Tag Archive: Balance Sheets


“Can’t decide whether you are a Democrat or a Republican …”

Bless these two students, who on separate occasions, refreshingly relayed their puzzlement to your author.

Almost DailyBrett does not believe that classrooms should ever be the venue for the indoctrination, let along the formation of young warriors in the fight between noble socialism and evil capitalism.

Gee … maybe … just maybe these students are smart enough to make up their own minds on these issues?

Even though long-time Almost DailyBrett readers and contemporaries know or at least suspect your author’s political predilection, it was rewarding to know at least some of my students weren’t so sure … and that is how it should be for all professors or instructors.

There seems to be a contagious disease among tenure-track or tenured academic types (e.g., professors and instructors) that university students are there to endure for hours on end their personal political pontifications and bloviations.

Is that why students are taking out loans averaging $30,000 each, waiting tables or asking mom and dad to dig deep … real deep … for their college education?

Don’t think so.

Buy Low, Sell High

As Almost DailyBrett fondly looks back to more than five years teaching public relations, integrated marketing, corporate communications and investor relations, one particular moment always brings back tears to the eyes.

More than 30 of my Central Washington University PR students chanted in unison … “Buy Low, Sell High!” … at my retirement party.

Upon receiving the Central Washington University Department of Communication Faculty Spotlight Award, they gathered around me for a group picture. Your author will always remember this moment.

Isn’t Buy Low and Sell High the essence of capitalism, particularly publicly traded corporate capitalism?

The answer is “yes.” Keep in mind that buying low and selling high is easier said than done. More importantly this phrase is the backbone to the practice of fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the 54 percent of Americans investing in stocks and stock-based mutual funds.

America’s investor class — planning for retirements, funding higher education for their children, opening up a new businesses — require accurate and complete communication about a company’s business plan, financials and simply … how does a corporation make money.

The highest expected communications professional compensation levels … usually in six figures … are directed to students adept at financial communications, who are studying at today’s schools of journalism and mass communication.

Almost DailyBrett believes wholeheartedly the purpose of universities/colleges is to prepare students to attain and sustain salaried professional positions with full benefits … and maybe even employee stock purchase plans (ESPP) and/or stock options.

Universities and colleges should be professional schools, providing students with lifelong learning skills and tools to succeed in our increasingly complex digital world … including beating artificial intelligence (AI).

If students wish to Occupy Wall Street that should be their choice, not their command.

By the way, how did that movement work out?

Students should always be fully aware of the imperfections of Capitalism. For example, watching The Smartest Men In The Room (Fortune’s Bethany McLean’s tome on the Enron bankruptcy) was required for each of your author’s Corporate Communications/Investor Relations classes.

In addition to the aforementioned Fiduciary Responsibility, a publicly traded company needs to complement this requirement with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Besides doing well, a company should be mindful of doing good … including giving back to communities, protecting the environment … that make success, possible.

Certainly, students can be taught to live in tents, recite cumbersome theory or rail at the world back in their own bedrooms at mom and dad’s house.

They also can learn how to decipher an income statement, a balance sheet, a cash-flow statement and to understand the significance and formulas associated with market capitalization, earnings per share (EPS), and price/earnings (P/E) ratios and related multiples.

Looking back at your author’s professorship, there is no doubt about political disposition. There was also a comprehension that students are to be prepared for the professional world, and many of these graduates have done well, real well.

And if a couple of students or more, can’t tell whether Almost DailyBrett or any other professor/instructor, drifts left or right that’s the way … it should be.

 

 

 

Really?

Did you just say that to a hiring manager?

Please tell me you didn’t just say that to a hiring manager?

Do you expect this person/organization will now magically hire you?

Have you ever heard of ROI?

Would you know ROI even if it bit you?

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)?

June is the traditional month for white weddings, skating the Stanley Cup, college-and-university graduations, and oodles of newly minted graduates sending out cover letters, resumes and hopefully preparing for interviews.

people1

Are hundreds, if not thousands, also warming up the tried-and-true: “I really work well with people”? Maybe these folks should take that phrase and $4.00 to Starbucks for a grande mocha with no whip. Or maybe just the $4.00?

If you are pursuing a career in public relations, employee communications, marketing, investor relations etc., wouldn’t working well with people (e.g., target audiences, stakeholders, colleagues) be a minimum prerequisite for any job?

If the hiring manager returned fire, and asked you to provide examples of how you really work well with people, would you be gasping for air?

Maybe you should be approaching this interview in a different, less-predictable way.

Maybe you should put yourself in the shoes of the manager and rhetorically ask: “What’s in it for me?” At that moment, you realize that really working well with people doesn’t pay the bills.

Think of it this way: the hiring manager’s organization has to expend its limited capital to hire you. You offer your precious college degree. That is only your ticket to play the game. And you “really work well with people.”

What else do you bring to the party?

Buy Low, Sell High

The cardinal sin of job candidates heading into interviews is being clueless about how a company or agency makes money.

If an organization is going to spend capital for your salary and benefits, wouldn’t it be a good idea to know where this money comes from?

Almost DailyBrett strongly suggests that job candidates arm themselves with two differentiators:

1.)   Experience above-and-beyond the college degree

2.)   A working knowledge of the organization that is taking the time and effort to interview you and check your background (let’s hope it is a clean background).

Your resume, which can exceed one page if you have the data to support a greater length, should highlight with quantifiable results your work experience, particularly communications-related internships, projects and jobs. Be prepared to discuss your experience (e.g. summer internships with a PR agency), what you accomplished and how you interacted successfully in a team environment. (Isn’t that better than the generic: “I really work well with people”?)

If the hiring manager’s organization is publicly traded or if the hiring manager’s agency represents publicly traded clients, then you have a literal treasure trove of research available to you with just a few clicks on your mobile and laptop device.

incomestatement

After answering questions about your direct experience, can you imagine posing interrogatives to the hiring manager based upon your knowledge of the company’s income statement, balance sheet, CEO annual report letter or the company description in its required 10-K filing to the SEC?

Ditto reading the financial and industry analyst (they are not the same) reports about the company or the clients, represented by an agency.

If a company is going to hire you, wouldn’t it be nice to know that the organization has the means to pay you going forward. Don’t forget the axiom: Last hired, first fired.

“Why do you want to work for us?”

There is a nearly 100 percent chance that you will be asked some variation of the above question.

For some this question is a wicked curve to use a beisboll metaphor. For you, it should be a lazy soft ball ready for you to clobber it.

This “Why do you want to work for us” question is a great opportunity to reveal that you have done your homework. “Reading financial analyst reports this past weekend, I noted that (insert company) name is a market leader in the provision of … How can I use my digital and conventional media skills to support the company’s business strategy?”

All interviews come to a close with the hiring manager asking the applicant if she or he has any questions. And of course you will be ready, particularly with questions that show interest in the opinion of the hiring manager. (People love talking about themselves. It’s human nature).

people

And instead of sneaking in the traditional-causing-the-eyes-to-roll “I really work well with people,” you could instead talk about how you have been a team player and provide specific examples of how you have worked with others in accomplishing great goals.

Every organization needs good people, who work well in team environments, who bring solid experience to the table and who know the difference between revenues and net income (yes, there is a difference).

And they also know what the acronym, ROI, stands for.

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interview-you/qt/working-with-people.htm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/11/15/the-20-people-skills-you-need-to-succeed-at-work/

 

 

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