Team Reflection

Next semester in IT Ruby, we will be paired with actual clients who are in need of a new website. In order to prepare for that upcoming project, we did a trial run this semester.  My team, CMADesigns, was to develop the branding and website for a campus pizza restaurant while competing with other teams for the best design.

Pizza_Project_Logo.jpg

David was the project manager, and he did a great job of making sure we stayed on schedule for each project deadline. He also paired up with Michael to design the HTML and CSS coding. Michael also designed the lovely Professor Pizza logo and optimized our images, and Chris assisted with the JavaScript coding, prepared the final financial reports, and helped with anything and everything else.

My sole job was coding the JavaScript and creating the database, because it is extremely time consuming. I had a rough start, as my knowledge of JavaScript is minimal. But I was able to struggle through it with tons of help from my professor and countless hours of  watching YouTube instructional videos! Needless to say, I am relieved we have finished up for the semester. But I am very proud of my team and happy with the end result. I look forward to working with them and the rest of IT Ruby next semester.

Marshmallow Tower Challenge

Marshmallow Tower

This week, I completed the Marshmallow Tower Challenge with Joshua, Trevor and Justin. We were able to win the challenge with a 21 inch tower built using 18 spaghetti noodles & 18 marshmallows holding a ping ball for five seconds. We were charged $100/spaghetti noodle and $25/marshmallow, and received -10 points for every $100 spent and +25 points for every inch of tower. In the end, we beat out the other three teams with a net of 305 points.

Before the challenge began, I do not believe we technically chose a leader. But Trevor and Josh were up to the task and both did very well. Justin was the runner for supplies, and I recorded our items purchased. Everyone, except me, seemed to have experience building structures like this. I was only able to offer a bit of guidance on the budget, and of course, physical labor! Everyone seemed fully engaged and interested in the project, and we were all accepting of everyone’s suggestions while making final decisions as a group. I think my A-type personality was most worried about the time limit, which probably did not help as it created more stress and nervousness.

All-in-all, the challenge went really well for us because we won! The only thing I would have done differently, is to draw out our design before diving in head first.

Reflective Practice

reflection

  1. IDENTIFY:  Near the end of my career in property management, I was faced with a dilemma when I discovered a newly hired employee was receiving a substantially higher income than me.
  2. DESCRIBE:  Normally, this information would be confidential. But somehow, it was leaked and created a big uproar within the office. At first discovery, I was fuming. I had been hired with seven previous years of experience in the field. The newly hired employee did not have any experience in property management, but was a close friend of the CEO’s spouse. Knowing all of this, I met with the regional manager and VP to discuss a raise. Things got emotional and teary due to my anxiety and their “budget.” In the end, I was given a raise, but it was not the increase I requested.
  3. REFLECT:  This discovery was a total slap in the face. It made me feel extremely insignificant and undervalued.  Going into the meeting, I felt betrayed by the company and especially by my regional manager. I have a hard time forming words when I am emotional, so I did not argue for a raise effectively. Due to this personality flaw, going forward I need to be more prepared by having my arguments in written form. Then when I freeze up, I will not have a hard time finding words again.
  4. THEORIZE:  The outcome was expected, because I knew I had lost my argument by the end of the meeting. With a better, written game plan, I am certain I would have walked away with much more.
  5. EXPERIMENT:  There is nothing I could do now to change the outcome, as I am on a different path. If I am ever in a similar situation in the future, I will do more research and have written points to reference when I freeze up. Being emotional and shedding tears in a professional environment isn’t going to get me anywhere.

The Sandwich Method

Last week, I partnered with David W. to exchange feedback on our SpaceX Dragon projects. Using the Sandwich Method, we were able to give each other constructive criticism by engaging with positive compliments,  detecting possible improvements, relaying those suggestions via constructive/positive feedback, and then concluding with more praise.

Sandwich Method

David suggested the navigation links should be an entirely “clickable” area. I totally agreed, and I am still in the process of figuring out how to make this happen. He also suggested to change the text color to black. I tried this suggestion, and it felt a bit harsh against the photos I chose. Once I improve on my web design, I will be able to master color combos and choose a better fit.

All in all, I feel this was an encouraging strategy, as there were no hurt feelings or feelings of inadequacy while receiving appreciable peer feedback.

Active Listening

In this case study, Mark showed exceptional active listening skills. After entering into a new, hostile business scenario, he was able to turn his clients’ attitude around by using some very impressive active listening skills. He listened to their concerns, and he showed his intent to understand each concern by paraphrasing regularly. In doing this, he was able to turn a hostile work environment into a much more desirable one. These skills enable us to build strong business and personal relationships, as they help gain trust by demonstrating an actual interest in what the person is saying.