Monday, November 1, 2010

Long Time, No See

So, I know I've been neglecting this blog, but let's be honest, my life has become not my own. After completing my internship, I've had two major events: the Oxford short course and my study abroad at European Business School in Germany. I'll try to give a bit of a recap of the last couple of months. And I'll make it short and sweet.

The Oxford short course was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. It gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of Pepperdine students that didn't study at the Malibu campus and I certainly made friends for life. Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to, and this history is astounding. I've actually returned there once since the course ended in mid-August. In addition, the lecturers were fantastic and the facilities were very nice. The title of the course is "Global Enterprise Management," so most of the lectures had to do with global issues and emerging markets. Seeing as this is what I want to do with my life, I found the lectures to be extremely engaging. In addition, we had the opportunity to go to London and do other tourist-y things. The trip really helped me realize how much I wanted to live and work in Europe. In addition, the more time I spent in England, the more I've thought about pursuing a PhD. I would love the opportunity to study and conduct research in England, so it is something that I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. Overall, the Oxford short course was fantastic. Dr. Park was a great professor and I can't stress how much fun I had.

Directly after the Oxford course, I flew to Germany to begin my orientations at European Business School. My time here has gone by so quickly, and I have been working non-stop. It's been insane. I try to travel as much as I can on the weekends, but I find the course load to be quite challenging and there is a lot of it. I am taking some great courses in marketing (including automotive brand management) and have figured out what my dream job is: brand manager at BMW in Munich. In order to achieve this, I have to learn German fluently, which will be something I work on over the next couple of years. Oestrich-Winkel is gorgeous, right in the middle of the Rheingau, where all of the Riesling grapes are grown. I've had some of the best experiences of my life here and am really sad that I have to leave in the next two months. I would highly recommend the school to anyone who is interested in a challenging program. In addition, EBS is highly connected and offers a lot of opportunities. For example, I got to work on an international team for an innovation workshop hosted by Porsche. We were asked to identify key trends over the next 15 years and provide a future concept for the 911. It was a great opportunity and I had never got to accomplish something like it.

Needless to say, the last few months have been jam-packed with experiences. I'd be happy to answer any questions or have conversations with anyone who is interested in knowing more about EBS or the Oxford program. Unfortunately, I have to get back to work as I have a case assignment and a presentation this week! I'm sorry for my neglect. I won't be so long next time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Final Countdown Begins

So, I know I've been really not good at keeping this blog up-to-date the last month, but it's been getting more and more crazy as I'm getting ready to head abroad. I'll give you a quick recap:

I've finished up my internship. I got to work on some rad projects toward the end: brainstorming communication strategy for upcoming titles and competitive research. This is more aligned with what I want to do in the future (dream job: brand manager @ BMW). I did so much market research and analysis and don't mind the work, but did get bored with it over time. I completed my big performance analysis and worked on research regarding media mix and performance. I got to compute some correlation coefficients and finish up some presentations. These presentations were presented by my manager to execs at Fox (very exciting)! So, what did I do after finishing up the internship?

Vegas! That's right. Three days of sun and nothing... It was fantastic. Now, I'm back in LA and getting my life in order. I'm heading to London in about a week and a half for the Oxford Short Course with Professor Park (great Finance teacher). I'm really excited about that, as volcanoes ruined my last trip. Right after I finish at Oxford, I'm heading to Frankfurt to begin studying at EBS. I get to take this great course on Brand Management in the Automotive Industry (right up my alley). I think that everyone should go abroad if they have the chance. I'm saying this preemptively, but you need to know pretty early in your time at Pepperdine if you want to go abroad. We applied for partner schools within the first few weeks of being at school, so be alert if you do want to study outside the U.S. I'll update you more as my adventures begin. There's a strong contingency of Pepperdine peeps studying in Europe this year. It's going to be a blast.

Also, here are some other Pepperdine bloggers you may want to check out, seeing as I'm quite the mess right now :)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiver Exam...Here I Go

I've been studying for the IT waiver exam for the last week and a half or so. I've been reading the book that is suggested in the study guide for the waiver test. I was worried because I'm leaving August fifth for Europe and wasn't sure I would get to take the exam, but luckily, the exams are now online. Last year, the exam was given during welcome week, and I will definately not be here for that. Anyways, I'm still feeling rather nervous because I've never actually taken an IT course, but I did work in the networking industry, so wish me luck!

The last two weeks have been insane. Between the World Cup, studying for the waiver exam, and work, I've had little time to even think about my upcoming move to Germany. I'm sad that Germany lost today, but Spain deserved the win. They played very well and Germany was just not playing as well as they had been.

My internship at Vizeum is quickly coming to an end. I've got next week and that's it. I've been working on one major project for the last week for both Home Entertainment and Theatrical releases. Essentially, we wanted to look at films that had a media allocation that was significantly different from the average. I was able to find a correlation coefficient (Professor Hahn and Ko, thanks for preparing me!) between the number of standard deviations from the mean the media spend in a particular territory was and the performance of that film (using yet another revision of the performance index, this time using % adjusted spend and % admission). We came up with a lot of interesting findings, including the fact that generally, films with significantly different media allocations tend to perform more negatively than positively. That being said, some territories were much better at media allocation than others.

I've also been doing some competitive research for upcoming titles, which has been really fun. I get to research films that are being released near the time a Fox title is being released. Who doesn't love a job that involves watching trailers and reading about plots for upcoming releases.

Finally, I have one more thing. Check out the international
trailer for the new Predators. It looks like a blast.

Peace out :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hofstede Strikes Again!

This is going to be short and sweet.

I first heard about Hofstede and his work on cross-cultural dimensions in my OB class first semester. Lo and behold, he did not stop there. The next time he appeared, it was in my OT class. The last time I saw him, it was during my cross-cultural management class last semester. Now, I wasn't entirely surprised to see him in any of those classes, but here I am, minding my own business, and boom! He's back. I've been studying for the IT waiver exam and, once again, the man appears. It's rather impressive. His research ends up in almost all of the management texts that deal with cross-cultural differences. You can check out some of his work here. I did not expect to see him again, especially not in an IT text. But there you have it. He's a legend.

No news on the internship front...same old, same old. Peace out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Finding a Place to Live on Another Contintent is Difficult...

...It turns out. The last two weeks have been a little bit of a mess, so I apologize for the late post. Between work and finding a place to live in Germany, I've had very little time to myself.

Over the last two weeks, I've come very close to finishing the performance metrics project I've been working on for the last couple of months. All I have left is completing the new charts, which makes me so happy. As fun as going through all this data has been, I'm ready to move on. My next project is creating a pivot table for the 2009 media buying financials, which I've been working on intermittently throughout the last month.

The much more exciting part of my life is figuring out where I'm going to live while I'm studying at EBS in Germany. It's been quite the experience. First, EBS doesn't have any dorms per se, instead, they own a number of buildings with various flats in them. That being said, the university housing is limited. Second, housing is leased on a first come, first serve basis. What does that mean for someone living on the West coast? Emails get sent out between 2 and 4 am with housing offers. By the time I get to work and am able to check email, all of the housing has already been rented. Finally, I found a way to beat the system: keep my phone on all night and check email as it comes in. Needless to say, it took be four tries, but I finally got this great single flat in a back house in Hallgarten about 3 km away from EBS. This is great news because I have an over-whelming need to control and plan things, and this was something I was losing sleep over.

I hope all your fathers out there are having a great father's day. I've got four more weeks of my internship, so things are quickly coming to a close. Have a great week!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Data: Why are you so difficult to track down?

My first order of business to let everyone know that my friend Lindsay and I have been writing about our gastro-escapades at our 321 Eat! blog (click here to check it out). We've had a great time eating! We hope you may have a great time reading...and then eating :).

Okay, moving on. The last few weeks have been rough at my internship, mainly because our data keeps on changing, which is extremely frustrating for me because I have to keep updating our databases. Basically, this project has gotten a bit more complex. Initially, I was just creating a performance index, but I have been working on a number of other metrics as well including admissions per capita and cost per admissions using an adjusted media spend by title and country. To give you a taste for how much data we're talking about, I'm doing an analysis of 11 films on 23 countries with about 20 variables per film. That's a lot of numbers! Now, initially I thought my job was done, because I had done a quality control on the spreadsheet and found all of the kinks, but then I found out my boss wanted me to create a fully-updating document, which means rebuilding the entire spreadsheet to include source documents and a whole lot of linked cells. Great, I can totally do that. It will take time, but it's definitely something that I can handle (y'all will get so good with Excel. It's like, a miracle program!).

First, I need to gather all the source documents, most of which are at Fox and not readily available to Fox. So we start contacting people and I get the first round of data in. I'm a bit OCD, so I start checking this new data with the original data we had (I did not build the first spreadsheet, I just updated and QC'd it, so I wasn't sure if the numbers were good). Of course, I find tons of discrepancies. This is troubling. We want the data to be as up-to-date and reliable as possible. Making a long story short, I've gone through a number of data revisions due to the fact that none of the data from the various databases match up. I'm just crossing my fingers that this is the most updated version of the data and I will no longer have to swap the data out.

The great thing about this spreadsheet is that it is going to be fully update-able in the future. All one has to do is switch out the original data, as long as everything is in the same format. There are dozens of charts and formulas that will be updated every time data is switched out and/or updated. Life will be so easy! Also, the spreadsheet has all of the original source materials in it, which makes it easier to track down where the numbers came from and check quality. There will also be two different ways to display the data: by territory and by title. This allows users to not only see how a film did across territories, but also see how different films did within a single territory by benchmarking against territory-wide standards.

Anyways, it sounds tedious, and it is. But it's also really interesting to see the patterns that begin to emerge. U.S. films are doing really well in some of the emerging markets including Russia, Brazil, and Malaysia. Europe is a more difficult region to compete in, especially because their domestic film markets are doing really well. I get to go back to work tomorrow. I'm hoping to finish the project up this week (I'm keeping my fingers crossed).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Note on Professors

Okay, this week's blog I thought should be on the importance of choosing your professors, since y'all are going to get to do that soon. First, I'd urge you to talk to the second years about their experiences in different classes, but I would caution asking a lot of subjective questions. I know that everyone has their different ways of choosing professors, but I feel like a lot of people rely on other peoples' opinions or go to a website like Rate Your Professor. There are a few things wrong with this, some of which I've experienced first hand.

I did get to talk to some of the second years when I was choosing classes and found that a lot of their experiences were vastly different from mine with different professors. It became obvious to me that my goals in the program were different from others' goals. When people suggest professors, they're suggesting them based on their goals and experiences, but as we all know, history does not always repeat itself, especially with different players. I learned that asking questions about professors that are objective was the best way to evaluate my professor choices. Here's a few rules of thumb that I found worked for me:
  1. Know what you're looking for in grad school. If you're really focused on your grades and want to take less challenging courses in order to ensure a good GPA, professors are going to be harder to research. Some professors that were easy one year became more challenging the next. In addition, not everyone defines the word "easy" the same way. If you're looking to challenge yourself, then ask questions regarding work load, project types, etc. There's nothing wrong in either approach, it's just a matter of what you want to accomplish.
  2. Try to challenge yourself in the subjects that you want to pursue. I want to go into marketing when I get out of grad school. Not only will I be taking more marketing courses during my time at school, but I'm also looking to take teachers that I know will push me. I'm not saying that you have to take the most challenging teachers in every subject, just the ones that interest you the most.
  3. Try to find a professor that has a teaching style that meshes with your learning style. When researching professors, try to get a feel for the way their classes are structured. Some professors lecture for a full four hours; others have discussions and lecture; others have group projects in every single class. I learn best when the classes are interactive, so I try to find professors that aren't lecturers.

Professor selection is important, but remember that classes are only seven weeks long. Everything goes by so fast that there's rarely time to dwell on anything too long. It makes for a really interesting, fast-paced environment. It's great for people like me that get ADD after a few weeks of studying a single thing. There's no time to get bored. Before you know it, you've got midterms and then finals. And it's time to start again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's Been a Week...A Crazy One at That.

This past week has been a bit hectic. My best friend Lindsay and I made are first trek to a Los Angeles restaurant and blogged about it. We're really excited to share our amazing food escapades with everyone. I'll post a link soon, we're still trying to work out some kinks.

I have been trucking along at my internship. I began work on the performance index, once again. I was pretty sure it was finished, but alas, that is not the case. So it's back to the drawing board. I have a feeling that as soon as it is done, we'll get 2009 data and everything needs to be started over. Oh well. Anyways, beyond that I've been working on the financials project in between my work on the performance index. It's been a lot of number crunching, that's for sure. I'm not such a big fan. Or I am, but I need something creative to tide me over.

Sorry this is such a short post. Despite the craziness of the week, everything gets condensed into a few key projects for me. I'll try to post mid-week this week in order to better remember everything that went on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The UN Gets Back to Me (I'm that Important)

When I fill out online forms or send an email to a generic email address, I never think that I will actually get a response. That's why I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the UN did, indeed, receive my email and wrote me an email back. As I mentioned last week, I was looking for definitions of an urban population in a number of countries. I wrote the UN an email asking if they knew the exact definitions for a number of countries that I was missing. Unfortunately, they did not. They did, however, give me links to the statistics websites for various governments. From there, I was able to direct my questions directly to the governments of the countries I was looking for. Again, I filled out a request for information form. We'll see if they get back to me :).

Beyond an email response from the UN, I worked on the final pieces of the performance index and began working on a financials pivot table. I also had the pleasure of taking a day trip up to beautiful Santa Barbara, where I lived for one year (I went to UCSB for a year, and promptly wasn't for me). I hadn't been up there in at least a year and had a wonderful day walking up and down State Street with Lindsay. We then went to one of our favorite restaurants, Piatti's for a linner (lunch/dinner). It was just as good as I remembered.

Anyways, I'm getting ready to go hiking in the lovely Malibu Canyon state park (I believe there's a state park for hiking, I should probably look it up).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another Day, Another Week

It's been a long week... I'm really close to finishing up the performance index at my internship, so I'm really excited about that! The index has been through a number of different iterations, and I'm sincerely hoping it's the last. I got to do something I never thought I'd get to: I emailed the UN to ask them for a definition of what constitutes an "urban population." I'm waiting on them to get back to me (I have my doubts that they ever will). Basically, we're trying to get a feel for the volume of traffic to see various titles, and in order to do that we've focus on an urban population rather than the entire population for each country. We feel that the urban population is representative of movie-goers because rural dwellers have less access to theatres.

During my research, I found that each country has a different definition for what constitutes an "urban population." This caused some problems, because we needed definitions for each country. I managed to find they holy grail of urban population definitions in a UN document, but unfortunately, there were some major countries missing. I figure if the UN doesn't have definitions for these countries, they probably don't even exist.

After I'm finished with this performance index project, I will start working on 2009 financial data and creating pivot tables. Exciting!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm going to get back to it!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back to Work, Back to Work

Tuesday was my first day back at work after two and a half weeks of crazy school time and then non-travel. It was nice to have a break, but I'm definately ready to be back! I will be working four days a week from now on, so I'm hoping for some interesting projects!

I'm still working on a performance index for 2009 titles. It's been a refining process, with still a lot to be done. I've also been working on some presentations that focus on creative marketing ideas (it's amazing the amount of advertising space there is in a European tube station, check it out
here, or here). I really wish LA had a more developed metro system, I'm pretty much in love with tubes and trains.

Moving right along, my friend and I are going to start a food blog this summer. We're going to eat at a new restaurant every week and then share our experiences (with pictures, of course!). We've got three months before I have to be in Germany, so we're going to eat as much amazing food as we can!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Volcanoes, Please Don’t Erupt When I Have to Travel…

So, the last few days have been quite interesting. I was meant to get on a plan and fly to England for the Oxford short course, which I was really looking forward to. But alas, Iceland, your volcano has been pretty hard core. Instead of learning about Global Management in Oxford right now, I’m sitting at home, watching television and trying to figure out what to do with my life (alright, just for a few days, I start my internship again next Tuesday).

I got my fish back, Butch. I had given him to a friend to take care of while in England. It’s nice to have him back; he’s my buddy while at home. He’s also really pretty and feisty. He’s a Beta. I digress…

Here's a little about me. I'm currently an MS in Global Business student at Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management. I just finished up my first year (phew!). I graduated from UC Irvine in June 2009 with a BA in Business Economics. I'm a huge fan of reading (Russian classical novels, anyone?) and writing poetry in my free time. I used to take lessons in classical Egyptian dance, which I hope to continue this summer while I have a bit more free time. I'm currently working as an intern at Vizeum Global Management, which I started at in January.

I’ll just give you a bit of a recap of what my internship entails. Vizeum is based in London and is owned by the Aegis Group. Vizeum is an international marketing strategy and media buying agency and the Santa Monica offices service a single account: 20th Century Fox. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a performance index that analyzes how different titles perform in different markets. It’s been really interesting because trends begin to come out when you look at different genres in different markets. For example, some countries tend to over-index in Family films, while other markets tend to over-index in male-skewing films. I know I’m being vague here, but I can’t be more specific (sorry!).

That’s pretty much it for now. I’m going to go try to find something to do…I haven’t felt this free since school started in August. It’s a bizarre feeling. It worries me a little.