Professional Value Statement

To me, marketing and sales are an extension of a brand. It’s the part of a brand that gives it life and an identity. It can make a brand fun, creative and innovative, but it can also make it colorless and anemic. As marketers, we create this personality. Think of a brand as a person.

Who wants to hang out with someone who’s dull?

I’d rather hang out with someone who is energetic, exciting and driven for success, and I believe as marketers we all have obligations to create this type of identity for our brand. However, in creating this brand, I believe we all need to commit to a code of ethics that go beyond the business world.

The emergence of social media has ushered in a new era of connectivity among humans and brands. This means that everything we see and touch as marketers becomes more personalized. I believe that marketing can bring people together and I believe that marketing can create a better world. We owe it to consumers to uphold ourselves to a high level of transparency, honesty and integrity in order to create a healthier and more cohesive world.

What I’ve Learned in College

So here I am, set to graduate college in less than two weeks. What a ride. Between the stress filled days leading up to finals, I think it’s important to reflect on what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished over the past four years of my life.

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Four years ago I was eighteen, and I remember looking down the hallway of my new home, eyes wide and eager for the adventures that college would hold. My mother would not let go of me for what felt like forever, my father trying for the life of him to hold back tears, trying to not show the emotional side that we all know exists.

It’s these small moments over the course of my life that remind me of what’s truly important. Now I could say things like I learned how to be independent, I learned how to cook, and I learned how to be a marketer. But I think the most important things that I’ve learned are all personal accomplishments.

I’ve learned to love myself, to love others and to love what I do. I’ve developed relationships with some of the most incredible people who I otherwise would have never met. I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime even though we may be in different corners of the world. I’ve learned dedication, hard work and motivation. I’ve learned to reinvent myself and how to “become a man,” and I’ve learned a trade that will open new doors to my future.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 3.47.20 PMAlthough we may all forget it at times, I think it’s important to reflect on our lives. Appreciate what we have, what we’re all capable of and show love to those around us. As I set off into the real world I hope to never forget these lessons that I’ve learned, and to always appreciate my life and those that I surround myself with.

The Interview Process 2k15

With less than a month to go to graduation I am happy to say that I have accepted my first job opportunity. I struggled with my decision because I felt every business I had an offer from had so much to offer. With a background in marketing, I felt that was something I still wanted to have as a foundation, but I also wanted to extend myself into the world of sales and business development. I found a home for myself in Boston doing exactly both of these things and I couldn’t be happier. Through the interview process I learned a lot about myself, and my strengths, but also about business, interviewing and the startup scene.

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Here are my biggest takeaways from the process:

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but an interview should be just as much a conversation as it is an interview. When you’re being interviewed, people want to know your technical skills, but they also want to know if you can fit into the company culture.

When it becomes a conversation they open up more and not only is it more constructive for both sides, but you also better understand the business and position you’re applying for. One specific thing that I found helpful in initiating a conversation was finding out a little bit about who was interviewing you. Before I interviewed with anyone, I checked out their LinkedIn to find out where they went to school, their background and their interests. When you have knowledge about them you can begin to steer the conversation a certain way or bring up a point of common interest. Just make sure you’re not being creepy in your investigation!

My next takeaway is to create a personal elevator pitch. This is basically a short summary of who you are, what your skills are and why someone should choose you. Now this pitch needs to be memorable, fluid and versatile. This is something personal to you and something that you will be remembered by. There was one interview I had that I had to present an elevator pitch to a group of potential employers and amongst 20 peers, who were all competing for one sales job. I was the only one who had prepared an elevator pitch ahead of time, and guess who got the offer? I got the offer because I could sell myself through hours of practice and repetition. This leads me to my last takeaway.

Be prepared for anything. Literally anything. Study potential interview questions; check out sources such as Glassdoor.com, anything to get a leg up on the competition. There were some things that I did really well on, but I also did awful in some regards. For one company I applied to there were three initial phone conversations before you were actually brought in for an in-person interview. After doing well on the first two conversations, I thought I was ready for the third interview, I was quickly proved wrong when the interviewer asked me to “How big is the college graduation market?” What does that even mean? Needless to say I didn’t get the job. While I did awful on some questions I did great on others. There was another interview when an employer asked me “teach me something.” I thought about my interests for a quick second and I explained to them what gluten was. It didn’t need to be something business related, I just needed to prove I was quick on my feet and confident in my response.

This is another awesome source of information:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245020

My final major piece of advice is to have fun. I know you might be thinking “how can you have fun in a job interview?” But for me, how can you not?”

An interview is to decide where you’ll be for the next step of your life. It will determine whom you will hang out with on a daily basis and how you will spend a large portion of time. This is all exciting stuff and if you treat it as a positive experience you have a better chance of getting the job in the end, which is the end goal isn’t it?

Why Vitamin D is so Awesome

As a self-proclaimed member of the health and fitness cult, we all have our quirky information sources and industry experts we love to follow. One of my favorites is a podcast called Barbell Shrugged. The YouTube channel has over 80,000 subscribers and is growing both in size and content published. Comprised of three very different fitness experts, every week they interview someone new in an hour-long segment. The interviewee changes every week, as does the topic. Some of the past interviewees have been top CrossFit Games athletes, Doctors, Physical therapists and other industry experts.

The particular interview that has always stuck out to me is that of Dr. Rhoda Patrick. D. Rhonda Patrick currently works in California, where “she investigates the effects of micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) inadequacies on metabolism, inflammation, DNA damage, and aging and whether supplementation can reverse the damage” (1). What drew my interest to this particular segment is apart from my fascination with the feats that the human body can accomplish, are the effects of certain vitamins, minerals and other substances, and how some are beneficial and others are detrimental to our body’s.   Watch the video for yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWa4aJE8YpU

I had two major takeaways that I use everyday:

  1. Vitamin D is one of the most important if not the most important vitamins and supplements out there. Vitamin D can control the gene expression of over 1,000 genes (about 1/24 of the human genome) in our body’s by turning on serotonin production which helps with our ability to grow, reproduce, and even effects our moods including everything from happiness to aggression. Patrick recommends that we ingest about 4,000 IU’s per day, which is much higher than most people consume. Good natural sources of Vitamin D are fish and mushrooms.
  2. Another great supplement is Omega- 3 fatty acids. Now the best form of this is Krill Oil, but being in college and having monetary constraints, I’m stuck with the common Fish Oil product. This is one of those supplements that doctors have always told you to take so you do it, not knowing its benefits. For one, Omega- 3’s have been shown to reduce mortality rates and just as importantly, it has been shown to have profound effects on delaying the rate of brain aging and even can reduce inflammation. Take with Vitamin E to ensure that the fish oil you take isn’t becoming oxidized once ingested, so you can get the full effects.
  1. http://www.foundmyfitness.com/about-dr-rhonda-patrick/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc815fQn8iY
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDzLFzuotiE

So… You’re Gluten Free?

One of the biggest trends in healthy living and eating in the past couple years or so has been the push to eliminate gluten from your diet. People of all walks of life are taking on this new trend but does it work? What is gluten? Where is it found? Why is it bad? And do I really have to avoid it?

First I think it’s important to answer the burning question, what is gluten? The word gluten comes from the Latin word for glue. It is a protein found in grains and helps hold the structure together, hence why it comes from the word glue. So what makes it bad for you and why do people avoid it? Some people may avoid gluten because they have to. Many people in the United States suffer from Celiac Disease, which means they have a gluten sensitivity problem. It causes all sorts of digestion problems for them and even harms important organs such as the intestine, what’s even scarier than the disease itself is that it is on the rise. “According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, the amount of people who actually have this disease is about 1 in about 133 Americans” (1).

So where exactly can gluten be found? I like the acronym ‘BROWS.’ That is barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt. So avoiding these 5 things and ensuring the foods you buy are packaged as gluten free, then you’re in the clear.

Now is a gluten free diet for everyone?

I personally follow a predominantly gluten free diet, and for those who aren’t Celiacs, I recommend the same thing. I believe that the majority of the food we eat should come from whole foods and that we should avoid any sort of processed foods if possible. With every meal, I recommend one third of your plate full of a protein, one third of vegetables or fruit and the last third of carbohydrates. I believe that the reason that many avoid gluten is because it is found in things such as bread, pasta and other carbohydrates, things known to harm your journey towards fat loss. So in reality, gluten isn’t the enemy, it’s just getting ourselves to stop eating all the awesome tasting carbohydrates that gluten happens to be in.

Finding a balance in your diet is essential, however, I would be the first to admit I love my cheat meals. I love ice cream, burritos and cookies. So you need to eat healthy if you want to achieve your personal goals, but you also need to be honest with yourself and enjoy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every now and then!

http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/gluten-free-or-sugar-full/

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/features/gluten-intolerance-against-grain

5 Things to do to Get Better In and Out of the Gym

If you’re like me, you are constantly searching the Internet for what you should be doing to get stronger, fitter and ultimately healthier. You can find a million and one things to do, but I have always believed that it’s basic fundamentals and hard work that will bring you closer to your goals. I have compiled a list of 5 things you should be doing to improve both in and out of the gym.

1. Stretch smart

Before I even start to workout, I always put my body through a good warm up. It will usually take 15 minutes, but I always do it.

Why?

There’s a difference between warming up and stretching. Warming up your body does wonders. It makes your muscles more pliable and can do things such as increase your range of motion, makes your muscles more pliable, and even can help prevent injury. When you don’t properly warm-up you risk major injuries, especially when you are trying to go for that personal record!

Think about your body like a car. Before your car is ready to be driven in the winter you have to let it warm up before she’s ready to be driven. Give yourself ample time to warm up so you’re ready to attack your workout.

2. Drink more water

You may think this is simple, but I cannot state how important it is. Think about your body and its composition. Up to 60% of your body is made of water, but more importantly, your most important organs, your brain, heart and lungs are made up of no less than 75% water. So there must be a reason why they are comprised of so much water right? When you neglect proper water intake, you are compromising major things such as joint health, your skin, your bones even your mind! And for those of you out there trying to shed a few pounds, it even helps you lose weight! So drink more water, and shoot for at least a half-gallon per day.

3. Squat more

When it comes to fitness, I believe that things like bicep curls and tricep extensions are a bit of a waste of time. I believe we should put more emphasis on basic movements that we use on a daily basis: sitting up and down, putting things over our heads and picking stuff up from the ground. These three basic movements are what we have always done as a society.

I can’t say enough about the benefits of squatting, both from an athletic and aesthetic point of view. Obviously part of the reason everyone works out is to look good, but no other exercise achieves this better than a squat.

For one, the squat IS a full body exercise. When executed properly, it forces you to use your legs, your core, your back and more. Interestingly enough, your body utilizes over 200 muscles when performing a squat! Another huge benefit from squatting is the hormone response. It stimulates the release of two major muscle-building chemicals in the body, testosterone and growth hormone. Plus squatting is fun, so start squatting and see the gains.

4. Eat your vegetables

Yes you heard this from your parents growing up, but they were right, eat your veggies! Vegetables contain so many different vitamins and minerals that we all need in our diet. No amount of chicken or meat can deliver even close to the same nutrients. “Vegetables contain vitamins, nutrients, and phytochemicals that can help to regulate blood pressure, effect disease-related molecular processes, stimulate the immune system, promote healthy bone-growth and leave us feeling full for long periods of time” (3). Not only will vegetables help you in the short term but also they can help you lead a healthier life in the long run.

If you’re like many, you might hate vegetables. My best advice is finding 2-3 you enjoy (or don’t mind) and eat those. For me, its spinach and brussel sprouts. Make sure to have veggies with every meal and your body will thank you.

5. Sleep

Yes I said it, sleep! When it comes to recovery, nothing works better than a good nights sleep. We all should know what it’s like when you don’t get enough sleep, your groggy, delirious and have little energy. But those times you get a good night sleep; you’re ready to take on the world. As doctors will tell you get at least 8 hours a day and reap the rewards. Nothing feels better than being refreshed and recovered from the day before.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=1

http://www.outlawfitnesshq.com/the-15-benefits-of-squats/

http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/vegetables-are-death-defying-super-foods/

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables-why.html

Finding Your Passion

Did you know that every seven years your body fully replaces all of it’s old cells? Ironically, it also seems that every seven years, you enter a new stage in life where you are vastly different than the previous seven. Let’s reflect on this.

At age seven you are young and full of energy. You are curious to the world around you and you attack everyday with the same excitement and thirst for living. At age fourteen, you are entering the dreaded teen years. You begin to forget what you had learned in your previous years and have traded your excitement in for establishing your identity and situation in life. Seven years later, you are twenty-one, and considered an adult. You can legally drink and have established who and what you are. This is where my story picks up.

I am now twenty-two, a senior in college, and about to be done with school forever (I hope), and I have never been more motivated by success or felt more passionate for life than I ever have in the past.

In this past year and a half, I have rediscovered my passions and drive in life. I have learned what dedication, hard work and patience can do and how you can truly control what and who you become. But most importantly, I’ve learned the importance of passion.

I have learned that my true passion is health and fitness, and I will do whatever it takes to be the best version of me possible. I want to be the fittest, I want to be the strongest and I want to be the healthiest individual that I can be. This passion has transcended in to my professional life as well. Through my passion I have learned how bad I want to win and succeed. Finding my passion has allowed me to become a stronger person in so many ways.

14996005777_a4f8dd3466_z As I am about to set off into the “real world,” I don’t just want to work in sales; I don’t just want to be a marketer. I want to learn to bring my passion into the workplace. I want to help others discover their passion and how it can enrich their lives. Whether it’s art, sports, music, health, fitness or even cars, finding your passion will change your life and make you a better person.