYTYCD 2009 Season

This summer season of So You Think You Can Dance is coming to a close tonight. I must admit that I am not as enamored with this season as I have been with casts in the past. The dances were all beautifully choreographed (even the Russian Folk dance, stop downing it Nigel! It's unprofessional!) but the dancers didn't bring the magic for me that I have come to anticipate. Speaking of unprofessional, the judges really need to lay off Evan. I think they've been trying to boot him out for the last six weeks. Just let America decide and stop ragging on the cutey-patootie during the final show... that he earned!

The final four have caught me off guard. I would never have expected some of them to make it as far as they did. I'm not a huge fan of Jeanine, but I did love her solo on Wednesday. Probably THE BEST solo of this summer season - well played. Kayla is by far my favorite dancer of the season, though, so I am glad she made it to the Top 4. She is honestly capable of dancing any dance, in any style, perfectly. And her grandparents are so adorably emotional!

I've listed below the only dances this summer to have really brought the magic for me this season, Gravity being the highlight for me, a highlight of the TV series! SYTYCD is my favorite show of the summer, and the only show I attempt to watch every week. Not sure how I feel about a fall season yet, though they are starting on the right foot by coupling the premier with Glee.

I Only Have Eyes for You - Choreographed by Tyce Diorio - Danced by Randi and Evan

Felt Mountain - Choreographed by Wade Robson - Danced by Ashley and Kupono

Jum Bah Day - Choreographed by Louis Van Amstel - Danced by Kayla and Max

Hot Like Wow - Choreographed by Brian Friedman - Danced by Kayla and Max

Koop Island Blues - Choreographed by Mia Michaels - Danced by Randi and Evan

Gravity - Choreographed by Mia Michaels - Danced by Kayla and Kupono

Libertango - Choreographed by Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici - Danced by Janette and Brandon

Ruby Blue - Choreographed by Wade Robson - Danced by Janette and Brandon
(which is appropriately musicked because this dance reminds me of Rubi Jones!)

Love Sex Magic - Choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha - Danced by Janette and Ade
Kick It - Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh - Danced by Kayla, Melissa, Jeanine
Boys Boys Boys - Choreographed by Wade Robson - Danced by Top 4
(Couldn't find a picture this quickly)

04 August 2009

Our First Rejection

The application process to medical school is quite taxing. There are three phases: Preliminary documents and fee, secondary documents and fee, and self-paid interviews on-site. This process is especially difficult to endure for the wife of an aspiring medical student, as I have to wait until the last phase in order to even research decisions about what my life will be like in the future location.

Scott is applying to 15 different medical schools and 6 osteopathic schools around the United States (medical school logos above, osteopathic schools below). We've completed the preliminary document phase for all of the schools, and most of them have written back to Scott asking for the secondary documents and fee.

Yesterday we received our first rejection email and... we laughed. After considering only our preliminary documents, Hawaii has decided that we are not worthy to vacation at their school. I must admit that I was slightly dissapointed that I wouldn't be spending a four-year round drenched in sun and pineapple.. ooh and macadamian nuts. Sad! So we've X'd that off our list, and we wait in anticipation to hear about the secondary documents Scott has prepared.