Archive for January, 2011

Planning for bad weather

January 28, 2011

Happy Friday, IMC friends!

What a snowy week it’s been here in Morgantown! How many of you have been affected by the weather this week? Have any of you had to adjust your IMC studies? I live on top of a hill and when we have a heavy, wet snow (like we did this week) oftentimes we’ll lose power due to downed lines. Luckily, this week the power stayed on. But, whenever the weather is forecast to be bad, I always try to get my discussion posts and assignments done a little bit ahead of time just in case (easier said than done, I know). I learned my lesson in weather unpredictability and procrastination last winter during my first class, IMC 610 – Introduction to IMC. I had my final project done in plenty of time before the Monday night deadline, but I always like to proofread stuff—especially finals—several times before I turn it in. I had planned on turning in my final on Monday evening after looking it over once more. However, after getting pummeled with an ice/wind storm that knocked my power, I ended up having to drive to my parents’ house to submit my final. By that time it was pretty close to the deadline. Oops.

By now you’ve probably heard that the IMC Program has moved its office location to the downtown Wharf District of Morgantown. Since many of you don’t live in Morgantown, I decided to pay a visit to the new offices to see the new digs—very nice!

IMC Advisor Shelly Stump's new office

View of Monongahela River from IMC Program offices

Have a great weekend everyone!

Are you an Apple or an Android?

January 19, 2011

Hello IMC pals! We survived Week 1! Only eight more to go … 🙂

How are your classes going? Are you settling into a routine? I’m still adjusting to my “two classes at once” schedule. I was really excited to take both of the electives I’m now enrolled in, IMC 624 Cause Marketing and IMC 193I Mobile Marketing, and so far they have been a lot of fun. For Cause Marketing, we were asked to choose a campaign to focus on for the semester, and I ended up choosing Zynga. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Zynga is the company that creates all those games (love ‘em or hate ‘em) that you see/play on Facebook—Farmville, Mafia Wars, Frontierville, etc. If you’ve been following this blog, you probably already know that I farm on Farmville. I had to put my farm on the backburner when I started the IMC program last year, but I am still a Zynga fan and hopefully I will be able to farm again one day. This Cause Marketing class, I think, is going to be a fun way for me to reconnect with a brand that I’m already a big fan of.

Zynga's "Sweet Seeds for Haiti" cause marketing campaign

My first assignment in my Mobile Marketing class focuses on the iPhone—one of my favorite toys! We’ve been discussing the iPhone on the discussion board this week, and, not surprisingly, the Android vs. iPhone debate is heating up.

Obviously, you know which team I “cheer for,” but I will be the first to admit that I’ve seen more and more of my friends purchasing Android phones over the last several months. Just in my own observations, it seems to me like most of the folks buying Androids weren’t previous iPhone users. But I thought I would ask you guys—what type of phone do you use? Are you an “iPhone” or an “Android”—or neither? Do we have any iPhone users who have switched to an Android phone—or vice versa? If so, what made you switch?

A Plan of Action

January 10, 2011

Happy Early Spring, everyone!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. For me, it was the last homework-free weekend I’ll have until May, so I made it count! I was able to spend time with some family and friends … and even friends of the furry variety:

Hailey feeding the neighborhood's "pet deer" with her Papaw 🙂

One thing I’ve always enjoyed about the IMC program is that besides the introductory (IMC 610) and capstone (IMC 636) courses, which have to be taken first and last respectively, students can pretty much design their own schedules–as there is no particular order in which you have to take the courses. When I logged into my courses this morning, it occurred to me that this is the first time—and will be the only time—that I have taken two electives together. How fun! 🙂

My friend, Elise (hi Elise!), is starting the IMC Program this semester. After she was accepted last fall she asked my opinion on what course to take after IMC 610. I told her that it might be a good idea to get some of the core courses completed before moving on to the electives, simply because the core courses along with IMC 610 are great foundation courses. One thing that helped me—especially when taking two courses at once—was enrolling in a course that I thought might be more challenging along with a course on a subject I was more familiar with.

The bottom line is that everyone has a different strategy when it comes to scheduling classes and the correct way to do it is the way that works best for YOU. Some of my classmates have told me that they got all the “hard” courses out of the way first and then moved on to subjects they were more familiar with. Others have alternated between “hard” courses and “fun” courses. And keep in mind that a subject that is difficult for one student might come easily for you.

Along with great advice from Professor Stump (and, trust me, I’ve picked her brain a lot), I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback about scheduling classes by asking my classmates what worked well for them and what didn’t. So, for you new IMC students, I will ask again. Current students and IMC grads: What is your scheduling strategy? What worked for you? What didn’t?

Good luck, everyone!

PS – Remember to use the IMC Course Checklist to make sure you have the courses you need to graduate!

My IMC New Year’s Resolution for 2011

January 5, 2011

It’s that time again. I thought I’d take a unique approach to New Year’s resolutions by focusing on IMC only. When it comes to IMC, there are lots of things I’d love to do better at in Early Spring. I want to participate more in discussions. I want to organize my course materials better. I want to write better. And after learning all about blogging last semester in my IMC 619 course, I realize that I need to be more active on our blog (I will try my best!).

But the most important resolution I have—and it’s something I’ve touched on before in this blog—is managing my time better. I have turned procrastination into an art, and I swear to you that I write/work better under the pressure of a looming deadline. That said, with two courses together in Early Spring and the IMC 636 capstone course immediately following, I don’t have time to piddle around. I’ve found that it’s possible to succeed at two IMC courses simultaneously if you really budget your time and stick to a set schedule.

One thing that I’m going to add to the schedule for the upcoming semester is more one-on-one time with Hailey. I didn’t realize how much my being in class was affecting her until our winter break, when as I was playing with her she said to me, “Mommy, you’re playing with me! Don’t you have homework?”  She’s 3 years old. I was crushed. After shedding a few tears and suffering from a severe case of “the guilties” I made a promise to her that no matter how much “homework” Mommy has next semester, our playtime comes first. Some things are just more important than discussion posts.  Which brings me to one piece of advice I have for those of you who are new to the program: Don’t forget to budget in some time for fun—time with kids, family, friends, sports, hobbies, etc.—whatever you love. That will keep you from becoming burned out and make you successful in the program long-term.

Good luck in Early Spring, everyone! Do you have any IMC resolutions you’d like to share?

IMC textbooks on my iPad? Sign me up!

January 3, 2011

Happy New Year, IMC pals! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. 🙂

While I was shopping at the WVU Bookstore the other day I decided to look for the textbooks for my Early Spring courses, IMC 624 – Cause Marketing and IMC 629 – Mobile Marketing. I usually buy my textbooks online, but I figured that since I was at the bookstore I might as well look. The bookstore had the book I needed for Cause Marketing in stock but not the one I needed for Mobile Marketing. I went ahead and bought the Cause Marketing book. 

Later that day, I searched on Amazon for the Mobile Marketing textbook. When the results popped up I was surprised/happy to find that not only does the Mobile Marketing book I need come in paper format, it comes in Kindle format!  E-textbooks? Why not? 😀

So, just out of curiosity, I searched for the Cause Marketing book. I paid $60 for that book at the bookstore; the same book is $30—half the price—in Kindle format. Needless to say, I will be making a trip back to the bookstore to return the “tree book.”

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You are squeamish about giving up your beloved tree textbooks for the e-versions. I get it, and I even admit that it is a little different reading textbooks on an iPad. I had some experience with it when I took IMC 612 – Audience Insight a few semesters ago and critiqued a book for that class that only came in Kindle format. It was an adjustment, but one that I quickly got used to. No, you can’t write notes in an e-book. But you highlighter-happy freaks (you know who you are) still have the ability to highlight text with e-books, so all is not lost!

E-textbooks probably aren’t for everyone, but if you love reading books electronically then e-textbooks might be something to consider.