Let the March Madness Begin

It’s that time of year again where all college basketball fans go mad and frantically fill out their predictions for the NCAA tournament. Although not one person has yet to pick 100 percent of the winners, that does not stop millions of people nation wide from entering into some type of bracket tournament. I am one of those millions.

To pick a perfect winning bracket is nearly impossible; it is so rare that Las Vegas has offered a million dollars to the perfect bracket pick. Every year I fill out my bracket with the hope that I can at least make it into the final four with three of my teams left. The NCAA tournament is so unpredictable that the ranking of the teams hardly ever matters.

March Madness is something that makes watching college basketball tollerable for myself, however a lot of die hard fans lay down a lot of hard earned money on their teams. They put their lives on hold for three weeks, or depending on how long their bracket is still worth anything.

So whether March Madness is a way to turn a regular basketball game into something exciting, or it is something that you have been waiting for all year, it has arrived. Brackets will be ready to fill out in 10 days so start getting your picks ready!

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Twitter Becomes Corporate

Twitter has started to take over the corporate world, but is this a positive outcome for the companies? This year 77 percent of companies have started accounts on Twitter. However, along with the companies, the employees have started accounts too which has caused some risks for the companies.

In a recent blog, Twidots have become corporate risk factors, it points out how employees that are tweeting on behalf of their company are putting their companies reputation at risk. A prime example is the Dominos employees tweeting videos of themselves putting cheese and dough up their noses. This is a prime example of a “Twidot.”

The solution? Perhaps have each employee sign a social media policy. It is scary to think that a percentage of employees don’t think that their bosses can see their tweets, when in fact the whole Twitter world can.

The main point to get across to employees, or just anyone in general is this;  ANYONE can see what you are posting on Twitter. If your posts involve any major corporation they are even more likely to be under the spotlight.

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Jumpstarting the Job Search

I just recently had lunch with my friend whom is graduated and employed, yes he is one of the lucky ones. He brought up, to my dismay, that I will soon need to find a job too. As if I needed another reminder that the real world is soon approaching. Edward Boches posted Five Ways College Students Can Jumpstart the Job Search which would help any college student with their future.

1. “Use Twitter to establish relationships.” Well, I just made a Twitter account a couple of months ago so I guess I started just in time. I think the advice to follow people and businesses that interest you is a great piece of advice. You can make relationships through following and retweeting statuses that interest you.

2. “Build something (or at least say something).” In my journalism class we recently had a guest speaker tell us that being “searchable” is very important in the business world. For example, if a potential employer were to Google you, what would show up? You want to be able to be found.

3. “Challenge people you respect.” As Boches points out, you can kiss butt all you want, but that probably won’t gain you the respect you want or need to be successful. If you challenge people you respect you are not disrespecting them but showing them that you are paying attention and it shows courage.

4. “Offer your valuable services.” This is one I struggle with as I look at my resume. Is this really ALL I have done in the four years in college? But I have to take a step back and think of what I would have if I never even went to college. This step is to tell all of the insecure that you do have more to offer than you may think.

5. “Write for TheNextGeneration.com”. Yes, he admits this step to be a plug-in but I think the idea is right. Make your writing be found and seen. This will help you become visible to the media world.

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To Have a Football Season or Not?

Speculations just recently came out that Oregon football may have broken NCAA recruiting laws. Should us Oregon fans be worried about these allegations? I’m not so sure. I recently came across a list of five reasons Oregon fans should rest easy.

1. “Most, if not all, NCAA teams pay recruiting services-which is legal in the first place.” So why is Oregon’s actions put in the spotlight? Oregon provided media with a copy of the actual check, made out for $25,000 to Complete Scouting Service of Houston. Oregon stands firm that they have run through their compliance office.

2. “Oregon can spend however much they want on recruiting services.” Yes $25,000 was a huge leap from the previous &8,250 per-year tab from the same service. However, there are many reasons that can explain this. Oregon had a recruiting station in east Texas. Transporting recruits back and forth alone is going to increase the tab.

3. “Oregon is obligated to invest in the best recruiters if it plans to continue to dominate college football.” Oregon is not as nationally recognized as say Alabama, however it is gaining more recognition. Oregon will need to keep gaining more top recruits if they plan to become a national powerhouse such as Alabama and other top teams.

4. “RB Coach Gary Campbell runs a tighter ship than the Japanese Navy.” Campbell has been a football coach for Oregon for over 27 years which shows alone his dedication and ethics. The RB players are the ones under the spotlight, so we should rest a little easier knowing that Campbell has been recruiting for over 20 years and knows what he is doing.

5. “Who do you trust more, Chip or Cam Newton?” Yes this is a little bit of a joke, but honestly Oregon has been an honest team since Chip has started coaching so we should keep our trust in him and our team.

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The Real World is Approaching

Today the realization of the real world being right around the corner hit me hard when I realized tomorrow would be my last time registering for a term of classes in college. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was being dropped off at Bean dorms and having my whole four amazing years of college ahead of me? I guess it is time to stop living in the past and look forward to the future…of finding a career, or at the very least a job.

I have had my fair share of job interviews back in high school and college, however the thought of going to an interview that could potentially start off my career is very nerve racking. I found the tips from The Hiring Hub to be very helpful and comforting to know.

One of the main misconceptions about an interview in my opinion is not asking the interviewer to either repeat a question or explain what they are asking. As pointed out in the tips, it is more important to understand what you are being asked than to answer the wrong question. An interview is a professional setting, but you are still a human and asking to explain more is OK.

A tip I keep hearing again and again is “wait for opportunities to ask questions.”  For example if you ever have an opportunity to show that you have done your homework on the company you are interviewing for, it puts you ahead of the crowd. I think this also shows that you are interested and came prepared for the interview.

Just like giving a presentation you do not want to sound too scripted, so although it is good to do your homework and have information, you want to keep the interview sounding natural. “Prepare, but don’t over do it” is great advice.

I have already printed out these tips and put them on my desk because I know that they will come in handy when I am out in the real world in just a few shorts months.

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Casanova Center Expansion

The Oregon athletic department is at it again with their nationally recognized facilities. Construction has officially started on the six-story 100,000 square-foot Casanova Center. The center is adjacent to Autzen Stadium and is an athletic facility only. “Uncle Phil” will be funding this one million a year project.

However this project isn’t a free lunch for the University of Oregon,  it will cost them an estimated $1.75 million per year in operating costs. The demolition of some parts of the building will be needed to continue on with the expansion. Due to the fact that Oregon has given Knight free reign over the property, construction costs will be kept quiet until after the center is re-opened.

The delay on construction costs aren’t stopping predictions. The Register-Guard stated that the costs could, “equal the $90 million spent to expand Autzen Stadium.” So it comes to no surprise that the top three most expensive buildings at the university will all be part of the athletic department.

But can anyone complain about this? It is mainly a donation, and the athletic department defends their investment saying it is needed to keep the department nationally ranked. Yes, we would all like to see the academic department have these amazing donations but the revenue doesn’t even compete. I just hope people still remember that University of Oregon is in fact a college not one large athletic department.

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Athletic Funding

It has been a debate for a while about the comparison between the athletic and academic donation funding at University of Oregon. It is no secret that the funding for the athletic department surpasses the academic department by an extreme amount. However, a concern of a lot of professors and students is if this is going to affect the University’s academics.

If the University is only focusing on our athletic department, we are missing out on funding for classrooms and scholarship options. It is hard to have incentive to give to the academic department when the athletic department has so many more perks to offer to donors.

In the Daily Emerald it points out that donations are now looked at as transactions, an exchange  between a donor; a perk that the department has to offer. The academic department has the perks, such as game tickets, that are a high commodity with non-alumni, especially when we have as successful football team as we do right now.

Due to the fact that Oregon has gone to great lengths to make their donation profile private, it makes finding the exact donation history hard to come across. We do know however that academic donations have increased threefold compared to academic which have only gone up 12 percent from the previous year.


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Twitter Blunders

“Watch what you say on Twitter” should be everyone’s personal motto while they are tweeting. In the social media world if you are a well-known name, society is going to be watching you. Not only are they going to be watching you, they are hoping that you make a mistake that they can attack you for.

Sony’s fictional marketing exec Kevin Butler accidentally retweeted a root key (which enables your PlayStation3 to read pirated or custom software) without knowing what he did. Although it was quickly taken down, the damage had already been done. By Wednesday afternoon TIME magazine had already covered it the story.

If I were to have seen this tweet I probably would not have understood that it was in fact a negative outcome for Sony, but there were plenty of “gamers” and other viewers who knew that this was a mistake on Sony’s part.

Although there have been worse Twitter blunders, it should still be something that you are constantly being cautious of every time you tweet. Tweets are public posts and once it is sent out into the web it is instantly out for everyone to see. However, I don’t know if I think this was a big enough slip up for TIME magazine to run a story on it. In our society though anything is fair game to write about.


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A Ratings Record Super Bowl

The Nielsen Co. estimated 111 million viewers for the Super Bowl this year topping last year’s record setting 106.5 million viewers.

Although at one point in the game the score was 21-3 Packers, the Steelers comeback kept the audience tuned in and on the edge of their seats. The game was anyone’s until the last couple seconds of the fourth quarter. The last minute of the fourth quarter was in fact the most watched point of the game (according to TiVo Inc. measurements).

On Sports Illustrated’s website it gives us some insight as to why the Super Bowl is continuing to grow each year and reach a larger audience.

The Super Bowl is not just for football fans, it is for anyone whom looks at the Super Bowl as a tradition, something that is personal to them. Some watch it for the commercials alone, others are clearly there for the game. Also, now that the halftime shows are becoming mini concerts, music fans alike are tuning in too.

The commercials for the Super Bowl have become almost as popular as the game itself. Viewers look forward to commercial breaks instead of TiVoing and fast forwarding through them. Companies are paying top dollar to have their products aired during the game because of the amount of viewers they reach.

Lets also not forget about the halftime performance. According to TiVo Inc. measurements, the performance had almost as many viewers as the game itself. The Super Bowl has become something way larger than just a football game.

With each year the viewer number growing, the Super Bowl will continue to set records and be a family tradition. It is the definition of an American sport and an American tradition to get together with friends and family and have a good Sunday.

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Week Six Blues

It is now six weeks into winter term, and the stress is really starting to kick in. Every term, and I mean every, I start to stress about classes on week six. I am not exactly sure why this is the week for the blues to set in, but like clockwork every term, they do. The vibe around my apartment has even caught the blues which does not ease my stress. 

In a recent post by Elizabeth Scott, she gives advice on how to turn a bad day into a good day. This post caught my attention because lets face it, I need some advice to turn these blues around.

A day that starts off on the wrong side of the bed doesn’t have to end on the wrong side too. I think Scott makes a good point when she points out that our mood directly affects people around us, which is why if we are in a bad mood the world seems to be against us. So, my goal is to turn this term around and start week six with a new attitude.

I am taking the advice given to me and I am going to work things out while getting in a good work out. I always feel better after escaping the world while listening to music and getting a good work out in. It also wouldn’t hurt to exercise a little bit more.

So week six, I have decided I am going to overcome you by taking my blues and stress to the gym.

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