Inside Bjork

26/10/2010

It’s been nearly a year since I discovered Bjork. I never really understood her music until one day I got it! She is like a volcanic eruption, total chaos and a million people in one. Bjork’s music is not for everyone, not many people understand it.

I mean, from the point of view of music it is crazy to put orchestra, choir, harp, little domestic beats and her schizophrenic voice all in the same pot (song). All of those ingredients (choir, harp, orchestra, beats and her voice) have a very powerful sound and often they live their lives on their own, but somehow Bjork got it and she has managed to create a melody out of a chaos.

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Knowing that the job will be given to 1 in 100 applicants in advertising, marketing or media, wanted to share few tips to succeed in the whole job hunting thing and most importantly – the interviews.

1. Don’t underestimate the power of writing. Your covering letter will be the first thing your recruiter will read. Make sure your covering letter is engaging, outstanding and written in a good language. Again, don’t use cheesy phrases, don’t try to be too clever. Besides your skills, your employer will be interested in your personality and passion for business so covering letter is where you can shine.

2. Quality not quantity. I’ve heard stories of people sending out 900 job applications before finding their perfect job. That is all fine as long as you are not copy-pasting the same thing to everyone. Quantity will not guarantee you a job interview, however, qualitative application will.

3. Read the job advert. The tone of the voice and the information posted about the company can give you an understanding about what the company is like. For example, if the company writes paragraphs and paragraphs praising themselves and few lines about the job, you can be reassured that the company is proud about their success and their ideology. So when you’re applying – play on it.

Also, apply only if you think you meet their selection criteria and truly believe you are suitable for the job.

4. Don’t apply for a job you don’t want to do. You might end up doing it and being very unhappy.

5. Do your homework. When asked to come for an interview make a good research on company’s business and clients. Get under the skin of their consumers, their strengths and weaknesses and think about possible questions they might ask.

6. It’s about who you are and what you can do. Or is it? Most of the time your background is not as important as your personality is. Advertising, marketing and media businesses tend to employ people from all sorts of backgrounds. If you have a pleasant, outgoing, fun personality which you know how to shine through your job interview you are more likely to get a job even if you are not the most qualified person in the world.

7. Be memorable. It can be unusual piece of clothing or unusual hairstyle you’re wearing. However, the most memorable accessory is your personality.

8. Don’t expect for miracle to happen. Be eager, keen and enthusiastic to learn. Keep on applying, keep on nagging and the most importantly – keep on asking questions. That is the only way of selling yourself.

Today I was doing a guest lecture in one of the high schools in Sigulda, Latvia. I was mainly talking about social politics and economics in Vietnam. The lecture went very well, I had around 76-slides long presentation which by the end of it felt a bit short. But while the kids were grasping for more, I started to think about presentations and what you should do to be successful at presenting.

1. Be prepared. Nothing gives you more confidence than knowing your topic. The audience instantly feels when you haven’t done your homework and trying to give an impression that you have might put you in an awkward situation.

2. Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm always attracts people. Even if you are talking about the most boring thing in the world (let’s say bricks), you should strive to find a point or a quality that you like so you can have a positive feel to a subject.

3. Keep a track of time. If you tell your audience that presentation will last 20 minutes then try to fit in the time you’ve set.

4. Don’t be repetitive. An audience understands when you tell them something once. There is no need to repeat the same thing in 5 presentation slides.

5. Keep it simple. Don’t use awkward words, slang and don’t try to be too clever. The best presentations are straight to the point and easy to understand. Using terms that no-one understands gives an impression that you don’t understand the topic.

6. Practice, practice, practice. That is what makes perfection.

Few days ago I was telling you about the More Nuts slash Snickers packaging I was amazed of.

While doing some Uni work, I got huge craving for More Nuts so I went to Unis’ vending machine to get some. After giving the machine £0.60, this is what I got in return:

I like my food untouched and pretty looking so that kind of More Nuts bar seemed to be unattractive to eat. Who knows how that hole got there. Well, things happen, so I decided to give it another go and get some more. As I inserted £0.10 and £0.50 coins and watched my More Nuts sliding down the chocolate isle, disappointment was yet to come when I discovered my chocolate bar being small-sized:

Surely, the man stocking it up must have noticed it.

3 truths about TV

10/03/2010

I’ve always had very weird relationship with television. Mainly because I cannot understand it.

1. When I was a kid, we had quite a few bits of old electronics lying around the house. One of them was a circuit board.

I imagined circuit board being a city. Lines were motorways and streets, all the round buttons were houses, but all the squares were factories. I couldn’t figure out what was the battery though. Battery was always a mystery to me, it seemed to be too special to be just a house, but did not quite fit the factory standard. After defining the objects I would take matches and play “Lilliputian people in the city”.

2. What really scared me back then was the news broadcaster. Often news broadcaster was a lady. As she always looked in the camera I thought she is watching me. I was convinced she knows my name and where I live.

If I would hear the news were on, I would avoid the room or enter it very slowly while keeping an eye on the screen. I would test weather the sight of the news broadcasters’ straight look in the eye changed by sliding from one side of the room to another. Yes, she was always looking at me.

Sometimes I behaved extremely good in front of TV. Ate with a good pace, sat with the straight back and showed it I am carefully brushing my teeth. Opposite was when I misbehaved. I would hide behind the wardrobe or under the desk while watching the news.

3. I often took a close look at the tiniest pixels on a TV screen. Sometimes I would sit so close that my eyes would go out of focus. I tried to capture the colour. I couldn’t work out how come the closer you get to the TV, the less colour you see. In the end I could spot only red, blue and yellow. It was only few years later when I learnt those were the primary colours who mixed and mashed all the other colours up and created the illusion of the green. Or brown. Or lightly mellow.

Luckily, I’m over the phase I thought TV is watching me. Nevertheless, I haven’t got it for 7 years now.

via

Yesterday was a big day for Apple as they launched the iPad which is basically a giant version of an iPhone. Finally you have the opportunity to carry around 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) of weight to deal with crucial day-to-day activities like sending an email to your mom, reading the news on Twitter or browsing around Facebook photos. All in no time!

Having a small chat about the latest devices, one of my course mates said that iPad is probably for Account Planners. Those annoying people within an ad agency who pretend to be more important than they are. So someone like me. Also for the ones who are addicted to Apple products and would buy them just because they’re labeled as an Apple.

Saying that, recently I converted to a Mac and I’m quite a technological geek myself. Of course, I own all the latest gadgets. You know, modern devices like film camera, stationary phone and a pigeon who is excellent at dealing with my mail.

Following video pretty much illustrates everything iPad is great at as well as it shows my personal view on this revolutionary gadget.