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Here and gone: #UOregonNYC

May 16, 2011

Home from the #UOregonNYC trip. What a week. Each day was so full of activity, energy, and inspiration it seems like we were gone for months. But at the same time, I can hardly believe we’re already back. Now I’m in the midst of catching up on schoolwork, real work, and smoothing out my last 2.5 weeks of college (what?). But before I get too caught up in spring’s madness, I needed a brief moment reflection of this experience. If my brain and schedule allow for it, I will be delving deeper into these takeaways for the next several weeks and months.

You are as bad as you’ll ever be. Words of wisdom from @Faris. We all strive to be the best, but it’s gradual and comes with work, big chances, and a lot of reflection. You’re never at your peak, so keep climbing.

Be honest with yourself. It’s necessary to learn how you think and operate before anyone else. Find your own way of breaking down a problem. We’re all creative, find and proudly identify with which creative box or channel best fits (but don’t be afraid to break out of it sometimes). Don’t feel pressured into fitting someone else’s title.

Trust and loyalty are earned. We’re at a point in communication where consumers/users (of any product/service/industry) have the advantage. Through engagement, you earn the right to communicate with the consumer. They are now inherently participatory — give them something to connect with.

Everything is more complicated than it looks. On the first day of NYC @creativeweek, I attended a talk on brewing coffee. Wow. I consider myself a proper pacific-northwest coffee snob, but even I was taken aback by the incredible process picking, selecting, soaking, drying and grinding coffee beans can be. Really makes you think. Coffee might be a silly example, but it makes me wonder what else I’ve been overlooking and taking for granted. Pay more attention to the details around you and think how much time and energy someone had to devote to make it happen. Everyone is passionate about something. And that is incredible.

Even the best and brightest fall short. Ad campaigns fail. People don’t research exactly how to get an iPad app accepted before it is produced. Mega corporations (ahem Facebook) alienate audiences because they try to sound more “genius” and less collaborative. But you know what? We learn and move on.

Collaboration opens doors. This is the main message that resonated with me from our visit to Mother. Think about what fresh eyes and voices can give to an idea, a project, an organization, or a vision. We all rely on each other, so let’s foster relationships everywhere we go.

Put your money where your heart lies. Don’t just say things. Dig deep, find what you really want and crave, and then go for it.

What an incredible experience. I feel so fortunate to belong to a school and a program that offers students this level of insight and opportunity. Major thanks to Deb Morrison for leading us all.

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