May 23, 2010 - 11:00 PM
This Friday, I went with my business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi to the Nike world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon (near Portland) to listen to a panel of speakers and learn about the company and the industry. I have been up to the Nike campus before, and once I set foot on the campus I once again fell in love.
Life at Nike is unlike any corporate environment I have ever experienced. Employees wear jeans and the latest Nike shoes, hit the gym in the middle of the afternoon, and compete in intramural sports and activities through the year. They also negotiate with and mingle with some of the top athletes in the world. But beyond the casual atmosphere and the glamour of the sports world, these employees get stuff done! Nike is the leading sportswear developer in the world and the top shoe manufacturer, and they are always evolving and creating new and innovating products.
On this specific trip up to campus, we met with several directors and executives from different departments. In this panel, the Nike pros talked about their experiences, jobs, attitudes, and advice. It was great to learn even more about the company. There were representatives from marketing, finance, digital media, international business, and transition management from several different departments. When the Nike pro from transitions management introduced himself and his position, I had never heard of his department. Nike has a completely separate department dedicated to keeping up with new technologies and making sure the organization, suppliers, and consumers keep up with the technology. The example he gave was ordering product. Before all the new technology, orders were placed via mail or via telephone. Then, orders were placed with fax machines. After a while, the fax machine was replaced with email. Now, Nike is in the process of working with suppliers to place and receive orders via a separate online database. The man said that within the last ten years, every company in every industry has had to dedicate time, man power, and resources to transitions management, and it is now a necessity to keep up with the rapid changes we are seeing in technology. This seems like a very interesting line of work, and something I will have to investigate more as I continue my job search.
After the great panel, we walked around the campus and learned about the facilities. We walked into a few of the buildings (all of which are named after the top Nike athletes). The first building we went to was the Tiger Woods building. Each building has a display case with memorabilia from the athlete's personal and professional lives. The Tiger Woods display showed his first golf bag, which he got when he was only a few years old, school photos, and a newspaper article written about his amazing golf talent when he was only 6 years old!
We then headed over to Mia Hamm building to meet with some product developers and innovators. Nike is known for their continued innovation and constantly evolving products. Where does all this magic happen? The innovation kitchen! My group and I were able to tour this very exclusive part of campus and meet with one of the innovation directors about what is coming up next for Nike. A lot of this information was confidential, so unfortunately I can't share. All I can tell you is that, once again, Nike is in the works to plan some great new products.
I had a great experience with my business fraternity up at Nike, which ended with a trip to the infamous employee store and a few new pairs of shoes!
May 20, 2010 - 4:00 PM
Every term, my business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi participates in an intramural sport. The intramural sports here on campus are a great way to participate in a new sport or to keep up with an old one. In the past, I have played flag football, dodge ball, volleyball, and basketball. This term however, we played soccer. Coming from a huge soccer family and playing soccer for 15 years before coming to Oregon, I was pumped to clean the dust from my cleats and get back on the pitch.
I was not the only soccer veteran on my team, and there were quite a few of us who grew up with the sport. In the past, our team has been less than stellar. Although we always played with heart and had a few great laughs, we hardly made it past the first round of playoffs. This season with soccer, however, was a different story.
After four games of the regular season, we had a 4-0 record and were the #1 seed. Yesterday was the first game of playoffs and we were pumped and ready to go. Unfortunately, we went in a little too confident and did not come out victorious.
Congrats to the AKPsiclones on a great season! It was a blast and will be cheering you on as an alumni when you take the field again next spring!
May 17, 2010 - 1:30 PM
Yesterday was the third annual silent auction event for my business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. For the last two years, we have partnered with Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Valley to raise money for their organization. This year we had some great baskets, including a wine tour to Willamette Valley Vineyards, a two night beach house vacation rental, season tickets for the 2010-2011 Oregon Women's Basketball season at the new Matt Court, and a signed Oregon Football from some of the Oregon football players. We had over 30 baskets in all, and by the end of the evening raised well over $1,000 for the Boys and Girls Club.
Since I was on the committee to plan and organize the silent auction, I had a very busy weekend full of last minute shopping, basket assembly, and setting up. All of the hard work was definitely worth it though, as all of the money raised this evening will go to help children within our community.
A big thanks to everyone from the community who came to our auction and bid on some of the baskets, and another big thanks to all the local Eugene businesses who donated money or merchandise to help us make this auction possible! This was such a great event, and I am glad I was able to be a part of making this possible!
May 12, 2010 - 4:00 PM
This week for our weekly Alpha Kappa Psi meeting, we had the honor of having guest speaker Tim Boyle, CEO and President of Columbia Sportswear. Columbia Sportswear is an international sportswear company based in Portland, Oregon. Boyle provided us with an overview of their company, and how they came to be where they are now.
Columbia started in the 1930s as a family hat business. Although the business has stayed in the family since that time, it has evolved into much more than just a simple hat company. In 1972, Columbia doubled in size and quickly became a million dollar company within one year. As a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, Boyle quickly became CEO and President at a time when the company was growing but struggling to keep up with the changes.
In addition to talking about the history of past of Columbia, Boyle also talked about the current state of Columbia Sportswear. With tough competition in a very competitive market, they are currently using acquisitions and distribution strategies to guide their company into the desired market position. Columbia focuses their efforts to create innovate products, technologies, and communication. While Boyle described some of the new technologies that Columbia has introduced or plans to introduce soon, it was very hard to understand the technical jargon he used. He said this is the exact problem the marketing department has. A lot of money, time, and resources have been invested into the development of these new technologies, but it is all useless unless the consumer can understand what the technology is and what benefit it is to them. This was such an interesting point, and really got me thinking about how this may be relevant to other companies as well.
Boyle then discussed briefly the marketing campaigns used by his company in the past. Currently, Columbia is using "the Great Outdoors" campaign. In the past, ad campaigns have featured Boyle and his mother, Gert Boyle, Chairman of the Board. These commercials show Boyle and his mother dueling, with Boyle being protected from his mother by various Columbia products. I have included a few of these commercials for you to watch. They are pretty funny, and I can remember seeing some of them on TV recently!
Overall, it was great to hear from an Oregon alum that is now running a billion dollar a year company like Columbia. Having someone like Tim Boyle take the time out of his very busy week to come to Eugene to talk to us was a huge honor, and I am so glad we got to hear him talk. I learned a lot about the company, the industry, and the business world from his talk, and it is one of the many reasons I like being a member of Alpha Kappa Psi so I can have these amazing opportunities.
May 9, 2010 - 11:30 PM
This week was a very relaxing week. The sun was shinning and bright, and the street fair was on campus. After my class and work on Friday, I met my friend Brandi to explore the street fair. We found presents for our moms for mother's day, ate some great Thai food, and relaxed in the sun. Suddenly, I heard cheering from the EMU Amphitheatre and a beautiful, familiar sound-the sound of On the Rocks.
On the Rocks is the men's a cappella singing group here at the University of Oregon. They sing every Friday at the EMU an also do several shows throughout the year. I first heard On the Rocks while visiting my sister on campus when I was still in high school. The harmonies, melodies, and original compositions of popular songs mixed with entertaining dances and moves were unlike anything I had ever seen. It was love at first sight.
When I was a finally enrolled as a student at the University, our On the Rock Fridays became the routine. I had class until 3:00, and would go home and buy us smoothies at Dux Bistro with my dorm food points and meet my sister to listen to On the Rocks. It was a great way to start my weekends. But since my sister has graduated, I have been neglecting and forgetful about going.
Recently, On the Rocks has been making news. Several viral videos of their performances have surfaced as viral videos and gained national attention. Their video of Bad Romance (below) even was mentioned on the Twitter page of Ashton Kutcher and Joe Jonas.
I have definitely been missing my boys, and am so glad I had the opportunity to see them again. Next weekend, On the Rocks is having an anniversary show where alumni are coming down to sing with all of the current members. My sister is going to come down for the show, and it should be a great performance! I am very excited!