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Maria C Zumdick
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I'm going to start this off by saying- am I the only one who thought we didn't have to blog this week? I am probably wrong because the syllabus changed so much. Anyway... I'm so ready to be finished. I can't wait to set a final presentation date and work, work, work until then. The presentation for my first Capstone went extraordinarily well (at least I thought so), and while I was nervous to present, I'm far less optimistic this time. With our first Cintas contact no longer with the company, I wonder if the remaining staff sees this as... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
After doing the SIT communications exercises in both Innovation and Capstone, I realize that 'creative' isn't as hard as it always seemed. In my undergrad classes and at my undergrad internship, I let someone else take the creative and design reigs while I worked more on execution of other communications elements. With these SIT tools, I'm glad I have a proven process to refer to in order create unique and powerful communications pieces. The next step in mastering these tools is adjusting them for any type of campaign. In our PDMA in class, we knew we didn't have an advertising... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
John and I visited the marketing managers for the various business segments at Cintas this week. Overall the meetings went great. We got a lot of what we were looking for, but we quickly realized, 15 minutes flies by when you're having fun discussing strategy. One marketing manager said to us, "I want to use this time valuably. What do you want?" We were there to discuss their current value props and below the lines. When I replied along the lines of, "Your current value proposition." He still wasn't sure what we wanted. He said, "Do you want a tag... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
Choosing a value proposition for Cintas, once the go-to company for uniform rentals, seems like an easy task. But, as I said, the once go-to company for uniform rentals has expanded its efforts to cover a wide array of business needs. With a multitude of diverse services, its hard to create one value proposition-- especially for our target, Fortune 1000 businesses, because they are so price driven. The research shows that aside from price, the dynamic variable must be service or company performance. But how to integrate that into a value proposition? As Drew suggested in our last meeting with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
I'm having more trouble than I thought leaving the PDMA behind and joining John on Cintas. After briefing Priscilla on PDMA and handing over the project, I was proud of the work I had done and I started the think if I could do the same thing for a new project. Would the client accept my recommendations again? Looking at John's charter, progress and deliverables worries me. I want to understand everything as thoroughly as he does and be able to effectively contribute to the project. But, as me and John have discussed, perhaps fresh eyes may add new life... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
Well, I turned in and presented my Capstone for the Cincinnati PDMA on Friday morning. I am relieved to have it completed and happy to say, the suggested strategy was well-received. Now that the execution of my suggestions are becoming a new Capstone and I am taking on a new project, I thought I'd share my lessons learned. Hopefully this will also serve as a reminder to myself when working with Cintas the rest of the quarter. 1. Work on the presentation and paper throughout the entire process I knew I should have done this all along, but I never... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
Like most everyone, I'm writing about the last project review with Drew. Well, the meeting went very well. Not only did it confirm a lot of my progress and work, I also received a lot of direction for the final project. We also finally set a date for the final presentation, which while I'm relieved there's an end in sight, I'm also concerned. Throughout the Capstone process, I have been aware that at the end of this seemingly-endless journey, I'd make marketing strategy recommendations to the PDMA. This would include a communications plan that conveyed some sort of value to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
As my project winds down, I'm using this week to do intensive work on the final paper and presentation. I know what the message needs to be, now I'm just working on tying up the loose ends of the project. This weekend I started working on the brand development module and I'm clearly having trouble understanding just what I need to do. I did some research online and I understand what the components are and what they mean to the consumer, but I'm struggling to understand and decide what exactly needs to go in the pyramid and its corresponding boxes.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
"I want you to finish this up." I heard that sentence, or some variation of it, come out of Drew's mouth four times Friday. With it, the reality of the completion of winter quarter's Capstone is becoming real. We build Capstone up to be something difficult and grueling, and it is. As last Monday's class showed, it's not just doing the work-- it's building relationships and growing yourself as a professional. It's not following a step-by-step guide, but adjusting to changes and being attune to the needs of the client. As I know I still have a lot of work... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
I think my week can pretty much be summed up by Amanda's post. Grappling with what quadrant the PDMA is currently in and which they need to move to. My Skype meeting with Drew gave me a total freak out moment because we had pretty opposite opinions. While the PDMA has an extensive mailing list of names they send information to each month, I don't believe many of these people return after attending one event. After a few in-depth interviews, I concluded many people sign up to receive information, but never seem to attend an event. Additionally, many of these... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
The second I turned in my Innovation exam to Drew on Saturday afternoon, I breathed a sigh of relief. Fun, yet intense, the L'Oreal lipstick dream catalog had taken it out of me and I was ready to turn the innovation switch off for a bit. You better believe I did just that! (Apparently I'm not one who sees the tools everywhere I look.) But today, contemplating my next Capstone moves, I thought how beneficial the class was. Never in my life had I innovated products that I could realistically see in the market. Now, it's comforting to know that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
One of the first things college and professional athletes experience in their rookie seasons is media training. Public relations firms charge thousands of dollars to hold training sessions with these athletes. As you can imagine, these firms teach athletes how to handle any question and insert their own messages into answers. Not everyone leaves this training with same style or skill (Who would you rather interview- Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson?), but overall, it can't hurt. In my last post, I mentioned that I was starting the interview process and I hoped I had a sufficient topic guide. While I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
Finally, this week we got the ball rolling and I knocked out some interviews for the PDMA. I spoke with chapter presidents from Minnesota and Colorado over the phone in order to obtain some benchmarks for the Cincinnati chapter. These interviews proved very important because not only would they shed more insights on the activities of the PDMA (something I'll never understand enough), they are also important stepping stones in creating thoughtful questionnaires for the small business and member interviews and surveys I will conduct down the road. I was excited to do these interviews because I kept thinking to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
My first blog post for capstone highlighted the fact that I knew very little about innovation and new product development- the driving force behind my organization, the PDMA. Thankfully the internet and my colleagues have opened my mind to the world of innovation and new product development, but the start of the Innovation class this weekend made me feel far more comfortable with the concept. I knew it was going to be a good day (as good as a Saturday at school can be at least) when I walked in and Drew was playing my all-time favorite, John Mayer. Then,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
In my first post I mentioned that the scope of my capstone for Cincinnati PDMA stressed me out a little. Thanks to Drew's venting session, I expressed this concern and I made the decision to significantly limit the scope of the project. (I'm simply changing the research from small businesses and students/educators to just students.) Not only did our Monday night discussion on anxiety help me decide this, but I took a little tip from Oprah. (Yes, I love Oprah. Ladies, have you watched her new OWN network yet? Do'll be hooked!) Anyway, a few weeks ago I watched... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
New Year's resolutions are hard to keep and are left generally forgotten by the Martin Luther King holiday, so this year I set a few New Year's goals. Like resolutions, my 2011 goals are things I always want to do, but have never quite achieved. So, what were these goals? Well, I'll share two: stress less and read more. (And by reading, I meant pleasure reading.) Those who have known me for a long time know I stress about EVERYTHING, and usually for no reason at all. I knew that would be hard. Reading was a far more attainable goal... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2011 at CAPSTONE!
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Jan 9, 2011