G.O.A.L.S.

G.O.A.L.S stands for Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement.

During the summer of 2017, I visited La Paz, Bolivia for a missions trip. If I happen to repeat your name after you introduce yourself to me, my trip to Bolivia is to blame. The culture there is so different from the culture here in the US. Many people here in the US are always on the GO, and never pause to really appreciate the wonderful people around them. When I went to Bolivia, I had never gone to another country other than China, whose public dynamic is very much GO. But in Bolivia, people stopped to say hello, took the time to learn your name and repeat it back to you making sure that they wouldn’t mispronounce it later. And I never realized how good welcome sounds until I heard it in another language and literally interpreted it “Good you all come.” Despite Bolivia being a third world country, its people are the happiest I have ever met. Common courtesies are genuine and the success of repeating it back genuinely made me realize how I have been taking all the niceties in the US for granted. So to you, readers. Good you all come. Welcome.

So it may be a little early, but I’m going to ask you a deep question: lets say that you an I just got free t-shirts from somewhere. We both like the t-shirt a lot and are really proud that we were one of 300 people in the US to get this free t-shirt.  We also have a class together. But remember you an I don’t really know each other.  If I were to wear the t-shirt the same day as you, how would you feel? Probably not as special. But really you have great accessories to the shirt, and out of 200 people you still are one of two. But lets say there’s another 20 people wearing that same shirt too. No, all 200 people are one of the 300 that got the free t-shirts. And we all wear it. Suddenly you feel lost. How are you supposed to make a difference if you are just the same as everyone else? And even if you woke up before everyone else and had the shirt on first, you were the leader, how is the professor supposed to know that when he is only privy to information given at the start of class: all of you have the same shirt on. There are many leaders, many followers, many lucky people, but that doesn’t matter. It matters that you are willing to do something innovative and outside of the norm, it matters that you wear your t-shirt backwards.

I first got interested in Marketing during a delayed layover on my way to a nice beach vacation. I decided to walk into the Hudson News store. Maybe I was looking for a good chocolate snack or just something to do, but I ended up picking up the brightest thing in the store, a neon orange book called Contagious “Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger, a Marketing professor at Wharton School of Business. I only had intentions of reading the back cover to look like I was interested in the book. But once I read it I really was interested. So I stood, sat, leaned for three hours and read the book cover to cover. I had no idea that Marketing could have so much science behind it. Even though we think differently, I know how your brain works. When I say peanut butter, you say… I’m 75% sure that you probably thought of one of three things: chocolate, Reece’s, and jelly.  I had too much fun with this when I tried this with my sister, the rest of my family and my friends. I would snatch the words right out of their mouth when I asked them to tell me what they thought of.  When I was elected treasurer for my band, I tried one of these triggers with the band. I had a fundraiser that I wanted not just the band to go to but the rest of the school to go to too. And you know marching band people, it is impossible to not be in step with someone unless you are actively thinking about it. So I told the band to take five flyers each and hand one out to someone whenever they found themselves in step with them. It worked so well, we ended up making 50% more than another fundraiser that didn’t utilize the marketing strategy. I was so intrigued with the way that one little could thing could impact such a huge change, that I decided to do my senior internship at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.’s Global Headquarters’ Marketing department. I got to talk to Brand Managers, a Media Strategist, Product Marketers, Data Analyzers. The marketing strategies were a little overwhelming at first, but I did my best to learn as much as I could about each job role. But one takeaway (that I can share) is the interdisciplinary environment that the company was just starting. The company had just switched seats in the office so that marketing, sales, and finance were all intermingled. These sectors then were able to talk about different things that were happening in the different business sectors. And even then, the company didn’t stop. A few years prior, they had their Product Marketing team attend their corresponding Engineering process meetings. The Product Marketing team was then learning exactly what capabilities its engineering team has. Then they can make a better decision as to what product ideas they should present the engineering team. The method prevents the product marketing team to ask for unicorn dust and rainbow marshmallows. That environment is precisely why I want to start early and integrate my knowledge in college per my IBE program.

Senior year I was elected Treasurer for my 278 member band. I was also appointed as clarinet section leader, and a squad leader, none of which I had done before. During the summer, I get an email from my band director, saying that the clarinet section was gaining 2 more students. By that time, squads had already been formed, and these kids didn’t have anywhere to go. One senior volunteered to take one of the kids because she was going to be her neighbor, and the other my band director gave to my co-section leader because he thought I already had a lot on my plate as a new leader. However, he gave me the kid’s email anyways. Throughout the summer I was emailing him, welcoming him, teaching him about the program that he was going to get involved in. And I found out that he was dyslexic. When reading sheet music that is basically a full 8×11 sheet of music scaled to a 5×7 notecard, someone with 20 20 vision will have a hard time reading it. So with my leadership position as treasurer, I was able to access the school printer and files. So during the summer, I rescanned all the original music and printed them off and cut the pages so that it was both small enough to fit into our little music stands that we have attached to our instruments when marching, and big enough that this freshmen could see and write notes on the music. At band camp, I gave him his music. However, by then, the other girl’s squad leader quit band. So when this girl came late to band camp, on the third day not only did she not have a squad leader, she was already behind the learning curve. I felt  so bad for her, especially because my freshmen year, I had also came late to band camp, that I took her into my squad. And it was probably the best decision of my band career. She was so motivated and outgoing that by the second practice she was out marching the junior, sophomore, and fellow freshman in my squad.