Category Archives: Training & Development

6 Books From Legendary Businessmen

For me, reading has always been something special, allowing you to go beyond your own experience. If you are in search of inspirational books, then perhaps the recommendations of the coolest entrepreneurs of our time will be useful to you. This collection contains books that hooked me personally, but, as you know, there could have been a lot more of them.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook:

Creativity, Inc.  by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace Ed Catmell is one of the founders of Pixar Animation Studios, president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. You will probably find non-standard solutions for team management as well as the philosophy and worldview of an extraordinary and undoubtedly brilliant person.

 

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. :

The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. ChristensenThe book, written by a professor at Harvard Business School about 20 years ago is still relevant. The author writes simple and understandably about complex processes, describes a number of patterns with detailed justification and examples.

 

Richard Branson, Virgin Group:

One Hundred & One Reasons To Get Out of Bed by Natasha Milne

One Hundred & One Reasons To Get Out of Bed by Natasha Milne101 stories from amazing people where they share their reasons to get out of bed every morning.

 

 

 

Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, PayPal:

Zero to One  by Peter Thiel

Zero to One by Peter ThielInteresting thoughts of interesting person. I truly believe that co-founder PayPal, investor of SpaceX, Palantir and Facebook could not write a boring book about startups.

 

 

Jeff Bezos, Amazon:

Data-Driven Marketing by Mark Jeffery

Data-Driven Marketing by Mark JefferyA detailed explanation of how to measure the effectiveness of marketing and offers to use the 15 key indicators for this purpose on examples from the practice of international companies.

11 free online-courses to boost your Soft Skills

Managers are interested in hiring and promoting employees with a highly developed set of soft skills. That is why soft skills are increasingly seen in the description of the requirements for applicants. According to recruiters, it is these qualities that distinguish a real manager from an ordinary employee.

Soft skills are related to working within a team, personal qualities and aspirations. The development of these skills helps to improve relationships with people, increase efficiency and increases the chances of climbing the career ladder. Therefore, if you feel that you need to work on the above qualities, there are free courses from top universities for consciously working on them.

Time Management

Teamwork and Leadership

Conflict Management

Communications and Public Speaking

Problem Solving

Emotional Intelligence

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work by University of California, Berkeley

Overcoming Networking Nerves For Students

For students and especially those that are introverted, networking can be nerve-wracking.

According to LinkedIn Corporate Communications (2017); “Eighty-percent of professionals consider networking important to career success”

Being both a student and an introvert, I avoided networking for as long as I could but eventually I had to take the plunge.

What have I learnt? – A lot of people don’t actually enjoy networking, they’ve just learnt ways to get better at it.

How I overcame networking nerves:

  1. Create an elevator pitch

What do you want people to know about you? Here is a great guide on creating a pitch. Practice it and that way when your asked, you’ll be a natural.

Image of a person writing their action plan in their notebook

2. What do you want to achieve from the event, and how?

Write an action plan and you will feel more in control of your day.

3. Be kind to yourself

You don’t need to speak to everyone. Decide who or how many people you would be happy to talk to. Once you’ve reached those goals, reward yourself.

Image of two women in an interview

4. Treat networking events like University Open Days

How did you know your University was right for you? You visited the campus, you talked to lecturers and got involved in activities. There are so many different networking events. Find a style that works for you.

I still get networking nerves but using these techniques, it gets a little easier.

Did this help? Comment below, It’d be great to hear about what works for you!

Picture Credits: Unsplash and Pixabay

How An Entrepreneurial Skill Set Can Help You Get That Graduate Job

Is your graduation slowly approaching and you’re panicking about what to do after University? Perhaps you are a proactive student looking to build up your skill set?

So why are Entrepreneurial skill sets relevant to you?

Increasingly more people are attending University every year meaning a high grade does not guarantee a graduate can walk into their desired job anymore. Graduates with entrepreneurial skills and mindsets according to Target Jobs are highly sought after by employers.

Behind every business is an entrepreneur. However an entrepreneur does not have to own a big successful business to have an Entrepreneurial skillset. According to Forbes, an entrepreneur has a group of 8 recognised skills (the 8 P’s) (see diagram by Forbes above).

How can you learn and demonstrate these skills?

  1. You might possess some of these skills already. Draw out a mind map and identify your current skillset. How would you demonstrate your skills to a prospective employer?

A picture of a group of women playing lacrosse on a grass field

2. If not, how can you gain those skills? Societies are a brilliant way of doing this, can you get involved with a student led social enterprise such as Enactus? Or a sports team to demonstrate team work?

3. Skills are transferable, working in retail, cafes, pubs etc is a brilliant example of people skills. You are engaging with customers and placing their needs at the forefront.

A picture of a work desk containing a camera lens, an iPad, a pen and a mug with the words hustle across it.

4. You could even set up a ‘Side Hustle’ and put those Entrepreneurial skills into action, see my post for creative ideas on starting one.

Comment below on what your entrepreneur mind map and action plan looks like.

Picture Credits: Forbes and Unsplash

Let the notes be your tutor: 5 benefits of listening to music while studying

Music is an important part of our lives. For university students, music is a way of relaxation, work-out aid or having fun. It seems like it has nothing to do with studying, right? Well, hold on to that thought. Because there are various benefits of listening to music while studying.

1. Better visualization

The efficiency of Mozart Effect is being debated for decades, which claims that classical music makes you smarter. It has been found in the research that classical music increases the ability of manipulating shapes mentally for a limited time.

2. Less Anxiousness

According to a recent survey, 1 in 4 of every British students experience anxiety and stress in academic life. According to a Cambridge University study, hip-hop music helps in management of mental health problems.

3. Brain Exercise

Prof. Brenda Hanna-Pladdy’s paper published in online Neuropsychology journal states that music is a cognitive exercise for the brain. Early-age musical training decreases the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

4. Memory Improvement

Cornelius Eckert suggests that an earworm occurs when a song gets stuck in your head and is a way of improving your memory. Music is used as a tool of language teaching, which helps the information to be embedded in the brain.

5. Better Stress Management

Every people listens to music they connect emotionally. A 2013 study in Chicago Journal found that people only listen to music they relate to, which helps them deal better with stress.

How does music help you in your studies? Please comment to let me know!

Are you Agile?

If you have taken a glance on my previous texts, my dear reader, then you should be aware of the Waterfall and PM as such. Now, I would like to tell about, what is widely known, in a narrow circle of people, as a reaction to the ineffectiveness of Waterfall.

You should remember the fiasco, that happened with Diablo: Immortal announcement on Blizzcon last year, my dear reader. The failure to understand it’s audience, lead Blizzard to a hellish backlash from the franchise fans, calling to cancel the project.

Something is rotten in the kingdom of Blizzard, and if you were its CEO, who would you fire first, my dear reader – Project Manager, Lead Developer, Product Owner or Marketing Manager? Or would you rather review your organization’s PM method? Consider the Agile. It is not just a methodology. Stellman and Greene came up with a good piece of writing, where they view Agile as a corporate philosophy, based on 4 values:

  • Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools;
  • Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation;
  • Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation;
  • Responding to Change Over Following a Plan.

         Someone had to bring these values to Blizzard, before they have decided to bring Diablo to mobile. If you will be the one, my dear reader, don’t forget to take along the12 Agile principles, that make the whole thing work. They can be found encapsulated on the official Agile Manifesto website.

Have you ever been given a second chance to fix a massive screw up, my dear reader? If you have, then you would better not tell about it in the comment section.

Waterfall PM for creative agencies

Have you ever been a casualty of underdeveloped software, my dear reader? It’s quite like the feeling that you get when, after waiting for your Filet Mignon au Fondant de Bleufor nearly hour and a half, the snooty waiter comes to you and asks – well, medium or raw?

If it sounds bizarre to you, my dear reader, then you must have been bringing your money to a company that recognizes a true value of PM. Or you have just never been to Le Départ Saint Michelin Paris.

Delivering a raw product to the market could not be as disastrous as Brexit, but as this video suggests, it usually comes with huge bills and negative PR. In my previous post, I have highlighted the necessity of PM for creative agencies. In this text, my dear reader, we are going to take a ride over the Waterfall.

Before you initiate your Waterfall project, you have to clearly define your communication plan; resource plan; financial plan; risk management plan; change management plan and additional plan. Also, my dear reader, don’t forget to forget about your holiday plans.

The Waterfall PM is best perceived graphically:

The Waterfall is divided into distinct stages and prior to moving to the next stage, the preceding stage has to be wrapped up. This creates a substantial pressure for the project initiators, since all the mistakes made in the top of the Waterfall will accompany you till its’ very bottom.

If you don’t want to carry the responsibility for all the mistakes done, my dear reader, the guys from adsubculture are more than ready to take it over from you.

Project Management for Creative Agencies

During your university studies, my dear reader, you must be experiencing some frustration related to all these naughty group assignments. Sometimes I would also prefer to work on my own, rather than being bothered with the distribution of all these tasks and responsibilities. Besides, the study output is way higher, when you hold control over each element of your “group project” in your almighty hands, right?

Mind the gap, my dear reader!

The rigid time-frames and horrendous competition of digital world will leave you far behind your rivals, should you choose to go solo. I feel so sorry for you, my dear reader, if you happened to be a bit of a misanthrope, like myself. But building up a team is inevitable! To make this inevitability less fatal, I would suggest you to adopt an appropriate PM skill-set asap.

The above pie-charts should give you an idea about the importance of organizational skills, as well as the reasons why some projects keep reappearing in their manager’s nightmares.

Although most of these methodologies have been practiced in the IT environment, and my dear reader could argue the relevance of these methodologies to Marketing in the comment section – I dare to reassure you in flexibility of these methods and their applicability for creative agencies.

In my next posts I will explore the trendiest PM methodologies. Although, should you crave for some extra bits of knowledge, my dear reader, you may go and find it here.

Mini study guide for online research

Whether you are doing a dissertation or independent studies, it is inevitable that you will end up doing online research. If you don’t know where to start, where to look for information, or how to share your work, here is a condensed guide for you.

Have you thought about social media?

Social media can be very useful to start with when it comes to finding information, especially Twitter. If you are looking for research ideas or potential partners, you can easily follow conversations thanks to hashtags, and it can also be useful to gather data. LinkedIn can also be a way to link with businesses or professionals who can help you during your research.

Academic social what?

Yes, academic social networks, creating an account on such websites like Academia, Research Gate and Humanities Commons allows you to connect with other researchers and share your work. Academia and Research Gate can provide you with articles that you can’t automatically access via the University log in, by simply requesting them to the author. The following video introduces each of these academic social networks.

Pay attention to ethics

If you have any doubts about intellectual property and want to know how not to breach the law and how to protect your work, check out the University guide about Intellectual Property Rights to get an insight.

For further help, the Hull University skills team created a dedicated website covering topics ranging from research networking to mapping your digital world. 

Have you already tried these research techniques? Have you got a favourite way to carry out online research?

You liked it? Find more mini guides with the Mini survival guide and the Mini travel guide!

5 Essential Tips for Effective Revision

Start With a Full Stomach and Put Distractions Away!

There’s nothing worse that getting stuck into revision when your stomach starts to growl, eat before or have a bowl of finger foods to munch on as you study. Put your phone away and out of reach, and go somewhere quiet away from family or roommates that could distract you.

Plan Revision Around Your Most Productive Times

If you’re not a morning person, there’s no point trying to sit down and revise first thing. Set yourself an amount of time (preferably late morning/midday) with no interruptions or prior arrangements that could affect the quality of your work

Know What Kind of Learner You Are

There are several different types of learner and whether you learn best Visually, Verbally, or Physically, once you know you are able to perfect a revision method best suited to you. If your friends prefer the same learning methods you can even revise in groups. There are several quizzes available online to help find out what type of learner you are!

Regular Breaks and Fresh Air

Whenever you feel like reaching for your phone or procrastinating, stand up take a walk outside and get some fresh air. Small breaks are essential to effective revision and it makes sure your brain isn’t overloaded all at once.

Revise the ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’

Reading too much information can mean its easily forgotten, However, having the ‘Why’ can help you remember and add real-life examples to adapt your answers when it comes to exams.

Let me know your best revision tips in the comments section! 🙂