Monday, September 26, 2016

Successful Team

In the past summer, I worked with a team of six individuals for my marketing internship with Red Bull. The 5 other interns and I were a team that was lead by a district manager, covering most of the northern suburbs. The distribution company I worked for is in charge of distributing Red Bull to all stores, markets, etc. to all of the suburbs on the North Shore of Chicago. Our boss would contact us every morning with the project for the day and we would communicate with each other who would get what part of the project done. The district manager that acted as my boss (the only higher up employee that I communicated with) is in complete charge of all distribution in his district and does not take orders from others, just reports results. At the beginning of the summer, our boss asserted a very structured, excellence-oriented plan to achieve our goal for the summer.

Many of the methods that he used resembled many of the features that a high functioning team holds very similar to Katzenbach and Smith’s. Having a simple hierarchy structure that was lead by the most experienced, knowledgeable employee of the company was our key to success. I would say that my team was highly successful because of the structure and goals that were established at the beginning of my team’s work term. My team understood our boss’s expectations and his leadership and communication abilities allowed for everything to go smoothly. Whenever there were issues our boss would reach out to us and we would go to the area to take care of the problem. I do believe that one of the greatest reasons for success is because the company I worked for was more worried about quality than timeliness. My company was not interested in just fixing problems but they want to make sure everything is done right. Red Bull is a company that prides itself on its clean image and consistency, and my team made sure that we held that standard. Companies that are more worried about fixing problems fast often have less success in the long run. Our goal was to keep all costumers happy and do our best to maintain any issues that stores had with their Red Bull coolers and displays. Our boss never gave us deadlines, all that he asked was that we get as much done within the work day as possible while making sure that the quality of our work meets the quality of the Red Bull brand and Power Distributing, the company in charge of distribution for Red Bull in the states of Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana.

One thing I want to emphasize is the importance of having a higher figure to direct the team in the right direction. Our district manager did an incredible job of staying on top of his tasks as well as letting us know what we need to get down in order for everything to run smoothly. When you look at different parts of a high performing team, you have to make sure all is working well in order for things to go the way that you want them to. One weak member in a group can cause the entire project to crash since everybody is not in sync. Our group was grateful to have a manager that not only cared about the betterment of the company, but also making sure each part of our team was doing their job the right way to ensure that the distribution of our product ran smoothly and we did our jobs to the best of our abilities.

Friday, September 16, 2016

When I look back on my life, I look at my junior year of high school as the time period that I was the least opportunistic. I quit my fall sport out of laziness and my grades also dropped. With more time and less commitment, I should have never allowed myself to reach my lowest point academically in the most important year of my high school career. I lost motivation to maintain my prior academic standing and paid for it later on when I didn’t get in to all of the universities that I applied to. That was the first time in my life that I looked back and thought to myself that I wasn’t achieving my max potential. Since my senior year of high school I have been better at staying on top of my work and putting in the time necessary to be a better student as well as a person overall. Time management is one of the most important things to consider and get bad at when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities. I believe that people who spend their time wisely and know how to manage their time miss out the least on important opportunities in their lives. Instead of using the time I gained my junior year to make my life better, I dedicated more time to hanging out with friends and playing video games than I did to doing homework and preparing for the ACT. If you stay on a tight schedule and understand when things are supposed to be done by, then you will find yourself to miss fewer opportunities and take advantage of situations when you have to. This past week, I took advantage of an opportunity in my life by going to the career fair. By doing so, I put myself in a better position to receive and internship next summer and a job in the future. My friends that didn’t attend the career fair all now regret their decisions. By being on top of my life I was able to prepare myself to talk to dozens of companies and get my resume in the hands of many potential future employers. It is a good feeling to know that you have gotten the ball rolling on getting a job for next summer when it is only the beginning of the school year. Last year when I was a sophomore, I also had this same opportunity and I had passed on it. Because of that, I didn’t find my summer job until April and was very stressed out in the spring over it. I made it impossible for myself to regret my effort to start this school year by staying on top of my work and starting my job search. Having less stress also allows for me to perform better in many different aspects of life. Knowing that you are not achieving your highest potential because you are not taking advantage of opportunities is something that really wakes you up in life. Being disappointed in my failures my junior year of high school and sophomore year of college has allowed me to recognize what the most important things in life are and what I must do to achieve them. I have responsibilities in life as a student and I need to make sure that I take care of those responsibilities under any circumstance. Moving forward, I am going to stay on top of my life more and make sure that I do not catch myself missing out on the important things in life. I do not want to find myself in another situation in which I feel that I haven’t done my best.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Transaction costs are basically sacrifices or 'prices' you must pay in order to participate in the market. To put it simply, when you make a decision to participate in the market you make your decision to make a choice based on the benefit that you would receive the deal being made. However, in order to gain from the market you must have to give something up, and what you give up is considered the transaction cost. For instance, if you are in an organization that is going through a merger with another organization, it is because both parties will benefit. However, each organization is going to have to pay a certain price in order to make that merger happen. This can create disputes over club dues, the name of the organization, who takes over the executive board, etc... In my years here on campus I have been a member of the Sports Business Association. SBA has grown exponentially since I first stepped foot on campus. Last semester, we merged with another sports networking RSO and were lucky enough to see very little transaction costs. We were able to keep our name, our mission statement, and the majority of the executive board since our club had grown far more successful and well known on campus compared to other sports business clubs. Overall, I would say that the merger was a success for the organization as a whole as we had far less transaction costs than the other organization that we have since merged with. Our organization is now much larger and well run than it was before, and we did not have high transaction costs. Because of this, I conclude that our merger was a success. A company or organization takes a risk every time they make a mark move similar to ours, and they have to hope that their return is going to be higher than that transaction cost. If my organization were to lose our name or high number of executive members I would consider the market deal a loss. Although the other organization was able to survive that lose a large amount of their identity and work put into the organization's creation. Another organization that I am a part of is my fraternity. Currently, we are undergoing a high amount of pressure from our house corporation to change our pledge ship completely. We are doing our best to make agreements that reflect the interests of both sides to avoid conflict and remain the same fraternity we have been for over 100 years.

In this instance however, I do not feel that I am getting the better end. Our transaction costs are very high as many new rules are being implemented and the level of freedom that we once used to have has changed, along with important things like the ritual. This is an example of when a higher power knows that they have the final say so they know that can have less transactions costs since we can not put up much of a fight. It is stressful to know that our organization is slowly changing for the worse and we are starting to lose the identity that we once carried. At some point you have to decide whether it’s worth taking the risk to not listen to the higher power or if you should give in to those transaction costs and create a very large change in the organization you were once a part of. Moving forward, I hope that we can agree to a deal that allows us more power and less change- therefore giving us less transaction costs.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

George Akerlof Econ 490 fall 2016

George Akerlof is famous American economist that shared his knowledge while teaching at the University of California-Berkeley and Georgetown University. These two institutions are globally regarded as some of the top educational facilities in the word. "The Market for Lemons' is by far the most talked about and important article written by Akerlof. The title is misleading however, as he is actually referring to the market of used cars. Lemons refer to cars that are purchased but turn out to be defective. Since a consumer doesn't know if they are getting a top of the line car or a possibly unusable car (a lemon), the consumer is only willing to pay a price somewhere in the middle to assure the consumer has some safety behind his or her purchase. I have not heard of this economist before but his beliefs and thoughts relate to many of the topics we will be going over in class.