Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

(25) The Personal Website November 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 9:53 pm

Well here it is, my personal website.


This was not as easy as I thought it would be. I experimented around with multiple different hosting sites until I found the one that suited me. The assignment was to have an about me section, a resume, a place to hold some portfolio items and a link back to my fabulous blog. I am  not one with an eye for design but I was surprised at how much effort I put into making this look the way I wanted it to. I guess when it literally has your name plastered on it brings on a whole new level of commitment. I hope this sets me apart from other candidates in a way that communicates how I would like to be seen, a talented young professional. I welcome any and all feedback on my site. Thank you and happy viewing!


(24) Keep Your Love Letters: Little Else Matters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 2:32 am

Everyone that has been in a failed relationship has a ritual to what happens with the leftover remnants of that life.  Some give all the presents and pictures back to the giver, others tuck everything safely into a designated box to be hidden from sight and some (like myself) get rid of it all. Whether it be burning pictures, or donating old sweatshirts, I just want the reminders gone. As I grow older there is one thing I decided to never part with again, love letters.

Love letters are becoming more and more like the spotted owl, beautiful and extinct.  Sure, we get sweet texts and nice emails, but the physical token of your significant other’s feelings spread out for someone to read is an almost an unbearable reminder of broken love. Some of the letters have been read so often that they are memorized. No matter how many times you memorize the words you will never train yourself to not feel the gut-wrenching, raw emotional pain of the past. Love letters are the doorways to a previous time. It shows what was going on in life at the moment and how you full heartedly believed love would concur all. It is an unbearable pain that most of us can’t forget. These letters show generosity. It illustrates how you have been adored and that person took the time out of their life to write it down so you would always know. This unbridled emotion is excruciating later down the road. That is why I must keep them. Not for torture, but as a reminder of how I once felt so deeply about someone.

When I look back to my first heartbreak, I was distraught. I couldn’t eat, sleep, function, I felt broken. I was 16 and had no reservations about loving him. I did not think how my future could be with him, what kind of father he would be, and would he be able to provide a happy life with me. No, I loved recklessly with all I had. Once I got over the trauma and healed, I healed with cracks in my heart. I loved again yes, but it was different. The more my heart broke the less I felt the damage. I adapted and did not love uncontrolled like my first time ever again. I know as I grow older this sad truth of survival will only become more true. That’s why I have to keep my love letters. They are proof of the dying emotions that I once had. Nothing I ever write for the rest of my life will be as true as my past love letters.

As I close the book on another relationship, I do so knowing I will never love the way I did again. Not because I won’t find another, but because I will have more emotional walls built up inside me not allowing me to get to the part of my heart that is tender from loss. It is important to keep the reminders of this passion because discarding them makes them lost forever. As bad as the pain is, I rather feel that then nothing at all.


(23) The “I Can’t Put The Book Down” Feeling November 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 9:53 pm

Have you ever read a book that made you stay up late at night? A book that won’t let you push it away or do anything until it is finished? The worst ones are when the book is part of a series. Then, your life is given up to the series for at least a week, usually two. Your life becomes intertwined with the character’s plight. Why is this? I have a theory …

We become addicted to these stories because they connect with us on some level, which is obvious. But it is how/when they connect with us.  Take the Twilight series; the author, Stephanie Meyer, wrote the main character, Bella, as a plain girl so any tween can place themselves in her shoes and become apart of the story. The authors have control of this aspect, but what they don’t have is control of our situations when we read it.

For instance, I am enamored in the series of The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins at the moment. (I highly recommend reading this series.) Without giving too much away, the series is about a young strong girl who fights her emotions about love, family, and most of all survival.  Although I am not fighting for my life this story resonates with my current situation. Authors could not plan for someone to be in a perfect situation as I am to be charmed by a story. When a character in a story is easy to relate to and the reader’s situation all align together, it creates the perfect storm for readership.



(22) Men and Women’s TV Shows: Pawn Stars vs. Antique Roadshow November 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 3:49 am

To me, nothing shows the difference between men and women’s TV shows then Pawn Stars and Antique Roadshow. Basically, the content is the same. People bring in their old stuff and have these experts appraise them and tell them what it is worth. The basic principles of the shows are the same but the formats are very different.

Antique Roadshow deals with all antiques, lamps, tables, pictures, vases and more. When you watch Pawn Stars the only objects they tend to show are weapons, cars, and early revolutionary period items. Whenever a wide scan around the shop happens you an see that most of the items in the story is actually rings, even though you never see them buy a piece of jewelry. They spend the most time talking about money. Just look at the names of the show! To attract male viewers they named it something close to many men’s hearts, porn.

You always hear that women have to drag their husbands ‘antiquing’ on the weekends. The success of this show proves that men actually enjoy looking at antiques; it is just about how you present it to them. Just relate it to money and porn and you have your men antiquing every weekend.



(21) Planning Makes Perfect: Even for Streaking November 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 10:04 pm

I just watched this video on You Tube. Before I continue with my remarks, you have to watch this…



This is hilarious. Not because it was streaking (an activity I am not usually fond of) but because of the expert planning that went into this it was made a success. Unlike most people who streak who are just drunk looking for a laugh, this one was different.  He dressed himself in the appropriate garments for a referee, demanded attention by running out there blowing the whistle and went for it.

If he was an average streaker he would be put on You Tube but with not much of a spike. But this guys got chants from the crowd and almost two and a half million hits on the Internet. It was all because he put some thought into his prank. Just goes to show you, planning will make everything better.


(20) Movies Losing Their Creativity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 5:40 am

Have you watched movie trailers recently? It seems that writers have replaced interesting plot lines with gore, action and special effects. I hate to say it, but Hollywood has loss their touch.

If you aren’t seeing a sequel of a movie that was a mild success there is a re-make of a classic.  Most trailers now giveaway the entire movie and if they don’t, it is reasonable enough to guess most plot lines. Take a look at a romantic comedy. First skeptic girl/guy meet, then one dishonors the other. This usually happens through a bet about the significant other. The couple surprisingly falls in love when they find out how they have been wronged by the other. There is a dramatic break-up, sadness, and then somehow they rekindle their love and live happily ever after.

There have been a few good movies recently that I have enjoyed. What most of them have in common is they were great books. Thankfully, authors have not lost their creativity (mostly). Great movies like The Help were great books before. Going to the movies used to be an experience, now I can’t imagine paying for most of them. (In all honesty, I haven’t gone to a movie that wasn’t a date in years.)

I don’t propose an idea how to fix this. Writing a successful screenplay probably has some sort of tried and true formula. With the mass amount of money it takes to make a movie the gross profit has to be enormous. I just wish there was a studio out there who says ‘we have enough money now, let’s make good movies instead.’ Until that day, we will just have to suffer with crappy movies.


(19) TiVo: How Advertising Adapted to it

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 2:01 am

As I am sitting at home after my food coma from Thanksgiving, I am watching my Mom’s recorded shows and I click on Top Chef. Because it is on TiVo, I fast-forward through the commercials. As an advertising major I thought to myself  “How has TiVo effected advertising?” When my program came back on I watched as the drama of who will have to pack their knives and go when it hit me, advertising is everywhere in this show! Product placement is how advertisers have adapted to TiVo.

Take the show I am watching, Top Chef. You can see Fiji waters placed strategically in view; Whole Foods is elegantly placed to fit all their culinary needs. Many challenges have a sponsor. The one I am currently watching is a Chili challenge where Tabasco was the sponsor. They all cook on beautiful new Kenmore appliances and the prize money is furnished by Glad. Really, advertisers are genius.

Instead of just an advertisement for their product, they have found a way to integrate their products into the shows people already know and love. It seems to me much more effective. Unless you are really looking for it, you wouldn’t know that you are being shown ads. It makes me think, if product placement was banned, how would advertisers adapt to that? Maybe one day we will see…