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My posts complaining about school and my non-existent life will no longer dominate my blog.

I have finally completed the MBA program from the University of Nevada!!

This last semester was incredibly difficult as I had to juggle a FT job and 4 classes/week.  At the beginning of the semester my friends laughed at my schedule.  Halfway into the semester my friends asked, “How are you holding up?”

Surprisingly well!

And now the semester is over and it could not feel better!



Grad Student Dilemma Triangle

I have an exam on Wednesday, so naturally I have decided to do ANYTHING except study.  This includes posting a new blog 🙂

I was fortunate enough to skype with my boyfriend the other night.  In the midst of complaining about studying and not having a life, the boyfriend decided to draw me a little diagram (and narrate it in a Russian accent).

Based on his diagram, you can choose 2 (AND ONLY 2) of the following:

  1. Social Life
  2. Sleep
  3. Good Grades

You can have a social life and sleep, but then your grades will suffer.

You can have a social life and good grades, but you’ll need to sacrifice sleep (heck no).

Or you can have sleep and good grades, which results in ZERO social life.

I apparently have chosen the ZERO social life route.

Advice from Dad

When I first started my first big kid job, I remember talking to my dad very informally about the working world and how to be a kick ass employee.  I’m not sure if he even REMEMBERS giving me this advice, but through our conversation he provided me with “suggestions” to succeed.

My dad, at one point in his career, was an authoritative figure.  Similarly to a physician in a hospital or a CEO in a corporation, he was more or less “the head honcho” in his position.  He was the judge in a courtroom.  Thus I took his suggestions very seriously and have remembered these tips he provided me with.

Tip #1 – Arriving early can have its benefits

My dad vented for a good 15 minutes about that employee who may show up early but waits until 7:59am to actually walk through the door.

Plop in their seat.

Get their coffee.

Mingle with the co-workers.

Then finally sits down to work at 8:45am.

45 minutes wasted.

Arriving early and waiting in your car until the exact minute you’re required to start work is a negative portrayal of yourself in your boss’s mind.  You are that person who is unwilling to do more work than he/she has to.

Those, however, who showed up early (when they could) and got work done before the clock started was positively rewarded.  “Yes, you can leave an hour early today to go to your kids recital.  I have no problem with that because you show up an hour early each day to work.”  He said it was easier to reward those who put in extra effort than those who did not.

Tip #2 – Smokers Beware

While this might seem a little discriminatory, my dad avoided smoking employees like the plague.  Why?  They require several 20 minute breaks throughout the day.  The more smoking breaks = the less productivity you’ll get out of this person.  Just think, 3 20-minute smoke breaks equate to 1 hour.  That is 1 less hour of productive time than your fellow peers.

So just a heads up to those who smoke:  You may be damaging your opportunity to land a job due to your habits.  And if not, your co-workers may not be too happy  about the countless breaks you take while they’re busting their butt to get work done.

Tip #3 – What kids?

This last tip is slightly more discriminatory than Tip #2, however it’s reality in most work places.  Even though I don’t have kids and I don’t intend on having kids for a long long while, my dad told me to never, AS A WOMAN, mention children in an interview.


Unless you’re working for an incredibly family-centric work environment, leave “My children…” out of an interview.

There is a reason why interviewers are not allowed to ask whether or not you have children.  This is a small factoid where potential employers often discriminate.  Why?

  • This means she has PTA meetings
  • Her kids will get sick
  • Her kids are priority – not work
  • Plays, dance recitals, carpools, soccer practice

All reasons why a woman may have to call in to work or leave early/arrive late.  All reasons why men tend to dominate the work place.  They can devote 100% attention to work than most women often cannot.  And even though this discrimination shouldn’t happen, it does.  So ladies – just know that interviewers may very well be wondering your commitment to the position, your co-workers, and your subordinates VS. your children.  Rather than focus on your children and their school plays, you can focus on more positive interview-friendly topics such as how important your career is to you or how you’re ready to devote the time needed to fulfill your job duties.

Professional Hand Holder

To start off with – I apologize for my blogging hiatus recently!  My school workload this semester is crazy, so blogging gets the shaft sometimes.  Oops.

I wanted to post something about business etiquette.  Specifically – timely responses.

The Problem

One of my ULTRA-HUGE-MEGA-CRAZY Pet Peeves is when you email someone and they





If it weren’t my job – if it were my personal life – I would call this person out.  I’d return the favor when they’d email me.  I’d accidentally always forget to email that person back.  But when it’s business, it’s bullsh*t. 

A good portion of my day is spent creating follow-up reminders for emails I send to people with the assumption that they won’t email me back and I’ll need to follow up.  Of those reminders I set for myself, about 90% of them are actually needed.

90% ???????!?????

So another good portion of my day is spent sending a follow up email, “Hello <insert name here>, have you have a chance to read my previous email yet?  Your response would be appreciated.”  …. and then again the following week…. “I still have not received a response, please contact me back as soon as possible.”

Now if this were just one person, I’d be okay with that.  Slightly irritated, but I’d understand.  BUT WHEN IT’S 90% OF THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH??!  This is ridiculous.  Why can’t an email be returned?  I am requesting very basic information.  I am requesting that you do your job.  Why do I have to hold your hand and set reminder tasks every 1-week to ensure that I receive your response?  This shouldn’t have to happen.


My boss specifically taught me courtesy when it comes to emails.

Some of this I learned in school, some of this I didn’t.

One of the things she emphasized was to email someone back within 1 business day.  Even if you’re unable to complete the request – email the gosh darned person back.  “I received your email but I’m swamped right now!  I apologize – I’ll get to this tomorrow/next week/asap.” 

I do not understand why people can’t simply reply back, “I don’t have that information at this time, I’ll get it to you as soon as possible.”  I set up tasks for myself to return emails promptly – why can’t others do the same?

Work Mistakes

I was at work the other day walking back from my lunch break behind another gal who works in my building.  She was wearing a lovely little summer dress that I would have KILLED to be wearing instead of black pants and blazer in the 93 degree heat.  I asked myself, “Why don’t I ever wear anything like that to work??” and then I realized….

Her dress was extremely short!

When we are at work, there are specific expectations of us.  Some are explicitly stated in policies, and some are implied.  This was both explicit and implicit:

1.  Don’t wear a dress that is too too short!  The general rule of thumb is to keep your dress no shorter than just-a-little-above your knee.  Anything shorter than this can either go against policy or send a wrong message.  This can be hard during these wonderful summer months, but avoid the skimpy hem line.

2.  Calendar AM vs PM – Have you ever set up a meeting for 1am?  There was an intern in our office who realized that he had accidentally set up a meeting for 1am.  He didn’t realize until after the meeting was “over do.”  The person he sent the meeting invite never noticed either.  WHOOPS!

3.  Stairs Please – I know there are some mornings that I want to skip the 5 flights of stairs and push the little elevator button, but I try to remember that the remaining 9 hours of my day will be spent sitting at a computer.  Take the stairs if you’re able to – heck, it may even save you time from all of the elevator stops up to the 4th floor.

4.  Be Courteous – Respond to emails – even if you don’t have time to do the work for a specific email, at least respond to the gosh-darned email!!  “I got your email, but I apologize I am completely swamped.  I will have this completed for you by Tuesday end of business day.  Have a great day!”

Cell Phone Security

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1.  Password Protect – I never wanted to password protect my phone for the longest time because I felt that if I lost my phone someone would be able to return it more easily if they could access phone numbers inside.  I quickly changed my mind when smart phone became more prevalent and not only were people losing their phones, but they were stealing phones as well.  Password protect your phone!  This will protect any data you have that resides on your phone.  I don’t want strangers looking up my parents phone number, my friends addresses, and my personal photo albums!

2.  Avoid Sensitive Data – Cell phones are easier to hack that personal computers.  If it isn’t something you wouldn’t want others to steal, do not keep it on your cell phone!  Some people keep password information in a cell phone application – Don’t Do This!  Others keep personal information/addresses/financial data/sensitive data on their phones – Don’t Do This!  Also – fellow GenY’ers – think twice before you take/send a scandalous photo – you never know who can intercept your message.

3.  Encrypt When Possible – Not all cell phones encrypt their data.  Most Smart Phones have applications for encryption (although I have never personally tried these apps).  Find out if your cell phone has encryption abilities.

4.  Voicemail Passwords – Surprisingly, most people don’t utilize passwords for their voicemail accounts.  Did you know that without a voicemail password it is incredibly easy to hack someone’s messages using spoofing software?  True story.  By enabling a password for your voicemail, this can drastically reduce chances of someone hacking your voice messages.

It’s Always Personal

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It’s Always Personal

by Anne Kreamer

Create a secure password!

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Ok so while the password I have created below and in the video might be a LITTLE too long or complex, it’s the basic concept of utilizing Phrases, Upper/Lower Case letters, numbers, and symbols.  Have fun with it!

Password Creation

  1. One good technique is to take a phrase or quote that you like and use the first syllable of each word. 

Early Bird Gets The Worm – EBGTW


  1. Don’t forget to include lower case/upper case letters



  1. Now add numbers to the beginning, middle, and/or end



  1. Last, change a letter (or two!) to a symbol



And the new password created is



It’s a very simple process to creating an incredibly complex password.  Just be creative and remember the golden rules and what to avoid.  

Excel 2007 Dropdown Boxes

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In this post I decided to provide a tutorial on how to add a dropdown box in Microsoft Excel 2007.  It’s incredibly easy and takes just a few seconds.  I love this feature because I go NUTS when data isn’t consistent throughout a spreadsheet, so this dropdown box allows you to limit the options someone has to enter into your spreadsheet.

1.  Open Microsoft Excel 2007

2.  Type your “Key” with the options that you would like to use for the dropdown box

3.  Highlight the area you’d like to apply the drop down box to

4.  Go to the Data tab at the top

5.  Click the Data Validation portion and pull down the options

6.  Again, hit Data Validation

7.  In the “Allow” portion, choose “List”

8.  Click in the “Source” portion then highlight your Key

9.  Hit OK and Voila!

Password Fundamentals

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Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months” – Clifford Stoll

Whether at home or in the office, creating a secure password is crucial to protecting your personal information.  By creating a secure password, you make it difficult for hackers to access your accounts without authorization.

Password Fundamentals

  1. Length – The longer the password, the harder it is for a hacker or a logarithm to “guess” what your password may be.  Strive for a minimum of 8 characters for your password.
  2. Characters – It is crucial to use special characters in your password (if the application allows it).  Several applications require a special character such as !@#$%^&*.  For example, instead of an “a” you can you a @ symbol, or instead of an “i” you can use the ! symbol.
  3. Numbers – In addition to special characters, use numeric values within your password as well.  Numbers can prevent hackers from using dictionary terms to unlock your account.
  4. Upper Case and Lower Case – Don’t forget to vary the characters that are capitals and those that are lower case – especially if the application is case sensitive.
  5. Change it – Change your password every 3-6 months.  I agree that this may be difficult and not conducive to remembering your password, however for maximum security change your password, especially for online bank accounts!


Things to Avoid

  1. Never write your password down!  This is a detrimental mistake made by a majority of individuals who have a difficult time remembering their password.  Passwords can easily be found under mouse pads, keyboards, behind picture frames, and in nearby drawers.  You wouldn’t leave the key to your home under the door mat (I would hope) so don’t write your password down in a location for others to find.
  2. Keep it private – Don’t share your password with anyone.  Period.
  3. Common names – Some common passwords to avoid are: Dictionary words, names of relatives/spouses/friends, your username, your address, your birthday, pet names, etc.


Stay tuned for my next post regarding tips on creating a super-extremely-easy-to-remember secure password!