How Important are Resumes?

This video is about my second professional development I attended for VSB, titled “How to: Write a Winning Resume”.

Advertisements

Going Global

The first business professional development event I attended was on September 11th and it was titled, “Preparing for Careers in International Business and the IB Co-Major/Minor”. It was held in Bartley 1011, had a pretty large turnout of predominantly freshmen, and was a Track II event. The Track II events focus on exploration of majors in coordination with college planning, and the event definitely fulfilled its larger purpose. Earlier in that day, we watched a Global Panel in my Business Dynamics course which inspired me to continue that theme of international business into my first professional development event.

The event included a panel of speakers ranging from a professor, recent alumni, and two current students.  Professor Jonathan Doh helped to explain all the nuts and bolts of the co-major/minor, including requirements for classes, and the benefits of pursuing this concentration of business. Recent graduate from the class of 2011, Meredith Altenhofen (who also was in the Global Panel), helped answer questions about studying abroad and how international business translates into a career path. Finally, William Skinner was there as the Co-President of the International Business Society as well as Kaitlyn Dormer, Co-President of Business Without Borders, to talk about how you could get involved on campus now. I’m currently involved with Business Without Borders, so I felt like I was taking a step in the right direction.

Overall, I really enjoyed the event. Walking out of the classroom, I knew that I definitely want to co-major in International Business. I was always interested in how things work on a global scale, and I know that it will be beneficial in any career path in today’s society. Since I do not know yet what I want to major in, it was great to find something that I’m actually passionate about and want to accomplish in my four years here. Since I’m already taking Spanish classes above the intermediate level, the requirements for a co-major are definitely attainable and I thought it was great that you could “double-dip” credits for international business and my chosen major. Also, I know that I definitely want to study abroad at least once (if not more) during my college career, possibly in London or Spain, so I know I would be able to fill the requirement for study abroad. Understanding the culture of a country is essential and I love to travel so I found this presentation really exciting! I also want to minor in Spanish at Villanova so I think the combination of that minor and the IB co-major would work well. I learned a lot from the presentation and was really glad I attended!

“I Failed My Way to Success”

Business Dynamics I Book Report

         Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, Inc., simply attributed his success in business to the worm farm. This worm farm was the start of his first business as a child that ultimately failed miserably. However, his determination to create something on his own is a theme that followed into the rest of his life. Among many successful leaders of a company, Hsieh recognizes the connections that past events can have on current situations. This retrospective look on his childhood activities and businesses links where he came from and where he is now. Edison once said, “I failed my way to success”. Tony Hsieh uses this quotation to tell the story of his trials and tribulations in starting, investing, and managing many companies throughout his life. He wrote the book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose in order to share his lessons and mistakes and encourage businesses to find their passion. The book is full of helpful advice, not only in terms of business strategy but also in leadership skills and ways to find inner happiness. The humor and plain language used in the book makes Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose an interesting read for all.

            Tony Hseih divided his book into three sections: “Profits” followed by “Profits and Passion”, and finally “Profits, Passion, and Purpose”. The book tells the story of him growing up, his business strategies, and his vision for creating something new or different. Similar to John Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism, Hseih acknowledges that purpose is greater than profit maximization. He feels that in order to create an individual path to success, it is important to think outside the box, be creative, and assume the role of entrepreneur. Many would find this book helpful since Hseih created a company with no sales that transformed into an enterprise, reaching over one billion dollars in sales in less than ten years. Zappos became the “Largest Acquisition in Amazon’s History” (Hsieh 1), but Hsieh successfully communicates through the text that he never found making money important. While society makes reference to this cliché, Hseih’s actions truly show his commitment to happiness and constructing memories instead of the pursuit of wealth. For example, he even walked away from Microsoft during the buyout of LinkExchange. He did not want to waste his time at the company for a year when he knew it was not making him happy, so he ultimately broke his contract and lost a lot of money at that time. There are many other instances of his commitment to passion and risk throughout his childhood, college, and post-graduate experiences.

            There are many lessons that I learned from Delivering Happiness; this is not surprising because the entirety of the book is based on advice. The first point made that resonates with me was the search for what he was passionate about. In the beginning of the book, shortly after his college career, he writes, “We didn’t know what we wanted to do, but we had learned what we didn’t want to do” (Hsieh 37). Experience and experimenting with new things is vital in finding out what you truly are passionate about, and can help find a job that does not make you want to hit the snooze button each morning. He later finds out that his passion was to prove everyone wrong. As stated earlier, he did not find money to be important in his life. He also writes, “I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life” (Hseih 53). This dedication to happiness made me step back and evaluate my own life to see if I was following the principles of happiness. The last chapter of the book is about finding your own path and is very inspiring in its call to action.

            Tony Hseih focuses a lot on the meaning of friendship. He writes that it is important to form new friendships and value qualities of peace and respect. Meeting new people is important in order to gain new perspective. He also relates this into the business world by saying, “So my advice is to stop trying to ‘network’ in the traditional business sense, and instead just try to build up the number and the depth of your friendships, where the friendship itself is its own reward” (Hseih 82). Throughout the book, he finds out that connections are important but sometimes will not come into play until three years after the initial meetings, so it is important to stay in contact. Finally, the last lesson I learned was the importance of culture to Zappos. I was initially surprised that Zappos was one of Fortune’s “100 Best companies to Work For”; but after reading about the initiatives that the company took to please customers and team members, it was not shocking anymore. Some of the things that I liked in the description of the workplace were the ten core values, the Zappos Culture Book, Pipeline professional development, and “the face game” which makes employees identify another employee by the given profile before signing onto the computer. Creating brand culture of random acts of WOWness and appreciation for the customer, including shipping upgrades, creates a unity between team members and makes the office a fun place to work. People need to realize that they should invest in not a job or a career, but a calling. With positive team and family spirit, anything is possible.         

          This book was also very helpful in explaining business aspects in a simple manner. A lot of the terms used in the book directly correlate to the vocabulary and concepts in the Business Dynamics course. Hseih talks about his experiences in doing more with less (efficiency), the Golden Rule, win-win situations, brick-and-mortar companies, and B2C companies. Above all, Zappos is an e-commerce company, so it was interesting to learn the different business facets of an online company to see the differences and similarities. It was easy to learn a lot about the nature of investing and different tactics to starting a company as an entrepreneur.   

          Overall, I really enjoyed this book because it was inspiring to see Hseih’s accomplishments and different ways of looking at certain situations. I enjoyed how the book was more of a story format, because it made the book entertaining and exciting to read. I liked Hseih’s personality and humor that was in the book and his business decisions. You could tell that he kept true to himself throughout his business career, which is commendable and inspiring. His personal focus on happiness and education is also very important. The initiative of Zappos library is a great facet to the idea of continued education and avid reading. Creating sustainability and awareness in a company is always a great thing to see, and inspires me to work for a company in the future who cares about all of its stakeholders. Delivering happiness is a concept that should be embraced by all companies and individuals in their daily lives. 

Image