7 tips to become professional at Networking

My first networking event in London was JUMP 2010. My classmates and I got the tickets through our grad school. It was our opportunity to meet professional contacts and to show to the world the first generation of Digital Marketers from Hult. We were so excited about it. We put our best clothes on and we headed to the field.

I remember approaching people, breaking the ice with the classic: “Hi, I’m Martha. Nice to meet you!” supported with a big Colombian smile. People looked at my badge looking for Director, Manager, CEO, President, or who knows. When they found the word “Student”, Fua fua fuaa, they looked disappointed. Continue reading

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We say Colombia not Columbia

Today is my country’s independence day: 20th July (just 4 days after my bday).So I decided to tribute my beautiful Colombia explaining to the world some simple facts:

1.We spell it COLOMBIA [with O not U]

2.Colombia is located in South America, the first country on the left.

3.We speak Spanish – not “Colombian” as some people think.

4.We do have cities – not only jungle, like on the news. We do have Shopping centers, buildings and everything that great cities have.

5.The capital city is Bogota, is better if you pronounce it with the emphasis on the a.

6.Most people say Colombia must be hot, mmm yes and no. We have all types of weather; Bogotá is cold (15°C) but if you travel for an hour by car you will be in 40°C heat. It depends on the altitude.

I believe you can’t judge a country you haven’t been to, so get your flip flops ready and visit us, you will be welcomed. A UK filmmaker just did it and this is the result of his holiday, I found it fantastic. I think it’s the first time a foreigner has seen my country with Colombian eyes.

Gracias! @Ed_Beck @davidcmead @mbfilmsuk

The value of nothing

I usually keep myself busy. Personally I prefer that feeling and I believe most people do too. We like the feeling that we are good at something and that is why we spend our day doing it, we go to our jobs, we feel we are needed there, so when the night comes we feel good that we didn’t waste our time and we did something productive.

Nevertheless “Productive” has different meanings for every person, even for online dictionaries.

pro·duc·tive/prəˈdəktiv/

Adjective: 1. Producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities.

In this case, machines will be productive, farmers too, but we won’t. Continue reading

The Simpsons Couch gags

I love unpredictable things and The Simpsons is one of them. They have been on the air for more than 22 years. Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 489 episodes and the twenty-third season started airing in September 2011. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom and American animated program. it has been so successful that even Homer’s exclamatory catchphrase “D’oh!” has been adopted into the English language.

In all the episodes I look forward to the couch gag. The moment in the opening credits where the whole family rush into the living room to watch television,  in many unusual ways.

I reckon on a Sunday night you should watch something funny before going to bed so you can have a pleasant sleep. So here is goes my contribution. Good night!

 

 

 

How to shuffle

There are many meanings for the word shuffle: mixing the cards, mixing random songs, The Goonies and The Truffle Shuffle, and the overplayed Party Rock that says “Everyday I’m shuffling…” which for me means moving your feet amazingly fast.

The whole year of the Masters I listened to this song in every party, all pubs, all Music Channels, everywhere. I was always thinking – “Next time I will learn how to dance to it properly just like the LMFAO guys”, it is not my big mission in life but it would be fun if I could do it – sadly I never got the time. It happens the same way with many issues; you want to be well read but don’t dedicate time to finish that book, you keep enjoying that cake that your friend made but you don’t try to cook one yourself, you want to become a more knowledgeable Google Analytics user but you don’t take the free lessons at Conversion University , you want to be a successful Marketing Consultant but you are still waiting for clients to come. How many times have you kept looking at colleagues work with fascination, thinking: “I wish I had done that” – quite a few right? It’s easier applauding others than thinking what to do to excel.

Every now and then you deserve a round of applause. So start from today! You will find many excuses out there to delay your plans but you will find a ways to accomplish at least one.

They say there is a first step for everything. Let’s go step by step.

The crazier the better, maybe not

August 19th will be an important day: My Graduation. Usually good things happen to me on the 19th, no matter the month. I don’t keep looking forward on the 18th to see what will happen the next day, but when the events happen they like to appear on that day.

Anyway, believing or not in signs, I am about to finish my Masters. Therefore I started thinking about the best way to find the job that I want. Even after 6 years of experience, I still feel like it’s the first time that I am going out to find a job.

Going back to prehistoric times, specifically 2001, I was graduating from University. In those days you couldn’t send a link of your portfolio; you had to go there and show your book, everything nicely printed.

Professors used to encourage you to be as creative as you could be. You heard stories about weird and original objects created to surprise Creative Directors. So I came out with this idea: a dynamite model made of cardboard straw. I had ideas all the time, so it was a symbolic BOOM, hahaha nice! Inside you could find different prints selling “Martha, the Creative”.

I was trying to sell myself by selling a product: me. And that was a mistake. People found it egocentric while I found it like any other campaign -simply extolling the benefits of the product.

Unfortunately, when you get a job you realize that people laugh at agencies about such models. Sometimes they work but most of time they don’t. And don’t take it personally; try imagining if someone showed you something funny. So don’t waste your time thinking about HOW you present your work (You can waste 3 weeks of effort blending cardboard like me) Think about WHAT you are presenting.

It doesn’t matter if you are going to call, send an email, an original package, start a campaign online or even visit them. If you have something good to say, they will get the message.

 

My blog is jealous

Early this year, I discovered a group on Linkedin called World Female Creative Directors. I started joining their chats and found interesting articles in their posts. They have a website called http://www.adwomen.org connecting their community with famous Creative Directors around the globe. The look is completely feminine, the design is delicate and flawless and the content is quite varied, it’s worth looking at.

I wanted to write an article for them, but all the time I was delaying the task. Because I was busy with assignments, because I was looking for jobs, because I went out, because everytime there was an excuse. And I can tell you, there are thousands stopping us from doing what we want.

Suddenly on my way to Barcelona for a week’s holiday, I remembered that I had to send the email to AdWomen, “Oh yes… I just remembered when I didn’t have any computer or Internet to work on”.  Somehow that idea never left my head on holidays, therefore, as soon as I came back to London I sat myself at the table until I had written a decent article for them. When I finished it, I read it thoroughly and changed my mind. It looked like an article written by a WFCD and I wasn’t one of them yet. So instead, I decided to tell a different story, one of those experiences that people prefer not to mention in a job interview, not even to colleagues. What I call “Unsuccessful stories trying to get the victory”, you may have a couple, I know, everyone does.

Added to this, I proposed to them that I write an article every week, talking about the journey to become a Creative Director. The good news is that they liked it! And instead of just writing an article, I ended up joining the team. So if you have something outstanding, make sure by tomorrow it is ticked.

http://www.adwomen.org/collaborators/

http://www.adwomen.org/2011/08/mum-i-got-a-job-in-an-agency/

 

Does Mr. Bean has a British accent?

The first British I’ve ever met was on TV and he was Mr. Bean. I could understand all episodes without knowing any single word of English (apart from the classic verb “to be” verb conjugation). I just had to look at the gestures and that’s it, easy! Our conversations were simple, I watched and I laughed and he kept doing funny faces. Years later, everything is different, I am about to finish my Masters in London and I have to face recruiters and companies with the proper British accent.

Doing a Masters at Hult gave me the chance to met people from 31 countries, just in my class. Yes! in one classroom. It feels like being in the Tower of Babel but here everyone is paying attention to the Professor. It gets me the chance to listen multiple accents (American, Filipino, Brazilian, Indian, Chinese, Russian, Mexican, etc). and get stuck with them for the next 2 hours. It is quite funny how people easily get the accent. Unfortunately we do not have a British classmate, otherwise we could improve our accent.

Actually, you don’t realize your dialect until someone make fun of it or when a person frowns while listening to you. I was wondering what will be easier, shall we all change ours to British accent or shall natives keep adapting their ears to weird pronunciation? Who knows. The main fact is that London gives this opportunity to understand, learn, tolerate and have fun with other cultures. Someone told me before I came here “In London you make friends in every corner” and she wasn’t wrong; that happens specially in summer when everyone is in a good mood. So stop reading for a second and look around, how many nationalities have you around? How many friends have you around? It can’t be the same number, otherwise you will be Miss or Mr. Sympathy. Although, if you have the chance, grab a coffee and try to talk to that person next to you, there is a lot more to listen than a funny accent.

First Impression? Let’s try a last impression

After been interviewed at Warner Music offices, I realized that 20 min. are not enough to tell people about you.  Some people say on a job interview you have up to 7 seconds to make a good impression, and some generous writers say up to 30 seconds. What? Should I carry a stopwatch for the next one?

For me, first impressions are about instinct, but lasts impressions are about skills.  Every time I walk out the door, I remember everything I should have said. Everything seems to be clear when is too late. Sometimes under pressure the mind goes completely blank, therefore in a sunny and calm afternoon like today, I’m going to bring the key points that I missed.

Q. What are the most remarkable campaigns that I remember?

Radiohead promoting the physical release of the album King of Limbs. They distributed a free newspaper at 61 locations worldwide, unlike to other artists focusing on online media, they promoted an ink-and-paper handout called the Universal Sigh was a success. Continue reading