I don’t have as many years of experience as most, if not all of the people reading this, but even in the short amount of time I’ve had dealing with communication on a professional level I have noticed many changes. These changes have varied from the way newsletters are sent out, to the way social media is utilized, to the way dealers are supplied with information and resources, and more. With these changes in the way communication is done and knowing the previous changes of communication before my time, it is very reasonable to think that it will be a fluid and ever changing thing in our lives, so I’m very glad that I have been able to learn the newest techniques and be at the cutting edge of communicative technologies with my time with Stellar Industries.

The area I encountered this the most was when I was helping work on the new Stellar Industries distributor site.  In my perhaps biased opinion, I think it is a much better way to communicate to Stellar Industries’ dealers and make sure that they have every resource that they could possibly need.  Even better, they can have all of that in an easy to use and secure way, for both the employees of Stellar Industries and the end user. Overall, It was a great experience because I was able to make something that will benefit Stellar Industries, its dealers and its customers for the foreseeable future, but also because I was able to learn how to make a user friendly and secure website through WordPress, the web builder tool that we used.  There was a big learning curve involved with using WordPress, but it proved to be worth it in the end.

Change of Pace

Summer break being here means an almost complete switch of what I will be doing with my time.  Instead of having a heavy workload in school and working few hours with Stellar during the week, I will now be able to work many hours and have just a light load of schoolwork.  I started at Stellar last Monday, but have a complete break from schooling until June when I will start my online course(s).  I am enrolled in a five-credit physics class through Iowa Western and may be taking a speech class, also online, through NIACC at some point this summer.  Although it will be different there are plenty of bonuses, such as the communication at Stellar being much better because I will actually be present and the fact that I won’t have to actually go anywhere to go to class.  However this summer works out, it will feel good to get back into a routine, which I haven’t been in since the week before finals. It is good to be home and I look forward to seeing everybody when I start coming in every day!

The Spirit of Self-Starting

From a young age, I’ve always enjoyed selling things in a creative way, especially if it wasn’t something my friends or classmates were doing or haven’t thought of doing. It’s an exciting thing even on the small-scale end of business that I have been on. Before high school, it was nothing more than trying to sell key chains I made at an age I can’t even remember. After being discouraged due to the lack of success there I didn’t do much of selling for a while.

I started making t-shirts in middle school for different groups around school, from sports, to student government, to anything that wanted a t-shirt. This continued through high school and I was fortunate enough to become the guy people would come to if they wanted a shirt designed and printed, but it took until my junior year to see this as a business venture. I still designed for the school sponsored activities free of charge when asked, but I sold to groups that didn’t have anyone to make shirts for them that I thought would buy shirts if given the opportunity, such as the student section at basketball ball games. I did this for my last two years of high school, which was exciting, but the real excitement didn’t come until I started selling online. I would get excited just seeing that five more people had viewed it, let alone bought it. Today on what I have uploaded I have nearly 8,000 views and nearly 100 sales, which I feel is a good start. Designing t-shirts is nothing more than a hobby so the fact that I can get paid to do it is incredibly exciting.

Even more exciting, however, is knowing that I took the initiative to think about what people want, made a product that I thought fit that criteria and people bought it. This is a big reason why I enjoy working at Stellar. Through my internship I was able to spend a lot of time with many different departments, and this is exactly how Stellar came to be and how it is run today. This may be a quality that many companies possess, but it has never been so evident to me than with my time with Stellar. Both through that internship and in my industrial engineering class I’m currently enrolled in, the importance of knowing what the customer will need before the customer even does and filling that void has been highly stressed and I completely agree. My enjoyment in this way of thinking also was a big part of way I went to Iowa State to pursue engineering.

Being thankful this holiday season

The holiday season, especially for me as a student, means a lighter workload. This gives us much more time to focus on what is most important, family and friends. Just getting finished with Thanksgiving break for me means having to go back to class after a wonderful week of enjoying my hometown and being with friends and family. It also means that I had plenty of time to reflect on what I am most thankful for.

On top of the long list of things I am most thankful for are the people in my life: family, friends, old teachers, new professors, classmates and coworkers, old and new. Not only has my life, values and paths been directly affected by all of these people, but also my life has been a lot easier because of them. Rarely have I found myself in a situation where I have needed help or guidance and have not been immediately able to find it, and for that I am extremely grateful.

A close second on my list of things I am most thankful for is having the opportunity to grow up where I did. Not only am I thankful to grow up in the Midwest United States, and not only am I thankful to grow up in a small town, but I am exceedingly thankful to grow up in Garner, Iowa. The opportunities that have come with growing up where I did were incredible. With speaking to other students at Iowa State University that have come from much larger high schools, the amount of activities I was involved in while attending Garner-Hayfield/Ventura high school is unheard of to them, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The large workload I put myself through in high school from the various sports, clubs, activities and musical groups thoroughly prepared me for the equally large workload in college, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Thanksgiving is a time where you are often challenged to think about and appreciate all of the good in your life, and this Thanksgiving is no exception, especially with some of the terrible things going on in this world, some of which happening in our own country. I feel it is important to be thankful because it helps me realize how much people have done for me and to realize the debt I feel I have to all those people. To some extent I feel like I will never be able to replicate the wonderful things that people have done for me, but I feel it is my responsibility to try. Because of this I am challenged to be a better, kinder, more helpful person. If you haven’t yet, take some time out of your day to remember what you are thankful for! Happy Holidays!

Working Remotely

Working remotely at Stellar while attending college at Iowa State University definitely comes with challenges, but I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to do so. One of the challenges that comes with my situation is time management, especially when I have a heavy workload of homework or studying for several exams. Of course schoolwork takes priority, but I still hold myself responsible to finish projects for Stellar. I have a large break in between classes that is very nice to use to work on Stellar projects, if there is one for me to work on. It is a nice break from my normal schoolwork, not because I don’t work just as hard at it, but because it is usually much more enjoyable than calculus, chemistry or anything similar. Another obvious challenge is communication, but so far that has been overcome through clear and concise directions through the use of email, and over the phone.

A main reason why I have enjoyed my time with Stellar is that I have gained real life experience and now have a good idea of what I need to be working on and becoming better at while at Iowa State. Recently in class we have been going over various functions of Microsoft Excel and some basic coding, and I feel well ahead of the game just from the time I have spent at Stellar from my internship and working remotely. I look forward to gaining even more experience from future projects and whatever comes my way. Go Cyclones!