Adobe Summit 2016

Vegas Baby! Adobe Summit 2016

3/23

Hello from Las Vegas! Coming to you from the beautiful Palazzo Hotel, the last few days have been quite a ride. I can now say that I have been in the same room with George Clooney, Donny Osmond, and Abby Wambach. Along of course with many other very intelligent and influential people (but come on, George Clooney? <3). This conference has been cool for a lot of reasons, from the practical applications to my job and seeing George Clooney, to the less tangible but maybe more important impact and motivation of seeing and listening to people who are truly passionate about they do and what they have been able to accomplish. I have big goals, and I have talked about them in previous posts, but what I have only mentioned in passing or perhaps skipped on is the the pressure I place on myself and the doubts that sometimes creep into my mind. This is true both in school and in the professional world. I don’t want to just be good at my job or get decent grades in school. I want to excel and I want to climb to the levels that those who inspire me have reached. Two speakers in particular today touched on those motivations. The first was Abby Wambach Adobe SummitAbby Wambach, who should really come as no surprise as an inspiration for achieving goals. However, it wasn’t her accomplishments on the field that struck me, it was her desire to have a real impact on the world outside of soccer. She has undoubtedly already made a huge impact, in particular on young girls who see her as the example of making dreams come true and being a strong, independent woman; but she wants to do more and impact more big issues that are facing our world. Her quote today was, “I am willing to do the work, and I am not scared.” She isn’t afraid of doing the work, but more than that she is not afraid of it being hard. As someone who is also willing to do the work and is not afraid of it being hard, my question would be is she afraid to fail? It isn’t something I like to admit, but there are times that I fear failing to accomplish goals and fear falling short of my ambitions. Sure, you can always, and should always, learn from failing, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging to face or somewhat disheartening when it happens. I put a large amount of pressure on myself to accomplish and I do not like to think about the possibility of not accomplishing what I set out to do. I think that is true of most people and it is one of the reasons for this blog, to talk about the fact that those fears exist and how you learn from them and push through them.

The second speaker that really struck me was a bit more of a surprise. Richard Dickson is the COO of Mattel, also known as the creators of Barbie and Hot Wheels. His talk was much more marketing and brand centric, but at at conference where the theme was experience and storytelling, he stood out. Not only did he present a great story about Mattel, how they lost their way, and how they’re reconnecting, but he made me, and I believe many in the audience, reconnect to their memories of playing with these toys. Barbie and her recent transformations were heavily featured as an example of how Mattel wants to be an innovation and imagination company and that they had to disrupt the world they had created, without completely reinventing the Barbie brand. Where Abby was inspirational from her accomplishments and motivation as a person, Mattel was thought provoking in how a brand maintains its authenticity through a storied history and how it can find its way back if it goes astray. I think it was one of the best talks so far (though Clooney’s section scores high because he is George Clooney and his hilarious in person)

More later!

3/24

On the way home, unfortunately waiting for a delayed flight,  but I suppose that gives me time to recap for you. The last few days have been an exciting, exhausting, and awesome Adobe Summit 2016whirlwind.The Summit gave me a lot to think about as I develop content and strategies in my professional career. It also gave me a lot to think about to think about in terms of my own goals and accomplishments. I listened to and spoke with  some of the best in my field and in others, and it served to strengthen my resolve to be one of the best at what I do. The theme of this summit was creating experiences for consumers, not just content, and I have to say, Adobe did a good job in creating the full experience for their customers as this summit. They showcased heir technologies in effective ways while getting attendees to really think about not only how to incorporate Adobe products, but on how to be a better marketer. Sure, they were trying to sell software and grow their business, why else would you make an investment to host 10,000 people, but they were also contributing to making markers better in the face of a changing consumer landscape.

Throughout Summit I also made some great connections who I plan to stay in touch with and even meet with soon. Some were Michigan based, others were not. One of them is the CEO of a drone company who I will be visiting when I am out in San Diego next month. It should be an exciting trip.

I will leave you with a few of my favorite highlights of Summit and Las Vegas. If you would like a more complete view of my trip, check out my Twitter, KJacoby26, to see all the sessions I live tweeted from.

 

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homemade granola

Sunday Shenanigans 3/20/16

Whew, what a week.

First off, I promised my followers on Twitter updates from the ACHA Women’s Nationals last week. As much as I hate to fail on delivering, I don’t think anyone can hold it against me as I was busy celebrating UMD’s DOUBLE OVERTIME WIN!!!!!!! What a way to end my sister’s organized hockey career. The weekend as a whole was an emotional roller coaster; the semi final game also went into double OT. I have to send a shoutout to my sister’s bud and fellow senior  who scored the winning goal for not only the semi final game, but the National Championship game. Topping it off, little sis was named MVP. It is crazy to think she will be graduating in just over 2 months; I’m not sure I’m ready to feel that old.

UMD Women's Hockey ACHA National Champions 2016

As is usually the case, a crazy weekend with little quality sleep (and way too much junk food)  was followed by an equally crazy week. This was the kind of week that exemplifies the difference between working and being a grad student and life as an undergrad. Having a crazy, exhausting weekend as an undergrad can be rectified by a nap after your classes on Monday. In the real world however, the day doesn’t end at noon and there are no afternoon naps. This week was packed full of to dos with tight deadlines, the need for my creativity to be flowing at full power, and meeting after meeting after meeting. It was long, and there was sleep deprivation involved, but it was a very successful week. I slacked a bit on keeping up the blog, but my professional projects thrived. Our new company website launched, I signed a client to a new project, and found a few new potential leads. On the school side, I was not quite as productive, unless you count submitting my FAFSA. I did some studying on Friday and felt good with the content, even the part that I hadn’t looked at in over a week. The midterm is next Saturday for my accounting class. I’ve printed out the formula sheet and the practice problems and I have several hours on a plane this week as I head out to Las Vegas for the Adobe Summit. While I am not thrilled with the amount of effort I have put into this class, I do feel confident in my ability to do well on this midterm. If this was any other class though, I think I would be in trouble. Moving forward I need to be a little stricter with my study schedule, if for no other reason than my sanity. Even for a class that I am comfortable in, I hate the feeling of being behind, it kick starts my worry bug. I know my class coming up in May will require a lot of reading and writing which means there will be no slacking off. I am however, looking forward to that class. I have heard good things and I think it is more of the type of class I was looking forward to in pursuing my MBA.

Finally, for my Sunday Shenanigans, in addition to scrambling around making sure my house is cleaned and I am packed for traveling for 3 days, I decided to make homemade granola (hence the featured image for this post). After the first round I have to say, it was really easy and totally delicious. Greek yogurt and granola has become my new favorite breakfast recently, which would seem strange to anyone who has known me for a while since I used to dislike both of those things (I have a thing with textures). I am not sure what caused the switch, or my sudden lack of aversion to nuts, but I am not complaining. The one downfall of this healthy and tasty meal is the fact that most granolas, and in fact a lot of yogurt, has a very large amount of sugar in it. I am generally pretty good about avoiding extra salt, bad fats, and most processed foods, but my downfall tends to be sugar. Not because I am chowing down on candy, though I do love my Dove Dark Chocolate Promise after a run, but because of things like salad dressings, fruits, which is natural sugar but still requires moderathomemade honey vanilla granolaion, and apparently granola. So, to keep up my breakfast routine without adding the extra sugar, I turned to Pinterest for homemade recipes. Check out my Rise and Shine Breakfast board for all the recipes I found, there are some good ones. The one I decided to try out first was Honey Vanilla from Southern In Law. I may end up making some tweaks as I continue to make granola, but this was pretty darn good with honey as the only sugar. I used regular rolled oats instead of gluten free but I did take her tip to use the egg white to help form clusters. If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out!

So now that I have caught up on the blog, made a healthy snack for the plane tomorrow, and gotten the appropriate amount of rest, I think it is time to get my butt in gear for a workout and packing! I’ll be tweeting from the Adobe Conference in Las Vegas this week, so be sure to follow along and check back here for my highlights and adventures.

 

Best,

Katherine

 

Sunday Highlights:

Sleep: 8 Hours

Work: 2 Hours (packing and work prep)

Study: Probably not

Workout: Run and booty day with POP Pilates

 

growing in business, career growth, succeeding

Breaking Through Walls

Walls. Hoops to jump through. The glass ceiling.

Whatever you call them, there always seems to be barriers and challenges in life. Earlier this week was International Women’s Day, which cast a strong spotlight on the success many women have had in facing down these challenges, as well as the challenges that continue to present themselves. I won’t go political on you and delve into the conversations that have made up much of Hillary Clinton’s platform, but I will admit that the stories that overtook social media this week had me further contemplating some of the challenges I have faced and my means of getting through them.I mentioned in my last post a story from HubSpot that described finding inspiration in unlikely places. That was a timely read as soon after posting I was facing a creative block on a project at work.  I sought out inspiration, tried “thinking outside the box,” and bounced ideas off colleagues. Yet, nothing compelling fell from the creative tree. I left work frustrated with myself and feeling a bit defeated. It wasn’t until got home and took a long run that I was able to clear my head and finally find the inspiration I was searching for. In letting my thoughts roam and relax I was able to open the floodgates. What I really needed was to take a step back and remove the pressure I had placed on myself to come up with a great idea. Becoming hyper focused on any one task or goal can often cloud your vision and make it harder to accomplish anything.

Now, a creative block is different than a glass ceiling and many other barriers we face, but the same tactic of taking a step back may be what we need to overcome them.Giving yourself a break or approaching an issue from another perspective can make all the difference in not only accomplishing your goal but putting yourself in a positive mindset to move forward.  It is easy to get drawn into frustration, anger, or jealousy when it seems that our goals are being pulled further away. We can feel it when a subject in school does not come easily to us, when career advancement stalls, or when we are unable to find a solution to an issue. I have faced each of these and many others and am guilty of submitting to my own frustrations. In each case, my way back to progress started with a step back and a deep breath. It doesn’t always happen right away, there have been times where my frustrations have affected me for weeks or months, but as I have grown I have become better at recognizing the need to relax and refocus. I am a full proponent of taking charge of your path and making things happen, but I also realize that there are times when I need to be patient and accept that there are things I cannot control. I have set ambitious goals for myself and I will never stop trying to achieve them, but I will also do my best to make sure that I maintain a healthy and happy life with as little self inflicted stress as possible.

My decision to go back to school was rooted in the desire for career advancement, as I feel that my MBA will help me reach the positions I am aiming for. While I am in class I know that I will feel the stress of tough subjects and papers, and I am sure I will have more moments of frustration at work. My personal challenge will be remembering that I am working to see my goals through and that despite setbacks, I am getting closer. I hope that you are able to remind yourself of the same as you face your own challenges.

 

Best,

 

Katherine

Pinterest success, strawberry basil avocado toast

Monday Motivation 3/7/16

Alright, I missed my weekly Sunday Shenanigans post; I traded blogging time for dancing around my house while cleaning. While that led to a rather productive day, it meant that I didn’t get to share my excitement of my successful Pinterest recipe. Now, I have tried plenty of recipes from the site and seen a high success rate in creating tasty meals and desserts. I have even created some cute DIY crafts. However, most of my Pinterest efforts lack the visual appeal of my inspiration. Not this time! It may only be avocado toast with some strawberries and balsamic vinegar, but my creation was just as pretty as the picture! It was also delicious. With that in mind, this also serves as my motivation Monday post. I have over 10,000 pins on Pinterest (I’ve been on the platform almost since it started) and have attempted less than 100 of them. This includes my failed attempt at those so called easy up dos (easy for who?!). This success should motivate me to tackle more of those great ideas; assuming school doesn’t absorb all my time and my soul.

Speaking of school, I took the entire weekend off from studying. If you read my post from last Friday we talked about the need for rest days. Well I didn’t intend to take 3 days off from school but I do not think it will hurt me in the long run. In fact, I went back to work today feeling refreshed and without the weight of tiredness on my shoulders. It was a nice feeling. Now that the work day is over, it is time to tackle the workout before dinner and Bachelor Night. Judge if you will, I know I did at first, but spending Monday nights with friends making dinner and laughing at reality TV is in fact fun. Though I have to admit, last week I felt really bad for one the girls. If you watch the show, I’m sure you know why. Tonight is the Women Tell All episode which I am sure will be entertaining.

I will leave you with a little more Monday Motivation; here are 4 unlikely places to find inspiration via HubSpot. Hope they help! http://bit.ly/1M3aFzI

Best,

Katherine

Monday Highlights

Sleep: 8 Hours

Work: 8 Hours

Study: 1 Hour reading

Workout: 2 mile run, POP Pilates Total body day

 

 

@tcukerfluff, break from grad school

Fri-YAY and Rest Day

TGIF!

Whew what a week. While productive weeks like this one tend to go faster, they also take a lot out of you. This week was probably one of my hardest in terms of motivating myself to study. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the fact that my Accounting class is online with only the midterm and final as grades and the material is not currently difficult, it can be easy to push it off. I’ve been able to force myself back into school mode but I should probably spend some extra time this weekend going back over the material to make sure I actually absorbed it. There was more than one instance when I was reading about Process and Activity Based Costing and after finishing a page I wasn’t sure I could tell you anything I just read.

This brings me to what I want to talk about today: rest days. They may seem like a luxury that you don’t have time for in your busy schedule but the truth is that they are a necessity in keeping you healthy and productive. I am just as guilty as anyone else in skimping on rest days and pushing myself too hard, both in fitness and in carrying out my work and school responsibilities.

On the fitness side, I have been lucky enough to not seriously injure myself as a result of pushing too hard. I have however experienced more than one instance of knots and inflammation in my muscles. Not only did this lead to unpleasant soreness, but also my STL gym buddy (who happens to be a Physical Therapist) Amy yelling at me for being dumb. In one of these cases my fellow gym goers were given some free entertainment as Amy basically “shanked” a knot in my calf with her knuckle. There were a lot of facial distortions and some swearing that took place. Whether you are working out to lose weight, stay in shape, or relieve stress, your body needs time to recover. There are many opinions saying how much time you need to recover or how many rest days you really need, but it really comes down to how intense your workouts are, what your fitness level is, and at the end of the day listening to your body. Your body is capable of incredible things, but it is also very good at giving you signs that it needs a break. By not allowing it to recover you are not only opening yourself to injury and other negative effects (decreased immune system, fatigue, etc), but you may stop seeing results from your training. If you don’t want to spend the whole day lounging, do an “active rest day” where you do light exercise (walk, yoga, stretching) just to get the blood moving. Keeping the intensity down lets your body recover and you still get to feel accomplished.

Now for the school and work side of the coin. This one can be a little tougher when you are working with deadlines and a heavy workload. Sometimes taking an entire day off just isn’t in the cards. My 4 week coding class in January combined with my work responsibilities did not allow for a day of trading reading, homework, and work for Netflix. However, that amount of mental stimulation and need for focus demanded that I build in breaks or risk burning myself out. While I couldn’t take an entire day off, I made changes to my schedule to make the most of my workable hours and give myself time to reset. I set days and hours that I would dedicate to homework and applied my undergraduate trick of 45 minutes to an hour of studying 5-10 minute break. This is a trick I learned in my psychology class; taking breaks actually helps improve memory and absorption of the material. I planned my workout schedule to so that I gave myself a break between the work day and studying and let myself sleep in on my fitness rest day. Those 4 weeks were still stressful and exhausting, but they could have been much worse if I hadn’t allowed myself to recover.

Now that life has calmed down a bit I have made the effort to give myself those full rest days to chill out and regroup. I did not do as well this week with giving myself proper rest and I saw the effects of that when I was studying. With that in mind, today may see limited review of Accounting during lunch, but then I am done for the day. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, Friday nights should be dedicated to something fun and relaxing, not studying. I will be a much more successful student when I pick up my book on Sunday to review after taking a day off.

 

Best,

Katherine

Friday Highlights

Sleep: 7 Hours (stayed up too late watching the GOP disaster, I mean debate)

Work: 9 hours

Studying: 1/2 hour review

Workout: Light stretching and walk with Tucker (follow @tuckerfluff on Instagram for all of his adventures)

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

 

Everyone’s morning routine has a few consistent elements no matter the day, that is what makes it a routine. Breakfast may change, the order may fluctuate, but there are those tasks that always happen. Part of my routine is filtering through my emails, discarding ones I do not need or have no interest in reading. Along with the ridiculous amount of promotional emails I receive, I subscribe to several publisher newsletters including theSkimm, HubSpot Marketing, and Fast Company. A few days ago one of the headlines in Fast Company read ” 5 Words and Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life.” The argument of the article is that by changing a few common phrases in our lives we can change our outlook and behavior, and thus our level of success. Sounds an awful lot like the inspiration clichés of “think it, do it” or “success begins between your ears.” While we tend to tune out cliches, the article’s main point is true none the less and the changes Professor Roth recommends are all changes that I agree should be made to our daily vocabulary.

The two swaps that jumped out to me were swapping “can’t” for “won’t” and “have to” with “want to.” As as general rule, I agree with the advice that the word “can’t” is one that should be limited in its use. The swap for “won’t” is fitting as it speaks volumes about the reality of many situations. “I can’t” do something is often an excuse foe not wanting to do something. “I can’t workout because I don’t have time,””I can’t go back to school.” How many of these are situations where we are fully capable but unwilling to exert the extra effort required to see something through? “I won’t trade TV time for the gym.” “I won’t commit the time and money to get my Masters.” While there is nothing inherently wrong with deciding not to pursue school or (sigh) workout, blaming that decision on an inability to do so is letting yourself off a little too easy. As for “have to” and “want to,” this swap focuses on trading the negative connotation of “have to” for a positive. If you approach something with apprehension or distaste, it will undoubtedly affect your experience and likely your success in seeing the task through. I don’t necessarily want to do my accounting homework, but I do want to complete my MBA and that homework is part of doing so. Looking at it another way, I want to get my accounting homework done so that I can enjoy my weekend. These swaps in language play a large role in changing a mindset, which is known to be connected to success rates.

It is easy to say that changing your mindset will help you achieve. Like many things in life, it is easier than said than done. There will always be days when you “have to” get things done and days where you would rather collapse on the couch than continue to work. Life as a grad student brings many of those moments and they can seem overwhelming or down right crushing. These are the moments where your mental strength and the decision to maintain a positive mindset will make all of the difference. Sometimes the first step is changing your daily language to reflect that mindset.

 

Are there any language swaps you make to change or maintain a positive mindset?

 

 

If you are interested in reading the original Fast Company article, follow the link                 —>http://bit.ly/1pp8SAc

 

Best,

Katherine