About Keri Singer
People are Listening to What “Kerisays”
“The web and technology can provide communication tools, but we should not neglect personable experiences that result in creating certain moods and emotions. We need to learn from those encounters in person and see how to best translate them online. We should keep those experiences genuine, creative, engaging and fun! The companies and the individuals that find the right balance between the virtual and the real world will become the true leaders in my mind.”- Keri Singer
Some may say they are in the business of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). I like to say that I have the “Sass” to attract others whether for professional growth, to engage audiences, or discover new business opportunities. I hope others will contribute their own personal “Sass” or “Kerisma” on this site and share their experiences. I look forward to this blog to be a way to connect, enrich, educate and enlighten others of all ages.
© 2008 – 2012 Kerisma http://kerisinger.wordpress.com is copy written by Keri Singer and is a Kerisays Inc. production. All Rights Reserved.
THE BOSTON MARATHON 2013 and Today’s Anniversary
Today is the anniversary of that day Boston was shocked with fear and shook from two terrible bombs that had exploded on Boylston street. It’s one of those days you’ll NEVER FORGET. Where you were when you heard the news. NEVER FORGET the people who died and who were injured. NEVER FORGET who you were concerned about at the race and each day. NEVER FORGET how much love, compassion and BOSTON STRONG we stood, still stand and nothing will kill our spirit! NEVER FORGET how susceptible we are to harm, danger and death in a blink of an eye. NEVER FORGET sharing and appreciating those special moments with the ones we love and who love us back. NEVER FORGET the fun, the memories, and marathon parties of years past.
NEVER FORGET the fear and sorrow that hit our hometown. NEVER FORGET the cheers from the #RED SOX WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.
Life and good people are a gift to be treasured. Treat them well with respect, love and embrace them forever. NEVER FORGET THAT!
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
– Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson has always been an inspiration to me with his ability to strive for success, fail and continue to rise above the rest. A high school dropout, he was determined to put forth his ideas into business and create a magazine publication called the Student. Ironically, he has always been a student with each new venture and never had any trepidation to dive into a new opportunity. He is a true inspiration to all of us. “It’s easy to give up when things are hard but we have to keep chasing dreams.”
Richard is an influential leader willing to stand up to a challenge, coach and listen to his team, while he takes full responsibility for his actions. He isn’t an engineer or inventor such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Yet, Sir Richard Branson predicted a new opportunity in the market to create better customer service with a competitive advantage. Following the launch of his magazine, he created a mail order record company called Virgin to fund the publication. This lead to the Virgin Group that later launched the success of Virgin Records.
Sir Richard Branson realizes the importance of his employees and offers guidance and support to his teams across the globe. He takes pride in his work, but on many occasions he is willing to give up control, as well as sell his businesses. It says a lot about one who is able to delegate for the future success of the company. In fact, Sir Branson is very passionate about music and was very apprehensive about selling Virgin Records. However, this helped him to dedicate the time to create his next venture called Virgin Atlantic. He decided to innovate the transatlantic travel experience with cheaper flights and became the first airline to offer in-flight entertainment. Branson never followed the crowd, but rather became a leader of the pack, as he defied the standards of the industries and believed in his team to guide him onto the next adventure.
Branson is a leader of over 200 companies and continues to enter unchartered waters by hiring professionals and cultivating their talents. “Shape the business around the people. If a flower is watered, it flourishes. If not, it shrivels up and dies.” It’s unfortunate in these tough economic times that companies have put much strain on their employees. They are being overworked and underpaid with limited resources. Today is a significant time to invest in human capital and it’s important for one to take a subjective approach to identify the strengths and weakness to make an effort to empower employees by providing the proper training and resources. On many occasions, Branson has valued his employees’ contributions and allowed them to flourish. He is focused on empowering his staff to shape the organization, as well as create harmony among the people working for the company. It’s important for more organizations to follow his example to improve cost and time efficiencies, training, customer service, audience engagement and employee morale. Today, many professionals aren’t being valued for their hard efforts. This can lead to a breakdown of productivity in the workforce and poor customer relations. Additionally, many professionals are lacking the skills to remain competitive. It’s important for employers to adhere to new educational policies and procedures, as well as recognize the transferrable skills of others to apply on the job.
Today, Sir Richard Branson is a billionaire and recognized as a well-respected businessman. He has always remained humble and continues to give back to the community. Recently, he launched Virgin HealthMiles, an organization to partner with employers to incentivize their employees to live a healthier way of life. Richard Branson is one to never give up on his dreams no matter how difficult the challenge. He literally shoots for the moon establishing a company called Virgin Galactic to host trips for passengers to become astronauts and gain experience into outer space. He is one entrepreneur that continues to beat the odds and truly amazes others and myself as an influential leader.
Source of Branson’s Quotes: Richard Branson’s (CEO Virgin) management style and CIOs, http://mubbisherahmed.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/richard-bransons-ceo-virgin-management-style-and-cios/(October 24, 2011)
WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY TO PAY
I was accepted into school! Now what?
You have just received noticed that your school of choice has accepted you. You’re ready to pack your bags and head off on your adventure into a new world of academic studies abroad. It’s time for a celebration! HOLD ON. The first semester tuition is $10,0000! That doesn’t include housing, transportation, or textbooks. Now you’re questioning your decision and wondering how to make your dreams of studying in the US a reality.
America is known as the “land of opportunity,” but the reality is that everything comes with a price. International students have a high price to pay if they don’t have the proper funds, eligibility for scholarships, or know how to figure out how to pay for additional expenses. Exploring a different country is appealing, and it can be rewarding meeting others from across the globe. Finding the proper financial assistance can be an overwhelming task when there are few monetary resources and a small network to pull together funds.
How am I going to afford to pay my bills?
Are there any scholarships available to international students?
How can I save money?
What resources are available to international students on campus?
According to InternationalStudentLoan.com, in the last year “over 670,000 international students came to the USA to study at universities and colleges.” As more students pursue undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctorate programs in the United States, many are asking questions pertaining to financial aid, housing, Visa status, taxes, and more to make their educational experiences possible.
Early on, make sure to consider the financial aid process after you identified your school of choice and your area of study. There are many deadlines in place to ensure that you are eligible for assistance. You don’t want wait to get into school and realize later you’re stuck with no way to fund your education and make your experience worthwhile. It’s very important to budget yourself while on campus.
Are there different means available for funding to international students?
Some useful tips, suggestions and other websites for more information:
U.S. College or University Scholarship: You might be eligible based on need, nationality, or areas of study for a financial support. Check out the International Student Insurance website for additional scholarship listings, or your college’s website.
Assistantship – As a participating student you can apply and potentially be awarded an assistantship. It’s very competitive with other international and American students to earn this type of financial support while working with a professor or specific department. Some fees are waived or you can be paid a stipend towards your tuition. Apply early and learn of these programs through an advisor or speak with other administrative officers on campus.
Fellowships & Scholarships –A grant could be applied to a higher graduate or doctoral degree to pay for tuition, living expenses, textbook, etc. There are opportunities to also be considered for a Fulbright scholarship. Learn more about these options: Foreign Student Fulbright Student Program, Graduate Studies for Latin American and the Caribbean, Council for International Exchange, and the Institute of International Education.
Working On-campus, or Other Employment: In the US, international students working on campus can only participate for a limited amount of hours per week. Ask your work-study or financial aid office for assistance, as well as research the different for part-time positions that will accept international students.
Student Loan – You might be able to find a loan to pay for part of your educational costs from a bank or lender in your home country. Some U.S. loans might be available but they may have specific requirements. Check out InternationalStudentLoans.com
Funds From Your Country – You might find scholarships or other sources of funds within your home country offered by the government. A university, a private sponsor or employer can potentially support your college tuition.
Payments for School with peerTransfer
A service charge is applied for each transaction when money is transferred from an international bank and wired to the United States to pay for college. The amount your money is worth can also fluctuate on the different currency markets.
Stop wasting money and save it! Wouldn’t you rather have some extra cash to attend a concert with a friend, purchase a collegiate sweatshirt to keep you cozy, or add a new wide-screen television to your apartment or dorm?
SAVE MONEY. SAVE TIME. SAFEGUARD.
Encourage your school to participate or sign-up for peerTransfer to start making easy payments in a secure environment. peerTransfer saves you and your parent’s money. Don’t be bothered paying for unnecessary fees but rather have peace of mind with extra spending cash in your pocket. See if your school is one of the participating peerTransfer campuses. Contact them for more information.
DigiCareers’ Report Shares A New Perspective on Mobile Advertising
A recent study put forth by DigiCareers asked professionals their thoughts around the trends in advertising with the usage of apps and mobile websites. So what do the people in the new media profession think of Smartphones as a viable tool to reach their customers? Conversions and click-thru rates with mobile advertising are paying off compared to more traditional mediums including newspapers, radio and web banners. Mobile advertising has the capability to make a great impact if done effectively to reach customers.
For the most part, companies create a mobile app or website to appeal to a unique segment of the audience, as well as enhance the experience for their customers. Ironically, most apps usually don’t have the customers coming back for more once the novelty goes away. Some companies are quick to create a mobile app/site but instead should dedicate time to consider the value, ease-of-use, and convenience that it would add to their customer’s lifestyle.
A website/blog appeals to mobile audiences that are grabbing information on-the-go. Advertisers have found using mobile to target by region a very effective tactic. Geo-targeting was “viewed as the predominate (68%) advantage to advertising to Smartphone/Mobile phone users.” As also noted in the study, new media professionals had success quantifying their advertising dollars spent towards mobile when tracking sales conversions (24%), brand awareness (21%), and click-thru rates (18%).
Some customers have chosen to use mobile because it provides an environment that is less cluttered with ads rather than using the computer. Make sure your mobile advertisements aren’t invasive or disruptive to the experience.
Make Ads Interactive and Fun
Focus on a strategy to devise campaigns where your audience can create the advertisements that are shared with everyone. Partner with new technology enhancements available through the phone to incorporate pictures, creativity and voting to make the process collaborative and fun! Combine SMS, YouTube, touch screen capabilities, mobile games, or something else that might complement your product or service to make your ads memorable.
Here’s a great mobile advertisement from Westin that provides an interactive experience for their customers to learn about a new hotel escape. Check out the video showcasing how the advertisement appeals to the audience.
Recognize and Reward
Create mobile campaigns that recognize the audience and rewards them for their actions as they move around your mobile site or app.
Demonstrations offered through video can elicit emotions for your audience as they learn more about the experience with your brand.
Review some of these other Top 10 Mobile Campaigns to get a few new ideas to add to the mobile experience for your customer.
“His innovative ways connects us across the globe today and into tomorrow. Thank you Steve Jobs for bringing us all a little closer one Apple at a time.” - Keri Singer
One apple has fallen off the Tree of Life, but another will soon blossom…..DREAM FOR TOMORROW
Today, we celebrate and mourn the life and legacy of Steve Jobs. He was man who didn’t know much early on about san-serifs and fonts but believed there was something better. His passion and talents brought us new technology tools to communicate together.
I listened to his speech from a few years ago at a graduation that moved me. Listen to that inner voice to inspire you and lead you onto the next path.
Every life experience adds to your worth and education. Sometimes we wonder why certain things happen that make us struggle. Stick through the fight and you may fall upon a golden opportunity. Find what you love and follow your heart.
“Keep looking and don’t settle” - Steve Jobs
Sometimes our lives feel like ‘the world’s most dangerous road‘ in Bolivia that is filled with twists and turns. You might not know which is the right direction and how to be safe. Soon with a little guidance and support on the treacherous road of life, it can lead to a few detours, road blocks, or a new surprise. We’ll find our way to navigate these tough times together. One can offer a hand of support, make someone laugh, listen, offer encouragement, friendship, or something else along the way to help us reach our next destination.
Nothing is more gratifying than jumping in and taking a chance to see what happens. Experiences in life can be frustrating and you only learn if you give things a try. Take chances even if it feels scary or unsettling.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs